Saturday, December 30, 2006

Praise Her In The Gates The Calling of Christian Motherhood

This is a book by Nancy Wilson. I borrowed it from a friend. It is a small book and I read it over our 5 days Christmas break on the Island. It was well worth my time. She gets to the point and doesn't play around and I appreciate that. I am reading another mothering book and I am almost bored not because what she is saying is not good but it's drawn out too long.

There were some main things that really hit home for me. She talked about joy and rejoicing in the home. Though I have heard this we have come through a season of much change and busyness...it was good for my heart to hear!

"Our homes should be characterized by much joy and it isn't a quiet joy - it's loud. The righteous have much to celebrate and we should be rejoicing in our salvation everyday. We have a daily opportunities to love our children and to teach them how to rejoice with us" Chapter 5

She spends much time talking about the family table. How it relates to communion and the life of the family. She has a chapter on raising boys and girls. One chapter that struck me was her chapter on education. She talks about how in the name of "character" we don't educate our children well. Making the point that yes character is more important but educating well creates the opportunities to face character issues. Why can't we have well mannered, godly, well educated children. Why does it have to be one or the other?

"We must be aware of mediocrity, excuses, and laziness. When we excuse ourselves from hard work because we are working on "character" we deceive ourselves. When we do not provide a rigorous education for our daughters because we don't think they'll need it, we are short-sighted and may be using this as an excuse for our own laziness." Chapter 10

Chapter 12 talks about the Domestic Arts. I love this chapter because she ties a daughters education into her calling as a mother and wife. She is talking about a group pf college students who were meeting to grow in the domestic arts. This was a comment made.

"One of these young ladies commented that it seemed in this community that the more educated the girls become, the more domestic they become. This observation was a great blessing to me, because we don't want our girls to become educated so they will abandon their calling; rather, we want their education to equip them all the more to be domestic." Chapter 12

I so appreciated this. I am classically educating all my children. Though we are clearly teaching them different roles and responsibilities. I so believe a girl should be educated for God's glory and that the education is not wasted in caring for a family and educating her own children.

School is around the corner

January 2 nd is our day to get back into school full swing. My motivation waned for a bit but I started praying about our plans and asked God to give me some insight to why I wasn't as motivated as normal. These are the type of things I tend to forget to ask wisdom for....mostly because of the pride of self sufficiency. Once again God in his grace provided. The simple things in life are the things that I am amazed at God providing because in my mind they are so unimportant....not to Him.

So some of the changes.....the biggest is creating a routine and system that allows my daughter to be as independent as she is comfortable with. I am creating a school notebook for her that will have her over all week in it, a daily checklist for her to track her progress, a calendar she makes each month, a reading log for her to write down all the books she reads and a pocket for all her needed materials for the week. This makes her responsible to get out her materials and will motivate her to get her things done because she is aware of what those things will be.

There were a few areas that have been hanging over my head and I dread at times. One being copywork. I have never used a formal book for this. I have always pulled selections weekly or monthly. I am so tired of doing this. So I have gotten a list of quotes from good literature (someone else compiled) that for the most part we have read. She has to copy one several sentence quote each week, her memory verse, do dictation once per week and two journal entries. The great part is I have made a soft covered notebook with blank paper for her to put all this in except the journal entries. No more paper everywhere. I notebook everything but have found that her handling the 3 ring binders is too much. So I am using the duo tang until it's full then putting it in the hard 3 ring binder. I am also making a duo tang folder for her FLL lessons and then monthly will transfer them to the hard binder. This way she can get all her things and know where and what to do if I am doing something else (like potty training :o).

The other dread feeling I have is math. I love the concepts of Singapore and how they teach you to think about math but my daughter has begun to struggle with some of the mental math. She is not behind but I wonder if switching to Horizons might make things easier on her and me. I am not one to switch quickly or lightly but this has been on my mind. We will finish 1B because we have started it but I am waffling about what to do next. We are going back to some concepts after about 7 weeks of review and games.

I am the homeschool mom who wants to be done by noon. I am discovering if I am going to educate classically with toddlers it isn't going to happen. So History and Science will be done after lunch unless my little guy would enjoy what we are doing. This also leaves me the freedom to do more one on one with my little guy in the mornings.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone in blog land a Merry Christmas.
This quote is something I have been savoring and trying to absorb this past week. It is from "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer, chapter 5 God Incarnate.

"But in fact the real difficulty, because the supreme mystery with which the gospel confronts us, does not lie here at all. It lies, not in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of the incarnation. The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man-that the second person of the Godhead became the "second man" (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that He took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human. Here two mysteries for the price of one- the plurality of persons within the unity of God, and the union of Godhead and manhood in the person of Jesus. It is here, the the thing that happened at the first Christmas, the profoundest and most fathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie. "The Word was made flesh" (John 1:14); appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more then lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation."

What a savior!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Look to the Cross"

I have heard this a thousand times or more since becoming a believer 18 years ago. It has only been in the last several years that I finally get what it means. I am one of those people who easily looks way more at how much I mess up then to the one who cleaned it all up. I look at my sin and become discouraged and overwhelmed with how far I need to go. I strive to be "better" which also drives me to performance. Redo the schedule.....rethink this........etc. Lately I have been realizing more and more that I find part of my value in how well I perform my life tasks. I measure my success by what is done at the end of the day. Some days I am very successful according to this scale and other days.....well not so much. I am striving to be perfect. Working to be perfect is such an affront to the gospel......such an insult to the one who paid for my life with his. Wanting to "be" perfect is a form of self worship and it has lived in me undetected for along time.

This all starting running through my head yesterday on the treadmill. By God's grace I caught myself running through all the things I have NOT done well lately. I am whining a bit to God. Asking for strength and blah blah....when the Holy Spirit (cause it wasn't me) spoke to my heart "Look to the Cross". Yeh! Yeh! what ever! Blah....Blah....self worship.....blah....blah. Again I felt to "Look to the Cross"....marvel at Him who paid for all your sins. Call out truth about who you have become because of what He has done. Stop looking at yourself....look at mercy and grace that is new every morning. It was a sweet time. And I wasn't even alone. My kids were playing on the floor next to me. What grace and mercy for God to interrupt my little self worship session.

I don't have to be perfect because perfection has come. He has performed the perfect performance on my behalf. There is no greater then he......I can rest and know that my failures do not dictate where I am going, who loves me, how valuable I am. The cross is my measuring stick and it is sufficient. He even provides the faith to believe and trust! What a deal.

I also want to add that I do not believe schedules, being purposeful and working hard is wrong. The bible tells us to do all those things. Looking to the cross is our motivator in doing those things not looking good or feeling good about ourselves. We plan and work to glorify him not earn something. When I look to the right place my strength grows, my determination based on gratefulness increases.....I work hard for his glory not my own!

Now if I could only remember this 24/7!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I am making changes!

I am trying to add categories to my blog and it is very trial and error for me...so things will look a little funny until I get this right.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Our Adorable Little House

This is the front of the house. It started snowing just after we moved in the last bit of stuff.
The little pink blob by the stairs is my six year old.

Mr. M and the kids built a very big snowman!
Behind the snowman is my kitchen window view


The west side of the house.


The snow covered stairs to the front porch.
I have a door in my bedroom that leads into the front porch. I love it!



