Friday, April 22, 2011

I was just hiding in the bathroom. That is the only place that I can (usually) get a few minutes of respite.

For some reason today has been a rough day. There is really not one reason, but a culmination of things that have been hovering in the back of my mind. I know that they are there, but they are not always pressing issues, just things that have to be dealt with from time to time.

They felt especially heavy today. I felt especially especially heavy, as if the weight of the world rested on my shoulders.

I am not good at carrying the weight of the world. I don't do it with much grace. Instead, small issues with my children feel huge. My words are short and snappy when my children need patient teaching. I am quick to be irritated instead of quick to love and see the best in people.

So I decided to hide for a minute and catch my breath and that's when it happened.

Thankfulness washed over me.

I took a minute and thought about what today is. I took a minute To think about the sacrifice my Father willingly made to watch His son be bruised and broken and murdered. I thought about Jesus and the love that He proved when He took the weight of the world, sin and death, upon His shoulders.

And I cried. Hard.

And just that quickly the weight I felt was replaced with that light yoke and easy burden that He promised when we let Him bear the load.

I still feel a little weepy because the thankfulness is so full and overwhelming, and well all of this just happened a few minutes ago... I feel like a new lighter woman than i was when I got up this morning. That is a very good thing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up - The Half Week

Do you know what a great way to get back into a full schedule is after Christmas without burning out? Plan a vacation for the 2nd week of January!!  Since some of our family wasn't able to come home at all during the Holiday's, we decided that we would plan a trip to see all of them when Jeremy was able to take vacation time.

We left last Wednesday and had a wonderful time!  I would love to show you pictures of the glorious time we had, but true to form I left my camera at home.  Seriously!  I couldn't believe it!  I remember packing it into the case and I thought from there I put it neatly into my purse.  I even looked for it while we were there because I was so convinced  I brought it.  Nope.  It remained on the microwave where I left it.  Ugh.

I digress.

We got home late this past Tuesday night so we took Wednesday off to conquer Mt. Washmore, and stretch our travel worn bones. So I didn't really plan much in the way of schoolwork...

Thursday- The girls practiced some Math Facts on coolmath.  I had never actually used this site and although it wasn't really my favorite, it served the purpose.  We are studying the digestive system in science so we worked on some of that, did some read alouds and called it a day.

Friday- We did read alouds, read some of our science chapter and did a few experiments for that.  (Have you ever put bread in a baggie and poured water over it, then smooshed it up?  Of course we were mimicking the stomach but the looks of it actually made Lauren and I a bit nauseous.)

We also finished our chapter in History and talked about Joshua, Rahab and the battle of Jericho. We acted out the 7 days of marching around the city.

Our city wasn't quite as fortified considering it was made of couch cushions...  but it got the idea across.

We also shouted to get the walls to crumble.  They loved that.  How often does your mom say. "Shout as loud as you can."  Not often.  It was loud and it was worth it, although the walls didn't crumble.

Isn't that story amazing though?  Obedience to God made way for a miracle.  I was overwhelmed again by the power of God's Word and the power of hearts that trust Him.  We talked about that quite a bit... and then we plundered the city.

Judah got to go first.

Then everyone joined in the plundering.  Most fun of the day by far.  Along with not telling my kids to yell their loudest all that often, we also don't jump on the couch cushions that often.  Notice the cracks in the back of the leather.  Now you know why.

Lauren had a few writing assignments to go along with this, but I think the jumping stuck the story in our memories.

It was a good day in a good week.  Now onto making lesson plans for the next few weeks, when we are REALLY back to our schedule.

This post is linked to Weekly Wrap Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.  To find out how other homeschoolers spent their weeks, click over there!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Tatum Grace!!

I feel like I've known you forever and yet it's hard to believe it's already been 5 years since I first held you!  By the time you arrived, my 3rd daughter, I was pretty sure I knew how to "do" little girls.  But you, Tatum Grace, surprised me and convinced me even more that our Papa God makes no cookie cutter little ones. 

At 5 years old you:
 - Live up to your name: Tatum- cheerful, bringer of joy.  We partake in your joy of life every day.  There are not too many moments that you're not laughing or trying to make someone else laugh.   From the time you were a baby and still today, many people tell me how much they enjoy you and your personality and how fun you are to be around.  Grace- well, Grace.  You exhibit grace as well as any 5 year old can.  You are very quick to love people.  God has used you in many ways to teach me about grace and how He has all that we need for every moment.  You are very determined in your views and I have really learned to rely on God's grace to give me wisdom on how to reach you and teach you and hold your heart.

