Monday, December 12, 2011

What Noah Did NOT Say

Nathan and I were lying in bed last night laughing at the way Noah tries to sneak in bad words throughout the day by talking about not saying them. I knew I needed to write these memories down before I lost them. He is such a funny kid.

We have each of the following conversations about three times a day.

Hey Mommy?
Yes Noah.
I not gonna say shuddup.
No, you're not going to say that.
No, I not. Shuddup is NOT nice. We don't say shuddup.

Mommy, can I say what da heck?
No Noah. We can't say that. That's not nice.
Okay. I not say what da heck...

But K* says what da heck.

Yes he does, and that is not nice either.
Okay. I not say what da heck.

Mommy! I didn't tell him to GET oudda here!
That's so good Noah. Thank you for being sweet!
It's not nice to say HEY YOU GET OUDDA HERE.
That's right. That's not nice. Have you been in trouble for doing that before?
(annoyed groan) yessss
I am so glad you didn't say that to that nice man. You were sweet to him.

Yes Noah.
I not say I'm the boss.
Good, Noah because you're not the boss.
Daddy's the boss.
Mommy and Daddy are both the boss of you.

Mommy? I'm not gonna to say shuddup.
That's a good idea son.
I not gonna to say what da heck eiver. And I'm not gonna say HEY YOU! GET OUDDA HERE! That's not nice.
No, Noah, that is not nice at all.
Mommy, Can I say shakalaka?
Baby (giggling on the inside), you probably shouldn't say "shakalaka" anymore because your daddy and I keep thinking you're saying a bad word.
(annoyed sigh) okay. And I'm not the boss.
No you're not honey. (trying my darnedest not to show my tickled side.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What I Learned While Gardening in 2011

I wanted to write down some things we've learned this year while gardening. Also, you'll see a few pictures sprinkled along the road.

1. The numbers on the back of the seed packet that say you should have produce around 33 days, 90 days, etc. They're never accurate. Today I finally picked  our"30 day" radishes after 120 days. They're marble sized. 

2. Dirt makes all the difference. I use the cheap dirt usually because, well, it's cheap. But I ran out of the cheap dirt on one part of the garden and used the miracle grow expensive stuff. Well, what do you know? The side of the garden with the better dirt is growing faster, healthier, and even showing less yellowing due to over watering (yes, my bad. Water before it rains much?). I'm also seeing fewer bug attacks on the plants with the better dirt, but I'm not sure if that's related.

Can you see the difference? Just one plant over is healthier and larger than the other.

3. Broccoli really does like soil that drains well. You'd think I'd know that because I read it in a book somewhere, but then I just had to plant the broccoli in soil that did not drain well to prove something. The book was correct. I am gingerly watering my broccoli now this season. Oh, also, did you know broccoli doesn't like its leaves to be wet? Only water around the stalks, and never on the leaves. You learn so much when you read!

4. Peas are awesome! Yes they are.  They are easy to maintain, they put nitrogen into the soil as they grow (thus nourishing the soil for next year's crop), and they taste great. Every spring and every fall from here on out, peas will be planted in my garden.

5. Don't get distracted by your children while planting peas and forget the seed packet out in the yard. It will inevitably get rained on, and, two weeks later, you may find the dilapidated packet full of sprouting peas and have more peas than you know what to do with! This did not happen to me. I'm just saying that it could happen. To someone. Not me.

6. Peas need something to hold onto before they will produce their peas. The trellised peas in our garden are producing. The non trellised peas? They have not yet produced and have been sentenced to creative trellising through the end of their growing season. Today I dug some holes next to our frostbitten tomato plant and its trellis and put a few more large seedlings alongside the dying plant, hoping it will vine.

We're also using a plant stand as a trellis and some gone to seed lettuce stalks, hoping they will vine up them.
This is what you call desperation, people. Clearly, I need to invest in some more items for the peas to climb.

7. Lettuce really won't do well for very long in a pot outside. I need to plant it in the ground if I want to get any decent use out of it. We probably should mulch over it next year as well, for the same reason.

The warm fall days caused our lettuce to shoot up and grow bitter quicker than I had hoped! 

8. Cilantro doesn't like hot heat! Our cilantro went to seed at the beginning of the summer. I was so disappointed because I was hoping to use it all summer long. I managed to salvage some of the seeds, and I refrigerated them for a few weeks (to imitate a winter chill), then I stuck them in some dirt and watered them occasionally. Nothing happened all summer long! Just now, in the first week of November, I am finally seeing some cilantro shoot up from that dirt.

