Psalm 147:1

"Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Family Update

The past couple of weeks have been really busy. With school starting up, lots of church events, hubby’s birthday, Mom’s birthday, busy getting 2 teeth pulled, a Ladies Tea House day, plus co-op starting up again. It’s too much to fit all in this letter so I’ll break it up into a few.

Busy and Sweetie are doing great in school this year. Busy LOVES to play the piano. I’m so happy. I don’t push him to practice, he just does it. He loves to go play on his breaks. Sweetie isn’t picking up on it as quickly, but Busy has been helping her. It’s so cute. 

Busy had two baby teeth pulled last Tuesday per the Orthodontists recommendation. I won’t let them pull any adult teeth, but I think getting those two baby teeth out was a good call. He’s doesn’t have enough room for his adult teeth to come in so one already popped through high on his gum. Hopefully this will help. I guess we’re just a braces family! Thankful though that the dentist  didn’t deem it cosmetic so they didn’t charge us. Praise the Lord!

Sweetie has been working on her letters and putting the sounds together. She loves school. However, she’s not so into the reading part. She’d rather have me read to her!    I know that she’ll get it though. She’s very smart. They are just so different in so many ways.

Here they are making cookies together. Sweetie was making them for the Round Up Sunday cooking contest. They sounded yummy—Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies—but they tasted yucky. She was disappointed that she   didn’t win but she takes everything so well and understood that other cookies tasted better than hers. We won’t try that recipe again.

Mom and I went to a Tea House in Sumner, the little town that my sister graduated from her homeschool co-op in, with the ladies from church. It was a really nice afternoon...even though mom and I aren’t really into fancy tea houses. It was still fun just being together.

The older I get the more I appreciate time spent with mom. She’s my best buddy. :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A book and a seed....

I love to read. It hasn't always been a joy like it is at this stage of my life. However, the blessing of the library with the vast amount of Christian reading materials has been a huge blessing!

I really enjoyed the book. It had some great reminders and tips. Quick read with some great nuggets to walk away with.

A simple joy from this week...
Seeing Busy super excited that his seed has grown into a tall, beautiful flower. 
He also has two pumpkins. 
As I look at this picture, I think back to May when he brought the little buckets home with a seed planted in each one. He wanted to plant them right away but I thought there was no way they'd ever grow. Not in our home at least. :-) He faithfully watered them for another month and then begged me to plant them. Without much thought I told him he could plant them right by the front steps. 
Well, they grew. I had NO faith. But he did. He put the time and energy into watering them and they grew into two beautiful sunflowers and two small pumpkins (still growing!). 
Without a doubt, I would have let them die thinking they'd never grow. 
What a great reminder that if we have faith, put in the time and energy, and wait patiently....
God can make things grow in our lives, marriages, children, ministries, etc.

Thanks for the reminder Lord. I needed it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Round Up Sunday

This Sunday was filled with many, many wonderfully busy things. It was our annual church Round Up. The summer seems to scatter people and this is the day to bring them back and have a great day of fellowship. BUT the best part of the day was seeing Javon get baptized. And getting baptized by his dad made it even more special. He's been wanting to get baptized for about a year now, but we decided to have him wait a bit longer. At Easter he said he wanted to get baptized but we are sooooo busy on Easter that we decided to wait until a less busy Sunday. Being in ministry makes a few decisions based on "will we have time to really focus on you". Well, it didn't work out to have it on a "less busy" Sunday but it worked out anyways.

This was taken right before he was baptized. He woke up in the morning and I thought he might say that he was excited about all the activities of the day but he woke up talking about getting baptized. That made me feel like he was genuinely excited and understood what baptism was and meant for his life.

This was taken right after he was baptized. He literally jumped out of the water and threw his hands up with excitement. Which, of course, filled our hearts with joy.

Our pastor's wife always does a great job decorating.
Auntie Cass and Sweetie!
I love those curls!!!! (Most days....:-)

My mom and sisters with us...

It was one of those days that I went home absolutely exhausted, but had a great day at the same time! These are the days that memories are made. Yes, every day has the opportunity to make a memory, but there are special times in life that can't be relived or redone. This was one of those days. Watching my whole family work together for Jesus to make this day happen and then seeing my son water baptized....yeah, these are the days that will live on in my memory. It's kind of like was a lot of work, but the result far outweighed in the end. That's kind of like homeschooling I suppose. It is defiantly a lot of planning and work but the results FAR outweigh the labor!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Long Day....

