We are pregnant… AGAIN! :)

Baby number FIVE is on the way!

We’ve been using the rythm method to avoid pregnancy for the next year. But a certain “somebody”  forgot to check the calender one day… We checked afterwards and said “woops!”

I began to suspect something was up when I found myself going to the bathroom A LOT. I took a test and it was negative. So I put it out of my head. Then, about two days later around 4 a.m. I was up to nurse Abigail and I needed to go to the bathroom. I had a nagging feeling I needed to test again. Sure enough, two little lines popped up. I did a double-take at least five times.

I returned to our bedroom and smacked hubby on the leg and said, “Hey! You need to wake up…. I’m pregnant.” He was pretty shocked. But we’re very happy about it.  God has blessed us! Abigail will be about 15 months old when our newest little one is born. We’re due around July 22, 2012. We’re planning another home/water birth.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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The birth of our fourth child

I’m long overdue for an update!  Our tubal reversal went well. Within a few months, we were happily expecting our fourth child. We decided to have a home birth. Here is her story:

Abigail Scotlyn Coers

I went into labor on Friday, May 13th around 4 o’clock in the morning. I woke up with a strong contraction and I went to the bathroom. I saw bloody show! It was the first time in my life that I had seen this – I never noticed with my other three births. I went back to bed and tried not to wake up Scott, but I was too excited to be quiet.

The contractions kept coming fairly regularly for quite a while – but by 7 a.m. they had started to slow down. I was crushed! Abigail was already 6 days overdue and I was pretty tired of being pregnant. I waited until around 9 a.m. and I called our midwife, Betsy, to ask her if I could go ahead and use the castor oil/red raspberry leaf capsule plan to encourage labor to start again. Betsy told me that another client of hers might be going into labor at the same time. So I agreed that I wouldn’t take anything to speed up my labor. It was hard, but we waited.

My contractions kept coming irregularly all throughout Friday and into Saturday. I wasn’t able to get any sleep. Finally the contractions became regular around lunchtime on Saturday. Scott went ahead and filled up the birthing pool in our kitchen so I could get in after Betsy came to our house. Betsy came to check me around 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I was having regular contractions about every 6 minutes. She checked me and I was 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced! I was so thankful that I cried.

After that I labored in the birthing pool for quite a while. About 4 or 5 hours. I got out every hour to use the restroom and move around to encourage my labor to continue. The contractions became VERY strong. I started to vocalize the pain, making moaning sounds and saying “oooh, oooh, oooh!” And then when the contractions became closer together and even stronger I switched to say “OWWW! OWWW! OWWW!” Betsy was so wonderful, she kept praying for me and encouraging me. It was like having an angel there – helping me. She was so strong and courageous, but still sweet and loving. She was wonderful. Her helper showed up right around the time I reached my transition stage. Her name is Tara and she’s an EMT. She’s preparing to go to China on a medical mission to help women give birth. My homebirth was the first she had ever attended. I was honored to have her there and she was really helpful.

Unfortunately I vomited all through my transition phase. That was really hard. I had very strong contractions, but I couldn’t focus on relaxing because I was vomitting so much.

Betsy checked me and I was almost 10 cm dilated but my cervix was posterior and there was a lip in the way, holding back the baby. I had to get out of the pool and sit on a birthing stool while she tried to move my cervix out of the way. This was THE MOST painful part of my entire labor and birth. I was supposed to push with each contraction while she reached in and pushed my cervix back.

I had to move to the bed because I was so exhausted at this point and I couldn’t take anymore pain. Betsy tried to help move my cervix back again and I became frantic. I was begging for them to take me to the hospital. But it really was far too late to go to the hospital (and I’m glad – I didn’t really want to go, I was just out of my mind for a moment.) I feel so terrible that I lost my cool like that. I wanted to be so much stronger – but I was so tired after not sleeping for two days and my long labor. Betsy gave me a big spoonful of honey to give me more energy and they tried to push my cervix back again. This time it worked!

I got up and got back into the birthing pool. I started pushing gently, just sort of feeling it out. Then my body kicked into overdrive and started pushing on it’s own! That was so weird. I had no control. My muscles just slammed into action and pushed. I told my husband that I needed him in the pool to hold me up. He went to the bathroom and changed into some swim trunks. While he was gone my water broke. It did more than break – it EXPLODED! It kind of scared me. It felt like a big water balloon exploding between my legs. I could feel it all, even though my body was underwater.

