Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas from the Hudson Family!

From 2008 in Review


From 2008 in Review


We have had a great year! We spent a week in Washington DC in May learning more about our country. It was great to see all the things that we had been reading about in school. We went back to Juarez, Mexico for the week of Thanksgiving serving, playing, feeding and witnessing to the people there. God showed up in amazing ways providing just enough food for the amount of people we had and protecting our team in a very violent area.

From 2008 in Review


Collin - 2008 was good because I have love, joy, peace, and kindness. I like going to karate with Connor. I liked going on the Subway in Washington DC. It was really fun playing soccer in Mexico with all the kids who were really, really, good! I like memorizing the book of James in school.

From 2008 in Review


Caileigh - I had a good year. The best was having a sleep over with Carli and Didi Bulow. The boys were gone so I had a whole week alone with Mom doing girl things. I have been taking Irish Dance which I really like. In school we learned about Fungi, which was really interesting. We went to Mexico and I was able to see a girl open my shoebox present. I liked going to Jenny's Feeding Center in Juarez and serving food. Merry Christmas!

From 2008 in Review


Connor - My favorite things this year was being on a First Lego League team and having my 10th Birthday at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. I enjoy doing Karate and am going to test for my yellow belt soon. I am enjoying Singapore Math in school.

From 2008 in Review


Dawn - I continue to homeschool the kids, Connor is in 6th grade and the twins are in 3rd grade. They are a joy to teach and we so enjoy being together. This year marked a difference with the amount of activities (karate, Irish Dance, soccer, piano etc) that the kids were in so it seemed like I spent a majority of my late afternoons playing chauffeur. I am very grateful that we got a new car in April so the car time was much more pleasant ( I love my Subaru Tribeca - it makes me smile). I spent Nov and Dec directing the Christmas play at church which turned out well - other than the fact that I completely forgot the last song. Oh well, no one's perfect ( I am almost perfect- like Mary Poppins).

From 2008 in Review


Scott - I'm still an XML consultant and active in several OASIS technical committees. This year, I expanded my horizons and decided to coach a First Lego League team. We set our expectations to having fun and learning. At Regionals, we tied for 5th place and won the FLL Rising Stars award! I have a new call sign this year, too: W0XML (yeah, pretty geeky). I also can't forget my new ride! I got a Honda Shadow Aero in January and have been commuting almost daily to work. At 55mpg, it's quite an improvement over the truck!

From 2008 in Review


As this year ends and the new year begins, we pray that God will bless you and yours. With all our love,

Scott, Dawn, Connor, Caileigh and Collin

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Be strong and courageous!

We're back and although I don't have time to go into everything (the Christmas play looms...), I wanted to give a brief update.

The trip was amazing. God showed up in amazing ways - ways that I haven't ever seen before.

A few highlights:

There were over 50 murders in Juarez the week we were there, some close to where we were, but we were safe the entire week. It was a little disconcerting to take my kids into a military zone, complete with machine gun stationed on either side of several roads we were on and full military convoys with men in full swat gear but God kept us safe and in good spirits all week.

We fed over 1000 people through out the week. One meal, God provided food until the very last person in line was fed with the very last of the food. We didn't count food or people but God knew.

Being the first customers of ladies that have been taught by missionaries to sew and emboider dish towels, aprons, and purses to help provide food for their families. I have never seen "hope" and "pride" in a more tangible way.

We had 100 bags of food and various items and God provided us with exactly 100 women. Again, we didn't count, God did.

Seeing Connor read a pamphlet of salvation to a little girl - in Spanish. Caileigh knocking on doors to invite people to church with as much Spanish as she could remember. Collin escorting an older lady who was a translator with us around the colonia so that she would be safe.

Scott was amazing as always, never quitting and helping all the rest of us translate. He makes me so proud.

I loved being able to teach children whether in English or Spanish and it was one of my favorite things to do along with playing with legos with the children in the orphange. You should have seen me trying to understand their directions as to what piece they needed. My Spanish was stretched to the limit.

So much for a little update. I get so excited by what God did in their lives and in our own. Thanks for all of you who prayed and helped us to get there. We could tell that our loved ones were praying and God answered your prayers in absolutely amazing ways.

Here's a link to some pictures...
http://picasaweb.google.com/shudson310/Mexico2008#





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Friday, November 21, 2008

Juarez for Thanksgiving

As many of you know we are going on a mission trip the week of Thankgiving. We went two years ago and it was a life-changing and life-shaping event. Following is a schedule of our days. We would covet your prayers as we venture forth. Please also pray for good health for all of us during the week.


