Friday, September 3, 2010

Vomit (bleck)

Ever hear a child vomit at 2AM? It's not the best sound to wake up to. My 5 year old was sleeping when the gaging and spewing suddenly began. He is just fine (treated with lots of love and hugs) but, whoa, what a mess... in his hair all over his chest, bed, pillow, and floor. And of course, hubby is out of town so the job is all mine!

A few things that have worked for me when the vomit comet arrives:
1. I think it would be quiet frightening for a child to experience this with a parent who is freaking out. Stay Calm! You stay calm = they stay calm. It would be a very stressful situation if alot of crying or screaming were involved. SHOW them that it's okay.
2. Talk kids through what is happening. Tell them what that "stuff" is and why it is coming out of them. I simply say, "That is vomit. Your tummy doesn't like what is in there; your tummy wants it to come out."
3. What a mess this can be! One day, they will recognize the signs before it comes up and make it to the bathroom but until then, I just deal with it as it comes. Always get them cleaned up first! Remove clothes the best you can. When the clothes get messy, I have found it helpful to fold or roll up the shirt from the bottom and contain anything on the front. That way I do not smear their face and hair in it as I remove it. Throw clothes in the sink or tub for now. (And yes - it will probably get on you too! I cleaned vomit from under my fingernails and from between my toes tonight. Did you just gag?)
4. My kids then enjoy a warm bath, a small cup of water and a good tooth brushing.
5. And the scrubbing begins. Let's talk about your work environment first the windows and set the fan to high speed so we're not adding to the mess with our own upchucking! A little Febreeeze helps too.
6. Clean up. I grab a roll of paper towels to wipe up the thick stuff (eeww, chunks)  and have a plastic bag for quick and easy disposal. Spray carpet with cleaner (I've had success with ChemDry Stain Extinguisher) and let it soak in while you rinse whatever is needed (blankets, clothes, etc) in the tub or sink and get them in the wash pronto. Then start working on the floor...
7. Great job dear mom! Be on guard for the next one with a towel, trashcan , etc... and I hope that your little guy feels better soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Little Seeds + Little Sun & Water = Big Flowers

Wes and I had entertained the idea of having our own garden for about a year and we finally began one this past spring. We started it a little late in the season but I think it's been pretty successful so far. My favorite have been the sunflowers - the size of them - the kids planted them in a cleaned out a mason jar which we kept in the kitchen so they could water it and watch the seeds sprout. Today the sunflowers tower over our neighbors 8 ft fence! I hope to plant more next year.

Our tomatoes were planted in pots on the back deck (along with a hanging Topsy Turvy) and the deer have eaten the leaves and chewed up the stems. After the attack, my neighbors taped a few tomatoes to a stick and nestled them into our destroyed plants - then laughed at us form their back deck as we surprisingly inspected the new growth! The pots have since been transferred to the fenced in area and we hope the plants will survive.

Wes is really enjoying the pumpkins he planted this past June - the vines have overtaken the garden and we are getting small blooms - I think he is secretly proud of how big these things are. We should have pumpkins for carving and baking seeds by Halloween.

Things to come: I want to plant a few herbs and since it so warm here, I don't think it's too late for that. Next year we will plan ahead and plant more edibles in the early spring. I'm also looking for ideas to make the garden more attractive, like making a cute "welcome to my garden" type sign for the gate and I want to paint an old mailbox to store garden tools inside the garden area vs the garage. Overall, we've enjoyed it so far and the kids love their job of watering the plants and having the fat bunnies our garden has attracted.

Speaking of bunnies - two "garden" books the kids have liked reading (over and over again) are Muncha, Muncha, Muncha and Tippy, Tippy, Tippy, Hide by Candace Fleming.

A few days after we planted the sunflower seeds.

Pumpkin Vines - still babies here.

View of Garden.
Apple tree is in background. Pumpkins vines are just starting to grow here and the sunflowers were getting taller. This was before we had to move the potted tomatoes inside the gate.

Our Tall Sunflower!
The sun rises behind our home so the flower faces toward the woods behind us, we get to see the back of its head from the deck. This picture was taken after we were away for a week at the beach and had very dry weather at home - the poor guy looks parched! 

Monday, July 5, 2010

These Trails I Run

 I read this article recently about trail runners and thought this guy was right on. Below are a few pictures from trails I run with quotes from The Elusive Trail Runner by Adam W. Chase.

