Monday, January 31, 2011

Long lost extended family....and me.

     As some know, with the passing of my Aunt Maxine about two months ago, I have no family left on my mother's side of the family.  On my dad's side of the family, however, there are many people. Family members that I remember very well from when we lived up north...and others I really never dreamed of meeting, but have been able to connect with through facebook.
     Facebook is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with family and I am thankful that I have been able to utilize it as such.  I have been able to connect with my two cousins George and Ed, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, and a couple of little cousins Amanda and Nick. I have never met Nick before and haven't seen Amanda since she was five. Twenty years ago now.  I have been talking to George on the phone and have been able to text his mother, my Aunt Vera. 
     There have been other relatives too, namely four cousins and an Uncle that I tried to reach out to...but did not seem to reciprocate the same excitement that I did when I found them.  I do remember them pretty well, mostly from family Christmas parties when I was a kid, and before we moved to Iowa. How to handle that? is hard. Why does it upset me? It is just how I am. 
     See, what they don't know about me is that I am just looking to reconnect with my family. I don't NEED anything from them...I just want to get to know them. And like most people, my feelings get hurt when I am treated like an outcast for things that were out of my control, if there is actually a reason in the first place! I wouldn't know, because not one word was said to me. Not one.
     Sometimes, wouldn't it just be easier to walk up to someone, shake them and shout, "I am a person with feelings. I didn't do anything to you. I am not a criminal. I do not have the plague. I don't want anything from you.  I just want to get to know you!"  
     The other person that I have reconnected with is by far the most special to me....and I have never met him, and may never get to. He is my half brother. He is sixteen years older than I am and lives in San Diego, Ca.  I have always, and I mean always wanted a brother or sister...and now I do.  However, it isn't like a typical relationship obviously. To be honest, he probably didn't even know about me until I contacted him on facebook a short time ago.  Same thing with him...I just want to get to know him and would love to have him be a part of my life. SO...what do I do? I make assumptions about him not wanting to talk to me anymore, delete him...only to friend him again because I knew I had made a mistake. ugh! Thankfully, he forgave me for being stupid and reminded me that there are issues that I don't know about with the other relatives, obviously stuff that I don't know about. 
     He basically reminded me to stay on the high road. Now why didn't I think of that? Instead of being petty and catty, I should have just let things run their course so to speak. SO...that is what I am doing now. I will let things work themselves out. I have done all that I can. It is now out of my hands.

     Family. Wow. When I think about my mom's side and my dad's is  just so different. I sure hope that I am raising my children to always love and care for each other into adulthood. I want them to enjoy each other, grow with each other, have many children who will grow up the same way. If there needs to be a will start with me. I want my family back together. If that starts with my children~ fine. I don't want them to have to feel the pain that I feel  when family outright ignores you. It is just not nice.

     That said. I am done complaining about things I can't control. Not a single one of us has control over things. I will concentrate on getting to know the family that I have reconnected with and my half brother who will never know or understand how just knowing I have a brother makes me smile a little brighter. =)

    Family. Wow. Truly a gift from God. Thank you sweet Jesus for my beautiful family, my amazing husband, my parents, my in laws, my super incredibly smart, talented and beautiful children.  Please, don't let me take them for granted...ever.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Review....

     What a week!  I hope that your week was more productive than mine!  When I am feeling yucky it is hard to get motivated to do anything really! What are some ways you keep going when you aren't feeling up to par?

     I wasn't really sick~ just a sore throat that will not go away. One day last week, my blood sugar was acting up. Another day, I was completely congested. Then another day I was just not feeling great...not myself.  Just a bad week. We had many activities to keep us going though....sort of.

     We did make it to writing class though which was a plus. Due to all the illness spreading around, we haven't been in awhile. While it was good to get back to class, I am thinking one more week of no class might not have been a bad idea.

