Living Loving Learning

Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

Fall Break Weekend Plans

In Uncategorized on Friday, October 17, 2008 at 7:43 am

Friday, the ManyMeadows leave on our 2nd Annual Family Camping Trip!


Last year, Jon was in Iraq,  and Abbi wasn’t yet a part of our family.

Read about last year’s trip here and here.


There are 18 of us going this year.  Not quite all the ones in this recent family picture.

It looks to be great weather.  And even if it’s not it will be a GREAT time!

Have any special Fall Break weekend plans?

Staying in Focus

In Uncategorized on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 10:13 am

In a devotional this week, I read this statement by Oswald Chambers:


“…sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God.”


Now, this may not be any new information for you, but it has been great help in explaining some things to my boys this week, and has brought some renewed clarity in my thinking.


It’s not about what we do or don’t do; it’s about where we stand.


This distinction helps me to know that I don’t teach my boys to focus on staying away from pornography, drugs, alcohol, swearing, deceit, sexual promiscuity, etc., although we do talk about those things.


Instead, it reminds me to focus their attention on the connection they have with God.  On the relationship that is severed by sin.  The choice of deliberate independence of God and the resulting consequences.


In the past, I think I directed my kid’s focus too much on what not to do, rather than on having a relationship with a loving, living Christ. 


I hope this truth will bring the same clarity to your own thoughts!


Make sense?


Do you read “My Utmost for His Highest”?



The Secret of Workout Buddies (Part 2 of 2)

In Lifestyle on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 9:10 am

After busting our humps (and lumps!) for another week, Erin and I are starting to feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm. I am convinced that having a compatible workout buddy is the secret to fitness success. Use the steps below to find a buddy that’s perfect for you.


Steps to Finding a Good Workout Buddy


1.  Choose Someone with a Comparable Schedule

Obviously, if one of you has a 9-5 job and the other is on the night shift, scheduling workouts will be difficult at best. Find someone with a similar schedule so you can get together on a regular basis. You might even be able to share a babysitter if you both have children!


2.  Choose Someone with Similar Goals

If one of you wants to train for a marathon, and the other wants to lose weight and build muscle, your workouts will be very different. Find someone with goals that match your own. It’s much easier to encourage and motivate your buddy when you are working towards a common goal.


3.  Choose Someone Who’s in Better Shape Than You

Working out with someone who is a step or two ahead of you pushes you to work harder, rather than slack off or make excuses. They’ve chartered the course and know firsthand how hard it can be to reach goals. Their support and encouragement will help you strive further than you would on your own.


4.  Choose Someone You Respect and Trust

Sometimes getting in shape requires tough love. You need to be able to ask questions and feel vulnerable with your buddy if you want to reach big goals. It’s important to choose a workout partner who can honestly (but gently!) point out areas that could use improvement. It’s crucial that you respect your buddy enough to listen to their advice without getting defensive or hurt.

 Do you have a workout buddy? If so, tell us about them! If not, what are you waiting for?    






In Uncategorized on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 4:46 am
  • no internet until after noon

  • major headache for me

  • the power supply to my lap-top quit working

  • we bought a new power supply

  • we got Kody a cell phone (he turns 16 on 10/28)

  • Anna was mentioned at!

  • tacos for dinner

  • Ali does my hair tomorrow!

Life is good!



Curse Breaking….A Cry for Help

In Uncategorized on Monday, October 13, 2008 at 3:31 am

If you’ve kept up with this blog or gotten to know the people of the Many Meadows, you’ve probably figured out that we kids just don’t have much baggage from the past or curses to break that Grandpa (Dirk) and Mimi (Robin) Meadows have passed down to us. 

But it’s just time to come clean about something. 

