Friday, November 6, 2009

Afraid of snakes? Ring snakes are fun and harmless!

We frequently have these tiny little dark colored snakes around. Their heads are no bigger than your pinky finger nail. Typically they are about 4-7 inches full grown in length. They have red or yellow bellies with a colored ring around their neck. They are non venomous and enjoy weaving in and out of your fingers. This particular evening, we were coming up from the playgroup and i found him in our garage. We had our 5 children and were watching my friends four kids while we were on a date. We texted this next picture to them on the date.

Of course we had the lap top sitting right there and i was reading to them all about the habits of the ring snake, its features, what it would eat, and how big it gets when its full grown. My husband says to me," Do you ever stop schooling?" The truth is its a 24/7 thing that's why we don't have to fit it all in during 8 to 2 becuase we take every opportunity in a fun way to learn!!! Happy learning!

Boxey the Turtle

On a torentially raining school day, the kids couldn't focus and where dying to go out in the rain. Out TJ went to examine the damage the rain was having on the creek from the fast flowing water. Along the sidelines of the creek, he found a turtle floating and picked it up. Box turtles are not good swimmers and are not meant to be floating down the creek. TJ rescued the turtle and brought it up to the house. He was feeling like quite the hero since Daddy really laid on the accolades for it! We used this as an opportunity to learn all about box turtles. We researched it on the internet. Then we took pictures of it and compared its marking to what we found on the computer. We identified its natural habitat, what it eats, and more. Also we found out what it would need if we decided to keep it as a pet inside. I found some research sheets on the computer and printed them out for the kids to fill out and keep in their notebooks. We followed all the instructions on care for a box turtle but boxey only lived for two days. He was bubbling at the mouth the whole time. We made the assumption that he probably had gotten water logged and drowned in his own shell. All three kids documented the experience.

Homeschooling Beach Style!

My friend, Keri and her 4 children, plus myself and 4 of my children stayed at my parents condo for 5 days together. We both homeschool so it made it nice to trade off who taught sometimes. We really hoped to "dive in" to studying the tide, life along the shore, and tidepool creatures.

We spent alot of time beach combing and collecting. Our last night, we cleaned all the specimens and collected and use the book Tideland Treasures which written just about Hilton Head island. We had a blast. The kids drew what we laid out and examined each thing thoroughly. The labeled there drawings in their Nature Notebooks to keep.

Praying for Signs! The day the Fire Truck came down our street

The other day a BIG decision was posed to me to pray about. "Pray about it for 24 hours and then we'll talk," my husband said. Wow. I hate to wait 5 minutes to have to talk about something when something is on my mind!!! 24 hours , are you crazy? Well, nothing happens that fast and God can show you alot in 24 hours if you wait, watch, and listen.

On this particular afternoon, my kids, our company and I had just walked into the front yard to play when the fire truck came down in to our culdesac and stopped in front of our house. They jumped off and started messing with the hydrant. They repainted it a very shiny silver and tightened the bolts. They gave each one of my children a shiny red hat and invited them to climb into the truck. We took some great pictures with the firemen and some on the truck.

After the truck pulled away, one of our friends said to me. "Did you catch that? The Holy Fire of God. Did you see the number on the side of the truck? IT was a number 7. The number of completion. What is the likelihood that that truck would have come down your street while you were out here right after the conversation that we all just had?"Wow. Has God tried to speak to you through the simple things lately, and you missed them because they seemed too simple? Wow. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Forgiven- Do your family members know they are forgiven?

We are in Hilton Head for a few days. Its always a treat to come to this tropical paradise. Since we homeschool, its just a change of scenary for us. We continue to school in the morning and then play from lunch on, sometimes earlier. But here we go bike riding and to the beach. Yippee! this trip my parents joined the kids and I at the Simons (my parents) condo that they rent out in South Beach, Sea Pines.
My mother had been asking to take a walk with me alone with out any of the kids. I knew she must have something on her mind to talk to me about. Well once we got out there, it all spilled out. She was worried that was something between us. Even more so she wanted to know if i had any unforgiven towards her still. She cried and shared my heart with her. What a joy to be able to say, " I have forgiven you a long time ago. I have no hard feeling and have nothing been you and I." We shared for another 45 minutes about things in our relationship in the past but I reiiterated that none of that mattered and that God has carried us through it all for the better. We can't keep looking back and how we should have done things different. Only how are we goign to move forward tomorrow.
I shared that from my experienced i have chosen to do things differently in my life and with my children but that is not a reflection of my past. I saw what I felt needed to be different and have made changes but not in an angry way. We all try to make decisions based on knowledge and experience.
We need to constantly build up one another verbally!! Complement each other. Thank each other. And ask forgiven when you recognize you have wronged another. When you step on someone's toes and they tell you, don't defend yourself, just say "I'm sorry will you forgive me?"

