Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Liquid laundry soap

(Cute helper optional, but fun!)

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup -
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

This stuff works really well, and you can't beat the price. Less than $3 to make 10 gallons. It's one of the many ways we are saving money for our adoption fund. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Understanding those introverts in your life...

Introvert children? Tips for parents

Graduation Day...

My crew, whom I am so grateful to for allowing me to pursue this dream, and for putting up with a grumpy Mom for so long. We did it! Now it's my turn to help you reach your goals, I can't wait!

My Mom and I. She is my inspiration, I have always been so proud of the fact that she is a nurse. Thanks Mom and Dad, for being a constant source of encouragement.

My friend Katy. We kept each other sane, and prepared, for whatever challenge came next. I will miss seeing her almost daily, and miss our "talks." I'm still holding out hope that we will work together one day, she is going to be an awesome nurse!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Check out this family!

This is a great blog by a fellow Reece's Rainbow family, they have a huge heart for orphans. Check it out, and see the impact one 11 year old girl can have. She raised almost $30,000 in less than a month, so her family could adopt a child in need! Glory bumps on that one for sure Amanda!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Our new niece and nephew arrive :)

My sister and brother-in-law arrived home last night with the newest additions to their family. Welcome home Anna and Levi!

Great John Gatto article...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Adoption Update

Nothing exciting to report, we are still just waiting. It seems our wait could be a long one...

Hopscotch (our agency) has recently updated the timeline on their website to say, 1st approval is estimated to take 3-4 months or more (this is the point in the process we are currently at), 2nd approval takes 3-5 months, and final approval takes 1-2 months. Since we submitted our dossier on September 22, this puts us traveling in May at the earliest, and August at the latest. Or not.

We will just continue to keep ourselves busy (won't be much of a problem!) and enjoy our monthly updates on Joseph. He continues to look really good, he is sitting up independently and crawling all over the place. The latest update says that he has had some difficulty with vomiting often, not sure what that is about. Reflux? Allergy? Hopefully it will clear up soon. They took him to the hospital at one point, but nobody seems to be able to read the doctors scribbling well enough to translate the diagnosis.

Hang in there buddy, we will be there ASAP!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It' beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here!

We went to cut our Christmas tree today, the first one in many years. Our artificial tree finally died. None of the kids remember ever going to a tree farm, so needless to say, they were a little excited.

I think we'll take this one!

I'm looking oh, so helpful here. I was really trying hard to enjoy the day, and not think about everything I need to get done/study for in the next 2 weeks. The countdown is on! Mommy is a little stressed.

The girls were trying to figure out how to smuggle a bunny or two home.

This was the first day in a long time we spent the entire day hanging out as a family. We had lots of fun, and LOTS of laughs. I am blessed to have such an amazing crew. They are so funny! I love hearing what is going on in their little minds. There was lots of talk today about Joseph, "What do you think Joseph is doing right now?" and "I wonder if Joseph will love Mexican food as much as we do?" I can tell he is never far from all of our minds. We can't wait to have him home and teach him all about life as a Brown.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Honoring Grandpa

I was trying to think of a way to honor my Grandfather, as we laid him to rest today. I know that we will always have our wonderful memories of him, but I also want to keep a part of him tangible. So, this means Ben gets a name change! Grandpa's middle name was Joseph, and I think he would be happy if his new great-grandson was named after him. How does Joseph Suren sound? It will take some getting used to around here, we have been calling him Ben for so long. Looking back at some pics and video I think it suits him better anyway.

We love you Grandpa and will miss you dearly.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grandpa, you will be missed...

