Friday, January 31, 2014

Operation: Don't pee-pee on Thomas has begun

I'm too old for this! I put it off for as long as I could, but finally decided to bite the bullet and attempt to potty train the little dude. With my three kiddos, I spent a day pretty much living in the bathroom with them, teaching them what to do. Then it took a couple days of reminding them but they all caught on really quickly.

So, I'm trying the same thing here (but he is almost a year older than they were...and stubborn, oh he is stubborn). We barely left the bathroom all day yesterday (except for nap time) and were armed with juice, water, snacks, M & M's, Netflix, and Thieves cleaner. The morning was a little rough...but the afternoon was fantastic. Terrific T showed him how to stand to pee (that took some bribing!) and he will ONLY pee standing now. I'm nervous about when #2 comes as we can't stand for that. Lol.

Oh, and I'm also nervous about where have to get dressed. He picked out Thomas the Train undies, and freaks out if I have the nerve to suggest he wear them. He's out there, Jerry, and lovin' every minute of it. We'll work towards that in a few days.

Yesterday's conversation had pee-pee in about every sentence. Good times.

Don't pee-pee on Sunni.
Don't pee-pee on the floor.
Drink more juice to make more pee-pee.
Go pee-pee in the potty.

Oh my. Today we have not been able to work on it much as I have to be in 50 places this afternoon and really needed to focus on the kids' school this am. But at least we planted the seed and he knows what to do. I'll be more consistent with him tomorrow.

Baby steps to pee-pee in the potty. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday: WWI display

At the Tulsa Historical Society Museum today, I asked T to stand by this WWI uniform since we are learning about WWI this week in CC. He instead jumped behind it and said he wanted it to look like he was part of the display. Crazy, creative kid.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Preach it!

We have been sick for 10 an on...taking turns who has it....Oh my.

But we have now missed two Wed services and a Sun and the kids are missing it, big time. Tonight, they set up a service for us. P did music and T preached. It was on the Fruits of the Spirit.

Friday, January 17, 2014

God made YOU special.

Princess P came home from church a while back and casually said, "____ said my lips were too big and looked funny. That was weird, right?"

Wow. This was our first brush with the snarky girl comments you hear about. She's 8. And it has never even crossed my mind (and I can nitpick with the best of them) that her lips were big.

It hadn't crossed hers either.

Until that night.

I was so shocked that I don't even remember what I said but assured her that every single piece of her was perfectly made my God just the way He wanted her to be. And we then talked about how some people might be insecure so they pick on other people. Talked about how it made her feel and how she should remember to never talk about how others look either. The way we look isn't a choice in most cases. God choose it and doesn't make mistakes.

She seemed completely unphased but it in the way she talked, but brought it up several more times that night and over the next few days. Just little things like, "That was sure weird when ____ said that." would be heard in passing so I know she took it to heart and was chewing on it.

It made me so mad at first. How dare some little "darling" say things like that to upset someone else. But now that time has past (it took me a long time to finish this post!) I'm better.

It was a good (hard) lesson that the only opinion that matters is God's opinion. We need to be secure enough in ourselves that even when people say things (true or untrue), we need to filter it through His eyes.

And what if He HAD made her with huge lips, or crossed eyes, or one arm, or anything that the world would deem not-perfect? Does that mean He made a mistake and she isn't "fearfully and wonderfully" made? Does that make her worth less than others? Nope. God made us all different and all exactly how He wanted us to be.  And you know what else? He really doesn't care so much how you look outside...He's more concerned with your heart! Praise God for her beautiful heart...that is just a radiant as her beautiful outside.

This is a good time (yes, now, however old your kids are) to talk to them about being kind to others, how words hurt, and how God made everyone and loves them exactly the way they are.

I hope my kids never point out differences in others and make them feel self conscience about them. When I asked P what she said to the little girl when she said that, she replied, "hmmm...I think they look alright" and walked on. LOL. I love her so much!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Flu be gone...and 12 pounds too!

I sure hadn't intended to post another "oily" post this soon. I don't want to become a blog about oils. And I won't. I promise. But I have to tell you - these bad boys work!