There is a nasty little thing that Mimi Meadows has cursed the future generations with.  This addiction, if found in the genes of one of the Meadows, will take over and consume many a moment.  (And I know Mimi Meadows just doesn’t want us to air our dirty laundry on this blog – I mean I had to hack into the system to even get this little story posted.  So please read this as fast as you can and tell everyone to get over here quick before she deletes this very important cry for help.)  Ok, here it is . . . this bothers me to even say it because yes, I am a partaker in and carrier of the curse as well. 

We are a family of  . . . hold your breath . . . nail biters.  There. I’ve said it.  I feel better now.  We have tried many conventional and unconventional techniques in trying to break this disgraceful little habit.  Many a triumph has occurred for periods of time only to fall off the wagon and right back into the nibbling addiction.  I am happy to say that personally I have been doing quite well and only pick at my cuticles now and then and only bite when a nail “needs it” if you know what I mean.  Oh, and only if I’ve washed my hands recently, because over all, that’s really the worst of it, the germy nature of this habit . . . eww!!  Now if you were to take a look at Mimi Meadows’ nails you would see those poor things just chewed down to the nub . . . it is quite a problem.

 Recently I’ve become aware of the ghastly horror that my children are now nail biters.  At first I thought, “Oh they’ve played outside a lot that’s why the weekly nail clipping has not been necessary.  Or maybe they’re just not growing as fast since they’ve gotten older.”  But no, I have now caught them in the act of gnawing unmercifully on those unfortunate little protectors-of-fingertips.  Just the other day one of my little guys said his toe was hurting.  When asked for the cause of this pain he answered that he had been biting his toenail and hurt it in the act!  Horror of Horrors!!!  What do I do?


Do you have any help for breaking this chewing curse?



Back it Up!

In Uncategorized on Friday, October 10, 2008 at 9:51 am


Support Your Spine!


Start now, you can still save your spine!


This week I did my clinical rotation in a cath lab.  A cath lab that also does a lot of interventional radiology, spinal stimulation and kyphoplasty.

Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves insertion of a balloon into your spine and then cementing portions of your vertebra together, a very cool procedure to watch, but trust me, you don’t want to have it done if you don’t have to!


The spine is one of the most important parts of your body. It hold you up, supports you, lets you go about your daily business. How do you treat it?


Think of your spine as a wife, to you, the husband (work with me here).  She helps you, is always there with you, reminds you when you’re getting tired 😉 But, if you treat her poorly for years and years, she’s gonna give up on you.  So I’m writing to keep you off of the surgical table and help you restore your relationship with your spine.


This happens more commonly in women, because we already have trouble with bone density as we age. But whatever age you are it’s never too early to start these practices to keep your spine healthy as you get older


1.      Your mom has told you since you were little.  Listen to her! Sit up straight! We often slouch over when we are at work or school and guess what, over time it sticks that way!

2.      Lifting wrong is the fastest way to mess up your spine. I’m guilty of it too.  There is no one around and I just need to move this very large item a few feet. DON’T DO IT! Get some help! Even if you are lifting light things in the wrong way you can damage your spine.  So be careful and always be cautious of the alignment of your spine.

3.      Build up your bone. Ladies, our bones are degenerating.  Let’s do something about it before it’s too late! Older women may need to take a calcium supplement to maintain their bone density. Younger women start with drinking a glass of milk or adding calcium fortified products in your daily diet. You will be thankful for this later!

It is important to invest in your relationship with your spine now. If you take care of her, she will be with you for the rest of your life.


What other techniques do you use for spine health?

How many of you are already experiencing back pain?







Family Business

In Uncategorized on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 10:16 am

It’s this girl’s birthday today!  Hop on over and leave her a message. 🙂

This girl is starting her own business.

Ali (Meadows) Ruhman brings her 6 years of experience as a stylist to:

Sherri & Company

109 South Broadway


Call for an appointment:  (405)808-4256 or (405)340-6135

She can turn this:

Into this

She keeps us all looking good! 

When’s the last time you had a new hair style?

What We are Reading

In Uncategorized on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 9:10 am

The ManyMeadows Plus like to read.  Some are reading for school, others for fun and life.   Here’s a sampling of what we have going right now.



