Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A "Lifetime" away...........lol

Today was a crazy day...
Our "show" aired on Lifetime....AGAIN.
Its crazy how ....all the sudden this AM- I was TAKEN BACK to THERE.
That place 2 yeares ago when I was READY to do a reality TV show.
Show me the MONEY...That was my thought.
That was the ONLY reason FOR ME to do it.
I was pretty sure at the time that I was going to be "TRADED" with a CRAZY CLOWN mom, or a NAZI RACIST.
Someone who was going to PISS ME OFF...for sure.

I was NOT prepared for what actually happened.
I was not prepared to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
And ...I think I did.

Everytime I see the episode or hear that it has been on ...I REALLY CRINGE.
It makes my heart beat fast and my throat go dry...actually.

I ALWAYS KNOW when someone is aproaching me BECAUSE OF THE SHOW.
They have THAT look.
The look that says..."There is that RASTA LADY with that CRAZY man!"
I alwys KNOW what they are going to say.
Its always nice.
I HAVE learned that people dont GENERALLY go out of their way to say something AWFUL.

Its usually something like .....
"I loved you on that show!"
"Your kids are soooo cute!"
"Are you THAT lady that was on THAT show?"

Usually I answer them BEFORE they ask.

Well today I woke up and found out that "THE SHOW" was on at 1pm.

And there it was...the fast beating heart and the dry throat.


And then it came and went ....1:00 to 2:00.

And throughout the whole thing...I LAUGHED.

It is quite COMICAL now!

The shitty editing, my sentences cut in HALF, Jay saying WOMAN every 5 minutes.


And then it happened again.
The SAME thing that has happened since October 31...2 years ago.
People were supportive.
I got emails from people I dont know.
AND people I know.

THAT is what I didnt expect out of the WHOLE THING........

Here are just SOME of the AWESOME THINGS people had to say:

From Julie:
Just watching this show far for 30 minutes is eye opening to me. I have been struggling with issues lately and have needed some guidance and am finding it in unexpected places. Jana you have such a good heart and it comes through in your show no ma...tter what they edit out. Unfortunately I am seeing myself in the other parents with too much structure and not enough spontaneous fun and adventure. I am thrilled that I just came across this randomly. Thank you for your experiences. Just a small glimpes of your good hearted family is giving me ideas for change in my life.

I am glad I got to finally see it. I think you are a blessed family and it shows. Your kids are amazing. They were so sweet to James in the pool at Cindy's this summer and the love shows through in them. You totally healed that father/daughter relationship and that is a huge deal. No amount of editing can take that part of the show away :)

From Kim:
I think you made a huge impact on the other family.

From Ali:
Ali Almasy September 29 at 2:22pm Report
Hi Jana, my name is Ali.. I'm almost 18 years old and I just saw your family on an episode of wife swap. i could not believe that finally a terrific family who believes in things i believe in was on that show! i got teary eyed whenever that one dad said he would double what his daughters put in that donation jar. it was so sweet so see something had gotten through to him. i live in a suburb and my family is definitely not like yours and they don't understand things that i believe in. its too foreign to them i guess. i just wana tell you though that i totally look up to you and i hope one day that if im ever a mother i can bring up my children with the same amazing beliefs that you raise your children under. my peers at my public school just drive me insane because they are all so materialistic and haven't got one clue about actual problems in the world. i do conservational work and have gone on month long camping and trail repairing trips including my favorite which was all over the Alaskan Range. I want to work with unfortunate children one day as my job and maybe be a therapeutic camp counselor or something and teach them how beautiful nature is and to be thankful for simplicity or show them that being self sufficient and simplistic is the way to live happily.

well, i hope to get some sort of response from you! if not, i just wana say one more time it made me so happy to see your wonderful family and how great of a person & mother you are.

I am soooo grateful for an opportunity to effect ANYONE by just BEING US!

I feel soooo blessed tonight......I bet I fall asleep smiling.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweetness....sort of.

This week we had a field trip to DAYTONA for a trip to the

Chocolate Factory
Ice Skating

Soooooo Fun!

The kids were so excited that we laid their clothes out the night before on their desks...

They were READY.

They went to sleep on Wednesday night dreaming of Chocolate covered pretzels and white chocolate sanddollars.

Thursday morning they woke up bright and early and quickly put on their clothes.

Afer they got dressed..They looked like they were going camping in ANTARCTICA!!!


Sidenote: They have been soooooo ready for the cold weather that Zeek has ACTUALLY been wearing a sweatshirt in 85 degree weather for the last WEEK!!!!
Ive been sweating just LOOKING at him. :0)


Shasha had beeen sooo excited about her NEW OUTFIT that she was going to wear to the field trip.

