Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit our family blog.
This blog was originally created to post updates on our newborn daughter, which was 4 years ago. God has started using this blog as a ministry and outreach plus a way to record the journey that God is allowing our family to live.
To Our Lord, may He get the Glory and Honor!

Blessings from Shandee

Update: We have been led to further sharing our online journey with posts from the entire family. What started out as a simple blogging journey from a Mother & Wife's perspective has blossomed into a family journey. We now welcome you to The Childress Family Blog.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Hannah's 4month Diagnosis Progress

I can't believe that nearly 4 months have passed since my precious child was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes...She's doing okay. The Lantus is really working better than the Levamir and I am excited about that.

Meal planning, blood sugar checks, snacks and strict meal times are all in place along with insulin.
It's all part of the routine now.  If someone had told me that Hannah would be giving herself insulin and taking her blood sugar on the 3rd month of diagnosis, I would have said there is no way.
I am praying and believing for a miracle because I cannot imagine any child having to deal with this illness and needles for the rest of their life.
 As long as we don't get far off schedule or hit with illness, we are doing very good with giving her insulin and blood sugar checks.  Routine and consistency are what gets us through the day. Most days we are home and that is a tremendous help in order to keep us all going in the same direction and consistent.

Unfortunate. Sad. Disappointing. Frustrating.
But thankful.
Thankful, she was able to come home from Children's Hospital in TN. I can't tell you how hard it was to see her bed empty. Her presence to be gone from this home was horrible. For nearly a week, she was away. I cannot tell you how blessed and rested I felt once she arrived home and we all were back together as a family even though our lives would change forever. My heart goes out to the families that have lost their babies and children. Only God can be your strength.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Amazon Diaper Deals

I would highly suggest  looking into  joining Amazon Mom.  It is a free program that allows you to save  around 15% off listed prices in the baby section. In addition, if you select the SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE option, you will receive around another 20-30% off. You can cancel this deal anytime.  With either of those programs, you can qualify for FREE shipping. You can see the details on Amazon for that information.In addition to that, you can enter a PROMO code in the checkout section from a card that was included in Parenting magazine. Last month, I had a 20% off and maybe a 30% off code that I used to purchase the pullups that I listed several weeks ago. This past month, I received a $10 off coupon in Parenting magazine. (Note: if I have given you one of the free baby magazine cards, fill it out, mail it in, and you will get these magazine subscriptions. I do not suggest keeping them, but tossing them after you snatch your coupon. If you would like a free subscription card, I have a few more to give away, so email me and I'd be happy to get it to you.)

 I am saving some great money on diapers these days being shipped to my door.

(note: I am receiving no compensation from this post, only passing along some good Mommy saving-tips.)

Amazon Deals

I got this box of 720 count wipes shipped to my door for $2.50 from Amazon.com!
This is my deal of the week found on hip2save.com.

Friday, January 28, 2011


We are having some guests visit with us this weekend that was not really planned so I'll be offline hosting instead of blogging ;-)

Be back really soon!

I promise to get the fun pictures up this weekend!

For the girls, I see improvement today with those that were still ill, ears were really hurting them badly and I took the baby for a visit today. Medicine has really helped them feel better, thanks for checking on them and praying!

Blessings, Shandee

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A note from School Today

Written by my kindergartner who says she signed her name in cursive, but she's just learning to print manuscript ;-)

It is absolutely AMAZING to me that God uses homeschooling to speak to ME!  I am so unworthy.

(my adventurous preschooler's desk who is ever-moving, challenging me, growing me, as I teach)

Stopping In

Stopping in to update. We are okay, we're battling ear infections and asthma from the illness my girls have. I learned something at our visit this week about kids with asthma. After speaking with our dr. about the girls getting sick so often, she assured me there was nothing I was doing wrong. She did explain to me that children with asthma get sick much easier and it lasts much longer causing deeper infections and breathing issues. That explains a lot to me about the girl's health.
The baby is feeling worse so I need to get her to the dr.
Thanks for praying and checking.

Love, Shandee

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Morning

I know several are checking in on us this morning, thank you.

We made it through the night with some ill kids waking, but the word says that Joy Comes In The Morning and we are thankful for daylight.  All are up moving about. Hannah is not wanting to eat, but I"m offering anything so we can give insulin.

I might be away from blogging to care for my family, so if I don't update, just know things are the same. If there are changes, I will update.

As soon as we are doing better, I"ll be back regularly. I have a birthday to plan and shop for, too!!!

Keep checking back because we have some really fun things to share.

Love, Shandee

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Info.

Not sure what is going on...Hannah just threw up. I think it's like her sister, from drainage?
She stopped, but she requires higher alarm with  diabetes.
Not sure...but I do know that when we see the specialist this week, I have one question for her: Why have my children been repeatedly sick month after month since May 2010?
Not to mention, all the other attacks we have faced within the 8 past months...the Lord is really equipping me for something here, that's all I know.

This Week

Whew, I have not been able to get on here until now to blog.

All of this is just because of a virus/cold symptoms with the children. No stomach virus, praise the Lord!

What happened:

Saturday night: the drainage caused Sophia to gag and keep throwing up. It seems that when she has drainage and congestion that she is prone to this. She continued  through the night. By morning, it was over, but the stuffiness and drainage still bothers her. She's just fighting cold symptoms now.
Then the baby started crying and waking shortly after I blogged on Saturday/Sunday morning at 12:30. She was up alnight. I could not believe it so I figured it was her ears hurting. She could not get settled, she just kept crying uncontrollably. We were up with her alnight till 5:30 a.m. I kept praying asking the Lord that she could settle. She did not throw up, just was very stuffy and feeling very ill despite what medicine I gave her or how I tryed to soothe her. That is the first time in 10 years that as a mom, my child has kept me up alnight long! Needless to say, we did not make it to church. I took her to Urgent Care and she was diagnosed with a virus and no ear infection. Rick and I thought back and she might have been hungry because we did not have a snack that night.  It was probably just a lot of different things.
The 3 other girls have cold symptoms as well. My 2nd daughter, who recently had pneumonia, is having trouble with her coughing causing her asthma to flare very badly.

