And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feeling excited....

I am all excited about homeschooling today! I will admit I have days when I am terrified of it and then I have days when I am so excited about the freedom and fun that I almost can't sit still! I found out that another lovely mom at our church homeschools. She had some great insight to share with me this morning! I am feeling much more confident now about the curriculum that I am going to chose. I'm not quite ready to share those decisions with you just yet, but I will soon! I want to get my hands on them first and see how they look and feel. I think they will be good tools and both of them are cost efficent. One reason I have had such a hard time chosing is because there are so many free resources available, just waiting to be used. The problem is the planning aspect. Right now A and I are all over the place on phonics and math. I have no clear cut plan. I am excited that the curriculum will offer those to us. The best part is that the phonics program I am chosing can be used as soon as we get it! A is so far ahead, but this particular one has lots of levels so she can do the first level now and the next level in the fall!

In all my searching around I have found some more wonderful resources. Check out http://homeschooling.about.com/. I believe they have free printable worksheets for just about anything you can think of! I printed some this morning on money and Groundhog's Day! There are also free printable 2010 calendars for each month. A and I have not done well keeping up with our big homemade calendar but if I give her a printed page for her to keep up with I think we will do better.

I am slowly becoming more organized. Our kitchen now has a large 3 drawer plastic storage system holding all our homeschool materials. I have arts and crafts supplies in one drawer, extra paper, flash cards, and our phonics readers in another, and completed and ready to complete worksheets in another. This is a much better thing that the overflowing plastic bucket I had before! We keep her study on the states in a manilla folder with a coloring page of the whole US glued to the front. As we do each state she colors it on the cover of her folder. We have a large laminated placemat of the US that we got for $1 at Wal-Mart to help us locate the state. Her memory verses of the 10 commandments are written on index cards and get taped to the kitchen door when we start a new one.

Here are a couple of more links for you:

http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?curriculum/kindergarten  This is a list of the common requirements for each grade level

http://www.rainbowresource.com/index.php This is a great site to find used homeschool resources and curriculums

http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/search.cfm?txt_search=states Crayola has coloring sheets on this site for all kinds of different subjects!

The next couple of things I plan to buy are counting bears, a laminator, and a learning clock.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Cor 16:13-14

I Cor. 16:13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14Do everything in love.

Something I struggle with almost endlessly! I have strong beliefs that I feel like are grounded in good reason. Unfortunately I am not always the best at strongly stating those beliefs. I hedge, I go around, I try to make like it's no big deal, when really it is! Then when I can no longer hedge around, when I have to state my belief, I am either forceful and unloving about it or I am apologetic. I should not be that way. God has grounded foundations in me for a reason. They all come from His Word or from experiences that he has shown me.

I believe I am doing what God has called me to do. I was made to be a wife and mother. Not a part time wife or part time mother but a woman that sees this as her whole purpose. As a part of this, for our family right now, I feel God is calling me to homeschool. It isn't the decision I wanted to make, but I know God has purpose in calling me to it. And so I will!

We don't "do" the traditional Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny bits. Obviously our kids know these characters, but we have always let them know that these are fictional stories. I want our kids to have holidays and life grounded in Jesus Christ, not fictional ideas. This cause quite a bit of controversy with some family and friends but we have chosen to stand strong with our decision.

I don't drink alcohol. I have 2 reasons for this. One is that although there is much talk of wine in the bible, I don't  see that alcohol is necessary. Better safe than sorry. The other reason is that my dad died from injuries sustained in a DUI accident. He had been drinking and driving. A problem he struggled with his whole life and one I have no desire to struggle with. I saw enough to know.

We limit the exposure our children have. Why burden them with the things of this world like cussing, drinking, sexual activity, and other immoral behavior? It's certainly unnecessary. I get so offended when we are in public and grownups are around us cussing and speaking about subjects better left alone. My innocent kids don't need to hear that!

Those are just a few of the things I believe that tend to be surrounded by controversy. I am praying that God will help me to stand stronger in faith to share those beliefs with others in a loving way!

Friday, January 29, 2010

SNOW!!!!!

We have had a great time this morning! We did lots of playing in the snow and it's still coming down hard! E actually enjoyed it this time and did not run in screaming about the cold! That's a first!
Then we came in with a pan of snow and learned a little about snow. The Children's Encyclopedia had some interesting information on sleet, hail, and snow. After the information part, we read some stories and poems about winter and snow including Robert Frost (one of Kyle's favorites!).


