Saturday, August 27, 2011

Amongst the busyiness...

Our Sunday School class had a swim party at our pool... 
School started this week...
The Women's Seminar I am helping to plan is in less than two weeks...
My house is relatively clean...
All the laundry is washed and mostly put away...
We've shared dinner with friends who are moving...
The kids and I swam at our neighbors...
I went on a date with my husband (to Lowes)...

And, so, I haven't blogged much.

I hope to be back soon. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good for a laugh...

Tonight we had a "Family Fun Night" at church. My husband was in a skit. He is the "K".


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A lizard named "Fishy", and a buffalo named "Billy"...

Today my littlest little turned two. The realization that there will be no more babies settles in a little more each day. The transition has been bittersweet. I miss the feeling of a new baby growing and changing and kicking inside me. I miss the snuggles, and nursing and cuddles and sweet baby smells. That is the bitter.

The sweet comes in when I realize that I have never been able to fully appreciate this stage before. As much as I love those little babies, they can be all consuming. I have never had a two-year-old without an infant. I am cherishing the little silly moments with Micah, the little unintelligible words, the surprisingly understandable ones, and the great excitement over new discoveries. It has been a joy to watch him begin to grow and develop into a full little person.

Micah makes us all laugh. He is the family comedian. He is already showing his creativity... like how he names his toys. He chose a lizard stuffed animal at the Omaha Zoo, he named it "Fishy" and he laughs at himself every time he calls its name. My mom brought him a stuffed Buffalo from a business trip to Kansas recently, he named it Billy, no doubt, influenced by Noah talking about Buffalo Bill a lot. He shows his problem solving skills all the time, as we have learned that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, stands in his way... if he is too short to reach something, that is why there are stools and chairs... if a door is locked, that is what butter knives are for... if his stomach is empty, he raids the pantry... He can unlock the deadbolt to the front and back doors. He loves cars and making car noises. He loves water, and plays in it, drinks in, spills it, splashes in it. He goes to sleep with a smile on his face after telling everyone "night-night". He wakes up cuddling his "bay-beh" and wanting to be held for a little while... before going back to climbing, eating, splashing, etc.

This season in my life has truly illustrated to me the truth of Ecclesiastes 3. There are times ordained by God for all things. My time for having babies is over. I can't even write that without tears welling up in my eyes. And at the same time, I can't help but rejoice in the new season the Lord has brought. I am able to serve in my local church in ways that would have been impossible only a year ago.

Happy Birthday, sweet Micah, I am praising the Lord for you and all you have brought to our family. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A change of plans...

Last week I blogged about our new schedule and my growing excitement over the start of the school year. Our kids were telling their Sunday School teachers about it on Sunday. They shared with their grandparents how they "just couldn't wait". I went school supply shopping with my mom. Twice. All good signs to the start of a new school year.

At a certain point Sunday, I was reminded of Proverbs 16:9
     The heart of man plans his way,
     but the Lord establishes his steps.

So, instead of school today, we went to a doctor appointment, helped a neighbor moving in with some organizing/cleaning, ate lunch, went to the dentist for cleanings for 6 out of the 8 of us, came home and worked on chores, had dinner, and a chat about responsibility and went to bed.

Tomorrow we will try again. A friend of mine mentioned today that she was starting school tomorrow but it would be a day of organizing notebooks, prepping desks, walking through the schedule, and that they would begin "the curriculum" work on Monday. That is sounding really good.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I can see my desk again...

It has been way too long. I am way behind in making "Thank you notes" (and getting them out) because I could not find a flat surface to work on!

There seem to be a few rooms in our home that, when things get busier than normal, take the brunt of our neglecting. Garage is always at the top of that list... I will consider doing something about that in October or November. The laundry room... sigh, it is next to the garage, so whatever someone doesn't feel like walking out to the garage to dump ends up there.

Next comes my office/craft room. When I cannot decide where something should go at that very minute, or we have company coming in less than 15 minutes, everything gets dumped on my desk. Sadly, the chaos overflows into the chairs and onto the floor. Then I get discouraged and refuse to deal with it. Then I get behind on doing things I ought to do because I can no longer find them because things were not put where they should have been. A vicious cycle.

Well, Monday is the beginning of our new school year. One thing I really need to have done so that my brain will work is to have a clean desk. So, this week I have been organizing books, putting things away, filing, tossing unneeded papers... ahhhh, feels good. It is not perfect... I gave up a few minutes ago and dumped all the remaining out of place items in a laundry basket. But, the good news is that it only took one basket, and it is only half full. When I began there was an overflowing laundry basket, and four large fabric bins that had to be dealt with.

I still have a lot to work on for Monday. But for now, I am heading for bed. Tomorrow, with my clear desk, I will begin ordering our lessons for the week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just for fun...

