Friday, December 24, 2010

The Wait is Almost Over

Christ has Come!
So grateful

A little Christmas cutie added for fun.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Merry Christmas

There has not been much going on around this little space.

Much in life, little time or desire to write.

I will be officially taking a break until the new year.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


for my soul and mind

Monday, November 29, 2010

Many Thoughts

.....few words.

But missing these little curly Q's on my babies head.

Curls all gone :o(

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daily Risk

Been spending alot of time in this book.

"It is impossible to risk your life to make others glad in God if you are an unforgiving person. If you are wired to see other people's faults and failures and offenses, and treat them roughly, you will not take risks for their joy. This wiring - and it is universal in all human beings - must be dismantled. We will not gladly risk to make people glad in God if we hate them, or hold grudges against them, or are repelled by their faults and foibles. We must become forgiving people.

Don't start raising objections about hard cases. I am talking about a spirit, not a list of criteria for when we do this or that. Nor am I talking about wimpy grace that can't rebuke or discipline or fight. The questions is, do we lean toward mercy? Do we default to grace? Do we have a forgiving spirit? Without it we will walk away from need and waste our lives."

John Piper

This is my 500th post! Hard to believe I have written that much and hard to believe there are people still reading :o)

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Book Discovery

We have recently discovered the Piggie and Gerald books by Mo Willems. Isaac is slowly starting to read more easily. These books have helped him cross the threshold. They are FUNNY. I find myself sneaking off when we return from the library to read them ahead of time because I don't want to wait for Isaac to read them to me aloud. Not only are they funny but they deal with friendships and relationships, which is nothing but good for my Aspie boy who struggles with both of those things. It's like a little social story that is hilarious to him.

I can't express how much I LOVE watching him enjoy reading and laughing as he does.

Doesn't get any better then that.

Reading has been an uphill climb for us. He voluntarily read three of them yesterday on his own initiative. If we get interrupted he just keeps reading himself.......never happened before these books. He still gets a marshmallow too, but hey, at least it's per book now and not per sentence :o)

Thank you Mo Willems.

This is one of my favorites.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Camping Out

I haven't fallin" off the face of the earth....though that actually sounds appealing right about now. The view would be beautiful and the sensation of fly and floating is right up my alley these days. :o)

Journey and I had a fantastic mama daughter weekend. A much needed time for both of us.

Things are intense to say the least right now. Getting help seems to have turned into being more work and stress then I could have imagined.  So far it feels like so little of this is about getting help and more about everybody else. I had no idea what I signed up for. God is at work it's just not all that smooth of a ride.

Would appreciate your prayers over the next little while. Many decisions to make and the resolve to stick with our convictions and priorities for our family.

This is where I am camping out.

And here too.

A guarded heart and mind is what I need right now.

Thankfully I have one who can provide that.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Away We Go

This beautiful girl and I are going away on an overnight mama daughter date this weekend.

We are swimming, reading, playing games and just hanging out...girls only.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So I Write

I have been reading every where I go lately about blogging for the glory of God through telling your story. Instead of that being freeing it has made me reluctant to write. It truly is a brave thing to put yourself and your story out here for all to see (to a certain level).

I guess I am still battling with judgement and not even the overly critical kind. I often feel like I don't fit. I would probably be considered Calvinist by label but I think anyone who loves Jesus is great. I prefer to be called a Calvary-ist as my pastor recently shared. I have very strong convictions but have no problem with yours. I think theology and doctrine is pretty central but would never choose it over people and loving and listening to them. I think diversity shows the beauty of God's creation in people and nature yet I have my own distinct ways of appreciating both. I like simple ways, quiet days and kind intense discussion. I have thick skin and a soft spot for the underdog and feel very strongly. I am very passionate (emotional) and logically practical all at the same time. I tend to adapt to who I am with because I see that as preferring my neighbour. It can be perceived as not being true to oneself or honest and I disagree.....I want to be true to Him and in doing that I am being true to myself.

Ultimately, I think it is fear. It is one thing to criticize someone's theology or belief but totally different thing to judge someone's story.

So to step out in this I plan to finish Jonah's story The Sovereignty Chronicles. It gives me a place to start.

His work in each of us is for His glory. That's what makes the story valuable.

So I write my story.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weekend Fun

This is what we have been up to this last week.

The kids and I have had a blast filling our Operation Christmas Child boxes.

We've also offically starting listening to Christmas music.

We took our family picture today...with the timer...and a two year old....and a squirmy seven year old.
It was eventful. Pictures to come. :o)

Heart Thoughts This Morning


This life therefore is not righteousness but growth in righteousness;

not health but healing;

not being but becoming;

not rest but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it.

The process is not finished, but it is going on.

This is not the end, but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

Martin Luther

Friday, November 05, 2010

Negotiable Convictions

Judgement has been on my mind lately.

Partly, because I have been the recipient of it and the dispenser of it in my heart.

Matthew 7

What I am struggling with is this slight, sly and non-threatening thing called legalism. It creeps it's way in ever so easily. It is the enemy of liberty and steals the joy from each story that God is writing in each life. When we take the liberties we are given as Christians and turn them into law we destroy relationship, which is the vehicle of the gospel. Him glorified is the priority not the method in which he is glorified.

There is definite and clear non negotiable truth but why do we take those areas of choice and turn them into do's and don'ts.

Why do we size up other peoples lives based on our own opinions and convictions (negotiable convictions)?

Why do we act as if God can only be at work when it looks like (fill in the blank)?

In my experience, I have found that those who have suffered much judge little and offer much grace. I know that what I have faced in my own life has made me far less critical of others. We have no idea the work that God is doing in a life or family that looks entirely different then our own.

Is there someone you know who needs grace today? Someone you may differ with in method but not principle. God is glorified when we prefer others over ourselves and our negotiable convictions.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Completely Done

We sang this song at church today.  So encouraging to my soul.
What He does is complete!

