Friday, July 10, 2009

Looking back.

I just spent that last few minutes reading most of my blog posts from 2007. I was hunting for a particular post (never found exactly what I was looking for) and was caught up in all of my arguments for the passage of pro-midwifery legislation. I can't help but grin. I'm really proud to be able to say that typos aside, I stand by what I wrote and think it may be time to pull some of those past posts to the forefront.

So, if you have a few minutes and want to walk a while in the past, or if you are new to my blog, check out 2007.

What follows is a great post from Nov of 2007. What I realize is that I am practicing what I preach. I am back in school, working to complete a goal that I set for myself years ago. I am not neglecting my children because I am taking care of myself. In reality, I become a better, stronger, and more well rounded mother because I am also an individual.

Follow Your Passion (Nov 2, 2007)
The weekend is here and we are busy as ever. Odin and Byron are camping with Cub Scouts tomorrow through Sunday, and I leave tomorrow for the LLL of Mo Conference. I am presenting a session on Following your Passion while Raising Your Family. Here's what I am am hoping the attendees will understand when they leave:

I want to be my children's Mom, but I don't want to JUST be their Mom. I want to be ME! That includes being the best Mom I can be, while modeling that I am important too! My passions are a worthwhile endeavor that make me a better person. In turn, following my passions makes me a better Mom!

I will do my best to prioritize my life to include taking time for my passions. I won't need to neglect my children as I will find a way to make sure their needs are met. I will utilize the support of others to meet this goal and I will do my best to support them in turn.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Money is changing hands

Cordelia got in trouble today. Big trouble. It seems as if she thinks it's OK to throw things and break things when she's mad. She got set in the corner, and proceeded to call me all the names she hears the older kids say. I then put her in her room and told her I would talk to her once she had picked up her room and put away her laundry. When I walked away, she was screaming like someone was killing her.

A little while later, I notice the quiet. A little while after that, I see her come up with Kalina. Cordelia tells me she did her jobs and apologized. During lunch, Acacia tells me the reason Cordelia quieted down and did her work was because KALINA PAID HER OFF! Kalina was sick of the screaming and gave Cordelia $1 to stop crying and pick up.

One dollar isn't much money, but it's the principle of the matter. I made Cordelia give back the money and told Kalina she could pay Cordelia to do extra work, but not the basic jobs that I make them do.

I do think Kalina needs to find a good paying job if this is the way she's going to get her kids to quiet down during a temper tantrum!


I did it! I finished my first semester back at school. Three classes down and what seems like a gillion to go. I think I got straight As, but won't be sure until the grades are posted for the final class.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Deb's Tapenade Recipe from

Check out this recipe I found on!

So yummy! I've been wanting to try tapenade for a while. The kids have been talking about it because of iCarly. Three out of five kids liked it, with Kalina not being able to stop eating it! I didn't have Balsamic vinegar, so I substituted lemon juice.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's my turn

Many of you know that I have not finished my degree. I started right out of high school, but then got married and the babies kept coming. I tried going back about 6 years ago, but new babies and older children and the house and Odin's job and all my volunteer work... It just didn't work out.

I am getting ready to try again. This time around, I'll be planning on needing time away from the kids for class and study. For the first time ever, I will be paying a full time sitter to watch Valen during the school year. I'm very happy with the choice we made in sitters and he can't wait!

I'll be going for a teaching degree in Family and Consumer Science (FACS). For those of you who don't know what this is, think home ec. I get to start on May 11 with a sewing class. I'm very excited because it is 4 days a week, four hours a day, for three weeks. Can you just see how happy I'll be getting to sew without little people interupting every five minutes?!

I'm still waiting for my official acceptance to UCM and to see how many hours they will transfer. I'm hoping that most of my gen eds will transfer and that I don't have to retake much.

Homework time at our house will probably look a little different for the next few years. Instead of me making supper while I help with homework, I'll be sitting at the table with them doing mine while they do theirs!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Just talk, I'm right here!

There is a new phenomenon in my home. My loving husband has a new appendage. It goes with him everywhere and takes several forms. I've seen him with it during the day, but now it is ALWAYS there. What could it possibly be? One of the children? Facial hair? Return of the Jedi shoes? Not even close - it is his laptop/blackberry/phone.

He found this application called Meebo. He is now always logged in to all his IM sites and they go to one place. He has it linked up to his UCM webpage and I think he's always on it. Between this and Facebook, I'm a distant third when it comes to evening conversation once the kids go to bed! I know this will slow down and his students need him too, but I think I'm figuring out an alternative.

This week, I am having trouble with speaking and have been using IM and email more than usual. I've taken advantage of him having an electronic appendage since I couldn't have a good phone conversation while he was at work. However, later one evening, he happened to be sitting on the couch working with his laptop and I had mine and was chatting with friends on Facebook and IM. Just for fun, I wrote to him. I wrote again. He's grinning and also a little annoyed. So, of course, I do it again and again and again. I was having a good time.

Keep in mind we are RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER! My excuse is that I can't speak well and am just picking at him. He can talk just fine. I about fell over when he writes back that he is going to go to bed soon. HE'S RIGHT THERE! Why couldn't he just say it? I truly believe he didn't even realize the humor until I fell off the couch laughing!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

April Fools

I love April Fool's Day. Time for playing all the jokes you wanted to all year long, but didn't dare. We have the added benefit of our children loving this day as well. There have been years where pranks are planned months in advance.

This year was somewhat uneventful. We got a few people, but nothing significant. I had someone (to be left nameless to protect her identity) at Odin's office tell him the NCATE reviewers had a problem with his program, but he didn't fall for it. I got him later by telling him 2 of our kids were getting suspended for fighting at two different schools and he needed to go get them.