  • Sunday - Travel day. Please pray for our time together, the blending of our team, the safety of our bus, and calm hearts for us as we go into a place very different than Boulder County.

  • Monday - Bethel Orphanage and Agua Viva Senior Men's Home. We will be spending the day loving the kids and these "grown up" orphans. We will share a meal together, share the Gospel, and mostly provide a visit in Jesus' name. Please pray that we would be bold and not timid and make the most of sharing with these sweet new friends quickly.

  • Tuesday - Bethel Orphanage. There is something wonderful about spending two days in an orphanage. To be able to say to the kids on Monday, "Hasta maƱana" is simply the best! We will play soccer, basketball, football and other games with the kids this day. Pray for us as we leave part of our hearts behind as we say, "Adios" to our new friends on Tuesday afternoon and believe that God is with them always.

  • Wednesday - Brother Ray's Feeding Center/Church. Today we will worship with Mexican brothers and sisters, we will help feed 200 people and minister to Jenny Tapia and her small band of servants who work faithfully in this place each week.

  • Thursday - Loma Blanca Colonia ("White Hill"). Today we will serve a big Mexican feast to the colonia. We may have 400 people. Please pray that we have enough food, that there be a real sense of peace and calm on this place, that we will not be stopped by the poverty that we see and instead see this neighborhood with the eyes of Jesus. We will also share a puppet show with a theme of "Do Not Be Afraid, God is Always with Us!" Pray for strength and good relationships on the team because today we will begin to be very tired.

  • Friday - Loma Blanca Colonia. Today we will have a health fair for adults and kids. We will share the importance of good spiritual, nutritional, emotional, community health. We will also be doing a mini "Operation: Christmas Child" and deliver shoebox presents to the kids.

  • Saturday - Travel Day. Again pray for safety and for sweet reflection on all that we've seen this week.


  • I would encourage you to make a difference this Thanksgiving. Help out in a food kitchen or invite those without family over for Thanksgiving dinner. We have so much to be thankful for, even in these tough economic times. Again, thanks to all of those who helped us get here. You are a blessing to us.


    Vaya con Dios!




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    Monday, November 17, 2008

    My Hero

    I think my husband is terrific. The past three months Scott has taken it upon himself to lead and coach a First Lego League Team (it's a robotics/design/science and research competition) so that Connor could be involved in it, which is right up Connor's alley. We tried to find a team that was accepting members but to no avail so Scott decided to lead one. Three other boys signed up for the team from our church and off they went. Now you need to know that Scott has never taught or led anything remotely child oriented. No, I take that back, he has done puppets but only behind the scenes. Anyway, this was a huge stretch for him and none of us had ever seen how this thing worked. They met every week for a couple of hours and worked on team building, researching climate problems and making a presentation and designing, building and programming a Lego NXT to perform certain tasks. 10 year old boys are not the easiest to keep on task let alone 4 of them but with the help of 3 of the parents, they went to their first competition this weekend.

    It was AMAZING! There were 24 teams, most of whom who were much larger teams all competing to move on to State . The boys handled the stress well, (when the robots breaks down in the middle of a 2 1/2 min round it's stressful) they met with judges, presented their research and won 5th place. They were presented with a huge trophy as the 2008 "Rising Stars". We were all shocked, Scott, parents, the boys, utterly shocked at how well our little church team did.

    My whole point of this blog was to say how proud of my husband I am. He has been willing to be drug to every home school convention, every parenting class, parenting retreat, and reads the books that I put in front of him. I am so grateful that he is in this parenting adventure with me, he is my hero.

    Oh, the team didn't quite qualify to go to state but that's okay because half the team is going to Mexico with us and State was on the Dress Rehearsal for the Christmas play and the mean director (me) said "No, they can't skip". There's always next year.


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    Monday, November 10, 2008

    So Proud!

    I just needed to share some proud Mom moments:

    All three kids memorized the entire first chapter of James and are currently working on the 2nd chapter. They are better at it than I am.

    They wrote a letter to send to friends and family about supporting them to go on our family missions trip to Mexico and raised enough money to pay all their own fees. Thanks to God and all of you who selflessly donated! You should have seen their faces when we added up the donations.