What reason have I to doubt

Why would I dwell in fear
When all I have known is grace
My future in Christ is clear

My sins have been paid in full
There’s no condemnation here
I live in the good of this
My Father has brought me near
I’m leaving my fears behind me now

The old is gone, the new has come
What You complete is completely done
We’re heirs with Christ, the victory won
What You complete is completely done

I don’t know what lies ahead
What if I fail again
You are my confidence
You’ll keep me to the end
I’m leaving my fears behind me now

© 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

Listen here

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Soul Not The Sore

I came across the below quote in my reading today. I have read it in the past and I will say it is one of THE most important bits of truth I have begun to apply when caring for hurting, grieving and discouraged people. We are sinners and we all go there at one time or another. We can be far to quick to speak and correct when we need to discern and listen. I know I have been guilty of this myself.

Knowing what is wind is a gift. I am so thankful for those in my life who have let the wind blow in my life knowing it was my sore and not my soul. You know someone really knows you when they can tell the difference. Thanks for taking the time to read this, you won't be sorry you did.

Job 6:26

Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?

In grief and pain and despair people often say things they otherwise would not say. They paint reality with darker strokes than they will paint it tomorrow when the sun comes up. They sing in minor keys and talk as though that is the only music. They see clouds only and speak as if there were no sky.

They say, “Where is God?” Or: “There is no use to go on.” Or: “Nothing makes any sense.” Or: There’s no hope for me.” Or: “If God were good this couldn’t have happened.”

What shall we do with these words?

Job says that we do not need to reprove them. These words are wind, or literally “for the wind.” They will be quickly blown away. There will come a turn in circumstances and the despairing person will waken from the dark night and regret hasty words.

Therefore, the point is, let us not spend our time and energy reproving such words. They will be blown away of themselves on the wind. One need not clip the leaves in autumn. It is a wasted effort. They will soon blow off of themselves.

O how quickly we are given to defending God, or sometimes the truth, from words that are only for the wind. If we had discernment we could tell the difference between the words with roots and the words blowing in the wind.

There are words with roots in deep error and deep evil. But not all grey words get their color from a black heart. Some are colored mainly by the pain, the despair. What you hear is not the deepest thing within. There is something real within where they come from. But it is temporary—like a passing infection—real, painful, but not the true person.

Let us learn to discern whether the words spoken against us or against God or against the truth are merely for the wind—spoken not from the soul, but from the sore. If they are for the wind, let us wait in silence and not reprove. Restoring the soul not reproving the sore is the aim of our love.

Learning to listen to the soul,

Pastor John

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Danger Zone

I discovered this (Thanks Em).

Free shipping....oh boy, this could be dangerous.

Good thing there is a budget...or is there?

Have a good weekend.
I am away this weekend...see ya next week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Staying In Today

I read this article this morning and wanted to pass it on.

Definitely having some long days around here and found this to be very encouraging.

He provides all that is needed for life and godliness.

Just today, Sandi.

She learned to stick with the biblical principle of not worrying about tomorrow since today has enough trouble of its own. "The pressure of the future and the things that have to be done in two hours or by the end of the week is almost too much with someone like Lacey in your house," Peggy says. Therefore, she trained herself to isolate the hour she was in, the hour when she was holding her daughter or taking her for a walk. She learned to ask herself, "Is there anything so bad in that hour that you can't deal with it?" She discovered there never was. "The more and more you stay in the day, the more and more you realize God works it all out anyway, and you get better at staying in the day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Compassion Sponsorship

If you ever wonder if sponsoring a Compassion child makes an impact watch the video in this post.

The rejoicing and gratefulness brought me to tears...... all provided for with what we spend at Starbucks in a few weeks time.

And not to mention the letters and relationship that comes with it.

What a blessing!

What a privilege!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Being Stirred

God has been working on my heart in SO many ways. A crash course in actually living grace instead of simply reading and talking about it has started me on a journey. It is a road that is unfamiliar to me yet one that was planted long ago as a child longing to adopt from Africa. I am excited and terrified all at the same time. I don't like the unknown...left to myself I like to control my world. Fortunately, I am not left to myself. God has a plan and a story he is weaving...the BIG story and my little story. It all works together for my good and His glory.

I REALLY want to live the gospel. Not just learn about it, talk about it, listen to it and then discuss it. I want more!  I don't want to just know how it applies to does it make a difference in the world, in other peoples lives. Don't get me wrong....we need to learn and understand truth and apply it to ourselves before we can effect others but how long do we take to do that? When do we take what we know, what we have been so generously given and give it away...possibly at great cost to ourselves?

Now, before you think I am on some high horse, think again. I am terrified. I have a few ideas of what God may be asking me/us to do but not totally yet. I am tired of living for myself. This life has been bought with a price. I want to live by pouring that grace received out for Him, not so I can be comfortable, successful, well taught and happy. There is SO much more.

Some reading that has effected me lately...

Coming Home
A Song Almost Heard
When Your Dying to Live Radical

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Rest of Our year

So enjoying the fall weather that (finally) has arrived. We walked to the library today in drizzle. I love a brisk walk in crisp cool air. This week is our break week. One of the best things I have come to do in my home educating year is taking every 7th or 8th week off. We still continued on with our geography studies and What In the World but dropped everything else. We played scrabble, speed, read more together, did a few organization projects and like today walked to the library at our leisure. I have come to understand the breaks are more for me then the kids even though they enjoy them too. I have to break up the constant routine and have a spontaneous week once in while. It helps me stay the course the other 6 weeks or so. I am finding that the break in routine isn't best for all of us :o). But am trying to find ways to make it work for all of us. I have continued doing basic math and language with Ike as it helps make the transition back to full work load easier. We will return full force until our Christmas break in December.

It has been more intense then normal due to starting a therapy program for Isaac. The process itself has been a learning curve, one that has been very time consuming. It is likened to running a small business. There is interviewing and hiring (and firing if need be) people. There is budgeting, paperwork, scheduling and paying people and it is all on top of daily homeschooling and everyday life. This is definitely not my comfort zone but I couldn't be more grateful for the funding we receive which translates into help for my boy. We truly are thankful to have the means to give him what he needs. I am also grateful for the people God has provided to work with my son. I feel His care in this big time! The program hasn't officially started yet. We are still in the development and training stage. Hopefully we will be in full motion by mid November. I can't help thinking what life will look like this time next year after a full year of help.

