Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A quick break from the craziness

luigikate                princessfrank 

Luigi reading in the living room. Cinderella taking her barbies for a swim in the sink. Banana bread hot from the oven. New additions to our family. All of my favorite people right here with me. Life is good.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”-Colossians 2:6-7

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gratitude Challenge-November 15

Today I am thankful for a life so busy and full that sometimes (ahem) I don't get a chance to blog. I remember a time, not too long ago, when I had a baby and a two year old. Forget blogging, back then I didn't have time to shower. At least I'm doing that regularly now...

Today I am thankful for crazy busy lives because it's really easy for me to get overwhelmed with enormity of the responsibility involved in the way we've chosen to raise our children. Homeschooling our children is not something we learned from our parents. Raising our children up in the Lord isn't something we learned from our parents. It's frustrating to have to constantly go against what has been ingrained in us. Sometimes I wish we could draw from our upbringings instead of starting at square one in everything we do.

And then there's the normal stuff that I think just comes with being a homeschooling mom. I feel like I'm always behind, like I never have time for anything. It's easy for me to feel frustrated because my house is a mess again, no matter how hard we work to keep it picked up. It's easy to be frustrated by all the things I feel I should be doing in our homeschool- there's always something I wish I were doing with them, or doing better. Or different. And I don't know how many times I wish I were more organized, more motivated, more...more.

But then I remember that someday my house will be clean all the time. Someday the hours of lesson planning will be done, and I'll have more free time than I know what to do with. Someday my house will be quiet; there will be no bickering children, no sounds of little girls playing dolls in the next room, no more teenagers music driving me crazy. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.

So today I am thankful for all of the craziness. I'm thankful that my family is young and home with me where they belong, making a mess of things. I am thankful that our lives are so crazy busy, so full, so blessed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gratitude Challenge-November 11

Today I am thankful for all of the veterans and servicemen who protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
That is all :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gratitude Challenge-November 9

Today I am thankful for Bible study. There is nothing like being with a group of Christian women, studying God's word and strengthening my walk with Him. Right now we're doing Beth Moore's Believing God  study. I love Beth Moore, and I love the way God uses these studies to show me things I hadn't considered before. Since we are called to know His word, to study it and immerse ourselves in it-to live our lives accordingly, I am so thankful I have bible study time to help me dig deeper and learn so much more than I ever could on my own!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gratitude Challenge- November 8

Today I am thankful for my sister-in-law Bethany. My husband was away this weekend at a retreat with a bunch of guys from church, and she moved in and camped out with us while he was gone. That is just one very small example of her selflessness.

She loves my girls almost as much as we do; she always makes time to spend with them, and loves spoiling them with surprises. Most importantly, she knows and respects the way we want to raise them. I can trust her absolutely with all three of my girls. There are very few people in the world I can say that about.

She loves me almost as much as she loves my girls, and she spoils me more. She is loving and generous, and since she doesn't have a husband and kids of her own (yet!) we are the ones blessed by her enormous heart. What I love about her most is that I can talk to her. Really talk. I can yell and vent and cry and just completely melt down and she'll listen without judging me. She has seen me at my worst, and she loves me anyway.

She's intelligent, beautiful, creative, gifted, stubborn, many wonderful things. I thank God today for blessing us with her presence.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 5-TOS Review Crew

Today I am thankful to be a member of the TOS Review Crew. This is my first year, and it has been such a tremendous blessing-so much more than I ever could have imagined when I signed up. Not only am I blessed with great products to review, but there's an entire community full of amazing people that I get to belong to. Support, encouragement, advice...we get it all. What a wonderful group to be a part of!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 4-Homeschooling

Today I am thankful that I live in a country where I am free to school my children at home, my way.

We haven't always homeschooled. Our oldest daughter was in public school until sixth grade. From her first day of kindergarten she struggled. With the teachers. With learning. In second grade (seven years old) I got a call saying they thought she had ADHD. We did the meetings. And the rounds of tests. They gave her an IEP, and while saying they couldn't suggest medication, they suggested medication.