"They (trail runners) are not joiners and they often run trails to get away from it all." 

"Trail runners tap into the off-road running experience as a freeing escape that allows them to recharge their emotional and spiritual batteries while they commune with nature through physical exertion."

"Trail runners are people who like adventure, variety, challenge and excitement. The essence of trail running is the ability to deal with constant change. No two steps are the same on the natural obstacle course of off-road terrain. Even if you run the same trail day after day, you will soon learn that the trail has a life of its own. One day it may be dry and hard, the next it may be wet and sloppy."

"Trails offer the opportunity to retreat from the masses, and to escape to a place of tranquility where your mind may wander without any concern for traffic. The distraction of having to scout each footstep can lull you into a peacefulness that cannot be found in a paved and populated environment."

"...trail runners maintain a solo spirit."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Painted Lady


  I ordered the Live Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore thinking it would be fun and educational for the kids to witness the stages of metamorphosis- it was! Below are a few pictures from the project:
(May 17 - June 5, 2010)

 This is the box our larvae were delivered in.
I wonder what the mail carrier thought when he saw this!
Inside the box: caterpillars in a sealed container with all the food they need!

Watching them grow!

Getting Bigger!

Time for Transformation!

Getting ready to transfer five cocoons into the garden!

"See mommy"...

Waiting 7-10 days
These butterflies will have 10,000 eyes, no nose, and will taste with their feet!!

The birth of a butterfly! The "red" is not blood -
it's meconium, the left over color and unneeded tissues from wing formation.

The Painted Lady
Scientific Name: Vanessa Cardui L.

Saying Goodbye!

Butterfly Celebration Breakfast!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Two Year Old Tantrums

Today my youngest threw the mother of all tantrums. Tantrums of this nature are fairly rare in this house so I guess when he is going to have one, he’s going all out. I can laugh now but in the moment, it wasn't too funny. It started at the lunch table during a pre-school mothers day brunch, escalated into the hallway and exploded in the bathroom. He hit me; he kicked like a wild thing and would scream while flailing his limbs and throwing him-self on the floor. I could feel the eyes of mothers and teachers all around as we made our exit; I was embarrassed. I have never seen such a fit before; I was shocked. I could not calm him down. Through this fit, I'm wondering WHY this is happening. This is not how I am raising my kids to behave. A sense of doubt that maybe only a mother could understand creeps over me, am I not instilling discipline and obedience in him? How could I have prevented the episode, should I have done something different - like just give him the chocolate cake even though he didn't eat any of his lunch - do I ALWAYS have to stand my ground? I began to think of times I may have let him get away with disobedience, or maybe I have been too lenient with him because he is the baby of the family and as a result, he now he thinks he can get whatever he wants. Basically, I felt like the tantrum was my fault.

I usually dismiss 'bad behavior' for an unfortunate moment when it is another kid. I believe that I, as a parent, have the responsibility to train my children in the way they should they go – and that includes behavior. So when it is MY kid who is acting out, I take it seriously. It becomes personal to me because I feel that it is a reflection of the upbringing I provide for my kids, as if they are a product of my work. BUT I am so kindly reminded that they are their own person and no matter what instruction I provide, it is their choice to listen and obey. I will continue to be the parent throughout the good and bad moments. If I continue to train my child in the way he should go – he will not depart from it. And as I trust in that, I can be free of my own criticism. Now I just wish I had caught the whole thing on video so I could show you what a disaster it was!!! Memories!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compassion International

Compassion International does many things through several programs but I specifically want to introduce you to their Child Sponsorship Program which allows people (sponsors) to invest in children living in extreme poverty through monthly gifts, it allows kids to attend Child Development Centers that offer food, health care, vocational training, educational activities (tutoring & life skills) in order to release them from poverty in Jesus name.

Compassion gave me an avenue to respond to the Bible's call to help the needy! Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." It is my desire to speak up for these children by finding new sponsor families for them. I can help you establish your own sponsorship and through Compassion you can give hope to children with a lack of options and provide real opportunities for development.

An important distinctive for Compassion's ministry is the one-on-one sponsorship. You will be the only sponsor for your child - they will benefit directly from you, they will know your name and you will be able to build a relationship with them through letters, gifts, pictures, etc. You can write as often as you like by mail or notes can easily be sent online via your Compassion account. (The children will write three times per year, those who are still learning to read or write will have the help of a teacher or staff member.) Compassion also sends periodic updates about the child's progress along with information about situations in the country that may affect the programs there.

