Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thankful

We have much for which to be thankful tonight....

Caleb, Nathan and I are all ok after this...







All of the other drivers seemed to be ok too. We had just returned from celebrating Caleb's half birthday with David and were turning into our driveway, when the car behind us hit us going about 55 miles an hour. Spun into oncoming traffic, I did a 360, hitting another car along the way.

Praise God for carseats and seatbelts....and much, much more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Sugar I

Each week as part of our adventures in preschool, we learn a letter, its sounds and some words that it starts. In hopes of meeting my goal to be a little more crafty, I also try to plan an activity or two around the letter.

Last week was the letter "I", so we made an Igloo...


An Icing and marshmallow-covered, Icky-sticky mess of an Igloo...


"Mom, please stop taking pictures so I can just eat It."

One need not Imagine hard the Immense sugar high Caleb and Nathan experienced after partaking of their creation. (I could not bear to let them eat the entire Igloo though and most of it ended up in the trash.)

This week we are working on "J" and I am not sure yet if we will break out the jelly beans or not!

Thanks to Homeschool Creations, ABC and 123, and Confessions of a Homeschooler for the Inspiration!





Thursday, June 24, 2010

MY Thought for Thursday

So last week, I tried to get by with posting a thought for Thursday without giving my own opinion and ended up getting called out for it. So, this post is dedicated to that certain caller outer...

"We have only our two-fifths-of-a-second-long scene [in the movie of God's creation] to live. I don't know about you, but I want my tw0-fifths of a second to be about my making much of God. First Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." That is what each of our two-fifths of a second is about.

What does that mean for you?

Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It might sound harsh, but that's seriously what it means."

---Francis Chan, Crazy Love

What does this mean for me? While my life is short in the grand scheme of things- truly a vapor of time compared to eternity- it is precious and can be very important if lived for the glory of God, instead of the glory of self. Daily, moment by moment, I need to be searching my heart for motives and purpose as to why I do what I do. I need to strive to fill my time, thoughts and actions with things that make much of God.

Recently, God brought a verse in Proverbs to my attention. "He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty." (Prov 28:19) At first, I didn't get it. God, I am not a farmer and do not plan to do any tilling anytime soon. Then I started thinking about David and his tilling the garden and what hard work it is.

The things in this world that are worth much, take much effort and work. Moreover, if I take the time to work hard on the things that are important, I will reap great reward. If I fill my time with empty pursuits, I will get a reward, but not one nearly as good. Following empty pursuits, leads to an empty life.

So, I have begun to pray for God to show me where I am following empty pursuits and where I need to do the hard work of tilling. One thing that He has convicted me over and over again is spending time on the computer when the boys are awake. Computer time is an empty pursuit compared to the time I need to be investing and tilling in my boys.

Does spending my time making much of God and not following empty pursuits mean I am spending 100% of my time and effort in Bible Study and prayer? Do I no longer read for pleasure or watch TV? Am I never to get on the computer again? Nope. God knows, even better than I do, that I need my down time. This down time is me tilling in my own heart to prevent burnout and fatigue.

Still, I am working to be careful that my 2/5 of a second in the movie is not all down time. Instead, may it be a time full of loving others, working for my family and making much of the One who has done so much for me.

And I hope that is enough of my thoughts for you, dear caller outer and friend. So what are all of your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fear the Cow and Playground Etiquette

Moooo! MOOOOOO! MOOOOOO!!!! MOOOO!!!!

Yes, that was my son sitting at the table by himself at Chick Fil A, yelling "Moo!" at the top of his lungs. Yes, you could hear him from completely across the LOUD, crowded restaurant. Yes, I was tempted to act like he was not my child and sit in a booth next to him.

No, I did not know Caleb speaks fluent cow. No, I did not know that if you yell "MOOOO!!" really loud, the cow is more likely to come to your table quickly. No, I did not know that Nathan has a deathly fear of large cloth bovines who encourage you to "Eat Mor Chickin!"

