Current Goals

So, here they are. I have a detailed version of this on my fridge as a reminder. (I also have this on my fridge.) I included the details under #1 to explain why my list from yesterday was so encouraging to me.

  1. Short-term: Create more structure to the children’s and my day.
  • More planned activities in the home (e.g. crafts w/ Mama)
  • More including of the children in housework.
  • Reading at non-sleep times.
  • Music practice as a matter of daily-life
  • Memory verse rehearsal
    • Medium-term: Get Novel presentable.
    • Long-term: Work in habits to make them automatic and make life easier.

So Proud of Myself

If I get around to posting the goals I drew-up last night, you’ll understand better why these were so significant to me. Either way I enjoy going back over my morning and creating a “done” list:
Today (and it’s just naptime) I

  • Did an involved (messy, new) craft with the girls
  • Had an extended reading time

Both while Elisha was still awake. (Both firsts.)
I also

  • directed (and enforced/followed-through) cleaning up after breakfast and each activity as it was finished, resulting in a slightly tidier house at naptime than at waking this morning.
  • had some instrument practice-time
  • helped Melody use the Baby Taylor
  • Took pictures
    • Elisha pulled up to his knees today. Is working at getting his feet under him.
    • The girls working on their art projects
    • Natasha mugging for the camera (These are going to have to be in the next batch we put on-line. They were amazing.) and washing the table.

Now everyone is down and I’ll be able to do a bit of reading before I clean up the front room some more. The bedrooms are still cluttered, but I expect we’ll get them some more after nap.

I figure part of the success is me shifting my whole focus to these things (I think lists are good for me sometimes), and part of it is Elisha reaching some magical age where he (his personality, whatever) clicks into the gears of what’s going on in our family, and he fits the workings. I am very encouraged.

Talking with Melody

Tonight I asked Melody, “What do you want for dinner?”
Without hesitation she answered, “Hot boiled beans!”


It took me a minute to translate and make the connection (this is not a phrase she’s used before).
“And very good butter?” I asked.

*Big* grin. “Yeah!”

It’s Mother Goose.
This was a kick because she made the jump between dinner and supper and made an original joke.


I poured juice for the girls after dinner and set the pitcher back down on the counter without clicking the lid closed. Melody noticed.

“Mama, Please close the lid?” I did.
“Thank you.” (Emphatic. Relieved.)

This is really important to her. Closing things. Having lids on. Makes me wonder if she would be more of a picker-upper if she felt that same connection with order that she does with the lids closing.

Praying for my kids.

I’ve prayed for my children since before they were born. But I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with the complete need of it until tonight, as I worked on massaging their names into a passage of scripture where Paul is describing his prayer for the church at Colosse.

Natasha’s version (I have all three children integrated with this passage):

Dear Father God,

I lift Natasha Joy before your throne and ask that you would fill her with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

I pray this in order that she may live a life worthy of you and may please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that she may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to You, who have qualified her to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

I pray you would rescue her from the dominion of darkness and bring her into the kingdom of the Son you love, in whom she has, waiting, redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Before I re-wrote that last paragraph, I don’t think I saw so clearly the spiritual position of my children. And while I believe in that whole age-of-accountability thing (another discussion, sometime, I’m sure), this is the position I must labor and pray from.

When Betsy told me the story of her 4-year-old accepting Christ, I sensed the relief in her voice, and I rejoiced with her at the event. Reflecting on it now, I think more of the relief. Here is one child translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. One piece of my heart safely transplanted to the garden of my eternal home.

I begin to understand the fervency of my grandmother’s prayers for her sons, that she would see them come to Christ.

I pray you would rescue her from the dominion of darkness…

That image is so stark and clear. I feel I want to keep it before me, that I would be ever focused and purposeful in my guiding my children toward the truth.

Taking Medicine

Thank God for yummy medicine!

Elisha’s been teething and is now having pressure in his ears. But he’s taking his “symptom managers” without a blink and they’re doing their jobs (Aw man– has it been 6-hours already???).

He’s so good at it I can give him the “children’s” strength instead of the infants’ drops. He has to take a larger volume* to get his full dose, but since he’s so good at it, it doesn’t matter. This way I only have to have one bottle, and it’s the less-expensive stuff too.


* Infant drops are the most concentrated formula, since the purpose is to have the smallest most effective dose.

N: I don’t like dreams. Make it so I don’t have dreams tonight.

M: I like dreams.

Interesting how the girls seem to think they can’t feel differently. They have to fight over it.

And they have to assert their individuality by giving their own answer (even if it’s the same), and asking the same question, even when I’ve already answered it for her sister, right in front of her.

This extends to rules and rebukes. One will see the other told no, then do the exact same thing, as though to test if the rules are the same for everyone.

It gets old, but I figure it’s not that different than it would be with “real” twins, so I just keep trying to be gracious.


The girls went to the hockey game tonight with Mom and Dad. It made quite an impression.

Jay says says that when Natasha sees something she wants to do that’s she’s not big enough for, she’ll pick an age at which to do it.
For example, tonight after we picked her up she was talking about how big the hokey players are, and how she can’t skate with them yet.

“When I’m 14?” she said, “When I’m 14, can I play hockey?” I asked if that was the ave Uncle Mark said she needed to be. “No.” Fourteen is just a good age? “Yes.”


Then Melody needed a diaper change, but refused the new one. So she managed to keep her pants dry the whole time she was there, making a couple trips to the bathroom. She knows what to do–when she’s motivated. But I suppose that’s where her sister started too.

Homeschool: Not Optional for Us.

(Initially published at Untangling Tales)

I think the reason Kendra’s post meant so much to me was wrapped up in #5, and the rest were about understanding and surviving in that universe.

5. For many of us, homeschooling isn’t an option. Many believe it is not only the best way for their family, it is the only way… When sharing a particular struggle unique to homeschooling, comments like, “Well, why don’t you consider putting them in school? Maybe homeschooling just isn’t your thing” aren’t helpful. Instead, offer a listening ear and your fervent prayers on her behalf.

Jay and I have talked about this many times, and I constantly pray (and begin research projects) to be prepared. I feel so passionately about this it’s hard sometimes to remain neutral when a friend or relative begins proselytizing about their own child’s school situation (or offering to help us out by sharing something from that lovely program.)

This might rankle some because I am working so hard not to do the same. Not that I yet have any “miracles” to offer, just that I refrain from sharing a list of our reasons to stay home that will inevitably sound like attack on their parental skills/love for letting their own child(ren) go off.

Disclaimer of course: I know public school is the only (or even perhaps right) option for some people. I think I am more frustrated by the unexamined expectation that *this is just what you do with your kids.*

Jay and I feel a near-moral obligation to keep our kids home, and so we (at least, I) feel frustrated by the emphasis of things (even as benign as Sesame Street) on going away to school and the hype of large crowds *just your own age* (and little adult supervision or interaction).

The more I research, the more I feel sure this is what we must do, and the more I *wish* I were the organizationally-gifted type.

(I chose to copy this over here because I just created a “homeschooling” category and waned to keep the topic grouped.)

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!

Our living room has returned to its proper place (sans bookcase). And we’re still trying to figure out where the tape deck, etc. will go in our new arrangement, but the girls room is back to its normal level of stuff, and I’m suddenly energized.

Lara (from church) says her coping mechanism is just to tell herself it will never get any better, and this is the environment she must learn to function in. I don’t know if I could do that, but I must say, having now a genuine possibility for order has increased my desire to create it.

I almost wish we didn’t have the morning booked with library story-time, etc. I just want to go for it!