Monday, June 28, 2010

Homeschooling Positive: Multi-Age Playmates

Here is another advantage to homeschooling my friend reminded me of, homeschooling children in general play well with children of different age ranges. An 8 year-old and a 6 year-old will play happily together, without thinking it is not cool for the older to play with the younger. Where as in public school a 3rd grader would not be playing with a Kindergartner.

This is just a generalization, but from my experience, it is true. So the next time someone questions you about socialization, you can answer, "Yes, socialization is one of the reasons why we chose to homeschool our children." The look on their face is priceless. I also know this from experience. Of course, I always make sure to add, homeschooling is not for everyone ;-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gift Ideas for Tots and Preschoolers...

Hi Friends,

Our sweet Abby just celebrated her 2nd birthday and she LOVES the toys she received so much that I just had to recommend them. We've been really into classic wooden toys lately (love Melissa and Doug!) as well as old fashioned educational toys. Fortunately, we have a wonderful parent-teacher resource center in the area where we can borrow toys and educational products. Whenever I borrow something she loves, I just add it to her Amazon wishlist and send it out to family members for birthdays and around Christmas time.

She loves these toys and she is able to play with them independently (yes!) while I work with Rachel on something more academic or while I'm simply reading her a story.


A Laminator for a GREAT Deal!

Hi Friends,

I just had to tell you about this super deal that I saw over on Amber's blog. I've had this laminator in my Amazon shopping cart for a long time.  I finally bought it today because it's on SAAALE for a great price!  When you buy the laminator and a pack of 50 laminating sheets, you can send in a $20 rebate!  After the rebate, you get both items for only $21.49!!!  That's an amazing deal!  The offer is good until July 31.

I personally think that everyone should own a laminator... especially teachers and homeschoolers.  It's kind of addicting making all your papers shiny, don't you think?  Ooo, the possibilities!

It's a Dad's Life

Here's a cute tribute to Dad's.  I got quite a few chuckles out of it!  My favorite part was during the Disney movie... I won't say more. :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bed Wetting Article

Here is an article about bed wetting from Web MD: Bed-Wetting: What Causes It

Thought it may be helpful if your child has that problem. You can also e-mail to a meddling relative. :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Baby

With every new baby, your life changes, and parenting takes on new form. This was my experience~
  • Baby #1 ~ Shock or Baby Boot Camp as my husband called it. You are brand new at being a parent and applying all those things you read in books to actual life, is not quite as easy as you thought. If you left your job to stay home, your identity completely changes. You go from using your brain to feeding, wiping, rocking in a never ending cycle. Learning on the go is stressful, but being on the mommy team is wonderful. Your first transitions you to a mother.
  • Baby #2 ~ Mastering the Art of Multi Tasking. Your have all the experience from number one, so it is less stressful. However, the second still bring a big change, and brings parenting to a whole other level, aka you lose the rest of your independence. There seems to be much less time, but twice the work. You learn to be more flexible and hover less. The second brings the sweet pleasure, and occasional pain, of sibling relationship.
  • Baby #3 ~ Treasured. By now you realize how quickly babies grow up. Those middle of the night feedings turn into a precious times in quiet peace, just you and your baby. While sleep would be wonderful, the lack of sleep is not as traumatic as with your first or second. You feel sad that your 3rd does not get to do all the things your 1st had experienced, but they get to experience different things. The older siblings entertain the baby, so they do not need you to always play with them. If you weren't born organized, you learn now out of desperation. Then you will wonder why you did not do it sooner. If you are a born organized, ducks in a row person, your 3rd will throw you for a loop. However, you will recover with an added simplicity to your lifestyle, which is a good addition.
  • Baby # 4 and more ~ ?????? Since I have not experienced that change the 4th child brings, I can't say. I do assume it changes the family dynamics. Also, I have a feeling I will get much better at training and expecting my children to share in the household work, as well as making them more independent. I will hover even less, and become even more simplified. There is so much I have learned about parenting, it will be nice to have a chance to use it.
Spacing is an important factor. If you have 2, less than 2 years apart, the demands could be very stressful. All of mine are 2 1/2 years apart, and it worked out well. My friend said having a space between your 3rd and 4th will help you from feeling overwhelmed. The most physically demanding time in parenting is when you only have young children. Then the younger ones grow up and can help when a new one comes along, or at the very least, take care of themselves ( i.e. dress themselves, pick out their clothes, etc.) If you do have many little ones in a row, remember it is only a season. It will change.

