Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Simple

I think I should have been born in a different era. I feel so out of place sometimes. I would much rather live in the country then the city. I can't stand crowds, loud events, or bling. I would fit right in Little House on the Prairie. With the exception of my computer, washer and car I would be fine. I like pulling my food from the ground to eat it. Don't mind reaching under a hen to get my eggs or working hard. I long for my kids to dig big holes, build forts, explore and climb trees. All the lawns where I live now are manicured and the rocks are store bought.

Today in the grocery store with three kids I got the most annoying.... I mean interesting stares. As you probably have experienced, it can take awhile to bag an entire cart of groceries with three (or more) little ones in tow. My oldest is eight which even makes things go faster yet we weren't fast enough. We were such an inconvenience it seemed to those around us. So in a hurry to get onto where ever they were going and my family was holding them up. I felt pressured to hurry up and get out of the way.

I was chatting with a friend the other day who just got an iPod phone. We were discussing how you can be anywhere, get anything you want when you want it and how dangerous that can be. All these things we have to make our lives so much easier, actually in my opinion, can make it much more complicated. The very thing meant to create more time just takes up our time differently. There is demand for the "instant" in our culture that I find alarming.

I have great dreams of living a self sustaining life style as much as possible not because I am super supportive of going green, or natural living (which is important to me) but because I want my life to be simple. I want room to live slowly and deliberately, peacefully. What's funny about all this is I have a husband who works in the tech industry....I will never get away from it.
Hear me out, I am not saying technology is bad....I really like my computer. But I am saying it can become all consuming and instead of being helpful it becomes a hindrance.

I am stepping off my soapbox now :o)
I so want to have space in my life to really live, which as simple as it sounds, is going to the grocery store with my kids and not getting stared down like I have a dreaded disease.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Reads

I am at home this morning with a sick little boy while my family is at church. Friday, we ended up in the hospital in the middle of the night. Eli has croup and was wheezing terribly. No matter what I did I couldn't get him to breath well. Poor guy. They helped him out and send us home several hours later. Not sure if you have ever seen a little baby get a chest x-ray but it's not fun.

Anyway, he's sleeping peacefully (thank you Lord!) and I thought I would share some of the things I have been reading this week.

Marians Story of Adoption

She is telling the story of how their little girl came to their forever family. I love these stories of how God builds families. Scroll down to Part 1. I tried to link individually but it wouldn't work. She's not finished telling it yet and you will get hooked.

Pros and Cons to Homeschooling: Why We Do It

So enjoyed Ann's balance and wholistic approach to homeschooling. She very clearly states that homeschooling isn't it....it's Jesus and the gospel. I also love how she talks about how it isn't pretty all the time but it's done together as a family....in my opinion as God intended life to be...lived as a unfragmented family.

The Gospel OR Complementarianism?: A Unnecessary Dichotomy

Jess at Making Home makes it so clear how there is no conflict between the two. So worth the read!

My GPS Leads Me Astray

We do well to think for ourselves and go to scripture instead of being handed answers. I enjoyed his analogy in this post. I am not the most tech savvy person and I like it that way :o). It keeps me on my toes.

Feeding The Family: Eating Out

Laura is doing a series on Feeding The Family. She addresses eating out in this post. A big budget killer especially for a larger family. It drives me crazy to throw away $25 in a matter of minutes as they scarf down the food, not to mention how unhealthy it is for them. She shares some great recipes and ideas to do at home that give the going out feeling. I plan to try a few.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Weekend

I have two little boys disguised as barking seals this week :o(
We are battling sickness and a bad cough right now.

This is a quote I have been pondering the last few days.
Have a great weekend.

"The gospel encourages me to rest in my righteous standing with God, a standing which Christ Himself has accomplished and always maintains for me. I never have to do a moments labor to gain or maintain my justified status before God! Freed from the burden of such a task, I now can put my energies into enjoying God, pursuing holiness and ministering God's amazing grace to others."

Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Quiet

The house is quiet. My husband is in bed. He wakes for work at 4:40 in the morning. I make a cup of decaf and sit. I might hear a car go by or the neighbour's dog bark but overall, it's peaceful and quiet. It seems so strange that these same quiet walls that surround me now, bounced my son Isaac's very loud voice around all day. They absorbed the songs my daughter pounded out on the piano, they caught the laughing, bickering, the babies coos and cries. My life is so full of noise, life, need, teaching and training.....constant motion.

I go upstairs to feed my little man. He snuggles in half asleep. His wispy blond hair so fine and thin. His little leg turning like a crank as he nurses. It is still so quiet. I stare at this little guy in awe. He is such a gift and a treasure. I relish these quiet moments with him. No other things to be doing while he eats. No stories to be read, no conversations about insects or dinosaurs. There are no questions to be pondered or ideas to toss around. It's just us and the quiet night.

I put him back in his bed, tuck him in and he crams his blankie in his face. A favorite thing for him, one his mom has finally relaxed about. He starts making his little sleep noise and drifts back off. As I look at this little boy I am so aware of his dependence on me. His very life comes from my body. He was knit together in my womb by God's hand. The blood in his veins came from my blood. His ability to grow and thrive comes from my breast. What an amazing relationship and bond. Yet, as I watch this little person sleep in the night I am brought back to my own dependence. The life I have is due to someone else's blood and sacrifice. My growth and daily existence is completely reliant on that of another.

I feel compelled to go sneak in and watch my older children sleep. I know you do that too. They are so quiet, peaceful and beautiful. As I see their chest rise and fall with each breath, I am so reminded of grace. Our very life is dependant upon Him.....unmerited favor.

As I crawl under my duvet next to my kind, hard working husband I am at peace. Not because I was the best mother or wife today, or because my kids are well behaved. This peace isn't based on anything but the fact that I have been saved from my sin, my greatest need has been met and I am blessed by the gift of these three children, as well as, the three that have gone before me. I deserve nothing and look what I have!

The quiet draws me to Him.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When Do You Blog?

Because I don't have a plan for my blog time I do it randomly. Though I feel no pressure to blog and write, I do very much enjoy it. With having three children, two that I homeschool and one being a baby, my time can be limited. This week we were on spring break so there has been more time to blog.

I am curious to know when you blog? Do you plan it regularly on a calendar? Do you compose part of the post before hand or do it on the fly? Do you write with your kids twirling around you or do you need quiet. I want to grow in being more disciplined in my writing. It is a joy for me but one that gets crowded out at times because I don't plan for it. I am also lazy at times which doesn't help :o).

If you care to get into it, I am curious as to why you blog. My motivation simply comes from liking to write but no desire to be published. I also blog to preach truth to myself, hoping it will encourage others. I also like posting cute pictures of my kids for those loved ones far away.

Awaiting your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Circle Time Part 3

The last part of our morning Circle Time consists of daily assignments and activities. If you live with a planner (my 8 year old daughter) a calendar is a must. Prior to using the calendar above I thought I would go crazy. Now that she can see the week as a whole there are far less conversations about "What are we doing today." She asked for a personal planner for a Christmas gift this year if that reveals anything. It's not that we don't like to talk around here! We just prefer to save our energy for other types of conversation. I by nature like to be alone and like quiet so this helps me not tire of communicating over details.

I have found this helpful for my husband to know what we are doing in our school day and week with out having to ask. He and I meet Sundays to talk about our week as a whole and make decisions but the calendar reflects all those conclusions for the entire family.
I also list my daughters daily school assignments on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet protector. This way she sees at a glance her responsibilities for the day and can check them off when done. Each day we erase and prep for the next day. Eventually we will move to a weekly sheet she can keep in her notebook but this works for us right now. Due mostly to our changing days with a new baby. I need that flexibility right now.