Caleb and I had the flu last Feb and it was miserable. He got it first and before we realized what it was, it was too late for Tamiflu. I got it a few days later and knew right then what it was. That "I'm totally fine and then 3 hours later feel like I've been hit by a bus" feeling. I got in a few hours later and on Tamiflu and was only sick a few days. His lasted close to 10 days before he was well.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. I was totally fine. Went to church and remember being thrilled when the pastor said he was dismissing us without a closing song but not knowing why. I was starting to feel tired, but not sick. Came home and ate lunch and did some last minute CC prep work but by 3, I just wanted to lay down for a bit. Again, I didn't feel badly, just felt like I wanted to lay down. Something about Sunday afternoon always makes us want a nap though. ;) I didn't sleep but got up a bit later and was freezing. But no one else was.

Uh Oh. 99.7. I remembered that I had one more sample pack of Ningxia Red in the fridge from my starter YL kit so drank that up.

By that night, I had a 101 fever and as T so accurately described it on Monday morning when he woke with it too, "it felt like my brain was trying to get out!" Such aches and fever. Big Daddy had to go out of town so friends jumped in to bring P and C to CC and lead CC on Monday, teach my class, bring P to dance and home after, bring C Home, bring P to play practice, and on and on. My mother and father in law really stepped in and took care of little dude, brought the kids meals and me and T "sick food."

All the while, T and I stayed in bed and "oiled up." Now, we never went in to get tested, so I don't know that we had the flu, but it sure felt just like the last flu which wasn't that long ago. It came on so quickly and just kicked us hard. I started Sunday night using oils and it brought my fever down from 102 to 100.5 by Monday morning. T woke up Monday with the high fever and we started the oils on him (never taking any OTC meds because I really wanted to put these oils to the hard test!). We diffused and and put on oils several times on Monday and still felt blah, but not as bad with the lower temp. A friend reminded me that I had a flu remedy too so we took that and kept oiling. After throwing up the capsules I was making us, we switched to just putting the oils on our feet. Much better. Throwing up oils is NASTY!

By Tuesday morning, we both woke up with 99* and feeling so much better! We stayed in bed most of the day (I still had some tummy trouble but T never did at all, thankfully), but were awake and feeling ok. By Wed am, we both woke up fine. Temps back to 97.5 for both of us and up and around.

I was still getting really tired, but hadn't eaten anything since Sunday. T was fine. He ate and played and got about 1/2 a day of school in.

I've heard such horror stories about the flu and know about our experience with it last year, and know that the oils cut our sickness way short. I'm so thankful. Big Daddy even said to check all our bottles and make sure we aren't running low on any thing! LOL. We have been putting Thieves on all the well peeps feet and praying that it keeps them from getting sick. It was miserable, guys. I don't want anyone else going through that! I was so pleased though that we were able to kick this without having to put crazy chemicals and weird things in our bodies with meds. YAY - they worked! I actually did take an Imodium on Tuesday night to just make sure my "tummy issues" stopped. I felt fine except for that and didn't want to keep dealing with it when I had other things to do! But I was pleased to not need Tamiflu or Ibuprofen at all.

As for the weight loss I mentioned in the title - that was a bonus. Since Jan 1st, when I started doing the Lemon/Peppermint pills that I talked about before, I had lost 6 pounds. I lost another 6 since Sunday - sweetness. If I can managed to not gain that back, I'm over 1/2 way to my 15 days. haha. Not my plan but I'll take it! My pants will thank me!

**update 1/17/14** Now Princess P has it too and little dude has a low grade fever. I was at the doc for something else and she said this is a nasty virus that is acting like the flu but not testing positive for the flu. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday: keeping an eye on his new sister

The kids found a bunch of old photos today and have been cracking up. I love this one.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Here we go...

Ready or not, school is back in session. Yikes. I always have such grand plans to accomplish so much during winter break and then BAM, it's over. Shoot. I'm not gonna lie, I was just a wee bit thrilled when our first day of CC was snowed out. Remind me of that in April when we have to tack on another week to everything. Ugh. But it did help us to ease back into schooling a little.