The ensemble included her favorite pair of jeans and her newly STYLED Homeschoolers by the Sea shirt.
(We cut the shirt s sleeves and made them "fringy" and we slit the shirt up the back and tied it together w/ pieces of tshirt to make it more fitted....She was STOKED!)

SO...Off we wnt headed to Daytona with Shainee and her boys in Coach Matty's Jaguar Van.
(Malachi said to me before we got there..."Mom, Do you know what the best part of this trip will be?" ....""Riding in Coach Mattys Van!")

Sooo cute!

We arrived at the

Chocolate Factory

in Daytona ..right on time!

We walked in and met the rest of our HS group.

The kids were sooo excited..everyone was putting on their aprons in anticipation.
They KNEW they would be MAKING something!!!!


They started handing out the....


Everyone who was going to go INSIDE the factory to MAKE their own chocolate..

Had to wear a


Shasha was NOT pleased ....at all.

This is not what she had envisioned!

The hair net was not the right color nor the right FABRIC for her NEWLY STYLED Tshirt.

She was MORTIFIED!!!!!

She couldn't bear the thought of ACTUALLY putting THAT THING on!!!!

So...after MUCH "talking to" she made the decision to NOT MAKE THE CHOCOLATE!!!!

You read that RIGHT...


She didn't dip the pretzels
the oreos.

Shes a SLAVE to fashion.

She wouldn't even consider it...
for a minute.

She refused.


Not even for 5 minutes.

Not even if EVERYONE else is doing it.



So...as all the other children dipped THEIR pretzels and oreos,

she watched from BEHIND a GLASS WINDOW.

Lil' Fashionista.

Couldn't even be swayed.

Gotta LOVE her for THAT.

She definitely doesn't just "FOLLOW THE CROWD".

After that......

We went Ice skating and everyone had a GREAT time.

Sheba was a little "Ice Princess".

She took 1 little lesson and was OFF.......

Zeek did great also.

Except that for the 1st hour and a half he was wearing skates that were a size too BIG!

And Malachi had a great time also.

We had a great day...

AND I have to add that ALL of these kids had such HUGE hearts out there on that ice.

Each and EVERY time a child fell....there were IMMEDIATELY 3 or 4 kids there to help them up.

Such an amazing sight!!!

Shainee and I BOTH were amazed at the SWEETNESS of the whole experience.

And I'm not JUST talking about the CHOCOLATE!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MORE than Math.........

math Pictures, Images and Photos

Sometimes in life I have moments when the fog clears and things become AMAZINGLY clear.

TODAY..I had one of those moments.

Zeek and Shasha had finished their math test...BOTH making a 100!!!!!

SO I decided to let them choose something out of the "prize box".

Hold on...before anyone gets toooo excited- there isn't THAT much in the box yet! LOL

Anyway, Shasha chose some pink lipgloss-BIG SURPRISE!

And Ezekiel chose a dollar.

He came to me a few minutes later and wanted to put the money in his wallet so that later at the gym he could get a fruit Popsicle.

They have been REALLY WANTING one of them for weeks.....

I told him that he could get one, but he would have to do it when the other kids were in Yoga(he doesn't go to yoga anymore...its not cool! He sits beside me -beside the treadmills.)

Without even a THOUGHT he said, " No Mom, I think Ill wait and save enough $$$ for ALL of us to get one."
He quickly put the $$$ in his wallet and went back to his game of rescue heroes.

Never saying a word to anyone else.

At that moment I felt as though the sun was shining directly on this little soul.

He was glowing...with HUMBLENESS, KINDNESS, SWEETNESS, and LOVE!!!!!!

Some things are sooooo much more important that MATH..........

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Life is a thing, when you learn-you GROW!!!"


Ezekiel 16:4-6
And as for your birth,on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born."

And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment.

This Verse SPOKE to me today!!!!

A friend wrote on her blog about how we are all so "gross" when "found" by GOD!!!

That is sooooo TRUE!!!

Arent we all "gross" when SAVED.

Thank goodness God isnt a CLEAN-FREAK.

We would ALL be in trouble.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Late Night Mutterings........

This is the time in the day when my mind starts to reel

Its always at night, alone.....trying to deal.

Why all the doubt?

Could I do more?

These are the questions that knock at MY door.

Its sooo hard to unwind.

Sleep's what I NEED to find.

Planning and planning,,,,i dream of planning.

My life before me....ever EXPANDING.

