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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ahh, Homeschooling...

I am not sure if I have ever really posted about Homeschooling or not. Maybe in general terms and in with another post; but, this one is all about Homeschooling. :))

I really enjoy teaching my children at home-really. I enjoy seeing that light in their eyes when they get a new concept or when they figure out that the letters on a page mean something and they can sound them out and then read them!! That is amazing to me. Our 5yodd is in this process right now. She is learning to read. It is so exciting to see everything click for her. I can't imagine sending her to school one day and she came home able to read and I missed it. That makes me sad just thinking about it.

I love the fact that we can stay in our jammies all day and do school on the bed, couch, floor, or where ever we want to at the time. We can go to the backyard and do school. It truly fosters an open dialogue with the kids that I don't think I would have if they were gone all day.

We have also been able to incorporate practical living skills into everyday life that I don't think I could do if they were gone all day. Such as, I taught my dd's how to make a certain muffin recipe, tater tot casserole, grilled ham and cheese, and other things in the course of daily living. They are now self-sufficient at making their own breakfasts and lunches and will soon be responsible for some simple dinner menus as well. They are learning practical life skills as they come up through-out the day at teachable moments and it is priceless.

We do have the standard 'three r's' that we do every day and we actually enjoy those most days as well. The girls are able to get most of their work done by 11am and then have free time until 1pm or so and then we start the fun stuff! Art, science, history, reading, etc. I get to be right there with them when they are learning and discovering. What a gift.

I think the most important thing that I love about Homeschooling is the character training I get to do with them. It is a continual thing and it never stops. ;) I control what influences they are allowed to be around and I am very choosy. I want them to grow into the kind of women that God wants them to be and to prepare them for His purposes and so the responsibility falls to me to control who is shaping the character of my children. Do we hide in our house and church and never associate with other people? Absolutely not!! My children are VERY social and are comfortable in almost every public setting. They have no problem in carrying on conversations with other children of all ages and with adults. The difference, I think, is that they are not influenced by the worldly standards that say you have to have the newest and best to be liked. If someone has a different value system than I do, then I will limit the exposure that my children will have with that person. Why should that person have more time to shape my child than I do? They shouldn't-in my opinion!

Enough of the rant. LOL Homeschooling works for us-we love it. We struggle through some days and some days we give up and wait until the next day all together!! For the most part, I absolutely love being with my kids and I think they are really fun to be around. I can't imagine sending them away for eight or more hours a day and they come home significantly different than when they left.

I am going to try and put a list on the side of the curriculum we use. I will try. Most days I am doing good just to get a post to show up!! The computer is not my thing. LOL

Can you see them?

I took this picture in July-obviously from the date stamp!!-but then I never really went back and looked at it. I was looking at it on the computer last night and magnified it. If you look closely, you can see the water droplets in front of her face and arm all the way back to the water. It is sooo cool. I really hope it comes across for you to see. If not, I am not crazy you'll just have to trust me! :)

I just tried it and you have to click on the picture to make it bigger-it's soo cool!!

Book review

I finished 'Summer of Light' by W. Dale Cramer and I have to say that I just loved this book! It was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters.

The premise is: A family of two parents and three kids are set up pretty well with the normal school/daycare/work for both parents routine, when the husband has an accident at work and can't work any longer. He ends up staying home with the kids and finds out what it is really like being a stay-at-home mom/dad! It is truly funny and had me laughing so hard at times that I thought that I would wake up my dh! It is true to life and down to earth. It has a core theme of God pursuing us through out the whole book and it is believable. I won't give away any more of the details, they are too fun to discover for yourself! I highly recommend this book. It is very engaging and easy to read. A definite feel-good book!

I am going to search more books by this author and I will let you know!

Updates and more sickness!