I wanted to finish posting our curriculum for this year. Above are the resources we are using for geography and socials. I am so enjoying Ann's word pictures, analogies and weaving of scripture into every fascinating part of God's creation as we learn geography. We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. What in the World brings current events into our home on an age appropriate level while teaching great thinking skills. I have chosen not to do world history this year. We finished the four year cycle last year and I wanted a break before starting over with the ancients.

On the math front we are using Teaching Textbooks 6 and Life of Fred for Journey. I am using Horizons 1 and Singapore 1 for Isaac. Both of these tend to be on the advanced side, so though he is grade 2 this year I wanted to make sure the foundation was strong. We tried Right Start last year and it bombed for us. It was a good program in so many ways though very teacher intensive. Isaac was distracted and annoyed by all the manipulatives. The games portion is fantastic though.

After we finish with Ann's geography by Christmas break, we then will start Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. We have purchased the journal that goes with it and are looking forward to do this starting in January.

We are also learning French this year. We are having fun with this little story based phonics program.

I think that sums up our learning resources this year. Whew...been wanting to finish this for awhile now.

Now... on to more weighty thoughts next time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Equal Gratitude

Started to read Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman this week. This one quote has stuck with me. I can't seem to stop thinking about it and the desire it stirs in my heart.

"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude"

Simone Weil

Let my gratitude be equal...oh God!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Guess Who is Two?

October 7th is a blessed day in this house.

We were told we were done having kids.


Miracle baby above.

He brings such joy with....

his smiles

his  belly laughs

playing shy and covering his eyes

his dinosaur roars

how he says "woah" when excited

those red blonde curls behind ears

chubby checks that bounce when he runs

jogging everywhere he goes

awesome dance moves and great rhythm

Happy Birthday Eli Boy!

There will be much celebrating in our house today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm Still Here

So much is going on right now. I hope to post an update soon.

We are in the process of getting Isaac's therapy program up and running, doing school, long hours for my husband, building in our church family, battling a nasty cold and trying to keep the basics around here clean.

I am fighting hard to keep reading aloud to my kids and enjoying those everyday moments. Like when I hear........ "Mom come look!"

I am trying hard to go and live in the land of  YES, YES and YES.

That's about all the time of have right now folks.

Time for YES...means less time for this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Classic Isaac

A little back story. We have recently moved to using a rectangular mat for discipline and calming Isaac down. He has to stay on the mat for the number of years he is old.

Driving to a friends house for a play date.....

"Mom how long before we get there"

"About 30 minutes buddy"

Insert pause


"Yes bud"

"Thirty minutes is three tens"

"That's right"

Insert pause


"Yeah bud"

"Thirty minutes is three ten minutes"

"Great thinkin' big guy"

Insert pause

"Mom, will you put me on the mat for thirty minutes when I am 30 years old?"

Insert pause

"Mom, why are you laughing so hard?"

"Son, when you are thirty years old you won't still be living with mama"

"Oh, good then I can get my snake!"

If you are interested in more of Isaac's antics go here, here and here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things I'm Pondering

"Real encouragement is more about sightedness than it is about explanation. When I talk about sightedness, I am not talking about physical eyes, but the eyes of the heart. God has given us the capacity to "see" unseen spiritual realities that are as real and vital as any physical thing we can see or touch. Spiritual sightedness is a precious gift and essential life skill. The reason we get overwhelmed and discouraged in relationships (in any situation) is not because we don't understand what is going on. We are discouraged because we don't see Christ."

"Encouragement is not just about making people feel and think better; it's about stimulating spiritual imagination. Encouragement gives struggling people the eye to see an unseen Christ. He is the only reliable hope when  the call of relationship has taken me way beyond my own wisdom, strength, and character. As we live with each other in the middle of the already and the not yet, we need more then elevated emotion and accurate understanding. We need eyes to see this one amazing reality: that we are Christ's and he is ours. We need to see that it is spiritually impossible for us to ever be alone. His amazing resources of grace are constantly at our disposal."

Relationships A Mess Worth Making
Tim Lane and Paul Tripp

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

His First Encounter.....

With markers!

He appropriately got his first set of Pip-squeaks to start off the learning year.

(Hes, the high chair is back to it's original shine...gotta love washable)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Language Arts 2010-11

I have always combined Charlotte Mason (CM) and Classical together. It has always been a good fit for us. Last year we drifted from that due to life being crazy and I am so looking forward to getting back on track.

For reading, I have used Ruth Beechick's 3R's. Introducing sounds from the beginning while reading and slowly putting two sounds together etc. Journey did so well. We used copy work and dictation. I never used a "curriculum" with her for language except Explode the Code. We used First Language Lessons as a gentle intro to grammar. She did not do her first year of formal grammar till last year  where we used R&S grade 4 grammar. This year (grade 5) is our first year to do any formal writing. Up till now it has been read, read and more reading. We are using Writing tales 2. I love how it takes a fairy tale and teaches the grammar and structure of writing and in the end she will rewrite it in her own words. We are really enjoying ourselves so far.

I love the gentle approach of CM and teaching reading from living books but I quickly discovered that a linear concrete thinker like my son Isaac needed more structure. There truly is no one way to teach every child. There are principles to create the framework but each one is so different. We tried SO many different things....Ruth Beechick, Living Books, Phonics Pathways, Explode the Code and others. What finally worked for us has been All About Spelling (AAS) and these readers by Nora Gaydos. I do know he was picking up things as we used each of those different resources but AAS just clicked for him. He can move when he does it, there are individual tiles and cards to show we are moving onto to the next thing. This boy who was struggling to read can now tell you all the sounds of  all the vowels and Y has four sounds alone for goodness sake. He read four little books yesterday on his own with no prompting or bribes. Confession order to get him to read I had to give a marshmallow for each sentence. Can ya tell I was desperate. :o). And to add I was fine with him being a later reader but AAS just turned the lights on for him. He even has begun to tolerate copywork and dictation now. Which was a huge no-no before. I still don't understand why they call it a spelling program. I plan to use it with Eli when the time comes, I like it that much!