Scott got back into the tub and sat behind me and held me up while I pushed. I grabbed onto his hands and later he told me he was really scared that I was going to break his fingers. Pushing was amazing and really difficult. I definitely felt the ‘ring of fire’ that everyone talks about. I think I kept saying “IT BURNS! IT BURNS!”

The baby was coming down very quickly, so Betsy told me to pant and let my body stretch. This was very hard and I don’t remember this part very well. Finally after only a couple of minutes of pushing she was out! Betsy pulled her up out of the water and laid her on my chest. My husband was crying and laughing at the same time. It was amazing. There was no more pain at all! My baby girl looked up at me and my husband – she was so beautiful. She looked right into our eyes.

After that we took an herbal bath together and Betsy checked me for tears. I didn’t have a single tear – only some stretch burns. We got dressed and got into bed and my children came home to see their new sister. It was so perfect.

The pain was more than I thought it would be and my labor was very hard. But I would do it again. I know it was the best way to deliver my baby.

Born safe at home into the arms of her loving parents

Snuggled in her nursery

Her birth certificate – born at home

Our first family picture with our newest member

UPDATE:

We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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My second chance

I just can’t believe I’m actually typing this!

For the past four years, we’ve been looking at Dr. Perez’s site and making plans. Every year, something came up and the money we had set aside for the surgery would have to go to something else. It was heartbreaking at times.  But I believe we were on a timeline set by our Heavenly Father and it has worked out perfectly according to His will.

Ten years ago, after my youngest daughter, Vivian, was born I made the decision to have a tubal ligation. At the time I was very young, only 21 years old and I already had three children. I was worried about having more children. I was scared I couldn’t take care of them, or provide for them. So, even though my doctor tried to convince me to make a different choice, I insisted that I be sterilized.

I can say without a doubt that if I could change one thing in my life, I would NEVER have made that decision. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but that was by far, the worst one. God has blessed me with a special heart for children and a joy in motherhood. I was wrong to end that part of my life.

Over the course of the last ten years, God has brought me through some very tough struggles as a single parent and five years ago He blessed me with the most wonderful husband and a new realization of the person He wants me to be. About two years into our marriage, during worship service at church, I cried out to God to change me. I begged Him to use me, show me where to go, show me how to conduct my life. I wept as I cried out for His guidance. And I felt His peace wash over me.

You see, even though I wanted to have more children – God knew I wasn’t quite ready. I believe this spiritual process of healing was necessary in order to prepare me for my reversal surgery.

Isn’t God amazing?

This past January, we found out we would be getting back a large enough return to FINALLY have the reversal surgery. I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was. We held our breath every day until the money was deposited in the bank. We then started the process of filing for our passports. My husband already had a passport, but his was expired. I needed to file for the first time. We sent off our applications separately, but on the same day. They were both received on the same day and the two checks we sent were cashed the same day. But I got my passport back in 9 days and my husband’s has not come in yet.

Luckily, my husband’s grandfather’s wife, Tiko, is actually from Mexico and she travels over there all the time. Both Tiko, and Scott’s grandfather (Giddy) have passports. So I went ahead and scheduled my surgery for the 27th of March, thinking that if Scott’s passport wasn’t in by then, I could still go with Giddy and Tiko.

We drove down south and dropped our children off in Corpus Christi to visit my parents and grandparents. They had a wonderful weekend playing on the beach and having fun.

Scott and I drove to Pharr, where his grandfather lives. We found out that Tiko asked the officials at the border if Scott could show some other kind of ID to get across and they said if he had proof that he applied for his passport, his birth certificate and his driver’s license, he could travel across without any trouble. Scott was really glad to hear that because he wanted to be with me during my surgery.

We crossed without any problems. I didn’t know what to expect with all the scary news stories going around about the violence with the drug wars in Mexico. There were a lot of Border Patrol agents, some soldiers and police officers patrolling the streets – but it really was uneventful. We’re so thankful that we had so many people praying for our safety. We had nothing to worry about. God was watching over us.

We did have a little bit of trouble finding the hospital. We wrote down the directions, but the street signs were rusted and it was really difficult to tell where the city blocks ended. Luckily, Tiko speaks Spanish and we were able to ask for directions. I highly recommend using the shuttle service. We were blessed to be riding with Tiko and I don’t know how we would have found the hospital without her. Please use the shuttle service.

