Thursday, February 26, 2009

New CPSIA Law Affecting Thrift Stores

The CHKD here told me they threw away an entire dumpster full of baby/children's clothes because of the new law affecting children's products. She was really sick about it because so many people are struggling right now as it is. This is happening all across the country to items for children ages 12 and under.

According to the CPSC, they do not have to throw them away, but: "Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties." so it is likely most thrift stores will.

eBay is still allowing the sale of them there, but says they are watching the issue carefully and will make changes as needed.

I suggest you give those items to someone you know or FREECYCLE them. If you give them to the thrift stores, they will go unused and become a burden to our landfills.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Jam 2009

was awesome according to my gang! Clint, Brandon, Amanda and Joshua called me while they were enroute home with excitement over witnessing 1500+ people make a decision for Christ. They heard some awesome testimonies of fellow Christians and enjoyed the speakers and the music. Clint, as a pastor, was invited backstage to meet the performers, including tobyMac and Brandon Heath, and to receive a special pastor's pack.

Clint found out why no one took him up on the offer for a ride. Our local churches were there with several of their own shuttlebuses!!

One of the testimonies came from a man who was thrown in the garbage as a baby. He was adopted through Holt International and is a strong Christian who not only sponsors children through Holt, but is soon to adopt his own little girl from China!

Brandon and Amanda were really affected by all of the people their age they saw attending a Christian event and moved by how many responded to Christ. None of their local friends really seem to care about God much so this did their hearts good.

Joshua was just called a Jesus freak by a "friend" in a not so nice way recently. In fact, Joshua stood firm in his witness while more than one person was making fun of his love for the Lord. Having never heard the song, he was really pumped up when he heard tobyMac sing "Jesus Freak." "Hey Mom! That's what those kids were calling me!!"
You can add one bump on forehead to the list of injuries I treated over the weekend. Emily took a dive off the couch and landed forehead first. Caleb was quick with the ice and Bethany held Hannah while I held the pack on Emily's noggin.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So far this weekend,

I have treated a cut toe with glass in it (Emily), a sprained foot (Shanee-pronounced Shah-nee) and pinkeye in myself.

Emily picked up glass somewhere, but we aren't sure where.

Shanee came flying in the house after being outside in the rain. She jumped over the baby gate and hurt herself when she slipped on the hardwood floors. She already knows who to come to for help! She came straight to me limping and whining with her paw up in the air. "Mama, fix it!" I "poor baby"-ed her and she seemed happy with that. :-D

Everyone keeps asking how Emily is doing with Hannah. Emily had no problem with Hannah. It was me that made her mad! While I was in the hospital, she called for me a lot. I called home and talked to all of the children and Emily cried when she heard my voice and kept calling for "Mom Mom." That made me bawl! That was the end of that tender moment though. When she came to the hospital the next day, she would not talk to me for the first 15 minutes! She wouldn't even look at me! After she knew I got the message that she was not happy with me being absent, she was my baby girl again. There I was wanting to hold her and she's not having it until she let me know just how she felt about me leaving her! She's a fiesty little gal with her own mind and an incredible sense of humor for her age.

As far as Hannah goes, we let our children hold, touch and help out the new babies with parental guidance. Clint and I tell them the baby is not his and mine, but a gift to the entire family. It is all of our responsibility to help the newest and littlest along. When everyone feels they have an important part in the baby's life, they don't need to wonder where they fit in. They already know! We have never had a problem with jealousy or rivalry. Everyone here is a gift to each other and we all need each other to make this family work or else God would not have put us together!

Emily does not like it when Hannah cries and tries to comfort her by giving her blankets. She is curious about Hannah so we've let her check her out from head to toe. She likes the fuzz on the baby's head and will pat her head. She's still learning how to be gentle so we keep Hannah in our arms or line of sight at all times.

Clint, Brandon, Amanda and Joshua are getting ready for the Winter Jam concert tonight. I really wanted to see tobyMac and Brandon Heath perform, but I can't go with Hannah. So, I am staying home with Caleb, Bethany, Emily and Hannah. Per request, we'll make pizza and chocolate chip cookies tonight. Caleb likes the idea of being my "biggest helper" tonight as it is not something he gets to do often with three older siblings!

Please pray for our friend Judy. She went to the ER with chest pains and a bad headache and the doctors found a spot on her lung. They did tests and we are praying they all come back OK.

Please pray for Sheila, Mark's wife. She is having surgery soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost Teeth!