Brisingr– Christopher Paolini (a homeschooler) ( Book 3) Inheritance Series (fantasy)–This is brand new and I’m just starting it this week. The first 2 books were very exciting to read. Books I would definately recommend for anyone. 


Elsewhere Gabrielle Zevin– A fictional book about a 2nd life after you die on Earth in a place called Elsewhere. A very interesting, funny book and an easy read. Good for young adults.


 I just finished The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher– Rob Stennett.  A quirky, fun  story about a man who decides to start a church….only problem is, he isn’t a Christian.

Trading Places by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott – a good look at the idea of putting yourself in your mate’s shoes to understand his/her point of view.


I am reading Medical Surgical Nursing 7th edition by Sharon Lewis and
Mental Health Nursing by Karen Lee Fontaine.  They are really exciting although I don’t think I would recommend themfor light reading.   They weigh about 8 lbs each.


I am reading: Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 7th Edition by Daniel C. Harris,and Physics Demystified by Stan Gibilisco and Kaplan MCAT 2008-2009.

 I wish I was reading: The Innocent Man by John Grisham, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications by D.A. Carson, or anything by Ben Witherington III.

Darn school. 🙂


I haven’t really been reading as much as I would like to right now, but did find time this week to read a chapter out of a book that my friend Nicole loaned me called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Chauncey and McDonald.. I just flipped through it and one chapter caught my eye called “Weary Women”. I thought,  well that sounds like me so I read it and just reading that small little bit really revived me in a area that I struggle with.

It talks about how we women feel pressured to have an actual quiet time and feel guilty when we don’t accomplish this. One part that really jumped out to me was 

“If you have little ones, accept that this is your “noisy season” of life.

It suggests instead of feeling stressed to sit down one time a day and have a quiet time or prayer time, to pray in droplets throughout the day. It’s refreshing that we can spend time with God in our own special ways.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki —a fascinating book that I can’t believe I haven’t read before about the differences between  working for money as opposed to money working for us.  Recommended by Anna’s boyfriend, Cody Light (even more reason to read it!)


Mozart’s Sister by Rita Charbonnier
This is a fiction novel based on the true story of, you guessed it – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sister.  It is actually a very interesting read that has led me into further research to see how accurate it is in its portrayal of the barely-mentioned Mozart girl.  She did a good job of making the story entertaining while giving a close-to-accurate account (with as little information as there is to draw from) while also teaching a fair amount of historical significance.  It is unfortunately rated “R” for one “scene” in the book.
Love in the House by Chris and Wendy Jeub
This is a non-fiction book about the true story of a christian homeschooling family of 15 kids who were featured on a reality show on TLC about large families.  I can closely relate to this book for obvious reasons, and while there are some things in the book that for now God is not calling our family in, I respect them for being so passionate about the way they believe.  It has given me some things to think about and can help any family large or small.


For my Early Childhood Education graduate course, I am currently reading Pianta & Cox’s “School Readiness & the Transition to Kindergarten in the Era of Accountability” (sounds fascinating, huh?). Although the style of writing is similar to ‘legalese’ and often hard to follow, the content is quite interesting (and good for a heated debate!). The book discusses the strict standards and assessments that now face early childhood education in settings such as public schools and Head Start programs. Children as young as 3 are affected by federal mandates requiring testing and assessment, upon which efficacy of school programs is judged and funding is subsequently based. All this talk of governmental requirements makes me wonder: ‘What happened to the days when a kid could be a kid?!’






I am currently reading The Shack, and have been trying to finish it for the last four months!



Are you an avid reader? 



What do you have open right now? 


The Principles of the Principal

In Uncategorized on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 9:37 am

The boys weren’t getting along.  In fact, the worst atrocity that could ever happen in the history of all mankind had happened.  One of the boys sat in the other boy’s usual school place!  You know….he made a power-play.  He pushed his brother’s buttons.  He knew just what would make him frustrated.  And it worked.