The reception area was absolutely charming! It was beautifully decorated with citrus colors and black accents. I wish I would have taken a picture – because I really loved it. We walked down the hall and checked in. The paperwork was in Spanish, so Tiko told me what to write and where to sign my name. And then we went to our room. The hospital is very nice and clean. Really, it’s just like the hospitals here in the United States – except the staff and doctors in Mexico are SO MUCH NICER!

After a little while, Dr. Levi came in to talk to us. He was so wonderful. He sat right down and talked to us for over an hour. I don’t think I’ve talked to any doctor for more than 20 minutes. I was so amazed that he was willing to answer every possible question we could have. There was no rush and I really appreciated all the information he gave us. He was so funny and it was easy to relax around him. My husband really liked him a lot.

That night, Tiko went out to one of the restaurants and brought back some amazing food! I tell you what – the food down there is just wonderful! We loved it.

The next morning, they woke us up pretty early – around 5:30 a.m. to put in my IV and draw some blood. Around 6:45, the cafeteria lady came in to give Scott some pancakes and Dr. Levi came in to give Scott some scrubs to wear. A nurse came in to put on my surgical booties and she covered my hair with a cap. Then I hopped into a wheel chair and went to the operating room.
Dr. Perez was there and I was able to say a brief hello. He seemed really nice – but we didn’t talk very much. They put in the epidural and I did go to sleep for a little bit. I woke up halfway through the surgery and I said some silly things because I was a little dopey. I told Scott we should name our son “Roberto” in honor of Dr. Perez and I said he was a great man like five times. So that’s a little embarrassing.

The surgery took about an hour. Dr. Levi worked on one tube and Dr. Perez worked on the other tube. I lost about 80 ccs of blood, which is hardly any! It really was a very successful surgery. They certainly know what they’re doing. After it was all over – I found out I have 7 to 8 cm on both sides! Dr. Levi told us we shouldn’t have any trouble at all getting pregnant!
My entire experience was wonderful. The doctors and nurses were really very nice. The hospital was clean and quiet. The food was terrific. And our journey was very safe.

Today I’m a little sore, like I did about 100 sit ups. But I’m able to move around slowly and my family is taking care of me. We praise God for keeping us safe and blessing us. And we’re so pleased with Dr. Levi and Dr. Perez and the hospital in Rio Bravo!

UPDATE:

We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

2

Our new beginning

Ten years ago, after my youngest daughter, Vivian, was born I made the decision to have a tubal ligation surgery – or have my “tubes tied.” At the time I was very young, only 21 years old and I already had three children. I was worried about having more children. I was scared I couldn’t take care of them, or provide for them. So, even though my doctor tried to convince me to make a different choice, I insisted that I be sterilized.

I can say without a doubt that if I could change one thing in my life, I would NEVER have made that decision. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but that was by far, the worst one. God has blessed me with a special heart for children and a joy in motherhood. I was wrong to end that part of my life.

It took five years to fully realize that my decision was a mistake. And it’s taken another five years to be able to correct that mistake.

Ten long years.

At the end of this month we will be traveling to Mexico, to meet with Dr. Perez and have my tubal ligation reversal surgery – or have my “tubes untied.” Dr. Perez has been in practice for 30 years and he does about 150 tubal reversal surgeries every year. He’s very experienced and comes highly recommended. His hospital is affiliated with the Red Cross and is located just outside of the Texas border in Rio Bravo, Mexico. We have chosen to have our surgery with Dr. Perez because he has a very high success rate, he’s been in practice for a very long time and has plenty of experience, he’s close to us (as we are Texans) and quite frankly, it’s a lot less expensive to see him in Mexico.

Scott and I feel like this is the final step in our new beginning. We’ve talked extensively about the changes we’ve made as a couple in the last five years. We are not the same people we were ten years ago. In fact, we’re not the same people we were five years ago when we got married. We’ve grown together and we feel like we’re becoming the couple that God intends us to be – and we’re very excited by this!

I can’t say for sure if we’ll be able to have more children. It’s in God’s hands. But I’m overjoyed that I can finally do my best to correct a mistake I made a long time ago.

UPDATE:

We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

2

You have to pay to play in our house

We are “techies.” Our family loves games on the computer and Wii. Our daughters have Nintendo DS systems and our son loves his handheld PSP. Recently I noticed a disturbing trend in our household. The more video games we played, the more we slacked off on our chores, our tempers were shorter with each other and basic courtesy and respect were on a serious decline.

