Sometimes He Listens…..

Mack does listen to me!  Here is how I know—Today we were pulling out their Language Arts supplies so we could get their assignments planned for the week.  The assignments for the week come from their teacher at Timothy Ministry.  They write out what they plan to do each day on the checklist that I print for them each week.  This ensures we stay on track (hopefully) and are ready to turn in all of our work or be ready to discuss the right book chapters on Tuesday when they return to class.

Anyway, today Mack was pulling out his binder and said, “Oh yeah mom, remember how you told us we won’t do everything right?”  I wasn’t following him, so I asked him what he meant.

“You know.  You told us we aren’t perfect and won’t get all things right all the time???”

“Oh, yes! I do remember saying that.” I said, curious as to why he was starting this conversation off like this.

“Well, on my paper I have a 60.  But that’s ok because I won’t do everything right,” he said confidently and unbothered.

I, on the other hand, was a bit shocked, but I didn’t really show it.  I just told him to hurry up and find the paper he was talking about.

Sure enough, he got a 60 on his vocabulary quiz.  OOPS!  There was a nice note written on the paper that said the lowest quiz grade will be dropped, so that is good.  Mack didn’t know what that meant, so I explained it and then he was even more unbothered, which probably isn’t good.

Sooooo, this week I am taking a few extra measures to ensure that Mack is more prepared for his vocabulary quiz.  I put the full brunt of the 60 on him and re-explained how this is HIS class that I help him prepare for, but I can’t study for him and make him know the words.  He needs to take INITIATIVE…how is that for a new vocabulary word????  But also to be fair, I did feel horribly sick last week and wasn’t much help to anyone around here, so I am sure that had something to do with it!

Happy take-a-quiz-everyday-to-prepare-for-your-next-quiz, Mack!!

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My kiddos met their new cousin!

We all went over the other night to finally get our hands on little Deacon.  He is so adorable!!!  Molly had “called” holding Deacon first many months ago.  Ruby, while perturbed with her, just rolled her eyes and let Molly have her way.  I didn’t even elbow my way in to first place; I was quite patient until it was my turn.

We are very happy for Merrilee and Jason.  What an adventure they are on!

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Welcome to the family, Deacon!

It was a long five months…

For five months of the year I am a digit older than Josh.  Today, we are on equal ground when the question is asked, “How old are you?”  Same digits now!  But it was a long five months while Josh had a lower number than me.

HAPPY 38th BIRTHDAY TO JOSH!!!

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These kids love their dad…he is so good to them.

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And me with the birthday boy.  This is what a couple looks like after a very yucky week…fevers, coughing galore, headaches, cracked tooth, two fever blisters, ear infection….need I go on?  Gracious!  We were nothing short of a mess.  Thankfully, I think we’re on the mend, and he has a dentist appointment to get that tooth fixed!

So besides getting older, we are still learning around here.  All the sickness may have tried to slow this teacher down, but I am set on not getting behind!!!  We have charged ahead and will be doing work over the weekend to keep in step.  That math through June is still fresh in my mind—ain’t happening again, Lord-willing!

Mack made a ziggurat out of legos this week:

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And Molly continues to take photos on my phone like this:

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What am I going to do with her???

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Every now and then she gets Ruby involved.

Oh and Mack made glasses out of his legos, too!

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He’s a master builder, that boy!

We’ve got football practice and birthday parties and church and school this weekend…hold on to your hat!

 

What Have We Learned So Far?

We have three weeks of school under our belt.  Praise the Lord and Hallelujah for that!

We had a History Quiz today…they all did very well.  We have been studying Creation, Adam & Eve, Jubal and Tubal-Cain, Noah and the Ark, Ice Age and Dinosaurs.  Great truths from The Bible have led our History lessons.  (Mystery of History curriculum)

In Bible we are studying what Truth is and how we can know it.  How does God speak to us? Although God tells us much about Himself in the Bible, how did He show us that everything He said about Himself is true? If someone’s beliefs include the idea that God does not exist, how might they answer such questions as “Where did the earth come from?” and “Where did I come from?” and “Why am I here?” (Apologia: What We Believe Curriculum)

