Christmas in July: Used Books from Amazon


  • Becoming a Father by William Sears (Reading this for work.)
  • Bubby’s Homemade Pies by Ron Silver and Jen Bervin (I had borrowed it from the library until I could no longer renew… love this comprehensive book on pies!)
  • The Yellow Pages Guide to Educational Field Trips (updated from Everything from A-Z Field Trips) by Gregg Harris (Homeschooling resource for the field trip group I am forming.)
  • Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family by Kim Brenneman (Need I explain?)
  • Takin’ Five and Thinking About Living in a Shipping Container House

    I have a lot on my mind at the moment and not enough time to write down my thoughts!

    Here are some random tidbits :

    As of the last day of May, 2010, I am no longer in my 20s.

    This week, I decided to color my hair not just for the sake of something new and wild (like pink highlights) but to color gray! I used an awesome organic haircolor called Organic Color Systems which I found through my friend Robyn at Shear Miracles.

    One of my conversations with fellow blogger Megan Dunham at HalfPintHouse was quoted at World Magazine online!

    Our time in Japan is just about up! I will miss the karate dojo where my children and I have been practicing Shotokan karate, the lush green plant life, our close proximity to the sea, and the peaceful lifestyle of not having to lock our doors. Details forthcoming as they solidify.

    Currently, I am…

    -Working on my full accreditation through the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth… over 100 essay questions!

    -Eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Veritas Press homeschooling curriculum for the 2010-2011 school year! Micah is officially starting school this year, although we’ve been working on his reading and math skills these past two years ;)

    -Preparing for our upcoming month-long home leave to the US, just a few weeks away!

    -Researching housing made out of storage containers (We are considering building our own house when we move back to the US!)

    Check out these links on storage container housing:

    The Cordell House – Numen Development (Model we like best so far!)

    Shipping Container Housing Guide

    Qwik House

    Intermodal Steel Building Units and Container Homes


    What do you think? Could you live in a house built of shipping containers? Why does or doesn’t it appeal to you? What features would you want included in your home?

    … and now, I will fall into my bed and hopefully sleep through the night without anyone tearfully sleep-walking into my room or mistaking my stack of cloth grocery bags in the foyer for a potty!

    Quote: Roger Ebert’s Tweet on Breasts

    Gustav Klimt : The Three Ages of Woman (detail)

    “Am I odd? Cleavage doesn’t awaken my feelings of lust, but those of the hope to be comforted. Cleavage. It speaks to us from the time before memory of love, comfort, warmth, softness and food. Cleavage. Oh yes. Cleavage.” – Roger Ebert, via Twitter. (Tweet #1) (Tweet #2)

    This is a beautiful quote describing the nurturing aspect of breasts! (Did you know the word nurture and nursing have the same Latin root, nutritus?) I’m making a note of this quote for the next time I teach on breastfeeding during my Bradley Method natural childbirth classes.

    Reminds me of the feeling of peace and comfort captured in Isaiah 66:11-13 :

    For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance. For this is what the LORD says:

    “I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream;
    you will nurse and be carried on her arm
    and dandled on her knees.

    As a mother comforts her child,
    so will I comfort you;
    and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

    As we see here, the Creator even uses breasts in an analogy, demonstrating that He knows and cares how we humans think, feel and function, and that such wording would resonates within us with understanding. I can’t even think of a clearer metaphor, can you?

    God made breasts. God made the warm fuzzy feelings of both desire and comfort that humans naturally associate with breasts. He made these feelings work together to form a loving bond – between mothers and babies, and between husbands and wives.

    Praise Him!

    As Christians, let’s not be embarrassed to tastefully mention breasts, m’kay?

    By the way, Klimt is one of my favorite painters. A large print of Mother and Child (detail from The Three Ages of Woman), used to hang in my living room back home, just above the rocking chair where I would often sit and nurse my babies.

    (HT to @clergygir1, my Twitter friend Jen, who is a breast cancer survivor, for ReTweeting this! Please check out her encouragement-filled blog, Clergygirl : Waving a flashlight through the murkiness of life.)

    Your Birth Plan: Tips to Ensure It Is Followed

    There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to create a birth plan, for the health benefit of you and your baby, only to have it ignored or disregarded. In the book Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way, Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg offers the following tips, found in chapter four “How to Choose Your Doctor”:

  • Make a detailed list in the order that is important to you.
  • If there is more than one doctor in a practice, try to see a different doctor and review your plan with each of them.
  • Memorize your list.
  • Have the doctor write your requests on your chart – the doctor is more likely to remember when they play an active role in getting your requests down. On later visits, ask the doctor to read what was previously written on your chart. This confirms previous agreements and gets the new doctor actively involved in seeing that your birth turns out the way you want.
  • About three weeks prior to delivery, hand over your written list and see that it is attached to your chart.
  • Take copies with you to the birth in case your requests are “misplaced”.
  • Bring a supportive person, in addition to your coach, with you to the hospital when the big day comes. This person’s function is not so much to intercede on your behalf as to simply be there for moral support as you deal with any situations that may come up.
  • Even if your plan is conveyed clearly, still be ready to decline any procedure that is objectionable to you.
  • Remember: Being judicious when choosing your OBGYN, and seeking out one who understands the importance of a natural birth in the first place, will greatly increase the chances of having your requests met. This way, your natural birth will not come only as the result of winning an uphill battle with your doctor during labor and delivery.

    An OBGYN who shares your same philosophy will not accidentally begin an unnecessary medical intervention because it would not be habit for them to do so routinely. Choose a doctor who will be on the same page and things will go much smoother for everyone in the delivery room.

    Parents Come In Pairs

    I’m reading the Husband-Coached Childbirth for my Teacher Training Class. (Lots of homework due, so little time!)

    The book is excellent for anyone who is preparing to give birth or who has an interest in the topic of natural birth.

    Here’s a memorable quote from chapter 7, “The Coach’s Training Rules”:

    “Parents come in pairs. If you think the only task you have as a parent is to get your wife pregnant, you’re going to be like the farmer who thinks all there is to farming is planting seeds. You will harvest only the weeds of resentment to your passivity. You are poorly prepared for parenthood and have yet to recognize your responsibilities….

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but don’t kid yourself, the hand that rocks the cradle still rules the world, and always will. Motherly women and fatherly men acting as wholesome symbols of strength and righteousness in a family setting of mutual love and respect continue to be essential to progress in any civilization.

    The reaction your wife has to her pregnancy and the birth of your child will reflect on the relationship between mother and child forever after. Will she look upon childbearing as a horrifying ordeal that ruined her figure and seared her soul? … Or, will she joyfully share with you even the little nuisances involved and thank you for getting her pregnant and bless her God for the privilege of being a woman and of giving birth?…

    You are going to live with this woman “until death do us part.” How rich, full and meaningful that life will be is very much dependent upon your ability as a participant in parenthood.
    This does not exclude but takes precedence over the golf games, pool hall, poker game, CD player, computer, etc. Lets get on with it.”

    (Preach it, brother!) :)