Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: Breaks Fly By!!!

How is it that when you are on a break from school, the week flies right past you?? It's just not fair!!! Although, I have to say this has been an ahhhmaaazing week!

 It started out with a surprise for my hubby. After he left for his internship on Monday, I packed the kids up and took them to my MIL's house. I came home, tidied the bedroom, put the new sheets on the bed, set up about 40 candles, and then texted him.... "Do you think you could come watch the girls while I take Bean Boy to the MD. I think he has strep." So wonderful Hubby texted when he left. It was a little too early... I hadn't gotten all dolled up yet, so I texted, "Bean Boy is begging for popsicles, would you pick some up on your way home?" Boy was he surprised when he walked in and found me all dressed up and no kids! I had pre-purchased movie tickets through Fandango so off we went; then out to dinner, then home where he finally saw the bedroom and the massage oil I bought for him. It was a great time... I can't remember the last time we had a date that lasted that long...usually it's just dinner!

While the date was great, the entire next day, home alone, was ahhh! I got a lot of school planning done, a nap, and some piddly stuff...I really need more days like this! I know you all just think I'm forgetful, and I am, but I truly don't know the last time I had the house to myself for more than a short time! Even the short times are rare!!!

 So Wednesday's plan was to clean out the school room... apparently, I really didn't want to, cause I got started in my laundry room. It took almost all day, but the girls and I cleaned out, organized, pitched stuff, and wiped off everything... we even moved some of the furniture around. I took a load to Goodwill and have a bag for the consignment store. It looks beautiful in there!
Very spacious... my Hubby built this room for me!
He built these shelves too!
So happy!
Thursday, I tried again in the school room. There is something about it, and I'm beginning to loathe that room! First of all, you saw how messy it was here... And while, yes the mess is overwhelming, I think the problem is more of the sadness I'm experiencing... I've got so much great stuff, and just no time to do it! I have many, many great aspirations, but we get in a routine, and my forgetfulness sinks in, I get tired (can't imagine why) and I get busy, and we just stick with our routine. The clincher was when I found an experiment book for water. I would LOVE to do this with the how salt dissolves and pepper doesn't, how water evaporates, how it always runs downhill, etc.... Sigh... they'll just have to be satisfied with learning about Land Animals of the sixth day and watching cougar documentaries on Netflix... And me, I'm really trying to remember to be thankful for the precious time God has given me with them, and not mourn how fast it is flying by! AND, I moved out of the school room and onto the next thing to give my heart a break. (I'll get back to it next week.)  We have a big drawer in our coffee table that got really clean! It was full of old crayons, so we decided to make crayon candles! How funny is that?! Spur of the moment trip to Michaels to get wicks, and then ALL AFTERNOON AND EVENING spent on making candles. I did use up MOST of the crayons. It was neat, and the clincher was when, during our family worship time, Little Bit shared what she was thankful for, "I'm thankful that mommy used our old crayons to make candles with us instead of throwing them away."

We soaked the crayons in ice water to help loosen the wrappers.  It took about 40 minutes to get the wrappers off all of our crayons!  The kids were very patient with the process, and I was surprised and glad!
The girls peeling, peeling, peeling! Notice the empty chair...
He's ba-ack! And as silly as ever!
I can't believe how long they stuck with it!
That's a lot of crayon wrappers!!!
That's a lot of crayons!
Melting, melting, melting!  It took FOREVER!!
Then we got some votives poured... please ignore the dirty pan of grease! LOL!!!
Tada!  I did some layered ones too in glass jars, but didn't take pictures...
I, like Mary, am treasuring these things in my heart! They are fantastic and wonderful, and I'm so in love with my family! Thank you God for the rich, rich family life we have, the wonderful blessings you pour out!

I'm off to work for the weekend!  Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Let's Talk About Food

Okay... so we all love to eat.  We all need to eat.  But for me, food is truly a love-hate relationship.  When I first got married, I loved to cook.  It was fun to surprise my hubby with new meals every night.  Of course, he stayed toothpick thin while I packed on the pounds!  No fair!  As the children came along, the new meals every night became more of a chore, and we now have a few select favorites.  Then you get bored with your favorites.... as life gets busy, it is just easier to grab something fast or go out to eat... also a love hate relationship.  While I love eating out, it is harder to make good choices, and of course, more expensive.

