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Friday, March 26, 2010

Man of the Year


Well...in my book anyway;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just Because

You know I love me some CeCe. Here she is singing "We Welcome You"(Holy Father) from her Thy Kingdom Come album.

This song is in my spirit today. I have it on repeat. Why?

Just because He's holy. Just because He's worthy. Just because there's nobody like Him (shaking my head at the goodness of God).

Monday, March 22, 2010

What is Man?

Recently, I have been on a search for some specific books, materials, and videos that I thought would enhance what we are doing in homeschool. I wanted these things at an affordable price, if not free.

I searched the internet and the library, only to come up with a few things.

On Saturday morning, I took a trip to the library and was pleased to leave with the few specific books they had that I wanted. I brought them home and the girls and I devoured them right away!

Nevertheless, there were still quite a few things I couldn't find, but really wanted.

"Oh well, I guess I can figure it out later" I thought to myself.

But then...

While at church yesterday, a sister told me she crate of materials for me.

Here is the crate...


I'm sure I don't even have to tell you what is in it.

If you have been walking with the Lord for any amount of time, you already know that everything I have been looking for (and then some) is in this very crate!

The beauty of it all is I don't even remember praying and asking God to help me find this stuff. But, he did it anyway! Which means he is watching me and knows my heart! Lil' ole' me!

"What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:4).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I want to be like Kim when I grow up.

Kim, mother of 9, soon to be mother of 10, is surrounded by her children in the picture above.

Her eldest daughter, Deanna posted this picture on Kim's blog in a post entitled, "My mom is Spoiled".

Deanna explains:

Need I say more?

Did you notice the footstool? Look at the woman! She's living in the lap of luxury.

This is a picture of a woman for whom mandatory dish washing, laundry washing/folding, dinner cooking, bed making etc. are a thing of the far past. The main part of her duties consists of shopping (not for long) blog maintenance, and general parental oversight.

She's been promoted to management.

Not that I mind. When we gave her the Netbook for Christmas she said "Wow, I like having rich kids." But she's been getting foot/hand massages, not to mention all of the cocoa, cocoa-mocha, frappucinos, chocolate milk, snacks, shoulder rubs, hair brushings, etc that she's been getting for years.

Again, I'm not complaining. She's earned it. Just today though I made her a ready made cocoa-mocha first thing in the morning (first thing for her. It was 10:30), and for brunch I think it was Megan that made her a cheese and bean chimichanga.

The late rising isn't normal, but the rest of it is. Far cry from the old days, eh Mom?

Cocoa, cocoa-mocha, and frappucinos? Is this what I have to look forward to?

I know one thing. Kim's not doing too shabby for a woman burdened down with all those kids!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Noah!

Today is Noah's 1st birthday!

In honor of this joyous occasion, I am dedicating this post to all things Noah!


Facts about Noah:

-Noah is our first and only son, causing him to be the only child we actually prayed to have before conception.

-Noah was the first child I gave natural birth to.

-Noah was born in a posterior position. You can read my torture/his birth story here.


Around here, Noah is known for...

-his singing and dancing to good music.
-his ability to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

-his favorite past-time: playing in the toilet water.


Our family loves how Noah seems to share some commonality with each one us.

He has...

-Daddy's head.

-Mommy's nose.

-Noelle's dimple.

-Bella's laugh.

We love you soooooo much Noah!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quirky Housewives


Although I've only been in the homemaking business since 2005, it seems to me that each homemaker has her own strengths and weaknesses.

Some of us might not like to cook much, but love cleaning. Others may not be the best when it comes to organizing, but have an affinity for gratification that comes from grooming our children. Essentially, we all have our quirks.

So, in the spirit of homemaking and quirkiness, let's have a good laugh at ourselves by doing a little self assessment, shall we?

If you're so inclined, answer the questions below in the comments section. My answers are in italics.

1. Dishrag or Sponge?

Dishrag (I've recently discovered some that actually have a scrubber side!)

2. Cooking or Cleaning?

(Ummmmmmmmmmmm...ahem...Okay, okay, I guess I'll go with cleaning).

3. Gloves or Bare hands?

(Nothing grosses me out more than bare hands in dishwater. Give me gloves or give me death!)

4. (When it comes to household products) Generic or Name Brand?

Generic (except for soap and dish washing liquid).

5. The time of day I feel the most energetic and productive.

9am

6. The time of day I'm at my wit's end.

7:30pm (I'm usually watching the clock thinking, "It's not bedtime yet?"

7. I may not be perfect but, I sure do know my way around a ________.

Target!

8. The household chore I enjoy the most?

Folding warm, clean, fresh scented clothes!

9. The household chore I despise?

Cleaning the toilet. You've never seen me sadder than I am at that moment.

10. The way I motivate myself to do what I really don't feel like doing is__________.

If I had an answer to this question, then I wouldn't be asking you! No seriously...answer this question! I'll just go with music for the time being.

11. My family would say my best homemaking skill is_________.

My household shopping skills. (From toothpaste, to deodorant, to a tissue for a runny nose. It's a very rare occasion that someone goes to find some kind of household product that we're out of.

Hubby has told me that he appreciates how I anticipate their needs and always seem to get enough of everything we need, while staying in the budget.