The best joke of all was on a homeschooling friend of mine and a teacher friend. I told them both that a one-liner was stuck into a bill and it had passed both the house and senate. This one line said that to homeschool in MO you had to have a teaching certificate. Both friends flipped and were upset. Quite an interesting reaction, huh? The reasons behind the reactions would be a whole other post.

FYI - here are our simple rules for pranks:
1. you can't hurt anyone or anything
2. you can only play a prank on someone who can take the joke
3. minimum amount of time between the joke and letting the person off the hook

Pretty simple, but so much fun!

Kalina switched all the cereals to different boxes, Cordelia put fake food in the kids' lunches, and somehow, I got Byron to hold a cup of water to the ceiling with the broom handle. Lots of little things, but we'll have to plan big for next year.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What do you do?

I have been asked many times what I do. I've answered jokingly that I am a breeder as I have had several children. I know that in today's world it is typical for both parents to work and the children go to day care. I understand that living on one income has us making financial choices about what is and is not important to us. I like the way we live and cannot imagine working full time and still being able to do the things during the day and night that my children need and want me to do. Our life choices have made it possible for us to have everything we need and most everything we truly want.

For example, I wanted a front load washing machine. It took me years to save for it, but we gave it to ourselves for our 10th anniversary a few years ago. When we hooked up the machine, the kids laid on the floor and watched the clothes go round and round. It was something special and we didn't take it for granted. I still think about how grateful I am that we have it every time I wash a load of clothes.

Lately, I have been asked if we have several children because Odin made me. I've also been asked if Odin makes me stay home. Is he ok with women working outside the home? Why don't I finish school and get a job? Unfortunately, those who read this probably don't have these same questions, but let me set a few things straight.

Odin and I chose to have a large family. We always joked about having 6 children. We just never thought we would actually have 6 until we did. I wouldn't trade a single one of them even on our worst days. Odin does not make me stay home. In fact, I think he would love for me to go back to work as soon as possible. The problem is that I do so much with the house and kids during the day. I just don't know who would pick up the slack! Who's job would be more important if there are sick kids, problems at school, etc? I don't want to finish school right now because of time and money. Why spend money on a degree that I am not planning on using anytime soon? Why not wait and see what types of jobs are available and interesting and train for those instead?

So, does Odin think women shouldn't work? NO. I really don't think he cares what your gender is as long as you get the job done. Until recently, he has always seemed to land jobs where he is one of the few male employees. When we lived in Rockford, he was the ONLY male employee.

That's what Odin thinks. Here's what I think. Men and women are different. If you can prove me wrong, please do so. Women have babies. Men can't. Women are designed biologically to provide not only comfort and care, but 100% of the nourishment a baby needs for at least the first 6 months of life. My job was and is to care for the children I brought into the world. I still have two at home all day with me. I still have older children who need me when they get off the bus. Who, but me, will give them the love, attention, and guidance that only I can give? Should I pay someone else to raise my children when I can do it better? I not only love my children, but I really like them, too. I want to be home with them. I want to volunteer in the community and at church while not do it by taking away the few hours I have with my kids after school.

I am a bit defensive, but I'm shocked that there are people who look down on the choice we made almost 14 years ago for me to raise the children while Odin works outside of the home. If you truly want to know what I do, keep my schedule for a few days. Follow me around if you think you can keep up. Take note of all I do. I'd keep track of it all myself, but I'm too busy with more important things like raising my children.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

NCATE is a thorn in my side

and I'm not even doing all the work. Odin's been working like a madman for weeks and weeks. The review teams are here and the stress is on. I love how I've been told he can be called in at anytime of the day or night until they leave. On top of everything else, the day after the teams leave, he gets to head off to Jeffferson City. Not to sound unsupportive, but, WHEN WILL I GET MY BREAK!?

The good news? The next NCATE visit is seven years away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kalina's Winterguard photos

Here are a couple of links to pictures of Kalina performing. She looks so pretty and grown up!

Kalina at Blue Springs Feb 14, 2009

Kalina at Smithville March 21, 2009 #1

Kalina at Smithville March 21, 2009 #2

Warrensburg JV at Smithville

Warrensburg JV at Blue Springs

She's in Springfield today for the Guard Championship today. I hope the weather holds and they get home safely!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's no big deal

I don't know how to convince my children that they are accomplishing great things. Kalina made the JV Winterguard team this year, is on the honor roll, won an essay contest about what the US Flag means to her and was inducted to the National Jr. Honor Society. When we tell her how proud we are of her, she responds with a look that could knock over a scarecrow. "It's no big deal, everybody does it." Really?! Everybody does it, or are we just lucky that her circle of friends are high achievers as well? I like to think the later!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The kids have grown, but...

Here's the latest picture that I have on my computer of the family. Odin keeps them all on the desktop, and I just haven't had the time or motivation to put them on my computer. They've grown a bit since then, but it's really only been a few months!

It's been a LONG TIME

Wow, it's been over a year since I posted. Lots has happened and I'm not sure where to start. I'll have to try and find time to write more as I really miss it.

The latest? We found the house of my dreams this past week. Unfortunately it was being sold at an estate auction. I found the house Wednesday, researched the auction, got the financing and took Odin to look at the house and decided we wanted it by 3:00 Thursday. Saturday rolled around and we were outbid. I was in a foul mood all Saturday afternoon. The interesting thing is that Odin got a call Monday morning from another university to let him know they would be checking his references. The timing is scary!