Lesson learned: cilantro does not like heat. I'll likely grow cilantro inside during the summer from now on.

9. Grow more parsley. It can go in anything.

10. Grow more basil. It goes in every Italian dish and we use it a ton (because I love Italian)!

11. Grow more sage and learn to read. Our "basil" was actually sage this year. Still tasty but in an ignorant sort of way.

11. Grow more tomatoes. We never had enough!

12. Ants will eat your vegetables too! Get rid of them!

13. Prune those plants! If you get in there and clean the dead leaves off your plants, you will be thanked every time with heaps of new buds less than a week later, which means more produce! Early mornings, pulling out dry, dead limbs always brought sweet spiritual truths to mind about the work our Father is doing in us, pruning out useless limbs so we can generously produce fruit.

14. Do this again next year. It was a ton of fun! Well, it still is fun. We're not done until the whole thing freezes over!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eight Years

Eight years ago today, two youngsters got themselves hitched. They didn't know what love was.
They thought they did.

They had no idea that nine months after this kiss, their world would change again with a new baby on the way.

They were on the five year plan.

Five years later. The five year plan lasted all of eight months!

Eight years and he is still my best friend, my prayer warrior, my helper and strong leader. By the Lord's grace, my husband is a better man than the great man I knew eight years ago. He is so good to me.
And he still makes me laugh.
A lot.

Thank you Nathan, for choosing me and for not quitting when the waves toss us to and fro. Thank you for clinging to Jesus for me and with me through this walk. You still are the man of my dreams.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The three

It's been a LONG time since the kids' beautiful faces have shown up on this page. Here they are on a lazy Saturday morning fort-making session. Ben is fine. He is being firmly loved by his big sis.

 Noah is wearing his spiderman pajamas. I cannot get these pj's through the wash quick enough before he's dying to wear them again! He's the same way with his spiderman underwear. Can you take a wild guess at what this little man will be for Halloween? You guessed it.
Funny faces and lots of love. We are so very, very blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Digging Deep

The Father is digging deep.
Drawing His people to Him.
Unveiling the dark, ugly portions of our hearts and saying, "Come sweet child" with tight embrace.

My febrile, snotty nosed, sick child can expect to be taken up in my arms and nursed to health. We can equally expect our Father to have compassion in our sickness - thanks to Christ!

Because He is a loving Father, He will not leave us undone in our broken, sick state.
He reveals our filth as He cleanses every crevice and corner, and He loves us deeply, all the way through it. We have a good, good Father.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


We're in a trial and error stage of life right now, trying to figure out how to be children of action, children of prayer, and children who submit to Godly wisdom. With homeschooling, couponing, never ending laundry and dishes, and frequent grocery runs (oftentimes the children join me), we already know how the hours can simply run away from us. Add to that the priceless opportunities that God presents for us to pour the gospel into another individual's life, (and, if you're like me, you want to take as many opportunities for that as you can get) then you've got a bit of a conflict.

Our days are numbered. Our hours are numbered. The sun rises and sets, and we are only allowed so many daylight hours to work and to work hard. Our bodies are limited. Working hard leads to the need for us to also rest our bodies well.

Consider as well the primary responsibilities we've been given charge over: for me the top two are my marriage and my children. This doesn't include the secondary relationships in which all believers all called to invest: the church, discipleship relationships both for myself and myself towards another, extended family, my neighbors, the needy, the widow and orphan. Where do you find time to pour yourself into each of these types of relationships that fall into your life? Where does that all fit in?

Where do you draw the line as you consider the primary responsibilities versus the secondaries? How much energy and intentional time do you set aside for your marriage and for your family? How much time do you set aside for pouring into the secondaries? Do you ever say, "no," to the secondaries?
In this season, we're finding that if we participate in more than three or four secondary activities a week, we literally lose a day to recovery. That is one whole day a week that I can't pour into my primary responsibilities. This means that we've sometimes said "no" to birthday parties, having adult friends over, even after the kids go down, and declining to help when we really, really wanted to.  We're making mistakes sometimes, but we're trying to humbly submit, recognizing our own limitations as well as taking seriously our responsibilities.

What works for your families?