I started a solid rule in our home: No more than one hour a day for computer and video games.

It was a good start in the right direction. Unfortunately, it is very easy to lose track of time when you’re playing your favorite video game. I’m so thankful the Lord blessed me with a better way to handle our video game situation!

Introducing our “Pay to Play” method!

Our children pay to play their favorite games

I grabbed a few of our old poker chips and designated colors: Blue for Rowena, Red for Daniel and White for Vivian. Each child is given four chips at the start of each day. Each chip is worth 15 minutes of game time. This counts for games on the computer, Wii or their handheld systems.

One firm rule is set: No game time until chores and school work are completely done.

The chips also come with some rules of their own. If the kids are spending their chips and we find a chore or a school assignment isn’t finished, they lose a chip (or two). But there is a perk as well, if we see them doing something above and beyond their chores – like unloading the dishwasher without being asked – and they don’t try to bribe chips out of us, then we will reward them with a chip (or two).

Miss Rowena was outside, raking the yard the other day. We didn’t ask her to do it, she just started doing it. You can be sure we gave her two chips for that!

Since we’ve implimented this new “Pay to Play” system in our house, attitudes are improving and our days are a lot more productive.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Inspiring creativity and teaching about what matters

This morning I came across a link on Facebook posted by a friend. The link led to a video of Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D, talking about how public education often stifles creativity. The subject appealed to me because I homeschool my children and I’m always interested in new ways to teach and I’m constantly conflicted about which subjects are the most important. This video is a breath of fresh air. Sir Robinson offers a wonderful perspective about where our society is headed based on its current method of educating children.

The video can be accessed here:  CNN video link

After watching the video with my oldest daughter, Rowena, we began to talk about what Sir Robinson meant. We were particularly interested in the story he told about Gillian Lynne.  When Ms. Lynne was in school, she often turned in her homework late, had trouble staying still and paying attention and was labeled a disruption for the other students. Her mother took her for a student-teacher meeting to discuss what should be done for Gillian. After talking about her struggles in school, her mother and the teacher left the room to talk and left Gillian alone with the radio playing. Gillian began to dance and the teacher told her mother that there was nothing wrong with Gillian. She was simply a dancer and needed to go to dance school.

From there, Gillian attended dance school, became a star dancer in several ballets and eventually became a well-known choreographer. Ms. Lynne choregraphed such famous productions as CATS and The Phantom of the Opera.

Sir Robinson made the extremely astute observation that today, Ms. Lynne would probably have been given medication and told to “calm down.” This made me think of my own struggles in junior high, particularly in math class. In the sixth grade I had absolutely no interest in math. I refused to do any of my math assignments. Instead I drew pictures and comics all over my pages. I was given detention, grounded at home, given spats from the principal and eventually sent to isolation for the rest of the year. It didn’t matter, I still didn’t do any math assignments. I failed the sixth grade.

Eventually, as my family moved around to several different towns and I attended different schools, my class credits jumbled around and I was promoted up to my original grade. All through high school I wanted to be a police officer. It seemed like an exciting job with plenty of respectability and leadership. I thought it would please my family. It wasn’t until my senior year that I had a teacher pull me aside and tell me that I was a talented artist and writer. She encouraged me to enter several writing contests, which I won. She also encouraged me to apply to a selective art school. I was accepted. She was the only teacher in high school, middle school and elementary who ever told me that I could do something with my talent.

Yesterday I was scolding my children for not concentrating, not staying on task and doing poorly with their math work. It seems I have forgotten where I came from. Hearing what Sir Robinson had to say about encouraging creativity in students has awakened me this morning. I told my daughter that yes, math is important because it helps your mind to work out puzzles and think logically. That is important. But I also explained that learning math should be fun, it should be a pleasurable challenge and not just to pass a test and get a good grade. It should be interesting. I told her that the math we do together would have been impossible for me all through middle and high school. I just couldn’t understand it. It wasn’t until I was an adult at college that I realized that math had practical applications and when treated like a puzzle – a game – it was fun and I could understand it.

I want to teach my children the basics: math, science, languages, history, ect. But I want our focus to be on our talents. What gifts has God given to us? He has blessed me and my children with the gifts of art, creative writing and music. Shouldn’t that be our main focus?

