Saturday, October 30, 2010

Linky Linky Linky

Pin It Nothing Left This was so good! I've had days like this and I know you have too. Thank you Annalea!

And this ... you just have to watch it.

I would really like a snickeloaf please.

Friday, October 29, 2010

1000 Gifts

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holy experience


I woke up today wanting to complain. Loudly. To ANYONE who might be willing to listen. There were things I wanted to do today. Plans interrupted. Sickness. Grumpiness. I usually schedule blog posts in advance and didn't have one today, and was going to jump on here and dump out my long list of complaints. Because venting is good for the soul, right? Well, maybe. Depends on what the vent is, and I suspect that none of the whining and complaining that I wanted to dump out is good for the soul, neither mine nor yours. I promise you, it would not bless your day in any way to hear my list of complaints.

I've considered starting this list for a while now and just haven't done it yet. Today is the day.

Are you familiar with Ann Voskamp's blog A Holy Experience? (If you're not, you should be. What an amazing blessing!) She has a Gratitude Community where she encourages us to give thanks for 1000 graces. You just list a few at a time, here and there, and are reminded that even when you have a raging UTI, there is so much for which to be thankful.

So, I would like to get started right now.

1. Having a husband with ample sick time who can come home when I call and say I need him to.

2. My sweet oldest child who has become such a responsible young lady. She just steps in, usually without complaining and arguing, when I need her to.

3. My sweet middle child, who last night went above and beyond the call of duty in entertaining a visitor and keeping her happy.

4. My sweet baby, who recovered from his tonsillectomy very quickly, and who tells me not to tell daddy, but he loves me best.

5. My parents, who are going through some serious trials right now but always take the time to encourage me. (Pray that I can be an equal encouragement to them!)

6. The friends I have. When Jim and I got married and moved, we were in a very lonely place where I had no friends. I prayed that the Lord would give me some friends. Then we moved here, and He said YES. Abundantly yes. In the last week, I had a friend diet with me, cry with me, make a meal for me, and one even offered to strangle a dog for me. Now THAT's some friendship right there. (Put down the phone ... the dog is still there, yapping away as I type!) :-P

7. Sonic Happy Hour, and unsweet tea with raspberry. Hey, we have to be thankful for the little things as well, right?

8. Pyridium. If you know what it is, you know what it does. And I'm thankful for it. And if you know what it is and what it does, you are thankful for it as well, I'm sure.

9. The fact that Brendan loves preschool so much that he insisted upon going even when I knew he wasn't feeling well (surgery recovery.) I'm thankful for his teacher who is teaching him so much and making him love it!

10. Fall arrived!! I guess it blew in yesterday! Woot!!

Stay tuned ... I'll add to the list weekly. :) If you're interested in joining in, click on the links at the beginning and jump right in. I'd love to hear your 1000 Graces!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Homeschool Village - Fall!

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I mentioned in my post yesterday that our biggest fall activity is actually pretending that it IS fall. :-/ As I'm typing this, the temperature is 84 degrees, and with the heat index, it feels like 95. Happy fall in Texas, y'all. Sigh.

So ... fall activities around here:
1) looking wistfully at long sleeved clothes and wishing there was a need for us to wear them.

2) giggling when stores put summer clothes on clearance, because we can wear them immediately and rack up the bargains.

3) feeling like I'm completely missing out when I see pics of children in fall leaves. Our yard is covered in pine needles, and as much as I'd love to toss the kids out there and snap some lovely pics, it just doesn't have quite the same feel to it. It's not so much fun for them either! :-P

4) going to the pumpkin patch, as evidenced by my pictures yesterday, which is nice and different.

5) dressing up and going to our church's Fall Festival. We'll be doing that Sunday night, and I'm looking forward to it, although I'm in the midst of a battle with the little one as to whether he will dress up as a fireman (my choice) or Optimus Prime (his choice.) We don't do a whole lot of Halloween here, but have really enjoyed going to the festival every year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Pin It Because it's not at all in my nature to be wordless, EVER, I'll caption this set of pics. These are entitled "Pretending that it's fall because the calendar says it is, even though it's still 90+ degrees every stinkin' day". I think that has a nice ring to it!

Two days post tonsillectomy, the little one was going a little stir crazy, so we headed out to the pumpkin patch. It was incredibly windy and incredibly bright outside, so my pictures were awful, but I thought I'd share them anyway.