*Edited to add:
I really, really do want to hear what works for your families! We're still trying to figure it out.
Also it's funny/strange that I wrote on boundaries two years ago here, but I had a different take on it back then. hmmm. Learning still, I guess.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's been a year or so since I could use the words "toilsome" or "suffering" and applied it to my everyday experiences. Life was hard a year ago, we didn't sleep much, and we didn't know how we would make ends meet. But the Lord provided plainly, clearly, miraculously for every need then.  This most recent season is a slow period of recovery, growth, and gratitude. We see God using us to pour into our children and into the community around us. We feel inescapably blessed to have a job, even a job that is not in a field of interest, to have a means to survive, to have the chance to be among God's people, to have the chance to watch our children grow. We even experience gratitude at the fact that we are not homeowners. Although my strong desire is to own a home, the Lord does not desire that for us today, and so we thank Him that He is teaching us that even the roof over our head is not our own, but His provision for us.
When I think about what our Father is doing, I imagine that he is looking over us as a blacksmith would look over his smoking, searing, pounded iron just after carefully pulling it from the fire. He inspects it for blemishes, impurities, and weaknesses.  When the metal has cooled, he can examine it to see more blemishes.
"Child, do you need to be put back in the flame and pounded even more?" I imagine Him asking with tears in His eyes.
Until our dying breath, His answer will be, "Yes, again beloved."

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Introverts Unite!

She had no need to play rough and tumble with the other girls and chase the boys across the jungle gym. The little girl in double thick glasses preferred plucking petals from the honeysuckle flowers just off the play yard and enough quiet to feel the breeze on her cheeks. She was undoubtedly an introvert, but she didn't know it!

That was me. But I was clueless that I was an introvert until adulthood; I finally realized that I was exhausted following group gatherings and holidays and was anxious even before attending them. I kept thinking, "Why does this wear me out so much? I really like these people? What is my problem?" and then it all made sense. An introvert is energized by time alone, time to reflect, while an extrovert is energized by being with people.

There's something that happens in an introvert, though, when he becomes confronted with the truth of the gospel; He simply cannot contain it within himself. The introvert who reflects on the deep, deep love the Father has for him can grow to love the people around him so deeply that he cannot help but step out of his internal heaven and put himself into their world. The introvert who knows that their life is but a breath also realizes the same truth about his neighbors and is afforded the same commission as extroverts: to go, make disciples of all nations. To step out of oneself might be embarrassing or awkward, but what is the alternative? Would it be better if I contained everything I knew within, enjoyed it for myself and shared none of it? No!

Would you ever encounter a woman across a pile of sweet potatoes and begin a conversation about her multiple spouses and unplanned pregnancies? It's possible. Jesus had a similar conversation with a woman across a well. Does that frighten you? It does me, a little, but thank heavens we are given wisdom and power by the Holy Spirit to help us and embolden us for the work!

Would you ever invite someone you met at the gym or at the grocery store to your home for dinner with your family? If you believe that faith comes from hearing the word of Christ, then you would consider it invaluable to pursue opportunities to be able to speak the word of Christ with these people. You would plan your weeks in such a way so that you could do this.

"What if I'm just meant to preach the gospel to my closest friends?" Yes, reach out to your closest friends, but  you cannot stop there! The gentleman in the car next to you who just flipped you a generous sign desperately needs to know of a God who loves him, a God who wants to give him freedom and joy through the gospel, and goodness, after such an incident, wouldn't you want him to know that freedom and joy?

Obviously you may find it difficult to communicate with a stranger on the highway, but I'm trying to explain that noone should be exempt from our efforts when it comes to our knowing, loving, and serving the same people the Christ came to save. Introverts are members of the body of Christ! Even if our personalities aren't wired for it, Christ compels us, and the Spirit empowers us to be able to do this, maybe on different levels than our extrovert friends who are geared that way. We are uniquely gifted with the ability to listen thoughtfully to the hearts of the hurting, and we should go there and not shirk away because it is uncomfortable or too close.

Time after time we see examples of God using people in spite of their weaknesses and inhibitions. The power of the gospel given by the Spirit is enough. Let me pound my fists to the table and proclaim, "You can do it!"  

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds is Christ Jesus.