Yes, that was my 18 month old screaming at the top of his lungs every time the poor cow came into sight. Yes, that was my son who was blubbering "Bbooo bye bye mama. Bbooo bye bye." Yes, that was smart of the cow to turn and skiddale away from our table. Yes, I did feel really bad for the kids in the table next to us who didn't get to shake hands with the cow because of my son's screaming in fear.

No, I am not sure Caleb gets playground etiquette. No, I don't know what to do when he comes out again and again telling me, "Kids are calling me names." "Kids are being too loud." No, I really do not enjoy his tattling.

Yes, there is a part of me that fears his lack of playground skills comes from being an unsocialized preschooler (preschooling at home instead of at a preschool). Yes, I would love any suggestions you might have with playground etiquette and if this is just a normal phase.

Yes, despite all this and in a way because of all this, I really enjoyed my lunch out with a friend and the boys at CFA today.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Family Pics!

This weekend we had the wonderful opportunity for a friend, who just happens to be a fabulous photographer, to come to our home and take some family pictures.

This is just a sampling of one of the great shots...


Check out her blog at Light of Mine Photography for more great shots!

Thank you Beth for making us look so good. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Thought for Thursday

"We have only our two-fifths-of-a-second-long scene [in the movie of God's creation] to live. I don't know about you, but I want my tw0-fifths of a second to be about my making much of God. First Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." That is what each of our two-fifths of a second is about.

What does that mean for you?

Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It might sound harsh, but that's seriously what it means."

---Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Working on getting over myself and making my tw0-fifths of a second much about God...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Turning A Corner-Mono Update

Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, Amen!

I believe we have turned a corner with David's mono. After a terrible, awful, horrible Friday/Saturday/Sunday, he seems to be doing much better.

On Sunday, I was truly at the end of my rope wondering how in the world were we going to spend the next 4 weeks like we spent our weekend. So I told a few people at church- well, really anyone to whom I talked to for my than 10 seconds to pray for us. Now he is doing much better and I truly believe it is an answer to prayer.

David worked half days for the first part of this week and is going to try to work all day today. I am still praying that he listens to his body and goes slow and doesn't push himself too hard. We don't want to go back around the corner we just turned!

Truly, thank you to everyone who prayed for him...our family has been blessed immensely by you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Specter of the Blue Slurpee

I mentioned our visit to the ER over Memorial Day. Well, David is still sick. After another visit to the doctor and more blood work, it has been confirmed that he has a rip roaring case of mono.

He feels miserable and should continue to feel bad for four to six weeks. There is really nothing he can do to get better except rest and that is a struggle for him so far. David is simply the hardest working man I have ever met. He is constantly busy doing things around the house, playing with the boys or working at his job. It is incredibly hard for him to slow down. Still, God really hasn't given him much of an option this time as he really only has energy enough to lay around the house. It is hard for me to see my hard-working man laid out, exhausted, and not be able to do anything for him really.

This also comes at a really hard time as David's workload at work right now is INTENSE to say the least. The project he has spent the last year and a half working on is going public July 1st. He was telling me a couple of months ago that I should be expecting him to work 12-16 hour days for much of the summer. I do not know how that is going to work with the mono. Still, God's timing is perfect..and yet perfectly mind-blowing at times.

And then there is the specter of the Blue Slurpee (imagine scary music). The Saturday David began to feel bad, we drove to a birthday party out of state and on the way we shared... a Blue Slurpee (scary music again). I am really hoping that I have had mono before and didn't know it and that the boys just somehow miss the mono train or that the interesting mix of chemical sweeteners in the Blue Slurpee (scary music once more) were enough to kill any mono germs that were hoping to jump ship that day.