Over the years, I've made grocery list after grocery list. I've scourged the internet for more and more simple recipes.  I've tried really hard to make a plan, stick to it, waste less, eat out less, and provide healthy meals for my family.  I've also tried losing the weight gained in the first year of marriage and with each pregnancy.

In the last year, I've lost 50 pounds, and have kept it off.  While I did begin my loss with a juice fast brought on by watching Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead, I've had help from a few other sources.  First, Skinny Taste has countless low calorie, healthy recipes that are now on our new favorites list.  Never have I tried one of Gina's recipes and been disappointed! They're wonderfully delicious.... and she uses a lot of cilantro, which we love. (If I believed in reincarnation, I'm sure I was Mexican before this life!)

The second tool that has helped as far as my weight loss has been Myfitnesspal.  It is a great site and has an ap for your phone where you can log your food.  Logging food has proven to be a major factor in successful weight loss. Myfitnesspal has a ton of foods already in their list.  I can put in hummus from 2 or 3 different brands, and they will already be there with nutritional info ready.  I select the one I want and add it to my list.  I can plug in my own recipes and it will give me nutritional info for that, or I can add a new food to the list by plugging in the nutritional info on the label.  The ap is handy when you are out to eat and want to know how many calories in a specific restaurant's dish.  It lets you know how many calories you have left to eat. Oh- and you can track your exercise and how many calories you've burned from that!  I love it... now if I could just get back to using it, and losing again!  I did lose weight when I was faithful with logging my foods! You can also have friends and leave them encouraging messages! It's great! By the way, this site is completely FREE!!!

Lastly, on the grocery shopping side of the food dilemma...  Being as I don't experience weekends the way most of you do, finding time to make a list and shop is very challenging.  Last week we ate out a ton because I hadn't shopped (big shopping) for 2 weeks(almost 3 now)!  Thank God for freezers and fast food!  One day, in desperation, I came across SayMmm.  I was floored that someone had created this and was sharing it for FREE! Woohoo!  SO, with SayMmm you can plan your meals.  Most of the meals I've used from Skinny Taste are already loaded into the database, so I can simply link the meal to my calendar.  Then, all the ingredients go directly to my shopping list.  Spices, and things you normally have on hand go in the "check pantry" section and you can simply click to add them to your list if you are running low and need to replace them.  I can also add my own recipes.  It does take a minute or to add the recipe and all the ingredients, but you only have to do it once.  There is also a database of recipes you can use; you can search by ingredient or title, or browse for fun.  You "click" the recipe to add it to your plan.  Once your weekly plan is on your nice calendar, you can view the entire calendar, one day, one month, or one week at a time.  Then you "create list".  SayMmm takes all your ingredients for all your recipes in that time frame you set, and creates you a list!!!!  You can choose to arrange it by recipe or by store sections, for example: dairy, produce, frozen, etc.  There are some "premium" options I have not used, but I believe they will estimate your cost and calories!  Fantastic.  Oh, and did I mention that all but the premium options are FREE!!!

I try to make my list when I'm at work and give it to hubby to shop for me.  Then, he can go to the website and find out what's for dinner, print the recipe and have it ready before I go to work!  Yippee!!! Easy, FREE, and wonderfully helpful. 

The last thing I do to help with our crazy schedule, is organize a casserole swap.  Every 6 weeks or so, my FB homeschooling group gets an invite to participate in the casserole swap.  I've just sent out the invite to our 3rd event.  About 6-7 people have been signing up, which is just right.  So, you make 6-7 of the same casserole and then exchange them on one evening.  It works out great.  Every Tuesday, I pull one out of the freezer and stick it in the oven before we leave for gymnastics... Hubby gets home a little later and pulls it out when it is done.  And...tada! Dinner is served, just add salad!

