Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I have been out of the blogging loop for several days. The flu bug hit again and took a few of us out. But God in His wonderful mercy and love has given us good health so we can go on our vacation tomorrow! Yea Hoo!!

We have been planning this vacation for a year. With my husband's work schedule we always do this. Every other year we go to the beach. There is a Christian Confrence Centerthat lets pastoral staff come stay a week every other year for FREE. Such a blessing!

And on the off years we head off somewhere else. Hubby's parents have a timeshare thing and give us points to use wherever we like. This year we are off to the mountains! I have been counting down days for the past two months. School is out, bags are packed and we are all ready for some family fun.

I hope to return rejuvenated and refreshed. Have a great week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tis the season for school examination. Fa la la la la...

From the end of May til mid July I spend a lot of time evaluating our schooling. What worked well, what worked OK and what didn't work as great as I thought it would. I evaluate each child and the progress they made. Learning styles and so on. I love it. I hate it.

I love looking back and seeing the progress, the lights that were turned on and milestones reached. I love pouring over catalogs and websites to evaluate books and curriculum choices. I love the dreaming process. The hope of finding the magical but ever elusive book that will excite my kids in the subjects they just don't care for. I love the planning and organizing. I love that we have so many options and choices available to us.

I hate that there are so many options and choices available to us. Classical, Charlotte Mason, ABeka, Bob Jones, Saxon, Singapore, kits, workbooks, hands-on, DVD, text book, games, puzzles, manipulatives. As I plan for the next school year I always feel as though my decisions will make or break the homeschool experience. If I choose the wrong one, devastation in that subject. The kids will fall behind and never catch up. Or worse yet, they will loose all interest in learning that subject and forever be tainted. I know, far too dramatic.

We have the option like many to take classes outside the home. In fact we have so many options we could skip the three R's and just take outside classes and never actually be home to school. Art, band, science, drama, Spanish, piano, Latin, and etc. I want the American Dream. For them to 'have it all'. Excellence in education. Fun social opportunities with peers of superb character. Wonderful enrichment opportunities and plenty of team sports to boot.

The reality is to achieve the dream we can not do every good thing. We must decide was is God's best for our family. No small task when it is all good. Not all God's best, but all good stuff. I feel especially burdened this year with the children all getting older and a baby in the house. This is a big responsibility that I don't want to mess up. I don't want to look back and think 'Why did we waste so much time with that?'

Good thing I have a couple months to work on this stuff, pray and sort it out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I don't know how productive this posting my menu plans is since I think last week I only fixed one of the meals I posted. Last week was crazier than usual with lots of unexpected thing coming up. Hopefully this week will be more predictable.

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken from Costco, green salad and bread
Tuesday: Mexican Stack (Rice, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onion, cheese, taco meat and tortilla chips with salsa, guac, and sour cream.
Wednesday: Church dinner - Again, I have no idea what they will make, but as long as I don't have to cook it or clean it up it always is a good thing.
Thursday and Friday: Ron and Eli are gone on a fishing trip to the ocean (sounds like fish on the menu next week) so the girls and I will do something fun. Maybe more Mexican!

Have a great week!

Spring Reading update

I thought I would give an update on the Spring Reading Challenge. My goal was to finish several books that I had started and had going at the same time. I started out well and have finished all but one of my original entries. But in the past two weeks I have started THREE new books. Why do I do that? I am not sure other than I am so anxious to get to each one so I dive in to all of them.

I finished One Home at a Time a couple weeks ago. Loved it. Had lots of confirmation and encouragement to be intentional in parenting and marriage. I think it should be required reading for any couple planning marriage or maybe starting their family. Maybe I should let my hubby know since he does the premarital counseling at our church.

I have started reading The Heavenly Man, Designing a Lifestyle that Pleases God, and Lies Women Believe. I am using Lies Women Believe in my personal study time.

Can I just say I love Nancy Leigh DeMoss? I think she is such an amazing no nonsense teacher. Her book Surrender was life impacting to me a few years ago. Short but very powerful book. Nancy holds no punches, she tells it just like it is. I don't know about you, but my think skull needs that kind of teaching.

So...hopefully I won't start anymore books before I get through these. We are leaving on vacation and I am tempted to read a fiction book while we are away. It is the only time I feel I can justify fiction. ;o)

Friday, May 18, 2007


I've been thinking a lot lately about the value we place on children. While working through the adoption process of our daughter that we brought home at Christmas time I read much on the one child policy in China as well as the culture both in books and on the Internet. It amazed me how little they value the lives of these girls. But how different are we here in the States?

Not too long ago I heard this message by Dr. Voddie Baucham. It has been heart changing both for our ministry as well pointing out flawed thoughts I have had. Please go listen to the message. I did not even realized I had some these opinions until I heard this message. But in the months since I heard this message and returning from China I wonder how different are we really from China? No, we do not abandon our children like they do, but there are so many other ways that we show a lack of valuing children. We do not treat them as the gift the Bible tells us they are. I know that I am included in making negative comments about large families (and we ourselves are one). Comments like 'I can't believe they are having ANOTHER baby'. We should rejoice when God chooses to bless a family with a child, no matter how many others they have. God is control of knitting every child together in his mother's womb, or do I believe that I have some control?