His grace to you my precious friends, 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Today we are planting tomatoes, parsley, spearmint, and radishes. A strange concoction of vegetables, to be sure, but we hope they will help us to be on our way to good health. Last Thursday Nathan and I sat down and watched a strange documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. Neither of us expected to be shocked by the documentary, but we both completely were! It's on Netflix now, and I strongly encourage anyone considering reversing their health woes to look into it. We've been learning more and more over the last year about nutrition (mostly through library books!), and I am realizing that we are seriously lacking in nutrients that our bodies need to promote self healing. We should be doubling or tripling our fruit and vegetable consumption simply to maintain our health, and, at this point, we need to take steps to make up for lost nutrients over the years and encourage our bodies to cleanse and self heal. We have determined that we are embarking on a juicing fast in a few days. We're still learning what exactly this is, how long we'd like to do it, and the best ways to go about this, but we're motivated to see a change in our health. We'd appreciate your encouragement and any help you might have to offer us!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Benjamin asked for seconds

Benjamin is my pickiest eater. He nibbles at most meals.  If he had the choice to either fill up on liquid or eat food, he would choose to drink until his tummy were full. Benjamin is funny about textures and food touching or covered with sauces or food that is mixed. I have yet to actually get him to eat a casserole without a fight, and he is not too crazy about soups either. I've seen him down a few chowders though. My mentality on this is that, if he is hungry enough, he will eat it. The boy's growth charts at his annual checkups are still going well, so he is getting some nutrition in there some way or another. Osmosis maybe.
Tonight though, I tried something new. As I was considering this experiment, I was also thinking, "The kids might hate this. Nathan might hate this. But I really want to try it anyway."  I'm so glad we did! Everyone loved it! Benjamin asked for seconds and then thirds. Grace ate thirds as well.

The fun part about this recipe (that I made up and may be changing around) is that it can be served hot or cold.

Here's the base of the soup:
sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
butternut squash, peeled and chopped
carrots, peeled and chopped
peaches. peeled and chopped (I only added 1 peach for this experiment but may add more next time!)
cottage cheese, not peeled nor chopped
milk to desired consistency

I just put equal amounts on the sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. I cooked everything (except for the cottage cheese and milk) in the crock pot with a few cups of water for about 3 hours on high. Once everything was very soft, I pureed it all in the blender. For a moment, I was reminiscing over my baby food making days and was just convinced that they would hate this, but I kept at it, blending the cottage cheese and then adding some milk as well for a less baby foodish consistency.  The most fun part about this soup was the topping. I added two toppings: a good covering of wheat germ and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

I have yet to come up with a name for this delicious soup. It may already exist and thus already has its own name. If so, I'll just offer the excuse that I don't get out much! If you know the name or any other/better variations on this recipe, please do share!

I was just tickled pink that my kids were asking for seconds and thirds on butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. If we all turn orange in the next few months, you'll at least know that my babies are eating well.

Monday, June 6, 2011

When you're at the end of your rope

When you cannot escape the torments of daily living, when the toils of this place so envelop every aspect of your heart and you cannot see past them to the glorious graces that God gives us for today, even in a fallen world - just stop.
It's not your battle to win.
It was never your battle to win.
There is so much more for you here to learn and know about our Father and His riches (no, not the money kind. It's stuff that lasts). Give up on trying to fix yourself and give up on punishing yourself for not being able to fix yourself. You need Jesus. He's all you'll ever need, and, believe me, He is so good.
So if you find yourself at the end of your rope, run to Jesus. Tell Him. He said that whatever we ask for (according to His Father's good will), it will be given. Jesus wants you to run to Him.
Does this sound cryptic? "My world is crumbling beneath me, and you say I need Jesus?"
Yes. Jesus knew you would never be able to get life right, and so He lived the right life for you, and He died so that you could not only have a right life but an eternal life with His Father.
And once you get Jesus, you get the Holy Spirit too, the Great Comforter who will walk with you when hardship comes, who will speak truth to you and counsel you reasons for joy and hope as you toil under the sun.
A short word tonight. Jesus is your only hope for true joy in hardship. It doesn't come any other way. Chase after Jesus.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Give Them Grace, The real Chapter 1

Apparently I wrote about the introduction and not "Chapter 1" in the last blog post. My apologies.

Will the real Chapter 1 please stand up?

Oh, hello.

In Chapter One Fitzpatrick identifies the distinct types of obedience we teach our children:

Initial Obedience: Simply responding to a parent's immediate command.
Social Obedience: Respecting cultural norms and practicing good manners.
Civic Obedience: Following the laws of government.
Religious Obedience: What we teach our children to do as part of a life of faith before they come to faith. (ie. tithing, conduct in worship gatherings and prayer time.)

