Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My baby is one today!!!!

A year ago today, my sweet Noah entered the world. He has been nothing but joy since! Noah is laid back and not in a hurry to grow up, which I love. He is now crawling and loving the new found independence. Noah is such a cuddle bug! He love to just hug and kiss and be close. He can't just smile, his whole face has to light up and grin open mouthed. He is learning a few words and loves exploring EVERYTHING around him! Happy birthday, my sweet Noah!!! Mommy and Daddy love you sooooo much!!!!!!!

Quotes from a 4 yr old...

My four year old has been asking questions lately. I am one who answers just what is being asked, honestly, using correct language. So, the other day, he asked where babies come out of. So, I told him. A couple of days later while talking to my mom.....
K., "Nana, I am glad God made me a boy and not a girl."
Nana, "Oh, why?"
K., "I don't want babies coming out of my pajamas."

Again while speaking with my mom...
K., "Nana, God is in outer space!"
Nana, "I think God is right here on earth with us too."
K., "No, Nana! He has to be in outer space! He has the whole world in his hands!!!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Must see video! Will make you smile!

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!!! I had a wonderful time at my parents' home, celebrating with family. Thanksgiving, and the advent season are my very favorite times of the year. I will soon have pictures.

First, though, check out this video! It is really wonderful and is sure to make you smile today!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kaiden LOVES "school"!!

When Kaiden began his "school" this year, he was not sure what he thought about it. He does not like to color, he does not want to sit still very long. I am not for pushing school early. I don't think they actually NEED it. A lot of times though, they want to have "school" like their siblings. Also, I need him to have activities so that I can do school with the other older siblings. Anyway, school time has become a great time for Kaiden and I to get some one on one time while having fun and learning a few things along the way. I LOVE a set of puzzles that I got from Costco! There are numbers up to 30, letters, colors, and shapes. I can just pull out the ones I want to work with Kaiden on, and leave the others. I like that the colors include not so common ones like tan and grey. Kaiden really enjoys our time and the success he feels!

 The little blocks below were a surprise find on Ebay! For just $3, I got this cute little set of wooden sticks in four different colors, wooden pieces with numbers 0-9, and some with the math symbols on them. These have been great for one to one counting, and story problems to practice early math skills. Even though Kaiden wants to, we are not using the symbols yet. We just play with the sticks mostly. For example, I say, "If I have 3 green sticks and you have 5 blue sticks, how many sticks do we have together? What if I take two sticks away? How many do we have then?" He likes to then find the numbers and lay them by the stick pile that corresponds to them.

I am so, so proud of Kaiden!!! He began this year, not wanting to take any instruction or follow any directions. Now, he is excited to play and learn and follow instruction! He began the year cutting a piece of paper into shreds of tiny little pieces. Now, he can carefully follow a line that even curves or zig zags! There are many, many things he has learned and  many ways he has matured. I so enjoy this very smart, fun, creative, silly boy!!! I am also so thankful to be able to experience this growth in him first hand. I am so, so blessed to be able to homeschool my children! I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wonderful Christmas Gift Ideas that benefit adopting families!!!

Please go visit Building the Blocks for some wonderful Christmas gift ideas!!! Each gift purchase helps adoption in some way, weather a specific family trying to raise money or a group raising money to help in some way. (If you are adopting, there is a note at the end of her post that you can contact her and let her know. She is going to make a second Christmas gift list soon!!!!)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (sort of)

 My sweet Ashlynn turned 9 in all the craziness of the last couple of weeks. She made her own cake as requested and did a great job! Happy birthday, Ashlynn!!!!
 Kaiden has finally found someone who enjoys sword fighting with him! He is training Noah to enjoy this past time. He says that since Noah is a baby, he needs a baby sword. So, Noah gets to use a toy screw driver. Not quite fair if you ask me. Kaiden has been impressing me with how good he is with Noah!! They are really forming a tight bond lately!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In desperate need of refreshing!!!! - Keep'n it real...

I am burned out! There I said it. I know, sad. It is only Nov. and I am drowning in all my expectations for myself. What happened to all my motivation??? I am already in the place where we are just getting the basics done. Isn't this supposed to set in about April? Right now, I am supposed to be finding all sorts of fun things for the kids to do dealing with Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am supposed to be reading like crazy to them because there are so many great books on these themes. Am I? No. I am getting math and Eng. done. (Most of the time.) Every once in a while, I will do some preschool activities with Kaiden. Ugh!

I am kind of getting drug down in my normal cyclical wallowing. I know I am prone to some depression. Before children, it could get really bad. I could spend weeks in bed. Since children, there is too much at stake to let myself fall (plus children have a way of not letting you stay in bed). I learned how to push it back and notice the signs of it coming on so I could try and avoid it. I think I am there now.