    They canvassed the street for shoebox gifts (see Operation Christmas Child for more info) to give to poor children in Mexico, knocking on doors and explaining what they were doing and received 11 shoeboxes to take with us. Most of these donations came from non-Christians and adults but the kids are favorites with the neighbors who were unwilling to let the kids down.

    What I love most is their utter confidence that God will provide and that no matter how uncomfortable the task is, they are fully willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. (If you know Collin, knocking on doors and talking to strangers, is a sacrifice - even if Mommy was right on the sidewalk. Caileigh thought it was great fun!)

    I am so grateful that I get to be their Mom. They are precious beyond measure and I know that God has a great plan for their lives.

    Oh and the picture at the top is the kids riding an elephant. Yes, a real elephant. It was big and Caileigh was little unsure of the whole idea - who knew that Caileigh was scared of anything .


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    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Pumpkin Fun




    We love fall at our house, the beautiful leaves falling, the crispness in the air, the fact that Mom starts cooking again (it's too HOT in the summer to cook) and carving pumpkins.

    Several years ago we were introduced to this activity though the Heritage Builders, "Holidays Family Night Tool Chest". The point of the activity is to show in a tangible way that we become a new creation when Jesus comes into our hearts. It's a great way to show salvation to little ones in a manner they can understand. We start by preparing the pumpkin and say, "This pumpkin is just like us!" start cleaning and pulling out the gunk.

    Read Matt 5:26

    Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    Ask your child how is this gunk like the sin in our hearts. (It's yucky, it's unclean)

    Who cleans out our hearts when we confess our sin? (Jesus)

    Read John 1:9

    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Carve your pumpkin with a happy and positive face and read 2 Cor 5:17

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    Ask your child how the pumpkin has become a new creation? (It has a face, it now can shine a light, now it's a jack o lantern)

    How do we become a new creation when Jesus comes into our hearts? (We become God's creation, we're no longer filled with sin)

    Read Matt 5:14-16

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    When we place the candle in our pumpkin, light shines through our pumpkin just like Jesus shines through us when we have accepted Him.

    You can sing "This Little Light of Mine" with younger children to reinforce the ideas.

    My kids have really learned through this and any chance to bring our children to Him with fun family activities is a big hit in our home! Hope you have fun with it too!


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    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Various Thoughts

    Just a quick to note to pass on a few thoughts.

    Proverbs:

    We have implemented a search for wisdom verses in Proverbs and there are so many. We've been reading a couple each day and so many of them talk about children listening and heeding their parents advice so that they may make wise decisions. The kids seem to enjoy finding the verses on their own to share. It's like a treasure hunt.


    Cleaning:

    This tip comes from Caileigh. One of the kids chores is to clean the showers and the bathtubs weekly. Caileigh decided to get into her swimsuit and have at it and since then all three have joined in, the tubs and showers are clean and the kids think it's a blast. The floor gets a bit wet but then I just have them wipe the floor with the dirty towels for an inbetween floor cleaning. Not the way I was taught to clean a bathroom but hey, it works and the kids enjoy it.







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    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Ummmm, Dad

    At dinner this evening, Scott was asking the kids what they learned today and just getting up to date on the happenings during the day. We were talking about Bible for the day and Scott asked, "What is the Word of God"?

    Caileigh looked at him incredulously and said, " Dad, you don't know what the word of God is? It's the Bible!"

    It just cracked me up!



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    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    High School Musical fun

    Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Goals are Good!

    We've managed to survive the first month of school, which any homeschool Mom will tell you is a feat of mass determination and sheer will power. It actually hasn't been bad at all, we must be getting the hang of this after 7 years. One thing I have really noticed is that the goal setting has really worked this year. The kids have taken the goals that Scott and I set up and ran with them. Connor has really stepped it up. One of his goals was to look for ways to help Mom and very rarely do I even have to ask for help to put away dishes, start the laundry or take out trash. It's been wonderful! (No, we are not taking offers of marriage yet - he is only 10)

    The twins have been a little slower on the buy in but I can see a major difference in them as well. Caileigh is talking more respectfully to her brothers and Collin is trying hard to be more gentle.

    I think kids like goals, they need them and they like to be noticed when they achieve them - even tiny kids. Goals can be as simple as , "Mommy would like you to work on Obeying Right Away." or "We're going to work on doing everything without whining and complaining." Make sure and set the expectations ahead of time and tell them why you want this done. "God wants you to obey Mommy. " Read Eph 5:1 to them and have them memorize it. The why is important! The Why is vital! Make sure to teach the behavior before you expect it and what's more important what God says about it. Have positive reinforcement when they achieve the goal (and discipline when they don't).