So that concludes our morning Circle Time.
Here is Part 1 and Part 2 if your interested in reading.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Burn Out

In my reading came across this post at Elisabeth Esther's.

It spoke so clearly to me in this season of my life. I spend so much mental energy getting frustrated about what I never get done and waste the moment in front of me. There are so many GOOD things we can do but truly THE good thing is being a content wife and mother to my family which is my calling.

The key word here being content and joy filled. Anything that takes away from finding joy in my daily life with my family just isn't worth it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Circle Time Continued....

Another big aspect to our circle time is poetry memorization. When my oldest was in grade one we used First Language Lessons and memorized the poems provided there. The next year we started memorizing form this list made by my friend Heather at Stepping Heavenward. She has a great talent for organizing and then being generous with it....so why re-invent the wheel. Most of the things I do are not my original idea. I love to glean and learn from others.

My daughter Journey is still memorizing this year from a list of poems Heather compiled and my five year old son is memorising from Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses."

I have a sticker chart for each of them. Every time they memorize something weather it be a verse or poem they get a sticker. After ten stickers they get a prize.

This week my eight year old is working on this poem:

Pippa's Song

The year's at the spring,

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His heaven--

All's right with the world!

Robert Browning
My five year old this poem:
The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
Robert Louis Stevenson
We are just beginning a new aspect to our Circle Time which is a prayer bowl. I got this idea from my friend Stacy at With Great Joy (see very few original ideas :o). We write on pieces of paper the request and then each day pull one out to prayer for that person. Once we prayer for everyone over a few days, we put them back in the bowl and add new ones as they come up. We always have someone to pray for and I find with little kids it gets them off of praying for toys and objects onto praying for people in a fun natural way.
We also use Circle Time to discuss assignments for the day and any activities going on. I will share what that looks like for us in my next and last post about Circle Time.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Circle Time at our House

We are finally back in the swing of things with school since Eli's birth. Over the next little while I want to share some of the things we are doing and why we do them.

I want to start out with Circle Time. I got this idea from Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace . We do things a little different then Kendra's family but we so enjoy the coming together in the mornings for this special time.

This star notebook is our memory verse book. The front has various verses regarding the Word of God. It is a simple cheap photo book I picked up for $1.49 at the grocery store. Each morning we start our circle time with this book. We have what we call our family verse and our church verse. Below is our family verse this week. We affectionately call it our RPG verse. Creating acronyms really helps them remember and also apply the verse. Our goal is to bring the family verse intentionally into our daily lives that week. For example when something happens that isn't of their liking I can direct them to Rejoice and Give Thanks because their greatest need has been met in the cross. We find ourselves this week calling out "RPG" many times a day to encourage each other. It isn't just the kids who need to be reminded either :o)

R - Rejoice always
P - Prayer without ceasing
G - Give thanks in all circumstances

This is our church verse for the entire month of March. Isaac works on the first verse. Journey memorizes the first three verses. If they are able to memorize them they each get a Spurgeon Buck to spend at our church book store. It is really a great motivator for the kids. It tells you a lot about our church when they put old reformed dead guys on the children's Sunday School dollars.

There is more to our Circle Time but will save that for the next post.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What a Guy!

I just want to brag a little bit on my husband today.
This is what greeted me this morning and when I came downstairs. Aaron is quite a talented artist but something few people would know about him. He did this before leaving for work this morning at 5:30 am.
He is also a poet.


Today is your Birthday!
How does it feel?
Your are now 39.
Can it be real?
39 is one year closer,
To that dreaded age.
But really know, it's not that bad,
It's just like turning another page.
The book of your life
Is full indeed,
With all manner of joy and story.
As you live it out for God
You give Him all the glory.
...And if someone says "Wow 39",
as if that's getting on.
You just say "Don't forget ole' Methuselah'.....
969 years before he was gone!
Happy Birthday Sandi
I love you friend!