Thank you, Sir Robinson. Education in our home will be different because of you.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

2

My change of heart

Almost ten years ago, I was a struggling single mother with three very young children. I didn’t spend very much time with my children because I was focused on working as a journalist, graphic layout designer and copy editor for a newspaper. My children spent the majority of their time at the babysitter’s house. They would spend the night with her often. I missed out on so much. With my eyes on the wrong goal, I stumbled and fell. I fell frequently. It was a mess. Thankfully, God did not give up on me. He led me down a broken road to my husband, Scott. Settled into a comfortable marriage I felt that for once I was safe – I was loved – and I was special. During this time of healing I was able to change my focus.  About two years into our marriage, during worship service at church, I cried out to God to change me. I begged Him to use me, show me where to go, show me how to conduct my life. I wept as I cried out for His guidance.And I felt His peace wash over me. I should have known that peace was sent to help me through the changes ahead of me.

God set out that very moment to radically change me. A few weeks after I cried out for His guidance, I became very sick with pneumonia. So sick, in fact, that my husband was forced to take me to the hospital. I was admitted for almost a week. Initially, as the doctors were working on the correct diagnosis, they were concerned about a large mass in my lungs.

Apparently the infection was so condensed, the doctors initially thought it could be a tumor. My heart stopped when they told me this.

I immediately quit smoking.

I smoked a pack a day for six years. I’ve tried every different way to quit, without success. But the day I cried out for my Father to change me into the woman He wants me to be – He set the process in motion. He knew what it would take to free me from my costly addiction.

And still He continued to work on me. Shortly after I recovered, an opportunity to serve in my church’s children’s ministry presented itself. As I considered working in this ministry a warm peace, much like the one I experienced during that special moment of worship – washed over me and I knew that this was a step in the right direction.

Over the next few weeks, He continued to work on me. He opened my eyes to healthy changes in my lifestyle, our budget, our household. My Father has redirected my interest in raising my children in a simple, loving and Godly manner.

And then my God laid it upon my heart to take a leap of pure faith and homeschool my children.

The idea at first was frightening! I was not this person. I was busy at my job, I had my own interests. Sure, I love my children, I attended church, I loved my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ – but I was nowhere near where He wanted me to be.

I was NOT the type of mom to get up early, make sure everyone had a nice breakfast. I didn’t pull myself out of bed to spend a little time in prayer. I rarely cracked open my Bible unless I was at church. I wasn’t a bad Christian – but I was inactive, lukewarm. I had not surrendered my life completely to His will.

As I look back today, I’m amazed at just how far God has brought me in such a very short time. He’s used circumstances to teach me. He’s led my heart to a new realization of just how wonderful my life could be when I decide to truly serve Him. I can see now that serving in the church children’s ministry will help me as I homeschool my children. The organizational skills I’ve used at work will benefit me as I struggle to keep us on task at home. The new things I’m learning everyday will help me to become the woman I need to be –  the woman He wants me to be.

I still have a long way to go. I’m not a saint, by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m still a little unsure of myself in this new role. I don’t know if I can be “that type” of a woman. Can I be a true help mate for my husband? Can I be the way God wants me to be?

Not on my own.

But I’m not alone. I’m being led every step of the way. And I’m so very thankful that God has invested such an interest in a wayward servant.

Along with changing my attitude towards raising my children, God has placed a new desire in my heart to have more children. When I gave birth to my third child, I made the terrible decision to have my tubes tied. I broke my body. My heart is broken. God, in His goodness and mercy, has led me to The Lord’s Heritage Ministry – a ministry that helps raise money to fund tubal ligation and vasectomy reversal surgeries.  I have hope now. This chance to be physically restored is precious to me. God has recently been working with me regarding my misconceptions about submission to my husband and my misconceptions about why God created women. I used to be so concerned with my career, so concerned with “being somebody,” and I didn’t want to be “just” a housewife. It has been a struggle for me to overcome the lies that I grew up with as a child of the feminist generation.
Today I am very, very happy to be a stay-at-home mother, I’m proud to be homeschooling my children and diligently serving my church. There are still times when I struggle with that prideful nature when I bump into an old friend and they ask me, “Where do you work?” Their faces change when I say, “I’m at home with my kids.” It’s like they think I’ve given up – when really I’ve chosen a fantastic calling!
God has revealed much to me about my character and the wrong ideas I’ve had in my heart. And it’s just in time, too! God’s timing is perfect. My daughters are getting older now and they’re talking about what they want to be when they grow up. I would have encouraged them down the wrong paths in the past. But today I’m able to tell them that God has created them as women for a very special purpose. Yes, a job – a career – for an unmarried woman is important. And it’s important for them to ask God to show them their paths. But the Bible tells us as women what our purpose is and why He made us. We are helpmeets, rubies for our husbands, gaurdians of our homes! This is so wonderful to me now. It blesses my heart to tell my daughters that God loves them and wants them to be happy.
God has helped me to see His perfect planning when He created women for that purpose. I was blessed about two months ago to receive a book from my mother-in-law, “Womanly Dominion,” by Mark Chanksi. This book really helped me to realize that I was pleasing God, my Father, when I chose to serve my family and my husband with my whole heart.
Thank God for working to reveal these things in my life! I have such amazing peace. I experience so much more joy in my life. It is my prayer that I can help other women realize that they can have this same joy and peace everyday!