She esteems that it is good and right for a parent to teach these types of obedience, but she also warns sternly on how we teach these things. "None of these levels of obedience... can earn approval from God. In fact, each of these different forms of obedience may actually blind a compliant child to his need for a Savior. But that's where the law of God comes in."
"Even though our children cannot and will not obey God's law, we need to teach it to them again and again. And when they tell us that they can't love God or others in this way, we are not to argue with them. We are to agree with them and tell them of their need for a Savior."
As a parent, what she says next rang so true for me. From a generation that spouted, "If it is to be, it's up to me!" I struggle with admitting that there is anything that I cannot do if I simply apply myself. We claim the verse, "I can do all things" and forget about the last part. She goes on to say,
"The law of God also hinders our advance toward righteousness because, in our pride, we think that if we just try hard enough or repent deeply enough, we'll be able to obey it. We read the promises of life for obedience and think that means we can do it. The promises of life for obedience are not meant to build our self-confidence. They're meant to make us long for obedience and then, when we fail again , they're meant to crush us and drive us to Christ."
She continues to discuss how the law is meant to crush our children, so they will see their need for a savior. I agree with this and teach the children this way. These years with young ones, we are strong advocators of the law. The law is huge for us in the years of the "littles" because we hope that soon they will understand that no one can obey the law and that they need a Savior. We hope for the day they lose hope in themselves and find hope in Jesus. But the entire process of this, I will admit, is painful and harrowing, but absolutely necessary for our children to experience true joy in their God, for them to have any sense of identity, for them to have any lasting hope in this life on earth.

No parent wants to hear the diagnoses that their child has a terminal disease. The message trembles in my bones, the message that my children are enslaved to death. No parent wants to hear that their child is in a hopeless state. But there IS HOPE!

Just as Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Very excited about the next chapter!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Give Them Grace, Introduction

...The primary reason that the majority of kids from Christian homes stray from the faith is that they never really heard it or had it to begin with. They were taught that God wants them to be good, that poor Jesus is sad when they disobey, and that asking Jesus into their hearts is the breadth and depth of the gospel message. Scratch the surface of the faith of the young people around you and you'll find a disturbing deficiency of understanding of even the most basic tenets of Christianity.
-Elyse Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace

Does this message sound familiar in your home? What are your children hearing when you go together through times of teaching and discipline? I think sometimes this is as far as we get in my home. I was hugely convicted by this sentence. I think I've even said many times how sad Jesus is to see them unloving towards their sibling. I just had to sit in awe and ask, "Is this really what I am teaching my children?" Do I really teach them that their behavior is what matters more than anything? Even in talking about the condition of their hearts, an expectation is set before them, a standard that they must meet. In the hairiness that is parenting, I realized I need to be even more intentional to make time for deeper gospel conversations and be more diligent in my own preparation for them, so that they will flow easily from my mouth in times of frustration and discipline. I recognize that this will be a grace from God.

The reason that sentence is so startling is because it brings light to a way of Christian parenting that has been going on for generations. In the words of Elyse (I may use her a lot!), "...Instead of transmitting the gloriously liberating and life-changing truths of the gospel, we have taught our children that what God wants from them is morality." Are we giving them more than simply lessons on morality? Yes, we read scripture, and yes we tell the story about Jesus and what he did. But even then, we teach that doing something (asking Jesus into their hearts) saves them. Abraham was saved without moving a muscle but by the saving grace of His Father (and his heir!) We place a huge emphasis for our children on their behavior and obedience (which is not bad, by the way, but it is not the most important aspect of our parenting) Elyse puts it this way, and it is startling, "Instead of the gospel of grace, we've given them daily baths in a "sea of narcissistic moralism" and they respond to law the same way we do; they run for the closest exit as soon as they can."

Another kicker, when we begin to think about what we're really teaching our children, we need to ask ourselves, "Does simply a moralistic teaching really look any different from the teachings of a Mormon parent or that of a moral atheist parent?" What makes the Christian message distinct in how it permeates the hearts of men (and our children!)?

Thinking much on this today...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A new book!