The children are watching, what are they seeing?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A new struggle- Calling out to the Lord

I have never struggled with weight in my life! I have always eaten what i wanted when I wanted to. I have been through healthy wave and junk waves but it never really mattered. I have been pregnant 6 times and every time except this time I have dropped back to a relatively small size. This time I lost weight (after the birth of our fifth child) and gained almost all of it back in a matter of months. I am still nursing but I can't fit most of my clothes that I could even fit last spring! I have been wearing my trendy maternity clothes again. Anyway, its time to start caring and working at this. This is a struggle I am unfamiliar with. Have you had a struggle you knew you couldn't handle on your own easily? I actually have enjoyed the eating! I am on day three of exercise and day two of healthy eating. But its different than in the past. I can't give up this time when it gets too hard. I feel yucky and depressed and not me. This is not me and I will not allow myself to stay where I have gotten myself too. I even bought two larger sized shirts on our date this past Wednesday. I would have bought a skirt too if I found one I liked in my size. But I didn't. I have larger shorts pinned tighter to stay on. I am staying home and exercising. I know if you saw me you would think this is rediculous but everyone knows who they need to be and I feel like I have allowed myself to get to a slovenly state (no exercise and careless eating consuming beverages of high caloric count with no benefit). I feel like the glutton that is spoken of in the Bible.
I went to the Lord this morning and He lead me straight to 2 Kings 5. I read the whole thing. Naaman had leoprosy. He wanted to Lord to heal him. He went to the prophet of God, Elisha, and thought he would preform a miracle for him. Elisha led him to be healed but not the way Naaman expected. At first Naaman refused to do what Elisha asked because it didn't seem as Naaman envised (been there??). When he got over his angry, he decided to follow what Elisha the prophet told him to do, and he was healed. Naaman was so greatful that he wanted to give him something. Elisha wanted nothing from him. Just give God his heart and all the glory.
In my situation, I have Leprosy. I have a spare tire I have never had to deal with. It is my personal leoprosy, no one elses. But God is dealing with me in it. Can you relate? I am no longer the cute tiny one that could wear everything and anything looked good on (that's what others used to say to me). I am a 37 year old mom of 5 that is 12-15 overweight on a small frame and its uncomfortable.
Yes God loves me and sees me as Beautiful but for the first time I am having to receive that in a way I have never had before! Can you relate?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Listening to....

What are you listening to...?
Yesterday I started my day listening to myself. Was that intentional
? I don't know. But I do know that God woke me at 3 AM and I prayed for minute, sat up and contemplated getting up and then laid back down to sleep. The day seem to go rather well for the most part until later in the day. Now looking back, we didn't really have breakfast until 11:30 (so I served bacon, scrambled eggs and cheese, and pancakes for lunch) and then we didn't have dinner until 5:30. But it was a healthy heavy lunch right over a Bible study. We had a great school morning and a great cleaning afternoon. Its just that all Hell broke lose around 6 and it got way out of hand. Now were we in sync with God. Noo! Looking back there was underlying back biting bewtween the kids all day. They were probably starving! For the most part they were helpful, attention and obedient yet TJ couldn't remember what he learned when daddy asked him about the day and Hannah skipped dinner becuase she didn't like what we were having. And becuase I was so busy cleaning and eating on the run I didn't notice until she was losing it! So....was I listening to His small voice prompting me? Did I get up and have timewith Him alone before the rest of the family got up? Did I plan and make breakfast for the family before they got up and then made sure everyone had a good breakfast before they started their day (and I expecting them to act right)? Not yesterday .
This morning He woke me again at 3AM. Did I listen and rise? By golly, yes. I rose. I made the coffee. I started the laundry and cleaned up the hall way. I have started putting away the laundry and organized the boys closet. I sent 10 emails to friends I have neglected to contact for awhile. I made a fresh batch of banana bread muffins with a peanut butter swirl and oreo crumbs on top sitting in the pan waiting to go in the oven. I am about to go read the message for today and start my day with HIM. After yesterdays craziness, I would be crazy not to. Does the Word tell us to do this but we think we can make it on our own accord. Ask Him to order your steps today. I am.
Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jon and Kate Gosselin - Jon and Kate Plus 8