Math is that steady subject that always requires endurance.  I am usually met with these kinds of questions from the kids, “Mom, can I only do half of the math warm-up sheet?” or “Mom, can we skip math today?  I promise I will do two lessons tomorrow.”  NOPE, I don’t think so.  Math was not my strong area as a kid, so I am probably a “math-meanie,” but I make them do all the math warm-up problems, and I make them do all of the problems, and they have to correct them on their own after I have checked them…..I need them to stay on top of their math!!! And today was a test in math for the girls. (Saxon curriculum)

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Science continues to go well; we all enjoy learning about botany!  I am learning right alongside my kids in this subject.  I don’t know the parts of a seed…or dicots and monocots…or all about germination, but we are learning TOGETHER!!  Lots of youtube videos to help us!!!  (Apologia Science: Creation With Botany)

Language Arts is taken at Timothy Ministry, and I am so glad I signed the kids up for it.  I can tell it is going to be helpful for keeping us on track.  We are studying prepositions, beginning to write some, and doing lots of reading.

Ruby and Molly have Kidzplace practice each week and are doing a great job learning the moves in order to lead Worship Time in Kidzplace next month.

Ruby is doing great at piano.  She practices daily and seems to enjoy it.

Molly started sewing this week.  Her first project is a quilt; I am sure it will turn out lovely.

And Mack starts football this Saturday and then will have Tuesday practices.

LOTS going on to fill up our weeks!  Thankful for homeschooling.  As if having kids isn’t a major part of the sanctification process, throw trying to educate them in the mix, and you have yourself one needy lady….me! Lots of prayers fill up my week….”Lord, please help me be patient today (i.e., not strangle anyone).  Amen.”

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A little catching up

We have had a great August so far…so many fun things going on that I can hardly keep up!  Let me see if I can take a few minutes to be sure and get some pictures posted with some commentary on life around here.

First of all, Timothy Ministry started August 11th.  The kids are each taking Language Arts, which is helping me immensely.  I oversee the assignments and listen to Mack read, give grammar insight, etc, but the main direction comes from another teacher.  That leaves Bible, History, Science and Math on my plate.  And that is a gracious plenty!

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Mack was having a discussion with Josh about why his shoes were STILL not on when it was time to walk out the door.

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One afternoon we got a call from one of our favorite girls in all the world–HOPE.  She is such a bright spot in this world.  My girls adore her.  They went on an impromptu tea date with her and her mom and sister.  So fun!

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And yesterday was Molly’s birthday.  We took her to the mall to get her ears pierced.  10 is the magic number around here for being able to get your ears pierced…if you’re a girl.  For Mack, it’s probably going to be the age he gets a shotgun or a knife or something…I don’t know.  But Molly wasn’t exactly thrilled.  I mean, she wanted to get her ears pierced AND at exactly the same time, she didn’t want to get her ears pierced.  A dilemma for sure.

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But she did it!  And she was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t hurt.

We got her apple pie, as opposed to birthday cake.  She doesn’t like icing.  Weird kid.

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She woke up that morning to streamers on the door because that is just what we do.

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At the mall we also let her pick out some clothes and a pair of cute boots.  She then opened some gifts at The Cheesecake Factory.  All of the kids liked that choice!

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IMG_1225IMG_1224As we were leaving….like, walking through the restaurant, I notice Mack was holding his belt.  He told Josh he just had to take it off after all he ate!  Oh my!  If we all could be that comfortable with our gluttony.

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Our last stop before home was the book store.  We found a series Molly likes, so we are milking it.  It can be like pulling teeth to get her to read.

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And last, but definitely not least, is the newest Dorminy.  We haven’t met our new little nephew yet because he was adopted and they can’t come home until this weekend…but we will be going over to see him and hold him.  I will post more pictures later!  But here is one of PawPaw very proudly showing us the little cutie.

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FaceTime is a wonderful thing!

So, I think that sort of catches us up on a few things we’ve been doing lately….I will spare you of more home schooling pictures….math, math and more math….reading, reading and more reading….It’s going really well though!

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Double Digits for Molly-Moodle

My little Molly in the Middle is turning 10 today.  This little girl who surprised me with a positive pregnancy test when Ruby was only 5 months old.  Wowza.  This little squishy baby who would only sleep on her belly and seemed to have me in her room 6 times a night for the first few weeks.  I don’t think it actually was that many times, but with a one year old and a newborn, I lived in constant exhaustion…from what I remember.  This little girl who got up out of her bed every. single. night.  Even when she got popped for her disobedience.  She would cry and then get up again the next night and sneak down the stairs.  Many times this little girl snuck out of bed and got into my make-up or into hiney-cream!