Also, anytime you have a traumatic event or trial, like losing a parent or serious illness, or even a traveling husband, postpartum problems or lack of sufficient help, it can make the new arrival very overwhelming. I have to say personally, my 3rd was born at a very dark time in my life. My husband had just had 2 strokes, and was in the very early stages of recovery. However, the baby's coming birth gave me hope when we had very little hope for my husband's health. I made it a conscious effort to bond with him, and it worked. Even still, we both have a very strong bond. He became my little light of joy during a very sad and stressful time. He was just what I needed and God knew that.

What changes did each baby bring for you? The changes are different for everyone. Did they fit with my descriptions or where they different? Do you want to add another, but worried how it will change things?

Friday, June 11, 2010

"I Praise You"

Lord God,
I praise you.
You are so worthy to be praised,
Creator of this beautiful day,
The One who holds all things together.
Forgive me that I do not praise your name
In the face of trials,
In moments of pure bliss,
In an ordinary day.
Help me to look to you,
Not myself,
Not others,
Not your creation,
But at You.
Oh, Lord, how worthy you are to be praised!
You have set my heart aglow,
Your blessings pour forth on my undeserving head.
How holy You are;
How lowly am I!
How big you are,
And, oh, how I am small!
Let me remember this:
Your son, slayed for me,
The One who became a curse for me,
The One who lives forever, seated on the highest throne,
Who stepped down to die for me.
Jesus, Lord, that He is all I need.
I hear it;
Let it penetrate.
My heart is hard and cold most often.
But Your love can surely break through.
Lord God,
I praise you.
Sweet salvation, these underserving lips may drink,
All because of You.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood - Chapter 1

Voices of the True Woman Movement
Hi Ladies,

John Piper's goal in the first chapter is to clarify the ultimate meaning of true womanhood, and to motivate us to embrace it as our highest calling.

What shapes you?
We are constantly bombarded by various messages on womanhood each day.  Who or what shapes you, your values, and the way you understand the world?  What voices do you listen to?  TV?  The internet?  Magazines?  Friends and family?  Are you, like Eve, being seduced by lies?  Are you being led astray from what is good and wise?  Or do you look to God for truth and bend your ear toward His voice of Wisdom?  Do you believe that He is full of grace and truth and that His ways are truly best even when they don't make sense to us?  Are you God-centered or self-centered?

The most important thing about a person is what they believe about God.  We should look to God's truth to shape our beliefs and values.  We should not do the opposite and look to our culture to shape our view of God!  As John Piper says in the first chapter, "Wimpy theology makes wimpy women.  Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ."  (p. 21)

Ultimate Purpose
When God created the universe and everything in it, His design was intentional, deliberate, purposeful, and beautiful.  Everything was made according to His plan, His idea, and His purposes.  Masculinity and femininity were not created as an afterthought.  They were created to teach us more about God.

Consider how marriage portrays a beautiful picture of Christ's sacrificial love:
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her... that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Again, we get a glimpse of Christ's relationship to the church, His bride.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:31)

Piper says that marriage is "meant to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church... Marriage will display, as in a mirror dimly, something of the glory of the sacrificial love of Christ for His bride and the lavish reverence and admiration of the bride for her husband.

Intentional Design
Piper concludes that God made us male and female to more fully display the glory of Jesus.  If we were just genderless people, there would be aspects of Christ's nature that would not be known.  The very reason why males and females exist, why we're given in marriage at all, is because it points to something much bigger than gender and marital status.  If you thought your marriage was about you and your husband, it's not.  It actually points to Christ, the cross, and His relationship to the church!   Piper doesn't believe that God simply looked around and decided that marriage would be a good analogy to describe Jesus' relationship to the church.  It was all preplanned from the beginning of time.

