Friday, April 30, 2010

Baby Steps

My sweet little reason for consistency

Sonlight arrived this week and we have begun Core 1+2 with Science 2 and LA for each child and we are keepin on on our Rod and Staff math. Were planning a fun weekend with my niece's first birthday party Saturday and of course church Sunday along with the Air Show. We are really excited to head out to see all the planes, jets and choppers and have a fun day in Nate's old stomping ground......the air force base. I am looking forward to building a year of great memories cuddled up reading this year doing Sonlight. I want to also say that something I am finding to be a huge blessing and source of strenght in my life right now is my group of LDS mamas I ride with. There is a large group of us(today we had 9) and we ride out each friday, trailering the horses somewhere different each week and although I don't share their exact belief, it is so nice to be with loving mamas who have a profound love for Jesus Christ and share the same love of horses that I do. I feel so lucky to have them. Things are on a good track and I can see nothing but good things for the remainder of 2010, including(hopefully) the birth of our seventh child in October. It feels right and for that I am happy. I look forward to the constant challenge to be consistent this year in my parenting, church attendance and homeschooling as well as housekeeping. I will keeping close tabs on myself and blogging through this journey.

Monday, April 26, 2010


We've done great sticking to a pretty good routine for a bit over a week now and I happy to report that the house is back to being tidy all day without a ton of nagging or effort. A routine is key. I wrote Nate a respect letter and apologized for my inconsistency and lack of respect for him lately as well as my letting the household kind of go. I am also happy to report that Sonlight will be here this week to begin. I have subscribed to all their newsletters and forums so that we can be uplifted when we feel tired or off track. Progress is coming along and our house feels like one of peace and contentedness right now. We also went to church at the local Calvary Chapel this Sunday. It was nice and the message was wonderful. It felt good to be there and take communion. I/we needed it. The kids were very happy to go and are already excited for next week. We had an issue with this church last summer when they asked me to sit outside in the mothers area with Maddi in 102 degree heat. They have since added on a nice, indoors mothers room and I assume that will no longer be a problem. They also have great summer BBQs each Tuesday that start in May with a concert by local Christian bands and even some larger bands from Air 1 and KSGN like 10th Avenue North. I said I didn't want to become overly involved though so we are sticking to Sundays only right now. We may pick up the Tuesday night service in May for the summer BBQ and concert series because its fun for the whole family, but very casual and relaxed. Several of our homeschool group families attend this church as well. Anyhow, everything is great.......just gotta stay strong and be consistent!