We have scheduled specialist appointments this week for the 4 oldest and it turned out their appointment couldn't have been at a better time. They can get a check-up plus a sick visit in one visit which saves co-pays.  We're really having a difficult time managing the 2nd daughter's asthma this winter.

Thanks for checking in on us and for praying.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


As we sit here in the dark, Rick on the couch with Sophia and myself in the glider, I ask myself, "Why?"

Why is it that every time that Rick and I plan or have time together alone that we are attacked. We jokingly often look at each other and say, "this is our punishment."  Truly, it is not a joke.

We just had a quiet dinner alone Thursday evening. Tonight, we have 3 out of 5 kids sick. One has been throwing up on and off for hours.  The other two just wake coughing and the baby crying.  Right now, we're praying for Sophia to rest so we can rest.

The last time we had a date, we came home and one of the children was very ill. We wondered if it was a stomach bug and it turns out it was the natural sweetener, xylitol that made her sick.

Back in September, my beloved celebrated his birthday and all he ever asks for his gift from me is my time. I planned to give him time. A night away and even though we planned to take the baby, it still would have been a peaceful night because she would have rested early because the other girls would not have been with her with all their excitement. I wrote a note, placed it in a box, and gift-wrapped it. Inside,  hand-written note said, " A night away with me on September____(can't remember the date.) That was going to be his present from me. Two days away from that night, one of our daughters was sent to the hospital an hour and half away, admitted for about one week, and later sent to a specialist in Knoxville for the treatment of Juvenile Diabetes.

So, I ask, WHY?  Why is it that every time we try to spend time together that we are attacked? Time for us alone is rare and when we do take that time we are attacked.I don't know what to do about it except pray. It makes me angry. I rebuke these attacks in the name of Jesus.

It's looking like we can't go to church tomorrow unless everyone wakes up feeling great. Please pray that they do. They had asked to get dinner out tonight and we agreed that we could tomorrow after church and bring it home. Now, they may not even feel like it or enjoy it.

I know if you have taken time to read  this far, that you love us and pray for us. Bless you and thank you. Goodnight-I hope ;-)

Love, Shandee

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Books We are Now Reading

Note:  I"m researching websites for addt'l activities on these books and will be sure to post later.

2nd Grade from Sonlight's Core
So far, my 2nd grader is loving the adventures of Homer Price

5th Grade from Sonlight's Core
At this point, my daughter is not liking the book. She prefers more family-style stories such as All of A Kind Family.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Hey to anyone reading this.

It's a quiet time here.

Sounds like all the girls are in sleepy land and I think my husband drifted off with them as he usually does. Winter seems to make it worse. Darkness, stillness, cold, and snow = good combinations for falling asleep early. He gives me a gift of helping them settle in and they have special requests that only Daddy can lovingly give them. Snuggles, backrubs, and just laying there. He is so patient to do that for them and they really look forward to that time.

It has been a hard week. Not sure why, but it's been a trying and tiresome week. I'm glad it's Friday and I"m glad we're all home together. I"m really hoping to get some organization and decluttering taken care of tomorrow because it is driving me bonkers to not be able to walk through the laundry room. I've had rugs from the kitchen taken up for 3 days now hoping to get the floor mopped and it has not happened yet. Hopefully tomorrow when I will not be working with school.

Anyone know the best time in the winter to do shopping? When it is cold, I really don't like getting the girls out unnecessarily to go to the store to shop. We don't want it to run into school hours and after school is too late. We've never really found a good time to do the winter grocery and household shopping. Any ideas that work for your larger family with many small children?

Don't forget to keep checking back, we have a really fun photo coming up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Free Samples

Gotta Love them!

I can't even remember signing up for this one, but I got it in mail from Procter&Gamble today.
Go Here

to sign up for your free samples today!

Doing the Right Thing

Today was our morning exercise class and we have returned from that and now having quiet time before heading to schoolwork. The past couple of days have been challenging with behavior and attitudes for some of my girls. Am I embarassed to say so? Yes, of course I am. Are they perfect? No, they are not. Am I perfect? No, I am not. We all make mistakes, that is because we are human. Jesus was sent here to show us a glorifying example to walk in the truth and way so that is what we all strive for as Christians until we get to meet our Lord. I"m trying to teach my younger girls that very thing.

I was a strong mother today. I felt like crying and melting down myself, but I held it together. Today, there were conflicts among a group of young children and several of mine were involved.
It was over a shiny gray and pink soccer ball. Can you believe over a soccer ball? There were a few that were being left out and I told my daughter that no one is left out in our family no matter the age. She stubbornly agreed to share the ball by angrily tossing it towards her sister and myself. I told her for that action, we will leave. And we did. A crying infant, a crying 6 year old hiding her face in her big, pink, puffy jacket along with three other disappointed siblings. Was it hard to leave? You bet! Did I want to make the obedient ones leave? No way! But, I had to because I couldn't leave them there without me. We were the first ones in the group to leave. I felt so sad in my heart and wanted to desperately say, "Okay girls, we can stay." I couldn't because if I did, then my disobedient daughter would have known that she could act any way that she wanted next exercise class and no matter how she acted, then Mommy would still let her stay because Mommy would not make them leave.

People often say, "they are so well-behaved, how do you do it?" Today was one of those tough lessons my daughter had to learn. You see, the next time we are at exercise class or even working at home, my daughter will know that when Mommy says something she means it and it is no joke or threat. That my yes means yes and my no means no. The Bible clearly tells us that in scripture. "Yes be yes" in the Bible: Matthew 5:37
Jesus tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. He wants us to tell the truth directly and succinctly, avoiding lying or half-truths when letting our yes be yes would suffice.

I am still sad that we had to leave early today, but in my heart I knew that I did the right thing and my daughter will be a more disciplined less selfish child. It taught her that there are consequences that will be followed up for bad actions and that will be an important lesson in her adult life if she is ever tempted to do something wrong. Letting children have their way only teaches them to be selfish. Unfortunately, I had to be the one enforcing it, but the lesson of teaching her obedience will produce much good fruit in the future.

