Monday, December 30, 2013

Last school update of 2013...

Due to general business and multiple computer issues blogging had been pretty limited the fall... Making school updates difficult!  Well we are still schooling (I.e. Part of the general business!) and although we are behind.. We are pushing foward!

Really thinking on that algebraic conversion!!

I have since read that Year 2 for Tapestry of Grace is the hardest!  Of course it is!! In retrospect, there are aspects I wished I had left out BUT the kids are really learning!  We watched Robinhood (with Russel Crowe) the other day and I had already researched for historical inaccuracies to discuss with the kids and as the movie progressed they -of their own accord--- started discussing the exact inaccuracies!  

And this is why we are doing Tapestry of Grace! 

Emily writing with IEW...

So while we are overwhelmed... It is a good kind of overwhelming!! And we are going to keep plugging on!

Being so behind we gave the kids an ultimatum... They had to be at certain designated lessons by Jan 3 or big things were going to transpire-- or more accurate NOT transpire-- as in no spring choir for Kate.. And she has worked very hard to catch herself up... 

And while I think she will meet the deadline BY THE  SKIN OF HER TEETH... It will be close enough that we are going to have to make some serious schedule changes... I had purposed to be home more last fall and truthfully it was always this or that... Most of the "that's" being doctors appointments!! Our fall got a little messed up with Matt's accident!

But we are going back to schooling in the school room-- since he can now walk up stairs!!!

And we simply have to stay ON schedule and say NO! No to distractions! Which is hard because some of those distractions lead to the best learning situations!!! What's a girl to do!  Well we recognize which are the most important-- say no to the rest and plod our course!!

So back to weekly updates on the school front!  Back to a schedule!  Back to a plan!  And here is to LESS distraction in the new year!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A question of GRACE..

I have mentioned on this blog --more than once that while I am not in any way against discipline... That I often struggle with the scenario or when to actually discipline and when to give GRACE.  I want my children to understand... Really, truthfully understand that their salvation is by Gods Grace alone.. They can never BE good enough.  They can't earn it.  They can't do anything that will equate to the cost of Jesus's death and resurrection all they can ever do is accept it.  That act of doing-- acceptance is IT. In order to give them the human understanding of GRACE there are times, over the years, that I have let things go, or I allowed there to not be a consequence and therefore extended GRACE ... Thinking that would allow them a glimpse of what Gods GRACE is all about.  I believe that we are called to extend GRACE to others... To let go of small things, to forgive big things, to remember they are human, to accept that all people will fail us at some point... 

But in that mission to mimic or mirror Gods GRACE I put myself into a corner-- when to extend Grace and when not?

God always gives us grace-- HE IS GRACEFUL and merciful ALL THE TIME... However there are still often consequences for sin.. Payments to be made in the overall scheme of life.. Not in order to reach our salvation but simply in the rule of law-- both Gods and natures-- there are consequences to sin- to actions. 

So I can look at Gods word and read "Children obey your parents..."

And KNOW that this is what they should do!  And when they don't-- Gods very words speak to me on what should happen-- discipline.  But where does GRACE fall.. How do I know that I am choosing the right thing to extend grace for-- maybe THIS is the thing I should discipline for because it is the tip of a much larger issue.  Maybe it is when direct disobedience is apart of the issue... Maybe I wish that there was a list.. A master list!  A long, long list of every infraction a child could think of.. With consequences listed! Wouldn't that be a gift!! 

But it would just be a list of consequences-- not very helpful to the individual-- because the list couldn't account for circumstances or see a child's heart. A list couldn't know the back story or the silly reasons a child might disobey.  A list wouldn't see a pattern of disobedience or keep track of a child's spiritual growth.  A list would never SEE grief in a child's eyes and know they understand the gravity of the situation... Or hold them when they are already under the weight of a natural consequence.  No a list would not serve us any more than it served the Jews way back when... A do and don't. Pages and pages of consequences.

We must simply TRAIN up our children and search for GODS truth and pray.  Surely we will miss opportunities to extend GRACE and instead just dole out a punishment... And surely we will miss opportunities to "learn the lesson" with a consequence and instead let things pass.

