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 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 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? 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 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?". 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 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!