I am praising God that me and the boys seem to be healthy so far and that David is resting a little better now...I have to confess I am a little tired from the single-parenting of it all, but that is far better than the specter of the Blue Slurpee (scary music fades off...)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Affirmation, Challenges and Overwhelmedness

It is crazy to think it has only been a week and half since the homeschool conference I attended over Memorial Day weekend. Life has been chugging right along and I have failed to take the needed time to really sit down and internalize some of the things I learned from attending.

So come along as I jot down some thoughts, notes and goals...

I would have to say that overall my experience left me affirmed, challenged and completely overwhelmed.

Affirmed:

-I am doing the right thing by choosing to homeschool my boys. Not only is it right because I am being obedient to God's calling upon our family, but it is also right because of the sheer excitement I get at the thought of teaching and learning alongside my boys. I absolutely love to learn and am nerdy enough to get excited about revisiting biology and chemistry again.

-I am doing the right thing by endlessly reading aloud. Several speakers mentioned that reading aloud to young children is the best thing you can do to encourage their learning down the road. I need to remember this some days when it seems I cannot read another book!

-I am doing the right by not stressing over formal studies right now. Caleb is still a year removed from kindergarten and really needs to be able to play, play, play. We do work on our ABC's and 123's daily, but not in a rigorous, formal setting. Instead, he spends most of his time exploring, building, looking at books and being a really great kid over all.

-We are doing the right thing by being outside. I truly think the outdoors is God's classroom and we want to spend as much time in it as possible. Daily we walk around our yard learning about nature, seasons and life in ways that no book will ever teach us.

Challenged:

- I need to do a better job of keeping God as the priority in our school time. Each day, even if we do not have time for anything else, needs to start with prayer, a Bible story, review of our memory verse and virtue. I just have not been as consistent as I would like with this. I also need to do better job of going over our verses/virtue at other times of the day.

- I need to add more hands-on activities including crafts and simple science experiments to our daily activities. I am not the artsy-crafty mom, so when Caleb begs to do a craft (which he does daily now), he more often than not just ends up cutting paper. I need to work on getting ideas and supplies ahead of time so that crafting will become more regular in our week.

- I need to stress less about finding the perfect reading curriculum. Caleb will learn to read, I will help him do it and any additional stress over the subject is simply wasted energy...especially this early in the game.

Overwhelmed:

-12-13 years of study. How in the world are we going to do that when I barely feel I have time to do preschool now a days?

-Curriculum fair. Enough said.

One night shortly after the conference, I was laying awake in bed trying to process all of this (and much, much more). My muddled thoughts included some muddled prayers for clarity and God's wisdom, when I felt a gentle reminder of something I had heard on the radio on the way to the conference on Thursday.

David Crowder (one of my all time favorites) was being interviewed and was asked what advice would he give to this season's new graduates. I thought this was an odd question for him, but nonetheless eagerly listened to his answer. He said that one of his continual prayers was for God to give him just enough of His light to show him the next step and just enough of His courage to take that step. Any more light and the road looks too long and daunting, any less and he might stumble.

It took me a week to figure it out that is not only great advice for graduates, but for me as a homeschool mom as well. In all the affirmation, challenges and overwhelmedness,

God, please give me just enough of Your life to show me the next step and just enough of Your courage to take that step.

Friday, June 4, 2010

BAM! BAM! BAM!

I alluded in my last post to a very eventful dinner I had with friends over Memorial Day weekend. We happened to be driving home right near their house and decided it would be a great time to catch up and grab a quick bite to eat. We decided on a local family friendly pizza joint they enjoy and off we went.

Dinner was going great- the food was good, the fellowship with great friends awesome- when all of a sudden the booth we are in started shaking and we hear "BAM! BAM! BAM!" I look around trying to figure out what is going on. "Caleb, what in the world are you doing?!?" slipped out of my mouth before I realized he wasn't doing anything. I looked to Nathan and he was sitting there in his booster chair smiling, just swinging his little feet along with the noisy vibration.

"BAM! BAM! BAM!", the noise continued. I quickly realized it was the gentleman in the booth behind us banging is fist down onto the seat of the booth as hard and loudly as he could.