I attribute my success in this area to my mom. If you could see her pantry, you would understand.

And the fact that I know my way around a Target doesn't hurt either;).


12. My family would say the homemaking skill I need to improve on the most is_______.

Keeping the kitchen clean. Who knew my success as a homemaker would prove to rest so heavily upon my ability to keep one blasted room clean!

13. The one piece of advice I would pass on to any aspiring homemaker?

Learn how to plan. Plan meals, plan cleaning, plan down time. Plan everything!


[Image Credit:dok1]

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Home Remedies

Before motherhood, I scoffed at the idea of home remedies (What did I know?).

Nevertheless, after experiencing three pregnancies, post-partum problems, and having become a in-home nurse to my own family, I welcome any legitimate home remedy.

Not only will a good home remedy save you money and a trip to the doctor, but it provides you and your family with a safe-alternative to many drugs and chemicals that have negative side effects.

Here is a list of home remedies that I have yet to try, but sound really interesting!


  • Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers?

  • Did you know that Colgate Toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

  • Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

  • Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief for aching muscles.

  • Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

  • Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never advertised for this use.

  • Honey remedy for skin blemishes... Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

  • Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine Mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
  • Easy eyeglass protection... To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear Nail Polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

  • Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

  • Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

  • Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure... Cover the boil with Hunt's Tomato Paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

  • Balm for broken blisters... To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine, a powerful antiseptic.

  • Vinegar to heal bruises... Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

  • Quaker Oats for fast pain relief... it's not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.


Do you know of any other effective home remedies?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ministry at Home

"In every generation, mothers must answer the call to be what no one else can be, to do what no one else can do for their children.
It isn’t that mothers can’t do many other things, but if they refuse to accept their calling as a mother, some child ends up shortchanged, and the empty space that mother leaves echoes for generations.

Mothers are neither the cause of all of society’s ills, nor the saviors of the nation. But the future of society does depend in part on what we do with the children under our care. What calling could be more significant or more glorifying to God?"
~Jean Fleming in A Mother's Heart

How are you cultivating your Ministry at Home?


(Image from es1123

Friday, March 5, 2010

In The News

They're all in!


If you read this post or even this post, then you know that hubby has been working hard the past four years to make sure that 100% of Urban Prep's seniors are admitted to college.

Well folks, thanks be to God, today we can say: Mission Accomplished!

Needless to say, I am the very proud wife of one hard workin' man (and I'm sure I have the big head, the beaming face, and the poked out chest to prove it;)!

Various city officials and media outlets celebrated the victory today at a school assembly. Find out more in the article below!


Charter school in tough neighborhood gets all its seniors into college

By Duaa Eldeib Tribune staff reporter

1:14 p.m. CST, March 5, 2010

The entire senior class at Chicago's only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation.

Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman surprised students at an all-school assembly at Urban Prep Academy for Young Men in Englewood this morning to congratulate them. It's the first graduating class at Urban Prep since it opened its doors in 2006.

Huberman applauded the seniors for making CPS shine.

"All of you in the senior class have shown that what matters is perseverance, what matters is focus, what matters is having a dream and following that dream," Huberman said.

The school enforces a strict uniform of black blazers, khaki pants and red ties -- with one exception. After a student receives the news he was accepted into college, he swaps his red tie for a red and gold one at an assembly.

The last 13 students received their college ties today, to thunderous applause.

Ask Rayvaughn Hines what college he was accepted to and he'll answer with a question.

"Do you want me to name them all?"

For the 18-year-old from Back of the Yards, college was merely a concept--never a goal--growing up. Even within the last three years, he questioned if school, let alone college, was for him. Now, the senior is headed to the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. next fall.

Hines remembers the moment he put on his red and gold tie.

"I wanted to take my time because I was just so proud of myself," he said. "I wanted everyone to see me put it on."

The achievement might not merit a mayoral visit at one of the city's elite, selective enrollment high schools. But Urban Prep, a charter school that enrolls using a lottery in one of the city's more troubled neighborhoods, faced difficult odds. Only 4 percent of this year's senior class read at grade level as freshmen, according to Tim King, the school's CEO.

"I never had a doubt that we would achieve this goal," King said. "Every single person we hired knew from the day one that this is what we do: We get our kids into college."

College is omnipresent at the school. Before the students begin their freshman year, they take a field trip to Northwestern University. Every student is assigned a college counselor the day he steps foot in the school.

The school offers an extended day--170,000 more minutes over four years compared to its counterparts across the city--and more than double the number of English credits usually needed to graduate.

Even the school's voicemail has a student declaring "I am college bound" before it asks callers to dial an extension.

Normally, it takes senior Jerry Hinds two buses and 45 minutes to get home from school. On Dec. 11, the day University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana was to post his admission decisions online at 5 p.m., he asked a friend to drive him home.

He went into his bedroom, told his well-wishing mother this was something he had to do alone, closed the door and logged in.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" he remembers screaming. His mother, who didn't dare stray far, burst in and began crying.

That night he made more than 30 phone calls, at times shouting "I got in" on his cell phone and home phone at the same time.

"We're breaking barriers," he said. "And that feels great."

deldeib@tribune.com

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Because class never goes out of style...



...hop on over to Christa~Taylor and Spring into fashion!