Dennis J. Engelbert

E-mailVisit Guest Book
Engelbert, Dennis J. Chelsea, MI Dennis J. Engelbert, age 89, died Friday, November 20, 2009 at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital,Ann Arbor, MI after a brief illness and surrounded by his family. He was born July 27, 1920 in Albion, Nebraska , the son of John and Eunice Engelbert. Dennis was one of nine children and has two surviving sisters. He had four children with his predeceased wife Alvina (Brassow) Engelbert and they survive, John Engelbert of Chelsea, Janet (Ray) Feldkamp of Milan, Douglas (Nancy) Engelbert of Caledonia and Marlene (Bernard) Roulo of Brooklyn. He is survived by his current wife Catherine (Kay) Engel-bert and her children, Lawrny (Sharron) Steiner of Saline, Jim (Sue) Steiner of Whit-more Lake and Jane (Kevin) Berasley of Ann Arbor. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grand-children. Dennis was a proud, hard-working farmer who had never ending devotion to his family. We love you, Dad! Dennis was an active member of the St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor, past president of the Washtenaw County Farm Bureau, a current member of the Rogers Corners Farm Bureau and a life member of the Tri County Sportsman Club, where he loved to dance. Funeral services will be held at St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Tuesday November 24, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. with Rev. Charles Schulz officiating. Burial will follow in St. Thomas Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline on Monday November 23, 2009 between the hours of 2:00 P.M.- 8:00 P.M. and from the church on Tuesday, November 24 from 10:00 A.M until time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St Thomas Lutheran Church. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home and church.

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998-2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can you help?


I was wondering if you would post this on your blog........

I am helping to advocate for a 10 year old girl who desperately needs a forever family! She currently lives in St Vincent and The Grenadines in the caribbean. St Vincent and The Grenadines are beautiful islands to visit, but don't have much opportunity for the future of their young people. This little girl has lived with her birth mother until recently in a less than desirable situation. Please contact me at if you would like further information. Please feel free to pass this along if you know of someone who may be interested. More information is available. Note: I will be away from the computer on Friday, Nov 13th and I will get back to you asap on Saturday the 14th. God Bless!

A world that does not love or respect little ones, that does not defend those who are weakest in this life is a world of the dead...A world that rejects life, which does violence to the life of children, cannot even be called a world. Yet God call us specifically to love this world, to be carriers of hope and sparks of light and kindness that resurrect humanity. ~ Mother Elvira Petrozzi

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Homeschool literacy rate....

100% at our house!! Owen is reading!!

The first words he read were from the McGuffy Reader Primer.

"A rat and a cat, A cat and a rat"

This was secretly one of my biggest fears when we started homeschooling, surly you need a teaching degree to teach a child to read! I'm just his mother, what do I know?

I love it when I can check things off the list to stop feeling guilty/worrying about!

He also just lost his first tooth, he is getting to be such a big boy.

The girls test for their 9th Gup

Go girls! They are really enjoying TKD. I love that they can all do the same activity. Keep up the good work!

Fun Weekend Up North

Jim and Grandpa took the kids Up North a few weekends ago and had a great time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh, so true...

Obituary printed in the London Times........
Interesting and sadly rather true

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the
worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies don't spend more
than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could
not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by
his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son,

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and
do nothing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Grant, :(

We received a letter yesterday informing us that we did not receive the grant we were hoping for. Oh well, we will keep plugging away adding to our BBH fund. We know everything will work out just the way it is supposed to!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If you get a chance today...

...say a little prayer for us. We applied for a grant (our agency called us and told us to apply for it! They are the best!) that will help us tremendously to pay for Ben's adoption. I'm sure there are others who deserve it more than us, but please pray with us that something stands out about our application. Thank You!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great DS Link

Check out this video of an inspirational man.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Brown Dossier
Ship (P/U) date:
Sep 15, 2009
Delivery date:
Sep 22, 2009 1:00 PM

Our Dossier has arrived in Armenia! :)

Pray for things to move quickly.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More Sauder Pics

Making cornmeal and chicken feed at the same time.

Wigwams are cozy. Native American Indians really knew how to keep warm. Same cannot be said for early settlers. I see lots of "fresh air" in the log home below.

"Is that an actual tree? Why would someone cut it down?"

Sauder Village

We recently spent the day at Sauder Village. We are studying American history this year so it was nice for the kids to see up close exactly what we are talking about.

Madeline walking the corduroy road

School in 1868

Rolling the hoops

A family of 13 traveled across Ohio in this covered wagon, most of them had to walk the whole way.
We had a great trip!

Goosebump moment....