But the truth of the matter is IN this we as parents are extended grace too... When we fail .. There is grace.  And sometimes when we fail and miss the boat in training our children it is THE CHILDREN who receive the natural consequences.  And we pay by suffering along beside them... But we still know and understand Gods perfect grace... And hopefully our children do to.. Not just the words... But truly grasp the concept of GRACE. 

Let us not be legalistic in our discipline-- and let us remember that training is what is done minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and week by week-- it is the training that we must implement... And participate in.  Not simply the laying down of law. Not simply the handing out of sentencing but teaching them Gods word that they might find a compass to live by.. 

Maybe this is all moot... How could those faces DO anything wrong!  Sigh... 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'twas the night before Thanksgiving...

I am the MOST prepared I have been for a holiday event in a while and I still don't feel prepared.. But the things I feel unprepared about are about money-- if I had spent "x" more pennies I could have done "x".  But I didn't!  I truthfully I am glad I didn't!

It is going to be a great Thanksgiving!

All my desserts are done!

Casseroles are prepared ready to bake except for macaroni and cheese-- it's just a make fresh kind of casserole.  And I have to do potatoes in the morning.

I am setting the table as much as I can but we need it for breakfast!

We will celebrate with both family and's the first holiday without that will be different.

I want this to be special, peaceful, memorable, well done, organized and fun!  I know it's a lot to ask!

I try to think of needs that might be anticipated... But sometimes that is impossible!  On the other hand I always worry about not having enough serving spoons...or running out of food... Or last minute catastrophe of some sort!

But you know what...

I am thankful.  Not just because of the day.  But truly thankful...

For friends
For family
For food that is plentiful.
For creativity.
For a large home to serve others in.
For understanding.
For trust between friends.
For health.
For enough for our needs... Always.

Hope you have a Thankful Thanksgiving... With all the trimmings!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And so it begins...

 I just feel the need to point out the fact that I have some WHITE hair!!!  Not blond, but white!


I am not a real big "care about my age" kindof person... I have been told that is because I am still young, but really 36 isn't so young!!! I remember thinking people who were 30 Something were OLD!

I wonder what I will look and BE like 20 years from now.  No kids at home... Grand kids half grown... Kaitlin will be ALMOST my age now! Will she be finding her first white hair and wondering how time crept up on her? 

I have begun to pray earnestly for the men and woman who will find each of my children's heart... The person they will venture forth on their own adventure with... And as much as I want that joy for them...I find myself a little sad. 

But I suppose there are still years before I need worry! But the years are getting shorter and shorter and I am getting older faster.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Learning and growing

This past month I have had to grow up a bit.  I feel like for the most part out family has been wrapped in a sweet little cocoon... Nothing too bad has touched us.  

We have had deaths of grandparents -- but none recent enough for the kids to really understands

We have felt loss of friends, the knowledge that life is but a fleeting moment... Has been made real to us and even though it hurt us and is painful it didn't quite break though the cocoon.

We have lost family through divorce-- again painful it it's way but still didn't truly affect our cocoon. 

Matt's accident as hard as it has been physically, mentally and even financially truly is slight in the scale of catastrophe.  

But still I am having to grow up as our cocoon is getting tested and weighed... We are finding out its strength.  

We have faced "drama" and life changes for our family. And part of the test is the truth that this is a lifetime... No easy fix.  

And financially we are being stretched and needing to make decisions on how we proceed.... I mean it can be as simple as cutting back, being careful and making changes or it could mean more substantial change--- serious cutting back, being very careful and making huge changes!

In the big scheme... Our "truth" is small compared to my friends son who has leukemia or the death of a friend - mom to many... And the financial changes won't put us out of house or home... It is more an inconvenience for the present. A lesson to be learned.  

So I have perspective but truthfully any change is scary sometimes... Even the small changes.  

