What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

36 weeks!

It's official! We made it to 36 weeks today! According to the doctor, I no longer need to worry about neonatal care, which also means I don't have to drive three hours to a hospital that has NICU. Now I can drive to my hospital of choice or stay at home, which is my first choice. My midwife will be here on Tuesday for my home visit. Then she can check out my giant tub and see if it will work for a waterbirth. Doug agreed to reward me for my "good behavior" on bedrest this past week and a half. I get to go up the half flight of stairs and take a soak in the big tub! Yeah!

I thought that since we are in the "safe zone" now, you all might enjoy guessing when Noah will make his big entrance and how much he will weigh. I'll give you the dates and weights of my other kiddos, though I'm not sure if it will be much help lol.

Naomi - 42 weeks, 9 lb 12 oz
Holly - 39 weeks, 8 lb 2 oz
Isaac - 38 1/2 weeks, 7 lb 13 oz
Sadie - 42 weeks, 8 lb 4 oz
Elisha - 40 weeks, 8 lb 2 oz

I tend to follow the moon, but I almost hope I don't this time. I was in the hospital last week around the full moon. The next moon is May 17, and I am actually due on May 21.

Another interesting note: The kids' birthdays are May 27, May 28, July 25, Nov. 6, Nov. 7. Isn't that crazy?

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bedrest log day #8, with pics!

Today I was able to spend more time sitting up, so I have a few accomplishments to show off. First, I finally put the tsitsit on Noah's baby blanket. My Mom made him an afghan, so I turned it into a tallit. I made one for Elisha, and held unto it during labor. He rarely sleeps with anything else.

We also were able to do some school today. We are making a lapbook about the 10 plagues and Passover. Actually we are making 3 lapbooks lol. Here is a picture of what we did so far.

I like that it teaches about the Egyptian gods that each plague was directed at. It also covers all the details of Passover. If you like it, here is the link to where I purchased it. Ten Plagues of Egypt lapbook

I thought you might enjoy some pics of some of our lambs. They are old enough to go off and play together while the mommas eat. Yes, we still have snow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bedrest log day #5, Passover

Yesterday was Passover. We set up everything in my living room, so I wouldn't have to get up. It was a lovely time, but still a lot of excitement. Consequently, a rough night followed. My medication wasn't settling things down like it should. Thankfully, Doug came out to check on me and prayed for me and Noah. Within moments, I was able to relax and head back to bed. I know YHVH hears my prayers, but there is something special about when the priest of the home prays.

Today, we are taking it easy. Doug has been playing games with the kids and Gramma and I are hanging out together, well, I'm laying down as much as possible.

On the dehydrator front, we have dehydrated orange and yellow bell peppers, and chunks of cantaloupe dipped in sugar and ginger. I have jars of homemade canned peaches, only to discover that the kids don't really like canned peaches. So I am turning them into fruit rollups.

I'll check in again soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bedrest log day #2 stardate 20110416.138

Wow, from that title, I sound like the captain of a ship. If you could see my little corner of the world, it kind of looks like a ship. We opened up the futon in the living room and put a twin mattress on top of it to make it more comfortable. I have pillows and blankets, my laptop, a basket with the phone, knitting, etc. I even set up a TV tray to put my new dehydrator on! Isn't it something that my new toy would arrive on the very day that I'm in the hospital. We did an entire bunch of celery that was a bit limp. It came out beautifully and I added it to my soup veggie jar. We spent Shabbat reading the Torah portion, studying some verses Doug read this week, and watching a couple episodes of Shalom Sesame. Elisha likes to spend a lot of time cuddled up with me, and Sadie gets me clean diapers and takes away the clean ones. Perhaps I can finish knitting the baby hat I'm working on tonight. Check in with you all later.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Thank you all for your prayers. I just wanted to let you know how I am doing. Yesterday, I spent another couple hours in the hospital. I had contractions 5 minutes apart for about 3-4 hours. When the nurse asked me to describe the pain, I said it feels like, well, labor! Thankfully, they stopped the contractions with some medication, and sent me home with a prescription. I am also on complete bedrest, which requires some creative thinking lol. My extended family has been sweet enough to bring Passover to me next week.