We had massive icicles. Those are my two huge kitchen windows. I love these!
My view is a big field with cows. I haven't seen the cows yet but have been told they are there. The house doesn't have a dishwasher but with this view doing dishes by hand feels like a luxury. It's a good prayer time too!


This is my husband (inside window far right) and some good friends replacing the window.
We had to take out the window to get the couch in.
The doorways are from the 1920's.....people must have been skinny back then :o)






Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Where have I been?......in a box?

I have been a bit "blog" brain dead. I will think of something to post and then by the time I get to it I have forgotten or don't have the energy. The unpacking is going well. I have come to the place of a slower pace. Deciding which things won't work in the house and what new things we might need to make it home. For example all our bedrooms are hardwood. In fact the only carpet is in the living room. Small rugs in each bedroom would add to the look and the warmth. I love decorating but for me the picture hanging is the most challenging. And we have a limited budget...so bargain hunting I go!

On the school front... I am trying to get back in the swing of things but finding it hard. It is almost Christmas and I have have lost my steam. Part of it is still getting orginized. If things are a mess I don't function very well. Things need a place or I find it hard to concentrate. I need a loose schedule to get anything done. We haven't done much school for almost 3 weeks due to the move. It has thrown my whole year plan out of wack. LOL!It is good for me to have to wing it but that will only last so long ;o). I need to re-read The Well Trained Mind and a few others books to refocus over the Christmas break.

The treadmill....well I was on it Monday! But that is the first time in 3 weeks. I know! I know! I just moved but getting back going is the problem not the break. My diet has gone south as well. I also have a doctors appt. on the 13th with the Endocronologist/OBGYN concerning having more littles. I lost over 20 lbs. and then gained some back. I haven't weighed because I don't want to know!

Then there is the gift and treasure of my little hobbits. My 3 year old is teaching me much about consistancy! He does not like change but over all has made this transition well. He went from a crib to a toddler bed when we moved. His older sister went into a loft bed when we moved. They were both so excited! My 3 yr old has also taken off in his speech...finally! I asked him the other day what he wants to be when he grows up and he said "Me be T-Rex! So my son is pursuing a career as a giant extinct reptile.
My 6 yr old princess is her sweet easy going self. She is still loving to read and draw. She is doing more imaginitive play with her little brother. It is so fun to watch. She used to say to me all the time "When will he learn to talk mom?". Well...now she has her wish. THey were playing baby fish and rescue yesterday. So sweet to see them enjoying play together and easily understanding each other.

Ths kids have watched way to much TV lately. That thing is like a drug. (a another post)

I am reading a book called "A Mother's Heart" by Jan Fleming. Will give a book review when I am done. I am also reading "The Secret Garden". I needed a no brainer book to read and I never read this as a child. I am really enjoying it. The language is great!

I am getting pictures of our new house back today...so pictures soon!

P.S. Spell check is not working and I am too lazy to check it myself;o)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Love this quote!

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble."

Charles Spurgeon


I read this on a friends blog and loved it. Thanks Als!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

As an American living in Canada we usually have dinner and celebrate on the Saturday after. The third Thursday in November doesn't mean a thing up here. It is just like any other day...still can't wrap my head around that. I am all about traditions and our new one this year......... we are moving for Thanksgiving!

I can smell turkey but probably won't eat any! I am very thankful though for my new house and my family!

;o)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nine Weird Things About Me

I have been tagged by Heather to list nine weird things about me (see link below). So I am taking a packing break and making my list.

1. In my early 20's I owned and rode a 650 Honda Hawk street bike.

2. I lived on a 275 ft ship for over 2 years.

3. I love to read but struggle to finish books because I read so many at once.

4. I dislike talking to strangers...even to the point of not asking the time sometimes.

5. I have eaten a fish eye ball.

6. I am related to Oliver Cromwell. (not necessarily proud of that)

7. I lived in the Dominican Rebuplic off and on for two years.

8. I refused to wear a shirt until of was 8-ish years old. My older brother didn't have too ;o)

9. I dove off the bow of a ship in the Bahamas...what was I thinking.


Most of these things aren't weird just things most people wouldn't know about me. It was fun! I might tag some other people later...but I have hungry little hobbits right now......and empty boxes calling my name.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I have given up!

I keep holding off posting because I want to post about the women's conference and take my time. Well......it isn't going to happen. Hopefully I won't forget everything by the time I get around to it.

Major things I accomplished this week:

1. Made my first homemade Mocha ( I needed that) I am kinda proud of myself!

2. Packed my school room and kids room. Started my room.

3. Laughed at myself lots.

4. Just switched my phone service, gained 3 new features, and they waved the moving fee for $.78 less then I was paying before.

5. Found the Ikea loft bed for my 6 year old I have been drooling over. The kicker is I found it for dirt cheap and it's only 6 months old. I love a good bargain.

Back to packing...........

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

By Design.. Embracing Biblical Womenhood

I leave VERY early Thursday morning for Phoenix, AZ to attend a women's conference hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries. I attend a SGM church where I live. There are over 50 women from my church and we are traveling as a pack. It is going to be lots of fun. I'll try to get pics of the house for next week. Tomorrow I am taking the kiddos to their grandparents because my husband has to work. It is an all day adventure considering we have to take a 2 hour ferry to get to them. So I will see you next week in between packing boxes :o).

Check out the conference schedule and web site

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We Found a House!

We just sealed the deal today on a little farm house on 12 acres. There is a horse to the right and straight across the street. My 6 yr old is excited. We also have 4 cows in the field behind our house. This is one of those old little character houses. It has 3 bedrooms and a loft in the attic space. The loft space isn't really usable in the summer because it is so hot. Haven't really decided what I am going to do with it yet. It has those diagonal closet doors under the loft steps. So adorable. The hard wood floors are the original. It is beautiful wood. The door knobs are the glass antique kind and some of the doors have skeleton keys. The landlord has meticulously taken care of this place. We are blessed to have found it. Will post pictures once I can get my girlfriend to take pics with her digital camera. Now I need to visit Ikea!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Nearest Book

1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog (or here in the comments section if you don't have a blog) along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig around for that "cool" or "intellectual" book on your shelves. (I know you were thinking about it.) Just pick up whatever is closest.


The book closet to me is a dictionary and World Atlas.....both to boring for this.
So I choose the next nearest book LOL!

Yet she desires the warm south wind of comfort, too, the smiles of divine love, the joy of the Redeemer's presence; these are often mightily effectual to arouse our sluggish life. She desires either one or the other, or both; so that she may but be able to delight her Beloved with the spices of her garden. She cannot endure to be unprofitable, nor can we. How cheering a thought that Jesus can find comfort in our poor feeble graces. Can it be?

So.... who is this?

Below is where I got this idea.

P.S. I just realized I did page 122....oops!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jonah Ethan

Woke this morning to much thought of Jonah. It will be five years this coming April since he was born and then we said goodbye to him. It's funny how you do get back to some kind of "normal" (whatever that is) but it stays with you. There is this part of me that is always aware of his absence. These moments where I feel I am missing something. Still after almost 5 years the grief surprises me. I don't know if it ever won't.

See you later little guy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day!

