Please read on below for the latest round of questions and answers. Thank you for your comments, I enjoy hearing from you!
I know that you don't let your children watch television, but if there were a particularly interesting event of learning value during the London Olympics, would you let them watch it on your computer or no?
In general, yes, we occasionally allow our children to watch educational, newsworthy, or otherwise important clips on the computer. Think: documentaries and the like. None of us are much into the Olympics, however (as in, not at all), so I doubt we'll be watching any of that, simply for a lack of interest. If we were to, one requirement would be not to watch half-nude athletes.
I wish you would get your husband or one of the kids to take a picture of you, I would love to see you in all your pregnant glory. I bet you look awesome!
Ha - that's a bet I'll take up any day, because it's a guaranteed win for me! But I agree, I'll have to have one of them take a picture of me before baby is born.
Are the other children excited to be having a new little brother? Anna's not going to be the baby anymore!
Yes, they are. It's been so long since the last baby boy! For the girls, it's a new experience. For the boys, they feel like they are scoring for their "team". Plus, they love the idea of putting the little guy in "real" clothes like jeans and polo shirts, like a mini-man. Anna will still be the youngest girl, and as such, a baby in her on right. It was (and still is!) the same with John.
I was wondering if the women in your congregation will bring meals over. In our churhc, when someone is ill, recovering from surgery, or has a new baby, we take turns taking meals over. Maybe this is just a Southern tradition.
Typically, yes, us ladies bring meals for at least one week following a birth. Same if mom is sick, etc. - we recently had a mom with severe morning sickness, and took turns bringing her family dinner twice a week for three months, until she started feeling better. I remember having meals brought to us when we had our older kids, before we started the church.
However, with the size of our family now, and the fact that my husband is the pastor, we have specifically requested that people do NOT bring meals to our family. Cooking even one meal for us is a major expense and time constraint. Plus, with my husband being the pastor, some people who could not afford to make something might feel pressured to anyway, or feel bad about not participating. Instead, I will once again ask ladies who would like to help to come over for a Saturday of pre-cooking and freezing. That way, we are supplying the ingredients, but I still get the help and save much time.
I do have a question, you wrote on your blog that you let your babies sleep in the same bed with your husband and you. I think this is wonderful, and once I have children I would like to do that too. But my husband is afraid that if we allow them to sleep in our bed, they will want to sleep there "forever" and will have a hard time sleeping on their own once they have their own bed. How do you and your children handle that? And do you allow your older children to come and sleep in your bed if they want to? If they had a bad dream or are afraid for example?
Well, they might want to sleep there forever, but they won't mind moving out, either. Even our oldest kids still love to take turns sleeping in Dad's spot when he is gone overnight. But obviously, they don't scream or have fits if I tell them "no".
We have not had problems transitioning them to their own beds. For the longest time, we kept adding on to the family bed, until I think we had three mattresses laid wall to wall in one bedroom. When that got too tight, we moved all three boys to their own bedroom at once, which they never got upset about (they were ranging from 5 to 2 years old at the time). Since then, we only ever have the youngest in bed with us, with the next youngest either in a toddler bed in our room if they are not ready to move to the big kids' rooms, or straight in with their older siblings. It's not as difficult as it seems when they are just babies - they really do grow and mature a lot as they get older.
As far as coming into our bed during the night, that is always an option, but it almost never happens. Our kids tend to never have bad dreams - I'd say between all of them, we get woken up for that reason maybe once or twice a year? (Throwing up in bed, or asking to have a drink of water, are a lot more common, however...) Sometimes Becky wakes up early in the summer (it gets light at 5 am right now), and then comes into our bed to sleep for a couple more hours. It's all good - they grow so fast! Sleeping children are angels.
I noticed in your list of hobbies you like to cross stitch. I am a fellow stitcher and enjoy looking at and admiring the work of others. Would you mind posting pictures of some of your work sometime? What kinds of designs do you enjoy stitching?
So funny you asked! I had forgotten all about my love for cross-stitching until I read your comment! All joking aside, I don't spend near enough time on it these days. In the past, I used to make elaborate cross stitch pictures. These days, projects have to be short and quick, such as stitching a child's name across his/her towel in a cute alphabet, or putting a quick design on a dish cloth for a gift. Another relatively quick idea is to make a quilt, with some of the squares being cross stitch pictures along a common theme. I'll have to take some pictures sometime and post them.