Bethany wants everyone to know she lost her first two teeth on Valentine's Day!
Daddy (aka Clint) treated her to our family's tradition of donuts.
If you find the missing teeth, please return! :-)
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Relaxed Mamas

One of the benefits of breastfeeding which often goes unmentioned in most articles is how it causes the mother to sit down and take a moment from her hectic life to relax with her baby. This creates an ongoing bonding experience and an opportunity for close contact between mother and child. The hormone relaxin which is released during nursing helps give the mother a sense of calm and peace which is a second hand blessing the the infant in her care.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Slow Lane Mothering

Most of us mothers like to go to bed at night knowing we have benefited our family with the work we do. I know I enjoy feeling like I have "earned my keep" at the end of the day. There is so much that gets in the way of accomplishing that long to-do list, however. Interruptions come in the form of phone calls, visitors, illnesses, malfunctioning appliances, babies crying, toddlers needing our entertainment, children needing discipline, etc. All of these things can be blessings in disguise!

When I am moving at full speed, it is hard to change gears and go at a slower pace. Having to sit down and breastfeed a newborn is definitely "changing gears." That time with Hannah is so precious though. I don't want to rush it. I want to enjoy each moment of her babyhood that I can. Likewise, I want to enjoy each moment of Emily's toddlerhood, Bethany's Kindergarten, Caleb's and Joshua's boyhoods, and Amanda's and Brandon's teen years. If I am not careful, I will miss out on key moments because I am ignoring those little pieces of time where God is signaling me to slow down and enjoy this precious gift of motherhood.

Slowing down allows me to connect with each child and that allows me to keep their hearts. If I have their heart, they are going to value my instruction which opens the door to share with them wisdom from God's Word. Even the annoying or difficult things like broken appliances or a flat tire allow me to example a life of faith through my patience and believing in God's provision.

If I am too busy trying to reach my goals, I may miss out on work far more important than housework, academics, etc. Bonding with and giving godly instruction to our children is a worthy investment of our time.

Listen to that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit and change gears when He prompts. He has a special blessing waiting for you if you can slow down enough to seize ahold of it.

Lawmaker Wants Answers On Gardasil for video.

Gabi Swank's mother, Shannon, thought her daughter should get the Gardasil shot because cervical cancer runs in their family. But with each round of the drug, Gabi kept getting sicker. The once healthy, spunky cheerleader is now home bound, on a dozen different medicines and doctors say she will die from the complications.

Twenty-eight women have died, reportedly from the Gardasil vaccination. The FDA says it continues to follow the drug, but it maintains the benefits outweigh the risks.

In 2007, Wichita Representative Delia Garcia introduced a bill that would require all young women to get the HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. Now she wants the FDA to look further into the side effects to make sure it's safe.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2 Free eBooks for Homeschoolers

Today 2/12 only!

Homeschooling the Rebel, Part 1
Lincoln vs Darwin: What's the Difference?

The servers are having a hard time with the volume of traffic, but keep trying. Once you check out, you will be able to access your itemized invoice through a link that is sent to you via e-mail. Through that itemized invoice, you will have a link where you can download the books. Once you get that, you can go back later and download and save them. I had to check out twice to get them.

Thank you to everyone who passed along the link.

Baby Monitors, Baby Wearing & Co Sleeping

 This is answering e-mail. I thought it might help young mothers so I posted it here..

I do have one baby monitor I feel very strongly about...YOU! While I understand there are sometimes good uses for them, I have never liked or used baby monitors. If I am working outside, I put the baby in a stroller close by and in my line of sight in a safe location with a sun/insect barrier. If I am in the house, baby is never more than a few feet away from me, Clint, Brandon or Amanda. As a woman who has literally seen how quickly tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires can develop, I firmly believe in keeping my little ones close by an adult or mature teen. I've personally seen how quickly a 4,000 square foot building can go from a burning ember to a rolling inferno. I can only run so fast. I have also heard of babies choking on objects the baby found upon awakening from a nap. The mother never heard the child because the monitor did not pick up the noise. Baby monitors are not perfect and can give a false sense of security.

I live on a farm. We cut and haul our own wood from trees on our land. We put in fencing and build animal shelters. We garden, clear land, hunt, and dig ditches. If it is too hot/cold for the baby to be outside, we have someone stay inside (a parent or an older, capable child). Keeping the baby close might slow us down or keep someone out of the action, but it is safer for the baby. I will always choose safety over convenience. Death is permanent. My children are worth the sacrifice and extra effort. 