Just this morning while I was getting ready for the day (it was unusually quiet around here, Jim took the kids to the U of M game-thanks to free tickets from neighbors, so I actually could hear myself think!) I was thinking about what I want to do after graduation. Where do I want to work? I just love the hospital in general, it feels like "home." I know with out a doubt that God wants me to be a nurse, and that He will work out all the logistics of me working part time and having plenty of time to care for my family.

I like where I am now, working with adults with respiratory or renal problems, but I really miss the Moms and babies I used to work with. I was thinking back about all the different classes I have taken throughout nursing school, and while I have truly loved them all (which is why this is a difficult decision) I think my maternal/newborn class stands out the most. It just always felt like the right fit.

I then went on to think about what I liked the most about that area of nursing. Do I enjoy taking care of the laboring Mom, the sick (NICU) baby, or the transition time between delivery and going home? Labor and delivery is fun and exciting, but a lot can go wrong, a little scary/intimidating for a new grad. The NICU would be really interesting, I know I would learn a great deal. It would be very rewarding teaching new parents about their new baby, and/or help them deal with a difficult diagnosis (Down syndrome, perhaps? ;)). Mother/baby is my home base, where I started in the hospital, I already know I love the crew working there. It would be an easier, less intimidating place to begin, but I'm not sure it would be challenging enough to keep me on my toes. Does God need my skills to be a foster Mom to medically unstable infants who need temporary care? I don't know, there is so much to think about, some clarity would be great.

So as I'm pondering all this, the phone rings. Boston, MA shows up on the caller ID. Oh great, a sales call. I really hate those calls, especially on a Saturday morning! Usually I just let them go to voice mail, but this time I answered. On the line is a lady from March of Dimes. She said "Hello, this is so and so from the March of Dimes, where we think every babies first cry should be celebrated." My first thought was "me too! I was just thinking the same thing!" Then I though, "uh oh, she wants something from me, I can't take on one more thing right now, and I have no money to contribute at this moment." Luckily she only asked me to send out a few envelopes in January, because at that moment I probably would have agreed to almost anything she asked!

Definitely a God moment. Still need some more clarity, but this is a good start! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dossier en route

Our dossier was sent out by our agency on Tuesday. We are super excited/relieved, all the paper work is done. Now we wait, 5-6 weeks for our dossier to be translated and submitted to the Armenian Prime Minister, then another 3-4 month wait for him to grant us the first of 2 approvals. After our first approval, we will officially accept our referral (aka Ben). Once we accept our referral, we will be notified by phone of a registration date. This registration is the official matching of our documents with Ben's documents and takes place in his municipality.

We could at this time travel to meet him, have an independent medical evaluation, and be there to register him personally. We would love to be able to do this, but financially it is just not possible. Besides we already love him, and know that he is meant to be ours, nothing a doctor over there could tell us would make us change our mind. We already know what the medical field over there feels about children with disabilities. I'm sure one of them counseled Ben's birth mother to abandon him at the hospital, to walk away like nothing had happened.
After our files are officially matched they then need to be approved by various ministries which takes another 2-3 months. Once we have our final approval from the PM, we will be give 2-3 weeks notice to appear in Armenia in person for court. On this visit we will also be able to meet Ben. The trip will be a total of about 4 business days, not including travel.

We then return home for 30 days (we could stay in Armenia for the 30 day waiting period during which we would have custody of Ben, I would love to be able to do this, but probably not possible. 40-50 days would be a long time to be away from everyone here at home) and return for a 9-11 day stay. Finally, we would Bring Ben Home!

All this waiting puts us traveling in about March or April. Sounds like a lifetime away! I know it will go fast, we will stay busy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wake up to something yummy...

Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1 fresh apple peeled and chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 - tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons cinnamon

First off find a bowl that will hold four cups of liquid, and fit inside your crock pot with the lid on. Measure out one cup of Steele cut oats. Pour that into the inner bowl. Add the four cups of water, milk or half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon sugar. If you would like to add dried fruit or a cut up apple the add it as well. Fill the crock with water to about halfway. Set the inner bowl in the crock and see how high the water rises. Add more water in the crock if necessary. Try to match it so that the water reaches about the same height on the outside of the oats bowl or just below the bowl. Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed. When you get up the next morning your oatmeal should be cooked

This water bath method works the best. You will not wake up to a sticky mess, just yummy deliciousness. Almost like having warm apple pie for breakfast, without all the work!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm back to school...

to finish my last semester of nursing school. I can't believe I am almost done, it has been a long road. Do you think my being in nursing school the last few years has made an impression on my children?