Happy fall, y'all.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Progress!!

Pin It Remember this post? The one where I was struggling with a decision as to whether a certain TV show was appropriate or not for my children? And I decided that it wasn't? To much weeping and gnashing of teeth? And a child not speaking to me? And even sending me texts to tell me she wasn't speaking to me, in case I didn't notice?

We have progress, my friends!!

Last night I was given a list by one daughter of her friends who are allowed to see this show. I looked it over and said "that's nice" or something like that. Then the other daughter stepped in and said "hey, mom said she doesn't feel like that show is appropriate for us, and whether we like it or not, that's the rule." Awesome.

But want to know the REALLY awesome part?

The roles were reversed. It was the middle one who brought me the list, and the oldest one who was the voice of reason. To be honest, I don't think the middle one every actually saw the show. LOL She just doesn't want to miss out. ;)

That is not to say at all that there won't be a fit thrown at some point or other about it this week, but for now? Progress! WOOHOO!!

And again -- if you know the show I'm talking about and feel like it's fine for your children, that is FINE with me! I am not judging you!! I know an area where one of my children will have some especially sensitive nerves, and I know that this show will step on those nerves. It's a disputable matter, and not worth offending or being offended over. :) I am just delighted that at least one of my children is getting it that it's not just me wanting her to not have any fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Me Monday

Pin It Okay, so mckmama isn't doing "Not Me Monday" anymore. It isn't me who is sad about that. Someone around here has been doing all kinds of stuff, but it isn't me. I just need to share.

I am absolutely not freaking out about getting off our schedule and then realizing that we have extra things to do both today and Tuesday this week. I did not sit and try to figure out how to squeeze some extra work in, and even briefly consider some schoolwork on Saturday to make it all work. That was absolutely not me, I would never consider schoolwork on a Saturday! (For what it's worth, that idea was heartily rejected by every single person in this house. Even the cats looked at me and sadly shook their heads as if wondering what in the heck I was thinking even pondering an idea such as that. Judged by cats. Sigh. Glad that wasn't me.)

It does not bother me at all to end a week on a lesson that does not end with a 5 or a 0. Like having the last spelling day of a unit not finished on a Friday. Nope, doesn't drive me crazy at all. Not one little bit. Not for a second would I wake up bothered by it, and not at all would I make plans to try to squeeze in that one lesson. I probably wouldn't just decide to skip it either to make the next week work well. I'm not that OCD, so it couldn't possibly be me who does that.

(or maybe it was a little bit me. This is a cry for help, friends. Someone please help me and tell me the world will not spin off its axis if we end the week on lesson 49.)

The little one just had his tonsils out on Thursday. I have not at all used the excuse that the little one isn't eating and needs nourishment to justify going to Starbucks ... um ... a few times. Because everybody knows that the very best thing for a five year old after a tonsillectomy is coffee, right? Put down that phone; no need to call CPS. He drinks hot chocolate with a little ice. Or he would. IF I went to Starbucks. Which I didn't. Several times.

This week the grouchy mom who sometimes lives at my house did not return. I did not even once need to hide in the bathroom for an attitude adjustment. I also did not send out a plea for chocolate via my blog. Nor did I get some chocolate and DEVOUR it. Nor did I hide it so that I wouldn't have to share with the little vultures ... um ... sweet cherubs ... that live here.

So, there is all the stuff that I didn't do this week. What didn't you do? If there's anything you didn't do, leave a comment so we can go over and laugh at you ... um, I mean commiserate.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Linky Linky Linky

Pin It The Love With Which We Perform - Wow. No words. Moms too busy keeping your plates spinning to feel effective? Too little time to do the things which you think are *really* important? Read this.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Well, I certainly can't relate to this at all, but I thought some of you might be able to. ;) Riiiiight. It really is fabulous though, and I know I will be referring to it often!

Cones & Holes from Shaun Groves - I just loved this and thought you might too!

Conservation - from Beautiful Chaos. This is my friend Jessica's sister Hannah, and what a fabulous post! HAD to share it!

Okay, can't even believe I'm going to put this here, but I have been laughing out loud at this site all week and must share it. Oddly Specific. It's part of the Cheeseburger network, or failblog, and there are a few in there that I found inappropriate. Most are just plain hilarious though, and not inappropriate. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Facebook Plus Breast Cancer

Pin It Allow me to step up on a soap box for a moment.