Enjoy the path of parenting. God has chosen us to do a hard work, don't grow weary even during exercise class ;-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walmart Valentine's Deal

Get 2 heart boxes of M&M's for 50cents!

Print the coupon here: www.coupons.com

Clip and print coupon that says: $1.00 OFFMARS SeasonalOn Any 2 MARS Valentine's Day Products.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Local Savings

Whew, it has been a very busy day today!

It was great shopping with the girls after school today, one lady commented that I have a line of kids. Yes, that's one way to look at it and another commented, "Wow, this is a family affair." Remember my previous post about being with your children? It was a precious sight, I feel like we were famous stars when we went out, with all the looks and questions we get. Who would have thought that God would have chose me to be a mommy of a large family?! What an honor!

School, music lesson and shopping to save some $

Which brings me to listing a few clubs that are local that would be helpful if you are a parent.

1. Food City! Food City is really great to kids!
Be sure to sign your cuties up for The Kids Club at Customer Service to get freebies throughout the year. Also, each child gets a free cookie per visit and in the Video Dept. you can stop by for a mini-cup of popcorn. This was my girl's afternoon snack today-free. I didn't have to prepare it or clean it up either, not bad ;-) Note: The girls did pack cups of water before we left so they would have a drink. Food City does charge for the cups of water.
Right now at Food City Pharmacy, you can get a free adult flu shot voucher for a new or transferred prescription.

2. Local Banks-Use the Teller Line to get free lollipops for each child.
Check with your bank to see if it has a great rewards program that is free for customers.
Link your cards and get free gifts or prizes. I like to redeem ours for free gift cards and give them as gifts. One of the girls gave their Daddy a Subway card for Christmas that costed us no money. Simply use your card as credit and start earning points for shopping you are already doing! Contact your local branch bank to see if they participate.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fruit of Labor

One of the reasons I choose to homeschool is to teach them God's ways because I know they cannot get that in public school unless they have a Christian teacher willing to step out and speak the word. Is there law against that? I don't know, but I do know I can tell them all the bible stories that I want here at home.

I love teaching my children about a good heart and how good fruit comes from a good heart.

When we went to Knoxville, I saw a note that one my daughter's made for the cleaning lady in our hotel room. I selfishly wanted to take it, but the Lord impressed to me that the person finding this note needed it. Thanks to my sweet daughter to ministering. Love you, sweet young lady of a good heart and gift of art and words!

Reasons NOT to put your child in Preschool

As my adorably cute and very rowdy toddler is growing, I am thinking more and more about preschool. Although I would not choose public preschool as an option, I am researching why parents choose to do this so I thought I would post some great information for those seeking(found from this link):
Reasons Why NOT to Put Your Child in Preschool
By Kathy Lowers
"Many parents these days are putting their children in preschool in the mistaken belief that the sooner their young ones are institutionalized, the better. While some parents are forced by circumstance to put their children in the care of others during the day, many are doing so as the result of being influenced by the propaganda of the universal preschool lobby.

In targeted advertising campaigns, news reports and parenting magazines, preschool is being touted as the best place for children to spend their day. Families are being inundated with the message that if they do not separate from even their babies, their children will suffer dire consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, there is no evidence that healthy children from healthy homes benefit from preschool at all. Furthermore, the research shows that there are no long-lasting benefits to preschool even for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Studies have shown more advanced developmental skills and greater empathy in children who stay home with mom, while increased aggression and sadness occur in those who spend the day away from their mothers.

What we are seeing is a massive push to divide families, to have most American children raised by strangers in institutions. Digging through the web pages of the universal preschool advocates soon reveals their perverted goal -- to foist mandatory, state-funded preschool on all states, for all children, from infancy. Christians need to believe the Bible and what has worked from the beginning - God's divine design of having MOTHERS nurture their own babies, toddlers, preschoolers and older children in a loving Christian home, full-time. God created the family as the vehicle for taking care of all a child's needs.

Those who intend on homeschooling need to understand that homeschooling begins at birth, so they should not put their children in preschool while they wait for the child to attain compulsory education age.

Corralling kids together in institutional preschools is no different than putting them in public school - in fact, it is even worse, as these formative years are when the child's spiritual, emotional and academic foundations are being set. Parents CAN teach preschool at home - and do a much better job than any institution! If you are a loving Christian mother who can provide a safe and wholesome home for your children - then with YOU is where your precious children need to be. Trust Jesus to give you the wisdom you need to raise your own young!

Please consider these reasons why not to place a child in a day care or preschool:

1. Preschool promotes inconsistent discipline
Children need consistent, biblical discipline. Preschool divides a child's heart between two sets of rules, two authorities -- preschool and home. Preschool workers do not have a vested, eternal interest in raising up your child. And, they miss a lot of bad behavior because God never intended one unrelated adult to oversee many kids of the same age at the same time.

For those who remain unconvinced, try "the 30 second test" -- watch children playing outside in a preschool yard. Within seconds you will see many instances of gross bullying and other dysfunctions -- and the child care workers are too overwhelmed to notice or to care. After all, it takes a lot of energy and staff time to monitor so many children per adult and to keep the wild ones in "time outs" -- energy and time they do not have.

In contrast, a husband and wife will work out one set of rules for the household and have their children adhere to those rules no matter what time of day. Discipline at home is given by the same person, with the same values, and by someone who is intent on shaping the children's behavior, not just to keep the peace for the moment.

2. Preschool undermines the child-parent bond
A child has tremendous spiritual, emotional, physical and learning needs from babyhood on -- that are best met by someone who has an eternal, loving interest in them.

Children need to try out their verbal skills one-on-one with an interested adult who knows and cherishes them, to safely ask all kinds of questions, to get sincere praise for the little accomplishments they have throughout the day, to get loving Biblical discipline, to get their basic needs met by someone who cares tremendously, and to get kisses and hugs every hour from their mommy, not a stranger.