Maybe some of these things will be helpful to you!  Happy meal planning!!!

Linking up with Darlene

Monday, August 27, 2012

A-typical Day in the Life

There aren't "typical" days around here.  They are all unique unto themselves.... though there are typical Tuesdays or typical Wednesdays, etc.  Due to our outside activities, each day is different... HOWEVER, I do try to keep our morning routine as best as possible.

It is supposed  to go like this....

  • Wake up and quite time for mom... (0600 every day baby!) LOTS OF COFFEE!!! Sweet time with the Lord and planning out the day happen at this time... I also check email, FB, and other stuff.
  • Wake Hubby and kids (0700ish)  Sigh.... wish the quiet time would last all day!
  • Every day it is my HOPE that in 1 hour they will be dressed have finished chores and finished breakfast...I cook while they clean (or Hubby does the cooking sometimes!) We rarely make it in 1 hour!
  • Then we start school with our gratitude journals, hymn study, Bible, and Scripture memory.  This usually takes about an hour, but I don't limit it...ok... I do clock watch, always hoping to be done with school as early as possible!
  • Then we split and Bean Boy goes onto his independent studies while I work with the girls. ***Survival mode so far has meant a focus on Bible, math, reading.  And I try to finish those by lunch (1200). I used to do nature study, composer study, art, etc.... maybe one day.... sigh
  • After lunch I try to work with Bean Boy on things that he needs a "grown-up" for...  Some days though he gets left behind because Mom just needs a nap... I'm working on this!!!  This is also when we do our science lessons. 
  • Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons are our gymnastics days... Monday afternoons we go to the chiropractor.  Thursday is the only I don't have to leave the house, but we usually do end up out somehow or other...  
The last couple of weeks we've done a good job reading in our Apologia Science book, and I even got creative and found a documentary on Netflix that we are really part at a time.  We watched that one night before bed with Hubby.

We are going to take a break for at least 2 weeks.  I plan to plan!  I'm really hoping to ramp up our history and get better at doing some of the activities SOTW recommends, since we seem to have gotten the rest under control. I hope to add in some of the readers too.  It is hard for me to do all of those extras.... being a Type A and wanting things to be just right, put in their place, and already dealing with so much out of place (refer to School Room- The Ugly Truth), knowing the activities require messes and "things" to be pulled out, and then knowing that it will take TIME.... oh well, do you get the picture?  I tend to find it more stressful than enjoyable.  I know my kids don't though, and that the memories of both the fun times and the lessons learned will be worth it.  This is one of the areas I refer to when talking about self-sacrifice...I'd much rather be a textbook/workbook mom, but that's just not who we are as a family and I believe my kids would hate it...except maybe one.  I wonder if I could have a little fairy come along and pick up after us so we can move right on to the next activity!!!

Every so often, we take planned breaks from school. During this time I re-evaluate what is working, what isn't, and try to gear up for the next go round, fixing what's not working along the way.  Every so often, we have unplanned breaks from school.  Someone gets sick (though unless puking, I tend to make them do some school work so our days off are fun days!), someone outside of our home needs help, or last minute plans come up with family or friends... I'm flexible.  Every so often, we take mental health days for mom's sake!  Every so often, you can find me hiding in my room with the door closed...the kids are so good at hide and seek never lasts long enough! ;)

*Of course, all of this is altered any time I have to work during the week or on a Sunday night!  But, we're flexible! And, I'm ever so grateful for the opportunity to be with my amazing chilies!

I'm really looking forward to reading what others are doing and gleaning some insight through this bloghop
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: Finding Adventure in Following Him

Things go better for me when I start this wrap-up in the beginning of the week! I've already forgotten what went down! LOL!!! We did do quite a bit of school, and I distinctly remember loving it and feeling organized and on top of things. Ok, so that was good. We even did school on Tuesday and then attended our Not Back to School Party at JumpZone... that was interesting! 102 kids in one place!
The kids favorite superhero...on this day anyway!
This slide at Jump Zone was very scary because it was super fast!