(why yes, those are my shoes. Do you like them?)

I am scratching my head. Seriously. I get that October is breast cancer awareness month. I'd really be interested in statistics to see if there are more new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in October than in other months. I'd be willing to bet that there are. Reminders are everywhere, to do self exams and to schedule mammograms. I think this is a VERY good thing. I get it, trust me I do.

What I DON'T get though is this:

This year's game has to do with your handbag/purse, where we put our handbag the moment we get home; for example "I like it on the couch," "I like it on the kitchen counter," "I like it on the dresser." Well u get the idea. Just put your answer as your status (i.e. don't respond to this message, but put it on your status) -- and cut n paste this message and forward to all your FB female friends to their inbox. The bra game made it to the news. Let's get the purse in as well and see how powerful we women really are!!!



and this:

Okay ladies here is another breast cancer awareness status game. Thanks to all of you that have been playing so far! Copy and paste this email and send it to all the ladies on your friend list NO MEN! This time we are going to post your shoe size followed by the word "inches" and a sad face. This will really have all the men asking questions! Remember the whole bra thing made the national news! Let's do this again!


Please someone tell me how this is helpful. How are jokes with innuendos helpful to raise awareness? Put a pink ribbon on your page, or post to your wall "HEY, get a checkup!" But I read these and feel like it's all supposed to be a cute joke. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I really don't get it.

Wanna know something interesting? A couple of weeks I received the "purse" message about 12 times. It left me scratching my head, and one of my friends found this post and I linked it. At the time, breast cancer had never affected me in a personal way. It still bothered me to try to figure out how "I like it in the chair" was supposed to help. The next day? The world shifted.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

There are so many foundations and charities doing real work to treat this disease. Don't like the Susan G. Komen Foundation? No problem, there are hundreds of other organizations raising money for awareness and cures. I could get you a long list if you like. Or on a more personal level? Offer love and support to someone dealing with it. Taking a meal, helping with kids, helping to drive to treatments, offering hope and days that feel less than hopeful, or even giggles on days that aren't especially giggly. Prayers, love, support ... much better than posting an innuendo on a facebook page, doncha' think?

(and FWIW -- I'm not a serious prudish facebook user. Most of my posts are silly and 100% for fun. It just puzzles me that posting 8" :( could possibly help breast cancer research, sufferers, survivors, or those of us who are trying desperately to come up with a way to help, could possibly help anything in any way. Forgive me for venting in this post. I'm just a girl facing something scary.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To PJ or Not PJ ... THAT is the question ...

Pin It ... asked by The Homeschool Village this week!



What does getting dressed look like in your home? Do you wear mismatched socks and neon lounge pants? What's the funniest thing your kid wears to school? Link up your post!

Getting dressed ... now that the girls are a little bit older, I do require them to get dressed in the morning. Pajama day was lots of fun when they were little, but now the oldest would look at me as if I had two heads if I suggested pajama day. I can hear it now "But MOTHER! What if someone came over?!?" Oh the horror.

It does start out day off on a good note to have a specific morning routine to follow, and that includes them getting dressed. I didn't say they had to be dressed especially WELL, just decently. And, you will note, I also said THEM getting dressed. On the days I don't have to run the youngest to preschool, you'll find the girls up and dressed and usually me up and jammied. What can I say, it is what it is. :-P

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're Field Trippin'

Pin It We don't do a ton of field trips. I've found it's very difficult to do a field trip in which both the oldest and the youngest have a good time. Either the oldest is bored or the youngest is climbing the walls. The middlest is pretty happy doing anything outside of the house, so at least it's good to have one who is easy to please!

I shoot for a field trip about once a month, and that seems to work well for us. :)

For our first field trip of the school year, we went to Millard's Crossing in Nacogdoches. We all had so much fun! The kids all had friends with us, which made it even more fun. Millard's Crossing is a pioneer village with a lot of hands on activities.

First we learned about some tools used around the house in the olden days.

Then we went to an old schoolroom where we were reprimanded for having long fingernails. LOL The girls put on their bonnets and the boys put on their straw hats. They got to write with quill pens as they learned their lessons.