This subject really hit home with me in the past couple days. I saw such stark contrasts in two situations. A good friend of mine who I would consider a very godly woman told me that she babysat for a 6 week old baby. She did not say much about the child, just shook her head and laughed and said 'I am so glad it is not mine.' This woman has two kids 9 and 12. The other situation I saw at Lifesong. The video of. Baby Eliot was amazing. What a difference in attitude and perspective. You may say 'but that was their first child', or 'yeah, but that child died'. But do we value children, our children and the children we are in contact with like the blessings and treasures that they are? How this family celebrated each day of Eliot's life blessed me as I watched.

This attitude has been evident with our youngest daughter. She has been much more challenging than I thought she would be. Don't get me wrong, she is wonderful and I love her more than words can tell you. But she is still a baby and I forgot how much work babies are ;o) Friends have made comments like 'Well, you asked for it' and 'I am so glad it is you and not me'. I know in their hearts they don't mean it like I should have left her in China, but that is how it comes across. The attitude is 'life is easier without children, or at least not a lot of children'. I think this breaks the heart of God. Shouldn't we as believers live and act like we believe the Truth that children are a blessing and heritage from the Lord? Maybe we don't abandon them to orphanages, but we abort them because of convenience or circumstance not because of government enforcement. We send them to daycare so we can make more money. We put them in front of the television or computer so we don't have to deal with them.

In Dr. Bauchaum's message he makes the statement that the motto in the church is 'A boy for me, a girl for you, and thank the Lord we are finally through.' have also seen this attitude in Christians who question homeschooling saying 'I would rather shave my eyebrows off than school my kids.' or comment on how long the summer is going to be. Counting down the days til school starts again. This is not valuing children. This is dealing with them. I will be the first to say raising children is hard, hard work. But let's act like these children are the gifts they are, especially those of us in the faith.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'll give this a whirl

School at our house is winding down for summer. We should finish our remaining subjects this week allowing for more time for other things. I thought I would give this a whirl since I enjoy seeing what others are making for dinner. I plan my menus for the whole month at one time to save time. Here are my menu plans for this week.

Monday: Grilled Salmon
Green salad

Tuesday: Oriental Chicken Salad

Wednesday: Church dinner (I have no idea what they are serving this week)

Thursday: Grilled Hamburgers

Friday and Saturday: Student Confrence for hubby and oldest daughter so I am not sure what the rest of us will do. Either leftovers or order in a pizza!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The 'WHY' of homeschooling

Kim at Mercy Days has a great post on 'Why Homeschool'. I felt like she was reading my thoughts. She has articulated it very well.

This seemed like it was a big issue in the beginning when we first started to homeschool. So many people had an opinion on what we were doing and felt the need to let us know. It quieted down for several years but with our oldest going into 8th grade and high school on the horizon opinions have started coming out again. This time more direct and at times a little ugly.

I would NEVER say that everyone should homeschool. Nor would I say that all Christians should homeschool. I have some wonderful Christian friends that are teaching in the public schools and impacting their students, being salt and light. I just know my kids and at this point they are just not ready to be salt and light. I think they would start out strong, but with the daily erosion of the world, I think they would loose their saltiness and be desensitized. So it is MY/OUR job to prepare them so when they do go into the world whether it be school, college, or the work force they will stand strong and not dim their lights. This is also a good reminder to me to give them plenty of opportunity to be in the world now, and have 'controlled exposure'. That they see me be salty interacting with our neighbors and others we come in contact with.

Until God releases me from homeschooling our children, here is where we will be. 'Release' may sound like a negative word, but I have not intended it that way. God would have to make it very clear to us that we needed to do something different.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Seven random things about me...

The surprise for the day is that I have been tagged for a meme by Kim! Since several of the blogs that Kim tagged I would have and I am still rather new at this blogging thing I am not going to tag anyone else. Maybe next meme...

20 years ago I would have never have thought this would be me...but it is.

#1. I think my feet are my favorite part of my body. I love a pedicure done with a french manicure (or do you call it a french pedicure then?) That way you don't have to worry about if your clothes clash with your outfit.

#2. I would have never thought I would become a homeschooling mom. I love what I do and I can not imagine sending my children to school all day and missing out on so much of who they are becoming. It has also showed me how quickly they grow and how little time we have to influence these precious gifts.

#3. I would have never thought I would be a pastor's wife. I am sure that those I went to high school would say the same thing! When I got married I thought I was marrying an engineer. I would have never in my wildest dreams thought that God would call my husband into the ministry. Not that he was not pastor material, just that was not the path I planned.

#4. I would have never thought I would be the mother of 5 KIDS! Even as I type that it still sounds crazy. I always thought I would have two kids (boy and girl of course), and be a full time working mom like my mother. Our youngest has been the biggest surprise. We adopted Ella in December after a 2 year long process. Adoption was never part of the plan. She has been such a joy and such a faith builder. I have heard it said and I now believe it so that adoption is the gospel made visible.

#5. I would have never thought I would like schedules, routines, and predictability so much. My single years I loved spontaneity and adventure. Now I love knowing what is coming around the corner.

#6. I love to read anything in print. Cereal boxes, magazines and especially books. I love a good book that encourages me to be better. A better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and person. I don't care much for fiction because I find myself drawn in and consumed by the characters. Then when the story is done I think 'Wow, look at all the time I wasted consumed by fictional people'.

#7. I love the opportunity to be alone with my man. With 5 kids and his demanding work schedule I cherish the moments for just the two of us. Just this week we went out for a couple hours for coffee and dessert at Starbucks. Fabulous!

Well, that's more than I am sure you needed to know about this simple girl.