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She used to follow me around all day long saying, “Hold me.  Hold me, Mama.”  She never got irate about it when I couldn’t drop what I was doing to hold her.  She just stood right beside me saying that little phrase over and over and over again in a monotone voice.  She is the most persistent child.  “Hold me.  Hold me, Mama.”

She has always been so patient with Mack…these two are a mess…

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She was only four in the above picture.  Going to school on her birthday…just like today!

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She has always loved babies.

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She has always loved fixing hair.

Molly, We love you and love how God made you.  We are so excited to celebrate YOU turning 10 years old today!  You make us smile.

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Maybe we will stop at Bahama Bucks some time today…it is your latest addiction!

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Need Some Perspective?

Had a lot of different things on my mind lately.  Annoyed by some things that, in my mind, were pretty big deals.

Then, this morning, in my prayer time I was telling God that I need His help with letting go of all of this negativity I have been carrying around.  Asking for a perspective shift and a peace of mind.  Wanting to be consumed with what consumes Him, not earthly, temporary concerns and annoyances.

This song sure did help me with perspective and what I’m choosing to see and think on today.

A Different Kind of Wondering

So the other day I wrote a blog post about the wonder of this life I get to live…the sweet faces of my kids and the day to day tasks that God has given for me to perform.  Sweet and lovely and precious.

There is another kind of wondering that goes on around here. Like, wondering if home schooling the kids is going to send me to an early grave. And yes, we are only two weeks in.

Or, “I wonder why I have asked Mack to take his Timothy shirt upstairs at least ten times and yet it is still downstairs?”

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Or, “I wonder how long Mack has been watching Power Rangers on my iPad in his dad’s office?”

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Or even wondering if it is too early to start a math lesson count down? Would it send the wrong message?  Gah, I despise checking math.

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“I wonder why there is a glass of water with a pencil in it in the bathroom?”

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“I wonder why there are screwdrivers in the living room? I wonder if this means Mack took something apart again?”

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“I wonder why we have a school room when they all usually end up in the living room?”

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“I wonder when we will get used to our new routine and not be overwhelmed by our checklists? I wonder when I won’t feel the need for a 2:00 nap….”

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“I am seriously wondering if Mack listens to a word I say during the timeline lesson each week. I wonder if he will always remember me slamming my hand down on the table to get his attention today while he was creating something out a belt and tape and a rubber thing while I was trying to teach about the timeline?” Let’s hope not.

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“I wonder what is the best way to keep up with these verses and many more we are to be memorizing this year?”

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I wonder how much a full-time chef costs?

I wonder if someone wants to come clean my house and keep my laundry going for free?

I wonder if fall weather will come quickly so that I can send my kids into the yard soon?

Oh, the wonder in one week of my life.

There is WONDER in today

There is wonder in the mundane.  I want all my mama friends to know that and live in that.  I know the days are long, but I don’t want us to miss the wonder of what it is that we are doing.  And I think I love when God helps me in this area because there are so many days that I do miss the wonder of it all and look around thinking surely there is something more I am supposed to be doing.

It reminds me a little bit of Eve in the Garden of Eden.  I wonder how long Eve was in the Garden of Eden before her eyes wandered and stayed on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?  The Bible doesn’t say how many days in a row they walked with God in the cool of the day before they hid in shame because of their disobedience.  I am baffled that Eve could have lost the wonder of what was The Garden of Eden…the perfect place to live, breath-takingly beautiful. She doubted God’s goodness and wanted in on something MORE, something she had yet to experience.  Or so she thought.

I remember like yesterday walking through the grocery aisle at Publix with a newborn, one year old and two year old; an older grandma-like lady stopped me and smiled and had the audacity to say, “These are some of the best days of your life, honey.”

Knowing that I couldn’t push an old lady down in the grocery store, I just smiled back at her and said, “Ok.”  I mean, what else was I supposed to say?  I was TIRED, exhausted really.  Not all the time, but most of the time.

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The kids are much older now—8,9 and 11.  I’m not nearly as tired, and we’ve been diaper-free around here for many years.  They rarely come into our room to wake us up in the middle of the night either.

Honestly, I love this stage of life.  I love watching them mature into these little people with ideas and unique personalities.

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Honestly, I would give anything to go back to re-live one of those days when they were babies.

Time is weird like that.

