Thursday, May 16, 2013
We know John will get a job and possibly very soon. We know we need to have faith in order to receive the blessings. This is not a complaining or a doubting post. I just want to explain some of the difficulties of unemployment.
Before John lost his job, I would spend a little extra every month of items just to store. After a couple of years, we had acrued only about 3 months of food storage as well as a few items we considered more for long term storage. Since, we were struggling and living at the very edge of our income anyway, I wouldn't say we were prepared for a long period of unemployment. We have been using our storage. We had some food, soap, shampoo, cleaning products and toiletries. They have helped us, but we are running out. We have pretty much used up all of our stored meat, bread, cereal, and baking supplies. We are down to grinding wheat to make bread, a few cans of fruit and veggies, soups, chili, and beans. We are now at the tough point. The kids keep telling their dad to get a job when they find out we have run out of another item.
In regular unemployment life I would shop every couple of weeks. When I shopped, I did not have to buy everything and that kept our grocery bill down. When I can go shopping again, I will have to buy everything. That is going to cost a LOT! I suspect my first grocery trip after John gets a job will be around $1000 dollars. We need everything! I will have to spend an additional amount on toiletries and cleaning supplies too. It will be hard to make up for the lost shopping trips. I suspect it will take us another two years to get all of our basics plus another 3 months of food storage.
In addition to the basics, we would usually buy a big ticket item about once a month. We have not been buying those. We have this growing list of "When you get a job we need to buy" items. Those items include shoes, clothing, tires for the van (they are nearly smooth now), repair items for things that have broken, items for yard care, and some shelving and a mattress for Anya, paint and painting supplies for the inside of the house that were already on our "to buy list" before the job loss.
When I am being real, I have to admit that unemployment puts us behind. It will take some serious financial planning and a couple of years to catch up. However badly we planned for this event, I am glad that we had the storage we did to get us through.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
- I have reasonable hope that John is a prime candidate for a job close to home. Nonetheless, we will continue on in faith and obedience trying to learn what the Lord wants to teach us from this experience.
- Warm weather has arrived, and I am enjoying spending time with my kids out doors. Motherhood is precious. I am very conscious of the blessings of my fertility and healthy body. Mother's day was wonderful. I especially loved the sweet homemade gifts and poems from my children.
- Ruth has been a moody 15 year old. I am making her hang out with her family as much as possible. She likes to hide in her room when she is home. I think the added time around her parents and siblings and the service that automatically comes with being around so many small children is helping her. She may disagree. I can see the difference.
- Kate had her first full week of summer vacation. She cannot wait until Ruth is out of school, so she has her buddy around.
- Johnny is on the sprinting end of finishing up a class he took too slowly at the beginning of the school year. He will have to work real hard on it over the next two weeks. This is a good lesson in procrastination.
- Adam is definitely ready for school to be over. Because he has year round school, he will have a 2 week break after tomorrow and he will not be done until the end of June. I have enjoyed reading Fablehaven with him this week. I think he is starting to like books. I will be surprised if he ever becomes a bookworm.
- I love Rachel's chatter. She always has so much to say.We have discovered that when Rachel wants to be, she is a good runner. She ran 2 miles straight and wasn't even winded. I will have to continue taking her out. The only problem is when she does not want to run, she is awful.
- Anya has enjoyed the outdoors this past week. She also loves playing with the neighbors and looks forward to hanging out with her friends as much as they are all allowed.
- The toys in the living room have helped Joseph stay out of trouble for another week. The simplicity of the solution is funny. I had to give up the idea of a clean, nicely decorated living room. But, it is worth it because Joseph is not tearing everything apart, and I am not spending all day trying to control my temper.
- Josh is talking too well. I miss some of his early words like "bobble" for all round fruit, and "keys" for all other food. He discovered our cat, over the last couple of days and just smothers him. Thankfully, the cat is taking the smothering kindly.
- Arwen continues to scoot around. She still hates most foods. She will eat bread and guacamole and that is about all for food. However, she regularly digest paper and other small items she finds on her floor travels.
This Weeks Pictures
I wanted to write about mothers and motherhood and the blessing and joys that come from being a mother. I wanted to tell mothers that they are doing a great work and to hang in there. Mothers change the world. Mothers are in charge. But alas, as each day passes getting us closer to mother’s day, legislation is being written that will destroy religious freedom.
This week, Delaware legalized gay marriage, and Minnesota is on the fast track to legalizing it too. That makes three states forming laws that give sexual preferences rights over religion, speech, and parental rights just this month.