Parents are told that children will "get over" their despair and pain at being left by mom in a preschool each day, but they won't get over it -- they will just "get over" trusting mom.

3. Preschool undermines sibling bonding
When you child is grown, they will not remember their "preschool friends" -- it is their brothers and sisters whom they will call when they need help -- if they forged a strong bond in childhood. Preschool artificially separates siblings from each other, depriving them of the quality family time they need to learn to love each other and be best friends in the deep, lasting way that God intended. God chose them to be together -- He hand picked the sibling team you have been blessed with -- do not force them apart.

4. Preschool undermines a mother's intention to homeschool
A mother gets used to "the break" and often goes back to work when her children are in preschool. Even if she intended on homeschooling when the children became five and older, coming back home is often too much of a lifestyle change for her. She never learned to handle multiple children at home all week and becomes intimidated at the thought of suddenly being home alone with her own children. Deep in her heart, she knows the bond between her and her offspring has been disrupted, and that she has not "gone through the fire" of learning to deal with her children all day, all week.

In contrast, there is a peace about homeschooling mothers who stayed the course, who did not delegate thier children to others, who cultivated a close walk with Jesus - they have gone through His refining fire as they cared for their little ones, and found He never let them fall. They look back on the preschool years with great fondness.

Another reason preschool undermines a potential homeschool is because mom has not experienced teaching her child many of the basics - the preschool has done her job. She may then lack the confidence to become her children's teacher. For example, the preschool may have potty trained her children, taught them their colors, numbers, letters, and even to read.

Children who have always been home and taught the basics by their own mother usually have no problem accepting mom as their main teacher. But preschool children are often confused at this point, some folding their arms and declaring, "But you're not my teacher -- you're my mother!" This has caused moms to feel intimidated by their own children.

5. Preschool exposes children to destructive peer influences
Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Parents of children sent to preschool have no idea what type of peers their children are being exposed to. Even in Christian preschools, there are children who come from homes that have pornography present, that allow foul TV and movie programs to be seen, where abuse occurs, etc. You just do not know. Even cruel words or unjust behavior from a peer or preschool worker can cause lifelong damage to your children's view of learning and life.

Your children are gifts from God. Children are just learning the ways of the Lord and when thrown into an unstable environment of constantly changing peers and child care workers, their Godly character formation is sabotaged. God gave children parents to be their close supervisors and the guardians of their heart - do not delegate this divine responsibility to anyone else.

6. Preschool teaches a child a perverted form of justice
Sometimes parents say, "Children need to go to preschool to learn to handle bullies". But a bullied child often becomes a bully. After all, no one stopped the bully. In preschool, children learn a worldly, Darwinian view of life -- the survival of the fittest. Children in preschool quickly find their place in the pecking order, with weak and less attractive children getting harassed. In contrast, children who stay home can learn a solidly biblical worldview -- a mother can make sure the bigger siblings learn to treat the little ones with the kindness of Jesus, doing good "to the least of these".

7. Preschools may inaccurately diagnose a child
We are witnessing an epidemic of young children being tested, labeled and drugged for ADHD and other modern conditions. Preschool these days serve as a place where teachers and educational "experts" prescreen children for various mental, social, physical problems. The parents of this generation are more vulnerable than previous generations to think normal childhood and discipline issues are clinical problems that need therapy and drugs. Testing and labeling a child whose brain and motor skills are still undeveloped is like diagnosing a newborn bird with a flying problem. It's best to keep your child home and far from the labeling fanaticism that is going on.

Why not give your children a loving, stable Christian environment, surrounded by those who love them? If you have a baby, toddler, preschooler - you ARE a homeschooler. Homeschooling starts when that newborn baby is put in your arms and is a natural continuum. Get off to a solid start in homeschooling by keeping your little ones at your side."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quick Update

First, thank you to all who were praying and checking on Hannah.

She is okay. Her levels are doing much better today, but still in the 200's. NO shaking since lastnight. It's going to be crucial for me to get us back to our schedule for Hannah's sake.

It's been a very chaotic night and day just trying to get things back to normal for our routine.

The problem is we drove about an hour to visit family and then an hour back plus being gone all day and into the evening. Meals and our entire routine was gone. I knew the girls had trouble when we were off schedule, but I had no idea how it affected them until lastnight. Hannah's body cannot take the fluctuation in meal&snack times plus high and low blood sugar levels. Lesson learned, we will not be visiting out for an extended period like that again.

I will speak with the dr's office tomorrow and they'll be going over yet another insulin change.

Thanks again for thinking of us.

Love, Shandee for The Childress Family

blood sugar report

blood sugar down from 368 to 317

BUT, our meter just died. Rick is on the phone now to get help.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Still here not there

Where's there?

The store.

I haven't made it out yet.

I won't-tonight.

I just left Hannah's room after facing one of the times I have been most scared.
Because of our day, we have really been off schedule, which crashes Hannah's well-being.
We didn't finish eating dinner till 8 o'clock and in the hustle of cleaning up, we forgot to give her insulin....bad, bad, bad...we didn't even realize it till bedtime.

After everyone was settling in, Hannah went to the bathroom and said she felt nauseous because she missed her insulin. She said she felt like she needed to throw up, but she never did, thankfully.
I had to make 2 emergency calls to her Knoxville Specialist and we had to give her extra insulin.

I was scared. Hannah was shaking uncontrollably and about 10mins. had passed since I had left the first message to her dr. I was about to call 911 because we didn't know what to do and Hannah was crying, begging for us to give her insulin. We didn't know what to do. We kept waiting on the dr. to call. No call. 10mins passed. I called them again, left another message. I was SO panicing inside and Hannah was hitting herself because she was mad at herself for shaking. I did not know what to do except pray and get out my book from the dr's office. Rick and I decided to give her 1 unit and pray that was the right thing. Finally, the dr. called and said we were correct.

