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8/27/09

You want me to do what?

The other day Mr. Pilot dared me to stay home for three days. Stay home, as in - not leave the house, for three whole days? He might be a little crazy. Yesterday a very dear friend challenged me to stay home for two weeks, not even going to church. Now, she must be crazy!

Why do I have such a problem staying at home? I love my home and I am so blessed to be at home, yet by about 2 pm I am looking for a reason to run out. The moment my hubby walks through the door I ask if we can go somewhere. I don’t mean I want to leave my family in the dust and rush off and have my nails done or anything like that. I just want the entire family to load up into the Buffalo (that’s our van) and drive somewhere, preferably somewhere with food.

Actually, my husband and friend are not crazy. I should be perfectly happy staying at home. My family would function so much better if I weren’t always rushing us out the door. I’d save my husband’s hard earned dollars if I weren’t putting us in the position of being hungry when we are far from home, out and about in town.

I can think back to a few years ago when I had MOPS at one church, Moppets at another, homeschool co-op, dance for 2 girls, soccer for the boy, and bible study. I also served in the Sunday school class, went to Mr. Pilot’s softball games, and had coffee with friends; all in one week! While there was nothing wrong with going to any of these things, there was definitely something wrong with going to all of them. I wondered why I didn’t have time to cook, or do laundry, or why I didn’t have energy for my husband, or for the children.

I have come a long way. But I still have so far to go. I get bored easily, I think I always have. I now have a darling daughter who asks at least twice a day “What are we doing next, or where are we going” because she too, got used to going, and going, and going.

Be still! Take delight in nothing but spending time with my children. That is what I am trying to do. I’ll start with the 3 day challenge. I have high hopes for reaching the 2 weeks challenge also.
I’ll wait until after my parents visit next week…
I’ll wait until after my anniversary, too.
I will do it.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Time for TEA!

Stand up for what you believe in or you’ll fall for anything. Isn’t that a country song?

We recently read a post from a fellow biblical world view poster talking about what we could do personally to be informed about, and get involved with, the current political movement.

As I read this post, I remembered that Mom had forwarded me an email from the local homeschool group about a TEA Party in Jackson. I had only a one day notice, but I was pumped about getting involved from the blog post I had just read. Plus, they were providing free food. That alone almost always draws my family in…

We loaded up and drove the two hour (not quite) drive. I didn’t know what to expect. I had a vision of a blazing hot parking lot full of red, white, and blue homemade posters and maybe even people chanting or something. I was really surprised to see the very nice shady park with people sitting around listening attentively. We pulled up our lawn chairs while our children played in a dried up creek (pronounced crick by my wife) bed while we joined in the listening.



The talks were primarily about healthcare and the infringement of individual liberties. The parties represented were Primary Care Physicians and Doctors, Small Business Owners, Congressmen, and Ordinary Folks. They talked a lot about the massive legalese of the HR3200 (the Healthcare Bill currently being debated). Seriously, they had a copy; it was about 5 inches thick. They spoke about how centralized healthcare will stifle efforts of current Physicians Practiced, Medical Student Retention, and Research and Development. They talked about how making healthcare bureaucratic will make it more expensive (more taxes) for individuals and how it will remove individual choice in people’s health decisions.


The big picture here is there is a lot of mud making America’s vision cloudy. The people of America are being taken advantage of and the devastation is being glossed over. We are frogs in the pot of water. We must jump out before it is too late.

As an American, I encourage you educate yourself on what is happening in the American government. Don’t just listen to the news headlines or your favorite newscaster’s opinions. I know you are busy, I know you are tired. I understand it sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo. We have to cut through it. It is our responsibility. It does affect us, each one of us. It affects our children, and their children. Race, gender, socio class, and political affiliation are irrelevant here. It is all about the principals.