On baby carriers (slings/wraps/baby packs/etc), I have tried many but have never found one I was comfortable with. I have a large chest and that affects positioning and comfort. I have also heard so many stories of injuries to the baby from slings/wraps/etc that I prefer to use my own arms. That slows me down but really "girds loins with strength!" (see Psalm 31) Before Emily was conceived, I was able to pick my 150 lb son up and put him on a counter. (I can't do that now-he's heavier and I am still weak from my difficult pregnancy.) With the work I do around our farm, I am often not able to wear my babies for safety reasons also. So, it doesn't work for me but, I am a big advocate of baby wearing for those who can and do so safely!

Our babies sleep in a cradle in our bedroom until they are a few months old. If Clint is working a midnight shift, I sleep with my babies. Clint sleeps so deeply that I sometimes have to punch him repeatedly to wake him up so we both see a big risk there so we don't co-sleep if he's home. Unless I am extremely tired, I sleep so lightly that I can hear every little noise the baby makes and I get very little quality rest which is why we move them out earlier than some mothers would choose. All of the children except Brandon sleep within a dozen footsteps from our bed so baby is never far away even when in a separate room. Again, it doesn't work for our situation but, I am a big advocate of co-sleeping for those who can and do so safely! If the house gets chilly from a lapse in wood stove loading or baby is having trouble resting, Clint will sleep on the couch so I can sleep with the baby. What a guy! We work together to create the best environment for our children.

Seek God for wisdom. Find what works best and safest for your family and do it without apology to those who think you should do otherwise. Don't be given to fear, but do trust those instincts God instilled in you. Never compromise on safety.

Diseased Cat Noises

I've been singing this to Hannah and she loves it even with my scratchy voice (scar tissue from HG).

I know I need to take and post more pictures. I'll try to do that soon. I've been concentrating on work lately.

I hope you take time to let your family know how much you cherish them today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wise Advice on Modesty

I was asked to join a group on Facebook called Moms for Modesty. After I did, I spent a few minutes reading comments from other members and thought the following advice was worthy of sharing. Valerie was kind enough to let me use her words here.

"I'm the mom of eight daughters and three sons. When my first daughter was a baby, a good friend suggested that I look ahead to her future. "When she is sixteen, how do you want her to dress and behave? Think about it, and head in that direction now. If, when she is sixteen, you don't want her to be walking around in a bikini and flaunting it all, then don't put her in a bikini when she's two and tell her how cute she is. Direct her path where you want her to go when she is young." I thought that was wise counsel then, and I appreciate it even more now." -Valerie Jacobsen

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gentle Reminders

This was posted as a humorous reminder for Clint. He kept forgetting our agreement that only books (not tools, change, wires, etc) should be put on my office shelves.

I do not always have time to sit at the computer and make a nicer looking note, but I do have time to remind them I love them.

This was Clint's creation after a frustrating computer disaster.
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Do you ever get tired of making your house a home for your family only to have your family destroy your hard work? Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself? Mercy, I sure do!
There are nine people in my home and only one of us seems to really care about managing it so the routine flows smoothly. Honestly, sometimes I think the rest of them are a bunch of pigs crossed with tornadoes! I get tired of reminding (begging, pleading, bribing, threatening) for help in household orderliness. "PLEASE, help ME help YOU!!!!"
Several years ago, when I had only three or four children, I started making my "gentle reminders" and posting them in critical areas. It has really helped remind the children (and sometimes my husband) of my efforts to keep the house looking orderly so we can actually do things other than clean. It also helped the daydreamers in our family stay on task. I have to make new "reminders" now and again and once they seem to have a routine down, I remove it. Sometimes I have to put the one I took down back up, but that's life in any sized family. People are fallible; don't expect perfection but do keep working together towards a goal.

For mischief making toddlers, the signs work well as a reminder not to unroll the toilet paper, use the craft paint to create "stained glass windows", draw on the walls with a permanent magic marker that will bleed through 15 layers of paint, etc. I'd put a >:-<.

I know the signs don't fit in with most decorating, but I'd rather have less work and frustration than a home that looks like it should be featured in a magazine. I also need my sanity. :-)

Monday, February 09, 2009


I have my driver's license again. We ended up sending for my birth certificate three times before we finally got a copy of it. Clint drove me so I wouldn't get a ticket enroute. I drove the shuttle bus home.

The DMV was a mad house. We got there early and there were still 15 people in line ahead of us.
When I went up to take the picture, I really thought about making a face just before she snapped it. She seemed tense, so I figured I'd just ask "Have people ever made funny faces as you took their picture?" She sourly said "Yes, all of the time." I don't think she finds that as amusing as I do. :-) I'd rather have happy people playing around with me than grumpy people complaining! I think she got eyes are half closed and my mouth is half open in my new driver's license photo. :-D


Our dear friend, Teresa, has opened a natural products store in our county. Please see their webpage or drop by their physical address Mama's Country Corner, 4858 George Washington Memorial Highway, Hayes, VA 23072.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Brandon Has Been Swept Away

by Miss Hannah. When he was watching her on Wednesday so I could catch a quick nap, she graced him with her very first smile. He can't stop talking about it! "Oh Mom, she is so cute! She locked eyes on mine and then her whole face lit up and she smiled at me!"