Basically, in order to avoid needing neonatal care, I need to get to next Sabbath, nine days away. Ideally we want to add at least another week to that. Today has been a good day, so if we can have some more of these, I think we can make it. :) YHVH has taken very good care of us so far.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Think of me

Just when I thought I had encountered everything but an easy birth, I came across something I hadn't encountered before, threat of preterm labor. I spent the afternoon in the hospital being monitored due to contractions and bleeding. They checked for UTI, but that wasn't the problem. Noah is doing well and I am doing well, but my cervix seems to be a bit over anxious. I'm 34 1/2 weeks so the doctor put me on limited activity, no heavy lifting and lots of fluids. This should be interesting. I appreciate you all thinking of me. We are very thankful that Noah is doing great, but want to keep him in there as long as we can.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mud puddle musings

Spring is in full swing here, which means we have huge puddles and lots of mud everywhere. No matter how many times I tell them, my children just can’t stay clean. They splash in the puddles until they are soaking wet up to the waist. They get mud everywhere. Put them in the sandbox and someone will come in with sand in their hair. (Do you know how hard that is to get out?) Why does this happen? Because they just can’t resist a mess. Unfortunately, when I need to run errands, no one has dry boots or coats. They can’t go anywhere. They can’t do anything. They also fight with each other sometimes. They get frustrated. They yell. They push. They even hit each other. (Oh, my goodness! Yes, my children sometimes hit each other.) They are children that must be taught. I try to explain to them that they are brothers and sisters. When everyone else leaves, they will still have each other. They need to be able to count on each other. They shouldn’t fear a mud missile from the back. I love my children very much, but I do look forward to the day when they choose to jump over the puddle rather than stomp through it.

But, oh how heartbreaking it is when grownup believers behave the same way. Too many times, believers in the God of Israel can be seen muddy up to the waist with sand in their hair. What are you talking about? Well, if mud is nasty comments and stomping in puddles is our way of asserting that we are right about a particular view, I think there’s plenty of filth flying around. Only, we don’t have the guts to walk up to someone and put the sand in their hair. We smear mud on the back of their coat so they can’t defend themselves.

(1Co 13:11)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

It’s time we put away childish sandbox games and jumping in puddles. We need to leave the mud alone and keep ourselves clean from the filth of the world.  It’s as if Satan puts mud in front of us, and we play in it without fail. If we are going to be useful as Children of Israel, we need to be tahor (clean and useful for what we were designed for.) I would venture to guess that our Heavenly father does not appreciate wanting to send us on an important job, only to discover that our boots are sopping wet and our clean white shirt is now smeared with mud, and please don’t forget the sand in the hair. He can’t use us for anything in that state.

It’s not about being right. It’s about being useful in the job we have been given. By the way, I don’t give all my kids the same chores. I give them the one they are best suited for. Stop looking at Johnny who only has to sweep the floor, and wash those dishes to the best of your ability. In Hebrew thought, many ideas can be right at the same time. Ideas are not necessarily exclusive of each other. I’m sure many of you remember seeing Brad Scott teaching about the Hebrew and Greek boxes. The Hebrew box is big and allows room for many ideas. The Greek box is itty bitty and only allows one idea at a time. If you find yourself trying to prove other people wrong, to prove your idea right, then GET A BIGGER BOX!

We are Israel! We are family! We need to be able to count on each other. We need to work together as a team. So please, could we all please have enough grace to step over the puddles and keep ourselves clean and ready for the jobs our Heavenly Father needs us for?

Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rubber boot lesson plans

I love spending hours on the internet searching up activities and worksheets to use for a unit study. But let's be realistic here. I don't have hours and you probably don't either. My rubber boot lesson plans are my humble answer. Here's how they work.