Isaac also loves the Nora Gaydos readers. They are funny and the graphics are so great. Very boy friendly unlike some young readers. They have incentive stickers which he loves. His goal is to but his name, date and a sticker in every one of those books indicating he has read it.

We are using Handwriting Without Tears for both Journey and Isaac. She is doing cursive and he is doing printing. Once again simple copy work was too overwhelming for him. He needed the little stories and rhymes and creative ways of viewing the letters. Isaac has developed sound effects for many of his letters. It totally helps him remember where to start and what direction to go. Our favorite is stinky "m'. If you have space in the middle of your lowercase "m" then it turns into stinky trash. Nobody likes stinky trash. His "m" don't stink! My other favorite is how lower case K says "hye-yah" like a karate kick. There is never a doubt when he is writing a "k" Great stuff! I never thought I would use curriculum for this but really our true job as mom/teachers is not the method but getting through to our kids and opening the world of learning however that happens.

Isaac has gone back to one page of Explode The Code a day to learn the skill of independent work. And we have slowly started First Language lessons this year too.

One other resource I want to share is called Reading Eggs. It is an online reading program that has worked wonders for Isaac. It is completely independent which is good for him and it just builds little by little with rewards built in. Isaac is very visual and it has been a means to use that gift to our advantage. I was one who said I would never use the computer to teach reading....eating crow here!

We will be reading and reading aloud all year. We are reading The Year of Miss Agnes right now and will move on to this series after that. You can get the first book in the series for free by going to Inheritance Publications and scrolling down the page.

That wraps up LA in our house this year.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buckets or Fire

I been trying to create a big post with all the resources we are using this year. It ain't happened!

I have about 15 minutes let's see how far we get.

First I wanted to share the newest home education book I am reading. Real Learning has been on my "to read" list for some time. After reading the first chapter I can see the spark it's going to create. The author is Catholic so there are references to that but it is resource able to be used by all.

A quote I read tonight:

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.   William Butler Yeats

I can't seem to get away from this. How many times do I simply fill the bucket?

How many times do I check of my list and call that a day of learning?

Systematic is not bad BUT learning comes in SO many different ways. I want to see learning in these moments not just seeing it in the paperwork.

I am on a mission to get some of THAT ground back. Learning through curiosity, exploration, ideas and unscripted moments. Like for example the 20 minute discussion when my daughter took Mr. Virgil M. Hillyer to task over his description of beginning times. There are a few places in A Child's History of the World that are sketchy in my opinion and my daughters. It was so interesting to hear her thoughts on all she's read about evolution and creation. We need to chat more. Given the right setting she has lots to say. There was more value in that conversation then any book report or worksheet.

I had plans to go into a new reading/spelling program we started two weeks ago but my 15 minutes are up.

I type slow or maybe it's that I think slow. :o)

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Go here to read the awesome story of how God has placed an abandoned disabled little boy in his forever home. I just started bawling when I read that the judge said...YES!

I can't stop thinking about how this little boy didn't even know he needed rescuing because it's all he has ever known. Rob and Julia relentlessly pursued Aaron with their resources, time and energy in order to love and care for him.

Who has done the same thing for us? When we didn't even know we needed saving HE died for us!

Adoption is an amazing thing!

Thank you for praying.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Little Aaron

Please read this post and pray with me today for little Aaron and his forever family. The big court date is tomorrow.

Oh Lord, please bring them all home together!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Kicking Off A New Learning Year

(Just a random cute picture of my baby boy)

Today was the official start to our new 2010-11 learning year. We learn all the time but we are back to more structure. routine and systematic learning. I am excited about this year for many reasons.

The day started off with breakfast out as a family. This is a tradition we have kept since we started homeschooling 5 years ago. Even in the very lean years I started saving up well in advance. The kids look forward to this tradition every year.

After breakfast we head home for our treasure hunt. I wrap all their new school supplies and hide them around the house. I am waiting for my now 10 year old to think this is to "kiddy" but she still loves it. We then organize our notebook and decorate with stickers etc.

Each year I include a new book for each child. This year I gave Journey PollyAnna and PollyAnna Grows Up by Eleanor Porter. I gave Eli a Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan and More. Isaac was given Make Way For McCloskey. I love his stories, the drawings and just the warmth in his writing. You know it is a good book when you love to read it, look at it and simply just have it in your lap :o) We spent a good part of our morning reading together.

We did a math lesson. Spent time drawing while reading A Child's History of the World aloud. Then went to Google Earth to locate some of the places we read about. I cannot recommend Google Earth enough.

It was a good day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So Tinny, So Impotent

This past year was the worst home school year I have ever had. I came very close to putting my kids in school. There were days when I thought there was no way I could do this anymore. I had grown used to moving, financial strain, job changes and losses. It wasn't easy but the one thing I found such joy in was home educating my kids. I lost that over the last year or so.

My oldest was a dream child to teach. She read just before she was five. Loved stories, reading and even writing. She was eager, diligent and happy to do whatever she was given. Having a child like her first can really mess with your head. I thought it was something I had done. I felt pretty good about my home educating abilities and my parenting. Though I was diligent and committed myself...much of her "success" was about who God made her to be and very little about the curriculum or the teacher.

Enter child number two to home educate with out of control behaviors and severe learning struggles, a newborn baby, job loss, postpartum depression and I need say more. The descent started two years ago and reached a head about six months ago right in the middle of another move. I found myself craving space more then people. I wanted my kids to go away and leave me alone. I felt at the end of myself in a way that I never have in my life.

I couldn't make my son learn..heck I couldn't get him to behave or even get dressed without a major melt down. Then I had a little baby crying and needing me and a very diligent big girl who was falling between the cracks as her school load became more demanding. She started to struggle and I didn't even know it because I was over in the corner with two crying boys. As a mother, the things you expect of yourself without flaw is being able to help and love your own child. When you aren't able to do that something sorta dies on the inside. I felt like such a home school mom failure. I knew sending my son to public school wasn't best for him or our family. I wasn't interested in best anymore but just easiest. It would be easier to let someone else deal with his struggles.