    I have to say that although this season in life is the busiest I've ever been (and that includes newborn twins) it's also one of the most rewarding. I love being with my kids and seeing their hearts move daily towards God's. I hope you are seeing it in yours!

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    Tuesday, September 02, 2008










    School has started!

    You can see all three kids have grown by leaps and bounds in the past year. The first and last day of school we measure their height and take pictures of where they are on the chart and put it up next to last years pictures to show how much they've grown and matured.

    Above you'll see the classroom and all of us in our tye-dye that we made for our first day of school.

    Oh and the picture of the timeline is for Paige. Sorry, it's taken me so long but you'll see that I bought a Bible timeline and then a history timeline and put the kids cumulative timeline pieces underneath. They each pick out a 1/3 of their own to add to the chart , that way they all have some pieces on the wall.

    It amazes me that even though I spend all of my days with my kids how much more I learn about them in school - good and bad. I think it's that I never spend 3-4 hours straight in the same room testing, teaching, and training at any other time of the year. For those that don't home school, you should pick a project a couple times of months to teach your child and spend several hours with them - you'll learn tons! Some about yourself, ( patience is a virtue) and so much about your kids temperament, learning style, communication, and my favorite - meltdown points! I've had to re-think and re-train my kids in several areas after a week of school. Whew!







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    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    Being Proactive

    I am going to get on a soap box here, for just a minute. I'll get off in a second and then you can get on if you want.

    I am going through the "Shepherding a Child's Heart" parents handbook by Ted Tripp and he had us go through a few of the verses and I want to share with you what struck me - with a two by four.

    Gen 18:18 says, "For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him."

    Duet 6:6-9 says, "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

    Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

    What hit me in these verses is that God is asking us to be proactive in our training. So often we wait until there is a problem to begin training. We are to be training about God and loving God intentionally throughout our day. We are not to depend on others or events (like Sunday school or Christian School or even Home school ) to start the training it's to be consistent and pro-active all the time! We should constantly evaluate at what stage our children are in and have a plan in place to train and teach them about God, obedience, our response to others, self-control, fruits of the spirit and so forth.

    I'll step off my box now and share with you a few of my favorite resources:

    For little ones: The Singing Bible, The Heritage Builders Family Nights for pre-schoolers, Little Book of Manners for Girls, Little Book of Manners for Boys, Bedtime Blessings, Clubhouse JR Magazine

    For Elementary: The Family Night Series by Jim Weidmann and Kurt Bruner, Hymns for a Kids Heart series, Discover 4 Yourself® Inductive Bible Studies for Kids (for older elementary and Jr. High), Movie Nights for Kids, Clubhouse Magazine

    Oh and my favorite is our curriculum from My Father's World. I have never seen better Bible curriculum and /or character building. Even if you don't homeschool - for little ones (3-5) you should look at their K and 1st grade curriculum - it's all combined but it's worth the money for the Bible alone.

    We haven't hit the teen stuff yet, so maybe someone else could give us their favorites for that.









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    Monday, August 04, 2008

    An Amazing Day




    Yesterday was an amazing day. One of those days that makes all the hard work worth it. One of those days that makes the days that you are desperately trying to keep your temper and explain why obedience to Christ is important, why we do devotions everyday, and why we aren't like other families on the block, seem priceless.

    Yesterday my children were baptized. Yesterday, my children stood in front of our church and our family to publicly tell the world their faith story and to to publicly share the change that had happened in their hearts privately. Yesterday was a moment that will forever shine in my memory. Yesterday, they shined for Jesus because He first loved them.

    They each made the decision to be baptized separately but it just so happened that that they could do it together. They each picked the men in their lives that are the most important in their lives to baptize them. Their dad, their grandfathers, one natural (Scott's dad) and one adopted (Mr. Vic) and Pastor Preston. It was infinitely precious to watch my children in the water with the men that love, protect, guide and pray for them.

    Yesterday, I watched God fulfill promises that He made to me and their Grandma Sherron many years ago. Yesterday God showed again His love and blessing on our family.

    Yesterday was an amazing day.

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    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    House of the Lord

    I am such a proud Mom! Here's a video of our oldest son singing in church on Sunday accompanied by his piano teacher.