I have sifted through resources that I have come across, and organized them into 15-20 minute lessons. I am using them with my kiddos, but I thought someone out there might benefit from them, too. So I added all the links and put my lesson plans into a PDF for you. If it is helpful to you, great! If not, well, maybe it will give you ideas on how to organize your own unit studies.

This and any future lesson plans will be available on my homeschool page.  Please keep in mind that I am teaching PK-2nd grade. The resources I use are most suited for those ages, or I have adapted them to work.

Weather - Cost for resources I used - $0.50

Helpful daughters

(This is last year's milking season. We don't have green grass yet lol.)
Milking has been so much nicer with some helpers. My daughters have taken it upon themselves to go with me to the milking parlor. It is easy to underestimate what they are capable of, but they have proven very helpful.

Here is what milking looks like at our house.
The girls usually get a headstart on me while I get the milking pail and filter ready. When I get to the milking parlor (which used to be a grainery that Doug made over for me), Holly has usually caught the does and has one on the stand waiting for me. Naomi is very good at filling the grain which they get to eat while milking. Sadie likes to stand on the milking stand looking out the window. She lets me know if she sees the baby lambs. Holly can milk Pomegranate pretty well. I just have to finish her off to make sure she's empty. Then Holly tucks the goats in their stall for the night. If I decide to catch Peach, Holly makes sure her baby Magnum is all tucked in in his stall. Naomi enjoys sweeping and cleaning out the stalls. So I only have to milk Kiwi and Peach (only in the morning), and filter the milk into a big jar. When we're done in there, we make a quick trip  through the barn to check on all the babies. Sometimes the girls do this for me, too. Then I carry the milk in, and we're done!

The bigger I get, the more grateful I am for their help. Any job is easier if you don't have to take it on alone.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm a homeschool mom

Have you ever had a dream that was so good, you made yourself doze a little longer to see the ending? Better yet, have you had a dream where you actually took control and made the dream go where you wanted it to? I had one of those dreams the other day. It gets sweeter with each retelling, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Let me set the scene. I was called upon to be a substitute teacher in a small private school. I approached the front desk to receive my assignment. When I looked at the fat binder from the regular teacher, I was a bit surprised. “Tenth grade Literature.” I’m only 31, and they want me to be in charge of 16 year olds? Well, at least the class only had 6 students, remember, small private school.

As I stood in front of those scary teenagers, faced with teaching Romeo and Juliet, I decided to stick with what I know. I asked one student to tell me what had happened in the story during their last class. (Many of you will recognize this highly scientific technique as narration.) The student gave me two sentences, barely distinguishable from garble.

“Young man,” I began, “my eight year old can tell back a story better than that. Now stand up and try again.”
This time, he stood up and managed to give me a decent oral paragraph.

“Now, that was better. Do you realize that if you could tell back the story that good every time, you’d never need to take a test?”
“Yes, you just showed that you mastered the material, and that’s the goal.”

A murmur ran through the room. “Who is she?”
I replied, “I’m a home school mom,” with a tone that struck fear and awe in the listeners. “I teach preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade all at the same time, with a toddler crawling under the table.”

From that moment on, the classroom was mine. So I took full opportunity to tell them a different side of the Romeo and Juliet story.
For example, there was not a wise person in the story. The grownups are all feuding with each other. The teenagers are allowed to go places emotionally that they are not prepared for. Grownups that did know what was going on simply enabled the foolish teenagers. The whole mess ended up with two people dead. But then the families got along, many say. Well, why didn’t they get along before their kids ended up dead? All in all, I’d say it’s a beautiful picture of idiocy.

Well, anyway, I digress. It was a very enjoyable dream. I said all that to say, If you ever lack confidence in your job as a teacher, step back, take a deep breath, put your hands on your hips and say, “I’m a home school mom.” You are doing exactly what you were designed by Yah to do. You are good at it, and your children are thankful that you do it.

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