I'd love to do some canning this summer, but really don't have any equipment. Is there anything special that you need besides jars, lids and tops? Thank you!
You will also need a large stockpot for the boiling water bath, with a rack in the bottom so the jars don't sit directly on it. Alternatively, you could use spare canning bands as a makeshift rack. Other useful tools to have on hand are a canning funnel, and a jar lifter. I did a canning post here. Don't let the lack of equipment deter you - most of it can be found easily and cheaply (even free) through craigslist, freecycle, or thrift stores.
You have a great pool! I've wondered before if your kids are allowed to swim in it for fun, or if it's strictly for baptisms only.
My husband and I both laughed out loud at this comment. Having a pool is SO much work, and SO expensive, no way would we just sit and look at it and not go swimming in it! It's literally like having another child (or two). With our climate, the kids going swimming 6 months out of the year (me: three, when it's like a jacuzzi), so it's worth the time, trouble, and money.
We no longer baptize people at the house, as we are now set up to do baptisms at the church building, but when we did, we would use the spa for that. The filter in the spa can be run separately from the rest of the pool, so it was easy to run the filter for a few hours and heat just that part, even in the dead of winter, and have it looking perfect.
When you have the time I'd love to know how you go about teaching your children about the Solar System and dinosaurs? Much of the information on these topics seems to contradict most if not all of the Bible teachings regarding age of the earth, human development/evolution and so on. Do you teach it at all? (If not, how does that go with state rulings etc regarding set curriculum for home school?) Do you teach it as another theory that other people believe but is wrong as it contradicts the Bible? Or do you have a way or explanation that allows what is known to fit it into the your teachings of creation? What about Biology? High school biology (in Australian public education at any rate) covers evolutionary theories and the development of man from apes. Also curious how you view scientific findings that show humans evolved from a lesser species, or that dinosaurs are considerably older than the age of the earth as told in the Bible? My grandfather in law would view them as being deliberately placed by God to test faith. How do you see it? I mean no harm by asking and not looking to discuss the rights/wrongs in the scenario, just how it is done in a situation where the majority of that science would be deemed wrong. I'm not looking to challenge your faiths or beliefs, that is not my place and would be rude, I would just like to know how you handle teaching children when so much information on those topics contradicts your teachings?
None of the things you mention (solar system, dinosaurs, biology etc.) contradict the Bible. Therefore, we teach them as part of science, from a creationist point of view. Our kids love the seminars by Dr. Kent Hovind, as well as the Moody Science Classics with Dr. Moon put out by the Moody Bible Institute. Even we adults are fascinated by them. Nature all around us bears witness to the Creator, so that there is no contradiction, as science falsely so called would like to make people believe.
Evolutionary theories are just that - theories. There is no scientific way to prove them. Being raised my entire life to believe evolution, I now laugh and shame my head at myself that I ever believed the nonsense that was taught me, and how ridiculous their claims are.
As far as homeschooling requirements, we enjoy religious freedom, and are therefore under no constraint to promote one theory over another.
I was just wondering, I've never met a German Zsuzsanna, but it's a rather common name in Hungary--it's the middle name of my daughter as well. Where did your parents get this unique-to-Hungarian spelling for your name?
I am only half German. My other half is - as you may guess - Hungarian. Since we kids all had my Dad's Hungarian last name, and we grew up there, our parents gave us all Hungarian names. I didn't move to Germany and learn German until I was almost 8 years old.
Does your church have VBS? We just finished VBS last week and had 130 children enrolled-84 were non-members. We had 2 of these non member families visit our church today. If you don't have VBS, why not?
No, we do not. Personally, I like the idea of putting on a fun program for the kids like that, and maybe one day we will. I think the part in VBS that my husband/pastor does not like is the "S" - school. If we were to put on any program like that, it would be one for children to attend with their parents. We also would do it as a benefit to current members, not as an outreach program, because of the fact that we NEVER take anyone's children without the parent or guardian present. But since kids are already in all the services, they hear hours of Bible preaching every single week, so the only benefit to this would be to make it fun, memorable, and special. Not like there is anything wrong with doing Bible crafts and having related snacks, along with a sermon specifically geared toward children. Like I said, I like the idea, but my husband does not.