Archive for August, 2008

14 years

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Tuesday was my 14th wedding anniversary.  I can hardly believe that Sione and I have married for 14 years!  It has been a wonderful 14 years, no doubt about it.  I love him and can’t imagine anyone better suited to me.  He continually inspires me to become better and more by his example to do the same.  He has been very supportive of all of my quirky quirks like homeschooling, homebirthing, wanting lots and lots of books, etc.  :)  He is great looking, just a nice bonus for me and the kids since he has passed on such great genes for them.  LOL.  Yup!  I am one blessed woman!

On another note I have been toilet training my two youngest.  I hadn’t been really doing much with Tevita because I was either very busy, something would have happened that would have disrupted life and I wanted it to get back to “normal” or he would keep insisting he was a baby like Losahina (he likes to tell everyone that Losahina is his best friend.  Which, as far as I can see, she is).  So when I had decided that life was “normal” after moving down here I thought I would try working with Losahina, too.  That way Losahina wasn’t a baby in diapers either.  It has been a few weeks now, and they are both doing great.  I wasn’t sure how Losahina would do.  I have never tried to toilet train a just barely 2 year old before.  She has been doing wonderfully.  Since I am bribing with chocolate chips it is fun to hear her come tell me that she “up a toilet for happy chip.”  I still put a diaper on them at night, but they get an extra chocolate chip in the morning if they keep their diaper clean.  They are doing great.  I wonder when I will get comfortable enough to let them try it without the diapers.  Hmmmmmmmmm.  I’ll have to think about that one.  We cosleep, so I would hate to wake up to something unpleasant because I tried it too soon, lol.

Losahina has fallen in LOVE with Curious George.  I’m not sure why, but she has.  We don’t watch TV, so she has only seen the show at my mom’s house.  When my sister Heather took my 4 oldest on auntie dates 2 years ago we ended up with two Curious George dolls from Lagoon.  They have literally been around since she was born.  The past week she has carried them around talking about “George” and has even slept with them sometimes.  Yesterday she came up to me with one in her arms and was telling me “T-bone friend, Caio friend, Jordan friend, George friend.”  Yup, her best friends are apparently her brother, two of her cousins, and a stuffed animal.  Aaahh, she makes me smile. 

Stand for Something.

In Praise of the Strenuous Life

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

We just read these excerpts this morning as part of our devotional.  I thought it was a powerful statement of what we should be striving for, particularly while we have the democratic national convention spewing their garbage agenda.

This is from a speech that Theodore Roosevelt gave in Chicago in 1899.

“IN speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the State which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

“A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting American demands from himself and from his sons shall be demanded of the American nation as a whole. Who among you would teach your boys that ease, that peace, is to be the first consideration in their eyes – to be the ultimate goal after which they strive? You men of Chicago have made this city great, you men of: Illinois have done your share, and more than your share, in making America great, because you neither preach nor practise such a doctrine. You work yourselves, and you bring up your sons to work. If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your sons that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of non-remunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research – work of the type we most need in this country, the successful carrying out of which reflects most honor upon the nation.

“We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past. A man can be freed from the necessity of work only by the fact that he or his fathers before him have worked to good purpose. If the freedom thus purchased is used aright, and the man still does actual work, though of a different kind, whether as a writer or a general, whether in the field of politics or in the field of exploration and adventure, he shows he deserves his good fortune. But if he treats this period of freedom from the need of actual labor as a period, not of preparation, but of mere enjoyment, even though perhaps not of vicious enjoyment, he shows that he is simply a cumberer of the earth’s surface, and he surely unfits himself to hold his own with his fellows if the need to do so should again arise. A mere life of ease is not in the end a very satisfactory life, and, above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world….

“I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with ‘the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.”

Stand for Something.

The Garage

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Last Thursday my husband gave me a call in the early afternoon while I was finishing up a spelling test with Tarina.  He told me he needed us to start getting the garage cleaned up so that his work could use half of it for storage.  I told him when I was done with Collin’s spelling test I would get on it, and that is what we did. 