The kids had a blast. Wednesday was a typical day... school, rain, gymnastics! Rain has become part of our "typical" day around here. I do love the afternoon T-storms. . . but I HATE the mosquitoes, the natural result of all this rain. Baby T must be super yummy, because just running out to feed the chickens results in 4-10 bites! It's ridiculous! Well, I guess the benefit is that it has seemed like a much cooler summer.

I did have a little fun with lunch, inspired by Gina at SkinnyTaste!
Not sure why this came out fuzzy! :(

Thursday was special because I had my interview, and got the job! I will be transferring to the trauma ICU some time next schedule (around the end of September beginning of October). I had my choice of med-surge ICU or trauma. It was a very, very difficult decision to make. I tried very hard to get the manager to make the decision for me, but in the end I had to. I still have mixed emotions, but in the end I followed what I felt like God wanted for me. After praying quite a bit about it, I felt like He was saying that in the end trauma training will be good for missions. So, maybe it won't be exactly what I'm looking for, but it will be a fantastic learning experience, and more importantly, what He wants for me. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. It's always an adventure when we let God lead!

Ok... just this morning, the most exciting thing of the week happened! We found our first egg!!!! One of our 4 baby chicks...ok, grown up chicken... has laid us an egg! Yippeeeee! We are all so excited!
Our very first chicken egg!!!
I'm so grateful to God for the special life we live!  I'm so very blessed!
Well, it's off to work for the weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend!

 Linking up with

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Most Awesomest Students Ever!

I'm not going to lie.... it was VERY DIFFICULT to choose pictures for this blog hop.  I don't like to show my kids full faces on the internet, so it took me a while... Not to mention I worked Thursday-Sunday nights and was waaay too tired last night to post anything!

These shots were done by Laina Bowen from Every Generation PhotographyShe did an excellent job, and as you can see, we all had a lot of fun.  Some of them even look like serious student pictures!  I included a pic of the whole family for fun!

Baby T and Little Bit being themselves.... super silly!

*I don't have a loner picture of Little Bit that I can use! :( But the one of her with Baby T is great!

I probably shouldn't mention the fight over the feather "pen"... Looks like Baby T won!

BeanBoy did not love this day...though he did like the idea of having his picture taken with books! 

BeanBoy, Kristy, Hubby, Little Bit, and Baby T.

Linking up for the Not Back to School Blog Hop at
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: Standing Strong

So last week was simply fantastic while I seemed to do amazing with very, very little sleep... but this week. Well, I seem to be paying for my lack of sleep! I worked 3 in a row this weekend. And, I'll be working Thurs/Fri/Sat this week... one of those being an overtime day. Monday we had Grommy here while I got about 2.5 hours sleep. My poor kids... I woke up asked my son to make PB&Js for them, texted Hubby that mommy wasn't going to make it, and went back to bed! If I remember correctly, Hubby tried several times to wake me. He was finally successful around 5:00ish, and we made it to our chiropractor just in time. We came home, and I was back in bed by 8:00...unfortunately 6 hours in bed is all my body can stay in bed at a time. I was up for a couple of hours, down again, and up by 0700... It is Wednesday night as I sit here and write this... I'm still not recovered! Geesh! And I'm back at it tomorrow! Being as I hadn't recovered, I loaded the kids up and we went to visit my grandparents. We rarely go out to seem them. It's hard to take 3 kids, but we had a great time. The girls showed off one gymnastic move after another, I took my SD card and we looked at pictures on the computer... had my camera, but didn't take any pics! :( Then we came home and had a nap! :) Baby T started her 2 hour gymnastics class this week. This was one of the highlights of the week. It really was a terrible class all together, but I received a huge blessing. Her Tuesday teacher subbed in her Wednesday class. Most of the girls in this class are also in her Tuesday class, so they know each other really well and the teacher too. And boy did they really take advantage of it! They were incredibly wild. All of the kids were jumping on equipment they were supposed, they weren't listening, they were looking, they were doing a poor job at their gymnastics... all of them... except Baby T! She was focused, obedient, pleasant, and completely following directions! We talked about it afterwards, and I asked her if it was hard to be the only one not goofing around... she said yes. I commended her, and told her that this was a time Jesus was shining through her! I know she finds it frustrating, and feels like it takes away from her time in there, but she handles herself like a 50 year old instead of a 5 year old. She inspires me! So- I may not have time to add anything to this wrap-up... there was school done. I figured out we have 1 more week until the 9 weeks is over, and I'm taking a 1-3 week break...I'll get to the school room then (hehe)... Hubby figured out our hymn because all the kids and myself are walking around singing it! (isn't that great?) There are 3 days of work to come. BUT, the highlight is definitely Baby T standing strong and doing what is right, even when it is hard. I hope one day I can be like her!

