Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I remember staying at my gram's house when I was younger. At that time, Aunt Kay's family lived behind my grandparents. We would walk back to their house to play with our cousins. She has 5 children. Each of us had someone we could play with there and Aunt Kay loved when stopped by. She would also really get us giggling with different things she would do, one in particular would be when she would ask us to do something and tell us if we didn't do it she going to sit on us. We would giggle thinking no adult would do such a thing. But that is where we were wrong. I remember Aunt Kay getting up from her chair and walking over to where my brother was sitting. She got herself positioned to where she had her arms supporting her on the armrest and began to sit on my brother. The look on his face was priceless. He really didn't know if she was going to do it but she did and we all laughed so hard. I don't remember what brought that on, but I remember her giggle walking back to the chair. I am pretty sure we all did what she asked after that!
I recall one particular time that Aunt Kay drove us to Chicago to see the Sears Tower with my grandma. Aunt Kay was usually the chauffeur for such trips. She was driving along when all of a sudden, she let out this horrific scream! We all were quite shocked. She had somehow gotten turned around and we were headed down a one way street in Chicago...the WRONG way. Oh my goodness, the sounds that came out of her were something I will never forget. As an adult thinking back on it, it is so funny, but as a child in that moment I am sure it was scary.
Aunt Kay was always hosting people or bringing food for events. She liked to cook and be the hostess. I think she enjoyed being needed by her family as well. When my gram passed away, it was very important to her that her family take care of the food for the dinner afterward. As always, they did a remarkable job and it was so sweet.
Aunt Kay will always be someone that I think of with a smile. That is how she would want it. I may not have had a chance in recent years to share my life with her as I would have wanted, but I am so grateful for the chance to have many sweet memories of sharing life with her as a child and teen. I never had to doubt her love for me or my family. She was a woman who spoke her mind, which in today's world of tolerance in all things, is a gift. She was a woman who loved her children and wanted to do better for them. One thing I think I got from her, the protective nature for family. I think she would have gone to the ends of the earth to protect my grandma and her other sister, her kids and husband. Thank you, Aunt Kay, so grateful for your protection of my Gram, love and laughter over the years and sweet memories.
Bean age 5 looking way too cute!
Bean is terribly shy. She always has been. When she was younger, she would hide behind my leg when someone talked to her. She did not initiate conversation and never would she perform on a stage. I remember having to carry her up to get her award from her gymnastics coach when she was 4. There was no way she was going to walk across that stage to get it. I worried about her following the shadow of her very animated older sister. Would she come into her own or would she always need me to speak for her or to stand beside her and tell her what to say? I remember seeking advice when she turned 5 feeling that it was time to really start attacking this issue in her life. So we did.
Bean has a great sense of humor which she shares with family all the time. Love it!
Bean on first day of co-op this year.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I love finding a new blog hop to join that helps me to focus on my blessings and that is just what Tiffany's meme Momentous Monday will become for this blogger. Tiffany writes: " James 4:14 talks about how our lives are just a mist. God has used that verse to impact me in my mothering and roles as wife and homemaker in very significant ways. Because my life is just a mist, I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to preserve and cherish the everyday moments. I do not know what tomorrow holds, but today I can count my blessings, find the glorious within the mundane, and cling to a moment cherished." So we blog about these moments and hop around to see how God is blessing others. :) Love it!
A year ago, my husband's grandma passed away unexpectedly. While we were blessed to have her with us for 95 years, her sudden departure left my girls so sad. Bean particularly has struggled as she and Gaga Rachel were buddies. This past week, I had the chance to really stop and see her heart as she brought me notes at bedtime saying, " Mommy, I miss Gaga Rachel. Can you please help me?"
I know some would say she is using that time to stall the inevitable bed time, which may be true. However, when I saw the little picture she drew of them together and look into the teary eyes of my girl, I don't care. I took the time to cuddle with her, color a picture of them together, write a note and pray together. I think Gaga Rachel would be blessed to know she is missed and that her precious bond with her little buddy is carried on. I am blessed to have taken time to help her and know that this will not be the last time we have this moment. I pray I handle the next one with the grace and patience it deserves.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Today we leave for a short camping overnight with our co-op down in New Harmony, Indiana then on a field trip with the group tomorrow. After that, our buddy from Romania is going to stay with us this weekend as she only has one month of school left before she goes home again for good. So we will drive from New Harmony to Cincinnati with great joy see her. I am praying it will be a great time of fellowship and relaxing together but fear the week ahead will take over. Here is the the plan:
4/26 Monday: co-op and set up for dessert meeting next night while girls are at BSF
4/27 Tuesday: Matt and I hosting dessert meeting for dear friend from CCU while girls go to dance.