I asked my Mom today..."Does that ever stop?"

The worrying, wondering, .....She said "NO!"

My heart dropped.

I Love this life.....but I fear TIME.

Tick, Tock,,,always the clock!

If I sleep Ill miss out...Its like a child's thought.

"If I fall asleep...Ill miss out on ALOT!"

Friday, September 18, 2009

What YOU gonna do about it?

If you know Shashamane you KNOW that she LOVES Gwen Stefani.

She LOVES the song.."Now that you got it."

I love the song also...its SO quirky and cute.

Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

Now that I'm your baby the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
All the stars I was reachin' for you had in the palm of your hand
& if for just once I would let the
padlock on the door be open
Well, dammit, just get on over here
This better be the best thing I ever felt
My days, they better be sunny
It better be nothing but all that I want

LOVE it!!!!!!!!

Well ....If you saw Shasha sing this song you would CRY laughing.
She is sooooo into it and can sing EVERY WORD.

Today we were on our way to pick up the Ellison's for HS co-op when I noticed Shasha TOTALLY singing.

I turned it down and said, "Shasha you know this song is about her EXPECTING a boy to be everything he promised for her, right?"

She smiled and just shrugged.

I said, "When you get older boys will say and promise you all kinds of things to be your boyfriend or hold your hand...you know that right?"

She said..."Yes"

"That's why you have to make sure they are good boys, nice boys...right?"

"They have to be nice to her, right?" said Sheba.

I said, "Well...yall have big brothers" and smiled.

And faintly in the background I heard Malachi say, in a TOTALLY serious voice, "Yeah, we can SMASH em'".

And to THAT I had nothing to say.............OUTLOUD.

Inside in a quiet voice, very faintly, I said "Thats EXACTLY right Malachi, SMASH EM'!"

Gotta LOVE big brothers!!!!!

What a LIFE.....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

4H FUN!!!!


I surprise myself OFTEN...these days.

I do things that I never thought I would do.

Yesterday-AFTER school,HSPE,and lunch...we drove out to the agricultural center to join 4H.

I always thought 4H was for kids who lived on farms and wanted to raise goats OR pigs.
(Not that our kids wouldn't LOVE that!!!LOL)

We drove out to the "Agg Center"(agricultural center) and meet with the 4H director for our county.


We ALL walked in and were greeted soooooo nicely.

She took us into a room FILLED, top to bottom with Project books.

Dairy farming,
food preparation,
dog training,
and YES...GOATS!

WOW!!!! I was so overwhelmed when I walked in that I couldn't speak for a few minutes.

So MANY possibilities!
So MANY ????????????'s!

1.How does this work?
You sign up either for a club)where you meet 1x a month) OR you sign up to be independent(which WE did).You CAN sign up online also.

Do you only do 1 at a time?
Most kids only do 1 per year.Its sort of like a "subject" you would work on in school. I have a feeling that we will be VERY "4H busy" this year!!!

What are the requirements?
The ONLY requirement is that you must be 5 years old.

Sounds AWESOME, right?

I was amazed.

I stood in that little room surrounded by "project books", lesson outlines, and POSSIBILITIES...I felt like I had JUST stumbled upon a HIDDEN treasure.

You mean I could have REALLY learned to sew?
Or REALLY learned to cook?
Or even ...REALLY learned how to work on cars???


We started looking...trying to figure out which "subject" ws right for "us".

I already KNEW what we came to get Shashamane.

She quickly grabbed "Fun with Clothes"...of course.

She had been WAITING to go get her book...SHE WAS SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

It is for girls 5-7...Cloverbuds is what they call THIS age group!

So cute...

"Fun with Clothes" is like beginning sewing.

She will learn about the parts of a sewing machine, stitches, fashion, color combinations, textures, and fabrics!!!

At 7 !!!!!!!


They even have a fashion show in December where you wear what you make.

You cant even IMAGINE how fast Shasha was talking last night.

She was ECSTATIC...ALREADY making sketches of her dress.

Zeek was also excited...He picked out a "project book: on electricity.

Hell be making currents, and building motors!!!

Unfortunately(hehe)...Jay will have to be the teacher on this one!!!

"I want to be an inventor!" ...is ALWAYS his answer when asked what he would like to be when he grows up!!!

Sooo. THIS should interest him!

I left there daydreaming of the possibilities.

I could see Shasha as the YOUNGEST fashion designer to ever "make it".LOL

AND ..I could see Zeek inventing something that will SURELY save the world!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet , Sweet Boy...........

Butterfly Pictures, Images and Photos

On the first day of school this year, one of the things I had the kids do was fill out a "All about Me" page.