An hour has passed since her dr. spoke with us and she'll be due for another blood sugar by midnight. Hannah begged us not to leave her side tonight. Her Daddy is with her right now. She drifted off to sleep, but woke at one interval to tell us she was feeling better.

Praying for a good, healthy night and morning.

Our Day

Well, our day has been a busy one. Since the weather warmed up a bit, we decided to take a venture to visit both sets of grandparents today. We are all tired and ready for rest. Too bad that I have grocery store shopping that must get done after bedtime. I chose to do skip that this morning in order to make time to visit family. With larger families and small children, nothing just happens. You don't wake up and wonder what am I going to do today?

Something tht I aboslutely admire about grandparents are that they get to enjoy the blessing of children and the joys that they add to the family all while being RESTED and a full night's sleep. I am looking forward to that one day, but not ready to rush past the tiny hands that I hold and the sounds that they fill my house with. Only for a short while does God give them only to the parents until one day God calls them to their own family.

To change the subject ;-) I am so looking forward to getting to rest and even if it's only a few hours through the night, any rest I can get is a blessing. Then morning comes. Little feet pattering around the floor and everyone moving around to start the day is the sweet picture of my mornings. I often think of how important our jobs are as mothers. The mother is truly the heart of the home!
Little lives are dependent upon Mom since the day God forms them in the womb. Isn't that amazing?!

We had a fun time enjoying the sweet company and the smiles our babies put on the faces of the grandparents. We have a fun surprise to announce- compliments of Pappy so be sure to check this week for some incredibly adorable pictures.

I have children to put to bed and a store list waiting on me on this cold winter night. I hope at least I get some great deals at Food City since I have to get out.

Happy Sunday, enjoy your day tomorrow and church service.

Blessings, Shandee

Friday, January 14, 2011

EASY dishwasher detergent

Do to many requests, I am posting the home-made dishwasher detergent. Thanks to Jennifer@homekeepingheart for the recipe. This has been a great budget friendly and great product. It smells wonderful and cleans very nicely. At Walmart, I spent approximately $11 for all three of the ingredients pictured here. This will last for months because we only use about 1 tablespoon per wash. It's so easy that my 4 year old can make it as we showed in the previous months post


{The empty wipes container is what I used to store my detergent as Jennifer suggested. To fill this container, I used 3 cups of Borax, 3 cups of Cascade Complete, and 2 cups Baking Soda.}

{I did slightly alter the amount of ingredients with a decrease in the baking soda.}

Borax Laundry Deterrgent
Baking Soda
Cascade Complete Powder Detergent

Mix: 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Cascade, and 1/2 cup Baking Soda

Double or triple for larger batches.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Her Personality

It's so funny to me that you can tell a child's personality by the things they do and play with.

Look what I found from my toddler's playtime. A binkie and a bracelet. So sweet.
Thank you Lord that I am home today, that I did not miss seeing the sweet things my toddler does everyday!

We won! We're going to see Elmo!

This is a thing between myself and the Lord, all I can say is:

If you were listening last week on WHCB 91.5, you heard Mr. Matthew announce that The Childress Girls won 4 tickets to Elmo Live! We will still need to buy a few tickets, but this makes it very possible for us to go now!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Insulin

Today is Day 2 of switching from Levamir to Lantus and really no big results one way or the other. Still about the same with a smaller dose. I will be submitting blood sugar reports again tonight.
In school today, we prayed over her and layed hands over her praying for her pancreas and Endocrine System to work perfectly.

Did we really wear our PJ's?

You bet, we sure did ;-)

I think it made my girls a little too relaxed. They were slower moving and didn't seem as pumped up to get to work today so it was good for one day and tomorrow will go back to business as usual ;-)

I asked the girl's permission to post a group photo, but they declined the offer.

Snowing Again

On these cold winter days, Whisker comes to our door trying to sneak in every chance she could get to pry through the door. We are a pets outside kind of family so no Whiskers in the house.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pajama Day Tomorrow

Tonight, I was briefly speaking with a precious friend who has a new life in their home. If you are reading this, friend, you know it is you I am speaking of.

Anyways, I was thinking about the advice I gave.

Okay, ATTN: moms of many children and many of those small children and moms with new babies.
Do you find that most mornings are rushed just trying to get things done like getting dressed, beds made, and just simple cereal with milk for breakfast? If you are like the Childress household, this is the picture of your morning. OH, I forgot to mention that you are superty-duperty lucky if you had a full night's rest and it is a super bonus if you've had a nice, clean shower within the past 24 hours. Does this sound like you? If so, I have the perfect job for you, please join me in the Event of the Pajama Day tomorrow!

Are you thinking: is she making fun of us, is she SERIOUS, what is she talking about?
Yes, I am very serious. No, I am not making fun. This is all true to me and I know many others that are in the same season of life as myself. So many times; especially, after giving birth, I put pressure on myself to rush back into the routine of hustling to get the day going. Pressure to rush basically through the whole day to get anything accomplished because if I do not push, it does not happen. My dear friend was in no indication of that in any way. I recalled back to after giving birth, I was reminded of the anxiety I get over those things and then I gave her some advice that was really maybe what God was speaking to me.

What was the golden advice? (Forgive me, if you know me, you know I am so exaggerating ;-)

The advice was: ENJOY! Rest, stay in your jammies, even sleep in, just ENJOY this time.

As I was taking my shower-BTW, I get a bonus point cause I got a shower today; I felt the Lord ask me, Now, Shandee, is that what you would really do? Would you really sleep late with them and really everyone wear their pajamas all day? I had to really think about it and I thought, YES-I would! YES-I WILL! I can't sleep late, but we will wear our pajamas all day, even to school and I will ENJOY!!!

We are so blessed to be well and at home together.

I ask you the same as I was asked, Would you let tomorrow be a pajama day at your house?
Enjoy time with them instead of hustling with the morning routine.


School Closed

Wise County Public Schools closed again tomorrow!

keeps falling. So glad we are homeschooling so we can have spring days to garden!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Birds, Fish, Now Crabs are Being Found Dead

I could be so wrong, but I can't think of the book of Exodus when the girls and I studied the life of Moses.
This is very bizarre, I truly believe God may be preparing us!
Check it out here.