Then it was time for our chores to begin. We went to the corn storage and pulled kernels off the cobb. They did it by hand at first, then our guide, Mrs. Roz, showed us this nifty cool tool that we could buy from the Sears Roebuck catalog for $2 to make it so much easier.



Mrs. Roz told us that since we couldn't go to Target to buy toys that we had to make do with what we had. Among other uses for corn cobs ;) there were darts made from them. We had a little contest throwing the corn cob darts. I'll brag on my husband a bit ... he beat ALL of the six year olds (okay, and everybody else as well)! :-P And isn't he just ROCKING the purse? He's going to be so delighted with me posting this picture.


Then it was time for the playing to end and the rest of the choring to begin. We needed to plow a field.


And then it was time to plant.


Finally all of our lessons were learned and our chores were done, so the kids could just sit and relax.


This was SUCH a fun field trip! :) I'm glad we went! Stay tuned, our next field trip is coming up in a couple of weeks. We're going to the Renaissance Festival!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First Quarter Report!

Pin It I cannot BELIEVE that we finished the first quarter of school last week! Nine weeks done!

Here is how it is going so far:

The oldest is halfway through with seventh grade English. Can I get a WOOHOO on that? I didn't realize when we started that English is a one semester class. I'm giving a big WOOHOO for Literature in the spring. Surprisingly, she's a little less excited about it than I am. ;) We are dangerously close to finishing math, which would be fabulous if it were seventh grade math and we could take a break! Unfortunately, it's sixth grade math, so we'll be jumping right into the waiting seventh grade math when she finishes. I admit that it really is bothering me for her to be doing work in two different grades. I know that's part of the "beauty of homeschooling" but to be honest? For this "follow the schedule" mama, it's a little bothersome. (When we changed curriculums a few years ago, we moved up a grade in everything but math.) I'm trying to let go of that, but it's proving a little difficult. I actually DID let up some. Y'all should have seen the original schedule, which had her finishing sixth and seventh grade math by May. Thankfully the Lord spoke regarding that. SHE is thankful anyway. ;)

The middlest is doing great! For the first time, she did an English paper start to finish without whining and complaining, and really did a fabulous job on it. I was SO proud! :) She is also rocking along with math. Thankfully the times tables did finally start to stick. She's actually ahead by a few weeks, so we've cut back on her specific math curriculum and are letting her review math facts and have a bit of a break on co-op days and dance days. She is completely enjoying her reading curriculum; I knew she would. That was our first homesat class with the oldest, and I remember how much she loved it. OOhh -- learned something about the middle one! The girl can SPELL! WOOT! Spelling has been a breeze for her so far, and I am delighted about it.

Our Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ curriculum that we're doing together has become easier as we've adjusted to what it's like, and tailoring it to our needs. It did take several weeks to master the learning curve, plus figuring out which parts worked well for which child and how to adapt it, but once we figured that out ... well, not bragging, but ... we are ROCKING it! I am totally loving it!! I am learning a lot that I either never learned before or forgot, especially regarding Old Testament history. To me, this is the best part of this curriculum. We've done a handful of the projects and those have been fun too. Sometimes the girls look at them and are all ... um, no. Other times they jump right in and have fun with it. Their paintings they do every week are so great! I need to snap a pic and post a few of them. I suspect (well, I know) that we're not using the science plan to its fullest extent, but even that they're getting a lot out of, so I'm delighted with that too. :) I'm already looking forward to next year with this curriculum, except that I think I'm going to need to split them into different ones for next year. Oldest will go forward into Resurrection to Renaissance, and I think the middle one will go back a year. Middle one is getting a lot out of this year too, but I think she would be better suited to go back a year and then redo this one in another year or two. It's so great that I don't want her to miss it, or get it too early for it to really sink in.

And the little one? He is doing so well in preschool! He doesn't wake up every morning delighted to go, but by the time we get there, he's ready to run in. He is LOVING Mrs. Russell and is totally enjoying all of the fun things he is learning and doing. He's learning his letters and putting sounds together, and I really expect that he'll have quite a head start into reading by the end of the year. He's trying to sound out words with letters he knows now, and I'm just so proud of him!

So ... that's it for our first quarter of school. I'm so glad to report that we're finding our groove, so maybe I can get away from it totally consuming my life like it has as we've adjusted to the changes we've made this year. I'm trying to relax on the schedule a little bit and ... um ... well, we'll just see how that goes! Trying to remember that I control the schedule, it doesn't control me. Still easier said than done.