We received a call on Friday morning about dh's shoulder and it is a torn rotator cuff. They said the tear was small, but we still have to go to the surgeon on Friday to see what he says about it. We have done some research online about it and it sounds like since he injured it about 4months ago that the best thing is surgery. ??? I guess we will see. Me on the other hand, I am on my second atibiotic for a sinus infection and bronchitis and now I think I may have strep and my sinus infection is coming back!! WOOHOO!! And fun times were had by all. LOL Dc's are doing great and are all healthy at the time of this writing. That doesn't mean that when I am done they will be; but, for now it's all good! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007


We have been in the midst of sickness here. First it was the 2yodd and her UTI's. Then she had a minor surgery with more testing to be done next week. Then I got a sinus infection with bronchitis. I have been hacking for a week and not getting much sleep since when my head is any other position besides upright, it pounds and throbs and causes my left eye to twitch and water!! I am very lovely right now! LOL My dh is also undergoing tests to see if he tore his rotator cuff while we were roofing our house! We are just a bundle of health and vitality right now. LOL I think a heard of elephants just entered the house upstairs-I had better go tame them!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dancing update!

Well, I realized that I had never posted about our 8yodd's decision on whether to do ballet or not. She decided not to. Yeah!! I think. :) She decided on soccer and is really enjoying it. We have the two older girls on the same team and the 5yodd is playing as well. They do AYSO and it is working out very well. We also figured out that if the 8yodd wears her glasses during the games that she can track the ball and her eyes will work better. Go figure!

Anyway, I will try and post some pictures later from a game or two.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What a day! I blew it.

Have you ever had one of those days where you knew from the beginning that it wasn't going to be good? That was my day today. I had decided that we would take a lazy approach to our day and just start the day snuggling my 4 girls in my bed. It was wonderful-for about 5 seconds! Then came the 'Ouch, you did that on purpose', or how about 'That's MY spot, Mom make her move from my spot'. Wait a minute-I thought this was MY bed. Next it moved into the 'Don't touch me' category. And before I could blink it sailed right through the glaring looks into the 'If you touch me again, I am going to hit you' phase. So in less than 5 minutes I went from this warm snuggly idea of all my girls curled up with me on a cool fall morning to being kneed in the groin and stomach, and taking an elbow in the 'fleshy' part of the chest. My hair was being ripped from my scalp as the 2yodd tried to crawl away from her big sister who was scaring her and laughed hysterically at my pain. The 5yodd seemed to think that I was a body pillow and would not remove herself from on top of me. As I was under the blankets and she was on top of them-I was essentially a Mom Burrito with no way to defend myself. The 8yodd found the humor in that but not in the fact that her 5yo sister had just breathed on her. Speaking of breathing, I am getting hot under the 50lbs of squirming girl. Ouch, another knee to the groin. Peels of laughter-none of them mine. The 2yodd leans over my face and asks if I am okay and as she does, some spit falls out of her mouth onto my face. Remember, I am the Mom Burrito and have no way to defend myself from this onslaught of bodily fluids. At least it fell on my cheek! More eye rolling and moving away from the offending 'breather'. The 2yo pushes the 9yodd off the bed and the 9yo is so positive that she did it on purpose that the 2yo is crying and saying, 'I'm sorry sissy, I didn't do it on accident'. Then the 5yo actually touched the 8yo. Can you imagine such a thing? Four kids and a mom in a full size bed and someone actually got touched by someone else? Call the newspaper or something! The 8yo heaved a sigh and got out of bed, the 9yo followed saying something about the 2yo not letting her back in 'her' spot, the 2yo followed the 9yo asking to be tickled, and the 5yo is still on the Mom Burrito. She has decided that it is a warm and toasty spot and wants to stay. By this time I am getting claustrophobic and I am sweating, so I push her aside and uncover gasping for air. I did not realize the force I had used and she ended up on the floor!! It took a full 5 minutes to convince her that I did not do it on purpose. Now that that is over, let's go make breakfast and do school, and oh yeah-get the house ready for couples Bible Study! WOOHOO!