On top of all this it was obvious to most people he wasn't typical but yet there was no clear reason he wasn't. Lack of discipline? Bad character?  Mean spirited? Brat? It is an interesting tendency of human nature to take what is different and find some normal category to rationalize it. I did that for a long time. We don't like different so we find a box to put it in that makes us more comfortable. We find a place to put fault in order to help it make sense. I placed most fault on myself and honestly, the stares and comments of other people did too.

Not home educating my children wouldn't change what I was facing but getting the right help would. It took me a long time to ask for help. I used to be so anti-label. I thought it put a child in a box that he would forever be confined too. It would somehow limit his options and opportunities. I have found just the opposite. Knowing what I am facing everyday actually empowers me to help him. The more I understood why, the better I got at responding in the way he needed me too. For one, we stopped any form of physical discipline. And honestly, in my circles I feared more judgement about that then almost anything else. It is easy to think that if you don't apply the rod it can't be biblical discipline. I do not believe physical discipline is wrong or unbiblical but not every child will fit the formula. Training a child in the way he should go is about getting their heart, to lead them to the savior and not about making sure they don't misbehave or "get it right" . Getting to the heart of one child may look different then with another. When we stopped we saw amazing results. I believe this is true due to his strong sensory processing issues and his mind blindness. How do you tell a boy who just lashed out in a meltdown that he is in sin when he responded to a physical fight response from sensory overload? I could touch him on the head and he would yell as if I had hit him. He could bump into me running down the hall and get mad because I pushed him? I am sure it is very hard to understand until it is your child and you live with it everyday.

I remember feeling so helpless to help him. And feeling help-less in regards to one of my children I think is the hardest thing I have faced. I recall having the same feeling when my son Jonah died in my arms. I was his mother and there was nothing I could do to save him. I was supposed to care, nurture and protect him and all I could do is hold him while he flew away home. I felt over the last year or so that I couldn't save my son Isaac either and he was running around under foot every single day. It was almost more painful to have him there everyday and have no clue how to meet his needs.

I find it easier to write about now because we are on the road to help. I have learned SO much about why he struggles with many of the things he does. Some of it still makes no sense at times but you know being helpless and so weak has made me so much more grace filled toward him. I had to cling to God (which really means he held me close to himself) like never before. I was done and so unable to perform or maintain anything but the raw basics if life and that poorly. Being in that place caused me to become more comfortable with my weakness, my sons weakness and the amazing strength that God has to work in us when we are in that place.

I am actually beginning to like being weak sometimes. Still an uphill battle but God in His wisdom used the weak in the world to shame the strong (1Cor. 1:27).

And just so you know.... I am very much looking forward to learning at home again this year. Partly, because I have finally found somethings that work, we are having outside help and my boy is doing much better on many levels. Though I know in many ways the battle has just begun..... knowing is empowering. Not only understanding my son better but having hard evidence that once again God was faithful and so he will be again.

25 Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can't begin to compete with God's "weakness." 26 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. 27 Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, 28 chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? 29 That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. 30 Everything that we have - right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start - comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. 31 That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

1Corinthians 1:25-31 (Message)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will You Please Pray With Me?

I am sure you have noticed the side bar on the right with a very cute little boy smiling. That is Aaron, a little boy waiting for his forever family in Eastern Europe. They (Rob and Julia) are there right now bringing Aaron home. They have run into many obstacles, one major one being little favor with a local judge deciding over their adoption.

They have just been told they have to wait 2 more weeks with no guarantees. They have already had to leave Aaron behind once and that was hard on him and them.

Please pray for them. For favor with the judge. For little Aaron to bond easily and quickly again. For Julia's mama heart (Rob too) to be at peace as they literally have no control over how this goes.

God is good and faithful. Join me in approaching the throne of grace for this little boy and his forever family.

Follow their blog here for updates.

This family are relatives of very dear family friends. God has used their story to stir my heart so deeply for orphans. Not sure what that means for us but God does. My sweet friend Stacy also has adopted and following her story a while back really started my heart down this road of considering adoption.  

Saturday, August 21, 2010


What-cha got up your sleeve little man?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Change is Coming

We are back from our road trip and gearing up for September when the rhythm and routine of fall comes. The days become more structured and less leisurely. I have to adjust to the pressure of the structure gradually. It is one reason I ease into fall by adding things little by little. The kids have soccer camp next week and then we are into our routine a bit at a time. We are already working back into the habit of chores daily and learning new responsibilities.

In the re-thinking of my blog I have cleaned out my google reader. I have grown tired of agenda blogging as I call it and have narrowed my reading. I am sticking with Mommy blogs, Homeschooling, Autism and IRL friends. I was finding myself getting sucked into others peoples agendas and opinions on issues that really are not central. Not that I didn't agree with their opinion it just isn't how I need to spend my time. I am not interested in rants and platforms but just women who love Jesus and each other. There is an amazing community of women who are living a simple authentic life with all it's mess and scratching it out in cyber space. I find great encouragement there....listening to their stories. I am searching for quiet rest in a simple life online and off.
So as we settle into our new season I am drawing some hard fast boundaries with this here computer. I find I have to do this every so often or I get sucked in much like I do if I watch TV. I recently cut out an article in our local paper entitled "Will those 'glowing rectangles' make us stupid? I've hung it near my desk as a reminder to make sure I have more face time with my people then I do my screen. To live a simple life requires me to steer clear of glowing screens too much. It will be interesting to see what writing looks like this fall.
There are many changes coming. Grade 5 is a bit more intense this year adding a foreign language. Isaac will have therapy 4x a week for 2 hours a day, as well as, working through grade 2 and I have a very cute toddler who will need speech therapy. This deoan't even include simple hang time with the kids plus everyday life stuff. The trenches feel deep and wide but God's grace is deeper still. One day at a time.
I have been reading at Ann's this week and her post have met me almost everyday this week. Take a stroll over if you haven't already and be encouraged. She speaks of women friends in such a real way. I want to BE that friend and never take for granted those who have made that commitment to me. Her heart on priorities and homeschooling encouraged me and made me return to the roots of why I am home, my kids are home and that daily with grace based effort I will love Him with all my heart.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Every Day