4/28 Wednesday: Matt leaves for next three days on a business trip. Bean and I will be gone all day field trip downtown Indy with co-op Indiana History class
4/29 Thursday: Doodle and I go see "Around the World in 80 Days" in AM and all three of us go
talk to Bible Bowl about the 10000 shoes in 10 months campaign for kids in Romania.
4/30 Friday: Science Fair with co-op
5/1 Saturday: SLEEP and clean
5/2 Sunday: Church and rest....love our Sabbath!
5/3 Monday: Co-op and BSF
5/4 Tuesday: History club and dance
5/5 Wednesday: Cinco de Mayo or as we call it "our anniversary!"
The girls will begin testing that day with co-op...Iowa Test
5/6 Thursday: Iowa Test
5/7 Friday: Iowa Test
5/8 Saturday: Doodle performs with dance group and qualifications at track with Matt
5/9 Sunday: Mother's Day
5/10 Monday: Co-op, BSF and Mom's Meeting
5/ 11 Tuesday: dance then two days of NOTHING!!
5/14 Friday: Matt leaves for Chicago
5/15 Saturday: Girls and I go to Cincinnati Christian University to see Gaby graduate
5/16 Sunday: Rest and Church
5/17 Monday: Last Co-op
5/18 Tuesday: Last history club
5/21Friday: Last day of our school (hopefully)
5/22 Saturday: Dress rehearsal for recital
5/23 Sunday: Dance Recital
5/28 Friday: History club Celebration Night: Roman Feast!! and back up last day of school just in case we miss some stuff with this crazy schedule! :)
5/29 Saturday: Night before the 500 races
5/20 Sunday: Indy 500
Whew! I don't know about you, but just looking at my calendar right now stresses me out. We are not even in a lot of things but we have had the opportunity to go different places which I love to do with our schooling. Experiencing history or whatever is so beneficial to the kids really understanding what it all is about. I would not take out one field trip or show nor would I change a thing except maybe better planning on our part to not have so many opportunities at the end of the year. With that said, I am teaching my girls a valuable lesson. You see, I have one girlie who really can't stand busyness. I am like her by far. We need time to be still in order to give others what they need. However, there are times in life we don't get what we want and our attitude will determine the outcome of the event or what have you. So I am digging deep to really lean on God through this busy season because even in the busyness, God will meet my needs and will give me times of rest. He already has with giving a day or two here and there. I will let you know that come June, this girl is going to be celebrating God's provision for an empty calendar! We have nothing on it for June! woohoo!!!
My prayer for the last of this school year is that we finish with excellence. It is so easy to get frustrated or bogged down and lose sight of the goal. We are doing all we do for God so whether we like it or not, busy or not, we need to shine for Him and that means finishing well. I am eager to see how others wrap up the school year as well.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Beanie has always been painfully shy. At times, we struggled with knowing when to "force" her to do something or speak and when to just let it go. We made decisions along the road to where we are now at age 9 that I feel have worked for our family. She is less "painfully" shy and now would be more like her momma who struggles with it from time to time. We taught her to speak when spoken to. We never forced her to speak first unless she felt comfortable. We told her to remember that when she is not speaking because she feels weird to think of the other person instead. That is what God would want us to do....think of others before ourselves. We did make her speak to family no matter what. No excuse for not being able to thank grandparents or show them what you did at school. Being shy was no excuse to not being polite. Finally, we pray with her before we go into new situations if she feels nervous and we give her lots of opportunities to spread her wings. The result...our girl is soaring. She still has room to grow, but I am so proud of her. This year, she seems to have really gotten comfortable in her own skin enough to have a speaking part in a musical at church and then also speak in front of a large group at our Father's breakfast for co-op. She has managed to speak in front of her class at co-op as well. These are all huge! With all that in mind, I walked into this seminar and found out, we did ok. :) (always good to know!)
1. Talk to your child about the way God created them and tell them all the positives you see in them. Don't make shyness a disease but part of a who they are that needs work. We all have areas that need work, for them this is one.
2. Regularly share what you see with them. The more you talk about the positives and how much growth you see in their area of struggle, the more they will step out.
3. Watch your "language"~ Don't find yourself saying she "has a problem" with shyness or such.
4. Cement the image of being used as a vessel by God.
I loved this idea...she drew a huge ancient pot and cut it out. She hung it on the wall and then she and her child would write words on this pot that describe all the positive things you or they see in them. Anytime they are believing satan's lies, look at that pot and remember God is going to use them in some way to bring glory to Him. Amazing way to cast out lies!
