Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homeschooling 2010

Here's our curriculum line-up for homeschooling this year:

Horizons Math

Horizons Penmanship

Heritage Studies 3 (Sweet Land of Liberty) Bob Jones with Worktext

Science 3 Bob Jones

Spelling (Using part of Spectrum's spelling and part of A Beka's Grade 4)

Bible: Choosing Humility, Choosing Kindness, Choosing Patience (All from Train Up a Child Publishing)

English - Bob Jones 4

Art- Learn to Draw books Published by Walter Foster

We've been on a relaxed schedule these past few weeks....but we are buckling down now. We're off to a great start! The thing I love about homeschooling is the flexibility. This year, Savannah will sit in a traditional classroom 2 days a week, during the time I teach in the preschool class. She will be with kids slightly younger so one day a week she will be self directed in her studies and one day a week she will be participating in the extra curricular type activities the teacher is scheduling for Fridays. She is super excited and I am anxious to see how she does. I think she'll thrive!

Whether you homeschool, private/christian school or public school your children, my prayer is that you are teaching them about the foundational principles taught in God's Word. It's our responsibility as parents...and it's a big one!

Happy schooling!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

This verse has been in my mind the last few days. Before you ask....no, nothing is really "wrong", just a lot of stuff going on....good stuff and other normal stuff. Regardless, all this stuff is playing with my mind a little, stressing my out and unfortunately, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and a little insecure. But in the midst of all that...this verse popped into my head. LOVE when that happens!

So I'm working on keeping mind on the God who I trust....with my life, my family, my eternity, my moments. I am going to trust the God whose love transcends every imaginable thought I have about Him....the one who has numbered and ordained my days, the one who has thought about me since before time began and the one who already knows about every worry or concern I have. I'm going to get my mind out of the gutter of worry, impatience, insecurity, stress and irritation and move to the peaceful state of Trust.

Care to join me?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Everyone Needs Compassion

According to the dictionary, compassion is a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. 

Over the last few years God's really been working on softening my heart. I've been a pretty cut and dry kinda girl most of my life, but when I get into God's Word I notice that Jesus handled so many situations very personally. He connected differenlty with the woman at the well, the leper, Nicodemus and even His own mother. No two interactions were the same! But, His goal was the same...to draw them closer to Himself. He was compassionate. 

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be part of a non-profit and my eyes and heart were opened to the many situations which people find themselves needing compassion. Whether it was a physical, spiritual or emotional need, some of these people where just looking for compassion. More recently I've spent a few moments with a young mother who just buried her 20 week premature baby...and I assure you, she needs compassion. An elderly widow who I've had the honor of getting to know this summer also reminds me that she needs compassion.

Because this attitude only comes from the Lord, I'm so blessed to know He's working on me. It's a little uncomfortable sometimes. I find myself making sure I have tissues in my purse in case I need them...or someone else does. But more than tissues...I find myself needing to be equipped with God's Word, so that in that moment, when God allows, I can speak His words of compassion over a friend, young mother, widow, needy, overwhelmed one that God places in my path. 

In the last few years, Laura Story penned the words to the now well known song, Mighty to Save. The first line says, "Everyone needs compassion, a love that's never failing, let mercy fall on me"  I love nothing better than to hear my kids singing this loudly as we drive down the road. I think that's how God must feel when He sees us demonstrating compassion to this hurting world.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Woman I Want to Be.

If you've read this blog for very long, you know that my mom is an extraordinary person. Besides the normal great mom stuff...cooking, cleaning, shopping and decorating, she tops the chart in teaching, looking remarkably younger than her years and making the best homemade spaghetti sauce this sauce of Italy.

Her 60th birthday is Friday....the 13th. In just a few hours the celebrating will begin. I talked with her the other night on Skype and asked her how she was feeling about it and her response was "I'm trying not to think about it!" I'm pretty sure she will have no choice!

In honor of my mom's birthday on August 13th, I am listing 13 of my favorite things about my mom.

1. She has the most gorgeous thick hair.
2. She makes the most of what she has.
3. She is an incredible gardener.
4. She's a hard worker.
5. She can take a room of mix match elements and make it look like a magazine picture.
6. She was faithful to God during the worst part of her life.
7. She can hop on the counter and belt out the Murphy's Oil song better than anyone I know (and yes, mom, this IS true)
8. She wasn't afraid to homeschool her 3 kids when homeschooling was totally uncool in the 80's.
9. She puts everything but the kitchen sink in her potato salad and it always turns out good!
10. She is a great mother in law
11. She's an even better grandmother
12. She is wise
13. She thinks of others more than she thinks of herself.

I could go on and on....bottom line: she is the woman I want to be. Sure she has her short comings, but at the end of the day, I hope this apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Are they listening?