Your everyday communication influences the shape, quality, and
direction of
your relationships. Every day, your words give your
relationships their tone.
Every day you tell people what you think of them,
what you want from them, and
what you would like to enjoy with them. But you
don't do this in grand moments
of oratory. You do it in quick side comments
in the bedroom, as you ready for
work, or at the curb as you hop into your
car, or in the kitchen as you grab a
sandwich, or over dessert at the local
bistro, or in the family room during a
commercial. Because our talk lives in
the world of the ordinary, it is easy to
forget it`s true significance.It is
easy to forget the impact our words have on
every relationship.

pg. 69-70

Being blessed by reading Relationships A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Credit: H.Evans

Off to visit some good friends and go on a road trip.

Can't wait!

My middle man turns 7 at the end of this week.....where has the time gone.

See you when we get back.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Story Tellers

I have come close to shutting down my blog for many reasons. One being, my writing juices have not been flowing. My mind is ever at work but the drive and discipline to commit them to words has fallen very short. In fact, there is not a time I am not thinking...well maybe when I am sleeping. Speaking of sleeping, there has been little of that going on around here lately. Insomnia and I are in a battle of the wills.

Another reason for considering abandoning my post is something akin to why Tonia has left the blog world. She has since taken down her last post which I wish I could share with you. We are now sharing our story in hand written letters which I love!

Do I really have something worth saying? Have I already said it? Am I just contributing to more cyber noise? Yes, I love to write but I can do that in a paper journal, which by the way, I still do almost daily. Why do I put my words here?

I have been praying and asking these questions for weeks.

Then I read this and knew it was God speaking to my heart about these questions. I don't know if she is a Christian but God used her words.

Tell YOUR story.


You never know who might be listening.

Those words have not left me since I read them. She is speaking of the autism community that I have recently become intimately acquainted with. But more then that, it made me think of God's community the church. It made me think of how God used the greatest story of all to rescue mankind. How Jesus all through out scripture used parables/stories to help us see relate to godly living. It makes me think of many women I know who have lost babies like I have and have gone on to survive another day, have more babies or not and still love Jesus. We cried together, we prayed together....we listened to each others story. I think of all the adoption stories I have followed that have opened my eyes and changed my heart toward adoption. Or a now dear friend of mine who recently committed herself to the Lord and has come through so much.....she graced my life with her story. I am changed by God's work in her and it now is part of my story. All of these were instruments in the hand of God to build my story.

We are designed for story.

My blog isn't popular or frequently visited. It is not going to impact the thousands or even hundreds but all I am looking for is one. The person who might read my rambles about living with Aspergers, home educating, training little ones, dealing with sin, learning doctrine or whatever I write. We impact each other....we change each others lives with our actions, listening, prayers and words. We share our story and it becomes their story. I have been effected deeply by others words and am so grateful for the writing (and saying) of them.

So I will keep writing and sharing my story here. My words are not profound or greatly important but they are my story.....the story that He is writing for His glory. Our stories are meant to be shared...that exchange.....that sharing of our lives is community, His community built one story and experience at a time. The beauty of it all is He has good stories/plans for each of us every step of the way. Not always easy but always good.

I have created some more strict boundaries about where and what I will be reading on line. More on that next time.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Update of Sorts

It has been full around here on many fronts.

We received the final written report of Isaac's assessment and have lined up some help. Still processing all this on many levels. Though I know the black and white words on the paper do not define my certainly hit hard what they were saying. It is a faith walk and a huge learning curve this Autism Spectrum.

We had to have the school room carpet replaced. Think..... animals and carpet! We spilled water on the carpet and the prior tenants came back to haunt us in a very stinky way. Fortunately, the owners replaced the carpet fairly quickly. And of coarse, if I was going to move EVERYTHING out of the room then I might as well purge, organize and change the furniture around. My last week has been consumed with this as well as the behaviors that come with all the change and non-routine involved. With a child on the spectrum it is a calculated choice.

Now, my learning room is neat, tidy and ready for September. I've threaten to remove limbs if the kids don't put their stuff away....just kidding but it feels good to have it settled. Not only will we do school there but Isaac's therapy will take place in that room. Many new experiences and struggles will happen this year for all of us. One more part of our story will grow and develop in that space. A good plan full of hope.

Much unknown around the corner tends to tempt me to anxiousness but I have this rest about Isaac and about the help we are getting. Not sure what it will look like but grateful for a system that helps meet our needs. God cares for him and us...therefore I need not worry. There was a time when I thought help would never come.

I have been putting much thought into my on-line life. I started this blog over four years ago without really knowing where it would lead me. But for right now I will leave those thoughts for another day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lazy Summer days

#164- #190

~ Beautiful gardens
~ Design that grabs the eye
~ Hens and Chickens made appealing
~ Color in nature

~ Diversity of flowers
~ Fireworks in plant form
~ Botanical sea urchins

~ Boys and squirrels
~ Peanuts
~ Fascination with all things in motion

~ Family walks
~ Baby runnings (aka chubby waddles)
~ Big girl sprints
~ Middle man leading the way looking for the next nature thrill
~ Mama in the rear taking in all she loves
~ Baby boy
~ Bottles
~ Spaceship slippers in summer
~ Remote control monster trucks
~ How boys pile their favorite things

~ Massive tomatoe plants
~ Sea soil that makes then grow
~ Making my own food from my own sweat
~ Water hoses and little boys
~ Water gun fights
~ Weeding at 7am in PJ's and gum boots

holy experience

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What We've Been Doing

Though the last few weeks have been intense we have still had lots of fun.

Like building a bow out of only things found naturally in the back yard. Vines and twigs make for good imaginative play around our house. We called her Miss Journey Hood. She has also built several versions of a tee pee from backyard materials and a sheet. Who needs toys!

There are certain members of our family that make on art of being cute..need I say more?