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    video

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Training the Heart - part 1

    The parenting retreat went very well and Scott and I came home with a new determination to truly train our children to keep their hearts pure. I had gotten a "Shepherding a Child's Heart" parent's handbook which is in the format of a Bible study and I sat down to follow up. While praying and studying, I realized that I hadn't really explained to the kids about heart training. Ooops! I can't expect my children to have this discipline if I haven't trained them first, so with my Bible and my handbook I sat down with the kids.

    Luke 6:45 says, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

    We talked about things overflowing. For instance, if we poured milk into a cup and kept pouring, orange juice wouldn't flow out of the cup, milk would. Whatever we put into to our heart is going to overflow into our words and behavior for good and for evil. We then went to Psalm 119:11, " I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." If we hide God's words in our heart that's what will overflow. We then made fun doorhangers as reminders. I think every good devotion needs a craft.

    We have worked on memorizing these verses this week and I have to say that I have seen a lovely change in the way the kids have been treating each other. Just this morning, Caileigh lovingly offered Collin her waffle with the last of the syrup on it but he politely refused with "No, thank you but thanks for the offer" and happily had jelly and peanut butter on his. While I was watching with a huge (and proud) smile, Connor said, "That was really nice, guys!" Ahhh, if only all moments were like those - Caileigh later tried to dunk Collin's head in the pool while he was grabbing for her floaty. But, hey, I see progress!




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    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    Our Adventure Girl


    On Saturday, Scott took us to a nearby reservoir for a family jaunt. We climbed rocks, traversed a steep trail and skipped rocks to our hearts content. I have to say that my husband is the King of rock skipping - he skipped one rock 10 jumps! We were in awe of his immense talent. On the way back up the trail, I was leading and Caileigh was following. About halfway up Caileigh found a different way up and she yelled to me, "Mommy, I am going the same place as you but I found my own way up! I am on an adventure!"


    I thought about that statement as I watched her joyfully climbing with a stick she found. I sometimes think that my kids and, Caileigh especially, have to follow my exact steps to be successful. I am the Mom and I know what's best, right? I came to the conclusion that I don't always know what's best, but I know who does. I know that Abba Father has a plan for their lives, one for good and not for evil and it may not be the same path I have taken. I believe that they'll end up in the same place, in the will of the Father, but that their adventure may look completely different and I have to learn to be supportive of that. No, more than that, I have to be able to prepare them for that as well. Scott and I have to train them up in the way they should go.

    So my darling fearless girl, you are on a great adventure and I'll meet you there!



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    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Seeing the Proof

    Let's see...

    We finished school and headed out to Washington DC for a week of field trips in our nation's capitol. It was a whirlwind trip as are all vacations with my sight-seeing loving husband. We seemed to have hit field trip week for the entire nation. I mean it, the entire nation! (As a side note watching all those kids away from their parents reminded me that character and behavior count - alot.) It was a great trip even if it was crowded.

    I have stated before that vacations are a fantastic way to judge how much your children's behavior is based on punishment (because you can't discipline as effectively in a public place away from home) and how much is heart training. I saw some really amazing things out of my children like patience, family unity, and perseverence. I also saw some areas that need some work like whining and going to sleep when we tell them. I guess we have all summer to work on them. My favorite part of the trip was watching my husband teach the boys to march up and down the Reflection Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial while Caileigh did the Irish jig. It was a picture I will remember forever.

    On a completely different topic, we just received Connor's test score's back and let me assure you that home schooling is an academically strong educational option. Surprising even to me is that Connor did better than he did in 3rd grade. Oh and for those of you that were wondering, Singapore Math works as well. I am extremely happy with the results. Connor did a fantastic job and we are so proud of him! Yeah God!







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    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Tests


    Connor now and Connor then!

    Connor took his 5th grade tests this week. I know! 5th grade and as he is forever reminding me, my little boy will be 10 in two weeks time. 10, you heard me, 10! Amazing! I feel sure I am not old enough to have a ten year old. Anyway, while I was waiting on the second day of test I was reflecting on the fact that being a home school Mom, this test is as much about how I am doing as a teacher as how Connor is as a student. Which may explain why I was more nervous than he was.

    It got me to thinking about others things that I hope my children are learning that aren't quite so easy to test. Do they put God first in their heart? Do they care for others over themselves? Are they polite? Do they know what's right in God's eyes? Do they know the Bible as well as they know their math facts? Do they love purely? Do they understand that while we are training them to have first time obedience to us, we're really trying to train them to first time obedience to God? Do they understand that character is more important than academics?

