Monday, September 29, 2014

ordinary days.

There's a blog that I've been reading for probably the last 6 years.  She's a mom to 6 kids ranging in age from 19 years to 2 years.  She just seems to be down-to-earth and raises her kids in a way that is not necessarily 'the norm' of how people do these days.  She's not radical…but just more on the conservative/traditional side of things…and well anyways….without ever having met her…I like to read what she has to say and agree with her on a lot of things.  And with all that being said…she will occasionally write posts titled "ordinary days."  And they are just that.

And there's something to be said about the ordinary….and believe it or not….I won't hash it all out here right now.  Haha!  But I will say….I'm doing Priscilla Shirer's Gideon: Your weakness.  God's strength.  bible study right now. And it has been really good for me.  Just a little something from the study…

"Todays tasks are preparation for tomorrow's calling…..While it might seem comical to find spiritual principles in washing dishes or answering phones at your desk job, God is teaching you faithfulness, diligence, and integrity through every task."

_________


Wonderful weather this morning…and after Parker left for school…we headed outside.  This morning I was in no rush to start the laundry or clean the kitchen (thankfully Geoff cleaned the kitchen for me!)…but rather enjoy these 2 babies while they are home with me.


**she was making me soup



I caught Nolan pushing around his Fox that he had so sweetly covered up with his blankie.



A trip to the library in Anna dress-up clothes, no less.


A trip to Costco.  Here- Grace is trying to bust Nolan out of the seat belt.  I have to keep my eye on these two!!


Preparing for tomorrow's lessons while this guy pulls out whatever he can (I usually do this after they are in bed, but I wanted to try and do it earlier tonight and I think I like it this way so much more!)


And once home from school, she played school.  She was reading The Storybook Bible to her class.


Geoff wasn't home tonight, so I just made myself be a short-order cook and made everyone what they wanted to eat.  I suppose it's more work this way, but I have 3 happy, non-whiny kids, and so it balances out.  :)


After dinner stroll.  (And just FYI….these pictures may look all fun and happy-go-lucky….but let it be known…real life happens here, too, and we made it to the school parking lot for them to ride freely and safely….only to have to turn around and leave 5 minutes later because Grace needed to go to the bathroom.  Parker and Nolan both through fits!  I thought I'd never get Nolan back in the stroller without hurting him, with all his flailing about.)


I'm trying to get better about allowing enough time for Parker to read before bed.  Which also means I need to allow time for Grace, too.  Tonight they did so good!  I read a book to Grace while Parker waited patiently  (in time-out in the hallway because she spoke hateful to Grace about where she was sitting, which was by me, exactly where I had told her to!)  

Nolan 'read' his book in the meantime.


Then, when it was Parker's turn to read to me….Grace 'read' several books quietly to herself.  It does not always work out so well…but I am going to try this again tomorrow night.


We usually do prayers then I take Nolan to bed, but tonight I had to put him to bed first and left the girls to pick up their room and then they could play until I returned.

Nolan loves this!  Every night before bed…he takes a book off the shelf…runs back to me with the biggest grin on his face…turns around and plops down in my lap.  96% of the time, we open the book and he closes it.  Then repeats the above mentioned process until all books have been taken off of the shelf.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle and Daddy and Me by Karen Katz are currently his favorites and are read in their entirety.  Love this special time we have together each night just us.  And also those tippy toes kill me!


"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power towards us who believe."  Ephesians 1:18-19



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saved!

we recently started attending a new church.  well…the church itself isn't new….just new to us.  we have felt led to leave our old church and find a church home closer to our home.  i prayed and prayed….and was very nervous to say the least….as i would be attending most sundays without geoff  which wouldn't normally be a problem (and isn't a problem, per se)….but a little overwhelming to start someplace new and alone with our 3 kids.

and honestly, i was very hesitant.  i was really good at making excuses.  and admittedly….one rainy morning in early april….i was ready to make an excuse again.  the rain.  pouring down.  no one to drop us off at the door….but for the 4 of us to walk.  and where do we park?  and then where do we go from there?

but parker didn't let me.  thankfully (and all part of God's plan)…Parker was so adamant to go.  she wouldn't let me make an excuse.  and so we did.  and we've been every Sunday since (minus the 2 sundays Grace was sick).