Make a stand. Read up on what is going on, write a letter, make a phone call, and talk about it.
Go to a TEA party.
Then write a blog post.
-Mr. Pilot

For More Info
I found this quote:
"Skepticism about government is exactly what the Tea Parties are all about. They are named not only for the Boston Tea Party, nor for a memorable scene in Alice in Wonderland, but for the acronym TEA: "Taxed Enough Already." TEA is a truly popular sentiment in America that represents those who think that government is too big, costs too much, regulates too much, and needs to be smaller, cheaper, smarter, and do no more harm. It's a bonus that tea parties remind us the government is a Mad Hatter that is as mad as a March Hare, and that we'd like to knock it on the head and dump it in Boston Harbor."





Mr. Pilot's Baby

Finally, here's the video of the birth. I would have taken the epideral if given the opportunity. It was a beautiful sunny, dry, and hot day in the Fresno valley as I spun around inside a tin can with an incredibly short moment arm (engineering junk for suseptible to vertigo). I'd almost forgotten how painful it all was, but when I look back on the video I remember very clearly, with anguish, that I never want to do it again. Hope you enjoy it, and be glad you don't have to do it.

-Mr. Pilot


video

you can see what this is all about in my earlier post

8/26/09

Ribbit

Moments after waking up:

Sis to Butter – Did you look outside, Butter?
Butter – Yup.
Sis – Did you see it’s foggy outside?
Butter – Yup. There’s a froggy outside and I’m dunna doe catch it.
Sis - Oh, Butter.
[Giggles.]

I love waking up to giggles.

8/25/09

Get Rid of It

How many clothes does one person need?

Back at the house I'd walk into my girls' room and instantly feel my blood pressure rise because I couldn't even see the floor through all of the clothes when I had just cleaned it two days before. There'd be underwear hanging from a dresser handle and I didn't care to determine if they were clean or dirty. A pile in the bathroom, pants in the hall, and 6 baskets of dirty clothes waiting to be laundered, that's over the top. "That's it! Bring me all of your clothes" I would say for what seemed like the tenth time that month. We would sort out all of the the dirty, fold all of the clean, and get rid of anything that hadn't been worn since the last time we did this routine.

If I wasn't doing 3 loads of laundry a day, it wouldn't take long for me to be sinking in piles of dirty clothes. I tried every different tip I could find. Three houses ago I even had my hubby move all of the dressers into the laundry room (he thought I was crazy, but he is so good to me.) This way, when the children shucked their clothes off at least they were on the laundry room floor, that makes sense, right? Whatever, it didn't work.

So I finally decided to get rid of stuff. I went through each child's clothes and pulled out anything I wasn't emotionally attached to. I had a big yard sale and felt pretty good about it. I only had to do 2 loads of laundry each day. Wait, why did I still have so much laundry, and why do I have an emotional attachment to clothes? I made excuses. Wasn't I being a good steward by sorting and saving my children's clothes to pass down from one to the next? Well, it's a good thought in theory, but we've moved about 9 times in 10 years, our children are different sizes in different seasons and I was just swimming in clothes. A good friend pointed out that I didn't need to hang on to it all. The clothes will always show up, she said, and she pointed out that maybe I wasn't really trusting in God to provide what I needed for each child, lovingly of course. I realized that I do rarely ever buy clothes. Everything we need does just sort of show up, either passed down or gifted. Besides, she has 9 children, 7 of which are girls, so she might know what she is talking about.

Then we decided to move into a travel trailer. We had three more sales and before each one I'd gather more clothes to get rid of. I gave myself a huge pat on the back when I very carefully selected my favorite outfits for each of my children and narrowed it down so each child had only one rubbermaid. Every thing that didn't sell, we donated. I even got rid of the dressers. Surely that would be enough. (I did keep one small rubbermaid of the coming home outfits, the baby clothes that were mine, and the really special stuff, and one rubbermaid of infant clothes for boy and girl)

After 6 weeks in the trailer, I have a huge pile of clothes to donate. One small rubbermaid is still too much. The 3 youngest children now have one small drawer in a little kitchen stand and the two older children have a really small rubbermaid. They don't miss a thing. And I certainly don't miss the laundry. It is awesome, now I only have to do it once a week! ONCE A WEEK. Did you hear me?