 Linking with Kris, yet again!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gratitude Guardian

God has really been calling out to my heart. I've had such a struggle lately with contentment. I've struggled as I've mentioned before with contentment in many areas of my life. But, as I read through Scriptures, it is clear, painfully clear, this is not the mark of a believer. This is part of why I have started our Thankfulness Journey/Journal. It is a start, not the answer to my problem, just a start. 

I listened to another sermon by John Piper.  It was another sermon about gratitude.  I absolutely love the picture he painted, about a city under siege and surrounded by the enemy.  I am that city.  The enemy is constantly throwing temptations, distractions, blocking my concentration and my thoughts. I'm surrounded every where I turn around!  But Piper says that there is a song I can learn that makes the enemy fall back, one the enemy hates!  If I could just stop being distracted long enough to learn the words and to remember to sing the song of thankfulness...of gratitude!  It is a guard against the enemy and I could walk right through enemy lines, untouched, unscathed, without scar!   That excites my heart. 

But, I have doubts.  I'm so forgetful.  I'm still so ruled by my emotions and feelings.  I forget to thank God... even for the big things!  How can I remember to thank Him for all things and in all things?  I do feel as if I will never be intentional enough, at least not in this lifetime!  But, that doesn't mean that I have to give up.  I can continue to put effort into remembering. I can continue to try and plan to be intentional.  One day, the Holy Spirit will make my heart one that is abundant and even overflowing with thanksgiving. 

I sat the kids down today and shared the verses from Colossians 2:1-8, that John Piper's sermon covered.  I told them how he said thanksgiving is a guard for our hearts.  I then showed them how in Proverbs God said that Above all else.... I mean, it must be really important if He says above all else.... He says, Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).  And here, Piper has helped me to unlock one of the keys to guarding my heart with all vigilance, as the ESV states:  Thanksgiving and gratitude.  Then I showed the kids, excitedly, as God was speaking to me, that in Phillipians we are given another key....

Do not be anxious in anything, but by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus... (Phillipians 4:6-7)

This is the second tool God gives us to help us guard our hearts... pray and petition with thanksgiving (there is is again!) lead God to give us peace which protects... It guards our hearts and minds the verses say!  How awesome is that?  God Himself will give us what we need to guard our hearts!  I'm so excited to learn this....

Paul tells the Colossians that they will be guarded from plausible arguments, empty deceit,  human tradition, etc. Piper warns that the opposite of thanksgiving which is grumbling, complaining, snide remarks, sarcasm, etc. leads to just is a subtle, yet effective, way for the enemy to pry us away from our song. 

I feel it!  The city of me is crumbling.  I look back to my life that is void of that song and I cringe to think how effectively the Enemy has pulled me away from the Love of my life!  How dare he!  Just this weekend my mouth was full of complaining and my heart downcast over the silliest thing.  At work, my unit has moved to a brand spanking new floor!  It's beautiful.  Everything is NEW! I got to tell each patient that they were the first one to ever sleep in this room and in this bed.  Now you would think that I would be excited, happy, and grateful.... nope!  I spent the entire time complaining about how this affected me!  How much longer and farther we had to walk, how our team is separated by having a desk in the front and back, and how much I disliked it.  This led to complaining about other employees, and well, it's all downhill from there! 