I am worried. I believe these states are ramming this legislation through purposely at this time for good reason. The Supreme Court is reviewing two cases about marriage, either one could be used to legalize gay marriage for the nation. I believe these state legislatures are trying to show the Supreme Court justices that the United States is ready for gay marriage.
The United States will never be ready for gay marriage. It goes against the first freedom James Madison sealed for coming generations in America– religious freedom. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Gay marriage laws prohibit the free exercise of religion. If gay marriage were to be legalized throughout the nation, the constitution, the bill of rights and all the sacrifices of our founding fathers will be damaged.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. Freedom of religion and gay marriage cannot stand together in the law. They are opposites. Mothers remember this Mother’s Day that it is you who have the power to change the world. You cradle the next generation in your arms. Your influence goes beyond the media and the liberal universities. Please, take your role seriously and teach your children like the mothers of our Founding Fathers must have taught their children—to love freedom, life, and liberty above all. Happy Mother’s Day.
My name is Diane Robertson. I am a stay at home mom to 9 kids, and wife to my best friend, John. My oldest is 15 and my youngest is 9 months. I wash about 4 loads of laundry a day and I have more dishes than I ever imagined possible outside a restaurant. I wouldn’t change my life.
This week I will be attending a reorganizing meeting for a non-profit political group that I write and volunteer for, United Families International/ United Families Utah. I work with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. They do so much good for families across the globe. I am honored to be a part of their organization. I feel called by God to be a part of their organization. With this organization, I stand up for political issues that affect the family. Sometimes this is frightening. I am not working on the glamorous politically-correct side. Still, this work is more exciting than changing diapers, wiping noses, and reading that favorite story for the one hundredth time.
When I go to this meeting, I will be asked to donate more time. I want to do more. Eventually, I want to do a lot more and eventually I can do a lot more. Family policy is important to me. My family is important to me too-- much more important to me. Right now, my family is young.
As a covenant mother, my first calling is to my family. There will be nothing I can do—not service—not a job—not a church calling—that is as important as my job as a mother. I will regret losing time with my young children if I make them my secondary job.
In today’s world, being a mother is not glamorous. Being a mother is looked down upon. You might get more praise from the world if you choose to be the manager of McDonald’s. Being a mother is hard work. You are not going to get a pay raise for a job well done. You will probably be tired every day. That is okay. Feeling tired, under appreciated, and overworked is very little cost for the joy your family and your children bring when motherhood is your number one priority. And that joy will last for today, for tomorrow and for always even as you wash that 1000th load of laundry.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
We lost the camera, no pictures this week
- John is still unemployed. This getting hard, but we are trying to be patient and calm. We know that the Lord will help us and get this fixed in time. We won't loose faith.
- I got to meet a person that I have been doing United Families Utah stuff with online. I loved getting to know her. We have a lot of common ground including many children. She also went to law school with my sister in law and lived in the stake that I grew up in. The LDS world is a small place.
- Ruth had a field trip to a Hindu temple, a Budhist temple, and a Mosque. She had fun with her friends and I think it was a good experience for her.
- Kate has one math lesson left and then she is finished with the 8th grade. The bonus of homeschool is working at your own pace. Kate has one full extra month of summer vacation.
- Johnny got accepted into Legacy Preparatory Academy, a public charter school near us, as an 8th grader. We've decided to go that route for Johnny this next school year. He'll have to work a lot harder and I think that will be good for him.
- Adam and I chose his homeschool classes for next year. It looks like Adam will be my only homeschool kid next year. He seems fine with that.
- Rachel got top grades on her report card and was given a difficult poem to read in front of the class. Yay! Rachel.
- Anya had her booster shots for kindergarten. I had to hold her down. She freaked as soon as she saw the needle. Anya told me that Arwen is now a human because she laughs like one.
- I moved all the toys into our living room on Monday. They look horrible, but that one thing kept Joseph out of trouble the whole week.
- John shows Joshua train videos on youtube. That is now Josh's new addiction. Whenever he sees a computer he asks for trains.
- Arwen is adored by all. She is happy all the time and everyone loves her a ton and wants to be around her.
Monday, April 29, 2013
For a writing assignment today, I gave Kate an article and told her to write a short summary and thoughts. I did not give her any other instructions. I am VERY pleased at how well she did, and had to publish it here.
In a school, in the state of New York, there was an “anti-bullying workshop”. In this workshop, meant for 13-14 year old girls, rather than talk about bullying, they instead talked about Homosexuality. In this workshop from heck, they picked 2 girls from the audience and told them to kiss each other. The girls did not volunteer and were not comfortable with this. Not only did this workshop exist, but the parents had no notification, or permission slip. The people who made this workshop obviously wanted to make sure that everyone would be at it, even the girls whose parents wouldn’t approve! In every school I’ve been in, kids get in trouble for kissing; now suddenly the teachers are forcing kids of the same sex to kiss!