I won't even go into how the rest of the morning went. Let's just leave it at I lost my cool and everyone else lost all movie privileges for the entire weekend. I didn't think that one through since the t.v. and dvd player are downstairs with two bedrooms. It is kind of hard to think rationally when you have a 2yo, a 5yo, an 8yo, and a 9yo screaming and crying at the top of their lungs how they didn't do it and why do we have to clean, isn't that your job anyway? That was so not the right thing to say! They should be thankful that my mind was so frozen with a red hot fire that I couldn't think of anything else to do to them at that moment. It was not one of my better parenting days. Not by a long shot!

We'll see how tomorrow goes. If it doesn't go well, they can always go to Grandma's!! I want to see them try this stuff with Grandma just one time. LOL I can see it now, that head whipping around and the finger coming out to a point, the other hand on the hip. Next comes the stare. The look that slices right through you and looks at you from behind! ROFLOL I would almost pay money to see the looks on my kids faces if they tried that with her!!! A girl can dream, can't she?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It really happened!!!

Well...We actually signed the papers and sold our house today! I am doing the dance of joy right now! LOL I didn't think it was going to happen, really. After everything that went on. For the last week, I was really feeling burndened to pray for the other couple and we got to meet them today. They are our age and have had so much financial trouble as well as personal trouble that they were terribly greatful for the house and how patient we were with all the problems that came up. We were able to look at them and tell them that God had blessed us so how could we not bless them? It was really neat. They were surprised at how calm we were about all the problems and just kept thanking us for hanging in there so they could have the house! I am hoping that God is using this to show Himself to them in a mighty way.

WE ARE SOOO EXCITED!! :) Oh, and because we had to make one more house payment on the old house, our closing costs were less than we thought! WOOHOO!! Now, we just have to wait to close on this house until next week when the sellers get back from vacation. Then, this house will officially be ours! God is so good. :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

How far is too far?

I just finished reading another book by Ted Dekker called Showdown and I must find somewhere to vent about this. I have read House and thought the same thing about that book. I also read Blessed Child and its sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed Blessed Child and the sequel, I was not, however, impressed with House or Showdown. I was left wondering, 'How far is too far'? I felt like I was reading secular fiction again and found myself unable to sleep. I finished the book because I needed to find some closure to the characters in the book.

The books have been well written and the characters intriguing. I also think that the story lines are interesting. What I am having a problem with is that I can't tell the difference between this 'Christian' writer and some of the other things I have read in the past that didn't claim Christianity. Does it really make it a 'Christian' book if they mention God and some of the characters believe in Him? Does it make it a 'Christian' book if there is a struggle between clearly defined good and evil? How about having one character who is 'pure of heart', does that make it 'Christian'?

How far is too far? Is it too far to describe in detail violent acts that a character is thinking of but never actually does? How about leading a reader down a thought path that leads a certain way if you have 'been in the world' at all, but doesn't actually say it. Is it too far to get them to think those things, to dwell on them? Is it too far to invite fear to creep in through 'Christian' writing that has its toes dangling over the edge of an abyss?

I am really asking because I can be pretty black and white about a lot of things and I think that this is one of them. I think that these writers are going too far. It is not a 'Christian' book to have one character come to the realization that there is a God. Satan believes that. Talking about God in a positive manner and touting His good qualities does not make it a 'Christian' book, either. How do these books edify the body? How do they bring glory to God? How do they show that we are set apart? Do they draw people to the Christian life? I have to wonder.

I think that this subject is a lot like the movement that is sweeping the Church-the 'Seeker-Friendly' movement. To say these words in my house means you better be ready for a good argument! I think that this movement is dangerous. I think that there are some good points to it; but on the whole, I think that it is causing the Body to change who God has called us to be so that the world is no longer offended by us and is more comfortable in church. Isn't that what these books are doing? They are taking what the world likes and just throwing God in the mix and calling it 'Christian'. Now I want to say that there are a great many churches out there that are doing it right and still have their focus on Jesus Christ. I just have to wonder if we are missing the mark that is right in front of us.