So, as my journey of thankfulness continues, I will purpose to stop complaining first!  Then I will purpose to continue recording what I am thankful for in my journal.  I have other "projects" in the works that I will write about later.  But for now, know that I am attempting to be intentionally thankful... with hopes that soon my mouth will abound with thankfulness and that my song will effortlessly, vibrantly flow from my lips and heart so that the enemy will have no choice but to fall back.

Linking with Darlene at Time-Warp Wife

Monday, August 13, 2012

School Room- The Ugly Truth!

Ok... so this blog is named The Mess Exposed, as a reminder to be truthful about the struggles and imperfections of homeschooling and not present a perfect front others can't live up to... and right now, I'm soooo wishing it weren't. I committed myself to participating in the iHomeschool network blog hop that is hopping weekly around different topics. Unfortunately, this week's topic is your school room. So, with red cheeks, I present to you the pictures of my school room...

UGH! It has so much potential, but it seems to look like this more often than not! My daughter's gymnastic mat somehow gets stored in here, the desk has become the "catch all," the kids apparently don't know how to put books away, or won't. Even though there are 2 garbage cans in here, there is garbage all over the floor! SO, most of the time I keep the door closed, and make the kids come back here for stuff, because I get sooo frustrated. There are 3 of them and 1 of me... A couple of years ago, we all drove to IKEA and got this great bookshelf. I came up with a great way to help my most unorganized child stay organized. I had a ton of letter trays, and fit them into the squares of the shelves. Each tray is to hold its own subject, and you don't even have to use the same tray each time. Just put it back into a clean, empty slot.  Somehow, even that is too much for him.  I tell him to put his school books away and come back here to find them on the floor, desk, or shoved in square of the shelf that doesn't have the letter trays... sigh...

About 5-6 times a year, I really clean it out and we use it and keep it clean for a couple of weeks...then someone comes over and everyone puts stuff know, the stuff you're not sure where it should go. Then it starts getting to the point where I don't have enough time to get it, and the cycle starts over.  It takes me an entire day to get it clean, and if you've been following my blog at all, you know I don't have many of those.  But, now, I will try to work on it this week, so I can post a picture of it all clean!  When it is clean, I love it, and I love doing some of our school in there. I've got a corner desk outside of the corner, that way the kids and I can sit across from each other, all my supplies are right there and we don't have to wait or run all over to look at them, and I'm one of those nerdy people who love school supplies, school rooms, and school (elementary) all together....

If I'm able to get it back in shape, I'll post pictures of how it is supposed to look!  Hopefully you guys are having better luck with your school rooms!

Not Back to School Blog Hop This was so popular at ihomeschoolnetwork, that I thought I'd share here too...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: Surpassing Survival!

Survival at Its Finest...
Well, we've survived again!  I'm just so glad that I've decided this year is a survival year, cause then, when we have great weeks like this one, I can say I've surpassed my goals!

Monday I "survived" on 1.5 hours of sleep!  Actually I thrived.  I managed to leave work almost 2 hours late, run some errands, get home, nap (hence the 1.5 hours), run another (unsuccessful errand) and get our free JCP haircuts.  Well, mine wasn't free, but the 3 chilies were!  Hubby showed up and got his cut too!  Who new haircuts could be a family affair!?  Then, I planned, organized, put together all the amazing things for our "Back to School/Not Back to School" party!!! Whew... it was 2300 before I made it to bed! By Wednesday I was dragging!

Back to School/Not Back to School Party
So.... I guess you're wondering about our "Back to School/Not Back to School" party.  I started feeling guilty reading all these blogs with people who have great back to school traditions. We have just always started... no fun, no traditions, no frills or lace.  So, I thought I'd do something fun for a change! Well, my God-daughter and niece both go to school and one of our homeschooling friends follows the county schedule too.  And we, as you know, have been schooling since June... so it's a back to school/not back to school party.

At our party, I set up stations.  At one station, each child had their foot outline drawn, weighed themself, cut yarn to match their height, and put all of that on a piece of construction paper.  Another station had different "About Me Printables" and suggestions to add to them.  And, at the last station, each child painted their hand print onto a piece of construction paper.  Next year they can pull all of these things out and compare how much they've grown.