Family Update

Today, was a cold, snowy wintry day. We had dental appointments(I will be blogging about that at another time.) The girls rose out of bed bright and early, got themselves dressed and ready for the day. By the time I was out of the shower, they had already started working on their seatwork that was written on the board for them up in the schoolroom. I was so proud of my little ladies. They are awesome and very hard workers.

Hannah's Endocrinologist called after reading the blood sugar reports that I submitted lastnight. Dr. K. has suggested that we switch her long acting insulin to Lantus because she has continued to have elevated blood sugar readings since her diagnosis. They want it within a range of 80-180 consistently. So, tomorrow she will begin a new long acting insulin. She is not happy about that. We have moments of discouragement and lastnight was one of those moments. Before taking her insulin, she was twiddling with the flexpen lid and needle that still held it's protective covering. Hannah said, "I hate myself, I hate this insulin, I want a break from it." That was one of the moments when my heart felt crushed and helpless as a Mommy. I comforted with words and hugs and like any mommy would and reminded her not say she hates herself and that this is not her fault. I understand she wants a break from this because I do too. Today, her abdomen and arms are bruised sporadically from the needle pricks. She said her arm was so sore lastnight that she wanted an ice pack. Her fingers are starting to get calloused in places from the needle pricks from blood sugar readings.

I am praying God will show us how to take care of her and how we are to make things better as parents. For those of you joining us in prayer for her pancreas to heal, thank you! It is amazing to see the body of Christ rise up with faith and boldness on her behalf. Thank you for your faithfulness. I pray that God works through this new insulin type and we can avoid having to add one more shot in her day. I trust that our Lord is in work in all of this; sometimes, it's just stormy outside. As a Mommy, I feel helpless at times, but in my weakness, He is strong and I will do what I think I cannot do because Hannah is depending on her Mommy to take care of her in every way and be strong.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stopping in to say hi

Not much time to blog, getting ready for school tomorrow and a family dental appointment.
It's been a long, cold winter so far and we are for sure to have many weeks before it's over.

Will update you more at a later time.


Links for Mr Popper's Penguins Lesson Plans

Thanks to HomeschoolShare!

Click here for lesson plans to Mr. Popper's Penguins-a book from Sonlight Core Program.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Preschool Followup

Disclaimer: All answers are based upon my personal experience and conviction. This may not work for everyone, these are things the Lord has shown me for my family. Also, know I am not being compensated in any way from the products I mention below.

Q:Is there a preschool curriculum that you use or do you just create organized play for your preschoolers?

A: I do not use a preschool curriculum for several reasons.
* It would give me anxiety knowing that I had one more thing to do or one more manual I was required to read. This would zap the fun out of it for me.

*Cost. Curriculum is pricey. I cannot afford to waste money on something that my student is already learning just by being with me every day already.

*There is no need for it. Since I have older children, the younger ones learn and absorb what we are doing. At this age, it is mostly about having fun anyways. Once in kindergarten, my child and I will officially be using curriculum for many years, no need to rush it ;-)

Q: If you do not use curriculum, what works for you?

A: The very most important thing is my presence and time with my children. Once upon a time, when I only had one child, I felt pressured by the world that my daughter needed some type of schooling. I was surrounded in a big city by lots of women that shuffled children off to daycare every morning or enrolled their preschooler in a preschool program. I asked a friend at church about what this very thing. Her reply was simple, no need to buy a curriculum. She said that it was enough by the special shows that is on tv. I decided to follow her advice. I could not and still cannot understand sending my sweet 3 year olds to school-something about that just seems weird to me.

I actually use workbooks to help with numbers, letters, and phonics. None of it is set in stone, though. I know that once my child reaches their 4th birthday it is their last year to play and enjoy just being a child. I want them to enjoy time to just play and have fun as much as possible because once a child starts school, a whole new world opens up and it seems like the days of pretend play and silliness fade very quickly and the days of toddlerhood are long past.

I really include the preschoolers in as much as I can to their level during school. Morning crafts that I am using for the older students require assistance for preschoolers, but I am available to help or the older ones will help the younger ones.

My best advice is ENJOY them now! I think it is awesome you are already thinking about homeschooling and how it will all work out. I would also suggest visiting other homeschool families and see how they run their homes and days.

If you have only one preschooler, I think it would be simply enough to complete some workbooks and crafts at a designated time each day. I would always choose our quiet time so my older child could have undivided attention from me-let's face it; newborns and toddlers require very much of our attention and focus. Quiet time was a snuggly, fun learning time for my daughter. She remembers it to this day, even from the age of 3!

Hope this helps!

Preschool Shows and Products I suggest:
*LeapFrog Fridge Set
*LeapFrog Learning Videos
*Fisher-Price Learning Workbooks(found at Dollar Stores and Walmart)
*Brighter Vision Preschool Paks(not sure if this company is still around)
*Heartshaper Bible Curriculum
*Reader Rabbit Learning Games
*Teachers Helper Magazine

My prize!

Guess what I received in mail this week from a coupon site that I visit?
There is a coupon each month for a FREE item, gotta love the free food!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Homeschooling with Preschoolers

Many mothers I meet, ask me advice for the age-old question, well not age-old question, but a good question. It's been on my heart for a while now to answer the question.
How do you do homeschool with preschoolers?

Let's rewind back to my first year of homeschooling.

Year 2005
Childress Family Status:
Family of 5
Just moved 3 states within 6 weeks-no joking!
Children ages: 4 yr. old, 2yr old, 10 month old baby and expecting daughter #4
4 year old kindergardner getting ready to turn 5
New Baby comes along so I then had; 5,2,1,newborn. Pottytraining, nursing, unpacking and teaching my first year of homeschooling with no idea what I was doing! Keep in mind husband travels approximately 2 hours to and from work everyday.