For the rest of you who are completing your first quarter ... how's it going? I'd love to hear! Leave me a comment so I can hop over to your blog and see how you're doing. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Need Chocolate.

Pin It Ya know, some days I write blog posts because I want to share things I've learned. Some days I'm feeling silly and want someone to giggle with me. Some days I read something inspiring and want y'all to be inspired as well.

And then some days? Some days I just need chocolate.

And lots of it.

This is one of those days.

Just thought I'd share. Send chocolate, please.

Oohh - and scroll down a couple of posts to find my post about my friend Jessica, or click here to read. I just didn't want it to get buried in other posts. I forgot I had a scheduled post to go up right after I posted it, and didn't want anyone to miss it. Thanks!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Linky Linky Linky

Pin It I am just ROFL'ing @ the timeliness of this:
Loving or Hating Glee - from Stuff Christians Like

The Mother Load from Lysa TerKeurst ... nice reminder!

A Love Letter to My Children ... OUCH, but how totally fabulous, and how completely right.

Friendly Friday Reminder ... in case you happen to need this reminder. I sure did.

Not My Favorite from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman ... This had me laughing out loud!! FABULOUS!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wanna help an orphan and my friend at the same time?

Pin It My friend Jessica is in the process of adopting a sweet little boy. To start the fundraising, she's having a raffle for a cute little cuddly creature.

For the little one that the Lord has placed in their hearts there is not much time before he is sent from an orphanage to an institution. From what I understand, once he goes to an institution, he is no longer adoptable. I think he is four, and to think of a four year old in an institution and considered unadoptable is heartbreaking.

She is raffling tickets for the cuddly creature for only $2. I read that and thought how $2 is not much money, and how on earth will they reach the amount they need with $2 at a time. BUT - my $2 and your $2 and someone else's $2 and someone else's $2 will add up to enough to bring this little one home to his forever family.

Please go to her blog here, and check out the raffle. You can go down a few posts and see her heart for adoption shine through very clearly. Please consider participating in her raffle, and praying for her family as they go through this journey, plus for their little one who is waiting for them.

The cuddly creature that she is raffling is made by my good friend Shabby Shae, so be sure to check out her blog too.

Thank you so much!!

The No Good Horrible Very Bad Day

Pin It Ya know, I'd love to have that book again. I remember reading it as a kid and would like to read it again. There was another one I read over and over too - The Hating Book I think it was called. "I hate hate hated my friend!" Oh how I loved both of those books!

So, yesterday was one of those terrible horrible no good very bad days. And not for any specific reason either. I woke up grumpy. It was a bad hair day. It was cold then it was too hot. The girls were bickering over things that just. don't. matter. I hurt a friend's feelings because I told her something that she was dealing with didn't matter, when clearly it did to her. AND, I spent a long time in the car shuffling kids back and forth.

Not a single one of those things is terribly bad, but by the end of the day, I was ready to kick a puppy. Thankfully there aren't any puppies handy around here, so nobody needs to call PETA or anything.

The thing though? There is some big stuff going on. Serious stuff. That's not what's pushing me over the edge. It's the Cootie game leg left out and the fact that nobody but me knows the great secret of putting toilet paper on the roll.

why? WHY? Why am I endangering puppies over toilet paper?

Today. Today is going to be a happier day. :) I just know it. :) Or maybe it won't be, but I'm going to try my very best to make my attitude better. The puppy population of the world will thank me.

(And since I have your attention, how do you get out of an attitude when it is overtaking your life?)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Homeschool Village - Birthdays

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The question of the day at The Homeschool Village is "How do you celebrate birthdays during homeschool?"

I answered on the panel, but I'll share my answer here too. :)

If there's a birthday, cake and ice cream are a MUST. Hey, I'd be willing to celebrate a perfect stranger's birthday if there can be cake and ice cream! I'm pretty schedule driven, so we don't usually take off a whole day for a birthday, however, there is usually a lunch at the place of the child's choice on their birthday. We usually invite friends over too.

We don't do a HUGE birthday thing, but we do celebrate and have fun.

In related news, my sweet son told me that he was taking cupcakes to his preschool class on his birthday. Well, that would be great ... except ... August birthday. Preschool. Not gonna work. I think we'll take half cupcakes in February for his half birthday. Sound good? Have any other (better) suggestions?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dirty Little Secret

Pin It We have a dirty little secret.