We had pizza, this amazingly cool cake I made (though it wasn't as pretty as the picture) and we debuted the first "First Coast Kids News" video! I had mentioned that I might post that here, but the kids' first and last names are in the video, and I'm just not comfortable with that. So, you'll have to believe me when I say it was so amazing!  It was phenomenal, and while I was ready for it to be over with, I am motivated to engage in another project, and I think the kids are too!  WOW!!!

Well, aside from the party- Hey, public school has party days too!!!  Aside from our party day, we did very minimal school.  This is our last week with Crazy K before she goes back to PS.  We did have Grommy tutor this week, Bean Boy is doing great with LOF and has kept up with it, we had one science lesson, and I didn't really work with the girls much.  The kids did learn about opposable thumbs, and walked around for about 10 minutes with their thumbs taped to their hands!  They hated it!  So, I'm sure that will be added to the list of things they are thankful for!!! We didn't necessarily do "Bible" but we have sung our hymns and Bible verses...we even sang our verses while we were preparing for our party!

I'm starting to fizzle out, and will need a break soon I think! I looked at the calendar and figured out we've done 8 weeks of school already!  We started, did 2 weeks, then took 2 weeks for VBS, and the other to recover from VBS! We've done light schooling for sure, but have had a great summer.  I think I'll be taking a week or two in the near future, to clean out my school room, work a few extra hours to pay for some things, and to just have a break.  I never take off long because the kids drive me crazy when they don't have scheduled activities! 

Other Miscellaneous
We had hair cuts, eye doctor appointments, movies again, and gymnastics, and gymnastics!  Gymnastics already takes up so much of our lives, and there is more to come I'm sure.... Crazy K, Little Bit and I will be at Yes You Canvas again Friday, and if I have time, I'll post pics...they are doing koala bears this time.

Crazy K
Crazy K has had a tough life.  Things are really looking up for her.  I can really tell a difference this summer compared to previous summers.  Her mom swears she's moody and frustrating....hey Bean Boy is 3 weeks younger and I want to strangle him more often than not... but this year, I've enjoyed K more than any other!  She gave her life to the Lord last school year, and I can really tell the Holy Spirit has calmed her heart.  She has been a major blessing to me and our family, and I am truly sad to have her going back to school!  And, not just because she won't be here to make lunch anymore! LOL! She's added so much to my life!  I am excited that she said she'd continue with her Thankfulness Journal and will email them to me...and I promised to email her our singing verses! I'm so proud of her, and am sure God has big plans for her.  How blessed am I to get to watch her journey!  I'm adding that to the list!!!

Well, I'll be working 3 in a row this weekend and next weekend.  That is including an actual overtime shift.  Hopefully that will help pay for the dog's tooth extraction (probably 3 he goes in on Friday morning) the eye doctor, glasses, and contacts for me and Bean Boy, and groceries!  So, you probably won't hear from me until Tuesday when I link up with Time-Warp Wife.  I'm working on another piece on gratitude... maybe it will be done by then!

Have a great weekend!!!

Wrapping up the week with Kris again!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Spilled Praise

At the suggestion of a friend, I listened to an incredible sermon by John Piper.   It was a sermon based on Psalm 145:4.  You can read it or listen to it here.  The verse is a simple command; One generation shall proclaim your works to another and declare your mighty acts.  Piper does an excellent job of explaining our responsibility as the "one generation".  He then delves into how we need to be infatuated with the Kingdom of God in order to be effective.  In other words, we aren't just teaching our children history, or even just HisStory. We are to model a burning, ravenous, all-consuming love for the Kingdom of God.  Our hearts should be so filled with the treasure of God himself, that it overflows out through our mouths (Luke 6:45). 

Piper had an amazing phrase that made my heart quicken... Spill over in praise to the next generation.... Words that God has had on my heart for some time (just not worded as well as Piper did!)! It goes hand in hand with the Deuteronomy mandate... I've been purposefully looking for ways to share with the kids God's goodness, specifically His goodness to me and our family. Ways to make God "real" and personal, not just a list of stories and facts...