As you can see, that is a lengthy list and a very physically and emotionally straining day. One friend even commented to me, "You sure don't like to make things easy on yourself, do you?"
Well, my answer to that is it's not my choice. The Lord opened my heart and my husband's heart to every decision that we allowed God to show us and guess what? During this incredibly difficult time is when the Lord did the biggest change in me. I learned to do many new things. I began to grow in Him and at this point was when I learned my true calling in life;
being a helpmeet to my husand and the precious gift of motherhood in however God allows to fill my womb.

At this time, I learned a great many things about teaching school with preschoolers. Afterall, I had three of them at one time. So, here are some of my tips:

1. I personally must have a schedule, even if it is not an exact time, still keep a consistent, routine. Children thrive and do very well with routines.

2. Don't leave the preschoolers out of school. Bringing them along with you as early as newborn stages will train them to be with you in the classroom and there will really be no adjustment period because that is all they will have ever known. Plus, I have noted that no matter what we are doing or where we are at, children long to be with other children and that is the case with siblings. They want to be together having FUN.

3. Do the FUN stuff when it's first thing in the morning while everyone is awake, full, and ready for the day. FUN stuff would be crafts, Science(I recommend
Sonlight over and over,) Worship Music&Bible time, drawing, dvd's, and journaling.

4. Skip the more serious, concentrated stuff for when the preschoolers are resting. If you have a set time, you will know that you will get the serious work done later and can count on that. I know some days things do not go as we plan, so don't get discouraged, just be consistent. Example subjects that may require more help are; reading, phonics skills, testing, and math.

5. Keep the preschoolers rotating while you work with others. Plan ahead for this. It will require time and planning, but it will benefit you while they are having fun and moving along while you are working with the older students. Something that I do ahead of time is set up centers. Centers are activities at a table or area. For example; at one center, I have put play doh with play doh accessories. Center number two would include puzzles. Center number three could be magnetic alphabet letters and a magnetic friendly tray they will stick to. You can have as many centers as you want. I would personally not exceed 3 or 4 because it may overwhelm them with so many choices. Also, the child should rotate centers. I have found with my daughters a good center time is 15 mins. and then switch. It will keep them busy having fun and learning motor and visual skills while you work with other students.

6. Include them in as much as you can. I include my preschoolers in every way that I can during our morning schedule.

7. Make a space for them just as you do your other students. Your cute preschooler will look for his or her own special desk or personal area because Little Mr. or Mrs. preschooler wants to be just like big siblings.

ENJOY! When it's all said and done, later in life, these are memories. Memories of their time and education spent with you. You can't invest in a more fulfilling career.

For more ideas or questions, please contact me via COMMENT or email.

Blessings, Shandee

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making Time Count

This is how I presented it to my girls yeasterday during lunch...

What if the only time that you spent with me was doing chores, planning, and stressed out trying to beat the clock while doing this? Then, at night when it is late and you are so tired and sleepy, you can finally talk to me, but you can't because you are so tired?

That's how my time with my husband is. There is no time for the two of us. SO, we have agreed-that must change, THIS YEAR!

Very soon, I will get to spend some time talking with a friend that I used to talk to every night and talk about all the day and activities in my life. My friend will also share similar ideas and thoughts on the day. It will be such a treat to enjoy being close near his side and sharing stories. We'll talk about life, kids, and the future. Laugh a little. I look forward to knowing my friend again and everything about his days.

I'll be away from blogging for a short bit and enjoying the sweet, snuggly company of my husband.

Have a blessed Thursday, tomorrow is the weekend!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Overdue update on Hannah

Many are asking and often ask when we see people..."how's Hannah?"

Truly, things are about the same with the exception of the adjusting.

We are finally adjusting. It took about 3 months, which is a neat number to me. Remember when I said it was like I had a newborn? Well, it just so happens that it takes about 3 months for our family to get readjusted to life after adding a new sweetie to our family. It does not suprise me that it has taken about 3 months to feel "normal" again.

Normal. What's normal, you may ask?

Instead of a diaper bag to go out, we make sure to grab Hannah's pink&white camo bag that Dr. K's office so kindly gave us at our first visit. I had no idea that we would even need such a thing. It has become a necessity. Her bag is perfect, it has lots of room for alcohol swabs, her Epipen junior, needles, and her meter with accessories. Also, tucked away are a few pieces of candy in the event of low blood sugar.

Food. My newborns start out on meal schedule, nursing about every 2 hours. Hannah's food schedule is about every 2 hours. 2 hours in between meals and snacks is that they prefer.

Doctor's visits. Just like a new baby is recommended for pediatrician visits, Hannah has regularly scheduled visits to the Endocrinoligist. A trip to Knoxville every few months is something we now prepare for and know is upcoming for all of her childhood OR as soon as she gets a miracle pancreas healing-which we are believing for!

What is NOT normal?

Shots. Hate them, but the fact that Hannah is eager to give them herself is a mixed blessing. It pains me to see her pierce her young skin. Bruising, bleeding, and irritation from needles hurts my mothering heart dearly.

Her blood sugar levels are still not normal. We left the hospital in October with 1 unit dosage on one of the morning meds and now it has increased to 11 with still no change. Her levels are actually higher and consistently higher than when she was in the hospital. I will be turning in her numbers tonight so my prayer is that the Lord will please give this doctor wisdom and give Rick&myself wisdom and guidance on how to get her levels down. Each time there is an increase, I see such disappointment in Hannah's face and I also feel her spirit feeling down and helpless. I am not going to settle that she is going to have to live with this for the rest of her life as the doctors say.

Thanks for following our journey.
God is still in control and we trust Him every step!

Blessings, Shandee

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2nd and 5th Grade

My 2nd and 5th graders started new books yesterday. They are so excited and have already been reading on their own. These are with the Sonlight curriculum.

2nd Grade, Mr. Popper's Penguins

5th Grade All of a Kind Family
(when we received this in our order this year, Madison was so excited because it looks like our family with all 5 girls!)