Friday, April 23, 2010


As followers of my blog, you all know by now that we are pretty much unschoolers through and through.We have purchased and tried many curriculum's, but end up giving up days or weeks after buying them. In light of recent circumstances with the district, we feel a leading to do something differently. Nate has asked me to please purchase a curriculum and use it all the way through. I think this has really shaken us as a family and especially Nate. While I feel kind of sad to say goodbye to my dear friend, unschooling, I am trying to really look at this from another point of view. First and foremost, whether we have not been going to church or not, our marriage follows a very biblical model. My husband is the leader of the family and what he says, goes. I want him to feel comfortable and happy with the way our children are being educated. I also realize that being pregnant and about to have another baby, it will be nice to open a book and know what to do each day without having to jump on whims for each and every personality which can sometimes get very costly and time consuming and only to result in a dead passion shortly after it began. I also know that Kayla, being almost fifth grade will really benefit from some more formal lessons in grammar and spelling. I feel blessed that my kids got to drag out their open ended explorations as long as they did, but I also feel that this is a new season and consistency of one curriculum for the entire year is going to be a good thing for the whole family. I am ready to sweat it out and really buckle down. I have used sonlight for a good 7 weeks or so in the past and of all curriculums we have tried, I believe it is the most gentle and wholesome curriculum I have ever been exposed to. The books are really wonderful so this is the curriculum we will be using. It should arrive shortly and the kids are actually taking this really well. We have been stern and told them that we will not be sending it back when we have a bumpy day. This is not the way life works anyhow so doing that in the past has been an injustice to my kids. They are going to have bumps in life and in their work and home duties and they cannot just give up because its hard or doesn't feel perfect. Its time this lesson starts being implemented in my home. We will be doing Core 1+2 with Bible, geography, history, literature, and science 2 all together. We will then of course have separate Language arts for each of the kids, using Sonlights programs and then Rod and Staff for math. Their math has already arrived and we couldn't be happier, I cannot rave enough about how wonderful Rod and Staff math is. I love that they do a daily, timed drill to practice and solidify easy math facts. Its going to be so good for them and they enjoy beating their own times from the day before. We also have decided to go back to church Sunday. We plan to not get over involved for now because that is when we tend to have problems within the church. We will probably stick to just Sundays. We also plan to stick this out through thick and thin because the kids really need the consistancy in their lives and we have always jumped on every whim and this type of thing has to stop. I have severe ADHD (diagnosed at age 8) and I have not outgrown it as an adult. Unfortunately, I actually find it worse as I get older. I think I get bored in church's and make excuses to leave. I think I get bored with curriculum's and make excuses to stop and at the very first sight of my kid's discontentment, I have jumped and packed up the curriculum and shipped it back. This is something I need to work through. My dear husband has been so patient with me, but he and I have reached the conclusion together that this cannot continue this way. We also realize we need church. Our family and marriage crumbles around us when we aren't following a biblical model for our home life. We need the togetherness of family prayer at the dinner table, we need Nate to lead the family(NOT ME), we need our kids learning character building traits from the Bible, we need to be emulating the grace Jesus has shown within our family, we need all of it and simply trying to rid our lives of it for the sake of making life easy, feels wrong. I have a very sinful past and of course we all become tempted by sin, but that is where I lack that sticktoitiveness that I need. I am working to find that somewhere deep inside me. I guess I wonder, what does one do when life becomes mundane? A Christ-centered life can become dull to me. I try to reinvigorate by reading a good Christian book or going on vacation and whatnot, but sometimes that old sinful life calling(ie friends from that old early marriage lifestyle) and its hard to resist and it sometimes makes me feel my life is dull. Their lives often  seem glamorous. They drop their kids off and head to Vegas for the weekend and do really wild things and I guess coming from a life where we did those types of things, we sometimes feel were missing out. That being said, when I leave my Christ-centered life for any length of time, I quickly loose strength to carry on the large amount of tasks I have as a mother, wife, housekeeper and homeschooler. I begin to see the emptiness in those sinful ways pretty quickly. This is the hard journey I want to avoid for my kids. Had I been raised as a Christian, I would likely not be having such a struggle in sticking to church or keeping my faith. I likely wouldn't have led the wild early marriage that I did. I want my kids to avoid those things. I want faith to be easy for them. I guess its that old selfishness I think I want, but true happiness comes from serving others, not self. I know this, I have seen it firsthand in my life. I have a lot to work through and at Christmas I am praying that I will be reporting attendance in the same church as well as being a over halfway through our Sonlight curriculum. Wish me luck my dear friends. I really want to accomplish these 2 big goals. I feel determined, but I am going to need all the prayers I can get!

Monday, April 19, 2010

9.5 week OB Apt

All is well. I begged Dr T to listen for a heartbeat and he was hesitant and even teasing me, saying he wouldn't hear one this early. Well, he listened AND he found it quickly and it was loud and strong and he smirked and said, "Well I think your further along than we thought OR theres 2." Ummm, not funny Dr T. I had an early u/s, but the tech said it was just hard to measure and see the entire uterus because my uterus is SO retroverted. She didn't promise there wasn't 2, but thought there was only 1. I am a little excited and a little nervous now. I am excited there I may be further along, but terrified at the idea of 2. I will be getting another u/s pretty soon here. I'll keep you all updated. If you have any experience with something like this, please chime in and tell me your stories!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Homeschooling Not Legal in Ca, Say WHAT?

