Baby Kermit

It’s time for me to tell you all about the youngest of the bunch. Baby Kermit is definitely the baby. All the kids give him special treatment. And he seems to get his way a lot.  We have easily recognized that he is a funny mixture of Jem and Duke. Most like Jem because when he’s mad he goes silent. He doesn’t want to tell you whats wrong he just wants you to make him happy again. He’s like Duke in the way that Duke has to speak up for himself because he has big sisters and Baby Kermit has to speak up for himself because hes the youngest. He seems to have a special bond with all of his siblings. I can’t exactly explain it myself but it’s more than just being the baby.

Pooh is definitely his best friend. They spend a lot of time together and are sometimes inseparable.They also like to get into a lot of trouble together. I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to being a mom but I don’t know anymore on most days. When you put Pooh and baby Kermit together I question everything I ever knew about being sane and taking care of six kiddos.

I’m happy to say that he has finally started growing into being a preschooler. He is happily eating most of his food now. He loves to look at books and have Jem or Bubbles read to him.  He loves to build with blocks or Legos and play with trains. Is it wrong that I think he’s the cutest out of the bunch? He takes the whole baby thing to a whole new level. Most days you won’t find him more than 5 feet from me. If he’s more than 5 feet away from me he comes and checks on me or checks in ever so often. I don’t know if he’s afraid I’m going somewhere or if he just doesn’t want to be out of reach of mom.

I didn’t expect to have a number six but I’m glad that I did. I think my life would be pretty boring without Baby Kermit. He keeps the days a lot more interesting. He knows just how to get into the right amount of things to make me want to quit. But in the same instance he will tell me that I’m his best friend and he loves me. He is a good reminder for me that when you think you might be in control God takes over and gives you another little person to make your heart fill full. I think being number six makes him loved the most. I cant wait to see him continue to grow and learn to be who hes meant to be.

 

Why Essential Oils?

It’s that time of year again. The time when everyone starts fighting the coughs, runny noses, blues and fevers. Several years ago I figured out how useless cough medicine really is. Bubbles had a really bad case of Croup. It was so bad that we took an ambulance ride to the hospital. When you are doing everything the doctor says and your little one still cant breath you get pretty desperate to find something to avoid ER visits. I was willing to try anything to avoid another Steroid treatment on the then 3-4 yr old Bubbles. That’s when a friend from church told me about Young Living Essential Oils. She told me stories about how well oils had worked for her kiddos in the past. A long story short Bubbles never made another trip to the ER and I changed the way I treated the kids for colds, flus, and sore throats. The reality that a natural product worked so well blew my mind. I would like to take the time to tell you about the oils that have worked for me. I will say I haven’t noticed a difference in how well one brand works over another. I am just glad that these oils are available to purchase and can be easily purchased through Amazon or someone who sells DoTerra or Young Living Essential Oils. 

1. Thieves

Coughs/Congestion: Use olive oil as a carrier to spread the oil more easily and to make a little go a long way. Apply a little olive oil to the chest and back then apply a drop or 2 of Thieves. Make sure to spread the Thieves. I like to do this at least twice a day especially before bed. It minimizes the amount of coughs in the night. 

Ear infection: put a couple drops of Thieves oil on a cotton ball and place into ear. It may sting a little at first but it will subside and do it’s job. 

2. Lavender 

Coughs/Congetion: Lavendar can be applied the same as the Thieves to the back and chest. Another method that works is a Lavender bath. 10 drops of lavendar for every gallon of water. It’s really good to breath in the oil. The great thing is that its okay if the lavendar oil water is drunk. The Lavender oil is diluted and will not hurt anyone. I mention this because little people tend to drink (yuck) bath water. 

3. Peppermint

Migraines: apply a drop or two of Peppermint oil to your finger and rub onto your temples. Then apply one or two more drops to your finger and onto the back of your head and neck. 

4. Orange

Stress/Anxiety : apply a few drops of Orange oil to the inside of your wrists and rub in. Bring wrist to nose and smell periodically. 

If you have any questions about Essential Oils find a local person who sells Young Living Essential Oils or DoTerra. I am sure they will be willing to answer questions and maybe even send samples.  Have a Happy and Healthy Week! Stay Well! 

Why I will be cutting back on Facebook ALOT 

I do my best to not over share or vent about anything specific. I try to post good messages, prayers, positive quotes, share events, and pictures. I use it to network and help other people with homeschooling, encouragement, and recipes. For some reason I need Facebook to feel connected to other Catholic Homeschool Moms, lovers of Art, Hoomans, and the Air Force. 

I have done my best not to start any lynch mobs. Have you ever heard the term lynch mob? Not sure? Ok I say man I hate that song Friday. Two people agree, one person comments: it’s the worst song ever, another says I actually like that song and in an instant the lynch mob begins. They chastize the poor person until they feel so low that they cry. This is Facebook. It has happened once or twice with me quickly realizing what kind of person does this make me? Why would I want to hurt someone like that?  