Do you know the feeling that you aren't doing anything right? Have you felt that there are so many areas to work on that you can't get even see where to begin?

WARNING: Stop reading if wallowing and complaining really bother you. This is my outlet, so I am just going to do my ugly venting here. My house is never completely clean. There are dishes ALWAYS in the sink and laundry ALWAYS piled up somewhere. I have a system in place for our chores, but I have to say "chore time" and stand there making sure the kids are working for them to happen. I have just been forgetting lately. Then, I am upset that we are so behind. I have these new tennis shoes that are supposed to lead me toward a healthier life style and weight. I have been around the block (slowly) once. woohoooo. Then, all this thinking about losing weight just makes me want to eat. There is candy, cookies, soda, ice cream, etc. always available to me. Sometimes I hide it if I don't want anyone to know it is there. I am always staying up way too late and then having a hard time getting out of bed. My kids basically fin for themselves in the morning. I can't tell you the last time I made breakfast. (Thank God for cereal!) My kids are fighting with each other constantly, whining constantly, and soooooo unmotivated. I am unmotivated! I don't have it in me to motivate them too! It is hard enough to just get myself dressed right now. Everything is harder right now because we can't do anything without first having to search for the things we need. Nothing is in its place! Everything is lost! I hate looking for lost items!!! ugh!!! I keep messing up our finances. I hardly give my husband any attention at all. I feel horrible for wanting my husbands team to just lose already so this season can be over. I am a constant nurse to a DOG! Yes, I said dog. My baby is crawling now, so I am very aware of how dirty my floors are and how un-childproof my house is.

Okay, enough. Basically, I feel like I am failing in every area of my life. Yuck, right?

Don't worry. I will probably (hopefully) wake up tomorrow snapped out of this funk. I know in my head that that is all it is. It is just a perspective. It is so annoying that something so abstract could rock my world so badly. Perspective! My circumstances won't have change, but you will see, soon I will just snap out of this and all won't seem so bad. I will catch up in all areas and feel good again.

The part that bugs me, is that this cycle sure doesn't seem very Spirit led. It isn't. It is me led. I am not content in my circumstance. I am not living in the hope I have in Christ. I am living defeated right now. The sad thing is, is that I don't have to. I can have victory because I have Christ. Oops, there I go again finding something else I am not doing right. Aha! There lies the problem, though. My relationship with Jesus has NOTHING to do with me and what I am doing or not doing. It is ALL about what He did for me!! If only I could get my life to live out what my mind knows....

Okay, I am sick of this too. No more random train of thought venting. I think I should head to bed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday traditions - download ideas, recipes, and much more with this link!

I just downloaded the FREE holiday ebook from Old Schoolhouse and LOVE it!!! Click here to download yours.

Below is a nugget I just found in there. It is an article by Amy Wagner about how they do presents on Christmas! I really love her idea!!!

The year I found a garbage bag full of wrapped presents hidden under a blanket on the washing machine four days after Christmas, I knew. I knew we were going overboard with the gift giving, because the girls hadn’t even missed those lost presents. As I looked back on pictures of Christmases past, I realized that the girls were dazed by present-overload, not knowing what to play with first and just sitting there in the midst of the jumble of gifts and wrapping. This was not good. The next year we were expecting child number three, and I knew if we kept up with each year’s status quo of presents we wouldn’t be able to sit in the same room with the tree. That is when I hit on the idea of giving three gifts to each child in honor of the three gifts the Wise Men gave Jesus that first Christmas. When I shared my epiphany with my husband, he decided that he and I would also give three gifts to each other. We then sat our children down and explained the new way we wanted to do Christmas, as well as the reasons why we wanted to go this different direction. Thankfully, they were totally on board. Thus, a new family tradition was born.

Each family member receives a Gold Gift. Gold is precious and expensive, and so is this gift. The Gold Gift is something that child really truly wants and/or is the most expensive gift on her list. Next is the Frankincense Gift. Frankincense is a spice that was burned as incense in the Temple during Jesus’ time. For our family, the Frankincense Gift is a gift that will draw the recipient closer to God, such as a Bible study book, devotional, worship music CD, Christian fiction, or great audio CDs like Adventures in Odyssey or Jonathan Park. The last gift is the Myrrh Gift. In Biblical times, myrrh was one of the ointments used to embalm the dead and was said to have been one of the spices carried by Mary to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. For our family, the Myrrh Gift is a gift that covers the body, such as clothing and bath products (special soaps, lotions and/or shampoo).