I cannot even decide where to begin this story. Long story short.....the school district came after us and has been fighting us tooth and nail over homeschooling, telling us we are not legal to homeschool via a private school affidavit. They have been sending truancy notices and calling nonstop, all of which I was ignoring. Finally, I called in to tell them to stop it and the reply was terrifying. The woman said the district was taking us to court. My husband spoke with her, trying to give her the correct ed codes that stated we ARE legal to homeschool via an affidavit and its against policy for them to ask what curriculum we use. She ended up calling Nate's work and filing a FALSE report that stated that he threatened her. This whole thing has been so stressful. I am not faring well. The stress is magnifying my nausea and puking. I ended up talking to California Homeschool Network as well as Homeschool Legal Defense Association and California Homeschool Association. They ALL advised me that we WERE indeed legal and California Homeschool Network immediately went to work to fight the case with their lawyers on our behalf and we aren't even members there! How amazing is their network? I sent the district this letter: "I contacted the superintendant this morning regarding the truancy issues and she was very sweet. She had to run to several meetings and had her secretary call me to let me know someone would be in contact with me tomorrow. I have now contacted HSLDA(Homeschool Legal Defense Association) who we are members of and they should be in contact with your district within the week or so. I have also contacted California Homeschool Association as well as California Homeschool Network and everyone has stated we are legal to homeschool via our affidavit #86284. They are all ready to help in fighting this battle. We are going to take this to the newspapers by weeks end if it is not resolved. I have also spoken with George Olive as well as David Cauperude from CDE and both stated a private school affidavit can legally be filed anytime between Oct 1 and May 31, but filing after Oct 15th simply makes you a late filer, however, still a legal homeschooler. They confirmed this for me via the CDE Legal Dept. Many cases similar to this have been fought by HSLDA and no district in the history has ever won so if you want to continue to fight my legal parental rights to homeschool, it will be done so very publically. I am even going to contact local newstations to get VERY good media coverage on this because YCJUSD is in the wrong and overstepping our parental rights. Please let me know which further action your district plans to take. We plan to fight this all the way via HSLDA lawyers as well as our personal lawyer, Richard Goulding. We have been advised that we do not have to attend a SARB meeting as it is NOT a legal supeona, nor will we sign anything as our students are not truant. They are homeschooled by loving parents who have their best interests at heart. I have my teaching credentials as well so I know my children are receiving a well rounded education. I hope this matter can be resolved professionally and quickly so it does not need to become a legal/court/media battle. What has happened with Garnet was absolutely unprofessional and will reflect your district in the media as she made those calls to authorities of false accusations during her work hours on district phones. So please keep all issues in consideration as your district decides what steps to move forward with. Thus far, Patricia Garnet has portrayed your district in a very hillbilly like fashion. The CDE personel has even complained, stating that she is VERY unprofessional and unpleasant saying that they felt she has a personal agenda against our family as well. George Olive in particular said that she called him and didn't like hearing what he had to say(that our family IS legal to homeschool via an affidavit) so she twisted his words and tried to continue her agenda and he became tired of arguing with her. This is NOT reflecting well on your district at all. Again, I just would prefer a quick resolve to be left alone to do what I am legally allowed to, homeschool my children in peace. Thanks very much, Janis ______ " Well, good of yesterday morning the district backed down. They told me that they were in the wrong and were sorry for any trouble they caused. Apparently districts are getting very desperate for money so homeschoolers beware! Though I am happy we won, I am still very stressed about Nate being accused of threatening this woman and he most definately did not. We are taking her to court and sueing her for personal damages against a deputy. Most of these cases win around 5,000 because this false report, whether proven false or not, will be a permanent part of his police record now. Very upsetting. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. Its just been a hard week.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Funny, when you try to completly wipe all the Christian shannanigans from your life, it still creeps back in through little ways. In some ways, wiping it all away gave me enough quiet to maybe be having....dare I say.....a personal relationship with God. If he is up there, and many times I doubt that, I think the only way to hear/feel anything is to block everything else out and regain perspective. Its funny because although I wasnt raised Christian, I developed a pretty good prayer life and when I tried to turn from it, I found myself still doing it A LOT out of habit. I actually willed myself to stop it on many ocassions, telling myself I was loosing it. I was on my way to my first u/s and found myself begging God to let there be a healthy baby with a heartbeat and only one. I know well that twins would not be a good thing with my heart condition. I then stopped myself and tried to get back into control by telling myself that this is a simple matter of science and if there was a baby, the sperm and egg met properly and hormonal aids did their jobs as they were supposed to and if that wasnt the case, well the sperm/egg collision was wrong, no big deal. It didnt feel quite right and I went in very uneasy. Obviously everything