     Friday we had a field trip planned to go see a science type theater show called Mr. Molecule down in Paducah Kentucky. Paducah is a great town with a "big" feel to it. It is also about 50 miles away which isn't too far really.  So, I load up all the kids in the van, we stopped to get drinks and headed down I57.  I actually gave myself plenty of time to get down there....but, 45 minutes later we weren't anywhere close. By this point, I stepped on it a bit....until I saw the river bridge. Ah! Finally, we would be a few minutes late, but at least the end was in sight. I looked at the bridge towering over the trees and thought to myself that this really didn't look like the right bridge...then I saw the "Mississippi River" sign...that really had the gears turning because I was positive that when crossing over into Kentucky that I was supposed to go over the Ohio River. UGH!!! "WELCOME to Missouri!"  Oh my word!  Yes, I took the wrong interstate to go to Paducah, Kentucky and ended up in Missouri, 50 miles or so from where I needed to be. Ugh.
     We made a field trip our of what we could and toured areas of Southern Illinois that we had never even heard of. Urbandale, Future City?  Yeah...interesting.

     Saturday started off with a bang....a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! We had rehearsal. We found out that Dylan has been cast in the adult ensemble...therefore he needs yet ANOTHER costume! The three girls will have three costume changes and our boy will have four.  Dylan will also be in all four shows. Poor kid just wanted to be a wallflower so he can learn about stage direction and how a musical is put together. I guess he will learn! If you want tickets for the show....SEE Jessie or Jill!

     Then it was off to a little girl's birthday party! Whoeee there were a lot of people there! The kids had a good time and I am pretty sure birthday girl Hannah Rose did too! My mind was focused elsewhere though....I really wanted to get to Winter Blast!!

     Winter Blast 2011 was a concert put on by our local Christian station...WBVN. Wow. Epic No Less, Jason Gray, Kerrie Roberts, 33 Miles, and Building 429! Oh yeah...It was an amazing night with friends and with God! Wow.  I think it is so awesome that my kids and Michael and I can listen to the same music, go to the same concert, and actually like it and have a blast!  The music was great, the company was great too. Another cool thing that happened was I got a message on my facebook that said, "If you are sitting in the thrid row on the balcony, turn around."  Ohhhh, weird! was my facebook friend Cindy, that I had never met!! We actually got to meet and so it was REALLY cool! Although we didn't get to talk too much because it was rather loud. 
      Church was fantastic too. I really love my Sunday School kids! PLUS, today was the first day that I taught Kids Own Worship with the new books. Me, being the skeptic that I am thought the kids would not do the books very good. I was wrong and the books were great!  We had some great discussion, even though my voice was a bit raspy because of all the shouting last night at the concert! lol.

     My mother in law is once again in Honduars working with the Forgotten Children Ministries. I would absolutely love it is you would take a look at what FCM does! Here is a link to their website:   
     Please keep my mother in law the others in her missions team, including another church member, Cheryl Ritter, in your prayers! Also, pray for Richie and Lori Womack as they lead the team on the streets of Tegucigalpa as well as the boys and the girls that they are ministering to! It is an amazing ministry...hope you will consider donating or sponsoring!

     Overall, a pretty uneventful week....with a few days of exciting activity! lol. Back to school tomorrow...please pray that my family does not catch the flu that is going around! We have been exposed twice far so good. However, it seems to have a week incubation period. ugh. lol. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Too Religious to homeschool?

Fox News Channel on facebook is showing a video of a story where the courts have just forced a mother to put her daughter back into the public school system. Here is a link to FNC's facebook page showing the video:!/video/video.php?v=707516943320&oid=15704546335&comments

    Basically, mom and dad are divorced and it seems that perhaps the dad doesn't want the daughter homeschooled anymore. The judge in the case said that the mom was "too religious" and has forced the mom to send her daughter to public school.