Today was a good day....but also a LONG one. We started the morning off with a some down time but it turned into me catching up on things from work that had gotten left from Friday. I'm still playing catchup. :-( Then we had to head to the library and pay for a book that Sweetie accidently spilled her water on. Of course, it was a $40 book! But at least it was one that we like and the water damage is just along the bottom of the pages. It's called 20th Century Treasury of Children's Books and it's got 44 different stories. So I guess we paid a $1 per least we got to keep the book. 

Then we were off to a birthday party for a family with 4 kids from church. It was chilly at first and I really didn't want to be outside for several hours, plus my brain was spinning with all the things that I still had to get done before Sunday. But I knew I couldn't be anywhere else so I just chatted with the other parents until it was time to hit the ground running for tomorrow. 

After the party, I had to go to Winco to buy peppers for the pepper eating contest. Which Winco on Saturday is not my favorite place to be. But the kids and I took it all in stride and just kept pluggin' away. We were there a long time cause I had to get regular groceries, things for church the next day, plus the stuff to make cookies with Reagan for a cookie contest the next day. 

Of which I totally messed up. Normally I just type in Award Winning Cookies in Google and pick one. But none of them looked good or were just too boring this year so I just started looking around and picked one. It's terrible! Oreo Creamcheese Cookies. They looked good; they sounded good; but they taste aweful! Josh actually spit his out and threw it away. I'm sad since Reagan was so excited about them, they cost way too much to make, and I've spend all night working on them with her (and a long time after she went to bed!). But such is life. 

Josh had to pretty much be at church all day. It started with a Men's Breakfast, then he had to fill the baptismal for tomorrow, then tonight him and his sister when watching all the church kids for a contest they lost. It was so the parents could go out on a date night and I will say that I was a bit envious that we didn't get to go on a date night since it seems like it's been forever....but I wouldn't have had time anyways! :-) 

I know this has been a downer for one of my posts....and for me in general. I'm just so tired and I'm trying to keep my perspective on what's really important lately. Today just felt a bit out of focus. I know that we all have those SUPER busy days that never seem to end....I just feel like because of ministry stuff we have a lot of them. Not that that's a bad thing, I just didn't used to mind that business as much as I do now. I just want to make sure that the things we are filling our lives with are for a purpose. Being busy for busy sake isn't anything to be proud of. 

Lord, help me know when to slow down and say "I just can't right now" and not be afraid that people won't think I'm nice. I long to please You and others and strangers....:-) but help me remember that pleasing You is first and because You have my best interest in mind You won't ask more that I can handle. Holy Spirit help guide me to a more balanced and gentle lifestyle. 

(I try very hard to stay positive...I almost don't want to post this....however, I also want to be real. And real is that today was a long day that seemed like I was doing a lot of STUFF for other people and didn't really get my stuff done and now I have to get up tomorrow and push, push, push to pull of Round Up Sunday. Which most people have no clue all the details that go into an event. My brain hasn't shut off all day about it. I feel like I haven't stopped working on it since 8 AM yesterday morning. I didn't even sleep good. Then I had to fit in a bday party in the middle of the day. And now I'm about to put this down and write out a list of about 10 things I have to do in the morning before prayer even starts at 8:30 AM. So with a humbled spirit that I'm allowing my exhaustion to speak through my fingers....I say goodnight and I'm an incredibly blessed girl who has an incredibly blessed life and loves the business most day....just not today. And that's just how it was today.) :-)

First day of school

Before school began:
I was SOOOOO excited to start this school year! Perhaps it was because both of my kids were officially in a grade although Reagan's been at the table with us the past two years! I had planned and re-planned and gone over and written out and re-written out my plan for the first week. I know that some don't like to do that because it's too "formal" but that's the way I vent my enthusiasm. Writing lists, writing on white boards, and planning things. :-) 
Friday, while driving through our neighborhood, we found a small little desk that said free on it. I initially drove past but quickly turned around and thought that would be perfect in Busy's room! Although I didn't know if I'd even like him having a desk or if he's use it since we've always done school together at the dining room table, I figured we had nothing to lose. And we love it!
This is what he woke to on Monday morning. He was really excited to have his own space. I wasn't sure how his focus would be without me there but it defiantly limited the distractions and worked really great. He's going to do his morning subjects at his desk while I work with Sweetie at the kitchen table...then he'll move out to the table with us after lunch to work on spelling and science. Thank you Lord for your provision!!!!

This is what Sweetie awoke to. A plethora of ABC books, CD's, videos, manipulatives....:-) She already knows her letters, but I wanted us to review before we enter the world of phonics and also have a super fun first day of Kindergarten! Note the white board with schedule in background?! :-)

Our dining room: Where much of our life is lived! :-) And learned I suppose.....