To deepen this tradition, a friend who decided to adopt the gifts of three also gave me packages of hardened frankincense and myrrh. I separated the hardened, sweet-smelling resins into gauzy pouches cinched with ribbon, to which I added a tag describing the significance of the gift, and each year these special tags adorn each person’s gift. For our Gold Gifts we wrap the present in gold paper and tie it with a big gold ribbon (which is actually gold binding tape I found at the fabric store).

Our children love this tradition and share with others the special way we do Christmas. Never once have they felt neglected or that it was unfair that they each receive only three gifts. They have become great at tweaking their own lists for Christmas under the “three gifts” guidelines and have made my Christmas shopping much easier and less stressful. Both of my girls have stated this is a tradition they will pass down to their own families some day.

Amy loves her chaotic, blessed life working alongside her husband Brad, homeschooling and raising their three children, aged 6, 10 and 13. When she gets a bit of free time, she can be found writing about finding contentment in the common, ordinary everydayness of her life at www.acontentedcommonlife.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Dollar Experiment

Each of us has more than we need. Raising Olives, and many others are challenging us to each give one dollar to Gleaning the Harvest. Gleaning the Harvest seeks to help support single mothers who are striving to continue to home school their children.

Head over to Feelin’ Feminine to donate or for more information about the one dollar experiment. You may also donate directly through the Gleaning the Harvest website.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life In Him

I am linking up with another blog! I want to share with you a scripture that God is really working on me with right now. If you have scripture or a testimony to share, go to We Don't Have It All Together  and link up!!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Also, I am learning a lot about prayer and my privilege to intercede on the behalf of my husband, my children, my friends and family, and the needs of our country and world. A few years back, after we suffered a miscarriage, I had lost faith in prayer. After all, I had prayed for our baby's health from the moment we were aware she was growing in me. I had faith that God was real and was our creator, but didn't fully understand his goodness, sovereignty, or desire to hear our prayers anymore. I was angry. I was let down and hurting. Why pray? What was the point.

I have to admit, I am still struggling with how to put into words the answers to those questions, even though my faith has embraced prayer again. I guess you could say my faith is still like a child in this area. I pray because I am told to by my creator. I pray because his word promises that he does hear me. He does love me. He is sovereign. Bottom line, I know the word of God is true. So, I pray!

One more thought...I said my faith in prayer was like a child's. This is another area I have been learning the significance of. If you have children in your home, you know how they depend on you for every move they make. You feed them, clothe them, if young enough even help them to move. They must ask and seek guidance for EVERY little step they take. We are to be like this with God. I pray that I don't "grow up." I pray that I never feel that I should take any step without seeking my Father first.

Pray for your husband #40

Well, we have reached the end of my little book, but not the end of praying for my husband. In fact, most days, I just sit with this book, praying through many of these at once. Use them over and over, or not at all, but whatever you do, don't stop praying for your husband!

This day I pray for my husband to choose life, that he may live and love the Lord his God, and listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is his life. Grant ______ and I many years together. Praise your name (Deut. 30:19-20).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pray for your husband #39 (and update of CRAZY day)

Sorry this is so late getting out. Today was nuts! We started with a garage sale which ended after just a couple of hours because our dog was hit by a car. My 4 year old accidentally let her out the front door and she got caught by her back leg by a mini van. So, I spent the next couple of hours with her at the animal hospital. We couldn't afford over night stay like suggested, so now I am doctoring a broken dog around the clock for at least the next couple of days. Her leg is filleted open, a deep cut is in another place, and a crushed foot. Plus, we have to watch her for extra internal injuries. They suspect some spine trauma as well. On top of this fun, it was my daughter's nine year old birthday today, poor thing. So, we finally had a nice dinner together with cake, ice cream, and presents around bedtime. Now, I am waiting up late for the next time I have to tend to our dog. Can you say tired? (Oh, and I forgot to throw in that four of our five children have bad colds and were very uncomfortable and cranky today as well.) Now, can you say tired?

On topic, though, it is very important to continue praying for our husbands. I am just in awe at the responsibility mine shoulders daily. Every day, he goes out into the world. He works in a coach's office, and believe me, it is not a place you would want your children. The topics and language would make you cringe. He works so hard to have integrity in all he does. He is called over to look at revealing pictures, which he refuses. There are jokes about each other's wives, which he doesn't take part in. There are plans to go drink together, which he passes on. Meanwhile, attending a coach's Bible study and continually inviting the men he works with to attend with him. He prays for these men and discusses spiritual things with them. They are so curious about us! I am the only stay at home mom, and definitely the only home schooler. He is the only man they know who is excited to get home and only speaks of love for his children. This is in addition to all his responsibility at home and the role God has for him as a husband. God calls him to be a husband as God husbands the church!! He is called to lead his family and be willing to die for us. I can't even grasp how enormous the responsibility is that God has given my wonderful husband who so readily steps up to the plate. I am so appreciative and in love with my husband!!!

