Friday, August 31, 2007

Our First Week of Homeschooling

I wrote a long post about our week and it's ups and downs, but because I know that a few of my dear friends that follow my blog are contemplating homeschooling, I decided to revisit this week at a later date when I have more perspective (and hindsight!) on it. I will sum it up by saying that, overall it was a good week. Not all things went according to plan and I had to completely rethink a few of my "great" ideas. However, here I am on Friday feeling encouraged, protected, affirmed, and held by the Lord throughout this week. The girls are happy with their week and I know that they truly enjoyed themselves. I feel closer to them and my Little ones than I did last Friday, honestly.

All the other details will work themselves out with time and experience. The Lord our God is good and He knew that I needed this little note this morning via Oswald Chambers' words,

Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a centre for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of most blessing to you are those who are unconscious of it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Still in tears...

...over the message in this video. Nathan and I both just sat here and cried watching this.

Even as I sit here, many years past the point of my salvation, I am still in humbling, trembling, heart emptying awe of the love my Lord for me. He is my Abba and I know, and have seen, that there is nowhere I can go that He won't find me and love me. I have hurt Him before with my choices. I have turned my face from His love in my own shame before. Still, His heart never wavered from me and His love and precious grace have consumed me and made me new.

He is like the parent of a misled child who holds on as tight as they can to their baby only to have the child thrust themselves freely into a world that seeks to destroy them. Then that parent can only stand there, waiting on pins and needles, and watch as that baby gets hurt and bruised by that world. But at the reach of one finger towards that parent and at that one faint murmur for help, the warrior in that parent jumps in and leads that baby home for refuge and shelter.

I love my Father in heaven and I want to praise Him with every minute of my day and with every word I speak. He has cleaned ME and made me whole. Without Him, I am bruised and broken to pieces.

Enjoy this video! I am not sure that you can watch it without recalling some time in your life where God reached you and led you home.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Her Ticker is Ticking along fine!

The cardiologist said her heart was perfect. (YEAH!!) They did an EKG and an echocardiogram (which she slept through).

He encouraged me to continue searching for the answer because the "color change is too impressive to ignore" and recommended pursuing a consult with a pediatric dermatologist. He has a theory that she has hemangiomas under her skin that may be obstructing blood flow. He stressed that it was just a theory as it isn't his field of expertise, but that because she has noticeable birthmarks in three different areas (her nose and forehead, the top of her head, and and the nape of her neck) it usually indicates that there are more under the skin that we cannot see. Most are benign he said, but some do require medical attention. He said that it could be very possible that she has on obstructing an artery or something. He sent a letter to the pediatrician recommending a pediatric dermatologist.

So, now we will wait and see again : ) We are thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to know that her heart is okay. Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am becoming very accustomed to sterile waiting rooms these days.

It seems that I have been at the Dr's office for one thing or another at least once every week for weeks now.

Yesterday, It was Annagail's turn. Her blue feet have me worried. They don't stay blue, but she has long bouts during the day where they are very deep blue/purple. I snapped this photo during one of her "episodes" and emailed it to the Dr. The Pediatrician said that she has only seen one other case this extreme in a child Annagail's age (5 1/2 mos), so she is sending us to a pediatric cardiologist tomorrow @ 9am. Considering everything, I am doing a really good job of staying out of the pit of worry. The Pediatrician said that they will do a whole "work up" on her heart including an ultrasound. I don't really know what to expect or what they will do other than that. Nathan is going to come with us, obviously. SO, here I am again asking for prayer for health issues for our family. Please pray that this will be a non-issue for her and they we can just wait and watch her outgrow this with time. That would be the best case scenario.

In other Annagail news, she is currently cutting SIX TEETH!! Yes, SIX top teeth all at once. She had a couple of really rough nights this weekend, but considering the pain she must be in, she is doing wonderfully. Four of them have poked through a little, but the others have her gums swollen to twice it's normal size. She is quite the trooper. She is already back to sleeping through the night. She cut her first two (bottom)teeth at 3 months, but it looks like she is on the fast track for a full set of chompers by her 9 month check-up. I better get on the ball and get her eating food-food!!! Time is flying by with this one. I blink and another milestone has passed. Where does the time go and why does it speedup with each child?!?!?!?!?!?!

Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Witnessing To The Cashier?

Do you? What about the lady that strikes up small talk with you at the mall? Ashamedly, I don't. I should, but I don't. I attended a "witnessing seminar" last Sunday night. It was given for the members of the steering committee for our church's new MOPs group. I left more convicted than I think I have been in a long time. An example was given of D.L. Moody, who wouldn't let 24 hrs pass without sharing Christ with someone. There were times when he had already undressed and gotten into bed when he realized he hadn't done this. He would get up, get redressed and go find someone to share the Gospel with. I admire that commitment so much!!

During the seminar, we talked about reasons we don't witness to others. It came down to three reasons:
FEAR of Man (What will she say? What will she do?).
FEAR of Ignorance (What if I don't know enough of the scripture? What is she asks a question that I don't know the answer to?), and
FEAR of rejection (Sort of the same as the first FEAR).