We definitely use goofy as a form of entertainment around here. Laughed so hard at each other. Good medicine.

We have been reading tons since stopping normal school. We are reading Farmer boy right now but recently finished The Sign of The Beaver by E. Speare. Great read aloud! I think this is where all the bows and tee pee building came from. Prior to that we read an abridged version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

We made our annual strawberry picking trek. Shhh....don't tell anyone but this year we bought freshly picked instead of picking ourselves. Picking strawberries with a toddler just wasn't on my list of fun things this year. Now the freezer is stocked for the rest of the year with 15 lbs of these yummy berries. Next run is for blueberries...I cannot wait! We just used the last bag of last years blueberries a few weeks ago. Nothing like fresh blueberry pie.

Here is our very focused and committed strawberry cutting team. I think they ate more then they cut.
More photos to come.......

Friday, July 09, 2010

A New Chapter In Life

Hard to believe this is my 460th post since I started blogging.

When I started blogging I had NO idea the many paths that God would have us travel.

The one we are now walking is one I never imagined would be me.

I lived in denial for a long time not wanting it to be me.

Isaac has Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism.

My first reaction was relief in may ways. I have been living with this for a long time and ever slowly coming to terms with what I knew to be true about my child. Someone acknowledging that felt good.


I am sad.....for him and all the struggles he will face. For how hard it is for him to relate, communicate and navigate life at times. No mother wants to watch their child struggle and fight in daily life.

I know in many ways there are gifts that come with this path.
I am not at the gift part yet.

I am at the...I have no clue God, but grateful that you do...part.

Now, we can move forward. God is good.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blog Break

Photo credit H. Evans

Life is intense on many fronts. My husband is working crazy hours. We start Isaac's assessment in a few short days. The yard needs attention as does the house and well.... there are kids around here who need attention too...some more then others.

I have this love hate relationship with google and I just need to shut the research down and live.

So, I am outta here at least till the end of June if not longer. I need to clear my head with fresh air, a good book, coffee with a friend and NOT a computer screen. I need to stop escaping into a virtual world and engage fully with the living one.

Love to all my blogger friends.

See you soon.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To Much Information

I love having a veracious reader in my house. It is one of my greatest pleasures to see my daughter devour book after book. It does have it's pit falls though. She has been into reading guiness record and science fact books lately.

As we sat at breakfast yesterday morning she asked me...

"Mom did you know that when you flush the toilet the germs can spread up to a 6 feet diameter around the toilet."

I said "ewwwww...really?"

She replied "Just thought you'd want to know. I guess that's why toilets have lids."

Yes, I guess so as I thought about my toothbrush being well within the 6 foot diameter range. Sometimes knowing less is better.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Typing out part 3 of Measure of Success was an exercise of faith. This post was originally written several weeks ago. All of them written in one hour. Just one of those times where clear sight flooded my heart and I wrote. Then, I really embraced what I was writing. I not only believed what I was writing but rejoiced in it.

Today, I find the rejoicing part difficult. I know He is enough, I know that the difficult things I face are really grace in disguise. Mercy that I cannot yet see and means for Him to show himself to me. Yet, that knowing isn't enough sometimes to really hold onto the rejoicing part.

I guess I find the difficultly being my own child SO hard. It's different when it's me. This mama bear in me just wants peace for him. I am not a fear based kind of person for the most part. It hasn't been until I lost our son Jonah and now the struggles with Isaac that I have really struggled with gripping fear. That powerlessness to not be able to save your child. I couldn't make Jonah live and I can't make Isaac neuro typical. HE has a story designed for both my sons and honestly with my limited vision I would have chosen different roads for them both.

But this IS the road we travel, their story and path. It really is wasted energy and effort to worry over what I can't change. Yet, I still catch myself battling for hope.....battling to embrace the gospel which has met my greatest need and that of both my sons. And I know that even then, in my hopelessness He still provides and works for our good. I'm glad that I don't have to get it right to get the best plan for our lives. If that were the criteria we'd be hooped.

We start an official autism assessment for Isaac next week. We have six appointments in about 10 days. Some days I think I know what they will tell me and then others I'm not so sure. Very much appreciate your prayers during this time.

Measure of Success ~ Part 3

(Read part 1 & part 2)

So bring on the mess
Bring on the failure

The more I see myself for what I am and what I cannot do, the more clear He becomes to me.
The deeper the gospel, the death and resurrection, penetrates my soul and my thoughts the more filters out into my actions.

HE is ALL I need.

HE is ENOUGH for me.

It is His true kindness that I fall short.
True love for my soul the He lets me trip.

I would not listen
I would not see
I would not know

I would continue on the temporal path pursuing things that die and perish. is a true rescue mission.
Rescuing me from myself.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Not even sure where to begin.

The input from the homeschool convention far exceeded my expectations. One of the main speakers was Carol Brainer. She made me laugh, cry and relax. I needed all three. She just comes from such a real life homeschool perspective. I am still processing all I took in and it can be a slow process with the little time I have on hand most days.

I was also introduced to something called RDI. So much to process here too. It is the first thing I have been exposed to regarding help for Isaac's struggles that sounds somewhat comfortable to me. She gave me great hope that the brain is not set by the time they are 6 years old. I have grown weary of reading and hearing that early intervention is a must. It's not an option for us as he is almost 7 years old.
God met me with much grace this weekend. He prepared things in advance for my good. So thankful for that! So grateful for my DL school principle and teacher that really care about each of my kids.

Journey and her teacher

Journey graduated from Music for Young Children this weekend. Four years of hard work and lots of fun. We are so proud of her!

I hope to share more detail as I have time. Life is full and now that we can get outside I am less interested in my keyboard. I think Spring has finally sprung...our first rain-less day in a long time.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

See You Next week

I am attending our local homeschool conference this weekend, as well as, having family in town. I have drifted in many ways from how we started out on our homeschool path. Somethings were necessary to change and others I simply lost focus. My hope for my next year is to return to some of our original ways of learning. A little less fill in the blank :o)

I recently read this thought provoking post about home education.
Definitely some food for thought there.