I'm not changing much up this semester at home. T did finish his math book in Dec and started the next one. YAY. I'm still keeping it simple and focusing on the basics for T and P. Everyday, we do Bible (LOVE Draw to Learn still - probably my favorite thing I reviewed last year with TOS!), Math, Spelling, Phonics (for P), Handwriting (another one we continued and love - they do history and math handwriting and I'm definitely seeing improvements), Memory Work and then go deeper in ONE of our memory work subjects. Grammar will start back up next week with Essentials for T and the made up stuff I'm doing for P.

I started this semester really pushing outside reading. Not outdoors reading, it's WAY too cold for that! Just reading outside of school time. I am having them all three keep track of how many minutes a day they read, and they earn a chip for every 10 minutes that they can cash in for electronics time or other fun things. They have gotten majorly hooked on electronics...ipods, ipads, xbox, netflix, etc and it's gotta stop. They pitched a bit of a fit, but so far so good. They are all blowing through books and we have got to get to the library tomorrow for more.

Speaking of the library, I went to reserve some books online and I have $30 in fines. OOPS! No reserving for me! We have two books that were checked out in August that we owe for. One of them I found under the couch when we put up the Christmas tree, but the other is anyone's guess. Gotta go grovel tomorrow and get back in good standing with the library system. Or get a new account with a fake name. Kidding. I'll pay up, but I won't do it happily.

Captain C starts his second semester of Challenge B. He just finished up his science fair project and it looks great. I am SO glad to have that done. Phew! That was a pain. ;) This semester is their mock trial, which I'm looking forward to. They are switching a few things up at semester, like their literature focus is moving to short stories and then they get to write one. It should be a great semester for him.

I'm also looking forward to the new curriculum we will get to review for TOS. I love sprinkling in these things each week and finding new things that work for us. I can't wait to see what we get this semester!

Are you making any big changes this semester in your homeschooling? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My oily month...

I posted last month about our venture into using Young Living Essential Oils in our everyday life and am going to try to post once a month with an update on how they are working for us. It will be fun to have a record of how the oils are working or what oils works for what ailment. As I got writing these, I realized I could write pages on this so I'm just going to post some highlights. Please add any of your own personal testimonies in the comments as well. I love to learn more things to use them for.

-Little dude has gotten an awful cough/snot/yuck once a month since being here.  Last month it ended up with breathing treatments, antibiotics, and eventually steroids to knock it out. This month, I was diligent about putting RC and Lemon (mixed in coconut oil) on his chest and feet every morning, before nap, before bed and he was completely cleared up in 3 days. With no OTC meds at all. This was huge because the steroids and Albuterol made him act like a crazy man so we were thrilled to not put those back in his system again!

-T has gotten really tired of being allergic to Red 40. We were getting our favorite Mexican for dinner one night and he wanted the strawberry yogurt that comes with the kids meal. Normally we don't let him have it but he asked if he could have it and just put a drop of Lavender under his tongue first. I was hesitant but let him try it. He had no reaction from it at all! He was thrilled. He has tried the same thing with pineapples. When my parents were visiting, my dad got a fruit salad that had pineapple in it and he put a drop of the Lav under his tongue and eaten it with out his "mouth feeling funny" like normal. YAY!

-That same fave Mexican place has something there that makes me sick every time I eat it. Yes, every time...I keep trying and hoping for different results but no luck. The only time I didn't get sick there was when I ate only a cheese quesadilla and chips with no salsa. Boring. I LOVE their food and our whole family does too so I just know that I'll be very sick for several hours after eating it and eat it anyway. This week, I put DiGize and Peppermint on my tummy right after eating and didn't have any trouble at all. And I ate what I normally eat, salsa and all! Wahoo!!
-Both P and I have had canker sores on our tongues that we have swiped with Lavender and they were immediately feeling better and gone in hours! (seeing a Lavender theme here!)

-Big Daddy had a horrible back pain that felt much better with layering Lemon Grass, Panaway, and Peppermint on. He said it didn't hurt again for over a week, when he drove back home.  I like when he recognizes that these help. :)

-I started putting 4 drops of Peppermint and 4 drops of Lemon (topping them off with coconut oil or grape seed oil)  in a capsule and taking it twice a day (like mentioned in last month's post) and lost 3 pounds in a week. Unfortunately I quit the week of Christmas so started that back up again today!