Celebrating God's sovereign hand in history.
It is not by works but grace alone!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Copywork Resources

I visit this blog several times a week. Jessica has many resources and ideas that have helped me tremendously in my "Well Trained Mind" approach. She just posted a list of copywork resources that I thought were very helpful.

Just click below.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The love of a brother and sister!

Best Buddies!


Goof balls!

Cave Painting Pictures

The cave painting master piece!
Artist hard at work!
Guess what this is?
Ike and his work of ancient art.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Trying to Be Strong

I have been thinking much about strength lately. People reflect back to me all the time how strong I am. To me it is laughable! I don't feel strong very often. I have had many things in life in the last few years that have been challenging and God has been gracious. That must be what they are talking about. I do admit that my greatest temptation is "self sufficiency". I think I should be able to do it on my own on the inside. So that is probably what I am showing on the outside.
Right now I feel very weak. I have many places I am tempted to self pity and anxiety. Sometimes I find it work not to go down those roads. This week would be one of them. I am trying to tell myself the truth but honestly I am even tired of that. We are still looking for a place to live in a place we can not afford...so we are depending. But when your main struggle is self sufficiency it is tiring because I am trying to work and control instead of depend. When will I ever learn!

I feel I have to be strong.....what's up with that. I am always encouraging other people to let it out...be weak.....everyone struggles but when it comes to me I feel I am somehow failing if I am weak. I get mad at myself for struggling. So when I need help...I don't ask and then it comes bubbling over somewhere else....usually at my kids.

This too shall pass but I sure hope I learn something.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cave Painting

We are combining Story of the World and Veritas Press this year in our study of the Old Testament and Egypt. We covered the first people and one of the craft projects is to make a cave painting. So we got out the brown paper and crumbled it all up in a ball to get the cave wall textured effect. Then I tacked it to the wall and we pretended to be cave dwellers painting about our day. We only used colors they could have had like brown, red and purple. My daughter mixed colors and made magenta saying they must of had that color because it was so pretty. LOL! We were going to dress up but when my 6 yr old realized they wore animal skins she wasn't interested. We played Bach in the background and put on painting smocks and went to town. It was so much fun and adorable. I used clear plastic egg cartons to put the paint in so they could hold them as they painted. Even my 3 yr old had a blast. I will post the pictures when I get them.
I thought I wouldn't get into SOTW to much but I LOVE it and so does my daughter. She begs to read it. I can see her reading the book over and over in years to come.

I so enjoy having my children at home, cave painting and mixing magenta. I am so privileged!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Canadian Thanksgiving

We are off tomorrow to visit the grandparents and celebrate Thanksgiving....in October? I have been living in Canada for 8 years and still cannot wrap my head around Thanksgiving in October. But hey, I get to have turkey October, November and December. I've got it made!
And even though I am eating high protein/low carb I am not passing up the mashed potatoes!

Next week is our first week off school (except for history and math review) this year. I look forward to 90 minute story times, long walks in the fall air, maybe some puddle jumping depending on the weather and our new favorite game we call "animal chuck". We take all our little stuffed animals, sit on the couch and aim for an empty laundry basket across the living room. You keep going till there are no more animals in the the basket. The kids love it and they giggle the whole time! Ahh.... the life of a homeschooler.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Mama, ook an my toe"

This morning I had much comedy and mayhem in my house. My 3 yr old son found an ant crawling across the floor. He immediately was mesmerized. He started playing with it, following and picking up this ant. He yelled across the room "Mama ook an on my toe". Translated is "Mama, look ant on my toe". It was priceless. Then as soon as the ant went under his shirt and around his back he began screaming uncontrollably in terror. The curiosity of a 3 year old sure beats a comedy show any day.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grateful

As I go off to bed after a very long day......I am so grateful for my Godly Girlfriends. God has blessed me with some amazing women in my life. Some far away amd life long (Nancy, Genoa, Sunny), some in the cyber world (Stacey, Heather) and those of you in my own neck of the woods.

God is good!

Good night!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Where have I been?

I haven't been blogging much..... not for lack of ideas but time. We found out about a week ago that we need to move. So we are putting much energy into finding a place to live.
I am also in the throws of potty training. It is going well but definitely more time consuming then diapers. Then there is school, church, packing, and trying to manage by diet and exercise consistently. We are trying to conceive which is all related to my diet and some meds I am taking. Talk about pressure... if I don't preach the truth to myself I can get a little batty. I feel a nap coming on after writing all that.

Life is fast and demanding right now. Looking forward to it slowing down and blogging over a cup of tea. Not sure when that will be????

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Calling All Moms of Toddlers

I am working through some spiritual goals and one is making, maintaining and actually praying through a list. I have always prayed for people but mostly inconsistently and I am trying to make it more of a joyful discipline in my life. I also want to keep a record of answered prayer as one more way to be thankful.

So.....I am interested in how other moms of small children accomplish this. Do you have a specific time of day you pray, do you have a prayer time with your children regularly or only by yourself? Do you keep a notebook?

I have learned that gleaning form others saves me a lot of time and energy. Most of my ideas have come from some variation of someone else's idea.

A special note to all my loving lurking friends (you know who you are). Here's your chance to give me some input. :o)

Chronological Bible Reading

As I posted in my Body, Mind, & Spirit post I am reading through the bible in 2 years (hopefully). I have recently discovered through a dear friend the idea of reading through the bible chronologically. So I have read the first 11 chapters of Genesis and am now in Job. I love the book of Job. I think partly because I have had some friends in my life like his. I am excited about doing this. I think the OT will get tedious at times but I will still be studying other parts of the bible as time allows. It is neat because my 6 yr old and I are going through history starting at creation with Veritas Press. It is a perfect timing to start reading the bible chronologically.

This particular plan is a one year plan. Reading 4 whole chapters a day everyday is too much pressure for me so I will take is as I go. I like ticking it off when I have read 4 chapters.....me and my list addiction! Who knows I might do it in one year. Yesterday I read 6 chapters. Job is hard to put down in my opinion.

Check out the plan I am using below. Thanks Mary!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lord help, Help me lay down my life

These words are from a post by my cyber friend Stacy (click below). Her post on "What about Me" first convicted me of my own sin and then has stuck in my mind over the last few days. Not only do I struggle with this related to my husband but my children too. I think I deserve a break. Space for myself. I deserve nothing, absolutely nothing.
Where this has been particularly challenging for me is related to how I am feeling physically. I have not been feeling well off and on since I started new meds related to a fertility problem. I had a crummy 3 weeks and got better...now this week I feel yucky again. Because I don't feel well I think I am entitled to something. I feel I am entitled to be grumpy with my kids or husband. That I am entitled to rest and relaxation. After all I am sick right, my life stinks, I cannot have a baby and I have had to bury one of my others. What sin sick self pity!

I am grateful to Stacy for her post because though for the most part it was controlled "Whoa is me" behavior.....my heart was in sin and self focus. I know clearly when this sin of self pity takes over because I begin to get irritated at every little thing my kids do. When they do childish things that would be expected I over react. I am more focused on myself then I am my servant role of mother and wife. The greatest servant of all has died for my sin so I would never know the wrath that I deserve. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ!....and for people who will reflect the gospel to my sin sick heart.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11

Hard to believe it has been five years. I watched a documentary last night about what the firefighters went through on that day. Unreal is my only response.

My heart is especially heavy for the children who lost their mothers and fathers that day.