Okay, I'm willing to admit that perhaps it's just my kids. I suspect that this is not the case though. We keep coming against an issue and I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

The issue?

I read about hard-working, diligent, willing to put their effort into anything homeschoolers.

Mine are not like that, and many others I know are not also. (Sorry if I offend any of my local friends! I promise I'm not calling your kids lazy! I'm not even calling my own lazy. ah ... just keep reading.)

I teach a 6/7/8 grade class in our homeschool co-op, and see some of the same attitudes in most of them that I see in my own children. It's not exactly laziness, it's more of a "what's the minimum I can get by with" attitude. Maybe that's all kids; my field of experience is pretty small here. It frustrates me though! Example: I tell them to write a paragraph on a concept. They ask "how long does it have to be?" I say five to eight sentences, enough to get the point across. "Well, what if I can answer that in three sentences?" It's not let's make a deal, people!

Today I watched my daughter face a tough concept. It was something that would be difficult for her. Rather than put her heart into it and try, she flopped around, made excuses, and didn't even make an effort. I guess she figured that trying and possibly failing was worse than not trying at all.

NO!!

I do not want my kids to have this outlook on life! Many times now we've had writing projects. I listen to their plans and think "Awesome! They're putting effort into this and it's going to be a great paper!" And then it's time to actually write the paper and they give me four lines. When I ask what happened to the rest of the story, I get "well, it would have taken a long time to write all that, so I changed it." Um, whaaaaat?

I know everybody wants to take the easy way out whenever possible. I certainly do. I choose frozen pie crust over making it myself all the time. I get that. This is feeling like more than that to me though, like a pervasive minimal attitude, combined with much complaint if more is required of them.

I wonder if I've made school too easy. Or, if maybe my standards have been low and that I've somewhat encouraged a minimal attitude. Or maybe the opposite -are my standards too high? Am I asking too much? I *really* don't expect perfection from my kids. (Myself? yes. Kids? no.) I know that kids are kids, and I don't expect high school level work for a fourth grade level kid, or a seventh grade level kid for that matter. I really just want to see that they are not afraid to work hard, put effort into things. I'm not just talking about schoolwork here. I'm talking about anything that requires effort.

And please don't think I'm just running down my kids. I love my kids and I am very proud of them. I just want to prepare them for a life that isn't so compatible with "what's the minimum I can get by with?" Does that even make sense?

So, I'm seriously asking. How do you motivate your kids to do their best work? How do you teach them diligence and being willing to work hard, even at things at which they might fail?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Linky Linky Linky

Pin It The Cure for "Mommy Guilt" - Just thanking the Lord that His grace is sufficient.

At Least Faith from Stuff Christians Like - I love this blog. His "Serious Wednesdays" posts always grab me, and this one seemed to fit with what I was thinking about this week. If you don't read this blog regularly, give it a week or two! Hilarious, and so true, and the Wednesday posts always seem to just be perfect!

Visiting the Village - I just really appreciated this post!

Why Profanity Matters - this is from Plugged In Online, and I just loved it. It goes along with the "true, noble, pure ..." thoughts that have been in my head all week perfectly!

Difference Between Men & Women - this just made me giggle.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Top Ten Surprises of Growing Up

Pin It 10. That the song "Physical" by Olivia Newton John is not actually about exercise.

9. Men use more toilet paper than women do.

8. Given a choice, a nap wins out over shopping nine times out of ten.

7. Most of the time, when it comes to the kids, I really am more interested in quiet than in figuring out who is right.

6. That I would take a nearly 40 pound five year old, consider him a baby, and carry him around like one any chance I get.

5. Even the tiniest feet, crammed into shoes with out socks, stink. Badly. And I would be willing to pull over the car to find the shoes and insist they be put back on the feet if said shoes are removed while driving.

4. A dog will eat a chicken nugget that has been stuck under a carseat for months.

3. A child will eat an m&m that has been stuck under a carseat for months.

2. That I would actually hold my hands out in front of a child who was about to ... you know ... because hands are much easier to wash than carpet.

1. That EVERY age of my kids is my favorite age. 12? Favorite. 9? Favorite. 5? Favorite. Every one in between? Favorite.

It's a beautiful day, and life is good!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Homeschool Village - Let's Have Lunch!