Favorite color?
Favorite song?
Favorite Movie?

Just get to know you exercise ....

The last question on the page was this:
If you were an animal- What would it be and what CHARACTERISTICS do you have like THAT animal?

Shasha said..."What is a CHARACTERISTIC?"

Zeek said(without skipping a beat)..."Shasha-like...Your a butterfly-beautiful and gentle."

I almost fainted!!!!!

What a sweet boy, with an AMAZING heart!!!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Fabulous Book Friday" is BACK!!!!!!


I know its been a while...I know.

To be honest ...I have been CRAZY busy!

I read this book BEFORE I saw the movie and LOVED it!!!!!

A great, "get lost in the book" read....

There are very few books that Jay will read...(At least I know Zeek comes by it NATURALLY!)

THIS book is one the books that he would LISTEN to.

Funny ...I know.

But...Believe it or not...I read ALMOST the entire book "Roots" to him!

He LOVED it!!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Schoolroom pics...........

Life Struggles........


"Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life" Haile Selassie I

Sometimes I look around my life and think, "HOW did I get here?"

Its mindboggling to me to think about the GRACE of GOD.

How much GRACE and FORGIVENESS he has shown me.

From THAT to THIS.


As I sit in my new schoolroom with everything organized and in its place I am HUMBLED.

I am HONORED to be HERE.

I am BLESSED to be stressed oveer lesson plans.


Maybe God gave me the DRIVE to take this JOURNEY because I needed it.

Maybe the children would THRIVE in any school.

I dont know.

I LIKE to think it is ME.

I like to think that God gave me these children KNOWING that they needed ME.


The older I get and the longer I am EMMERSED in THIS- I think I was WRONG.

It was ME who needed THIS.

Maybe, just Maybe....I NEEDED to teach them.

Maybe I needed to HAVE to be organized, structured, and on time.

Maybe..THIS was the plan- ALL ALONG.

Funny...the things you THINK you would do differently if you had the chance.

Funny...The things you MIGHT change.

As I sit here in the ORGANIZED, CLEAN, STRUCTURED schoolroom....It hits me.

This is where I was headed all along.

This is where the journey has brought me.

This is MY CHANCE to make a difference in the world.

THIS is my Do-OVER...

This one is a daily struggle....

An "earthly" struggle...

Not the "get lots of attention" struggle.

Not the "immediate gratification" struggle.

Not even the "always appreciated" struggle.

But, In the end....

I am SURE that it is the "SO WORTH IT" struggle.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Birthday Girl!


Sheba, Sheba....oh so sweet.
Shes the "baby" of the family-which cant be beat.

She loves polka dots, FOOD and gymnastics too.
5,6,7,8....She knows JUST what to do.

Shes SUPER-DUPER smart and sassy for sure.
Her smile brightens ANY room...and her CUTENESS could be a cure.

Were so blessed to have this special royal baby.
Shes the latest piece to the puzzle- A precious gift God gave me.

She's turning 4...Its her special day!
Happy Birthday Sheba- Your on you way!

Love-Your Family

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Somewhere" in between.......

I am not an AVID Oprah watcher...BUT-I do like SOME of the topics she has on and today I hit the JACKPOT!
I caught about the last 1/2 of it.
It was all about Women's Beauty from around the world.
I turned it on when they were talking about Mauritania.
I know...NEVER heard of it right?
Me neither.
It is a place in Africa, on the west coast where:
(according to Oprah and Wikipedia! LOL)
The cultural idea of beauty encourages consumption of high fat foods such as camel's milk, to ensure that young women attain sufficient size. Overweight individuals would be considered attractive in this culture. Stretch marks are also considered attractive, as are large ankles and bottoms. Obesity is so revered among Mauritania's population that the young girls are sometimes force-fed to obtain a weight the government has described as "life-threatening". Force-feeding has now been officially outlawed but still takes place in some areas of the country.