I am really trying to weed through everything in our lives. If something is becoming too much work, or if I am up to my eyes in something, I am getting rid of it! Watch out!

8/24/09

An LP detector update. It's a gas thing.

You can read in my earlier post about our trouble with the LP monitor. Well, through various trials which I will not describe, we have determined that the monitor does in fact detect gases other than LP. Like gases from our dog. And our humans. I cannot confirm who besides the dog did the testing, but I assure you, the tests were extensive. Since we aren't hooked up to LP and we really like home-made bean burritos we decided it would be wise to disconnect the detector. At least until we need another good laugh.

8/23/09

here's that Sufficiency word again...


Here we go! As part of God’s incredible plans for our family he has brought us the news of this amazing conference in Cincinnati, OH this December. It is called the “The Sufficiency of Scripture” conference, and we are excited because many of the speakers come from many of the different ministries that we have been influenced by and are following, including:

Voddie Baucham Ministries
Answers in Genesis
Vision Forum Ministries

The conference is set for Dec 10-12 and we are REALLY hoping that we can make it. We are working hard to see if we can trailer-it-up there (unlikely, isn't there snow?), find a campsite (also unlikely, isn't it freezing?), or get a hotel. We’re not even sure if I will be off from work, but we’re sure God will work something out for us…as long as that leave chit gets in there!

We’d love it if some of our brothers and sisters in Christ could find a way to get up there also and join us. You can check-out the info here. They have a great web-site with some updated blog articles about what’s happening in our culture and why we need to get back to The Word to get the family, the church, and the country back on track.
~Mr. Pilot

Amazing Grace and Things Sufficent

I think it's a "God-oince" that the churches we have been attending as of late sing Hymns for worship. Our church in Florida had just gone back to singing Hymns right before we started attending and the new church here in Ole' Miss only sings Hymns too. We used to think that Hymns are old fashioned and maybe a little plain and boring. We thought there had to be a band and "music that moved you" for the worship to be effective. We probably wouldn't even have attend a church if they only sang Hymns for worship just a short while ago. That was before... Now Hymns are sufficient. We are even enjoying learning them at home. Weird? Maybe!

When I look back a few years or in some cases even just a few months ago, I often think "what a fool I was." And a few years from now I hope will look back and think "what a fool I was a few years ago" because I want to be ever learning, ever growing, ever changing. If I am not moving forward, I might as well be moving backward.

I am so glad for the Grace of God. I am not perfect, yet He loves me anyway. I do not have it all together. Sometimes I might look like it, and I might even occasionally think I do, but it's a lie. I come to the throne with dirty hands and He washes me. His Grace is sufficent for me. Let it be for you too.


...Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee...
from "Jesus, I Come" by William Sleeper

8/22/09

I'ma goin fishin on a bright n sunny day...

Our neighbor came back from the store with cane poles for my children the other day. What a sweet woman, and what lucky children. We had a blast fishing!

This was an exciting new experience for most of us. My husband is such a good sport, he is not a fisherman. I grew up fishing, but I must admit, this is the very first time I have gone fishing without my daddy.