5. Tie rewards to courage~ again love this!
Anytime someone in their family displayed a wonderful act of courage, which would be stepping out in faith in an area they struggle, celebrate! This goes for all kids not just the shy ones. What a great way to show our kids there are benefits for "doing hard thing" and it is worth the effort to step out in faith. I love it.
I am pleased to see that we have done some of these steps with Bean. I was also pleased to see that her tips were peaceful and gentle. Sometimes, being the parent of a shy child, I have been given some pretty harsh ideas from others trying to "fix" my daughter. I was blessed to hear...she doesn't need fixed! She is not broken. God made her the way she is for a reason. She has a tender heart and it will shine for Him the more she chooses courage over comfort. I just hope I remember to reward those times every single time. As a shy child, who still works through that at times, I left this seminar with a tear trickling down my cheek...finally, I am not weird either...ok, well at least not for this reason! :) God made both of us the way we are, now I can show my girl how to live out the courage I am asking her to do....what a gift.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
This time, I want to mention something that was said in a talk about parenting the strong willed child. The speaker was John Rosemond. (my mom's favorite) So I went to see what all he had to say and to let Mom know how he did in this setting being that he is not known as a homeschool speaker. I was intrigued. He did not disappoint in this talk.
I sat through the first few minutes truly wondering when he was going to jump into some helpful tips I could take home. It did not take long before I figured out this was no ordinary seminar and while the title might have been about the kids, it was really more about me and the way I think.
One main point he brought up was the fact that in the 50's, women who stayed home to raise their children were called "housewives". Today in America, women who do the same are called "stay at home moms". What's the big deal with that...you might think. Well, in God's eyes, that is a huge deal. You see, we have managed to take the focus off the marriage and totally on the kids. When dads came home in the 50's they went to see their wives first to see what the day had in store for him. Now, they come in and play with the kids and leave talking to their wife til the end of the day. Now, I am not anti-dad time nor am I anti-stay at home mom. I am one!!! However, if for one minute, my kids think they come before their dad, well, I haven't done my job well. For I know from example in my childhood home that the best gift a dad can give their child is to love their mom. My dad was a quite man and seldom did he raise his voice. One way to get him to do so would be to speak disrespectfully to my mom. At that moment, she was not "mom" but "my wife". I remember Dad telling me in the car one night, "Don't talk to my wife that way again.". End of story. Now, my dad does not remember saying this at all. Which I think is the beauty of it all. When we place the marriage first, we are team for our kids and they know it. They know they can't play games against one parent or vice versa. I was challenged to make sure my kids know that the marriage comes first. Something I think a lot of us could remember.
Oh, and if you wondered what he said about parenting the strong willed child...well he saved that for the last five minutes. Bottom line, we all are strong willed, if we weren't we wouldn't need Jesus! Loved it! The only difference between a child and an adult is that adults have learned how to be diplomatic about not getting their way. Kids need to be taught how to do that. How do we do that? He referenced the sermon on the Mount when Jesus said, " Let your yes be yes and your no be no." Hmm....seems so simple. But it is so true! He also challenged us to talk to our great-grandparents and grandparents to see how they raised kids and do it just like them. He said America has spent too much time listening to "experts" like him and they need to listen to wisdom. Point made....so what am I going to do about it? Simple, I want to make sure I am not being wishy washy with my discipline. I need to make sure the girls know what Daddy says, I support and vice versa. I need to make sure that above all, God's truths are seeping into every aspect of our home and teaching the girls how to become more diplomatic in not getting their way. Use the teachable moments and lean on God! Sounds doable to me! :)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
With that in mind, let me share some insights from the first speaker I heard, John Stonestreet from Summit Ministries. His talk was titled," Why students walk away from their faith and what we can do about it." That was a title that jumped off the page and struck me in the face. I don't know about you, but the thought of my girls choosing to not follow Jesus one day really makes my heart sick. With great anticipation,I sat in his seminar and was blessed beyond words.
I think something that I had not wrapped my brain around before was the fact that our job as parents is to prepare our kids to enter a world of evil, danger and suffering when they leave our home. I never thought of it that way. While we may be able to protect them from some things, when they leave our "nest" it is not a nice, sweet package out there. They will face crimes that make them questions their faith, natural disasters, evil in ways I can't even imagine. We have to have raised them well enough in their faith to face these things with strength and confidence in who is in control and whose they are.
One of the stats he gave was also startling...1/3- 1/2 of students who enter college claim t hey are Christian claim they are not when they leave. Look at that number! 1/2 to 1/3!!! That is a lot of kids and those could be ours! What are we doing to teach them not just what we believe but why and how to defend that faith so that they can stand up under those attacks at college level?