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

2

Building relationships with your neighbors

With today’s busy schedules and fast-paced lives, it seems there is little time to socialize with the people in your neighborhood. In fact, many times the neighbors are virtual strangers, with barely a word spoken as glances are exchanged on the way to the car, check the mail or while mowing the lawn. Our busy lives have pushed aside the desire to foster a sense of community.

Building relationships with your neighbors can be very beneficial and rewarding. Families with young children can feel safer about their children playing outside if they are well acquainted with their neighbors. Children live happier, healthier and more productive lives when they are raised in a secure environment with plenty of social stimulation and interaction with people from all age groups and walks of life. Often busy and overworked parents may be delighted to discover a friendly neighbor willing to help with babysitting to allow young parents a date night once in a while. Older neighbors can often offer valuable advice and insight to help with child rearing.

To bring families and neighbors together, consider hosting a block party. First, be sure to contact your local public works department or law enforcement center to inquire about any permit fees or required documents in order to hold a block party. Next, visit with your neighbors and begin to set a date. It’s a good idea to keep a “rain date” in mind, in case of unfavorable weather. Once your date is penciled on the calendar, it can be fun to plan a theme. Consider themes based on the season such as a Summer Swim Fest, a Fall Harvest Party, a Winter Wonderland or a Spring Fling. Other fun themes could involve a word-play based on street names, festive Hawaiian luaus, or a simple pot luck buffet. Some very helpful tips for planning a block party can be found in this online PDF: http://www.fcgov.com/communications/pdf/block-party.pdf

A close-knit community also provides help during times of emergency, illness or family distress. It is important to know your neighbors and be willing to help should they need it. Neighborhood watch programs and vigilant eyes within the community drastically reduce crime rates. Starting such a program within your neighborhood is fairly easy. Begin speaking with your local law enforcement office. Often local police departments offer start-up kits for neighborhood watch programs. Speak with your neighbors and arrange a meeting in your home. Not only will you be well on your way to a safer neighborhood, but you will also get to know your neighbors and build solid friendships.

At the initial meeting, be sure to go over the goals you and your neighbors wish to accomplish with the neighborhood watch program, such as: increased security, a safer environment, building relationships and sharing contact information in case of emergencies. Consider creating a “phone tree,” to announce meetings, alert neighbors during an emergency and also to share good news and general announcements. If everyone is willing, encourage continued participation by scheduling monthly meetings.

Another easy way to get to know your neighbors is to hold a yard sale. Not only will you be able to clear your home of a little excess clutter and earn some extra cash, but you can also get to know your neighbors. About three weeks before your yard sale, be sure to visit with your neighbors, let them know you’re planning to have a sale and perhaps see if they would like to set up a few tables in your yard and sell a few items of their own. Offer to have some breakfast items, such as muffins or donuts available for your neighbors to share the morning of the yard sale. Perhaps you can arrange a pot luck dinner to enjoy once the yard sale is finished. Getting to know your neighbors can be simple. The benefits of a close-knit community are well worth the minimal effort to reach out and introduce yourself to the people living around you.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

2

Scriptures to help with sibling bickering

For the past month it seems our three children have fallen into a very bad habit of griping, nit-picking and generally speaking to each other in very rude ways. It has become an almost daily occurance for one, two or all three of them to be in serious trouble for the way they have chosen to speak to their brother or sister. Last night was the last straw. I had told all three of the children to work together as a team to wash and put away the dinner dishes. I told them I did not want to hear any arguing.