I just watched the last 3 episodes with my daughter. It has been months since I had the time to watch a whole show but who can miss the tabloids in every aisle and one the top of the headlines on the news online each night.
I have been praying for them daily and after watching the last three episodes i will even more. I has been tough here too on multiple occasions. I was ready to go to stay at the Hilton Head family condo for awhile this past September the air was so thick around here. No one knew exactly what was going on the outside but it was our business! No affairs, just kid stuff/schooling/economics/Tim's business/exhaustion & little love flowing between us and lots of harsh words. Yes we stayed committed. Yes we still had our faith and loved the Lord. Did we talk much? No. Just shouted, hollared and cried alot!! I often said to God why am I here and with him? I know you have a greater plan but this really stinks and I want out!!! I never would leave because i am committed to my husband and family but did the awful thoughts go through my mind?Yes. I repent, but I am normal and so is Kate.
Pray for them to get through this and come back around. We did! Even if that means Jon has to sleep in another room (or garage) for a little while until they have some time together to rekindle the flame that began with.
Stop judging them too. By gosh, life with little kids is blessed but really really hard sometimes and claustraphobic. I know some say " she says it all for the children but what about her husband". This is a season and guess what when your in survival-mode (exhausted, stressed, working, and not agreeing with your spouse) that is all you can say. Notice I, like Kate, haven't bad mouthed my husband but I will say we working for inlaws for years,starting a business). And having 5 kids, 8 in her case, calling your name, can make you want to go hide or just go to the spa alone for a few days sometimes. When your little one is screaming and not telling you what is wrong, the next one wants.... and the others are fighting all you can do is close you eyes sometimes and call out to God or run! I have been know to go in a dark closet and scream sometimes or get a neighbor to come over so I can have a time out (go for a short walk so I can come down and not lose it with the kids or my husband that can be like having an additional child at times, I do love him don't get me wrong). Praise God for the good times, reconciliation, and commitment. Just pray for them and encourage others to leave them alone!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Best Thing Worst Thing

R: It was awesome. We had to clean up and that was my worst thing of the day. My best thing of the day is that we made a Webkin ride. You know a roller coaster ride.
Me: How do you make that?
R: Me and S made a Webkin roller coaster ride.

Creating Leaders- Teaching Kids to Think Beyond Today

Back in January we started a dream series. We started with Martin Luther King, Jr. We talked about qualities of real dreamers that became leaders that were forever remembered. They had a dream that would make life better for themselves but most importantly others. They had their priorities in order. God first, others second, themselves last.

Real dreamers have similar qualities:
1) tenacity and dont give up when hard times come.
2) They devise a plan and revise periodically.
3) They write down their dreams and plans and share it with others so it can be carried out.

If you get others excited about your dream, even if you are alive to see it fulfilled the dream still has a chance of happening.
We talked about Moses dream and how it was completed by Joshua.
We talked about Martin Luther King, Ir dream now being fullfilled through Obama.
Then we create dream webs.

Teach kids to think beyond today!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kate Gosselin Live Last Night at RUMC

Last night several friends and I had the opportunity to see Kate Gosselin speak at Roswell United Methoidist Church live. She shard the story of her and Jon from the beginning of their journey together at 20 until now. Every other word out of her mouth was God, faith, or blessing! Her testimony was beautiful. She said "This is my favorite part. I get to share our faith and what else is really going on in our family without it being edited out." She shared how God has blessed them so much in this journey and none of it could be possible without Him.
There was definitely squirming in the room. I don't think some people expected what she had to share. She didn't address rumors or express any negativity but she was the same Kate as you seee in the show. The same Kate we have grown to love. Before going i happened upon this articel in Today's Christian Woman. I copied and pasted some of the article below.

"So you're instilling gratitude in your kids.
Right. And when we pray before dinner every night, it's not just "Thank you, Jesus, for our food. Amen." It's always Jon and me pouring out the issues of the day—whatever happened that day, whatever we need to trust God for. A lot of times that leads to meaningful family discussions.
Cara and Mady got Bibles recently. They each picked out their own. It's amazing to watch them discover verses for themselves. Mady will read something and say, "Oh, that's a good verse." I'll ask, "What does that mean?" She'll explain it, and I'll be so moved that she totally gets it. I feel like I'm rediscovering Scripture through them.
How difficult is it to have that personal spiritual time with your kids while you've got cameras around?
Truthfully, I wish they'd cover more of our faith. But it's their decision to edit the episodes as they see fit. They've followed us to church."
As quoted in the magazine and addressed last night how she handles time with God:
"As far as our personal time, I have a daily e-mail devo that I receive. I do that on my own. I feel poured out and spent so often that I need the encouragement and wisdom Scripture offers.

Knowing Tim and I and the strong personalities in our family, i appreciate her transparency in their relationship but strong commitment as well. She was asked by the magazine about her interactions we all see on the show. She shared a similar response Live to this one in the article.