Turning around, I believe the conversation went something like this:

Me: Sir, I believe your banging is only encouraging our son's kicking.
Him (yelling at the top of his lungs): NO, he has been kicking the entire time I have been sitting here.
Me (slightly flabbergasted at his irateness): Well, sir, if you would have just communicated with us, we would have stopped it much earlier.
Him (still yelling): It is not my job to communicate with you. You should see what I do when they start yelling. I start yelling just as loud.
Me (seriously swallowing a few smart-aleck responses, while praying for God's grace to be in my response): Well, sir, I am sorry he bothered your dinner and we will do our best to keep him from kicking anymore. Enjoy your evening.

Wow. While the conversation only lasted about 30 seconds, I was shaken to the core. I have never been in the situation where a stranger has verbally attacked me over something my children were doing.

Now, before we go get all upset over this gentleman, can I tell you about the cool conversation it inspired on the way home? Caleb was talking about how the man was so rude and how he was going to go back to that restaurant one day and "get him." I made the comment that maybe the man was just having a bad day and needed a little bit of Jesus' love in his life. Caleb responded back, "I don't think Jesus loves him, mommy." Both David and I quickly explained that Jesus does love that man very much and even died for him. We talked about how important it was to pray for him and prayed for him to have a better evening.

Can I tell you this conversation was really hard to have? That what I really wanted to do was vent and complain about this man? Instead we talked about how to show Jesus' love even better next time- maybe buying the man's dinner or desert. I could see the wheels spinning in Caleb's head as he took it all in. I think there was a large part of him that still wanted to go "get" the man (as I know David as my protector wanted to do as well).

Still, I can hope that the seeds of loving and praying for our enemies were planted deep in Caleb's heart and that someday he might remember this incident when he is in a similar situation. If so, the being yelled at by a complete stranger might be worth it after all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorable Memorial Day

2 days of information overload (aka the state homeschooling conference)

3 birthday parties (in 2 different states)

being yelled at in a restaurant by a man irate over Nathan's kicking

and

1 trip to the ER

Now that is what I call one memorable Memorial Day weekend.

After spending two days at an excellent conference being affirmed, challenged and completely overwhelmed (on which I will try to post my thoughts soon), David and I spent Saturday shuttling to three different birthday parties. The kids had a blast and I am still not sure how so many of our friends and family were born at the same time of the year. On the way back from the party in Rock Hill, we were able to have dinner with good friends in Charlotte, during which a man became irate and began to yell and bang the booth in which we were sitting over Nathan kicking the booth (I will try to post some thoughts on that one soon too.)

For now, I will share with you about the most important- our trip to the ER. David had begun to feel ill Friday evening and was a trooper on Saturday, birthday partying all day although he still did not feel well at all. He progressively got worse on Sunday and after googling his symptoms, we headed to the ER Monday morning.

It seems chest pains, shortness of breath, fever and headache put you in the front of the line at the ER. We sat in the waiting room for about 5 minutes before we were led back and David was hooked up to the EKG machine. About a minute later, the nurse unhooked him, calmly told him to get in a wheelchair and began to wheel us to a room, calling for nurses on the way. She turned to me and said, "When we get to the room there will be a lot of people rushing around, doing a lot of different things to him very quickly. Don't worry though." To say that was easier said than done is a complete understatement. Nurses rushed around, starting an IV, poking him in various other ways, until the head nurse came in and said "The doctor says no. We can slow down."

Instead of having a heart attack, which is how the triage nurse read the EKG, David's heart is just really strong and reads constantly like his heart is overworking. Go figure. After the initial rush, things slowed down considerably and we waited (and waited) for a CT scan, chest x ray, blood work and a even a good ol' spinal tap. The good news is that everything came back completely normal. The bad news is we do not know what has caused him to be so sick the past few days. He is feeling better today, but is not 100% yet.

So that was our Memorial Day weekend. How was yours?
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