The appointment

We had the asthma appointment today for Daughter#2. She is still having trouble breathing and her airways are inflamed so she is going to need to get back to normal. Which means, she needs new/different daily maintenance medicine to help her because the Pulmicort Inhaler is not working. She got a cute, new spacer from the Specialist today. After getting home, I found the retail price to be $50! I am so thankful for a free sample, what a blessing! It is SO worth driving an hour each way to get great service.

Daughter #2 has named her new spacer Choggy. I can't believe this is going to help her breathe! I found them at this link. Here's what he looks like.

Future Blogger

Not wanting Mommy to blog tonight...

Monday, January 3, 2011

What a Long Day-a day in the life of Shandee

It all started out so ever wonderfully lastnight at bedtime. Daughter #2 and 4 were fussing over blanket and space. They share the same bed and for some odd reason, were not kind to each other at bedtime. They both fell asleep earlier in the day after church. I know daughter #2 was feeling run down because her asthma is badly flaring like when she had pneumonia. (BTW, we finally get to see her specialist this week!!!!!) Daughter #2 kept sniffling and coughing and was not allowing the others to settle in the room either. We finally ended up moving the coughing sister to the couch. After she moved to the couch, daughter #4 could not settle because her sister took "her favorite" blanket with her to the couch. It just so happens that Daughter #2 said it was her favorite blanket. Would you know that in all of our 5 years of being back home and those two girls sleeping with that same blanket every night that no one has ever claimed that blanket as their "favorite blanket?"

So, that left Daughter #4 in the room with her oldest sister. Daughter #4 was being plain hateful and disobedient. She kept waking with problem after problem and finally at some point, her Daddy went to her and then I went to her and picked her up and put her in my bed so I could FINALLY get some rest after being up since 5:30 yesterday. She did not let any of us get any good rest.

I was already crashing bad and shortly after that baby sister woke up to nurse. I had no bed to go lay down with her nor a couch. So, I fitted her tiny body against mine into the already occupied bed with Daddy and Daughter #4. I climbed into our marriage bed ur, bed filled with many children. I still made myself get up before 6 a.m. because I knew that school was waiting for me.

This morning, while the other sisters were cleaning up and doing chore charts, I tried giving my infant a bath. She stood up and looked at me funny and tried to climb out of the tub. I looked at her and said, "No." Shortly afterwards, Hannah landed in our bathroom and was enjoying babbling to and watching her play in the water. While tyding our sink, I turned around to Hannah's exclamation, "Mommy she's Poopin." Giggle, giggle. OH NO! I grabbed the baby out of the bath, put a towel around her, sat her cute little bummy down on the Dora potty seat and scooped out the mess with a cup cleaned the bathtub. I washed the tub and put her back in while going to check on the others, big sister Hannah was keeping watch. "Mommy, she's doing it again!!!!!" With an exhausted look and sigh, I hunched over and crept back into the bathroom to clean more mess out of the bathtub. Again. Not again. I decided she was getting out for good and gathered her tiny body into a big comfy towel. Cleaned her with a soapy washcloth and slathered her skin up with her ointment for eczema, then dressed her.
Wow, it was only 10 o'clock. School, lunch, dinner, and laundry still to go.

But guess what? I do it joyfully. I am happy to be home and I"ll clean up every mess because there's no other place God has called me to be ;-)

Have a blessed winter day.

p.s. after reading this post to my girls, a sister just asked, "Mommy, do you want Naomi to go to daycare?"


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back 2 School Tomorrow with The Hungry Caterpillar Game

Tomorrow, we will go back to school with Worship followed by the word of God, fractions, double-digit math, Cursive and Manuscript Handwriting, other subjects, plus a Fun Game.

This was one of our clearance finds at Walmart-$5.00
Rick and I will play it tonight since I don't read directions very well. I'll let him help me figure out how to play it before I present it to the kids.


It has been a long few weeks since we have ended school. RSV, pneumonia, and then Christmas brought us into a lengthy few weeks off from school, so I do believe our little classroom is calling our name Monday. My older children are dreading getting back into the work but looking forward to some fun while the younger ones are very eager to get back.

What are your memories of school? A vivid word that comes to mind of school memories is the word dread. Oh, how I dreaded it. Everything about it. I don't want my children to have that memory.

In 2006, I only had one formal student-a 1st grader. We were using the Abeka curriculum which is very repetitive and truly more of a classroom style curriculum. My daughter would cry then I would cry. We were in tears. I spent time in prayer for weeks and possibly months. I asked the Lord to show me what to do because it was Him that placed this desire in my heart to teach my daughter at home. If He gives us a conviction, then He will surely give us an answer on how to fulfill that. I was online one night and did some research. I ran across Sonlight. It looked so FUN and interesting. The thing that sold me was the Love to Learn Guarantee.
If it did not work, we could return it and get our money back! Also, there is a payment schedule you can use for payment.We have tried it and love it. Keep in mind, not one person that I knew used Sonlight, so I was really trusting God on this. Our favorite subject is Science. I do note that we do not use Sonlight for Math or Handwriting, though. Sonlight does not have their own program for those subjects. If you would like suggestions on those, I have some great info. that I would be happy to send you. Just leave me a comment or email.

Sonlight has been such sunshine from our previous curriculum. Want to know more? You can click here to find out. If you decide to order, use this link. It will give you $5 off your order and it will also give me points that I can use toward a credit later.

No matter what you use, enjoy homeschooling! If you are a mom of a preschooler and know that God has called you to homeschooling, I would encourage you to start looking now. Many companies offer free samples and shopping early will help you get more organized. By the way, if you are considering homeschooling, I would encourage you to talk with and visit other homeschooling families. Homeschooling is truly a lifestyle if you put your heart into it. I have learned with larger families, the more you can do ahead, the better!

Happy Schooling :-) Welcome Back School Year 2011! Get your work done while it's cold, it's going to be planting season and garden time in a few months!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year


Don't forget that tomorrow is Sunday. If you don't have a home church, I'd encourage you to venture out and find one to visit. Happy Sunday.

Walmart Deals

Found any good after Christmas deals?

I'd love to post them. Email or comment.