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found out what had happened. I wasn't living in the USA at the time and that felt weird. No matter where I live I will always be a citizen of Heaven first and then the United States of America.

Please pray with me today for all those children living without their parents.

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Week of School

The first week is already over. We had a blast. I was going to post my school/home schedule for this year but thought I better see if it works first. I was pleasantly surprised that most everything worked out great. I still need to plan some more activities for my three yr old but other then that we are good to go. I am a scheduler. It is a bit of a joke with some friends. I have been thinking much lately about why I am that way. That is another post.
So though this may look detailed I refer to it as more of a routine. I have chunks of the day that have certain things that need to be done. All is flexible around the concrete things like wake time, meal times, bedtimes ect.

Wake 6:15
coffee, time with God
7:00 am
kids up, dress, make beds
breakfast, clean up
unload DW & fold one load of laundry and put away
mom treadmill, kids read and play on moms bed
shower
9:15 am
Circle time (bible and memory work)
Math
Once per week subject (ex. Art Pac)
Snack/free time or recess
Language Arts
History/Science depending on the day
12:30
Lunch
Outside/free time
Toddler Storytime
1:30
Nap 3 yr old
Read aloud 6 yr old
2pm
Quiet time
6yr old reading, listening to stories on CD, crafts
Mom emails, phone calls, etc
3:30
Snack
Free time for all
4:30
dinner prep
5:30
dinner
clean up, family time, bible, baths, read aloud
8:00
bed

I used to schedule cleaning into my day at a specific time. That doesn't work for me anymore. I was a slave to the time. I also have grown in my own self discipline to be able to say I need to do XYZ today and for the most part do it. I have a weekly rotation written down. I am trying to leave Friday open for the things that go undone due to life. I find bits of time here and there. I usually clean the bathroom while a child is bathing or the kitchen during dinner prep. We also do have a small house. I cannot imagine cleaning some of the mansions in our city.
The one thing that has
changed my daily house keeping life is how I now do laundry. It would always pile up and haunt me everyday. It was a source of stress for me. I never had it done or away. I now put one load of laundry in after the kids go to bed. I throw it in the dryer before I go to bed. I then fold one load of laundry every morning after I unload the dishwasher and before I jump on the treadmill. I start Sunday night and go through Friday night. That is 6 loads per week. On Thursday I wash all the sheets during the day. That totals 7 loads of laundry a week. It works great for our family of 4. I think what is helping is that the week before school started I did all the deep cleaning stuff and I made sure everything had a place and was in it's place. Clean up has gotten much smoother. Every toy has a permanent home. I think they and we are more happy.

I am loving Veritas Press History so far. And I really like First Language Lessons too. It is so laid back......I think it's nap time. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My New Word

alacrity ~ eager willingness or readiness, often manifested by quick lively action

I first read this word in Pride and Prejudice. I love this word. I love words period! I am going to try and use this word in daily life. My children will stare in weird facial expressions the first few times but they will get it soon enough.

I might even try using the adjective "alacritous".

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Body, Mind and Spirit

How many times have we heard those three words. They have been much in my thoughts lately. I think most women are aware of their bodies and the need to take care of them. I sure am grateful for my new treadmill. I have tried the gym, walking out doors, videos and they haven't worked well. The treadmill is here to stay! Most Christian women I know are very aware of the need to grow spiritually and to cultivate their personal relationship with God. There definitely are plenty of resources to help. The area where I think it is easy for women especially of small children to let slide is the "mind". Before anyone throws tomatoes, I am not saying we are not smart I would say just the opposite. I personally find it easy to let my brain go unexercised long before I let my body or spirit go. I think it is important that we not forget to stimulate our minds appropriately. Reading is the easiest most enjoyable way. Reading is to the brain like the treadmill is to my backside. It works it out and leaves noticeable results. Learning something new is also important. I have wanted to learn to quilt for a long time. I need to do it! I have also wanted to do more writing but can always find an excuse to put it off. Memorization is another good exercise for the mind and spirit. When I am challenging my mind I do my other everyday task more efficiently and refreshed. All this said bearing in mind that all we pursue should be in light of God's glory and the precious role and calling of motherhood and helper to our husbands.

So here's my current plan for Body, Mind and Spirit:

Body
Treadmill 5x per week (already on week 2 of this with a few days missed)
Go to bed earlier
Eat high protein/ low carb (lost 12 pounds in the last 3 months)

Mind
I have just started to read Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" again. I read it over ten years ago. This is my favorite book of all time AND it is over 1.000 pages long. More on another post.

I plan to record the words I routinely misspell and learn them. They will be crossed off my list once I can consistently spell them correctly. Spell check though helpful makes for a lazy brain.

I am starting a quote /copy book. It is where I will compile all the quotes or poems I like. I will do it in my best penmanship. Penmanship is a dying art. I can type but would always rather write by hand.

Spirit
I am starting to read through the bible starting in Genesis and the NT. I cannot do it in one year I have tried so I am taking two years to do it. When we start studying Creation next week I will start my reading plan.

Read one book on the cross this year slowly and actually apply what I have read instead of saying "great stuff" and then going on with life. (haven't decided which book yet...any suggestions welcome)

Create and maintain a prayer list with a record of those answered.

Memorize portions of scripture. I am currently working on Deuteronomy 6:4-9
and 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

I would encourage you to think through these three areas yourself if you haven't already.

School Prep 2

I think I am ready to go with the exception of organizing our notebooks for history, science and language arts. I am still compiling a reading list for my daughter as well. I think I am most excited about our year of History studying Old Testament and Ancient Egypt. I have combined SOTW and Veritas Press. As I have looked at it more and more I see the need for SOTW less and less. I have made the VP wall map and copied out the timeline that goes with the map. It is a more user friendly, big picture way to do the mapping. I will have a better idea at the end of this year if SOTW was worth it. I have this sneaking suspicion that I won't use it next year. We will see!

I am excited because we are starting some new traditions around the first day of school this year. We are now officially starting school on the holiday Monday because then daddy is home. Monday we will go out to IHOP for breakfast (my 6 yr olds favorite) together as a family. Each year we are going to give each child a new good quality piece of literature. Last year my dd received Black Beauty in hardcover. Next will be the scavenger hunt for school supplies around the house. Then we will look through some of our new books (she's just like that ) . We will spend time decorating each notebook cover for each subject and making a cool cover for our natural journals. I am going to do one this year too. We will take a picture for the year. To top the day off we will start our first read aloud novel for the year. Then we will start academics on Tuesday. I will only do language arts, history and math next week and then add in any other subjects the next week.

If your interested to see how we are doing history click below. The schedule we are following is on Paula's Archive which was created by a online friend. Thanks Heather!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our 9th Anniversary


Today is our ninth anniversary. Not sure what we are doing yet because we are not making plans till the weekend and I am not involved in that :0). The last nine years have been more then interesting. We have been stretched and challenged beyond what we ever could have imagined. I am grateful I walked each moment with the man I married. He is a rock that never waivers. I have never know anyone else so faithful and steadfast.