    Ahhh, do I understand that character is more important than academics? Academics matter, don't get me wrong, if Connor gets below a 90%, I'll have an issue with that. But do I make academics more important that character and Godliness in my children's hearts and mind? I wish I had a test that would show me the percentage on that.

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    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Everyday Talk

    Scott and I are helping our church plan a parenting retreat in June for our church and we are using "Shepherding a Child's Heart" material. While ordering the material I ordered, "Everyday Talk" by John Younts which was recommended by my good friend, Kerri (wayoutinthedesert.blogspot.com ). I have to tell you that I have been totally convicted by the things that come out of mouth that do not point my children to God or that show the state of my heart. For example, we had a 98 Ford Windstar with high mileage, that I thoroughly disliked. It binged. I mean it, it binged. If the temperature was over 50 degrees the "door ajar" light and warning bing would come on and stay on... the entire trip. Yes, I did take it to the mechanic but, of course, it didn't do it for them. I tried to be patient but with three kids and a loud bing every two second, I would lose my patience and mutter, "I hate this car!" or "Stupid car", which is a real no-no in our house. Instead of showing my children that I was grateful that God provided a car that was reliable and paid for, I showed them by my words an ungrateful heart. I am constantly asking my children, "Where is your heart?" or "Who are you putting first?" but this book reminded me that I need to lead by example, especially in the area of my 'everyday talk'. I have had to take stock of the words that I speak in the normal course of my day and I have to tell you it wasn't always pretty, but I am working on it. I haven't said "stupid fridge" when the condiment shelf falls off for at least two days. I consider that drastic improvement but more importantly, I hope it shows my children that I have to obey and honor God in my words and actions.

    Oh by the way, we sold our van and the new car doesn't bing! Pure bliss!


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    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    School and Spring Fever

    5 more weeks of school, that's all we have left but lately even that small amount seems like forever. The kids and I have a serious case of spring fever. We got the kids a 7 seat airplane teeter totter for Easter (a little extravagant we know, but it's so cool!) and they've spent hours playing and pretending to be flying to far away places. Caileigh was flying to India to be a missionary like Amy Carmicheal, Collin was traveling under the sea as his plane turned into a submarine and Connor was pretending to fly the Space shuttle to Mars. I so love watching them playing so well together and just enjoying being kids. These times of innocence will pass away so quickly.

    We love doing school together and we love to learn but we are looking forward to carefree days of pretending too.

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    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    A Quote from Thomas Jefferson

    I just found this qoute from Thomas Jefferson. As always, Jefferson says it perfectly.

    "Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence."

    — President Thomas Jefferson, 1825

    Words to live by!



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    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Part of the Body

    Caileigh and Collin have been studying the body in school, our physical body as well as the body of Christ, the church. Often, I get a little sidetracked especially in Bible, today was such a day but I felt the need to share. Yesterday I read another article on MSN about the decline of church attendance, especially in the late teens and early twenties age group. This morning as we were talking about the body of Christ all the pieces that had been floating around in my head clicked.

    I want my children to know that they were created on purpose by a purposeful God for a purpose. God has a plan for their lives and He has great things in store for them if they stay in His will (not leave the church as young people). Psalm 139 says,

    3
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother's womb.

    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place.
    When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

    16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.


    God made them for a purpose, to do His will and work for Him. We then went on to read, Romans 12:4-5,

    Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.


    Just as the body (we used a model of the human body to show this part) has a specific job so does the members of the body of Christ.

    Corinthians 12 says this about the body,
    4Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

    21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"


    Using the body model we took pieces of the body out and played with this thought for a time (also teaching science - I love multi-tasking). What does the heart do? does the body need it to survive? What about the lungs, or the hands, or the stomach, or the eyes? Our bodies need all of its parts. God designed the parts to fit together and to work together. Without the different parts of our body we don't function properly, as God designed. So with the body of Christ, the church. The church does not function properly without all of its parts and God designed each of us with different gifts to fulfill the role of a part of His body. From the womb, He designed us to have certain gifts and personalities to fulfill the role He has for us. What a glorious thought! We were designed for a purpose and He has fitted us each differently for different purposes. I love that! I love that God designed my kids to fulfill a purpose that will bless His body.