All of these came down to a lack of trust in God. They also pointed to a selfishness of sorts; being afraid of how it will affect ME. Wow, that is what I am being; SELFISH. I have felt all of those fears. I have heard a still, small voice before telling me that the person I was looking at NEEDED to hear about the living water that refreshes me each day and yet I have excused myself for a number of reasons. "I have too many children with me." is usually the excuse I give myself. However, I know that above anything I else, I am supposed to Go and tell. I think, as a busy Mom, I have convinced myself that I am "doing my part" for the Kingdom by trying my best to teach my own children about God and teach them the Gospel. That is a very noble thing, I know. I don't think that I am being called to leave my children in daycare and go witnessing on the streets, but I do know that I am called to Go and Tell. If I am at the playground and I strike up a conversation with a fellow Mom there, shouldn't I take that opportunity to share with her the life-changing news that Jesus died for HER and that she doesn't have to fear death, but can have life eternal?

The speaker, Rush Witt, gave a basic outline to think of in order to create an opportunity with someone to share the Gospel. It broke things down for me and made the task seem less scary. It isn't a clever acronym or technique, just a few things to think about that may make it easier. I thought that it may be useful to others, so these are my notes form the seminar:

5 Phases of an Evangelistic Conversation:

1. Positive Contact:: Be more than just another customer, passer by, etc. Smile and say hello to people.
2. Common Ground: look for a common issue of any kind.
3. The Shift: Shift the conversation from the Natural to the Spiritual
4. The Gospel: The Gospel of Christ is a verbal message. It can't be told by our actions or by our disposition.
5. The Q's & A's: This is where apologetics comes in. Questions will be asked and answers given.

One major point that I took from this seminar was that the Gospel is confrontational, so once it is shared that person cannot walk away unaffected by it. It will stay with them even if they walk away from you, physically. Hopefully, they will leave you as a new person, redeemed by the blood of the cross. If they reject you and seemingly reject the message you shared, they WILL still have the message within them and will question themselves against it forever or until they submit to it.

So I am starting this within myself. I am looking and praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with people. Honestly, I am terrified! I am scared of all those things that are mentioned above, but I know that my heart is aching now to share this with someone that needs it. I'll keep you posted :)

**After reading my post again, I just wanted to add that I don't discount my responsibility to my #1 mission field; my children. I am just looking for opportunities outside of my Jerusalem too :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

T-Minus Two weeks until school starts.

I have set our "back to school" date for August 27th. I picked the date, because that is when everything seems to kick in for us; AWANAs, dance classes, etc. It just seemed like a good date. Plus, it will give me a couple of weeks to get used to Nathan's heavy class schedule, in addition to his work schedule, before we start.

So now I am busy, with any free moment I have, doing the detail organization. I am getting materials I need gathered and getting all of the little things ready. It is funny, because you THINK that once you decide on curriculum or style or whatever you are going to do that the hard part is over, planning-wise. Now, getting the details organized, my head is swimming. Honestly though, there is so much to choose from that I find myself having a hard time narrowing down exercises or projects. I don't want to overload my little ones, but there are SO MANY neat ideas out there. I spent the kids' entire nap-time saving and printing pictures of landmarks in Paris to go along with our first FIAR book we are rowing, Madeline.

I am excited. I am glad that THEY are excited too. I need to remember to pray for our school now before those times of chaos arrive.

For now I need to sleep. Morning comes far too early in this house these days and I need to get up AHEAD of it to accomplish all the things that need to be done before even the sun goes to work :)

Have a Blessed Day!

Music Monday & An Update To My Leg Issues :) !

This week's group is an old favorite. This song, in particular, has been on repeat in my head (if not in my Cd player). I struggle with faith. My salvation is secure. I just struggle with worry over unnecessary things. I love this song. It always sets my mind-a-wanderin'. Enjoy!

OH! And my leg isn't broken!!It is either a deep bone bruise or nerve damage. Time will tell if I need to investigate the nerve issue. Apparently, it can take several months for a deep bone bruise to heal completely. No crutches, no cast needed. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Repeat after me,"NO BROKEN LEG! NO BROKEN LEG!"

I have a prayer request that has me up tonight worrying, so I thought I might recruit some prayer warriors to intercede for me too.

Around the first of June, I was dropping a friend off at the airport and had a very heavy case fall from the back of our Suburban and hit me in the leg, just above my ankle. At the time, I would have SWORN it was broken it hurt so bad!! However, after ice and a night off of it, I could put weight on it. It was swollen, but not bad. I had a large knot there and just figured it would eventually go away. In the two months since it happened, the knot has remained. I can walk without pain, but if anyone (like any one of five bouncing babes) even slightly touches it, I have enormous pain. Still, I thought it was just a bad bruise or something. So today (to ease Nathan's worry only) I saw the Dr. He thinks I may have a hairline fracture in it. He sent me to X rays at 5pm this afternoon and will get them tomorrow morning hopefully. According to him, if there is even a minor fracture I will need casting of some sort. The BEST case scenario (according to the Dr.) is that I have a severe bone bruise which will require me to be on crutches and off of my leg for 2-3 weeks!!! Can we all say "IMPOSSIBLE" together?

