Saturday, August 29, 2009

The first week of school


School has started! We tye-dyed shirts to wear on the first day and the kids had new Disney school supplies and a candy bar that they could eat right then ( "Before lunch, Mom? Really? Cool!". Note that I had fed them baked oatmeal with blueberries so that the sugar wouldn't send them into a downward spiral. I presented them with their goals that Scott and I had set for them and they chose two to begin working on immediately. We did our annual height chart (Connor is now officially over 5 feet) and pictures to hang in the classroom and started the year with much giggles and excitement.

The start of the school year was a little odd this year as Scott was in India. I didn't realize how much we would miss Daddy's annual prayer over the school year and each child individually but his excitement and support was sorely missed.

I was very glad that I has started Math and Language Arts early in August along with the school schedule so that the first week wasn't quite as much of a shock to all of us. We will continue to add in the rest of the subjects for the next couple of weeks until we have everything in place. I find adding subjects in gradually helps us to enjoy the first of the school year without too much tears and stress. The twins also started soccer (on separate teams) this last week so it was a busy one!

I continue to be amazed at how MFW teaches us so much with so little time but we had a lot of fun with memorizing the Northern and Southern border states and reading Patricia St John's, "A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God". If you haven't read any of her children's stories, please check them out. They have amazing Godly stories set in exciting places. We also made homemade bread and a colonial recipe for Corn Chowder. They were great!

Scott gets home on Monday and we are so excited to show him all we've done in one short week. Ipray that the rest of the school year goes as smoothly as the last week has, although I am reeling at the thought of Connor being in 7th grade and the twins in 4th. I'm not sure where the time has gone. They are such delights to be with though that I find I appreciate all the time I have with them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thoughts on Parenting Deliberately

When I was eight months pregnant with Connor, a colleague of Scott's and his family came to our new home for dinner. We had moved from Colorado Springs only a few months before and were trying to get to know people in this area. We (and our families) had worked really hard on our new home to prepare for Connor's arrival. Connor's room had a blue sky ceiling and blue and yellow walls with a classic Winnie the Pooh border. Grammy had made curtains and a wonderful quilt for his bed and the room was perfect. Clothes had been washed and hung, bed made, stuffed animals carefully placed, glider in the corner with a delightful Pooh bear lamp and a table to hold water and books while nursing, in short all that was missing was a baby. (okay, I admit it was a little obsessive but that's just how I am!) We invited this family to see the baby's room. Promptly their 3 yr old daughter scaled the crib and began throwing everything out of the crib. She grabbed one of the Winnie the Pooh's and declared she was taking it home. The parents said, "Now, honey, you can't that's not yours". The girl starting throwing a fit, IN CONNOR'S CRIB. The parents said to us, "We'll just leave her there for awhile". In disbelief, I said, "No, I don't think so." I grabbed the girl out of the crib and took the bear out of her hands. The parents stood by and did nothing. I was not a happy pregnant woman (not that I was ever a really happy pregnant woman, but still). They reluctantly grabbed their still screaming daughter and made their exit. I fumed and fretted over this for hours as I put Connor's room back into pristine condition. I finally came to the realization that I had been bad mouthing this little girl and in reality it was the parent's fault. They had allowed this behavior to continue and had done nothing to stop it. That little girl was only doing what all of us in our sin nature do, namely put ourselves and our needs first. It was the parents responsibility to train this child out of this behavior. I came to decision that day that I would do everything in my power to NEVER have my children thought and spoken of in those negative terms by anyone. It was probably one of the most pivotal parenting moments of my early Mom days. It started me on a path of watching good parenting moments of others and trying to copy them (and find out what books they read) and watching bad parenting moments and deciding not to do that! It made me realize that I had to be deliberate in parenting. I had to have a plan and had to put that plan into proctive. It was our job and responsibility for this beloved child.

With that in mind, I am going to encourage all of you to make goals for your children and then do whatever you can to help them to accomplish them.

Here's one of my earlier posts on goals and 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

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.”

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.”
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?

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

I hope you can sit down with your spouse and make a family plan. The beginning of school is a great time to do that. We just finished ours and looked over last years and it was really encouraging to note the personal and spiritual growth of the kids. Praise God!


Monday, August 03, 2009

Worldview Training

I have been looking for resources to help aid us in training our kids in worldview and have a few I wanted to share.

For those that have done "The Truth Project" or maybe even in conjunction with, "The Truth Chronicles:Adventures in Odyssey" is great. So very fun to listen to but has a great message about learning to evaluate what we hear and what we learn in light of what God says.

Connor and I are also beginning an introductory logic course that is enjoyable and fun while still training in hearing fallacies and being able to think clearly. I think it's great for middle school kids and above. The First book is "The Fallacy Detective" and is from a Christian worldview. We'll begin formal logic training later but this is a great starter.


Saturday, August 01, 2009



This summer has not gone as I had planned. It has gone how God planned but not as I planned. You'll remember my blog early in the summer on planning more time to play, however we have not been up to the mountains since. God had some different plans for our family this summer which helped to me to really define who I am and what my priorities truly are.

I received a call in June from a friend asking if I would be willing to work several weeks this summer to help them out. Scott and I prayed about it and felt like this was something I could do as well as helping a company I firmly believe in. So Scott bravely agreed to hold down the home front while working at home (isn't he amazing) while I flew out on a great adventure. I really enjoyed working, it was different, I felt valued and that I was giving my time to a very worthwhile cause. I also loved working with the people I did (you know who you are). They were friendly, Godly, and kept an amazing amount of grace in the face of an incredible amount of change, oh and maintained a sense of humor. I could imagine myself working in this environment full-time but something continually nagged at me. I felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing at the moment but that this was not what I was supposed to be doing all the time. I realized that I really want to be with my children. I want to be the one who disciples them. I want to know what they are doing and what they are feeling. I want to be the one who takes them to their soccer camps and the pool. I want to teach them. I want to be there when they figure out a new concept in math or write a good sentence. I want to teach Bible to them every day and watch them grow in their faith. It is what God has called me to do at this time.

So often we as Moms think we are not doing something of value in wiping noses, changing diapers, doing laundry, making dinner, reading stories, cleaning toilets and the myriad of things that we do each day but we are we are training the next generation and no one can do it as well as we can. I loved the opportunity and I would willing go again but I am so grateful that God showed me where my heart truly is, with my husband and kids at home. I hope God shows you today where your heart is.

The pictures are of Caileigh's newly decorated room. I finally was able to spend the time and re-paint her room for her birthday - only a month late but it's done! All three kids helped, Caileigh helped me stencil the vine and the boys helped me stencil the stars. They were great!


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