Nathan and I are beginning a new book together. Our last read was a marriage book, which - I don't know why God graced us in this way - was, by far the best book on marriage I've ever read. It was all about the gospel. Every square inch of it breathed gospel. It was incredibly refreshing, realistic, helpful, and encouraging. I LOVED it!
Oh! What was the book? "What Did You Expect?" by Paul Tripp

But on to the new book we're reading. It's written by a Christian counselor (Paul Tripp is also a Christian counselor - I don't know why we tend to love what is coming from this field of labor right now, but we DO). I'm not familiar with Elyse Fitzpatrick, but as we've been waiting for the book to arrive, I've read snippets here and there of her work and have seen a few interviews of hers as she explains what her book is about. I'll put a link to one of the interviews. It's a long one, so I'll tell you that the portion more relevant to parenting is at the 31 minute mark, and then, after that, you won't be able to turn the interview off. She has such a different mentality for parenting, and I LOVE it! I love the language she uses, and gospel, gospel, gospel rolls off her tongue so easily.
Elyse Fitzpatrick on the Gospel and Parenting

Also, I wanted to add one of the first paragraphs that I read in the book. It really causes us to question as parents what we want to see most in our children. Do we want to see them as obedient little ones or as little ones driven by the gospel?
Just in the forward (written, not by Elyse), we see the message take shape.

What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over half a century ago, Presbyterian minister Donal Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philedelphia (the city where Barnhosue pastored), all of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, "Yes, sir" and "No ma'am," and the churches would be full every Sunday...where Christ is not preached.
- Christless Christianity, Michael Horton
Looking forward to the book, especially in the face of parenting woes I'm experiencing these last few weeks. I am seeing how my expectation for right behavior, even Biblical behavior is not enough for these children. They need more. I want to give them grace. Oh! And the name of this book? Give Them Grace, Dazzling Your Kids with the love of Jesus. Very excited!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Saturday

The children are outside having the time of their lives in a cute little swimming pool I scored brand new from Goodwill. $7.50. Am I thrilled? Yes. Are the kids loving it? Yes.
Every time I get the whale's blow hole going really good and strong, I find Ben all the way in the neighbors' yard. I think he doesn't like that part so much.
We have a huge grocery trip planned today. I hope I survive. I hope THEY survive. Grocery shopping with the children always leaves me a lot fried.
After a few other loosely planned ideas for the rest of the day (including an essential NAP), we're going to the CityFest, which is always a high point of our summer. The fourth Saturday of every summer month, the community puts on this shindig with bounce houses, live bands, catered food, games, and lots of other creative fun stuff, and it's all free. Once it begins to get dark, they show a movie on a huge screen in the middle of the field. We have been at least 5 times, and we LOVE it! This month, Great Clips is offering free haircuts for kiddos 12 and under. Wow! That is so neat!
Anyway, busy Saturday. Lot's of fun planned for these children who are now naked, out of the pool, and needing some guidance in getting dressed for the day.
Grace to you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Curriculum for next year

I need to wrap my head around this, and so I'll try to write it here. What will I do when I have 3 in homeschooling? Will I be able to remember it all? For Grace and Ben, this Summer we'll be going over the Doorposts charts that we just ordered. We'll be reading over the books, writing memory verses and trying to work through the following charts:
"Go to the Ant"
"Brother Offended"
"Blessings Chart"
"If/Then Chart"

I'm also in the process of ordering curriculum for this fall
Right now I'm looking at the following:
Math: Christian Light, Grade 1
Language Arts: Rod and Staff Nurture, Grade 2
History: The Story of the World
Science: Complete Book of Science (which I've learned is no longer being published, so we may have to rethink this!)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Lord Hates

Today, not much to write. Not much for a long time, I know. I wanted to write this out in-between nap times as I'm working through planning how we disciple our little ones. I am so burdened for their hearts. We recently found a wonderful chart that I hope will help them to see how their behavior relates to the condition of their hearts. One of the verses on the chart is about having their eyes plucked out by an eagle. It's a verse on violence. I'm hesitant to dismiss or sweep any scripture under the rug for my little ones, but I thought, maybe I could find one that was more PG but still met the need of denouncing violent behavior (ie. hitting, kicking, biting, throwing). The closest verse I've found was this, (and I've shortened it so it will fit on a one lined handwriting sheet, another reason I was looking for a different verse) - it was, "Those who love violence, The Lord hates."
The Lord hates.
Oh my poor ones. what pain their heart must feel when facing this verse. They haven't even read it yet, but we will read it, and we will weep, and we will talk about how sweet, sweet Jesus is, in light of every thing their hand has done. It is a painful, awkward task, showing a child how ugly their sin is, how the Lord hates them in their sinfulness (and yet wants to love them if they will let Him). I am so looking forward to the day they fully embrace the gospel, and walk totally affected by it.
Back to working toward that goal!
His Grace to you... (if you still read this occasionally!)