Seriously though, I will obviously abide by what I have to do to heal this, but I do have five small children; one of which is only 5 months old. Nathan starts classes again next week too, so the timing couldn't be worse.

Anyway, I know it isn't the end of the world and I am blessed that this isn't MORE serious, but here I sit when I should be sleeping, worrying about what I am going to do : )

Thanks in advance for your prayers :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Here's A Laugh To Get You Through the Rest of the Week.

I think I need it the most ! Make sure that your voume is up on your speakers and enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2007

New Music Monday!!

Because I have very eclectic taste in music, I decided to start sharing some of the tunes we listen to with you all. You may find yourself dancin' along to something you may have never thought of listening to before. Enjoy!

This first band currently occupies a permanent slot in my CD Changer in the truck : ) I would have to say that they are probably one of my top 5 as far as bands go. They are usually a little harder than this song is, but I thought this one may get some of you to listen to the end : ) My Father-in-law told us that we shouldn't let the kids hear TFK unless we were mad at them, LOL!!! It is a matter of taste, I guess. The kids actually love listening to TFK also and "car-dance" right along with us.

Look them up yourself if you like and you can hear the new album they have coming out soon. Personally, I recommend their self-titled album as a first buy if you like what you hear.

THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH (FYI- It is indeed spelled with a "K", contrary to the video maker)

Friday, August 3, 2007


We are preparing to begin a new year of homeschooling here and I thought I would share a little about what we will be doing. My two homeschoolers (ages 5 & 6-birthdays in Jan for both) are going to both be going through 1st grade this year and I am beginning a little, light K work with my son (age 4-June birthday). I have full intention of going through K with him again, but I feel like, since I am doing it with the girls anyway, why not give him a little now. So this is what we will be doing here:

Bible: We are going to study the Bible together following an outline that our church is using in small groups, church-wide, starting in the Fall. We figure that since we will all be studying the same text on Sunday mornings in small group. It will be a great thing to expand those lessons during the week and dive deeper for them. From these lessons, we will also gather our verse(s) for the week and incorporate all of that in creating copywork and handwriting exercises for them as well.
Language Arts: Five In A Row and Before Five In A Row
Math: Horizons K and 1st grade (The girls really haven't had any math except for manipulatives that happened along last year. They have most of the K skills that are in the curriculum, but I want to go through it once at their own pace and just fill in gaps. Then we will move into 1st grade Math whenever they are ready.)
Handwriting: I opted out of a handwriting program and am instead going to be using StartWrite software to create our own exercises and worksheets based on the Bible text and FIAR books we are covering that week.
Spanish: PowerGlide Elementary Spanish (This year, Spanish will be more for acclamation than for expectations, KWIM?)
Social Studies and Science lessons will be taken out of our Bible and FIAR lessons as well.
Music: Pianimals (Self (or Mama)-guided piano lessons
Art: The girls will continue with their weekly art class they have been doing for the last year.
Dance: YEAH!! My oldest will start pre-ballet this year and my second oldest will begin Creative Movement this year; both once a week for less than an hour.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it really isn't when you see it all written out on the weekly schedule. We are still taking it pretty easy this year, but with a little more structure. Now, I am off to make my lists for the weekend!! I have been waiting to buy my curriculum and supplies until TAX FREE WEEKEND, so now I can let loose!!

Happy Planning!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Measuring the heart

I read a homeschooling book recently that questioned by what means success (in homeschooling or parenting in general) should be measured. The author gave the take that it shouldn't be measured by tests or by achievements, but in the glimpses of the heart that we are shown at random times. Not as a matter of pride, but as a gentle reminder that the Lord will bless the efforts of the faithful and obedient.

Last night, as MaryEvelyn and I got ready for our date, I shared with her that I was thinking we could go see the movie "Ratatouille". (All the kids have been talking about and looking forward to seeing it. ) To my surprise, MaryEvelyn immediately said, "I don't WANT to do that!" I was shocked at her answer and asked why. She said, "Because, I want to go see the movie with Graycen, Cooper, and Ella too; my WHOLE family. THAT would be so fun."

When a 5 yr old would rather miss out on seeing the latest kid-movie, so that she can wait & share that joy with her siblings, THAT is a glimpse at the measure of her heart and it makes me happy. Again, not as a matter of pride, but as a little note from God that I shouldn't get too weary in my well-doing, because (some of it at least ) is working :) .

I hope that I won't ever let my life get so chaotic that I miss those little notes from God. The load seems so heavy right now at the start of another homeschooling year, but I find myself resolved to be obedient and even joyFUL(L) about it. Graycen came to me this afternoon out of nowhere and said, "Mama, I don't ever want to go to school anywhere but at home. Well, until I get to college ...I guess if I HAVE too". How can I argue with that?