When you are at your lowest it hurts to check out a friends page to see they specifically singled you out. Of course without using your name. When did we start allowing Facebook to dictate our friendships?I tend to do my best to resolve problems in a friendship/relationship slowly. I like to give the Holy Spirit and my Guardian Angel some time to lead me in the right direction. I need time to breath in order to keep myself from saying all the awful things you want to say to me. I need time to process and consider what the words I express will mean. Facebook is not the place for this. Facebook gives people the opportunity to throw something out there in the heat of anger. It gives little to no room to erase the things you said while mad. It makes room for Facebook to end a friendship/relationship. I’m not saying Facebook is bad in itself. I’m saying that there’s too large of a percentage of the time that the Devil rules Facebook.  

I love that you can share pictures of what your family has been up to with family and friends that live far away. It has given me the opportunity to share lots of great homeschool info. It has also allowed me to connect and reconnect with friends I knew long ago or just met. Besides the whole friend thing that’s the reason I created my blog. My blog is here to share the many adventures, interests, and pictures. I have decided that I will better spend my time away from Facebook. I will better serve my friendships/ relationships with phone calls, personal emails, letters, or texts. It will allow me to spend more time writing blog posts and less time stressing. The biggest reason being the kids. Facebook causes me so much anxiety and stress and I know they see that. This is the best time to reformat my Facebook page and spend weeks if not months away from it. Advent starts soon and I plan to spend my time enjoying my time with Jesus and Mary, my family, friends, cat, board games, video games and other hobbies. Today is a perfect day to make better descions for the future. 

Oregon Trail Card Game 

To review a card game, I first have to go back in time to give context.
I feel like an old man saying this, but growing up in the ‘80s was a different time. The Internet as we know it was science fiction, video game home consoles was a recent phenomenon, and the personal computer revolution was in its infancy. Steve Jobs playing the long game realized to speed up the adoption of PCs children would need exposure sooner than later. A program started in Minnesota and California, later spread across the nation resulting in an Apple II computer in every classroom in America. Schools, of course, purchased “educational” games such as Odell Lake, Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego, Number Munchers, and for us living on the Canadian border, Cross-country Canada. You can ask anybody my age what was their first computer game, and repeatedly you’ll hear one game, the legend, the immortal, “The Oregon Trail”.

On initial glance, the sales pitch for “The Oregon Trail” doesn’t seem like something children would get excited over. You play pioneers in 1847 leaving Independence, Missouri, struggling to make it to the Willamette River Valley in Oregon before the onset of winter. Many games from the era were simplistic, one screen arcade games that often were endless with increasing difficulty meant you losing was inevitable, e.g., Asteroids, Pac-Man, Frogger. In comparison, “The Oregon Trail” had a stated start and an achievable end goal. But, even greater was the multitude of choices presented, and decisions made early in the game could come back later to haunt you. Difficulty was presented as choosing a profession; the banker had more money and thus could purchase a greater amount of starting supplies, but the farmer would earn more points given their financial handicap. Then you had to decide when to leave; leaving early meant greater time to reach Oregon at the cost of less grass for the oxen, but leaving later meant better weather conditions but less time to reach Oregon. Then you had to purchase supplies: food, clothes, ammunition, spare wagon parts, and oxen. Then there was more choices that could be changed throughout the game, rations and pace, choosing between health or preserving food supplies/increased distance on the trail. There was more choices about when to rest, when to purchase new supplies, when to hunt, how to cross a river, etc. Ominously, as the journey progressed, party members deteriorated in health, succumbing to typhoid, dysentery, snakebites, or drowning during a failed river crossing. Subsequent playthroughs meant coming across the tombstones of previous failed expeditions. Grim stuff for a second grader.

Fast forward three decades to “The Oregon Trail Card Game”. Deceptively, the back of box presents “choices” for the players to make, two of which aren’t in the game, stopping to rest, and choosing who dies of dysentery. In the box is a dry erase marker and a laminated board, one side for party member names, and the other side TBD tombstones. There’s a custom, six-sided die with pixelated numbers. And, filling out the card component is 58 trail cards, 32 calamity cards, and 26 supply cards. Ostensibly, winning the game means playing 50 of the 58 trail cards. Thus the difficulty of the game is not a calculated choice over starting income, supplies selection, and starting month, but a random draw from a limited pool with only a 14% variance. Players get a random draw of supplies, the card count based simply on the number of players. The only way to obtain more supply cards is hopeful draw of the two towns or two forts in the entire trail pool. Two supply cards can be traded for a particular supply, but it’s a costly, desperate move given the practical irreplaceable of supply cards. Trail card differences are limited: simple paths, river fords that rely on even/odd results of crossing, but the large majority calls for drawing a calamity card. To remove a calamity, e.g., extreme cold, cholera, etc takes a supply card or two. You can leave them in play, but drawing another one either means death for one party member, or death for the entire party. Some of the cards are instant death, e.g., snake bite, dysentery, which can be frustrating as its random draw from the pile. In some games we played, all players except one were taken out early in the game. Besides erasing their name from the board, and writing their tombstone epithet, dead players only have one final action in the game, to “will” two of their supply cards to other players, and any remaining are lost. Ultimately, instead of players making tough pioneer choices, they are merely bystanders to chance on the trail to Oregon. It’s sad given the potential, but the card game isn’t well thought out, and comes off as a simple cash grab preying on nostalgia.

-George