Later we are planning to have some snow cream and play some more! Living in TN we have to enjoy the snow as much as we can becuase it doesn't happen very often!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

As one

I Cor 10: 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

So I have this confession to make..... anytime I see mass dancing or a well time dance performance that involves lots of people, I tear up. Sometimes I don't just tear up, I cry and sob. Why is that? I am not someone who even cries at many movies (there are a few like "Marley and Me") so why cry at these dance sequences? Kinda crazy right? No! I realized that it isn't just because I like certain songs or because I like dancing. It is because God created us to be as one, to be in one accord. What better way to illustrate that then mass dancing like they did on Oprah to the Black Eye Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" (I am not endorsing Oprah or the Black Eye Peas)? Or all the wedding dance sequences or youtube? Or Pam & Jim's wedding on the Office (I do love the Office, guilty pleasure!)?

http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/clips/office-wedding-dance/1164915/

So it isn't silly. When we feel those heartstrings being pulled and our eyes well up, take a moment to consider what God is telling you. He can talk to us through things we'd never imagine. Annalyn asked me the other day what peace means. One of those out of left field questions that took me a minute to answer. My answer was this: no fighting, true love, feelings of joy and comfort, and it only comes from God in heaven. She was quite satisfied with my answer (there's a first time for everything) and away she went. I am so thankful for the peace God has given me.

On days like today when the kids won't nap, I have too many things on my list to do, the dishes are piled high and the laundry is over flowing, I stop and thank God that those are my biggest worries. I thank God that my children have the blessed life that they do. I thank God for every moment I have for them. I'm one of those people that could blame life and misfortune on my own childhood. I could turn to the things others in my past have turned to. THANK GOD, I don't. But for Jesus saving me, where would I be?

Take those moments of frustration, those moments of anxiety and remember that there are always things to give praise for. Are you healthy? Are you loved? Do you have food, water, electricity? Praise God! Be of one accord.

Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homeschooling Efforts

Okay so for those that have been curious about the work I am doing with A, here it is:

1 memory verse a week (we are doing the 10 commandments right now, on #6)

1 state a week (just started this, have done Delaware, located on a map, coloring page w/ flag,etc.)

Bumbling our way through phonics, she knows her short vowel sounds, beginning consonant sounds, we are working on ending sounds and blends right now. She REALLY wants to read but without a curriculum I am trying to work through it the best I can. I didn't learn by phonics, I learned by memorization.

Math- recognizing larger numbers, addition, subtraction

Tying shoes

Beginning time- she has done very well with this!

Beginning money- now she knows the names of each coin

Science- we just finished a 6 worksheet set on the senses, she really enjoyed those! I haven't decided exactly what to work on next. I am thinking about a few different ideas right now.

Then we do review worksheets on classification, sequencing, etc.

My best resources have been friends! (thank you ladies!!), the awesome workbooks from Sam's- they have every grade and at about $8 each you can't beat them! A did the preschool version all last year, she has almost worked her way through all the K one now, websites- you can google just about anything and find an age appropriate worksheet and/ or lesson plan, and blogs are my new favorite!!!!

The toughest things I see so far are: keeping E busy. He doesn't like to sit long and he wants attention when I am working with her. Picking a curriculum for the fall for A. She will be classified as K starting in August but she is blowing through the material we have. I am diligently searching for a curriculm advanced enough to keep her busy!!!!

Check out:

first-school.ws
dltk.com

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trying Something New

So I have been inspired by the mom who has been on the news this week because she plans out her meals a year at a time! Wow! She said she was able to cut her grocery bills by half! And of course there is the added bonus of not needing to spend time contemplating what to cook. Now I will say that when I first started staying at home I was much more organized and I tried to plan out our meals then 2 weeks at a time. I would go to the grocery store every 2 weeks for a BIG trip and then maybe once in between for milk & bread. So I googled the news story and found a place that showed her actual monthly calendars from 2009. Let me just say that their meals were not the healthiest. Lots of prepackaged items and not much fresh. Since this is the year my family is getting healthy ( I am 10 lbs healthier as I type yea!) I have to adjust. Also I am just beginning to get the hang of the eating and cooking healthy. So a whole year seemed pretty daunting esp. since we don't have all out trips, bday parties, etc all planned for 2010. So tonight I sat down and made a list of entrees we like and a list of sides and I made meal calendars (for the evening meal only) for February, March, and April! I am going to start getting my Sunday paper again, clipping coupons, and purchasing items we use over and over when they are on sale. The good thing about doing it 3 months at a time will be that I can adjust any bumps before I plan anymore months. Now I will be the first to admit that my family loves to eat out! It's convenient, I don't have to clean up before and after the meal, and there is lots of variety. So my disclaimer is this: we are going to try to REALLY cut back on the trips out. If we do go out though the meal makings will just be there for a lunch or as extras for the next month. I also made up my grocery list for February ( I will have to go several times for produce, dairy,etc.) and printed it and I typed up the list for March and stored it in the computer to complete as I get closer to time.  I am hoping watching sales will get my gigantic deep freeze and pantry restocked so I can save some money for important things like Kyle's mission trip, bills, and hopefully a trip or two for the family this year!