Oh wait! There was one time up in the Yampa Rivers on a camping trip with my in-laws. I was sick with child, it had rained the entire weekend, am my smelly dog had just jumped in the river; this is not a good combination. I was already nauseas just thinking about the 5 hour drive down the mountains with my smelly wet dog in the overloaded van. I was soooo done with this trip, but the rain had finally let up and my entire family wanted to go fishing. I sat selfishly in the car attempting to hide my irritation. Didn't anyone care that I hadn't slept a wink for the last two nights and I just wanted to stuff my head in a pillow and fall asleep for a few weeks? While I watched them from the side view mirror my irritated sigh turned into little chuckles watching them casting and reeling in fishless hooks over and over again. I finally decided to suck it up and join my family in their feeble attempt to catch a fish in the cold mountain river. I marched my nauseas self over, cast out my line, and reeled in a fish in about 6 seconds. I think my response was something along the lines of "There. Can we go home now?" I must admit though, I was feeling a little proud. I think "show 'em how it's done" maybe, just maybe crossed my mind. Must have come from the hidden hick-chick with-in. So there you have it, that is the only time I have been fishing without my dad. Oh, and just so you know, I am determined to not be so cranky or nauseas next time I am with child and I am ever grateful for my family who so graciously forgave my morning sickness crankiness.

I got a little side tracked, sorry! Now, back to the post...

Sis cast out her pole and had a fish almost instantly (maybe because she is wearing my shoes?)

you can see in her face that she is not too sure of it, she is a big time girly-girl


Pops didn't want to miss out on anything


brother had to show the sis how to get the fish off the hook
(Mr. Pilot might have been cringing in the background, shhhh)


and they had to inspect it, of course


then boy got his first fish



there's nothing like fishing in your pj's outside of your trailer... hahaha!


and Guys got the biggest catch of the bunch!


Finally, one for Butter too! She was so excited!


that is, until it wiggled. Poor sweet girl! But, she never let go while I fumbled with the camera to take her picture. She is so brave!

and Pops had enough, can you hear his high pitched scream? He was done missing out on all the fun!

We are certainly having a good time, experiencing new things, spending time together. Fun stuff!

8/19/09

10 Reasons You Should Live in an RV

10. It is Cheaper
Our rent, cable, internet, water, sewer, electricity~ all of it added together costs little more than some of our electricity bills in our home. You can't really beat that.

Proverbs 12:9
Better to be lowly and have a servant then to play the great man and lack bread.

9. We Can Take Our Home on Vacation
We can just throw the Rubbermaids that are under the trailer inside, pull the slide in, hook-up to the van, and go. Anywhere. I don't even have to find a pet sitter. There are RV parks everywhere and they cost a fraction of a hotel stay. We don't have to eat out, remember to pack our toothbrushes, or worry about forgetting a te-te (baby blanket) in a hotel bed. We haven't tried this out yet, but as soon as the Navy finally pays us (they still haven't paid us for our move) we plan on giving it a whirl.

8. Refined Appreciation for Daily Tasks

Like the dishes. ~Think back to the good old days when you (your grandma) had to fetch water. Since I am not using gas, we have no hot water. When I do the dishes, I have to first heat water in my little 4 cup coffee pot. I actually have to stand there and wait for 2 or 3 pots to have enough hot water to do the dishes for my 7 member family. This is really hard for me, aren't there a million more important things I could be doing? I have never been fond of dishes. In fact, when we first got married, I made a deal with Mr. Pilot that I'd do the laundry if he'd do the dishes. He has kept up his part until the children were old enough to take over. Since we have been in the trailer I have been doing the dishes and using my Grandmother as my strength. This past Christmas I had the pleasure of watching her do the dishes. I love watching her aged, work-weathered hands plunge into the mucky water swirling with yucky food droppings from several plates of the just finished, hearty, farm cooked meal. For my entire 28 years of life my grandmother has stood at that same sink for countless hours, doing who knows how many dishes for family and friends. I wonder how often many of them~ how I~ took for granted for the sacrifice she has made, standing there, never grumbling or complaining about the time spent when the counter was filled with the dishes and drippings of the 30+ person Thanksgiving meal. As I watched her, my heart flooded with appreciation, and with the conviction. I didn't even cook dinner for my family regularly, let alone do the dishes daily. I won't even mention the without grumbling part... I had a hard time coming up with a few meals a week. As I imagined three home cooked meals AND dishes each day, for 28 years, or 48, or 62, I stood in admiration and wonder... I vowed then and there to learn to cook for my family. And now I am doing the dishes too. Without grumbling.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father.