So praying and asking for prayers... Because nothing is too small for God and HE knows our future.  He sees everything laid out before us. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Keepers of the Faith 2013/2014

The girls are working on a casserole badge.. So we got together to work on the badge and make casseroles for our homeschool Thanksgiving feast-- win win!

We made a chicken/ bacon/ pasta casserole and a corn casserole.

Little Bit mixing.

Older girls putting the casseroles together.

Little Bit and Emily made the bacon make a smiley face on their casserole dish!  Who doesn't like smiling bacon!

 The girls chopping!

And yeah bacon!!!  Yummy

Last week the girls worked on their Preparedness Badge by learning about s
Stranger Danger! Our homeschool friend is a police officer and works with the DARE program.  He came and did the whole program with the kids.  It was great! 

A few weeks before that the girls had worked on their Preparedness Badge by visiting the local fire department!  We all learned a lot! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No more crises

 I had a friend tell me our family needed to stop having crises!  I agree!  It has been a rough couple of months and an even rougher month and a half!  But admist the chaos there have been good moments and I just gotta focus on that!

Dave's sister Deanna moved... Which while it is sad and we miss her I am counting it in the good moments because she is so happy!! 

We have had sweet sister moments... Kate reading Emily The Hobbit.

We started choir which BOTH girls love passionately!

We celebrated Kirsten's "welcome to America" party with family and friends!!

We got to all have dinner at Texas de Brazil--- yummy!!

Emily and I made time for a mommy/ daughter date!!

Matt and Kate got to see Thor 2!!!

We had park day with friends!!!

Kate got to try out her birthday present!

We had a great trip to the fire station!!

And of course there is Riley!!!

And while school hasn't exact gone as planned--- ahem, does it ever???-- it has happened and the kids are doing great!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

15 years old.

My eldest turned 15 years old.  

I had a lot of trouble when Emily turned 10 and I am feeling a little trouble with Kate turning 15!!!   It just seems so big!!

It doesn't help that I know what I was doing at 15.  I was dating an 18 year old and working 30 hours a week! 

But I have a good girl!  She is so smart, she is good at so many things!  She is wise and strong.  She believes!  She is strong in her conviction! 

I love that she knows what she likes!  She has a heart for God and for knowledge.  She loves to try things and thrives on experiences.  She has a servants heart. 

She accepts correction.  She works on her weaknesses.  She uses her strengths.  She knows what she wants. 

She is kindhearted.  She is obedient.  She dreams.  She has plans but desires Gods will.  She accepts boundaries but yet pushes herself. 

She is funny and quirky and not AT ALL afraid to be her own person.  She admires people with amazing character and surrounds herself with people who will lift her up and encourage her.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall bucket list...2013

In my mind I had so many fallish things I wanted--- planned to do.  None of them have materialized.  Our plans took a little detour when Matt broke his leg at Garner and I just am doing what needs to get done!  

We are starting to get out and do things... However it is a lot of effort.  

One thing on my list was making caramel apples.  So today I did!  I just made it happen.  I had school with the kids. Was keeping a friends kids, the plumber had just left but I did it anyway!  And it was great!  The kids really enjoyed it and they were yummy! 

We made mini ones-- thank you Pinterest! 

It was great and at the least that is ONE thing off my bucket list!!!

Hobbit Party 2013

We were invited to a hobbit party...  

My kids were so excited!  It was the topic of conversation for days!!

We of course needed to be in costume!
We shopped all the thrift stores around...

I think we spent a total of  10.00 for Kate's

 She was a Maiden of Rohan... 

Matt s was a little more but had more precise pieces we had to find...

So his total was 23.00.  I could have gotten the pants cheaper but was tired of looking.. We also changed from Ranger to Bilbo mid look-- so I had already spent  at least 5.00 on the ranger costume.  

Emily's was the easiest.. Just a one piece buy... And I spent 7.00. 

She wanted to be an Elvish princess of Rivendale.  The only thing missing were pointy ears-- which we found online too late!

There were so many good foods to try! All with a Middle Earth flair or theme... 

For instance chips and salsa were called Dragon Breath Salsa
There was rabbit and Po-Ta-Toes

All so good!!