was okay, at least at that point and I felt empowered telling myself, "see, you didnt need prayer, its fine." I know this must sound crazy to most people. Anyhow, a few days ago, my house held a horrific scene. Kayla came in hysterically crying telling Nate and I that one of the puppies was dead. I couldn't beleive it. I ran out and tried to pick up this pup, but he was so limp, I got freaked out and put him right back down and began screaming frantically for Nate to come help him. The pup was dead. He was lifeless, not breathing, wet all over and looked to have drowned. Well I begged Nate to do CPR and try anything. He did and the pup opened one eye barely, but still couldnt get any air. Nate continued and he patted his back pretty hard and water came flowing up. The pup came back, but he was completely stiff. His legs were stuck at his sides, back legs were stiff behind and his breathing was erratic at best. He was pottying all over nonstop. His neck and head were bent back and sideways stiff. It was horrific. I felt horrible for saving him because I knew he couldnt survive in the condition he was in anyhow. Nate asked if he should put him out of his misery. I told him I couldnt let him. I asked him to wait through the night. The pups gums were gray and he just didnt look good. The kids began praying and I once again found myself pleading that if God was up there to do a miracle and heal this poor baby whos life had only begun 5 weeks ago. This time I couldn't stop myself. I prayed and prayed and prayed without ceasing, with the kids and without. I was devastated at the possible outcome for this puppy. Within an hour I had massaged his head into a more normal position and it was a little looser. Within two hours, he had started flopping around using one leg erratically. It was so awful to watch. All we could all do was pray and cry. It was one of the saddest sights I have ever come accross. I was really really regretting making Nate do CPR at this point. His breathing was still very strained and he was now flopping and pooping himself and his gums were still gray. I attempted a few upside down cradle swings to get more fluid out of him. Within four hours of this, we decided to wrap him snug in baby blankets and put him in a laundry basket to sleep and stay warm. I woke up at midnight and checked on him, this time praying that he would just be alive. I walked in and he was very out of sorts, still struggling to breath, BUT he took two steps with his back legs dragging and his front paws knuckled over. By 3am, he took 4 steps, this time his breathing was a tad better and his back legs coordinated with the front, although the fronts were still knuckled over. By 6am, I walked in and he lifted his head like he knew I was there and I brought mama in to see if there was anyway he could nurse and HE DID!!!! He actually coordinated sucking and swallowing although I had to knead her teet for him because his front paws couldnt coordinate yet. That milk give him strength and he walked a little more. That afternoon, just 24 hours after his initial accident, he was walking slowly, still straining to breath, but his gums were pink and he was nursing with vigor. He fought and he won. He was still tripping every few steps and it was hard to watch, but we knew with how quickly he made so much recovery that things were looking good. Its now been 3 days and he is running with his siblings, playing, pouncing, chewing, eating and is great. We named him Sparky cause you would have to have an extra spark to make it through something like that and fight so hard. Taking a few steps back in the story, what actually happened to Sparky......well Tanner(5yo) was swinging and decided to take a puppy on the swing. Apparently he lost grip and Sparky fell. When he stopped the swing, he said the pup was just laying there (he was likely in shock) so he thought the puppy fainted and decided to put water on him. He took the hose and put it in Sparky's face and realized that was not working so he got scared and put him down and ran and told Kayla. Tanner got into a lot of trouble and although it was an accident, he should have told us right when he dropped the puppy and he didn't. The whole situation could have been avoided. He watched and cried with us as we dealt with Sparky during such a scary time when we didnt know whether he would live or die. He had to look on as this puppy flopped helplessly while defacating on himself. I hope this terrible lesson is one all my kids remember and I hope they will take away from it the ability to love and care gently for animals and the knowledge that they need to come to us immediately if an accident occurs without taking it into their own hands. So where am I going with all this......I don't know but I guess I am more comfortable with prayer than I once thought I was. I sure as heck and not comfortable without it. While I refuse to shove our family back into some boxed religion, I guess I still have faith. Thing is, I'm me, I'm comfortable with me and I won't let any religion tell me something is wrong with me or that I am not acceptable to God because of the way I am hardwired.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We had our First u/s

Our first ultrasound was one week ago from today. Baby looked great, with a strong heartbeat of 126 which is excellent for the then 6 weeks 4 days gestation. I am now close to 8 weeks. The morning sickness is in full night and day swing. I will be honest......I am miserable. Morning sickness does get harder each time because there is so much more to do and being sick does not lend well to caring for a large family as anyone can relate. My kids have really had to pick up the slack where I am physically almost incapable at this point. I am puking 2-5X a day right now and nauseous all day in between. Its terrible. We are all trying to keep pushing the laundry through and keep clean plates so we can eat the next meal. I did buy a large stack of paper plates and plastic forks and plastic cups and that is helping a lot with the dishes. I am hanging in there, but it may be a bit before blogging can become regular again. I will try to update as I have enough energy to do so.