Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recent happenings

Apparently, some sort of bad cold/flu has been going around in our area. I didn't realize how many people had caught it until our kids came down with it on Saturday. Thankfully, it was not too bad, basically four of the five kids had a runny nose and some coughing for a couple of days, but are over it now. I made them cough syrup from honey and onion, which always works very quickly and reliably. None of the kids had been sick in I think almost 2 years, so I really cannot complain. Especially because nobody threw up!!! Becky seemed to have been bothered by an ear ache night before last, so yesterday I put garlic mullein oil drops in her ears, something she thought was quite amusing. She slept much better last night, and only woke up a couple of times to drink some water. Today, she kept asking me to put more drops in her ears; it was very funny and cute.

Becky has become very verbal recently. She talks a lot on her own, and also loves to repeat everything her older siblings say. All night tonight, she kept going around saying: "It's going to rain, Mommy!" (It never did, but it looked like it would.) She loves teasing me, it is quite hilarious. For instance, if I tell her I love her, she will get a mischievous grin and tell me "I love Daddy!". She is at an age that I absolutely love, I wish she could stay like this forever.

Homeschooling is going well. We seem to have struck a good balance this year between making the kids work enough, but also giving them plenty of free time for unstructured play, chores, and last-minute interruptions to our schedule. Right now, we are learning about countries in Africa, and making meals and crafts to go with that theme. When the kids are not doing their school work or chores, they love playing outside. It's still warm enough for them to go swimming in the pool, and they are also riding their bikes every day. John now rides without training wheels, and Miriam just learned how to ride with them. It is funny, because every morning when she picks out her clothes, she makes sure it's something that will not get in the way of her riding her bike (i.e. no dresses with frills at the bottom or long ties that could get tangled in the tires or chain). Both her and John have skinned their knees many times in the last couple of weeks, but that's just part of the process.

Apparently, this is a record summer in Arizona in that it is hotter later in the year than is normal. What a time to be pregnant! Thankfully, it gets dark shortly after 7 pm now, so the kids think a bedtime of 8 or 8:30 means they stayed up late. Why they never sleep in past 6:30, even on weekends, is beyond me. When I was a child, I LOVED sleeping in. I guess it goes back to their relatively "early" bedtime.

I switched Becky to cloth diapers 100% of the time about one week ago, which has been an interesting experience. Not too bad, but I don't think I'll ever be a fan of diapering in any form, cloth or disposable. She certainly seems to enjoy them much more. I am planning a separate post on this subject very soon.

This week, I was looking at flight tickets to Germany. I have not been back in almost 3 years. My grandma is not in good health, and it's not certain how much longer she has. I would really like to see her in person at least one more time. Of course, it would not be possible for our whole family to fly out, but I thought I could just go by myself for a long weekend, or possibly take Becky as a lap child. I was excited to find that tickets this time of year are only $284, round-trip. Unbelievable, isn't it? There is only one catch: the taxes for the flight are $421!!! Yep, that's the standard tax on international flights to Europe right now, it has nothing to do with the actual ticket price being so low. When I first moved to the US ten years ago, the taxes then were around $100 for those same flights. Our government is using and abusing the 9/11 lie to their full advantage in every area they can get by with. Sadly, with our financial situation uncertain due to my husband trying to switch to being a full-time pastor, we cannot afford to pay $700 for a flight right now, or anytime in the near foreseeable future. It makes me really sad, as my grandma is possibly the sweetest lady I have ever known, and I so badly wanted to go see her. Oh, how I love the extortion of exorbitant taxes!!! NOT. "Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad, ..." (Eccl. 7:7)

Not much else is going on around here. My husband has been in town much more as he is transitioning to pastoring full-time, but during the daytime he is still gone most of the time working. He spends about 5 hours a day soul-winning, and about as many hours a day on the various other tasks that go with pastoring. Many days, he leaves after breakfast and comes homes just as I tuck the kids into bed. It will be interesting to see how things work out.

Our church is having its FIFTH annual picnic this Saturday. It's hard to believe we've been around so "long" already! Then Solomon is turning 9 next week - again, where has time gone? I guess I feel like I never get older because I always have a little baby, but then I look at my bigger kids and how they are growing up so fast, and then I remember that I, too, am getting older. Someone recently asked me how old I was, and without thinking I almost said: "29". I caught myself in time, and thought "That's not right, I'm 30." Another second later, and it dawned on me that I ***thought*** I had turned 31 already, but I wasn't sure if I had or if I was going to on my next birthday. Pretty sad, huh??!? I still feel like I am 21 in my head, because that's how old I was when I got married and my life has been pretty much the same ever since.

Sweet little Becky is turning 2 in October, and I have busily been working on making birthday gifts for her after the kids go to bed at night. I still have a couple of things I have to finish making for Solomon, but it's hard to work on it without him noticing.

Anyway, not much new or exciting to report, just the everyday circus of having a larger than average family. Fun and exhausting, and never boring!

Miriam made a baked snack out of dough that she shaped to look like the letters and numbers she had been learning about so far this year. She also used a flower cookie cutter on some of the dough.

I told Becky to go wash her hands if she wanted to help. Instead, she came back with soap rubbed all over her head. It was right before bath time, so I didn't mind, but it made her hair look pretty crazy.

That's my big boy who just won't stop growing!

The boys reading together during silent time. Look at those dirty feet!!! Scorpions and poisonous spiders notwithstanding, these kids will not be convinced to wear shoes EVER.

Ask me about the time last month that I found a black widow spider and a brown recluse (VERY poisonous) a few inches from each other sitting behind a pile of stuff on my front porch that I was giving away on freecycle, right under Solomon's bedroom window. This stuff would keep me up at night, if it weren't for the kids making me too tired to be able to lay awake worrying.


  1. Agreed that onion and honey is a good combo. Used it many times in our family. I wish I had known about it years ago.

  2. I can't believe how big they all look! Sorry to hear you might not be able to visit your grandmother. I hope something works out so you're able to go.

  3. dirty feet.. ya I'll take those over those nasty poisonous spiders any day.. ewww!

  4. Hi Zsuzsanna.
    Could you please post the recipe for your cough syrup and ear drops? Also, would you by any chance know a remedy for face (flat) warts? I read about thuja tincture, but I don't know if i can't use it on my 4-yr old, because the warts are close to the eye. Thank you!


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