Below is a link for frequently asked questions about Child Sponsorship. Please take a look at the Financial Intergrity section of this page as well- Compassion is a top rated charity; more than 80% of expenditures goes to program activities for the kids. Please let me know if you feel lead to sponsor and I will get a child packet to you and answer any questions you may have as well. You may select the child's country, gender, and age if you wish. Thank you so much!

"You see, we serve a God who can feed thousands with just a bit of bread andfish. We serve a God that can rescue men from fiery furnaces and from the den of lions. We serve a God who can move mountains, part seas, heal nations. A God who knows and cares about every detail, and has even numbered the hairs on every one of these precious children. I will do my part, and then I will pray that God will fill in the gap, like only He can do. Nothing is impossible for our God..nothing! You are making a huge difference in the lives of these children." -Steve K

Thursday, February 11, 2010

God is in the Slums

I spent last night in tears at my desk as I continue to educate myself on poverty. So many precious ones left my heart throbbing. Will you please pray for them? Pray for the ones with skeleton-like bodies, the seven year old who weighs only 20 lbs, the boy who bathes in the urine of a cow, the child with polio dragging himself through the dirt, the little boy not aloud to sleep at home unless he comes back from a day of begging with money, the young girl who mothers orphaned children, the child who digs for food at the local dump, all children who are slowly dying. Can you see the face of your very own on one of the precious little bodies?

Did you know more than 1 billion (one in five) people live on less than $1 a day. Approximately 143 million children in the developing world (one in 13) are orphans. More than 10 million children under the age of five die each year; two thirds of these deaths - more than 6 million deaths each year - are preventable - most are starving to death. Pray the we determine ourselves to make a difference.

In my daily routine I am becoming more aware of what we would call simple things - but are in fact luxuries - and they show me how blessed I am. This morning I walked into my closet and was saddened, look at all the clothes I have while they have nothing. I'm brushing my teeth and my eyes are fixed on this fresh, cool, and clean water spilling out of my sink, yet I know that at this very moment a child is walking to a polluted water source with her yellow jug to collect drinking water for the day. I'm reminded that approximately 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This is around 5,000 deaths a day. Today another 5,000 and tomorrow 5,000 more. Will you please pray for them?

I have a kitchen - with food a plenty! I can eat whenever I want. I can chose what I want to eat. One person in seven battles hunger every day. Lord, thank you for not letting me go hungry and please show me how to help those who are.

As I take my kids to pre-school, I think of the millions of children who don't have access to education because the family can't afford school. Home-schooling is not an option, not only is there a lack of books or even a curriculum, but the mothers themselves have never been to school. An estimated 130 million of the world's 15- to 24- year-olds cannot read or write. Kids in poverty are needed at home to work or are sent to beg for food and money. Will you pray for them?

Those in poverty are just trying to survive. They live in mud huts, sleep 3 to a mattress which is just laid over a stick bed. If they are lucky, their beds will be covered with a mosquito net which protects them from the bites of malaria-ridden bugs. And here I am, with a sturdy house and sleeping in a king size bed. I have never been without and I know I take the comforts in my life for granted. Lord, show me new ways to help those in need.

I don't understand why I get to live like this and they don't. We who are rich have the power to help - Lord, show me what to do! Luke 3:11 says "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." I have done this, kind of, when an opportunity came about I would always give to the needy but I am surrounded by people living in wealth; I don't know anyone without a tunic or without food. For years, the poor have had my deepest sympathy and sadly, that's all they got from me. I didn't know where to go or how to make a difference.

Mother Teresa once said "It's the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Proverbs 21:13 warns us "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." Ask God to open your ears! The opportunity to answer the cry is here. Princess Diana said "You can't comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable." Are you comfortable?
Compassion International has provided one avenue to DO something. I encourage you to visit the Compassion website at

"Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold." - Brad Pitt

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them." - Bono (U2)

There are children who live in absolute filth and lack the barest necessities.
They have no clothes for their naked bodies.
They have no shoes for their bare feet.
They may have one small meal a day, some days they go without.
The have no books, no toys for their little hands.
Many are orphans. Alone.
Will you help them?