- You are full of antics. Still.  When you were one we nick-named you "Tatum the Tornado" until it hit me I really didn't want to profess that over you and told everyone we weren't allowed to say that anymore.  My oh my though, the things you come up with baffle me!  Just in this past year you have cut your hair THREE times and cut your eyebrows almost completely off with manicure scissors. You take risks. (Here's a story to enjoy from when you were smaller)

- You love to "collect" things.  Every bag, basket and bucket that you can get your hands on you fill with stuff; books, toys, cards, anything.  We have spent many hours searching for things only to find it was in one of your collections.  Some people would call it hoarding, but I'm putting it in a positive light and teaching you about moderation (and cleaning up after yourself).

- You love to learn and are learning to read very quickly.

- You love Jesus and love to talk about Him.  You have understanding for things that blow my mind.  Your faith is simple, just like it should be.  You trust God because you really seem to know His love for you.

- You still suck your fingers.  Daddy said no more, I am backing him.  I would never tell you this now, but it's hard for me because, you know, I sucked my fingers happily until I was six. Although not every waking moment like you do, but still atleast to go to sleep.  Hopefully we can get this habit broken and rescue your teeth and minimize the amount of germs you put directly into your mouth. Obviously when I talked about this issue here and here... it was not resolved.

You are a joy to us Tatum!  You help make our hearts full and we anticipate the amazing things that God has in store for one like you!

Happy birthday sweet girl!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where did all this time come from?!

What a fantabulous day!  It was our first day back to school and it was great!  I said yesterday, that we are getting back to the basics, and the basics felt wonderful. 

I started with a pretty long to do list for the day and I am amazed to say that it's all crossed off.  Crossing off lists is one of my great satisfactions in life.  I used to think I was the only person that would actually add things to my list that I had already done just so I could cross them off.  But after talking to a few other list obsessed people, I know I'm not the only crazy one. :)

School and list crossing off isn't the only thing that happened today though:  Laughs happened, tickles happened, cuddles happened, happiness happened.  I will share with you my secret to getting all of this accomplished, it's a time tested secret that I'm sure will work for anyone:

Get those buns outta bed on time!!   That's right.  That's all it takes.  Now if I can just convince my snooze finger of the wonderfulness of this day so it won't be tempted to steer me down the wrong sleepy path, I'll be good to go.

Today was also the first day of the Bible in 90 days and I got off to a good start with the 16 chapters that were on the schedule for today.  I am excited to begin the year in such an awesome way, filling my mind and my time with the Word of God.  This will be an great challenge for my spirit and my flesh.

So if it was your first day back to normal life after the holidays, how was it?  And if you're participating in B90, did you get off to a good start?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Back to the Basics

If you know me very well, you know that I love the holidays and everything that comes with them.   I relish every moment, every party, every -ahem- unscheduled day.  By the time January 1st rolls around I am ready to get back to a basic way of life, and so are my children I must say.

We weren't able to go to church this morning because neither Jeremy or I were feeling well, so I have have taken this day to rest and get ready to jump back into routine tomorrow.  I'm just finishing up the next two weeks of lesson plans so I will be all ready in the morning! :)

A couple of things on my agenda for the week:
  • Back to 5am wake up and workouts.
  • Get the children used to school routine again.
  • Christmas decor taken down and put away. NEATLY.
  • Continue gathering stuff for Goodwill and the general declutter.
  • Implement the new chore responsibilities.  (This will take more than a week I'm sure.)
The title of my post really sums it up, we're just getting back to it this week. :)

Also, I'm really excited to be participating the The Bible in 90 Days Challenge hosted by Mom's Toolbox!  We start tomorrow and I am really looking forward to the challenge and the awesome way to start the new year. If you would like to participate, click the link to read what it's all about.  There are reading guides there to help you see where to read each day.

If you are interested in reading the New Testament in 90 days, that's what Lauren will be reading, as well as what I will be reading to the other girls.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Girls Being Little Girls

Chloe asked to help me with dinner the other night.   I let her chop the vegetables for the salad. (And I let her use the sharp knife, that's a privilege she's recently graduated to.)