PS And I am not heading to the Island...my nephew has the chicken pox. Poor little guy!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

School Prep

I haven't been blogging very much due to school starting soon. I have had much to do and have not felt well on top of it all. I was also going to attempt potty training my just turned three year old....well that hasn't gone so well.
This year I do have a school room which is exciting. My problem is I am a poor decision maker when it comes to the best place for things. I envy those who are able to weed out the unnecessary, know what to keep and where to put it. (Help me Cherry!) I have books...did I say lots of books and they are taking over my house. I need to go through them and get rid of some and store others for another time. I also need to break my library addiction. We can have too many books at one time. We are also going to the Island to visit family from the 30th -Sept 3rd. So I better get going.
Things to do:
I need to finish organizing the school room.
Prep my daughters notebooks and clean out the old ones
Purchase art supplies and school supplies
Organize some projects for my 3 yr old
Create my fall schedule
Figure out what I am doing for copywork this year

I think there is more, but those are the biggies right now. I just finished copying and compiling my VP/SOTW history for the year. I am using a file crate with a folder for each week. It includes any history projects/info, bible, weekly art project materials, and any other bit of something I need for that week. I grab the folder on Monday and off we go. I am looking forward to this method this year. Last year was to much random paper. I also (from suggestions at Preschoolers and Peace) have created a memory box. It has most all the things we intend to memorize this year. I have a large file box with bigger index cards for each thing. The catechism takes several cards as well as the 21 Rules of our House. I have scripture cards, poetry cards, history cards etc. This way she can also do copywork from the cards. We will have circle time every morning after our bible time and work on memory.

Off to tackle that school room. I finally have my own desk!!!!!!!

I think I have written this more for my benefit then anyone else's. LOL!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Few Quotes to Chew On

"Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty"
John Calvin

"The decline of the knowledge of the Holy has brought on our troubles.
A rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way toward curing
them. It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our
inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or
inadequate. If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we
must begin to think of God more nearly as HE is.”
A.W.Tozer
(Knowledge of the Holy)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

As though He needed anything

24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, [1] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
In him we live and move and have our being;
Acts 17: 24-28

I have been camping out on this Scripture this week. It was part of a very good message at my church last Sunday (Go Dan!). I feel privileged to be apart of such a great part of the body of Christ.
Life of late (really the last few years) has brought me face to face with how desperate I am. I can do nothing apart from Him though I try daily. My self sufficiency shows itself like a chronic disease.
As I meditate on this Scripture I am so aware of my great need and God's lack of any need. He does not need sleep, food, water. He is not limited by an aging body, a slowly deteriorating mind, He is never sick. He never struggles to decide anything, or to speak the right word at the right time, He does not wavier in His feelings. I am consumed by how BIG and STRONG He is.....yet it is hard for my little mind to even imagine such perfection. He has not one weakness! What a relief! Such peace floods my soul knowing He does not "live in temples made by man, nor is served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything."
So I in my pride struggle with self sufficiency and am reminded regularly that I am in great need of a savior and a perfect father and friend. And by God's grace I have all three....while deserving nothing.

When I am desperate.....He is strong!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I've been "Tagged for Homeschool Resources"

1) ONE HOMESCHOOLING BOOK YOU HAVE ENJOYED
For the Children's' Sake
2) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULDN'T BE WITHOUT
The Well Trained Mind
3) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH YOU HAD NEVER BOUGHT
A set of four Creative Teaching Press Unit study books for Pre-k to 2
4) ONE RESOURCE YOU ENJOYED LAST YEAR
Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers and Singapore Math
5) ONE RESOURCE YOU WILL BE USING NEXT YEAR
Veritas Press AE/OT (I can't list them all?)
6) ONE RESOURCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUY
Veritas Press Bible or Apologia science
7) ONE RESOURCE YOU WISH EXISTED
Christian science curriculum for k-5 that goes with the 4 year history cycle
8) ONE HOMESCHOOLING CATALOGUE YOU ENJOY READING
Veritas Press
9) ONE HOMESCHOOLING WEBSITE YOU USE REGULARLY
Well Trained Mind Board
10) TAG FIVE OTHER HOMESCHOOLERS

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cleaning Schedule

This is long over due......I think I said I would post this back in June. I am gearing up for fall. Thinking about school and planning a weekend to get it all organized. I have tons of copying to do. Before I start that I wanted to get my house back into an ebb and flow..... get the kids back into morning chores and responsibilities. We have had a veryyyyy laid back summer :)

I tried over the summer to clean two times a week for longer. Big mistake! I cannot do that with two young kids with out using the TV as a baby sitter or ignoring them. My hat is off to those who can do it with their kids that long. What works better for me is to have a room a day that we tackle. I also found this great idea about laundry. First off all let me say my two least favorite cleaning chores are dusting (blek!) and putting laundry away. I can wash it and fold it. I love the methodic hum and sorting effect of folding laundry. Yes....I am looney but I find it relaxing. NOW.....putting it away I would rather do anything else. In the past my husband has faithfully put it away by choice...just to be sweet. He works two jobs and serves in many ways so I want to do it from now on. Every night I put in one load and then put it in the dryer as I go to bed. In the morning I take it out and put the basket in the kitchen as I start my coffee. After breakfast clean up and dishes I simply fold the ONE load. I have my six year old put most of it away while I do the few things she can't. She loves it and SO do I :) One load each morning feels so small. Prior to that I would do tons of loads and never fold and get them away. So even if I dont finish it in the morning...I know I have one load to get away a day. It is working great!

Here's the cleaning schedule:

Monday - Kitchen

Tuesday - Bathroom

Wednesday - Mop and weekly cleaning

Thursday - Bedrooms (load of sheets that night)

Friday - Living Room

I have a running list of what I do in each room. If any one is interested in more detail let me know. I have found the great thing about it, is if something needs to be done but can wait I know that day will come soon. Other wise I am all over the place and never get any one place cleaned. I also have my daily things I do.

One other area of growth I am working on is putting things away. A friend told me once if I could do something in 5 minutes just do it then. I have been trying to make that a discipline and it really makes a difference.

Happy Cleaning!

We are back!

Vacation was great! We stayed home and made day trips in the lower mainland. Sure beats all the packing and sleeping in a strange bed. We went to Science World, Stanley park and road the horse drawn carriage, we spent time at the water slide park. We were tourist in our own town. I would highly recommend vacationing this way if you live in a bigger city. It is convenient and good for the budget. As for now I have had enough of Vancouver and will retreat back to my little town. And one bonus was, with all the driving I read an entire book in 5 days. When does that ever happen!

Also wanted to add that my very brave 6 yr old daughter had to get a filling today. They did the whole numbing and rubber dam (it was pink) thing. She was a trooper! They ended up doing two because she was dealing so well. The dentist was very impressed and said she did better then most adults. Unfortunately she has two more visits like this. All 6 cavities are contact cavities. She has them because I didn't floss her teeth daily. I am still trying not to kick myself! So get flossing mama's!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Functional Centrality of the Gospel

I am finally getting around to sharing about Celebration. I composed a post a few days ago and some how lost it entirely while trying to parent from the keyboard. I don't recommend it!

The one thing that struck me most from Celebration was when Rick said we should"never shift from the gospel" then he proceeded to expound on that. He talked about the Functional Centrality of the Gospel...about how the gospel functions in our lives every moment of everyday.