They have learned how to do a pretty thorough assessment, as they have been my "patient" too many times to count. Together we have been in awe many times at how truly amazing the human body is. Mostly though I think they have learned that anything is possible, if you work hard and take it one step at a time. I also hope they have learned that it is possible to do it alone, but it is so much better when we do things as a team, and lighten each others load. It has been a team effort to get to this point, and I could not have done it on my own.

My Mother and Father in Law, and my sister have been my main source of child care and substitute teachers. My Mother has taken in our laundry many times (she gets big time bonus points for washing her son-in-laws boxers!).

So many people have lightened my load along the way. I am blessed with a wonderful family. I can't wait to be finished so I can start lightening their loads again soon.

Dossier complete!

Jim took the day off yesterday so we could go get our dossier apostilled, we wanted it to be a family event. We could have gone some place a little closer, but we found an Armenian restaurant near our state capitol. We thought we would celebrate the completion of our paper work with an Armenian meal. It didn't work out quite as we had planned, yes we completed our paperwork mission (yeah!) but the restaurant was not quite what we had expected. It was not open for one (in a busy area, at noon, what?) and looked a little shady to say the least. So we altered our plans a little and took Mexican takeout to a nearby park. The food was yummy, and we were treated to a little tree "trimming" excitement after lunch. Fun day! BBH!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Owen is really into K'nex and Legos right now. Did you know that K'nex has educational sets? Your student can learn about simple machines and building structures hands on. They are mostly aimed at 3rd thru 8th grade. They also have a whole section on homeschool resources and lesson plans. Cool! These will definitely be added to his Christmas list.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nature Walk

Love Owen's face here. Slightly grossed out, but fascinated by this fat caterpillar.
Seems a little late in the year for Mrs. Mallard to be having babies.

Madeline, my city girl. "Is there something in my hair?"

Jim took the kids for a nature walk behind our house. It's always an adventure when they all walk out the door together. Jim comes home with great pictures.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We are approved!

Yeah! Our approval from the USCIS arrived! We are officially approved to adopt 1 child from Armenia.

So today I am going to spend the day going through our dossier via e-mail with our agency. Could take several days in fact. I'm hoping to be able to get everything apostilled next week and in the mail.

Praying things will go quickly after that. BBH! (Bring Ben Home! Jim started signing his e-mails with the BBH thing, and it has become our family mantra. It is our reminder that everything is for Ben right now. Everything from sacrificing material wishes in order to save money for our Bring Ben Home fund, to extra time, stress and energy spent on adoption "stuff." It's all worth it because we know it is all to BBH!)

The kids have been so awesome through everything. They have emptied their piggy banks into our BBH fund jar (without being asked), have not batted an eye at shopping at garage sales vs. the mall, and have come up with small ways around the house to save money. They too are focused on bringing Ben home. It has been such an unexpected blessing for our family. They have always been kind and compassionate kids, but now they are truly learning what it means to put some one else's needs before their own. I think we are all feeling so much richer for not being tied down to material wants and "needs." There is a sense of freedom that goes along with it.

God is doing amazing work in this family! We are humbled and grateful.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Favorite Patients are Crabby Old Men...

This poem makes me sad, I pray I never lose my compassion for these vulnerable people. I fear that we as a nation already have.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? ...What do you see?
What are you thinking......when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man,.....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice .....'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.
And forever is losing .............. A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not...........lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ... The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?.......Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,'re not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am ......... As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten.......with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .........who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen ..with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now..........a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows........that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now ........ I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ....And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ........... My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ....... With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons ....have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, ......... Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children ........ My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ...... My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ............I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing......young of their own.
And I think of the years...... And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man.........and nature is cruel.
'Tis jest to make old age .......look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles..........grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass ..... A young guy still dwells,
And now and again battered heart swells.
I remember the joys..............I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and over again.