    As I was sharing this today, my kids faces lit up with the thought that God has a wonderful plan for their lives. (This was also a great chance to mention staying obedient to stay in the center of His purpose. I never want to lose an opportunity to mention staying obedient!) I want my kids to go through life knowing that there is a purpose for their lives and that just one person can affect the world for Him. I never want them to question that they were designed by God to be the way they are. I want to know that too! I want them to know that if they leave the body, it will suffer and they will suffer. Staying in the center of God's will is the best place for them to be, no matter what age they are or what stage in life.





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    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Middle Ages Night


    One of the things I love about home schooling and our curriculum (mfwbooks.com) is the family learning events. This was an all candle lit, meat pie eating, Nine Men Morris playing, ale drinking (okay ginger ale), night in the middle ages. Scott was Lord Hudson, Connor was Sir Conrad, Collin was Brother Collin, Caileigh was Princess Sarah and I was Mistress Hudson the kitchen help. We had a wonderful time pretending and learning together.


    The next week, we had monastary night. We weren't allowed to speak and ate Pea Soup (not my favorite) and Black bread. Scott read the Bible through out the meal and we all meditated in the solitude on the meaning of the words. It was a special night but we all are grateful that we were not called to be Monks.

    I hope and pray that these are memories of family times that the kids will bring with them into adulthood.




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    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Family Purpose

    Recently, we were challenged to make sure we have a working family purpose. I thought I would share what we've learned and how to make a family purpose. Oh, and goals for each of the kids too! The examples are our family purpose and objectives and the kids goals. My poor kids don't know how often I've used them as the example of good and bad behavior! I'll have to raise their allowance.


    Family Purpose

    I.Purpose
    Write an overall purpose statement for your family, making sure it reflects the morals and values of your family. Start with “Our purpose as a family is....” Make your statement as precise and simple as possible.
    Example : “Our purpose as a family is to bring glory to God through the love and choices we make as individuals and corporately as a family.”

    II.Objective
    State in a phrase or sentence an objective in fulfilling your purpose statement. Begin your statement with “to...” and complete your statement in such a way that you would see your purpose statement fulfilled.
    Example : “To raise our children to be Godly young men and women filled with integrity and joy, who will be leaders for Christ in their homes, churches and country.”
    III.Goals
    Carefully consider individual goals for each family member. We make goals in three areas, spiritual, personal and academic (for our children) each year and have three goals per area..
    Example : For our oldest son, here are the goals he is currently working on
    Spiritual – self control over his emotions and tongue Gal 5:22-23
    Personal – maintain responsibility over belongings (coats, piano bags, sports equipment) Eph 6:1-2
    Academic – have multiplication and division tables memorized through 12


    Carefully consider these goals and make sure they meet these criteria:
    1.Are they biblical?
    2.Do I have a verse or moral reason why to support these?
    3.Do they fit out purpose as a family?
    4.Do they bring glory to God or glory to us?
    5. Are they achievable? We don't want to exasperate our children. (Col. 3:21)


    Post these in a spot where you can see them regularly and pick a goal to work on weekly or monthly, include your children and them pick the goal they want to work on.
















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    Tuesday, January 29, 2008

    Maternal Grace

    As do all stay at home Moms and especially, home school Moms, lately there have been times when I question the value of what I am doing. Is the time and struggle really worth it? I know in my heart of hearts that it is and that it's what God has called me too but sometimes my head and selfishness get in the way. God is merciful as always, and has shown me the value of my work. I wanted to share them so that if there are any other Mom's questioning they could be encouraged as well.


    I have been studying 2 Timothy for several months and was struck (with a 2x4) by this verse. Paul was talking to Timothy and encouraging him to continue with the things that he had learned and then said this, "and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Timothy was taught from childhood, by whom you ask? Well, in the beginning of chapter one Paul says, "when I call to rememberance of the genuine faith that is in you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.." It seems probable that Timothy's mother and grandmother were so instrumental in Timothy's training from the time that he was a child that Paul needed to mention it.

    I have also been reading "Finding God in the story of Amazing Grace", by Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware in which the first chapter was devoted to John Newton's mother. John Newton's mother died when he was seven but apparently had so thoroughly trained him in the word of God that Newton remembered her devotion and words later in his life no matter how hard he tried to "sin away" her words. John Newton became a captain of a slave ship until God used his mothers words to bring John back to God. If you don't know the story, John Newton wrote "Amazing Grace" and was a major supporter of William Wilberforce who was responsible for making slave trade illegal in Britain.

    Mothers can make a major difference in the lives of their children. May God so use me in the lives of my children.




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