His second message was about putting on the new self. Something that was a huge paradigm shift for me was when he said:
"We fight sin as justified sinners. Every sin we ever fight is cancelled sin." Whoa! It is so easy to forget every sin we wage against is already forgiven and cancelled. There is no indwelling sin any longer. We don't need TO KILL the OLD MAN because Christ did that on the cross already. I am the new self and now I need to live like it!

A few quotes that I have spent time meditating on:

"All our problems arise from a failure to apply the gospel to our situation"

"Discouragement indicates something has become more important then God, the cross and the gospel."

"Stop being what you are no longer and become what you already are!"

It was a wonderful time!

Form today until Tuesday the 8th our family is officially on vacation. I probably won't be around till next week. I am then going to start posting some of my other schedules (I promised awhile ago) and plans for homeschool in the fall.

What a glorious savior we serve!

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Mental Obesity is the Curse of the Information Age"

Though this article at "The Rebelution" is long it is well worth the read. Very thought provoking and convicting. One quote from the article stuck out to me....as Christians "We are not to be people of escape". Hope you enjoy and are challenged.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Reading

"Perhaps the greatest gift any father can bestow upon his children, apart from the covenant blessings of parish life and a comprehension of the doctrines of grace, is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives a knowledge of the world, and it offers experience of a wide kind. Indeed, it is nothing less than a moral illumination."

Thomas Chalmers

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Celebration 2006

Tomorrow our whole family takes off to Celebration 2006. Our whole church plus a few other churches who are interested in being apart of Sovereign Grace Ministries are heading off to a college campus to be together. To worship, learn and have biblical fellowship together. I count it a huge privilege to be able to attend my church and be apart of what God is doing there..... and with such amazing people.

So see you next week!

While I am off fellowshipping (is that really a word) check out this article on Heather's blog.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What I am reading.

I just wrote out the books I am currently reading on the comment page of a friends blog..... so thought since I already had it typed out I would post it here.

Teach Them Diligently by Lou Priolo

Little Women by L.M. Alcott

The Insulin Resistance Diet by Cheryle Hart

The Busy Mom's Guide to Simple Living by Jackie Greenwood

Home Comfort -The Art and Science of Keeping Home (this is not a cover to cover read...more referencing it) by Cheryl Mendelson

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Read alouds to my daughter:
Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John

The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens

"Rule the World by Rocking the Cradle"

I love the fact the I get to have such an influence on the world by staying at home and rocking the cradle. It is where I want to be and where I can most make a difference.

Check out this article at Preschoolers and Peace.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Jonah Ethan

Tonight I have been thinking much of my little guy in heaven. He would have been 4 this past April. It's not that I wish he were here because I truly believe if he should have been....he would be. It's more the moments of not knowing what would make him laugh or cry. What little funny quirks he has or what his favorite food would be. Is his hair red like his siblings with fair skin? Would he have been into music, trucks, baseball or hockey? Would he love to read?

Really at the end of the day these things do not matter because Jonah is the most satisfied he could ever be, where he is right now. He has never known sin, suffering or pain. His lullabies have been nothing but heavenly perfection. He doesn't miss this world like I long for his. Thank you Jesus for my son whom you hold. Thank you that you died on the cross so he would go straight from my arms to yours. Because of the cross my son is not dead but very much alive with you.

I think of the little girl we lost to miscarriage March 2005 too. I never got to hold her warm little body and say goodbye but she too will be waiting. What treasures I have in heaven on top of seeing my Lord!

"But we do not want to be uninformed, brothers about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do, who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

See you later sweet Jonah

One of these days I will post the whole story until then take a peek below for pictures...he really is a cutie.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Playing Butterfly

This morning my 6 yr old and 3 yr old (in 4 weeks) came sliding in the kitchen on their bellies. I asked what they were doing and my 6 yr old said "playing butterfly". They were being caterpillars, then found a place to attach (the bookcase) to become a chrysalis (using that exact word) and then went flying all over the house. Then at snack my 6 yr old was pretending her watermelon was pollen in a flower.

I love being a stay at home, homeschooling mom whose children "play butterfly"! I think I have the best life in the world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sovereignty and Simplicity

I have been basking in God's sovereignty lately. Reading it, listening to it, memorizing it and thinking on it. Then I go to church and the whole message is about Joseph and how it was God's doing that his brothers sold him to slavery for His purposes and own glory and their good. What they intended for evil God intended for good. What a mystery! What a blessing! What a place to rest your head and heart!
There is much simplicity that comes to life and all its challenges when you can embrace God's sovereignty. There is nothing that is out of His hand or control. When I go to bed at night that is the last thing I say to Him and myself. Thank you that all I faced today was from your mighty and caring hand, for my good and ultimately for your glory. This is true rest!

The below is a quote by Spurgeon I have been meditating on lately:

"Believer...you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition....Remember this, had any other condition been better for you then the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances....Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God.

Trials must and will befall
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all;
This is happiness to me."

Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. Psalm 16:5

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever

Psalm 135:1 Praise the Lord!Praise the name of the Lord,give praise, O servants of the Lord,2 who stand in the house of the Lord,in the courts of the house of our God!3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;sing to his name, for it is pleasant! [1]4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,Israel as his own possession.
5 For I know that the Lord is great,and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,in heaven and on earth,in the seas and all deeps.7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"We do not package up the Prince of Peace"

In the midst of preschoolers, we do not package up the Prince of Peace, only to take Him down in fleeting moments of quiet… but we invite Him to be the center of our milieu, the axis of our days, the Son around which we all—babies, preschoolers, Mamas, and Papas, children and teens—revolve. His word is not confined only to a quiet time for “they are not just idle words for you—they are your life.”( Deuteronomy 32:47) In the midst of diapers and dishes, crayons and construction paper, life is our liturgy, life is our communing time with the Lover of our Souls."

written by Ann

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Wait for the Lord.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

I have been reading "Keep a Quiet Heart" by Elisabeth Elliot. It has been just what my soul needed in light of a few recent circumstances.

"Waiting requires patience - a willingness calmy to accept what we have or have not, where we are or where we wish we were, whomever we live or work with.

To want what we don't have is impatience, for one thing, and it is to mistrust God. Is he not in complete control of all circumstances, events, and conditions? If some are beyond His control, He is not God.

A spirit of resistance cannot wait on God. I believe it is this spirit which is the reason for some of our greatest sufferings. Opposing the workings of the Lord in and through our "problems" only exacerbates them. It is the here and now that we must win our victories and suffer defeats. Spiritual victories are won in the quiet acceptance of ordinary events, which are God's "bright servants" standing all around us."

Elisabeth Elliot

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thirteen Rules for Gentlemen

This is another of my favorite blogs. Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace posted about her "Memory Work Box". One of the things her boys memorize is the Thirteen Rules for Gentlemen.

She has lots of other good stuff too!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Little Fire Fighting Bumblebee

My little guy lives in his bumblebee costume and recently added the fire hat to his daily garb. So I guess he is fighting fires as he pollinates!

Reading

“If you want to stay alive to what is great and glorious and beautiful and eternal, you will have to fight for time to look through the eyes of others who were in touch with God.” John Piper

Did I say "I love to read". I have been known to read a book while I cook dinner because I haven't had a chance any other part of the day. I can even walk and read. Bet you didn't know that about me :)

Girl talk is starting a little poll about reading. Check it out!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Summer Schedule

Okay here it is. I want to add that this schedule so helps me have to think less about smaller details and focus more on relationship with my kids. This is one of the greatest benefit I get from this. Also to add that in the summer when a fun opportunity presents itself...we are gone and I will make up for what was undone later. During the school year that's a bit different.