Why is this mass exodus of faith occurring? Mr. Stonestreet gave some logical reasons:
1. They don't know who to trust.
(they live in an age of information. They can hear facts and opinions from multitudes of people at the click of a mouse. They need to hear truth to be able to discern the information they have seeping in their minds. With this in mind, now more than ever before, the trustworthiness of authorities is of upmost importance. They do not need perfect parents but redemption acted out before them to see how to seek God when they sin. )
2. They don't know how to think.
(We need to teach our kids TO think, not just WHAT to think. They are not able to defend their faith.)
3. They don't know who they are.
( We are what we worship. In America it is stuff. We love stuff because it is of value to us and looks good. We then treat people the same way. Wrong! Teach the kids that if we want to know who we are, we need to get to know who God is then we learn how to treat people. Kids need to learn what it means to be a man or woman. We have a generation of "grown ups' that are stuck in the teen-age mentality.)
4. They don't "get" Christianity.
(They don't understand what they believe to be able to defend it. They think "God wants me to be good, happy and will be there for me without anything in return from me": this goes against scripture. They need to know what they believe and how to defend it.)
So if that is all true, what needs to be done?
We need to make sure our students have:
1. A worldview big enough for the world.
2. A community offering vision oriented around that world view.
3. mentors who embody the worldview being taught.
Seems so simple yet it is such a mighty task. I am overwhelmed yet empowered. I have purchased the apologetic study for the girls to go through next school year with us as a family. We will continue to teach that type study throughout their schooling. I am amazed at how many adults can't answer some of the questions that I have been working through in this book marked for ages 6-12. I am humbled and so excited that God placed me in this session. What a treasure of information.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
When I first started blogging again, I loved the venue that Lynnette had given me to write about special memories using her meme named, Walk Down Memory Lane. When she chose to stop that Wednesday meme, I fully understood but was so sad. I loved it! Luckily, another blog buddy, Jenilee, has decided to pick it up and so we have the return of Wednesday's Walk! Yeah!
The hardest part of writing for Wednesday's Walk is always deciding what to write about this week. Luckily, that was not so tough for me this time since we just returned from a vacation. As I stated in an earlier post, this trip is our forth to the same area with my entire family. It is amazing to me how much my girls have changed in that four year. When we first went, Doodle was 8 and Bean was 5. They look so little standing next to the ocean. That picture is the title picture on my blog. I love it. Each year, I am sure to at least attempt that same shot. So I think it seems fitting to take note of how much these two have grown in these four years.
Year One: standing by the ocean, holding a doll. They look so tiny and sweet! This was not a posed shot...they just were going to say good bye to the ocean like we always do and I saw them standing there. I did not realize how much this picture would speak to me years later.
Year Two: It was a bit rainy and cool, but we still went to say good bye to the ocean and try to pose. It was just so windy! What I see in this picture....braids! Love those braids! I also love the way Doodle is turned to check on her sister. Obviously, this was not posed either. :)
Year Three: the girls are starting to really become friends and while I did ask them to stand by the ocean, I did not tell them to put their arms around each other. So this is one of my favorite shots, yet I see them looking way too old!! This was the year I started noticing how much my girls are growing up and just how quickly time flies by. It doesn't feel like that long ago I was changing diapers, but it is! Enjoy each moment, ladies!Year Four: I still see that they are little next to the ocean but when I compare it to the first, my heart is in shock! These are young ladies not my babies any longer. I see them growing to become the strong young women God has them to be. I see them learning to worship their Jesus on their own and it makes my heart soar! So while I do miss those toothless smiles some days, what I get to witness now is the shaping of young women and I see God's hand on these girls. I wouldn't trade it for a second but I also cherish those early years...standing by the ocean, holding a doll. How quickly that changes. Here are two more shots that really speak to how quickly time is flying and reminds me to enjoy each moment while I get the honor of having these girls in my care. Such joy!
The girls enjoy Boogie Boarding every year....above shot is this year while the below shot is our first year. Gee, do you see any changes? LOL! Love it!
Bottom line, while I remember feeling overwhelmed at times with the task before me as a homeschool mom of an 8 and 5 year old, today I can say without a doubt that those days fly by and then you are standing next to two precious young ladies who are quite independent. It has only been four short years and I see that happening already. I can only imagine what the next four will display. I am eager to see it but so enjoying each day God gives me to be home with them, helping to shape them into the young women He has planned. Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My new screensaver and reminder to sit back and relax with my Jesus....He's waiting!