     This is important to many homeschool families; especially ones that have had to suffer through a divorce. It is very important to understand case law in your state regarding situations of divorce and how it will effect your rights to educate your children at home.
     For instance, in my home state of Illinois, case law reads that decisions are to be made that are in the best interest of the child during a divorce.  What that means is that the judge is going to try to maintain the child's lifestyle and try not to change it.  If a child is educated in the home BEFORE the divorce is filed, there is a good chance that that child will remain home. If the child was in public school and the custodial parent (in a joint parenting agreement) wants to home educate their child, and the other parent does NOT agree...the judge will more than likely rule with the non-custodial parent.

     It is important to know and understand the laws of your state when you want to home educate your children so that you can stay on top of what is and is not expected of you! 

I tried a new mascara.

     Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE make up, perfumes, body mists, lotions, etc. Who doesn't want to feel pretty?  I don't wear make up around the house.  It is unlikely you will ever see me out of the house without it. A few of you have been fortunate. ha!

     I thought it might be kind of fun to do a make up review on the blog too. I'm always trying new stuff because the make up industry is always improving!  I want you to add your reviews too! If you have tried what I have used....give me your opinion too!

    So what am I using right now that I just LOVE?    L'oreal Double Extend Eye Illuminator.
I use the green shade of this mascara because I have green eyes. While black or brown is fine, I like to wear shades of color to bring out my eye color more. The eye immuminator is not, by any means a new concept as Cover Girl and Almay both have products that claim to make eye color pop out. However, what I like so much about this product is the second step in the application.  On the other end of the wand is a small, spikey ball. When you apply the second coat it adds a golden shimmer to the lashes. Although it isn't all that noticeable to most I wear it, I can certainly see the golden shimmers when my eyes hit the light. Awesome!

      The bad part about what L'oreal has done to this product is taken away the primer step which created the sense of full and thick lashes. The illuminator adds a unique color and definitely adds a curl to the lashes but does not create a thicker set of lashes like the original formula.

     So, if you have a good set of lashes and don't need to extend of thicken your lashes, I would recommend this mascara...especially if you aren't scared of a little color!  I have always used Almay mascara either in emerald green or raisin quartz. Both work fabulous...I just like the golden shimmer that this one has to offer.

    If you are a strict brown or black mascara user....try using a color shade sometime! The difference it makes in your eye color is amazing, especially if your eyes are rather dull like mine.

     Hope you all have a wonderful day! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Radical by David Platt

     A couple of nights ago I finished David Platt's challenging book "Radical."  Last September, our pastor handed out a copy to our church's Honduras missions team that just came back...and it intrigued me.

     Unfortunately, it took me several months to read it. While I enjoyed the book just fine, it took me awhile to get into it. However, as I think about the reasons why, it really had nothing to do with the book but rather, I was just so plain tired all the time.  When I finally decided to sit down and just read it...I couldn't put it down!
      This book challenged me to think just how much I would do for Jesus. Would I give up my earthly possessions? Would I give up my family? Would i give up my spouse or my own life? Would I go in the face of danger in the name of Jesus to spread the Gospel message as we are instructed to do?

As I was reading this book, I highlighted some parts that I thought were "WOW" that really made me stop and think. I apologize that I can't give exact locations. I read it on my Kindle.

     ~ Chapter 3...This is how God works, He puts his people in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then He shows His provision in ways that display His greatness.

     ~ Chapter 5...Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell.

    ~Chapter 7...There are no innocent people in the world just waiting to hear the gospel. Instead there are people all over the world standing guilty before a holy God, and that is the very reason they need the gospel.

     Those are just a few selections that I highlighted in this book! I highly recommend this book if you are ready , or if you are not ready, to be shaken up, and radicalized!

Blog: Day two.

     I have been checking out so many blogs the last couple of days. Not that I really have time to do so, however I have been feeling a bit under the weather. I chose to relax and take a couple days of break rather than push myself. We have a lot of activities coming up this weekend that I want to be healthy for!