6:30 am Up/QT/ Coffee
7:00 Exercise 3x week (this happens randomly but I try)
My kids aren't allowed up before 7
From 7-7:30 they have QT in their rooms with books.
Check email
8:00 Breakfast/Bible at table
Clean up/ morning grooming and chores
9:00 Homeschool 3x a week
We are doing math, spelling, story narration
and read alouds over the summer
10:15 Snack and toy clean up
10:30 Free time/outside time
We weed, mow, go for walks, park or run errands
11:45 Lunch prep/ kids table time
12:30 Lunch/read aloud and story time/clean up toys if needed
1:30 Nap for 2 yr old.
Quiet reading time for 6 yr old
Free time or catch up for mom (emails, calls, etc)
3:30 Snack and History read aloud
(My First History of Canada right now)
4:00 Free time/ any loose ends for mom
4:30 Start dinner
(my 6 yr old dd reads too or plays with my 2yr ds)
She has to let her brother direct the play and serve him,
it is great training.
5:30 Dinner/clean up (we try to chat around the table)
6:30 Family time and bible with dad
8:00 Bed for kids

I never do this perfectly anyday of the week because little lives can be unpredictable or I get lazy . I also never want to be a slave to this...it is my servant. I do know on those days that I am tired or struggling to be diligent this schedule helps me know where to go next.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Schedules and Routines

I am one of those people who loves to have a schedule. Mostly because it helps me get stuff done. I find that I can serve my family better and spend time with God when there is order to my day.

I have become increasingly aware lately of my dependence on my schedule and routines being unhealthy. When I find I am frustrated when I don't accomplish it all, or short with my children because they aren't moving fast enough I know my trust is in the wrong place. These are great alarm bells for me. First if my children are not moving fast enough that is a training issue not a "routine" issue. And if I am angry (that's what frustration really is) when I don't get it all done I am telling Jesus he isn't sufficient. I heard a quote (that I think is) from CJ Mahaney that has changed my whole perspective on this: "God is the only one who finishes his to do list everyday" . Striving for perfection here on earth will only end in disappointment and frustration. So I repent and acknowledge the schedule as a tool and turn my heart back to the one who makes it all happen. My trust must be in Him who is all things, in all ways.

That said I believe schedules and routines are one of the best tools to serve my family. I would never be able to home educate, take care of the house, love my husband and children and serve in the local church or maintain relationships without some kind of structure. I have found no other way to be purposeful in my care for others consistently outside of this.

Over the next few days I am going to post my summer schedule, cleaning schedule, and how I organize my week.

The girl talk blog has been posting about scheduling the last few days and has some really great ideas.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

John Bunyan on Parenting

This link is to an online friends blog that I really enjoy. It is a post by John Bunyan on the Duties of Parenting.

I Concur!

'The only handwork I do is lifting
my coffee cup to drink.
Anything else interferes with my thought process...

Mary Myers

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Classical Education in our home

We have chosen to go the Classical route to educate our children. I have read and read about the classical approach. There is Latin Classical (some would say this is the only "real" classical), neo-classical or modern classical, and many other variations. For awhile I was getting caught up in "which" we were. I am reading a book about "Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning" and his best situation is a private Christian classical school with intense parent involvement where you really know the teachers. No offense to Mr. Wilson but what world is he living in???? Sure that would be great but where do such places exist for the majority? No where near me. I must admit the book was a bit disappointing. He states in his opinion it is necessary to have a teacher to teach the higher grades to be truly classical. I would rather ditch classical then send my kids into the world of public or private school where I live. He does state though that if a private school to his satisfaction was not available he would homeschool. Mr. Wilson has a desire to see education as a whole changed where as I am not concerned about the public education. Maybe I should be?

I always have to go back to what drew me to the classical approach. It teaches you how to think. And being a Christian it will serve to teach my children to think biblically and logically. It will teach them to learn, process and analyze their world and mostly the word of God. If you know how to learn you can do anything. I think we will do Latin but I feel I could go the classical road and benefit without Latin. It also looks to the past to learn and glean. Modern culture.....well in my opinion it is moving away from "thinking" all together. We live in an impulsive, self indulgent, entertain me world that draws our attention to ourselves and not others and the one true God. I am not glorifying the past by any means but there is much to learn from those who have gone before us. We have technology to "think" for us. Don't get me wrong I enjoy my computer but I want my children to learn to think and use the brain God gave them. At the end of the day the most important thing is that Christ is the center of my home, our education and lives.
I don't think Classical is the only way to go but it just makes sense to us. I am excited to learn as I educate my children. I am most excited to have my children with me all day long as they learn, fail, grow, struggle and succeed. Their hearts are the ultimate priority.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Memory Lane

Okay here is a picture of myself. It will probably be the first and the last.
This was taken during our YWAM days. We were newly married and hadn't been blessed with our children yet. I have been thinking so much about the past lately. The people who have had such an impact on who I am today. History has such an effect on our life today. The Bible being the best example of how those who have gone before leave a path to follow and record of the great things God has done. I think that's why I love reading so much. Can you imagine what life would be like without the written word? Everything of the past would be by word of mouth and boy would that mean trouble.

To Stay at Home is Best

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are the happiest.
For those that wander they know not where
are full of trouble and full of care:
To stay at home is best.
~Longfellow~

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Passionate Bookworm

Okay, tomorrow our local homeschool convention starts. My very sweet husband is taking the day off work to stay home with our cuties to let me go Friday AND Saturday. Bonus points to the hubby!!!!! I also get to go with some very good friends. Another bonus!

I have butterflies in my stomach waiting to go. Can you believe that? How old am I? It is also about managing my money well because I LOVE BOOKS....oh did I say I LOVE BOOKS! I could buy a book a day and never look back. Alas life is not like that so come back to earth Mrs. M.

And of course I have lists of must haves, possibilities, really want but shouldn't and well.... you get the idea. Am I a nerd? I prefer bookworm with a passion!

I can already smell the new books.....sniff......sniff.......sniff.......sniff

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Moments!

This is one of my favorite moments.....watching my little girl read to her little brother. There is nothing sweeter to a mama's heart. The bonus is I taught her to read.

Guess where they get their good looks from.....mom or dad??

This is another one of the goofy moments.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Planning for next year

I am already in the throws of planning next years schedule. Our local convention is coming up this weekend and I am trying to narrow it down. This is my plan for my just turned 6 year old next year. We are mostly classical in our approach.

Language Arts
First Language Lessons
Spelling Workout A/B
ETC Book 4 (sometime through out the year)
Copywork

Math
Singapore 1B/2A
Modern Curriculum Press A/B (as supplement)

History
VP Ancient Egypt/OT with
Story of the World Vol 1

Science
Living Books
Habitats (Evan Moor)
Learning to Be a Scientist (Evan Moor)

CAPP
Health Safety and Manners 1 by Abeka

Bible
Studying God's Word Book B (started this already)

Primary Analogies/Critical Thinking

Piano

P.E. at Trinity

And lots and lots of good literature! Mostly recommendations by Veritas Press and The Well Trained Mind

We are leaving Latin for next year though I still get rushes of latin fever!