Words and attitudes escalated to the point that it was just easier to bring Principal Meadows in to help work things out.  Besides, he was still home.


Principal Meadows sat down at the table with both boys, one, with a smirk on his face and the other, visibly frustrated.  This is what I overheard:

 Right now you are in competition with one another.  But one of these days, I think there will come a time where you will fight for and take up for one another.  It’s not there right now, because everything is “what can I get over you” ? That will change over time, because I hope you’ll see that isn’t worthwhile.  When you learn to prefer each other, that’s what will make the difference.  When you know that you love each other enough to sacrifice for the other and learn that not everything is about you; that you’re not centered on yourself.  Like Jesus was—He wanted what was best for everyone beside himself.  I hope you’ll choose to prefer and uphold the honor of your brother.”

Their response?  They listened.  It looked like gears were clicking.  Maybe it was just hunger…it was nearing lunch time. 

 Whatever it was, there hasn’t been any school-place stealing since that day.  Not a whole lot of extra-special-brother-love, either. 

 But, they’re learning.  They’re growing.  We’re not done yet.  I’m sure glad I’m not at it alone.

That Principal Meadows sure has good principles. And I think he’s pretty darn cute, too!









This is School? A Look at Unit Studies

In Homeschooling on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 8:19 am

I teach a 3 and 5 year old at home (ok, sometimes it ‘s more like attempting to do activities with my 5 year old while the 3 year old is either jumping off me or the walls – take your pick).  What I’ve discovered works well for this varied age group, and makes it fun for me too:   unit studies.  We even did some of this with my 9 & 6 year old nieces this summer and the same “study” worked for all ages. 


I’m not a creative person by nature.  More like a copy-cat-gone-crazy, i.e., I come across an idea that’s a starting point, then I can “go crazy” with ideas.  One of my “copy-cat” resources is Five in a Row.  Also, along the same copy-cat lines, this wonderful home schooling mom, Deliese,  was doing FIAR as well and began with Night of the Moon Jellies.  Therefore I decided, “what the heck?”, I’ll start there too. 


 So this is how our unit study looked.  It took about 3 weeks to get through this since we only spend about 3-4 days a week sitting down and only 30 minutes to an hour with actual structured school time each of these days. 


 We read Night of the Moonjellies.


We talked about everything in this book from the setting (New England), to the structuring of a restaurant, to ocean things.  Of course my little guys were most fascinated with the ocean part, so this was our area of focus. 


We got several books at the library about jellyfish, looked at the pictures and talked about them.  We made paper plate and crepe paper jellyfish.  As they were cutting and gluing the tentacles we counted them and engaged in different addition and subtraction-type games with tentacles.  We wrote the letter “J”.  We talked about what other types of words start with “J”.  We talked about how many syllables were in the word jellyfish and how many other words had three syllables as well.  We talked about other words that rhymed with “fish”.



We made paper sack and crepe paper octopus’ another day and did many of the same math and word games as above.




For a science experiment we made a bowl of saltwater and tested different objects to see whether they would float or not.  They loved this one – anything involving water and young boys is a hit!






Other activities included painting sharks and whales, tracing fish and making “scales” with the end of a pencil eraser and an ink pad, drawing what they thought the beach looked like from the book, and a discussion of the book’s setting in New England and the fact that this is where the pilgrims came from in leading up to things we will be doing for Thanksgiving.


If you are looking for some ideas and struggling with teaching several levels at once, unit studies are definitely worth a try.  Any subject could turn into a unit study.  Just think of a subject that interests your children, think of what goals you have for their learning, and “go crazy” with ideas all focused around this subject.  And don’t be afraid to copy-cat.  There are tons of resources for people like me 🙂 that just don’t want to have to come up with everything from scratch.

Have you ever tried unit studies?

Are you a naturally creative person, or a “borrower” like me?