It’s fleeting and can’t be gained back.  No re-do’s in the sense of physically turning back the clock.  Which is why I think Satan uses his schemes to distract us and disillusion us into thinking that right here and right now is not good.

God is right here with us, the Master of Time.  He can open our eyes to see the wonder of where He has us.  Satan wants us to be discontent and distracted, wishing away our present for something MORE, something better.

Let’s not let him steal the present…right where we are.  Take a long look around at where you are in life.  Stare into the eyes of the people you call family.  Grab their little faces and tell them how you love them.  Squeeze them, hold them close and listen to their stories. Take it all in.

Frolic in the fields together, holding hands and listening to music playing softly in the background.

I’m kidding.  I am well aware that life does move quickly.  We can’t constantly sit in wonder at our sweet kids and handsome husband….first of all,the kids aren’t always sweet and Josh sometimes makes me mad.  Secondly, I am a realist.  I like to think that I just see how things how they are and can own up to whatever that is.  I joke with Josh about my funeral.  I tell him I want a closed casket because no one can do my hair right.  But also, I tell him that one day when I am in heaven, he will not be able to honestly stand in front of whoever comes and say that I was the most uplifting, positive, non-complaining wife in all the world.  He’d be lying through his teeth.  I’m not totally negative, but I am also not “Pollyanna Positive” either.

BUT, I am aware that if we don’t make ourselves look for the wonder in life, we will miss it.  We will get bogged down in the mundane and think that all of life is just a big list of things to do.  Laundry? Check!  Dinner? Check!  Sweeping? Mopping? Dusting? Check, check, check! Driving kids here and there? Check.

The mundane is what I am called to.  Those every day things that at first glance don’t seem exciting…but through God’s eyes, they are exactly what I am supposed to be doing!  I can be in wonder at my calling in life.  God can open my eyes to truly see the beauty in the everyday stuff.  He is with me.  Always.  That’s enough.  But He can also allow my routine to be precious again. He can clear up my perspective on what is truly important.  What success looks like to HIM.  He can magnify and put into focus the important and make blurry what isn’t.

I will still have subjects to teach to my kids, laundry to fold and put away, meals that need to be cooked, grocery store lists week after week, and more.  But I’m going to stop at least once a day, hopefully more, to take a picture in my mind of where I am, who I am with, and thank the Lord for using me in the ordinary, the mundane.

Let’s all ask God to help us SEE and HEAR and TOUCH as if He were walking with us each step of the way….because He is.  And we will never get this day back again…no matter what it brings our way.

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Here’s a song and it’s lyrics that I think you will enjoy.  Great words. Important message. Click on the link and listen if you would like God to help you see your day to day life as PRECIOUS again.

Sunrise, sunset with no eyes to see it
Garnets and rubies ground up in the sand
Words from my children with no ears to hear it
Where is the wonder?

New tender mercies and infinite graces
Woven like threads in the cloth of my days
Deep wells of glory behind common faces
Where is the wonder? Where is the wonder?

Oh oh, I need a song that’s never old
Oh oh, I need a story never told
Promise that just when love grows cold
You’ll make it precious again

Friendship and goodwill, a sweet invitation
Kindred in spirit and eager to share
Love in familiar and long conversations
There is the wonder, there is the wonder

Oh oh, sing me the song that’s never old
Oh oh, tell me the story never told
Promise that just when love grows cold
You’ll make it precious

Press mud with holy fingers, light the ineffable
Fused in the ordinary, so much to wonder
Oh, what a wonder, wonder, wonder

Oh oh, sing me the song that’s never old
Oh oh, tell me the story never told
Promise that just when love grows cold
You’ll make it precious, oh, make it precious
You make it precious again

Nugget of Truth

Originally posted on Dorminy Anecdotes:

So I know this isn’t breaking news to most parents, but I heard a little nugget of truth the other day.  Actually, I read it somewhere on some blog, and I don’t remember where exactly, but this one sentence stuck out to me.

Ready for it?……

Parenting is mostly listening.

Listening.  It sounds so simple.  Effortless even.

But it isn’t always as easy as I think it would be.

Listening means not talking.

Listening means eye contact.

Listening assumes I am approachable.

Listening often means close contact, smiles, nods and small sighs.

Listening means no tv, no phone, no screen to look at.

And when I listen to their silly stories about what just happened upstairs while they were playing or listen to them tell me about their crazy dream last night or listen to Mack tell me in detail about his lego creation or something else that may seem…

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