Time Warp

This morning as I was home schooling my 6 yr old my house increasingly became more and more out of control. My 2 yr old was very happy playing with his Bob the Builder trucks..... that talk to him? From bible to spelling I began to see the downward spiral...then math...then snack and we were really in trouble. Two hours later and finishing history and read alouds I looked around in total shock. Papers everywhere (when did that happen) toys, books, colored pencils, stickers, crayons.....The funny thing is I did not really notice it all until the end. Part of the problem is I am way more into home schooling then I am into my house...which in some ways is growth for me. We cleaned it all up and had lunch. I even mopped the floor. But I am still wondering where I was when all that took place. I was physically here the whole time...honest!!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What are you reading?

I am one of those people who always has at least one book on the go all the time. I usually have 3 to 6 on the go. I like to have a novel, then a biblical teaching book, then something about homeschooling, and the list goes on. This is what I am reading right now.

Teach Then Diligently by Lou Priolo
I love this book so far. It is so practical. It focuses on using scripture in child training. So helpful if you didn't grow up in a Christian home to learn this by example. It is very helpful to me.

Honey for A Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
It is about books and reading in a child's life. She has some great insight and considers The Book the top priority.

Safe in the Arms of God by John MacArthur
This book is breath of fresh air for anyone who has had a miscarriage or lost a baby or child. It has brought peace to my soul in relation to Jonah's death and the loss of out 2nd little girl due to miscarriage. This book proves by scripture that babies go to heaven plus lots more. It really isn't for those who have had a very recent loss in my opinion. There are some very hard stories to read.

Is Your Bed Still There When You Close The Door? and other playful ponderings
by Jane M. Healy
This is a really neat book. It talks about the benefits and need to have creative and intelligent conversation with our children. It has some questions to ask to get you started. I recommend this to anyone with children.

Endangered Minds Why Children Don't Think-and What We Can Do About It
by Jane M. Healy
This book addresses development of a child's brain, thinking process etc. It talks about the cultural things that work against thinking and concentration. I have found it interesting and informative. It makes me think.

I just finished Pride and Prejudice. I am trying to decide between Emma by J. Austen or Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I read Les Mis about 10 years ago and it became my favorite book. I was single then and had lots more time. This book has about 1500 pages. I might be 60 before I finish it this time. But the story cannot be beat and he develops his characters with such grace and depth.

So what are you reading?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Is He really in control?

"If there is a single event in all of the universe
that can occur outside of God's sovereign
control then we cannot trust Him"
Trusting God
Jerry Bridges

Last night at care group we were discussing trusting and surrendering to God. Not that I have arrived by any means but I am more surrendered now then I have ever been. God has been faithful to care for me and grow me. The main key to surrender for me has been embracing the sovereignty of God. There is peace that comes with believing and trusting that ALL things are part of His plan. I am freshly reminded of this today as I walk out God's will for my life in an area that I have longed and prayed to be different. If it was for my good and His glory it would be so! I am grateful for peace and joy even though I am not getting what I want. Where else is that possible but in the loving hands of a sovereign God.

"Every adversity that comes across our path, whether large or small, is intended to help us grow in some way. If it were not beneficial, God would not allow it or send it, "For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men" (Lam 3:33)"
Jerry Bridges

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ouch!

"Being ‘busy’ is the natural punishment
that comes upon those who cannot
discern the significant from the urgent.”

F. Hinrichs

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Honey For A Child's Heart

I am reading this book by Gladys Hunt. It is such good stuff. I love this quote.

"Any good book can be used by God in a child's development, for a good book has genuine spiritual substance not just intellectual enjoyment. Books help children know what to look for in life. It is like developing the taste buds of his mind as a child learns to savor what he sees, hears, and experiences and fits these into some kind of worthwhile framework.
What is unfamiliar becomes close and real in books. What is ridiculous helps children see the humor in their own lives. Sympathetic understanding is a generous by-product of sharing the emotions of others in stories. Books are no substitute for life, but a keener pleasure comes to life because of books."

I love Books!

This is for my dear friend Mary!

Books are like people:
fascinating, inspiring, thought-provoking,
some laugh,
some meditate,
others ache with old age, but still have wisdom;
some are disease-ridden,
some deceitful;
but others are a delight to behold,
many have travel to foreign lands;
some cry, some teach, others are lots of fun.
They are excellent companions,
and all have individuality-
Books are friends.
What person has to many friends?

Honey for A Child's Heart by G. Hunt

Domesticity and Doctrine 2

I have only started to study doctrine in the last 4 years or so. It is a refreshing and welcome change in my life. To take all the teachings of the bible on one subject and put them together to get the whole picture makes so much sense to me. I do know there are differing doctrines but I am reformed and proud of it! No desire to debate :)
Where I really began to see the fruit of studying doctrine and theology (which really is studying the bible but topically) was in my home life. In the day to day trenches of diapers, dishes, dirt and dusting things began to change. As I embraced the doctrine of the Depravity of Man I realized there was no good thing in me and that all came from him. I was going to fall and fail and I was in great need of a savior. As I began to understand justification and santification and their differences I could see more clearly that it is by faith and my works are but filthy rags. No good thing I do.... Will earn me what I need..... which is salvation! Nothing I do wrong will change his love for me or that he has paid for my sin through his death on the cross. The Doctrine of God's Sovereignty has been sweetness to my soul in some very dark times. Believing and trusting that all is under his power and care brings rest like no other thing.
Now how does this have anything to do with dishes and dirty diapers? EVERYTHING! The frame of my day is hung on these truths. I will fall short and so will my children, training them is about pointing them to the savior and not being perfect. Boy does that lift the pressure. Trusting God as Sovereign makes the interruptions (so I think) into the love of a faithful God to grow me. Doctrine has set my heart free which only serves my family, producing joy and peace. This is the base on which I must influence my children. I will influence them. What am I teaching them? Not with my words but with my life and choices. Am I clinging to truth and trusting?
I think at times it is easy for women to think Doctrine is for men. They are leaders in the church and in the home...lets just leave it to them. Though our role and priorities are different the word of God and all it entails is for all of us. It is the base from which we draw our ability to influence our children.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Domesticity and Doctrine

I read this article over on girl talk. It got me to thinking about how those of us in the domestic trenches apply and use doctrine in our daily lives. We have a tremendous influence (as the article points out) and from what base is that influence coming? I intended to share more but my influence providers (my children) need my attention. More soon!

Read the article it is well worth your time!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Journey Begins


The Journey Begins (no pun intended)

I have been wanting to start a blog for some time. I was motivated by finding out a dear friend (you know who you are) had started one. It was the kick in the pants I needed to make this happen. I hope my time spent here will be to God's glory!

Today is Mother's day. The picture above is what I was greeted with this morning along with a very large breakfast in my honor. I love my family! My very sensitive daughter and very loud and affectionate son. My very handsome and loving husband. I also want to acknowledge on this day the two babies that I never got to raise... only to hold one of them for a short time. They will only know peace and the arms of Jesus...no sin, pain, sorrow or grief. Isn't this what we all want for our children. I have been blessed with two of them who's only duty in life is worshipping the savior. What a gift to me! Today I thank God for motherhood. A blessed place and calling...a true privilege.