I will keep you posted as to how this works out. If it goes smoothly I will even share my monthly menu and grocery list! If you have any tips, healthy recipes, etc you'd like to share, please do!

I am hoping next week to post a blog with some homeschool tips and websites on it. I haven't been researching long but I have been shown and stumbled upon some great places and ideas!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Uganda Update



Had to put a funny picture! Kyle is still seeking support to go to Uganda in August. He is still waiting for the exact details but we expect the trip to cost around $3500. This will be his first missions trip and he is very excited! He will be chaperoning a local basketball team as they head to Uganda to work with some orphanages there. This will be an excellent opportunity to share the love of Jesus with children!

We hope that soon we will have a link for a Just Love Coffee site where part of proceeds will go directly to Kyle's trip. Since this is the first for our family we are still feeling our way around. If any of you have any other fundraising ideas, we would love to hear them! This is an expensive trip, but we trust that the Lord will provide the money!

Thank you for sharing in this with us! Please pray for Kyle!

Delightful Learning

I have really started to get into blogs! It is great to put my thoughts out here for friends and family that I can't talk to everyday but even better is to read what they are writing. As I delve into the homeschooling world, I am thrilled to find so many wonderful mommy bloggers out there with tips, funny stories, free downloads, and give a ways! One of my new favorites is Delightful Learning. You can catch up on it at http://delightfullearning.com/ . There is a give a way on her page that you can enter until the end of January. Check it out!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Thoughts for today

I should automatically lose one pound everytime:

I refuse cake at a baby shower or birthday party

I drive by Dunkin Donuts without stopping

I eat hummus

I watch the Biggest Loser

I eat salad instead of a burger and fries

I watch my kids eat ice cream without partaking

I take the stairs instead of the elevator

I work in the nursery :)

Then I'd be super thin already!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some days are just gonna be this way........

Some days I am gonna wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Some days my kids are gonna push all my buttons..... and then laugh.

Some days I will forget to make my coffee until lunchtime.

Some days I will be hungrier than others.

Some days everyone will say the wrong thing.

Some days no matter how nice I try to be, people will get mad at me.

Some days I will not set a good example.

Some days I won't want to clean up after myself.

Some days one good friend is all I need.

Some days 10 good friends aren't enough.

Some days I will cry out to the Lord more than others.

Some days the pain of loss is almost tangible.

Some days I laugh out loud because I have great memories.

Some days I wonder who this adult is and how did she get here.

Some days it doesn't even matter that everything is broken.

Some days if one more thing breaks, I am leaving.

Some days I dream of a beach and an ocean.

Some days I wish I was on a mountaintop.

Everyday God is near and his Word never changes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

What amazing words God has for us everyday! I love to just browse through the word and find so many things to lighten my heart! In these times of trouble all we need is the Lord who loves us.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What I enjoy.........

People. I love to have a house full of people and to hear all their laughter. My favorite room is the kitchen. There is nothing more comforting to than to have my table filled with people laughing and eating. I also enjoy cooking and so it goes hand in hand. There are so many times in this life to feel sadness, anytime that I can I love to laugh. That is one of the things that I love most about my sweet husband is that he can always make me laugh. I can be madder than a wet hen and all he has to do is say a couple of words and I will be laughing my head off.

Hot water. Our water was frozen overnite Saturday. It froze at about 11 that night and the next morning it was still frozen. No shower before church. Yuck! When we came home though our water worked fine. Thank God for his miracles and blessings because there were 2 other families from our church that had the same thing happen! When I got in the shower I almost cried. I have been blessed my whole life to have clean water, hot water whenever I have needed or wanted it. Thank you Lord for water.

Children. I love my own kids. They are the most amazing little people! They fill my heart and entertain me every moment of every day. I love to just look at them! I also find other people's children to be extrordinary! Working in the nursery with so many different kids and watching them as they grow and develop is just a wonderful blessing. Having them reach for me is the best feeling! God has made each of us so unique in our personality and appearance it just reminds me how vast and great He is! Cherish them and love them because they are indeed precious!

Friendship. I know I already said people but I think friendship is a whole other catergorey. I love my friends and I don't wanna brag too much but I have the greatest ones! I have a wonderful diverse group of people that I love and that I know love me. Pastor preached yesterday morning on community and boy do we have it! Kyle and I have terrific community of friends in our community (lovingly referred to as the besties!) and we have an outstanding community within our church. Our Sunday School class is the most unusual one I have ever seen. Unusual in a great way! We celebrate with each other, comfort one another, and most of all are honest with each other. The only way to build a great relationship is to put yourself out there! Holding it all in for fear of getting hurt will only leave you lonely.