Just this morning I was telling God how my head is usually swimming with thoughts....This is what I wrote in my prayer journal this morning:
Oh how slow I am to learn Lord!  I feel as if I have one of those brains that can't think beyond what is in front of me, which often means I'm not thinking about you!  How many opportunities have I missed to thank you, praise you, talk to you, ask you for help, meditate on your Word, (share you with others-namely my kids), etc.?  But Lord, how can I change this, especially so that my kids can see my good example more than my bad!  How can I "think" about you more so that my love for you flows out of the over-abundance of my heart and others may see it? Teach me.  Guide me.  Show me and help me! My head swims with thoughts of what needs to be done at home, in school, and work...the how to's and what to's and need to's of my life.  But, I want it to be swimming with the things you have told me, how great you are, and what is lovely, pure, and noble, etc....
I admit, I'm not as infatuated as I could/should be and that my other thoughts so often push thoughts of Him out. It is an area He and I have been working on.  So, with God's help, I will continue on my journey of thankfulness.  I'll continue to put good, namely God's Word, into my heart so that it becomes the treasure of my heart, and from the abundance of my heart, my mouth will speak.  (Luke 6:45).  I will rely on the Holy Spirit to continually renew my mind, to shift my focus, and to guide my heart.  I will continue to be purposefully looking for opportunities to share what He personally means to me, has done for me, has given me, and spoken to me, and loved me, and been good to me, and faithful to me, and how is is just absolutely wonderful and worth more than all I could ever give with my babies, and others.  I will do this as often as I can remember, and pray that God will continue to remind me more and more often.  I want my kids to see my love for Him and have no doubt that He is worth it!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

Well, we've survived another week! (That's good since we are in survival mode.) It was an unusual week being as I had to work in the middle of it!  I worked Wednesday and Thursday from 7p-7a (ish).  Hubby came home early Wed and took off Thursday to be available to take kids to gymnastics and the summer movie and to make sure they don't burn down the house!  It was still a pretty productive week though!

We finally, finally finished our Olympic lapbooks! I'm not sure what we did wrong, but all of us have decided we hate lapbooks! LOL!  Crazy K said it best, it's so messy, and unorganized, and it takes forever!  I think if I were to do it over, I would do it differently.

Because each of them cut at different rates, we've been just cutting, cutting, cutting... I saved all the gluing for the final day, which turned out to be a mess.  IF, and that's a big IF, we do it again, we'll make the actual book first, then cut and glue after each lesson (or during).  Perhaps that would help.  We've done lapbooks before, but this was the first time we've had all 4 kiddos doing them.  They turned out pretty good, but we're all glad they're over! 

In addition to that accomplishment, my wonderful Hubby hung the monkey pictures for me!  I was surprised to come home to them hanging in the bathroom!  Yeah!

In School
School did happen this week, though it was a short week, with light days.  Bean Boy finished his fractions book from Life of Fred last week, and has started on decimals this week.  He finished the fractions book in about 2 months!  He is still loving it!

Grommy came and worked with the kids again this week.  She and the kids said she worked them pretty hard!  Yeah Grommy!!!  We will be filming our news production this weekend and rehearsing on Friday, so hopefully we can get that out of the way.  I will try to post that, though I've not had much luck posting videos... here's another opportunity to practice, right?

This weekend my cousin is getting married!  It will be exciting.  My husband and I eloped 12.5 years ago, and had an extremely small wedding the next day.  (That's a funny story....for another time!) I haven't been to a wedding since we first got married!  Makes my thoughts linger to the time when things were new and exciting and we had the whole world at our feet.... and it makes me glad to be here, where we are friends as well as lovers, where we trust each other more and love each other more; where we've learned that even when we don't "feel it" we can "love" each other in an active way... the way God tells us to.  I'm so glad that we've come through hard times, rejoiced in good times, watched God provide during the worst times, and still are committed to one another.  Every day in our lives with each other and God as the Captain has been a wild adventure! 

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