Who's job is it to win souls? Who's job is it to get people to come to church? God's. Jesus saves, we can't. The Holy Spirit pursues and convicts, we can't. It is not our job to look pretty and shiny so that no one will be offended by us, our job is to have changed lives that make people want to know why. How can we be set apart if we look the same, sound the same, and act the same? Aren't we supposed to be different?

"We have to use the technology that is out there today to get the kids to want to come to our church. If we don't do that then they won't come." What is church about? Is it catering to a dying world or teaching them about the Living Water that satisfies every longing and desire? How can we satisfy their deepest need if we cover it up with the 'tools' of the world? Have we forsaken the simple message of 'Jesus saves' with the glitz and glamour of the jumbo-tron and theatre seating? Shouldn't you feel like you have 'been to church' if you have been to church? It shouldn't feel like going to a concert, should it? Shouldn't it feel like you have been at the foot of the Cross and faced with your own reflection in the mirror, you found yourself dirty and wretched and knowing you need someone to save you from yourself? Shouldn't we be telling people every week how to yield to salvation, how to yield to Jesus' Lordship, how to die to self?

Are we? Or are we saying that if you have any questions, go see so and so somewhere else? Are we afraid that the Gospel message is offensive? It is. It is supposed to be. How else would a stiff-necked people ever believe that they need a change? It is offensive to me when I get a speeding ticket. But, obviously I needed someone to tell me that I was doing something that was wrong and dangerous. Do we care enough about the lost people of the world to tell them that they are doing things that are wrong and dangerous? Do we care enough about each other as brothers and sisters in Christ to tell each other the same thing?

What if in our quest to 'win more souls' we have taken on a responsibility that we cannot handle? When we try to make church more appealing to the lost world, what are we really saying? What it looks like to me is this: It really isn't that great to be a Christian. No big deal. It really looks a lot like what you see everyday, just prettier. You can come and feel good about going to church and don't worry about conviction, we don't really talk about that much-that is for your small group. We want everyone to feel comfortable here so we just take a middle of the road approach-no hard lines here. In fact, you don't have to change much at all, you will fit right in, because we look just like you.

It scares me that our churches could be mistaken for anything other than what they were intended for-to tell people about Jesus and to bring Glory and Honor to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. If we would do that with our lives we would be different and people would be running to our churches to find out what we knew. God is the one responsible for bringing people to Himself. I am just a clay pot. I can't be of much use if I try to be a golden goblet.

Now, back to the books!! LOL If a non-Christian picked up this book, what would make them want to become a Christ follower? I don't know. Can God use one of these books for His glory? You bet! "Our God is in Heaven, He does what pleases Him." But, I wonder if these books please Him if they cause people to have lusty thoughts, or fearful thoughts, or violent thoughts, or any other thought that could cause them to stumble. When I finished the last word in the book, I was not worshipping the One True God, I was not brought before His Throne, I was asking Him to help me forget the things I had just read and praying for old thoughts not to come back again.

It will be a LOOONG time before I read another Ted Dekker book, if ever. I don't think my husband appreciates the debates as much as I do! LOL So for now, I am reading an apologetic book and a fiction book called Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer. I will let you know how it goes!!

So far, so good...

We heard from our realtor last night that the underwriters had okayed the purchase of our house for the buyers and the appraisor would have his paper work in on Monday. It looks like everything is a go, for now anyway!! We are set to sign the papers on Tuesday afternoon. Then we will not sign papers to buy this house until the following week. I am trying not to get pessimistic about this. I am trying to keep a positive attitude and still be realistic at the same time.

On an up note, the people we are buying this house from called and said that we are not moving out of this house. They truly believe that God wants us to be in this house and they will help us get that done. Can you believe these people? What a blessing they are and how faithful they are to God's call on their life. An example for sure.

Here's to hoping for Tuesday!! LOL

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Another contest entry!!

I entered to win the writing instruction program MY Access! Home and the SAT Prep Pack on the HSB Company Porch!

I love entering contests!!