The Homeschool Mother's Journal

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What's new this week?  Well, adding a newborn to the mix of our home keeps life interesting, constantly looking to maximize the minutes and learning to function on less {sleep that is ;-)}.

In my life this week…just trying to stay on top of things: 
  1. daily lessons for 5 of the children {high-school down to pre-school},
  2. grading {catching up...seems to be an area of constant need},
  3. keeping up with 4 children that are 5 and under, and
  4. an ACCOMPLISHMENT:  I finished our newest one's baby scrapbook {praise the Lord, she is only 2 weeks old today! ;-)}

It was fun to spend a few days working on Carolyne's baby's been a while since I have scrapbooked for our family!

In our homeschool this week…autumn art through ABeka {I love autumn}, multiplying & dividing fractions...Saxon {a challenge for our 3rd son}, essay writing {"Well done" for our 2nd oldest}, rain provided tadpole catching {the fun and spontaneous part of learning at home} and extra-curricular activities {orchestra and flag football practices}

The impromptu learning opportunity growing and swimming after the children collected them from the rain filled swale earlier this week...

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...a little with consistency is better than a lot with sparsity.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing
  1. weekly orchestra practice x 2,
  2. weekly football practice x 3 {this week},
  3. church {at least some of us...I usually keep my babies home until around 4-6 weeks old to reduce exposure to GERMS that aren't ours ;-)}, AND
  4. a new adventure for us...a mother's helper will start this week on Thursday {a dear young lady we know who will be a blessing to have helping once per week with the active 2 & 4 year olds, assisting the elementary level children with staying on schedule/their assignments, helping me with grading everyone's work and the supervision of afternoon primary goals for her each time she's here}...FYI ~ it went VERY well AND to add to the blessing, Carolyne even slept for 2 1/2 hours yesterday morning!

My favorite thing this week was…taking time to watch and learn each of my children {just to stop and see how God has created each one uniquely...their different personalities, gifts/talents and interests}.

What’s working/not working for us…right now, Carolyne is NOT following my intended & hopeful schedule...she LOVES attachment parenting which really is NOT conducive for following the "nap schedule"...oh, to work on this.  ;-)  What is working for us...having a schedule ~ it helps to keep everyone else on track {for the most part} with chores & school. 

Whistling to a girl who should have been napping...

Questions/thoughts I havethoughts...I really need to make the most of teachable moments AND training opportunities.  Otherwise, instead of my children being a joy and blessing to be with all day, everyday it becomes difficult and unenjoyable.  ALSO of equal importance is to make sure I AM being an example of all the character traits I aspire them to possess...that is the more challenging portion, isn't it?

Things I’m working on
  1. putting all my maternity clothes away {done and sorted through to reduce/share with another expectant mom...too much accumulates over 8 babies ~ not to mention I'm not as tiny as I used to be ;-)} and putting back all my "normal" clothes {done},
  2. organizing my food/paper goods shelving areas {currently working on} and
  3. decorating for autumn {need to pull down all our decorations and get the kids involved with this over the weekend}.

I’m readingCarry on Mr. Bowditch {for LLATL - tan book} and Sweet Journey {a gift from a friend}

I’m cooking…Italian Pie ~ a hearty meat casserole with a healthy addition of spinach ~ a recipe made for us earlier this year by a friend and now has become a recipe added to our collection of good meals!

I’m grateful for…taking time to just be still {not a natural inclination of mine, but one that does promote health and times of reflection}
I’m praying for…a couple young ladies who are newly expecting, a new season of flag football {wisdom for coaches, safety for players, opportunities to grow in godliness for our son}, upcoming union of two young people we know {read their story here}, and for the Lord to work through the lives and circumstances in our family as well as our friends' many things to be prayerful for.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share
A horse riding opportunity recently for three of the children as Mark went to look at a job...the owner graciously invited them to ride while they were there...happy children!

So, that was our week ~ out with the month of September and in with October ~ can you believe it?!  The older I get, the faster time seems to slip by...

Blessings ~

Carolyne Joy's Birth Story...short version

Short Version of Carolyne Joy's Birth Story
{a lot of details are left out of this version but thought some people may only want limited details so here the LONG version here}:

3 weeks prior to delivery ~ onset of inconsistent contractions {which continued over the 3 week period}

End of week one ~ loss plug, some effacement, 2cm dilated {excitement that things were starting…anticipation of an upcoming birth}

Week 2 ~ {due date} more effacement, 3-4 cm dilated {anticipation that birth was imminent…surely with this much progression things would happen soon…disappointment as our due date came and went with other women who had been due around the same time as me delivering already}

Week 3 ~ no change…no more dilation, no baby {discouragement, frustration and doubt this girl would ever come…}

Week 3…Friday ~ another sonogram to make sure all was well with me and baby Carolyne Joy {to my dismay the first image of her also showed her weight of 9lbs. 11oz….oh my word!}

Conversation with John who has done our sonograms for 11 years now, as follows:

“John, 9lbs. 11oz.! I can’t deliver a baby that big!”, I said. Tears began to roll down my face {I don’t like to cry, but this couldn’t be helped.}

“She’s not 9lbs., 11oz. It’s hard to measure weight when they are term. What was your last baby? Your biggest?”, he asked.

“8-14.”, I said with tears still streaming.