-In the past month, we have taken exactly one pill. Princess P had a headache and was crying and worried she wouldn't be better for a birthday party she was attending in 30 minutes. I had her put a drop of peppermint on the roof of her mouth and the headache was instantly gone, but she was still crying so I gave her an Ibuprofen to sort of "hedge our bets" that she would be fine for the party. She was and I think would have been fine without that pill. We have each used this Peppermint on the roof of the mouth "trick" at least once this month and it always works. YAY.

-There is a stomach bug and the flu going around and yesterday we all started with slight upset stomachs. I sprayed Thieves spray on everyone and we were ok. Last night, most of us were feeling queasy again so we got the peppermint out and just passed it around, smelling it.  Amazingly, that made us feel better for a few hours. Before bed, we put DiGize and Peppermint on our bellies and were ok when we got up. YAY.

I never was one to like scents. I have a sensitive sniffer and really prefer to smell nothing at all (unless it's homemade bread or brownies or something). But after using these for a while, I've found myself wanting something to smell while I go to sleep. If I have a stuffy nose, I put lavender and lemon on the bridge of it. Any congestion starting, it's RC and Peppermint. Feeling just icky, it's Thieves. And I always wake up feeling great. I've gotten now when I have to really try to almost make up an ailment so I have a scent to sleep with - lol. It's a great problem to not NEED anything. I usually smell a few and pick what smells good. I do put Progessence Plus on every night to help regulate my hormones. This last month, my cycle was like back before kids. So refreshing going from thoughts of an ablation to putting a few drops on my wrist or neck each night and being fine. YAY. Caleb had a spot on his hand that he just showed me yesterday. It is a wart. We started putting Thieves on it and Ill update next month if it worked. I had one on my hand a few months ago and used Thieves two times and it was gone in a week or so. I had had it for months and then looked down and it was gone. Sweet.

Like I have said before, I order once a month, on the 8th. If you need anything at cost (24% off the retail price), please let me know and I"ll add it in to my order. I can't say enough good things about these. Email me at owassocc @ (remove the spaces) if you have any questions or want to try anything. Yes, YL is more expensive than some other oils that you can get at Whole Foods or Amazon, but they are 100% Therapeutic Grade Oils and the only ones I know that are safe to ingest. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

3 1/2 months in...

Little cutie patootie has been here for 3 1/2 months. That seems just crazy to me. He is doing so well here and progressing so much in his speech and behavior. He is truly a joy for us to have. I'm trying to savor all of these precious moments since I know he won't be with us forever.

 Some of my faves:

I love seeing the kids play with him and love on him every hour of the day. They never seem to get annoyed with him or tired of having him around. I love seeing C carry him around on his shoulders and little man rubbing C's earlobes while he is up there. I love coming up to T's room in the morning and seeing the little man has climbed in bed with him and gone back to sleep. I love hearing him yell for "DACH" (that's P) whenever he needs anything and seeing her drop what she is doing to go help. I love holding him while he falls asleep and rubbing his hair or ear until he is snoring. I adore hearing him sing "hallelujah" and "amen" when he listens to the CD of hymns he sleeps to each night. I love that he is trying so hard to talk clearer to us - this is new the past few weeks really. He's trying SO hard - it's adorable! I love that he says "See Ya" when he leaves the room, "All done" anytime you ask him "What do you say?", that he polices everyone while we are praying and calls out (loudly) anyone that doesn't have their eyes closed. I love that you can hide an app anywhere on the ipad and he will find it (T keeps hiding one of his games that little dude keeps finding and messing up). I love that if Wondermutt is at the back door, he will let her out or in (and not try to escape - wahoo!). I love that when he gives me a kiss he also gives me an "Eskimo kiss" - I taught him that at the beginning because he was full on, open mouth kissing us all.

Of course, there are some not so favorite moments and glorious 2 year old fits that we have enjoyed, but I'm going to focus on the good times and let the others fade in our minds. He really is a joy to have around and (as is pointed out to me by every single person I meet) we are sure going to miss him when he is gone.

