Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Post in Which I Do Not Mention The You Know What

Long time, no post. My family is all alive and basically well or returning to health after respiratory nasties. Here is a brief update on us:
The master-Is settling into his role as Mr. Mom. He excels in laundry and clean kitchen counter tops. Other areas have been generally forsaken, but we're surviving, and our socks are downy fresh.
K-Looking forward to a number sense meeting this weekend.
Abby-Says she is "overwhelmed" by Odyssey of the Mind. I still don't quite understand what that is exactly, but it something akin to UIL. Anyway, she's certainly been spending long, extra hours at school preparing for it.
Side note--How did I end up with such brainy kids?
Ian-was in BIG trouble yesterday for being written up on the bus and getting on yellow in class. He is eager for baseball to get underway, but if his behaviour does not drastically improve, he will not be playing this season.
Marina-Is starting to read. It is looking as though she is going to be at least an average student, maybe above average academically. I am both hugely relieved and also anxious over this development. More on this later
Randy-Loves his new child care situation. And can that child talk? My word! I suppose K and Abby possessed similar vast vocabularies at his age, but then I had Ian, the deaf and silent signer, and Marina of delayed language acquisition, so I've forgotten.
Cara-Still not walking. She takes steps on her own, but she has no confidence. Her steps are still the halting, hands raised, "first steps" she was taking two months ago. Neither I nor her therapist knows what to do about her.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunnys*de Kids and Various Asundry

I've limped over from the center and am now waiting--exhausted--for the master to return from W*llmart with hot dogs. When he arrives, we will top them with the homemade chili he prepared earlier in the week. The master makes an excellent Mr. Mom. I make a so-so business owner.
I'm just tired and discouraged. Things are going well, but it is hard work and long hours. I found out that I'm licensed for 58. That's ALOT of kids. Right now, I have 11 counting my own. That may not sound like much, but I'm working alone (not strictly true as the master has been coming on his lunch break to get the meal on the table and clean up afterwards) and I have two babies. It feels like a 110! My first employee joins me next Monday. I think the load will be much lightened at that point, if I can just hold on till then. Of course, it also means that most of the tuition will be going to make payroll, at least for now.
I guess since Christmas is over I should change my blogskin, but I haven't an ounce of creativity left to tackle it.
And if I ever get my doctorate in early childhood education, I'm going to title my thesis: "America's Feral Generation." Just so you know.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Institute the Tithe

Last Sunday, we were visiting my mom and dad, and we went to church with them on Sunday morning. At my home church, the interim pastor--an older gentleman--preached a quintessential Baptist sermon. Of course, he touched on the topic of tithing (as well as drinking, dancing, vulgar language, and the evils of wild women), commenting that if every member tithed, the church's various funds would be funded, and they would have to hold an emergency finance committee meeting to determine what to do with the excess.


I know D*ve R*msey, among others, recommends giving your children a regular allowance so that they may practice money management and giving at an early age. We've never been very successful with that. For one thing, five children on allowance would require a lot more wiggle room in our budget than we have heretofore possessed. Also, I dislike paying my children for doing chores around the house. I'm not sure why-I know many families do and I can totally see the logic in it--but it never set right with me. However, the master and I do tithe off of our income and it is definitely something we want to instill in our children.
We have a non-conventional way of teaching the concept of tithing here in the S____ house. One of those things that sort of happened, not something we read about in a parenting book. But I have evidence this week that it is working, so I will pass it along.
I guess it developed out of our frugality (or poverty, however you want to look at it), but I refuse to spend money on a plate of food for the baby when we eat out, and sometimes, there just isn't quite enough of a certain dish or item to go around at home. In these instances, we require the older children to "give a tithe" to the youngest child. At W*ndy's, this means a tenth of their french fries goes to Cara. After a birthday party, a tenth of their goodie bag may go to Randy. You get the idea.
On Wednesday, Abby thought there was just enough grape juice for everyone when she drained the bottle. But after we sat down, I realized that they had forgotten to fill Cara's cup. So I said, "Everyone give a tithe of juice." The children--from long habit--gladly passed their cups to K who oversaw the transfer to Cara's sippee.
As he was topping the now brimming cup and twisting on the lid, he noted, "Mom. You know, that preacher was right. If everyone gives a tithe, there is more than enough. There isn't room in her cup for more. And look! My cup has plenty. We won't even miss the little amount we gave."
Yes, it is amazing how God's way works! From multi-million dollar building funds to a toddler's sippee cup. Every time.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! Malachi 3:10 NLT