7. Focus on Family, Not Self
There aren't 10 piles of laundry calling my name. There aren't 50 toys piled up on the floor, so many that each child can't even see the other children through his own pile. There is no TV or XBOX. We have to play with each other.

Malachi 4:6
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

Titus 2:4
That they may teach the young women to love their husbands and children.
6. Get Familiar with Regularity
not just the poop- although, we are getting familiar with that too, since we have to dump the tanks and all. We are able to keep a much closer eye on everything that goes on here. An unresolved spat doesn't slip by unnoticed. If someone doesn't put their toy exactly where it goes, everyone knows it. If something is wrong, it doesn't take long to be righted. Everyone's habits, needs, likes, dislikes, desires, talents, weaknesses, all of it, it is all out in the open. This is a good thing.

Proverbs 31:27a
She looks well to the ways of her household.

Proverbs 28:13a
Whoever conceals his sins will not prosper.

1 Timothy 3:4
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

5. No Longer Slaves to Stuff
There aren't 10 piles of laundry calling my name, there aren't 50 toys piled on the floor, there is no 50" TV ~ hmmmm. There isn't room for this stuff. Without it, I don't have to clean it, organize it, and re-organize it. We aren't so wrapped up in our stuff that we can't see what the heck we are doing here. Materialism is raging in America, and in our home. Last night we watched a home-video from Christmas morning 2 years ago. We must have spent several hundred dollars. Maybe even a few thousand. I probably wasted weeks worrying about what we'd give the children, stressing about the perfect gifts for my hubby. Making sure they'd be pleased. Gift after gift we opened. I even opened gifts from myself. As we were watching this typical Christmas video, Mr. Pilot and I looked at each other and gasped. Where is all that stuff? What were we thinking? We don't have a single thing to show for any of it. Rubbish, all of it. I don't think this is particular to our family, I am pretty sure this is common in America.

Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money or possessions).

Luke 12:15
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

4. Reduce Cleaning Time
Without all the stuff that we are no longer slaves to, it only takes 10 minutes. From top to bottom. Dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed. Nook, cranny, and all. Have you ever said the phrase "time just flies by" or "where did the time go?" Well, my dad told me that it only gets worse each year. I don't want to look back at my life and see that I wasted precious years that I could have been enjoying my children and husband on cleaning, organizing, and re-organizing my stuff. We all have the same 24 hours per day. I will never again shoo away one of my children because I have too much cleaning to do.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Ephesians 5:16
make the best use of time, because the days are evil.

3. The Simple Life
Tired of the rat-race whirlwind, running from this sporting even to that meeting, from this errand to that appointment? You are missing out on the sweetness of Life! Always rushing makes people sick, literally! Filled up calendars don't allow for noticing the lizard on the tree or for watching the mama duck make her nest You don’t have time to look up and see the sparkle in your little one's eye. How can you be in love with someone when you don't spend anymore time with them than what it takes to spout off the current days' tasks and the new chore list for tomorrow?

2 Corinthians 11:3
I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

2. It's Cheaper
My husband thought it was worthy of being mentioned twice. With the extra money we save and the way my husband rocks the budget, we are going to be out of debt completely (not counting our mortgage) in less than a year. Our goal is to live in this RV for a year but, as we drive around Mississippi and admire the amazing farm houses we realize that if we lived in an RV until Mr. Pilot retired, we could pay cash for our dream house. I am not saying that is what we are going to do, so don't start spreading any rumors that I have gone off the deep-end and become a crazy trailer hermit. But I am just saying... I definitely don't want to move back into a house until I have reached the place that I won't go buying stuff to fill in all the empty space I'd have.