You never know when your child is going to be really paying attention. That might be the reason curriculum reinforces the same lesson over and over again in lower elementary grades! Or why the Word of God reinforces many of the same principles repeatedly. Today Savannah had a teachable moment in Sunday School.

Her class is studying the Tribulation and she came home spouting Bible facts left and right. It was unbelievable. She was paying attention...really listening! I could hardly believe what she learned in 45 minutes of Sunday School.

This was such a needed reminder for me. She's watching and listening...maybe not all the time, but I don't get to choose those moments she grasps something or doesn't. So what does that mean for me? As a parent I need to do my best to be on my "A" game all the time. I'm as imperfect as the next mom, so this is a little daunting....but I'm motivated by today's lesson. I want to share those valuable lessons with her over and over again....the ones about love, kindness, Jesus, giving, sacrifice, forgiveness...and so many more, so that in that moment when she is really paying attention she will embrace it...like the facts in today's lesson. It's my responsibility and privilege. I'd hate to think that instead of godliness she grasped anger or mean words, or disrespect....but it could happen if I am not mindful that I don't choose when she is listening....she might just be paying attention at that moment.

God help me be more godly and less human so she has more opportunity to grasp the good and righteous and holy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dad's Coming Home

This week the kids and I have been "home alone". Bruce has been at church camp since Sunday night so we are anxiously awaiting his arrival back home today....in fact so much, that we may actually drive up to the church and sit in the parking lot until he arrives!

We did pretty good. Well, that is, until I saw how many dead fish we have in our pond. When Savannah asked what we should do I responded with all the class of a true Southern lady and said, "Let's let your dad take care of that when he gets home". Gross.

Savannah cried herself to sleep on Tuesday night. That was a bit disheartening....especially when I asked her if she cried when I went to ATL earlier this year and her quick response was...NO! That figures....:)

Tucker and I had a date night after church Wednesday night....McDonald's and Hostess Ding Dongs....it would have been nice if he had stayed awake...but by 8:40 he was fast asleep in my lap! Did I also mention that he peed on me in bed on Monday night. Nice.

My in laws helped me out two days this week. Bless them. Monday I got to spend some quality time and a large quantity of money supporting Mardel's. I love that place. Yesterday I spend a little time in my classroom trying to wrap my mind around everything.

Needless to say, we are ready for Dad to come home. Moms who do this alone all the time, deserve free medication and an award. My hat is off to them!

Welcome home dad....I might get to use the bathroom alone at some point today! Yippee!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It Came in the Mail Today

My first fall catalog came in the mail today. So, I did what any Autumn Loving Lady of Leisure would do....I cranked the air down to 70, lit the cinnamon apple candle and snuggled up on the couch to browse through the beautiful pages of oranges, reds, and yellows.

With real life temps over 100 today it was nice to escape momentarily to the pages of October, with crackling leaves, smells of campfires and the feel of lightweight flannel draped on my skin.

Hope your mailbox delivers something cooler soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Friendliness Takes You a Long Way

Recently I was speaking with another woman about the perils of being a woman....you know...

1. If passing in a hall and making eye contact with another person and they don't say "hello", smile or at least nod, they might not like me.

2. If they sit with someone else in church or go out to eat with them after services...they may not like me.

3. If they go shopping, out to eat, to get a pedicure or to have their nose hairs trimmed....with someone else, they might not like me.

4. If they spend more time talking on the phone with so and so than with me...they may not like me.

So, what is it we are looking for in friendships and relationships with other women?

Here my short list:

1. Someone who will pray for me....in good times and bad.

2. Someone who will think the best, not the worst of me if they hear something about me.

3. Someone who is friendly.

4. Someone who is able to laugh easily.

5. Someone who won't be too surprised that I mess up....because I've talked enough about how good God's grace is.

I also appreciate a friend who will:

1. Share a good deal with me

2. Will tell me when there is lipstick on my teeth

3. Has similar interests

4. Is more adventurous than me

We women deal with a lot of insecurities. For years I've struggled with feelings of inferiority and second guessing myself. I'm at a place now where I think what has sidetracked me the most in my own life is the  way I have felt others think about me....you know what is funny about that?????? I'm pretty sure people don't have the time to sit around and to think of me all day long.

So I am embracing friendliness. This past year as I have gotten to know so many amazing new women I have been blessed by their friendliness. It's ministered to me. It's made me feel welcomed. It's helped to heal a few wounded places in my heart. It's allowed me to forgive myself for mistakes I've made in the past and it's helped to provide an example of healthy friendships can be like. I've got a few friendships from the past that do this as well and I am thankful for all these life-breathing friends God's blessed me with.

If you're like me....struggle with feeling like you fit. Try friendliness on for size. Give a smile, an unexpected hug, an encouraging word or gift. See where it gets you. I bet it takes you a long way!