"I'll bet those characteristics create some interesting dynamics in your marriage.
Yes! I know it looks like I'm ordering Jon around, but he literally asks me to. He's very happy to follow my lead in the day-to-day decisions of our household. He'd never want to be in charge, even if I said, "That's it. I'm done." And I have said that before.
So I'm a type-A personality who likes to lead. And we really need that in a family of our size. Sure, I control to the point where I wish I could lay off—and everybody else wishes I could too. But that's part of my personality; I feel like there's a plan and we need to follow it.

With these differing personalities and your crazy schedule, how do you and Jon stay connected?
When the babies were born, I was well aware that our marriage could crumble. It was close to doing so at times. But we survived that first year. And then the second one. And then each year after that. Even though the issues have changed, it's never gotten easier.
But Jon and I are more determined than ever that we're in this together. We've told our kids many times that we're always going to be a family. There are no other options. Sure, Jon and I take our stress out on each other, and no, that's not always good or healthy. But we work hard as a team every day.
With all that is going on in our live right now and that we homeschool with 5 kids 9 and under i feel like we are under scrutiny often. I love how she answered this question.
Crazy life??
"The life we're leading is so not what we envisioned back when we got married or even after we had the babies. Friends, family, neighbors—nobody understands our strange life. Jon's the only one who gets it. He's in my corner. And that's so wonderful."

So why did we choose a natural birth method void of pain relievers, or chose to school some of our children at home and others at a private school, or consider moving to wherever even if it doesn't make sense to others. God speaks we listen. Why are we here? We have been entrusted with much but what should we do with it. Whatever he tells us regardless of what others think. We ultimately have to stand before Him and answer.
Before you buy it to the rumors (about Kate and Jon, or my family and our crazy kids) pray for them and ask God what to do next. Our judgement does no one any good.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little minds GROW UP ALREADY

My mother was fond of saying that little things affect little minds. And we seem to have no shortage of either. I am not referring to children. I am refering to adults acting like children. Can you tell I am short on patience with some!

Quoted from another blogger who is hilarious!!!

Our world is too hung up on the little things. What did we used to do or talk about 100 years ago?

Kids Perserverance Disobedience and Patience

Wow i am sure you haven't ever had a day like this. We are on day 3 of 3 of my son's restrictions from getting in trouble on Friday. It is killing us as much as it is him!!! Who are we punishing now?
I started a yahoo group today called Eclectic Christianhomeschooler. I plan to just add my friends to the group only. It is gotten to the shear point of obsurdity with people. You try to be everyone's friend. You make the assumption they are like minded to you because you are homeschooling, or you both have children the similar age, or both share the same faith beliefs. NNNNNOOOOO! Its just not that way. The reality is very few poeple are like minded are it is hard to make true good friends. I have decided i try tooo hard and as my husband says to me on a daily regular basis RELAX. That word to me is as bad as saying to me SHUT UP. But i am sure that is not his intention.
I am tired of people asking me with a judgemental tone in their voice "So what kind of homeschooler are you? Charlotte Mason or Classic or ??? And why do you homeschool anyway? Don't your kids drive you crazy?"
At times i don't think anyone wants to be around their kids but still love them. Like tonight for instance. My husband was iritated the kids were crazy, one lied to us, one was crying over his babby, one was mad about something else. the baby was tired and was crying over getting her diaper changed, and the oldest was upset becuase she didn't want to finish her report that she left for the last possible date to finish.
So that's when you thank God that He makes His mercies new every morning and put everyone to bed to start over tommorow.
On that note.........................

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Charolette mason homeschooling or just Ecletic or do you need a name for it anyway?

First Blog entry so here is goes. I love homeschooling because we can go down "rabbit trails" that peak the interest of my kids. They can be good at most but experts at what they are truly interested in at the time. For years i have internally struggled with the need to have a name for "our style" of homeschooling when asked "so are you the classical approach type or Charolette Mason or unschoolers or blah blah blah??" "What curriculum do you use?" I always hesistate to answer the questions because we are not purist by any means. We are a Christian family with the desire ( to prayerfully) met the educational and social needs of our child in the way we best see fit. Sometimes that looks way intense and sometimes that looks sooo loose but ask my kids a few questions or listen to them read and there will be no doubt in your mind they are "on par" and a few of them "above grade level (according to the public school)" in many areas of "school life". Lifeskills (discipline, respect, you know that kind of stuff), :Love for God and others, and a love for reading, writing, 'rithmetic, and nature is of upmost importance to me.

We have an almost 4 acre piece of property and we have just begun to explore it. It has become a central focus for our studies. We have tied it into phonics, reading, science experiments and nature studies. Like I said, we have to let go sometimes and go down all the rabbit trails we can!!!

Two weeks ago