Now, just so you know the garage has been our storage since we moved.  We do have an “extra” room in the house that no one is sleeping in, but that is our guest bedroom.  Not that there is a bed in there yet.  Just that we want guests.  *grin*  So I don’t want to turn it into a storage room, since we have used it for our guests to sleep in a couple of times already, and will again this weekend in fact.  I am putting all of my sewing and craft items in the the closet along with the food storage that won’t fit in either the pantry or in our small storage area with the water heater and furnace.  So having acquired quite a bit of “stuff” in our last house we have quite a bit of “storage” in our garage (even though I tried very hard to get rid of as much as I could before we moved).  We had finally stacked and cleared to make room for my van on one half a few weeks ago, but there was just room for the van and our climbing in and out.  So the job ahead of us was rather large, in my opinion. 

I kept trying to think of where in the house I could put things.  I was not that successful.  Finally we just pulled in what I could forsee getting through in the near future, and the rest I stacked as high and neatly as we safely could do in such a way as to give me hope that it might not be too long before I can park the van in the garage once more.  It took us the rest of Thursday and most of Friday to accomplish the job we set out to do.  Our garage looks great!  The rest of the house… well, like I said we pulled in what I felt we could get through in the near future.  So.  I have boxes and bags of clothes that I hadn’t finished unpacking in our family room.  I have been getting them washed (it gets dirty in the garage, lol) and folded and sent to rooms. 

One of the things about our clothes is that through the generosity of many people in the past year or two we have accumulated quite a few hand-me-downs and I had been too busy to go through and get rid of clothes that were ruined, or no longer fit anyone here.  So we have a LOT of them.  Once we have them all washed we will pull them together one child at a time and winnow it down.  A few more days of washing and we should be there.  *Yeah* 

We also have 3 boxes of dishes that are still packed now sitting in the kitchen.  Because of a few factors, not the least of these is being pregnant and picky I’m sure, I want to wash these all by hand before they go into our cupboards.  It shouldn’t take long once I get myself to doing it. 

I now also have boxes of material, batting, sewing notions, scrapbooking and stamping supplies, etc. in my guest bedroom.  I need to get those organized into the closet.  Did I mention we are using the guest bedroom this weekend?  Yup, I need to finish that within the next day.  The nice thing is that since I can’t park in the garage at all, I could feasably put these boxes neatly stacked back in there until such a time (in the near future) as I can get to them one by one.  Because we do have room in there. 

The moral of the story is that cleaning out the garage is not as simple and clean cut as I used to think it would be.  It can have quite an impact on your home, depending on what you have in your garage.  So while right now I hope no one is coming to my door for a visit, I can open my garage doors without embarrassment.  And I do…Oh  yes, I do.  :)

Stand for Something.

Robin Hood and Mrs. Frisby

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Nope it isn’t a new book, just the two books we have finished reading in the past week and a half.  We finished The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle last Wednesday night.  He really wrote that book for boys.  The only mention of Maid Marian was that Robin Hood was really hungry at one point and wanted some bread that had a crust that was the same glossy brown color as his own maid Marian’s hair.  That was it, LOL.  Everyone enjoyed it, and we had a good time discussing those things that are brought up when you have a hero who is choosing the life of an outlaw.

We had read the first chapter of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH while staying with my parents in the middle of July.  Julie has read this on her own, and I was using it to fill family reading time while she was gone to camp without her missing out on the book we were all reaing together.  So while she was at Youth Conference this week we finished that book.  It was really fun.  I hadn’t read the book before, and I really enjoyed it.  There is so much more to their story of NIMH and how they lived after their escape than is in the cartoon movie.  When it was done the kids were hopeful that there was another book to follow that told how the rats were doing in Thorn Valley, but there isn’t one to my knowledge.  I know they have made a sequel to the movie, but I don’t think there was actually a book written to go from.

Today we will be starting to read King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable.  Collin has already been reading it, but he knew we were going to be reading that next as a family.  He has really been enjoying it on his own.  We have a few boyish books that we are reading in the next little while as a family.  I think he is enjoying it, and seeing that there are plenty of books that can hold his interest.  He hadn’t really been picking up any of the older books.  All he saw being read were Nancy Drew, and the like.  Not very inspiring for a 9 year old boy.  LOL.

Stand for Something.