Ever since Big Daddy and I got married, we have collected Christmas ornaments from all our vacations and important things that happened during the year. We thought it would be cool to get one to represent each of our foster kids through the years. It was fun to have those on the tree this year. When it was time to put the tree away though, I didn't want to pack these up. We had a big ice storm a few weeks ago and our pretty spiral willow lost a bunch of limbs. We brought some in to refill our vase in the living room and decided to hang these ornaments on there...all year long. It is a sort of "prayer tree." Constant visual reminders to pray for each kiddo/family by name. {names blacked out on the pic but we put their names and date on them}

I wonder how many ornaments we will add to that little tree. It's exciting to think about!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

{one word}

For the last three years, I've been doing these {one word} posts and it is fun to look back and reflect on the year.


{one word} encapsulate the year in one word. explain why you’re choosing that word. now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures this next year for you?

My word that I chose for last year was GROWTH...and growth we had. Captain C grew physically and passed me by almost 2 inches. {Yikes} Terrific T and Princess P and both growing and maturing daily. I may or may not have grown by 10+ pounds. {Big yikes} Our family has grown as Big Daddy began traveling more so we have had all had to step out of our comfort zones often. I have grown in my spiritual walk this year too. Our pastor has been leading us to really spend time with God daily if we want to know Him. I have been saved for years but could easily go weeks without touching my Bible. {Biggest yikes!} This year I have realized that I don't have to get up at 5am and sit in a special chair at a special time with my Bible, concordance, notebook, and highlighters in order to spend time with God. It's ok to read His Word on my phone while I'm waiting for little dude to fall asleep (and have to sit at the edge of his bed so he doesn't trash the room...again) or read while the kids are working independently on their school (but need me to sit right there so they don't wander or doodle). Instead of never reading it because I didn't have the perfect time, I've been getting a little bit at least each day and growing in Him. {yay}

Probably the biggest growth for our family this year has been a result of our fostering. I was watching this video recently and it sums it up pretty well. I believe each person in our family has grown through this. I LOVE watching my kids love on these kids. When they tell you to "love them like your own," that sounds sort of cliche but we truly do love them like our own. We were blessed with a sweet little angel for 10 days in August. Our first experience into fostering. And it was great. Then in September, we got our current little angel. He is awesome and fits right in around here. The kids have never complained about taking care of him or being left home alone each week while I take him to speech and visits with his mom. I try hard to not make it a burden on them, but they have jumped in and helped SO much. Poor little guy has 5 parents here. ;) We have grown in our ability to love others and not judge as we visit with mom each week. It's been good.

Overall, our family has seen great growth in many areas of our lives and are feeling very blessed as we enter this new year.

I love new years day. It is like a fresh start. Not quite like shaking an Etch - A - Sketch and starting from scratch, but so many possibilities await us. I tend to get very reflective on how we can do better this year and very gung-ho about health, wellness, cleaning, organizing, etc, etc, etc the last week of the year. I make lists and print charts and download apps to help organize every area of our lives. But that normally lasts anywhere from 3-13 days. {sigh} So, as I think on where I would like to see changes in the next year, my word for 2014 is going to be:

CONSISTENCY! - I have a great knack for starting many, many 'brilliant' things...but not finishing any of them. I start reading my Bible through in a year...every year. I've never finished it. I start journaling, budgeting, meal planning, lesson planning, exercising, even knitting, but drop them when it isn't new and exciting anymore. I need to work on being consistent. Not jumping in with 2 feet and whole body and piddling out in a day or two. I need to be REALISTIC { house is never going to be spotless, meals on the table at 5:30 every day, and I should probably just donate my clothes that are 2 sizes too small} and not quit when I realize that {gasp} I'm not perfect. I am thankful for grace, but need to not abuse it. If I am consistent in my pursuits of holiness, health, loving others...habits will be formed in me and my children. 

So bring on 2014!  I pray your year is full of little glimpses of God's love for you and around you. I pray for health for our family and friends. I pray that we continue to grow as God wants us to grow {and shrink where God wants us to shrink!}. And that we are consistent with our goals.

How about you? Have you reflected on the year? How would you sum it up? I'd love to hear from you.