“She probably 8 something and you’ve already delivered 8 pounders. You can do it, she’s your 8th.”, he answered.

“But the screen said 9-11…she looks so pudgy. Is she okay? All things are working well and should I be concerned about anything?” “So, what’s the new due date?”, I asked.

“Everything looks great. The images are just hard to be accurate due to being overdue. Due dates don’t change…she looks fine and everything is working just like it’s suppose to.”, was his reply.

I tried to be encouraged, but had my doubts as to her size…8 something, I don’t think so.

Week 3 continued ~ the weekend was full of activities, with no increase in contractions or their intensity. {discouragement mounts, surely people are now wondering how late was…will she come? Am I prohibiting her from coming somehow? She’s only going to grow and at some point she’ll have to be delivered! Could I do it?}
September 13th, 3am ~ contractions wake me up and continue manageably for the next few hours…I decide to call Karen around 6:30am

Conversation and background information as follows:

[Huh…maybe this would be the morning? I waited and watched as the time crept closer to morning without any real increase to intensity or closeness…however, around 6:30am I thought I’d call my midwife and just let her know…maybe something was happening.] She answered and told me she had just arrived to another birth. “Okay then,”…that said, I knew I would probably “shut down” labor wise until she was available…[I know what you’re thinking…how do you shut down labor? Trust me, my strong will has done it before ~ I typically start to shut down my labor when the sun comes up. The day is just too full of activity in the home and, for me, lacks peace for bringing forth a new baby. Been there and done it on a couple of occasions.] She offered to come check to see how much progression had taken place if I wanted; call her back in about an hour to let her know what I decided to do. The mind is a powerful thing and I told her “I’ll wait for you to finish…just call and let me know when you’re done.” {smile}
September 13th; noon, 4pm, 6pm ~ Karen checks in with me and gives updates on this first-time mom she is with…her baby will be here anytime. Karen calls another midwife to come check on me [This 1st time mom had a beautiful home birth but some minor complications after birth so a hospital transfer was necessary. Karen stayed with her until the transfer was complete and this new mom was settled. She is a wonderful and wise midwife…a blessing to those she ministers to.]

September 13th, 7:30pm ~ Michelle arrived shortly after her student, “Peachy”, to check on me. She calls Karen to let her know I’m about 5cm [Side note later about this call.]

September 13th, 9:30pm ~ Karen is on her way…arrives around 10:30pm; Mark calls my friend and she brings the children home at my request ~ more peace for me knowing they are getting a good’s night sleep in their own beds and Zach would not be affected with classes on Wednesday morning this way.

September 13th, 11:00pm ~ Michelle leaves, Karen and two students remain…adults try to get some rest as the rest of the children are sound asleep. Karen and I talk a bit after she gets some paperwork done. She checks me and I’m still about the same…[Side note on this coming soon.]

September 14th, midnight ~ I suggest Karen go try to rest; she reluctantly does. I stay in my room paces and praying. [See the long version for more details on this.]

September 14th, 12:05am ~ God answers my specific prayers immediately. Back-to-back, VERY intense contractions kick in. I’m alone [long version contains more details] and go to wake up Mark.

September 14th, 12:20am ~ Mark gets Karen…amazingly she checks and I am 7cm dilated! I start shaking and feel nauseous…I’m in transition! [No water birth…no time…long version contains more details of this God given testimony.]

September 14th, 12:45am ~ I give a little pressure with a contraction…water breaks.

September 14th, 1:35am ~ I am given the green light from Karen that I can push… I pushed once, WAIT…her hands are on her face. Sorry, no stopping now, she’s got to come…work it out I said. Push two…there she is, three, all of her out! Three pushes, three minutes…no tearing, no complications…with the exception of her being a little bruised due to the nature of her birth ~ but Vitamin K really helped with that later. Praise the Lord!

September 14th, 1:40am ~ Carolyne Joy’s official time of birth ~ 10lbs., 12oz. and 22” long

For the rest of the story, you will have to go the long version and read the WHOLE account, God’s perfect timing from beginning to end.

Blessings ~

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New Life...Carolyne Joy

At long last our 'not-so-little' girl has arrived!  Praise the Lord ~ He is greatly to be praised!

At 1:40am today {September 14, 2011}, our 10 pound 12 ounce girl arrived measuring 22" long.  Birth story to follow after some much needed sleep and family bonding time takes place these next few days, so be sure to check back for the testimony of God's faithfulness, mercy and grace in this beautiful home birth.

For now, I'll leave you with some pictures of our "Joy"ous moment.

Moments after our QUICK and momentous delivery...this girl came forth with BOTH hands on her face...she topped Liz's one hand/head delivery!
A proud pappa...with his pudgy girl!

The astounding moment of weighing in...our biggest yet at 10 lbs., 12 oz. ~ my wonderful mid-wife Karen (l) and her senior student wid-wife Terry (r)...also attending was another 1st yr. student mid-wife "Peachy" (not pictured here).

8 hours young...Liz peaking to see if she has any hair ~ with several of her brothers and sisters looking on.  ;-)

As you can see, she loves her hands at her face...our precious 'not-so-little' Carolyne.

Thank you for all your prayers ~ God is faithful!

Blessings ~

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in you. 
Isaiah 26:3
 {A verse of encouragement to me given by a friend yesterday...thank you, as my mind did stay fixed on Him ~ with continual thanksgiving and praise.}