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Please do not alert the food police. Lunches around here are much more about convenience than about nutrition. There, I said it. I DO care that we eat well - I promise we don't have m&m's and cheetos for lunch too many days in a row. ;) (Because if you knew me, you'd know that I would not like for powdered cheese and m&m shell colors to get on our school papers!)

Seriously though - lunches around here are EASY. The youngest is usually out of the house during the day, so most days, it's just the girls and me. We have leftovers when they are available, or sandwiches, soup, or something frozen when there aren't leftovers. Occasionally I "cook" and we have quesadillas. Sometimes if the oldest finishes her morning work early, she'll be in charge of lunch. Those are nice days. ;)

Generally as soon as we finish lunch, we're rushing to get the classes that the girls do together done, so I'm not a big fan of lunches that require much clean-up effort. The question is specifically how do you break out of the soup and sandwich rut. Well, we don't. We have better and more complete meals for supper, but lunch? Easy and convenient. Period.

So, if you're keeping track, lunches must be easy, convenient, and non-messy. LOL

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Excellent, Praisewothy ...

Pin It (continued from yesterday)
(and the day before because I am terribly wordy.)

Convictions are so hard to define, aren't they? I know some of my convictions come from the Lord, but others probably don't. Others are because that's how we've always done it, or from other pressures. I think it would probably be a good idea one day to list out all of my convictions and try to examine where they came from. I'd probably be surprised.

I'm praying now as my children are beginning to develop their own convictions. I'd love to pray that they look just like mine, but I know they probably won't, and really, probably shouldn't. I'm sure as they grow up and the Lord leads them, they'll develop their own thoughts and ideas, as they should. I pray that the convictions I have now regarding them will be blessings to them, and not the words of a mom who just didn't want them to have any fun.

I pray that even now they will begin to get into the habit of thinking about what is true, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy and will see if the things they would like to allow into their lives fit into that.

I pray that they'll see that the things that aren't overtly, glaringly, wrong may not necessarily be right either, and that that is the toughest thing because sometimes subtle things worm their ways into our heads and hearts and move our focus.

I pray for grace for them as well, to cover mistakes that have been made and to protect innocence that our world seems to be on a mission to destroy. I pray for that grace for me as well!

(And maybe a little peace because one child who lives at this house is quite angry with me right now because something she enjoyed did not meet this standard and has been removed. She did at least start speaking to me again after a while, and after she realized she would not be able to manipulate me into wavering. I'm calling that progress!)

... true, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy ... think upon such things ...
(That's a paraphrase of Phil 4:8, btw, and from memory, so I'm willing to bet that the words aren't in the right order. ;) )

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Right, Lovely, Admirable ...

Pin It (continuation from yesterday)

The oldest and I had a discussion about convictions yesterday, and how the Lord is perfectly capable of convicting me one way and someone else another way. That is a TOUGH thing to understand! If I am just now grasping that, at 41 years old, how can I hope for my 12 year old to get it? That if one family has this set of convictions, believing firmly that the Lord gave them to them, and we have THIS set of convictions, also believing firmly that the Lord gave them to us, and they're different convictions, how can they be from the same Lord? How does that work?

It just does though. It's not a salvation issue. The Lord knows our weaknesses, and I think a lot of the time He puts convictions in us to protect us from areas which would harm us. Our convictions are not going to save us, and are not for me to pass judgment on anyone when their convictions are different than mine. And not only that - the convictions I have today may totally change over time and the Lord's leading. Tough concept.

(Personal example - a few years ago, I firmly believed that EVERY Christian family should homeschool. Oh my. Very naive of me, and I am thankful that the Lord kept His hand firmly over my mouth before I decided that my convictions should be shared and enforced upon everyone else. Oh, and that I should stand in judgment of everyone who didn't feel those same convictions.)

So now I'm having a conversation with my daughter regarding the tv show I talked about yesterday. She wanted to call her friend who IS allowed to see it and tell her that she shouldn't. I know part of the motivation is that my child likes being "in the know" and it will bother her that her friend will know what's going on with that show and she won't. At this point, suffice it to say that my daughter does NOT have the personal conviction that the show isn't one she should watch. She's 12, so personal convictions aren't really a formed thing yet.