This workshop that was teaching girls about gender Identity was clearly trying to force them to change their identity. This anti bullying workshop was bullying girls into doing things they didn’t want to do, and even trying to push them into believing and thinking things, that I’m sure, those girls do not want to. This workshop has taken away rights, and freedoms. It took away the right for the parents of those girls to know what their kids are being taught in school. It has taken away the freedom for those of the girls who had moral standards. The kids who had to kiss might have believed that kissing another girl was immoral. This workshop has taken away the rights and freedoms of many people, and therefore this workshop has been unconstitutional! How can this be legal in our country? It should NOT!
Here's the original articleI am very pleased with Kate's critical thinking skills. She is my advocate in training. Some year, I will take Kate to the World Conference on Families.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
- John had a job interview and has been called in for a second. While I went to the Temple, John took most of the kids to the mall because Ruth desperately needed new jeans. Ruth and I were dubious that John would be able to help Ruth find jeans that he both approved of and for no more than $10 a pair. Surprisingly John was successful. Since John had ALL of the little kids with him, I had Kate take pictures of the antics that John was either sure not to notice or to find too funny to stop.
- On Saturday, we went to Jeremy and Rosanne's house to help with their yard. I painted an arbor and a gate, John worked on taking down a cherry tree, and Ruth and Kate helped build a garden box and remove sod. Then we had a movie night and a late night gospel/political conversation. We arrived home at 2:45am.
- By Wednesday, I decided that I could not tell the difference between a can of spray paint and Ruth's jeans. So, even with unemployment, we decided Ruth had to have new pants. I told her that jeans at D.I. cost between $6 and $8 and we would buy her pants there. Ruth didn't want D.I. pants. She said that she would use her money to make up the difference in cost. John is not making her pay the difference. She found jeans at the mall for $10. I think she is more comfortable in her new jeans, but she wishes we would allow her to wear her pants as tight as her friends typically wear theirs. I am never sure what to think on this whole super tight clothes styles. I miss the days when fitted pants rather than squished on pants were the style. I want my daughters to dress stylishly, but I still think something should be left up to the imagination.
- Kate has nearly finished the 8th grade a month ahead of schedule. She has 5 sections in math and one math test left and she is done! She is pretty proud to have completed all but one of her courses. Kate had state testing this week. She was very slow and careful about her tests. She took 5 1/2 hours to complete the 3 exams. She was confident about what she knew.
- Johnny took the state tests too. Johnny sped through the 3 exams and finished first out of all the other kids there. Johnny took 2 1/2 hours. He said that they were super easy. I am sure the math test was particularly easy for him. Johnny is not as ahead in his course work as Kate is. Johnny still has Flash Game Programming that he is fairly behind on to finish, and he has to finish another 2 chapters in geometry.
- I have been rather frustrated with the common core low standards that the Utah schools have taken up.Adam started up second grade knowing how to multiply and reading at a 3rd grade level. He can't remember how to multiply, and he his reading level dropped below grade level after Christmas. I have had other parents say the same thing has happened to their children. Out of the blue, one evening, I asked Adam how he would feel if I homeschooled him next year. He cheered! So it is set. I did not register him for public school, and I secured a spot for him at My Tech High. This will be great for Johnny since Kate is going back to school and now Adam will get to start a second language as well as computer programming.
- Rachel enjoyed the nicer weather and spent a lot of time outdoors this week.
- We've decided to go ahead and send Anya to kindergarten so I do not have to home school 2 younger kids. Anya has been begging to attend school and Rachel keeps telling Anya how wonderful school is, so I picked up the kindergarten pack, and will have to get to work on filling out all of the papers for kindergarten.
- We had no big Joseph destruction incidents this week. It finally warmed up and he spent a lot of time playing outside. I think that helps him a lot. He needs to get out and explore and be a boy. Joseph is good at building things. He builds legos and bionicles and completes puzzles a lot. I love it when he concentrates his time on construction rather than destruction.
- Josh is still our funny delightful 2 year old. He still comes to you if you call out cars or trains, but he will not come to you if you call his name. Josh likes to organize his things. He lines up his toys and keeps them neat. I suspect his wife will like that.
- Arwen is 9 months already. She is getting around pretty good now. She will follow me from room to room if she is not busy playing. Arwen is calm and relaxed. She loves people and will generally let anyone hold her.
This Week's Pictures
The Mall Trip
Ruth's loosest pair of jeans
Joseph trying to open the call box in the elevator.