We began the morning with a special morning of eggs and biscuits. (The kids' choice.)

Sweetie opted for Kix!

She was soooo excited to get PACES like her brother!

We had fun matching Upper Case Bottoms to Lower Case tops....
And we had the coolest Animal Science...hands on....couldn't get any realer than time.
Our puppies where born on the first day of school! So we spent the morning going in and out of the bathroom checking on Sophie and the pups. The first one was born at 7:30 AM and the fifth was born at 10:30 AM so it was perfect timing!
God is honestly so amazing!!! I even had written down to look through a spider book after lunch and  - I kid you not - this huge spider was in Sweetie's art box right after lunch. It made my heart so happy to know that my Father cares enough about me to send me a real spider because He knows how important homeschooling is to me!

It was a very good first day of school. It's actually been a fabulous first week of school but I don't have time nor you the desire to go through all the days but it was great and we ended it with a trip to Baskin Robins which is a huge treat that we don't normally do. And then on top of it I told them they could get a double cone and I thought they were going to faint. It was really cute. I'm actually glad that my kids don't have SO much that they don't appreciate a double scoop cone of ice cream. It was the perfect ending to a great day!      Hope yours went just as well. And if it didn't, there's always tomorrow! :-)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Great Week

Monday - Went to Snoqualmie Falls with the family. It was the first time that I've actually taken a ride in Josh's orange replacement car. :-) It was a nice drive and day. Once we got there we were a bit disappointed that the trail was closed....until March 2013! Wow...that's a long time. But we still got to see the falls. The kids really enjoyed seeing the big waterfall. It was such a nice day. Then we went into town and looked a bunch of old trains that are parked there. It was really neat. Busy soooo wanted to go inside them, but most were closed to the public. It was still neat getting to see them.

After the trains, hubby took us to a little family Mexican restaurant. My immediate reaction was to fuss about the cost of going out to eat. But I decided to keep my mouth shut. We haven't been out to eat together is such a long time. The kids were super pumped about it. And shockingly, I just decided to relax and enjoy it. :-) I have such a hard time spending money....especially on food. But it wasn't too bad. Josh paid and we headed out. I was grateful (not proud) that I had just kept my mouth shut and that we had all had a fun time together. That's more important than the $.

Tuesday - Off to work I went and the kids were supper excited that Nana and Aunties were back home from CA and go to take them to swimming lessons. After work, I took the kids to wrestling and although my class was canceled I forced myself to exercise. I was sore that next day. But it felt good to get back into the grove after a summer of non-exercise.

Wednesday - Today I had 3 little boys over for a repayment playday. Their mom had watched Busy while mom was out of town. I was honestly nervous as to how the day would go....but it turned out being a good day. There were a few little things, but I kept them all super busy. They played Legos, then Wii, then we went to the park, back home for a picnic lunch, then off to the museum, then to the water park, back home for quiet time for the younger kids and Wii for the older ones, then off to Target for classroom supplies, then it was time for the Ranger/Mpact girl BBQ to kick off the programs for the fall. It was really a pretty good day.

Thursday - Oh, what a blessed and peaceful day yesterday was. I am striving to get my life in order so I can bring order and life and blessings and joy to the kids'. We went to swimming lessons then came home and worked on random summer schoolwork and chores. I'm trying to ease them into a schedule so next week it's not a shock to their system when school starts back up. After a late lunch we took a pretty long walk; well, they rode their bikes and I walked. :-) Then they had some outside time. Alone, outside time is one of my new goals for this schoolyear. The kids are surrounded by "things" to keep their attention. I want them to be about to go outside and find something to do or play on their own.
Busy and Hubby went to wrestling while Sweetie and I backed brownies at home. Although eating them canceled out my morning exercise! I'm sore this morning though so I guess it doesn't 100% cancel it out. :-)
Then after books and rockie with Sweetie, I headed upstairs to finish up the school planning for next week. I feel like I'm the most on top of things this year than I've ever been which feels super nice. I just don't want to overload them just because I'm excited. :-) I love learning and teaching. I'm changing a few things up this year and trying to not just do PACE work only. Although I love the program, I want them both to have a love for learning and Busy can get bored with the same thing over and over. I'm going to try and incorporate several other things in this year to keep things changing a bit throughout the days. I just hope it's not too much. We'll give it a try and see. Mostly I want to see them love Jesus, their family, and be respectful and obiedient children.