I think of the years ..all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact........that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people and see..
Not a crabby old man.....Look closer....see........ME!!

Hanging in the lobby of the hospital where I work is a sign that says, "The face of God is before me always." I don't know who said it (Mother Theresa maybe) but I think of it often as I go about my work. It helps make the difficult tasks less difficult, and the small things more important. It helps me remember that we are all God's children, and we all deserve to be taken care of as if we are Him, right up until the end.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peer Orientation

I've said this before, but because it is so true, everyday I hear or see something that confirms that our decision to homeschool is the best one for our family. Usually they are small things, but the one I came across yesterday blew my mind.

***I'm not trying to say that the only way to parent successfully is to homeschool, nor am I saying that your kids cannot have friends. I'm just saying that this is the only way that makes sense to us. I just would not be good at staying connected to my kids or giving them the guidance they need if they were gone most of the time. I always felt like everything that we worked hard on at home was undone at school, we were constantly starting from ground zero. This book has given me some insight as to why this was happening. As for your kids friends, choose them carefully (yes you can choose their friends), they are having a bigger influence than you know. Homeschooling is not perfect, it has it's down falls, but for the most part it works for us. Basically I will have no one to blame but myself if my kids do not turn out to be contributing members of society, the rest of you can blame their friends! ***

The book is called "Hold On to Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., and Gabor Mate, M.D. In it the authors describe a phenomenon that is happening to our kids right now. It is called peer orientation. Kids today are more attached to their peers than they are to their parents.

What's the problem you say? Well, tons. First of all it is why parenting has become so much more difficult these days. Our great grandparents didn't need a manual to raise their kids, they had kids that respected authority, were compliant, and eager to please most of the time. Now parenting books fill a whole section at the book store, I have visited it often.

Our ancestors also had a back up system, a support group of sorts, if you were not with your parents and you stepped out of line, you can bet that either a trusted adult corrected you or your Mother would find out about it. A certain high school principle I had comes to mind here, he knew everything that was going on both in and out of school. If you were seen smoking up town after school, you can be sure you would be in his office the next day hearing about it. We have lost this as a society, we no longer take personal responsibility for our kids, we are leaving it up to them. This is having severe consequences, childhood suicide is on the rise, bullying and school violence are a normal occurrence, in general our society is becoming less safe.

Do you find yourself wondering why your kids will not listen to you? Why you must constantly bribe, threaten, and punish them. Do they roll their eyes at you, withdraw to their bedrooms, or prefer to be with their friends? Do you feel like a failure as a parent? Are you thinking that you are just not good at parenting, that other people are just better at it than you are?

Well it's not about finding the right parenting skill or style, it's all about power. Todays parents have lost the power to parent.

Since about WWII that power has shifted from adults to peer groups. As our society has become more "sophisticated," as parents spend more and more time away from home, and children are put in day care at earlier ages, we are losing our grip on our kids.

The book describes attachment as polar or magnetic. When you are strongly drawn to or attached to one thing, you repel another. When you fall in love with someone new, suddenly your ex seems repulsive. You can't be securely attached to two different things at the same time. So if your kids are attached (meaning their needs are being met) by their friends, then they can only reject you. It is human nature, a survival instinct. They want to be attached to you, you are just not available for whatever reason.

So how can we fix this? I'll keep reading and let you know!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hi Yah!

Owen started Tae Kwon Do yesterday, and loved it! I think he is finally found his "thing." He has been reluctant to try anything new, did not care for soccer, and has no interest in t-ball. I think he was also glad that for once the girls had to wait for him! He looked so handsome in his uniform! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

File folder activities

I spent a little time today making these file folder activities for the kids. Mostly for Owen (and eventually Ben). Just needed a few extra activities to keep him busy while I am working with the girls. They are very inexpensive and easy to make. I used resources from Homeschool share a website full of great (free!) ideas. They recommend laminating them, but I think I will skip this step since I do not have a laminating machine, and am trying to be very frugal these days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tie Dyeing Fun!

The kids (and the Mom's)had fun with this project! I'll post pictures of the results later.