She spent the whole time telling me things that she's been thinking about, her words so excited and coming so quickly that sometimes I had a hard time understanding the whole story.  But I didn't say "what?", because that frustrates her and sometimes she gives up telling the story.

Instead, I just listened very intently.  I could gather the gist of the story and have the correct responses that way.  Sometimes I'm not very good at that.  Sometimes I only halfway listen and miss something that is very important to my girl at that moment.

I'm working very hard to not just be here, but to always be present.

I turned around from the sink to respond to something she said, and I couldn't help but enjoy the combination of roller skates and chopping cucumbers with a sharp knife.  She's a big girl and a little girl.  She's growing and learning important things, but she's doing it with her roller skates on.

(****For those of you who may be concerned:  No little girls were harmed in the making of this blog post. I, being the smart Mommy that I am, would never let a little girl on roller skates carry around a sharp knife. ****)

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Week In Review- The S-L-O-W Week

It's barely 7:00am, and normally this should be a crazy time of day; everyone awaking and the morning things being done.  Normally I would not be on the computer already.  But there is something so peaceful this morning about the little bit of sunshine, the little bit of dark clouds on the other side of the sky, and the loud chorus of birds that have been in hiding the last few days keeping out of the rain. I just had to take some time to sit in the quiet.

Really though, who am I kidding?  This is the first morning this week that I've seen the day before 7:00.  It's been one of those weeks. Everyone has been staying up too late, which makes for very s-l-o-w moving mornings.  But really, if I was going to choose a week to be slow, this was the perfect one.  Since it's been so rainy there hasn't been any garden or yard work happening, and there was very few things on the schedule.  So yes, now that I think about it, I'm not going to feel bad about this being a slow week because we just need those sometimes.

This week.
  • mostly finished her Human Body Lapbook.  She has a few review activities and some vocabulary words to add to it, but it's just about ready to put together.  She really did enjoy this lapbook and it kept her interested.  We've done a few lapbooks before, but this is the first one that I purchased as a whole study set and I did like it.  I think the next time I will make sure to have some more supplemental things on hand though.
  • kept working on mastering her multiplication tables.  She is almost finished with her math book, but I stopped all new lessons while she just works on the mastery.  This year I used Rod and Staff Math, and while I think the repetition and drill was what she needed and helped her with the math facts this year, I am looking forward to switching to Math U See for the next year.  She sometimes gets confused in the how and why of math, and has a little bit of trouble visualizing how to solve a problem. 
  • kept working to complete her US Geography study.  She's a little over half way through and those States and Capitals are getting in her brain.
  • finished reading Anne of Greene Gables and is working on a book review.
  • continued with her final Bible Reader and workbook.  She has loved this Bible study and she has learned SO much of Bible history and geography this year.
  • continued practicing her letters and copywork. 
  • is getting better at reading.  She is very diligent at sounding out words she doesn't know, and she told me this week "Mommy, I can read now!"  I thought it was funny considering she's been reading for many months, but she doesn't consider it reading when she's sounding out words.
  • is working to recognize numbers up to 100 and be able to write them.  She is also learning the concept of subtraction and she's doing well with it.
  • surprises me with her abstract thinking skills.  Daily she amazes me when she can answer questions after our read alouds about cause and effect, "why do you think this happened", and other questions that take mature thought process.  Originally, I intended these questions for Lauren and Chloe, but Tatum likes to get the discussion going (a girl after her Mama's heart), so I definitely don't stop her.
  • she is also learning to recognize and write numbers to 100.
  • she is practicing all the letter sounds and putting some blends together too.
  • would be on the computer all day if I let her.  Especially PBS Kids, and Nick Jr Boost.  I don't let her.  Not all day anyway.
  • is along for the ride and does whatever we are doing.  Although he is quickly learning that if we get wrapped up in something, he can sometimes swiftly and quietly sneak away to get into things.  He always goes for the same things too; guinea pig cage, entertainment center, shoes in the hallway, art closet, and stairs if the gate is not up.  He'll be walking soon and the girls can't wait!  I can though.  He's the baby ya know.
It's been a pretty basic week.  I also taught the girls how to finger crochet and add beads to it, and we may have a jewelry store in our house soon.  They're working on their inventory right now, it's like, all over the house.

We will be schooling all year, but we will transition to the summer schedule soon and I'm looking forward to it.  More gardening, more swimming, more picnics, more nature, more fun.