Matthew 19:24
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

1. Loving God- and Family
With all of that other stuff out of the way, you are freed up to Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and soul. When you do that, you automatically fall in line with loving your family. I am not taking about, "yeah, you are my mom, I love you" kind of love. I am talking about, "I enjoy being in your presence, you make me smile, I'll give you the bigger half of the cookie and let it roll off when you hurt my feelings" type of love. Genuine love, not only will I die for you type of love, but I will live for you love.

Matthew 22:37-39
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

8/13/09

Silly Sleepers - these make me chuckle

If you were somehow able to take a peek though my monthly file folders of pictures you might wonder if I have a camera glued to my face or if I ever sleep. The sheer number of pictures I take is a little astonishing, and the number of pictures I take while I should be sleeping is absurd...







My children do each have their own bed, I assure you! We always tuck them into their own bed each night, yet when I get up to feed the baby or get a drink I often have to move a child off of my legs and then trip over another on the floor.
Since no one in my house is as silly as I, you'll not find a picture of me sleeping. For that, you are lucky!

Yay for Cheerios!

I finally busted out the trusty ole "E-Oh's" for Pop's and they were a hit.
Eeeeehhhhh! He is so happy he can't even look!He really loves them! and they are exhausting!
Too bad they don't have that affect on all my children, hehe.

"Do I look bigger to you, Mama?"

That is how my sweet little Peanut greeted me the morning after her 5th birthday. Moments like this make me smile from deep inside my heart! She turned 5, so she must be bigger, right? What a doll!

we started the day off by making pancakes at her request. Banana walnut, yum!
Then a gift, of course!I think having big brother play tea party with her was a gift in itself! (He asked me to please not post this picture, I reminded him that it just shows what a wonderful big brother he is!)then some more gifts!for lunch her request was a peanut butter and jelly picnic by the lake with extra bread to feed the ducks. That was easy!

She really wanted a doll that looked like her. She named her Cordelia Faith. Where does she come up with this stuff?
Peanut is (one of) my "have a big party with everyone I know wearing dress up clothes, with fancy napkins, balloons and matching cupcakes" kind of girl, so this was a mellow year for her.

Her final gift was a pink princess big girl Bible with sparkles and diamonds on it. She has been asking for her own Bible for some time now. We wrote a special verse and prayer for her and read from her new Bible for bedtime.

Peanut was quite pleased with her birthday even if we didn't have balloons with matching napkins. She really loved all the attention and her of course, her gifts. I just hope she knows what a special gift she is to us, she is a sparkle in our lives.

8/7/09

a new school year is in the air

It is always so exciting when our new curriculum arrives. This time, the box was heavy. Very heavy. In 5 years of schooling this is the most excited I have been for a new school year. We are trying a totally different approach to schooling based on this book
I started reading this book a few years ago and it meant nothing to me. I thought it might be written in a secret code or something because it didn't make a bit of sense to me. This year though, everything is different. It makes perfect sense; the veil has been removed from my eyes. We are going to be Simple, Separate, Diligent, Disciplined, and Deliberate. If that doesn't sound exciting to you, you should read the book.

In addition to studying the Bible we will be learning through Literature. We've covered the 3 R's

For Reading ~ Guys, Boy, and Sis will be doing Early American History Intermediate and History of the Horse by Beautiful Feet. This is written at a 5/6 grade level and some of the reading will be over Sis's head, so we are also doing Character Through Literature Primary for Sis and Butter.

For Math ~ we are doing Mental Math Primary and Middle Grades and dad has put together some sweet notebooks with math problems for each child to work on when we are shopping. It is awesome!

For Writing ~ we are using Handwriting Without Tears and will be writing our own copies of George Washington's Rules of Civility. I think we’d all be better off if everyone learned Mr. Washington’s rules.

We are very excited to read all of these wonderful books and learn from the great men that founded our country. It is going to be an awesome year.

We've been busy!

Every since my hubby came home we have been really busy! I will get back on the posting horse next week when my darling has to go back to work. Thanks for your patience!