I am not taking away from the work God has for me to do, or my responsibilities, but WOW!!!! I don't have to face the world on the same level at all. Almost all my friends are strong Christians, seeking to walk with the Lord every day. They are all training their children to love God and walk with Him. No one in my circle is trying to derail me. No one offers evil to me on a regular basis. In fact, just the opposite. If I am having a problem, they are there to encourage me and pray for me. They are my family!

So, knowing that my husband has such a role, and knowing that I was designed as his help meet, I PRAY!!! The very best way for you to support your husband is to be on the front lines of the spiritual battles, fighting war for him. You can stand in the gap, praying on his behalf for his protection from evil, and his strength to follow his Lord well.

Here is today's prayer #39:

Make my husband a willing and obedient servant, that we will eat the best of the land (Is. 1:19).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pray for your husband #38

Cause my husband to walk in physical health. Protect him from sickness, injury, or any attack of Satan that would cut short his life. Grant him the honor of seeing his grandchildren seek you. Through _______ will be glory for generations to come.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pray for your husband #37

Praise be to God for giving my beloved victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let him stand firm, always giving himself to the work of the Lord. His labor will not be in vain. Amen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have an advent of thankfulness!!!

"...in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus,..." (1 Thess. 5:18)

Here are some activities that you can do with your children as you discuss Thanksgiving!

1. Create thank you cards for neighbors telling them how thankful you are for them. You can deliver them with some homemade cookies or other treat! Here are some recipes I have found from other bloggers:
  1. Pumpkin Roll - www.survivordiane.com/2010/11/pumpkin-roll.html
  2. Shortbread Candy Corn Kissed Brownies - http://picky-palate.com/2010/10/28/shortbread-candy-corn-kissed-brownies
  3. Double Pumpkin Kissed Chocolate Chunk Cookies - http://picky-palate.com/2010/10/14/double-pumpkin-kissed-chocolate-chunk-cookies
  4. Gooey Pumpkin Butterscotch Brownies - http://picky-palate.com/2010/10/21/gooey-pumpkin-butterscotch-brownies
  5. Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Caramel Club Bars - http://picky-palate.com/2010/10/18/chocolate-peanut-butter-and-caramel-club-bars

2. Let the kids color Thanksgiving pages while you read about the history of Thanksgiving. Here are some sites for free printables:
  1. http://www.coloringpages.net/thanksgiving.html
  2. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=thanksgiving+coloring+pages&FORM=IGRE&qpvt=thanksgiving+coloring+pages#
  3. http://www.christianpreschoolprintables.com/Thanksgiving.html (This site also has activities to do.)

3. Raising Rock Stars at 1+1+1=1 has a great week of activities for Thanksgiving - http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/2009/11/raising-rock-stars-thanksgiving.html

4.  Homeschool Creations had a link to Old Schoolhouse Magazine that has out a FREE ebook full of great Thanksgiving ideas! http://homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com/2009/11/old-schoolhouse-digital-holiday.html

5. Post scripture about thankfullness around the house or make a poster with them. Read them together at meal times, discuss them, and memorize them. Here are some ideas to start with:

"...in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus,..." (1 Thess. 5:18)

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples." (1 Chron.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." (1 Chron. 16:34)

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." (Ps. 95:2)

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations." (Ps. 100:4-5)

6. At meal times, have a person tell why he/she is thankful for the other people eating with him/her.

What other ideas do you have? There are so many ways to practice thankfulness!!!

Pray for your husband #36

Almighty One, in the day of _______'s distress, let him see you high and lifted up. Let him hear above the noise, the declaration of your holiness. Touch his lips with holy fire to cleanse and prepare him to go out for you (Is. 6:1-8).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pray for your husband #35

Thank you that you have given ________ so many great and precious promises so that he can participate in the divine nature, and escape the corruption of the world (2 Peter 1:4).

A Handy Link...

While reading another blog, I came across a very cool site and thought it would be a good idea to post it here.

It's called Fixya.com. If you're experiencing any type of "fix it" problem, simply enter in a description of the problem and it will give you the solution to fix it. Their tag line is: 3,068,299 Solutions to Everyday Product Problems

So, if you're washing machine won't drain or your calculator is not working, go to Fixya.com and find out how to fix it yourself....and save a bundle!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pray for your husband #34

Lord, make my husband strong and filled with courage for every task (Joshua 1). Let him lead our family into all godliness. Cause him to be the leader in our home in every area of holiness, compassion, and steadfastness.