The next few years passed. She continued to struggle. She didn't like school, her grades were mediocre. I watched her change from a bright, happy girl to a sullen, withdrawn one. Her friends changed. She started having behavior problems.

Meanwhile, I'd started having conversations with my neighbor who homeschools. My husband and I talked and talked and talked about it. Could we do it? Is it what the Lord was calling us to do? I went back and forth, convinced I wasn't capable. We'd since had another daughter, and I didn't want to see the same things happen with her. Even if Sam had been a model student who loved school, there were many other things that bothered me about her experiences in public school.

After much conversation, research, and prayer we finally decided to take the plunge and just do it. Our first year was hard. Acclimating to being home was a challenge for her. She missed her friends. I wasn't her teacher, I was her mom. She hated everything and fought me constantly. I wasn't sure how on earth we were going to get through it.

But here we are three years later, and I've got my girl back. Some days are still a struggle, because she is a teenager after all, but what an amazing transformation! Not only does she do well, she enjoys what she's learning. What a difference it has made putting her in an environment conducive to learning and having the freedom to tailor her education to her specific learning style. AND she is an excellent student with outstanding grades without having to use medication to control her "ADHD". Imagine that.

Since making the decision to homeschool came before our younger two daughters were old enough for school, their educations have been at home from the beginning. Katie, our six year old, has scored years and years above her grade level for the past two years. Francesca, our four year old, is writing and reading and is also advanced beyond her years. But more important than the obvious benefits of homeschooling is that we're able to instill a love for learning in them. We're giving them a foundation full of love, family values, and morals that is just so different than what they would learn if they were out exposed to worldly lessons every day. My family, and future generations to come, will be stronger and closer because we answered our call to homeschool!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 3-Healthy Children

Today I am thankful for healthy children. After having sick kids for the past three weeks it is such a relief to not worry about breathing treatments, steroids, antibiotics, and high fevers anymore.

Having a child with a weak immune system who catches absolutely every germ she comes across from September through May is stressful. Especially since she doesn't just get a little sick, she gets sick. It's during those long winter months that my faith is tested. I live in a constant state of worry; there is nothing worse than having a child that feels terrible, nothing more terrifying than sitting in a steamy bathroom late at night with your six year old trying to open up her airways because she can't breathe. I tend to forget that God is in control-I am a worrier by nature and when it comes to my children-well, there's nothing like the worry a mother can work up when helpless to make her baby better.

Sitting here comfortably in the calm of three healthy girls, I wonder if He is trying to teach me something through these trials. Maybe I need to remember that God is in control; not just when it's easy for me to relinquish everything to Him, but most importantly when I'm terrified and desperate to do something to fix things. Hmmm. Isn't it interesting the way He shows us one thing when we're looking at another?

So today I have three girls who are feeling better. They're healthy, happy, and back to normal. Today, I am thankful for healthy children. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 2-My Love

After God, the next thing I'm thankful for is my husband. He is a loyal, hard-working, passionate man. He loves God and he loves his family. He goes to work every day, and works hard, to support our family so that I can be home with our girls. He is committed to homeschooling our children, and to raising them up to know and love the Lord. Through highs and lows, good times and bad, he is the one God chose for me to be with. He's my battle buddy, and my sparring partner. He's my companion and my best friend. From the sleepless nights of newborn land to the day we let them fly, he is my partner. When the whole world is going crazy and falling down around us...we're in this together.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gratitude Challenge Day 1-Because He Loves Me

Brenda, one of our fearless leaders over at the Homeschool Crew, has started a 30 day Gratitude Challenge. It's pretty simple. Each day for the month of November I will post something I'm thankful for.

Today I'm going to start at the top. I am most thankful for God. I'm thankful that He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The many, many other things I'm grateful for just pale in comparison.

To join in, or to see what others had to say today, visit Brenda over at Garden of Learning

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