Here is our proposed schedule for this school year. It works out perfectly with the wonderfully behaved and perfectly obedient pretend children who live in my brain. I can't wait to see how it works with the very energetic, independent and real children living in my home! We start school Monday, the 15th!

2011-2012 School Schedule

Wake up - Get Dressed, Make Beds, Fold PJ's, Pick up room


Family Worship - Hymn (BH4HG), Catechism, Prayers, Hymn


Breakfast - Poetry (BH4HG)


Morning Chores - Check Schedule

9:30am to 12:00pm

Begin School

Language Arts (I)
   Cursive, Grammar

Drawing Warm-up (I)
Seek & Find (I)

Fingerplay (M)
Bible Story (M)
Rotating Activity (M)

Math-U-See (I)
Copywork - Poem (I)
Wordly Wise /  Explode the Code (I)

Bible Study (M)
Rhymes in Motion (M)
Math Exploration (M)

Free Play (I)

Drawn ... Reading (M)

Draw Animal - same all week (I)
Reading about History (M)

Corresponding Music (M)
Letter Activity (M)
Coloring (I)

Draw Animal - same all week (I)
Bible Study (M)
Math Exploration (M)

Storytime (M)
Corresponding Music (M)
Free Play (I)

Free Play (I)

Outside Time - Mom prepares Lunch


Lunch - Storytime (BH4HG)

1:30pm to 4:00pm

Drawing Warm-up (I)

Science Discovery (M)

Free Play (I)


Reading about History (M)
Rotating Activity (M)

Handwriting (I)
Explode the Code (I)

Science Exploration (M)

Math-U-See (I)

Finish all work (I)
Clean up School room (I)

Clean up School room (I)
Free Play (I)

Afternoon Chores - Check Schedule


Outside Time - Mom prepares Dinner


Dad Home - Play with Daddy


Family Dinner Time


Family Worship - Hymn, Bible, Prayers, Hymn


Nightly Routine - Baths, Vitamins, Brush Teeth and Clean-up


Bedtime - Reading Quietly - Lights Out at 9:00pm

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Joining the circus...

As I review the schedule I have come up with for this year's tackling of our school subjects for our different age groups of children, I just keep thinking about what a juggling game it is going to be. I think of those people at the circus who juggle knives and I am thankful that my juggling, as crazy as it might get around here, will not mean the loss of a toe if I mess up or "drop the ball".

I have been going through a season of learning what love looks like in a biblical way, and how can that be practically lived out in my life. If you look at the first part of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, I can't even read the whole sentence without recognizing my need for the Lord to love through me. "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude."

And as I think about the impending craziness of school starting next week, the circus act of scheduling kicking off, I already know that I will have to purpose to seek out being patient, loving, humble. I am crying out to the Lord now, knowing my personal weakness towards impatience, harshness and pride.

I wonder if I ought to take up juggling for real... could I do it? It seems to me it would be a good exercise in patience... Maybe I could start to juggle every time I started feeling overwhelmed, you know, instead of going to the bathroom to hide and count to 20. Juggling would be more entertaining anyhow. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

What love is...

Now that I am back from my little jaunt up to Nebraska, I am settling back into my routine and getting back on track with reviewing my notes from the Women Discipling Women Conference. While I enjoyed so many of the sessions, I was really convicted by the "I Quit! Loving When It's Hard" session.

Right off the bat, Janie Street said that pretty much there is a double difficulty in loving people biblically... them, but moreover ME! In light of Galatians 5:16-22, I need to evaluate myself and seek to confess and repent of sin that is in my life that is keeping me from loving another person.

Then, I need to know what biblical love looks like if I am going to be able to even begin to strive towards loving people as God does. First, I read 1 Corinthians 13:3-8a, 13 which says,

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
 Here I need to sit and ask myself some questions... 

Am I patient? (not always)
Am I kind? (not enough)
Am I envious? (sometimes)
Do I boast? (sadly, yes)
Am I arrogant or rude? (can be)
Am I insisting on my own way? (most of the time, especially with my kids)
Irritable? (ugh, this is hard)
Resentful? (do I have to answer?)
Do I rejoice at wrongdoing? (not normally)
Am I rejoicing with the truth? (yes, often)
Do I bear all things? (not nearly as I ought)
Believe all things? (ditto)
Hope all things? (ditto)
Endure? (ugh)
Am I abiding in love? (not in my own strength)

Well, now I do feel like quitting! But then I remember the Gospel. I have to remind myself what Christ has done for me, and that He is not asking me to love like this and not giving me the resources to do it. I certainly can not do it in my own strength, my flesh fights against me at every step. 2 Peter 1:3 reminds me "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence" and this includes loving people like He has demonstrated for us, both by command, in the Scriptures, and by example, in the life of Christ.

I am camping here for awhile. I am going to memorize these passages, both individually and with my children. I am praying that in due time, by the grace of God, I will be able to answer the questions drawn out of the 1 Corinthians passage differently.