I pray for you today that you have people, hot water, glorious kids, and FRIENDS surrounding you!

And now I have the song in my head "Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the lord is them. And a friend will not say never for the welcome never ends....."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So important to be positive......

Psalms 68:3 But may the righteous be glad


and rejoice before God;

may they be happy and joyful.



4 Sing to God, sing praise to his name,

extol him who rides on the clouds [a]—

his name is the LORD—

and rejoice before him.


I know that there are many many things in this world to be negative about, that there are going to be many things that disturb you or that you can't agree with BUT please take a moment to examine your attitude. Just like when our own kids are negative and we feel that they are ungrateful with their blessings so the Lord feels when we spend our days moaning and groaning. I am increasingly concerned about those around me who spend so much of their precious time moaning and groaning with heavy hearts. BE GLAD, BE JOYFUL FOR  THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE!!!!! I know that you don't agree with the government, the newspaper, your neighbor, your spouse, the dog but be GLAD that you are free in the Lord. Be glad that you are full and warm and not without.

Take a moment to look back at your recent tweets or FB statuses. You may notice a trend. If every single one is how dare they, what were they thinking, how could I be wronged this way.... please take it to heart. Pick up your bible and read about God's feelings about these attitudes. We are not owed anything from anyone else. If you are depending on the people in this world to satisfy you and to do things your way, you will be sadly disappointed. Cast your cares on the Lord and rebuke Satan and the negative attitude that he wants you to have. If you are always complaining that is not a testimony to the world about the love of Jesus. BE different, be the light in the darkness.

Ummm I may get on a soapbox every once in a while. I only do it when God lays something on my heart! Peace and love and joy to you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No worries, no stress, no anxiety

1 Pet. 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

This was my status on my FB yesterday and it got lots of response. I had listened to a message from Francis Chan yesterday and he discussed this verse for a few moments as part of it. Read it again and think about it. Hold it in your heart and consider it. Wow. God is amazing!!! He has called ME and YOU! He will make US strong, firm, and steadfast. Wow.

If He loves me that much, if He has known me before I was formed, if He knows the number of hairs on my head, then I have no need to be concerned. The God of the universe loves ME and YOU. What is there to worry me? What anxiety can be needed? What stress is necessary? NO NOT ONE!!!!!! I admit I worry. I am a mommy of 2 small kids. E has been sick since yesterday. When he was laying on the couch with his swollen sick eyes and a 101.8 fever, I was worried. BUT then my heart sang out to the Lord! I remembered my Father in heaven is watching us and His plan for us is AMAZING! I'm not sure that as a human I will ever be able to beat that intial fleshly response of worry, stress, anxiety, or fear. I am going to pray that I do, but if I don't I know that in the second instant I will remember that God called me and that in a little while He will restore me.

There are so many things in this world that could cause worry- sickness, financial burden, terrorism...... don't worry about them, don't let them make you lose sleep. GOD has got this! He will take care of you as long as you believe in Him and you believe in His son and the ultimate sacrifice that was made.

AMEN!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why is it sooo cold???

Brrrrr!!! I love my old house (built in 1945) but I could sure use some windows built in 2010!!!! My house has tons of character but it also has tons of drafts!! As I sit complaining I am instantly reminded of recent blogs I've read of missionaries in other places that are GRATEFUL when they have electricity for a few hours. Lord thank you for your faithfulness to my family! Lord thank you for my heat, my warm clothes, my blankets, and my hot meals! Lord how great are those blessings you so freely give me!

I have made some New Years resolutions. I know I can start anew anytime but I am a tradition based southern girl at heart and some things I feel compelled to do! My number one goal is to be healthier and to help my family be healthier. We have drastically revamped our menus. Annalyn and I have done nutrtion lessons the last 2 days. I of course seriously need to lose some weight in the process but more importantly I have to watch my health for the sake of my family and I have to give them lifelong lessons about making the right choices. Also they need to know that food should not be a crutch. All I need to lean on is Jesus, not a chocolate bar and a latte! Why is it that we use food for comfort? And why is it so much worse in Western culture?

My other goal encompasses many things but is simply to strive for quality and not quantity. By this I want to live my life. My relationship with Jesus, my husband, my kids, my family and friends should all be based on quality. My prayer life should be based on quality. My food choices should be based on quality. My activities should be based on quality. My money has been about quality for over a year now and will continue to be so unless it starts to fall from the shy!! :)

I am encouraged that 2010 will be better than 2009. I strive to make it better. I am a firm believer in the words of Jesus  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

I pray the Lord blesses you in this New Year. I pray you seek quality time with Him and a quality relationship with Him. I pray that I have a higher quality relationship with you! Amen.