Oprah was Hilarious talking to this woman...
But for me it REALLY made me think.
I TRY not to be consumed about my weight.
If all day long I am THINKING about my weight or how I look...there is a problem.
That is the EXACT definition of a "false idol"..Right?
But...and it is a HUGE BUTT(no pun intended!)
Its hard NOT to be SOMEWHAT consumed.
In our society we are BOMBARDED with images, magazines, models, more images THEN- to top it off SKINNY JEANS.
From the time we are little girls we are ENSLAVED by a "THOUGHT".
I know...I had to sit and think about it for a moment also.
We ate TAUGHT to "think" that SKINNY is beautiful and "curvy" is fat.
Sometimes "skinny" IS beautiful.
But "curvy" is NEVER fat!
TRUTHFULLY....I want to be thin.
I want to be able to put on ANYTHING in my closet and GO.
But REALLY-I want to be fit and healthy...but I am NO LONGER willing to "sell my soul" to get it.
ALL I am willing to do is eat healthy and exercise.
YET- on the other side of the globe there is a place where an entire society is "enslaved" by a "thought" also.
They are the EXACT opposite of THIS society.
Being FORCE-FED and ONLY thinking about putting ON weight also falls into the "worshiping a false idol" category.
It really made me realize that "beauty" is a false idol.
Vanity comes in MANY ways.
It sneaks in where you least expect it.
We chase "thinness" while they chase "fatness".
It makes me think of Proverbs 31.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Tonight I am MORE aware of MY INWARD "struggle".
Tonight I will DREAM of "SOMEWHERE" in my mind.
"Somewhere" half way between Mauritania and America.
"Somewhere" in my mind...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

God is LAUGHING.......at us.

Sometimes in my life...a movie REALLY touches me.
Last night I watched "The Business of Being Born".
Its a beautiful, lovely documentary.
Ricki Lake(yes, the talk show host) produced a movie that was ALL about Midwifery and birth.
AND homebirth.......
Its a scary word.."homebirth".
Let it sink in...Homebirth.
I know...scary.
That's what we are programed to think.
Because...BIRTH has become a BUSINESS.
Why a homebirth?
Here's why......

In most cultures throughout history, women have given birth at home. The majority of women worldwide continue to birth their babies in non-hospital settings today. In many cultures birth is viewed as an integral part of family life. The advent of obstetrics in this century had a tremendous effect on childbirth customs in the United States. The birthing process became segregated from mainstream family life. Many were led to believe that the only safe birth was a hospital birth. Though doctors and hospitals took credit for statistics that indicated that birth was more successful than in previous centuries, in reality better nutrition, hygiene and disease control improved outcomes. Even today US statistics don't support the premise that the only safe birth is a hospital birth. The US ranks 28th among industrialized nations for healthy births, at 7.0 infant deaths per 1000 births. (These data are based on 2002 statistics from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau: US Department of Health and Human Services.) Hospitals have never been proven a safe place to have a baby.

By the 1950s, most births in the US were taking place in hospitals. Cesareans, epidurals and heavy doses of pain medication became the norm. Women were denied feeling and experiencing birth through their bodies, and the drugs were having adverse effects on mothers and babies.

In the 1960s and '70s, women began to question and challenge the way obstetricians were treating them—as though childbirth were a sickness. Women began to reclaim their power, and the homebirth movement was born.

The 1990s became a time of maternity awareness. People were concerned with making all of pregnancy and birth a family experience. Today, a carefully monitored homebirth has been proven to be very safe and successful for women who have been helped to stay low-risk through nutrition and good prenatal care.

Ok, Ok.....Homebirth is NOT for everyone.
There are ALWAYS some cases where a homebirth is NOT POSSIBLE.
I am not an idiot...just a realist.

This film is SHATTERING the ILLUSION of what we are all fed as a society.
I have had BOTH kinds of birth and can tell you that I would NEVER do it any other way AGAIN.
Homebirth changed the way I view childbirth.
Life is a blessing....
Most of the time-Interference is UNNECESSARY.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Calling.......

I feel like Ive been in a cave for weeks.
Lesson planning for 3 kids is CRAZY!!!
It funny...When we started to homeschool I was pretty LACKADAISICAL about it!
I kinda felt like it was something that would just HAPPEN.
Like seasons changing, or time passing.
Boy was I wrong.
It is so NOT like that.
As I have become more "experienced" in homeschooling- I realize that to me it IS a job.
A job that I do for THEM, because I feel CALLED to do it.
I can't even tell you how many times I hear, "I don't know HOW you do it. I COULDN'T".
It always reassures me that I AM called to homeschool.
I have TRULY NEVER felt that way.
I understand it.
Sometimes I have days when I DON'T feel like doing it.
SOME days ...I don't.
I take "mental health" days....sometimes.
But there has never been a moment when I felt it was too much.
Don't get me wrong...Its ALOT!
But not too much.
I feel like God has called me to do THIS job.
I feel like he smiles on me when one of the children KNOWS something because I TAUGHT them.
I know that it is a HEAVY burden- to be responsible for the TOTAL OUTCOME of our children's education.
It could be SCARY...
But I feel called to the challenge.

2 Peter 1:3-7
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.