All I can tell her is this: true, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy ... think about such things. And, if what you want to read/watch/listen to does not bring you to think about such things, then maybe it's something inappropriate.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Monday, October 4, 2010

True, Noble, Pure ...

Pin It Anyone who has read here for a while knows that I have STRUGGLED with where to lay down the boundaries, especially with the "in a huge rush to grow up" oldest. The argument usually goes like this:

Mom is uncomfortable with a certain thing. (book, movie, TV show, friendship ... whatever.)
Oldest says please.
Oldest says her friends are allowed to do that certain thing.
Oldest says please.
Oldest says she'll wash the dishes for a month.
Mom is sorely tempted. ;)

And there it sits. On a few things I give in, on a few things I don't, but I neglected more often than not to definitively draw the line, or explain WHY I feel like the line is where it should be.

With some things it's easy. She saw the trailer for Vampires Suck on TV and decided that was a movie she would like to see. I admit, the trailer DID make it look quite funny. I knew there was no way in the world I would allow her to see that movie, but I didn't tell her that. We looked at the trailer, then looked at some reviews. We looked first at the non-Christian reviews, which, predictably, said it was awful. Then we looked at the Christian reviews, which, also predictably, said it was awful. I had her read the review and was thrilled when she looked at me with big eyes and said "OH NO I should NOT be seeing that movie!!" (Of course then she went on a campaign to state that no one should see it ... another post, another day.) That issue was solved.

With some things it's not so easy. There is a tv show that she enjoys, that had me wavering over allowable or not. I DID let her watch it some last year, and now I regret that. I was feeling convicted over what I was exposing my child to, and finally decided last week that the show was something we needed to not have in our lives. The argument began.

You let me watch it last year!
I love that show!
My friends watch it!
This is so unfair!
You don't want me to have any fun!

Sigh. I don't want my child to hate me. It's so tempting to give in just for the peace around here.

But, if I do that, what am I allowing her to dwell her mind on? I learned from the whole Twilight thing and regret allowing that because for a while, it was taking over our lives. EV.ER.Y.THING. was Twilight related. Conversation, artwork, decoration, music. Seriously everything.

The one good thing that came from that is that it became a great example as to why we allow what we allow, and why we draw the boundaries where we do. She knows that I was terribly uncomfortable about the vampire obsession that was starting to take over around here. Finally I was able to get through to her that I didn't personally think the book was BAD. I didn't think it was a sin for her to read it. My problem was that her mind was seeming to dwell on it.

True, noble, pure, right, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy ... think upon such things.

(to be continued tomorrow)

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Lied To You

Pin It Remember this post about recitals? How I said that it was our last recital? Lies, all a pack of lies.

We had an opportunity drop into our laps with a dance school from another city opening a satellite school here. I was very skeptical at first. In fact, when I first heard about it, I said that I would pass along information but that we personally weren't interested. I was enjoying our evenings at home, and enjoying not writing out a check to dance every month and enjoying not having to chase down the middle one every week to find out WHERE DID YOU LEAVE YOUR JAZZ SHOES?!?

Then I started looking at how sedentary some of us are, and how we need SOME form of PE. Looking into various sports programs and other PE options was a little discouraging. One kid would love this, one would love this, and what that really means is that mom is going to spend a ton of time in the car, and let me just tell ya, NOBODY wants that.

So then the lady who will be running the school here came to give a demonstration. The oldest really liked her and was excited about the possibility. Then we heard her proposed schedule - classes during the DAY and the opportunity to learn a style of dance that Gabbi has wanted to learn for a long time.

I know local people are wondering what the big deal is. There really are dance schools on every corner around here, and I know some of them are incredibly fabulous. For us, I don't suspect that dance is going to be a big thing in our future. I'm not interested in dance competitions, and modesty and appropriate music are very high priorities to me. Small classes are important too. I want dance (or any extra-curricular activity for that matter) to fit into our schedule, and I don't want to spend a ton of time and effort to make it work. hehe, I'll be a dance mom, but I'll be a LAZY dance mom.

So there it is. There will, apparently, be more recitals in our future. YAY for that!

Now I need to revise our weekly schedule to make it work with dance classes in the middle of the day. That should prove rather interesting.

(OH!! If you're local and happen to be interested, you can go to bacpac2010.com or email me at itsmelanie@gmail.com for more information! Classes are Thursdays at Ridgewood.)