To end our upcoming weekend we have Journey's piano recital and MYC graduation.

See you next week.

A little something I have been thinking on lately:

"Regardless of how I may feel, anything that makes me need God is ( ultimately, in the truest sense) a blessing."

Nancy Leigh Demoss

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sixty Seconds on Tuesday

We were talking about how plants and people help each other out. We breathe out carbon dioxide which they use to then make oxygen for us to breathe. He was quite taken with this idea.

Caught him helping the plant along in the process by breathing on it.

Such a literal sweet boy I have.

Plants are our friends.

Join us at Just a Minute to capture the small moments that make our days, months and years.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Journey to Joy

I have been reading this book during my devotional time. Seems appropriate here. It has been such a blessing. She has a term in her book called "Going Gratitudinal", it has really stuck with me. The last section of the book is a 30 day devotional on growing in gratitude. I started today.

"If I fail to choose gratitude, by default, I choose ingratitude. And once allowed into my life, ingratitude brings with it a lot of other undesirable companions that only succeed in tearing things up, then walking off with my joy. To not choose gratitude-daily and deliberately- is more costly than most realize" pg. 165

This book is practical and convicting. It is a must read in my opinion and one to be revisited again and again.

I have what I call my 3 Anchors. These are the truths that all of life hangs on. No matter what comes my way they help me keep perspective and remind me to have a grateful heart.

(#160 - 163)

~ That my GREATEST need, to be rescued, has already been met. Every other need pales in comparison to this one need. The debt has been paid. I deserve wrath and will never taste it...ever.

~ God has given me everything I need for my life today and a means to live it in a godly manner. He has made promises to me that he will never fail to keep. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

~ This will all come to an end one day. He has made a future for me that is sure. A forever life that will be perfect fullness and satisfaction. This world serves to cause me to long for that one.
There is always hope!

My desire is to wear these everyday. To stand on them, in them and rest on this unshakable foundation.

Some today.....I forget.

And some undesirable companions came marching in my world, tore things up and stomped off with my joy.

Paying a visit to my anchors saved the day. He has rescued me, saved me from myself. He has gifted me everything I need to walk in Him and give Him glory. Not my own perfection but His. And on top of that, He will usher me into a sinless perfection one and wholly satisfied.

Those unwanted companions ran in terror.

I'm Going Gratitudinal!

holy experience

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nitty Gritty

Some of my best thoughts for a blog post come about when I am least likely to have a means to write it down. It's usually the shower, driving, changing a diaper.....all places where pen and a paper aren't available. And for whatever reason, whether old age or baby brain, I cannot seem to remember my thoughts in detail without writing them down.

I write everyday. I much prefer a nice pen and thick paper over a keyboard. Many of my blog posts are scratched out on paper prior to making it to the screen. For example, my Measure of Success posts are finished but finding time to type them out is the only delay.

My blog tends to ebb and flow with my daily life. I am sure if you track my blog week by week you could tell the fairly intense weeks from the easier ones. The more intense the less present I am here. The more ease the more frequent I post.

This past week, sticking to my habit, has been intense which explains my absence.

I live with a child who struggles with every life. There are some days that struggle is fairly hidden from the outside world and others when it's not. I am reluctant to write about it here honestly due to the potential for judgement. Not in the online community but in the day to day one. The one where people see my son all the time and really can't see what we face on a regular basis. It is not the harsh kind of judgment (though I've had my share of that), it's more about the minimizing of the struggle based on such a small amount of exposure. It is done in a desire to comfort us when people comment on how normal he seems to them. I totally understand this but yet then walk away struggling with my own doubts of overreacting. His struggles are very real and on a good day difficult.

We never know the whole story until it's our story. A very sweet friend of mine, who is now helping me process through many decisions we are making with our son IS one of those people I said the very same things to.

"Oh", I would say "it's not that bad. It's not that obvious".

I now can imagine what she was thinking in her mind...something have no clue!

I lived in denial for a LONG time and still do depending on the day of the week you ask me. I waffle back and forth just like his behaviors do and his moods and his cognitive ability and adaptive function and his impulsivity and hyperactivity and his social anxiety. I never know what kind of day I have coming. This can wear me out. One day he can read words easily and the next he struggles to get through them....reading them backward for instance.

You may remember this post or this post about the evaluations we had done last summer. We have come a long way sense then in our understanding. We are not sure we agree this is all we are dealing with. At the end of June we will be finding out if we are right.

Why am I writing this? Partly for selfish reasons. It feels good to write it out for me. To express in written form the mark it. It's how I process. Secondly, I have chosen here because I have gained unbelievable encouragement from my online community. My hopes are that someone out there reading this won't feel so alone in this walk with special needs and the unknown...which go hand in hand. It is a lonely road parenting a child with social, emotional and adaptive struggles. It limits your world on many levels.

It's the mystery of it that gets me. And not knowing exactly how to help my child be his best. In due time this will change, I have faith for that. This consumes much of my time, thoughts and energy yet I've said very little here about it. I think those days are coming to an end. There is much encouragement to be given and had in sharing our stories and lives. You know, the real nitty gritty not just the pretty.

Now you know where I am when I disappear :o)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eli Eyes

He face planted in the gravel at the zoo, poor guy but I just love his expression here

My little man goes in for a little surgery tomorrow morning. His tear ducts have never opened and continue to cause him trouble. It's really not a big deal but they do have to put him out and I don't like it.

Watching him go limp is not up there on my favorite things list. Once you've held and seen your child go limp and make his journey to heaven it's just hard. I know Eli will wake up and that his going to sleep is not for good BUT once you've been there you return there so easily.
Pray for me. I probably need it more then he does. But pray for him too
~ doctors who know what they are doing
~ friends the watch the our big kids (thanks Heather and Sue)
~ friends that will pray for us
~ those green gray eyes
~ that contagious little smile
~ sweet little lips
~ the many cheesy grins I get daily showing that mouth full of teeth
~ how he says "yes" by nodding his head and hissing like a snake
~ a day off for Aaron to come with me

holy experience