Finding Fulfillment
If God was so intentional about manhood and womanhood, and if He uses it to describe something about Jesus, it's definitely a very important topic.  As we go through the rest of the series, I believe we will be most satisfied and most fulfilled in our roles as women when we trust the One who designed us this way.

Is your theology wimpy or do you believe He is all knowing, completely wise, and thoroughly intentional about the way He created us?  Believing the truth about God and who He is will help you see the beauty in His plan for you as a woman.

My next post will be on Chapter 2: From Him, through Him, to Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Voices of the True Woman Movement - Intro

Voices of the True Woman Movement

Hi Ladies,

God has placed a powerful vision on my heart for myself and other women.  To sum it up I desperately want to be a godly wife and mother and to spread the message of God's true design for us as women.  I consider it such a precious gift that He has revealed the true worth and value of womanhood and motherhood to me, for I did not always feel this way.  There was a time when I embraced the world's view of these roles, yet God has graciously allowed me to see the emptiness of the path centered on Self.  I have a desire to connect with like-minded women and a burden for those who are still trying to navigate through life the world's way.  I pray my next series of posts will encourage us to see the beauty in God's design for women.

I've wanted to blog about this subject for some time now, but I felt unqualified because I'm still learning and growing in these areas myself!  That is why I am so thankful for the wonderful folks at Revive Our Hearts.  They sent me a free copy of Nancy Leigh DeMoss' new release - Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution.  The book is a collection of Christ-centered messages from the first True Woman Conference by John Piper, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Mary Kassian, Janet Parshall, Joni Eareckson Tada, Karen Lorritts, and Fern Nichols.  I'm so thankful to have a resource full of wisdom from these wonderful people!  I have agreed to blog about each of the nine chapters in the book.

Here is a sneak peak of the topics I'll be discussing on my blog, but I'll be reposting them here too:

Foundations of True Womanhood
Chapter 1: The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood - John Piper
Chapter 2: From Him, through Him, to Him - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The Battle for True Womanhood
Chapter 3: You've Come a Long Way, Baby! - Mary A. Kassian
Chapter 4: For Such a Time as This - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The Refining of True Womanhood
Chapter 5: A Woman after God's Own Heart - Janet Parshall
Chapter 6: Choosing Faith in Seasons of Change - Karen Loritts
Chapter 7: God's Jewels - Joni Eareckson Tada

Reclaiming True Womanhood
Chapter 8: Leaving a Lasting Legacy through Prayer - Fern Nichols
Chapter 9: A Call to the Counter-Revolution - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I hope you'll join me for this series and share your thoughts and comments! :)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Letter Photography

This is another great decorating idea from Family Fun, and it looks a lot of fun to make too. If you don't have the time to find and take 26 photos, you may be able to find them on the Internet for free.

I think I would like to do this project with my daughter and decorate our playroom with the pictures - in IKEA frames of course ( I LOVE IKEA ). It would be fun to find the hidden letter in objects. The article from Family Fun explains how to go about it, as well as ideas for the finished project, like an alphabet book or spelling out a name in a frame.

What is nice about this idea is that it looks artistic, but it is kid friendly as well. You do not have to spend a fortune on artwork, your children and you can make it together. Catherine, this is right up your alley! Our camera is not a SLR, but I will post letters as we find them.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posts. I have had my hands in a lot of things recently:
  • Stack of paperwork for our adoption
  • Starting my 5k training ( not as glorious as it sounds )
  • Couponing
  • Redoing our bathroom floor
Will post soon on all the above soon. I think couponing is the one eating up my hobby time, so blogging had taken a back seat for the last couple of weeks. However, I am so excited to write all about the changes God is bringing into our family's life at the moment, so I am sure blogging will creep back in.