     So day two has already brought a few changes to my blog.  I am not a tech whiz and i don't claim to be. So, what I am doing is fiddling around with things by trial and error. For instance, I now have tabs on the top of the page!! This is a huge feat for me because I was about to ask for help, but decided to check out the widget for "stand alone pages" were first!  Sure enough, I now have tabs! I have only added a post to the "about me" post so far.  I do have a spot where I will post things about curriculum, recipes, and homeschool in general!

      Also new today is the fact that I figured out how to add "HTML" to my blog! lol.  I wasn't connecting widgets with all of these awesome blogs that I see. I am so glad that I have finally figured this stuff out so that I can have a normal blog! I am excited to make this little spot of my internet into a place where I can share all of my experiences with all of you!

     I did try to join the Hip Homeschool Hop today. However, I am not sure how to do that yet. Unfortunately, it is only available to join on Tuesdays, so my time is limited! I have added the button...then I am suppoed to link up to facebook and twitter, or something. I don't know! Time to do some research or ask my buddy Joy for help!!!

     I hope everyone sticks around and while you are at it....follow me on my family's journey! If you have a google account it is really easy and just hit the "follow me" tab.  I promise that this will not be ALL about one topic. I love many things homeschool, politics, entertainment, current events, marriage, family, traveling....the list goes on and on! That is where my title came from: "Life on the Bend."  I live on a road with the word "bend" in it....Topics that I blog about will be many, but they will all boil down to my life, at home!

Love to you all! Hope my followers from "Happyness" make it over here! Now....I need to figure out how to get on the Hop!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Fresh Start....

     Don't ask me why I needed a new blog. It really isn't going to be any different than the last one outside of a new title and look.  I don't even know exactly what to do with a blog. I think I finally have the look I want after a few hours of work.  I also decided on a new email address and couldn't figure out how to do all of the switching and since my last one wasn't used very much....why not have a new blog?

     A little bit about me, without going overboard: I am a Christian. I do my best to live my life as God would want me to. I spent my early twenties attempting to tell God how I was going to live my life.  I have spent the rest of my adult years trying to do the opposite. I pray very often and over everything!What made me turn my life back towards God?  I will share that around February 27 on a very special day! God has worked amazing things out in my life...and He will yours too, if you let Him!

     I am a wife to my Prince Charming who saved me from so much! Nobody but God could have put us together! He works very hard so that I can stay at home with our five children~ four of which are home educated.  I have one boy, age 11, and four girls that are 10, 6, 4, and 1.  We live on a small 43 acre farm in Southern Illinois next door to my in laws. Yes, I get along with my in laws! lol. I think Michael's father said that our children are the fifth generations on this land.  We are currently in the middle of rehabbing Michael's grandmother's house and hope to be in there shortly. Pray!

     My self personally, I was born in a suburb of Chicago and was raised there until I was nine. Then my dad, mom and I moved to Southeast Iowa and lived in my Great-Grandmother's house who had passed away.  I have wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I could remember...however, God had other plans for my life and that is fine. I enjoy singing, reading, playing my organ and clarinet, history, politics, shopping, flagging, and learning new things! I grew up in a very New Testament church, and I am just now learning Old Testament things! Very cool! I do not like doing dishes or the laundry.

     I really love to do genealogy as well.  My mother's side of the family is complete through 1737 and is traced to England. My ancestors that came to the US, later became Mormons. I did not grow up as a Mormon as my great-grandmother left the church when she married outside of their religion. My biological father's side was from Poland and was Jewish. I have them traced to 1708.  There are many stories that I am uncovering from that side!  My step father (who I will always call dad) is from Watford, Ontario, Canada. His father died when my dad was twelve. Shortly after they moved south to the US with my grandmother. My dad, aunts, and uncle grew up in a place called Mooseheart in Northern Illinois.

     That is my life in a nutshell! Now tell me you didn't want to know all of that!?!