Later that day, she gave me her second smile! Now, the whole family is working hard to earn those precious, toothless newborn smiles!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A New Show Looking for Large Families....

I know there are families like ours who read the blog. If you are interested, please let them know we sent you in case there is a referral fee offered like Wife Swap :-). Thanks! Our e-mail address is in the side menu.

Hi Wendy,

I apologize contacting you on here--I got your FB info from your blog, and could not find other contact information. I'm writing to you because I work for MTV and am currently working on a new show that will revolve around one very special, dynamic, large family. I read some of your blog and was wondering if you'd be interested in applying for the show. Please contact me at:

Thank you!



Clint Heard From the FEMA

county coordinator today. The plans for our home's elevation arrived in the coordinator's office yesterday. The county coordinator has to review them and is waiting for another set of plans (another house) and then he will submit them for the bidding process. Right now, it looks like we will have to move out of the house in May. That will probably change again, but it does look like we are getting closer.

Please join us in prayer that God will let us know if this is something we should pursue or not. Once we meet with the engineers and coordinator and sign the paper work, we will be locked into it. Right now we still have the option of backing out.

My concerns are not with the elevation itself so much as the living arrangements and length of time it will take to elevate the house. Summers are hot and humid here. I want to be sure that the children are comfortable and can continue their education throughout the process.

Hannah is nursing every 1 1/2 hours for her current growth spurt. We can tell she has grown over the past few days. The other children have been falling prey to a cold virus one after another this week. Everyone except Brandon has been able to get over the worst of the symptoms within a day or two. I came down with it this a.m. The cold water pipes froze overnight. Clint is working OT all week due to issues with a project he's been assigned. Add all of that up and it equals a fairly chaotic day.
Clint and I have had to make e-mails short and sweet since Hannah has arrived. Please don't feel slighted as we are doing the best we can. If you have our phone number, feel free to call.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Here's the New Dog

She's 8 months old.
We've been told she is a full blooded rotti. We're not certain about her pedigree, but Aleshanee is going to be a BIG dog.
Rottweiler owners shared with us these dogs gain their height in the first year to 18 months and then fill out their bulk from then until up to 4 years. Aleshanee is already 23" at the shoulder.
We've seen several pictures of Rottweilers in this age & stage of development that look just like her, so we'll see how she fills out.
Again, we don't care, she is a gorgeous dog and is really smart. Nala spoiled me; I didn't have to do much work to train her to learn different commands. I could show her 1-2 times and she'd get it. I looked for a dog in the top 10 intelligent breeds and then spent some time with Aleshanee to see how fast she learned.
She can differentiate between the older children who like to play rougher and the younger ones who need gentleness which is important in our household.
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Monday, February 02, 2009


Aleshanee comes from the Coos Indian tribe and means "she plays all the time" which makes it a great name for our energetic new puppy! We have decided to call her "Shanee." She was picked up as a stray and was given the temporary name of "Fonda" at the shelter.

Clint had originally said we would wait until after the elevation to get another dog, but since then we heard from a neighbor who told us he's seen people at the back of our property. We have had trouble in the past with out of season hunters trespassing at all hours. Since Clint works night every once in a while, we both wanted an extra set of ears around. Maybe now Clint will buy me the pump action shotgun I asked him for a couple of years ago. ;-) We had also been praying God would lead us to the right dog since Nala died.

We got Aleshanee from the Peninsula SPCA. She is eight months old, had a rough beginning and has already been spayed. When she was picked up less than a month ago, she weighed only 30 lbs but is now over 48 lbs. There is a debate about whether she is a Rottweiler purebred or a mix, but we don't care. We spent time with her and she had all of the things I was looking for in intelligence and family interaction. The worker at the SPCA told me I had made a very good choice for what we needed in a furry friend.

She is very, very smart. I have already taught her a couple of commands since late Saturday afternoon. She has had one accident in the house so we have her on a housebreaking schedule recommended by a vet.

While she has spent most of her time here romping around outside with the children, "technically" she is my dog. I am hoping that works out like it did with Nala, who was "technically" Clint's dog. Maybe he'll do all of the work involved for Aleshanee. :-D