Unfortunately, five minutes into the task, my son was heard grumbling under his breath rather rudely to his older sister who was trying to explain to him that he had not fully washed a dish and it needed to go back into the dish water.

After sending him to his room, along with grounding him from his PSP privilages for a week, I turned to a Google search to help find some scriptures that could better illustrate how wrong it is to constantly tear each other down with words spoken in anger. I know this is a common problem for many families, so I thought it would be helpful to share the ones we’ve decided to use in our home:

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret it leads only to the evil (Ps. 37:8)

A wise man fears for the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hot headed and reckless. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated (Pr 14:16-17)

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control (Pr. 29:11)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Pr. 15:1)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Pr. 21:23)

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out (Pr. 17:14)

It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel (Pr. 20:3)

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Tim. 2:23-24)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph. 4:31)

Do everything without complaining or arguing (Ph. 2:14)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” which is the first commandment with a promise “that it may go well with your and that you may enjoy long life on the earth (Eph. 6:1-3)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (Col. 3:20)

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:11)

My son and I discussed these verses and we talked about what it means to be pleasing to God and how important it is to be very careful with the way we speak to each other. It is a hard lesson to learn – not just for a child, but for anyone. Today during our lessons we talked as a family about these scriptures and we assigned Proverbs 21:23 “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” as our memory verse for the week. My children have a weekly verse to memorize by Friday or they will not be able to play on the computer or the Wii on Saturday. In addition to his grounding, my son will have to choose three of the above listed verses to memorize as well.

Of course, after laying out the punishment and the tears from my son, I myself cried. Parenting is not for the faint-hearted, and as a “weaker vessel” I do tend to leak quite often around the eyes. But I am praying these verses will take seed in my children’s hearts (and my own) and help us to cultivate a more pleasant way of speaking to each other.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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These are a few of my favorite links

I feel like I’m falling off the edge of the sidewalk here, because I don’t want to become one of those “bloggers” that blog about every random thing under the sun. However, I do enjoy reading a few blogs that provide outstanding information and uplifting outlooks. I think the world can use a few doses of useful blog posts. I’m going to attempt to be “that” kind of blogger.

So right here and now, I am vowing not to blog about celebrity scandals, what was on television last night or the latest political outrage. No sir. I’m choosing to offer a few tips for the everyday REAL woman. I have a heart for stay-at-home mothers and wives. We’re in the trenches, doing what the Lord has called us to do, taking care of our families and our husbands. This blog is for them.

To get started on the right foot I thought it would be important to share some links to sites that I highly recommend.

http://www.happyhousewivesclub.com/

Darla Shine is an outstanding example of a woman who said enough is enough and turned away from the “Desperate Housewives” culture. She has instead promoted a wonderful sense of pride for stay-at-home wives and mothers, and all women who want to serve their families with distinction. I want to encourage you to pick up her book today. Her website is crammed full of fantastic tips for every aspect of family care including recipes, cleaning tips, work at home solutions, child rearing, physical well being and even special emphasis for military wives. There is also a wonderful discussion board where ladies come together online to chat and encourage one another.

http://www.southernplate.com/

For those of us that might be learning to cook a little later in the game (like myself) this site is a total must!  Christy Jordan is a bona-fide Southern Lady and a true delight. Her recipes are not only mouth-watering, she shares step-by-step tutorials with pictures! How cool is that? It’s seriously like having quality cooking lessons right in your own home.

http://sbees.blogspot.com/

I homeschool my three children. The advice, tips and general information I glean from Heather’s site is invaluable. Just her post on her binder organization made my jaw hang open. Here’s a girl who knows how to get things in order! I love to see the pictures of her sweet family as they journey together in their homeschooling adventure. If you are a homeschooler, or if you are considering homeschooling – take a walk through her site, read the archives and click the links. It’s all good stuff.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/

I greatly admire Susanne. I’m constantly reading her recipes and frugal living tips. She is really amazing. Her article about Apron Evangelism made me want to wear my apron 24/7 and be the very picture of superwoman. The Hillbilly Housewife site offers valuable insights, recipes, tips and a good solid dose of Christian morality and edification. It’s good for the brain and good for the soul.

Those sites will get you off to a great start! I hope you benefit from them as much as I do every day.

Much Love!  – Amanda

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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