and i'm not sure when it happened….as i have frequently prayed for all of our children to come to know Christ…..but over the past couple of months…Parker has been heavy on my heart.  i feel like she, if ready, could make this important decision to make Jesus the Lord of her life.  i also prayed for me and geoff….that we would have the right words to speak to her to fill her little soul with Truth.  and that we would be good examples to her and for her.

i really felt Vacation Bible School could have been that time for her.  i started talking to her a little bit more in depth about salvation in the days leading up to that week.  how all she has to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and she will be saved (Acts 16:31).  how Jesus had no sin….but we do (when Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge, sin entered the world- (Genesis 3:6-7).  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

and how we have to admit that we are sinners, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sin, and then receive Jesus'  free gift of forgiveness.  then to confess her faith that Jesus Christ is her Savior and Lord ….and that through Him…we will be able to live eternally in Heaven.  (i did not use all of this exact wording while talking to her, but these were the main points!)

she would take in what i said….ask maybe a few questions….and then just sort of nod her head in acknowledgement…and then move onto something else.  which i was ok with.  i didn't want to be overbearing…while at the same time….i also knew i needed to talk with her and guide her some, too.  so when she was done talking about it for the moment….i left it alone.  and then would bring it up again at a later time when i felt led.

so VBS happened (in June) and she LOVED it.  she teared up on tuesday of that week because she wanted to be able to go the next week, as well  (and it only lasts 1 week!).  we talked a little bit more about salvation…and she didn't really interact much with me about it.

the following week was when Grace was in the hospital and all of that shenanigans.

and then the week after that….out of the blue on July 2, 2014 after she brushed her teeth….she asked that if she were to believe that Jesus died on the cross for her sins…would she get baptized.  and we went over it all again…i honestly wish i remembered what i said and what she said, but i don't.  i was nervous.  i was excited!!!  

and that night during her prayer….she asked Jesus to come into her heart.  she said that she believed that He died for her sins.  and to please forgive her for her sins.  and she prayed those words without my lead.

on sunday, July 20th…..she stood in front of our church and made her public profession of faith.

today, sunday, September 28th….Parker followed her profession of faith with baptism.  and here is the part where i run out of words to say.  the joy i feel know that she is saved.  the responsibility i still have to provide her with knowledge and opportunity to learn more about Him.  to KNOW Him.

i've been blogging for almost 7 years now.  and as far as talking about my faith goes…i would have to say that it has not been that much at all.  and there are various reasons for that (some of them being that i feel inadequate with my knowledge, inadequate because of my sin, and really….just NO good excuses!!!).

so that all changes now.  and i may not be the best person to answer your questions…i do not know it all….i cannot quote scripture like i should be able to….. but if you're reading this, if you're struggling, if you just want to know more about my Jesus that saves…please comment with your email... and if i do not know the answer to your question, i will find out!

________

this morning before church

silly picture!






last night, after she finished brushing her teeth she said to me, "there's a part of me that wants to kinda…. freak out a little bit.  but then I know that i'm going to be ok because the Lord is with me."

Amen.

***Right before the service began.



***Mr. Jessie let her dip her feet into the water to see how warm it was.  Then he prayed over.


***We waited for what seemed like a long time but was probably less than 10 minutes.  When Jessie had prayed over her…he mentioned that it was ok if they were a little nervous and such….and then said, "You don't really look like you're too nervous."  And honestly, she wasn't.  The longer we stood there…her in front of me, my arms around her, hands resting on her chest…I could feel her heart beating hard and fast.  She looked up at me and whispered, "I am getting a little nervous."  But mostly….she was excited.   And after the choir was seated, it was go time.


***Before walking out, she was adamant on looking around because she wanted to try and find our family that had come to see her.  And she did try.  But did not see anyone.  :)


***And after looking into the sanctuary for a split second….she looked up and gave a grin to Mr. Jessie (and as I snapped the picture, she blinked)…..and look at how peaceful and calm she is.  i cannot look at this picture without getting a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.


over the past few months….it has just become so abundantly apparent to me that this world, and my life and, our life is full of a lot of 'stuff'.  
and do i have it all figured out?  NO!!!!  
will i ever?  NO!!!!  
but i do want to know more and more about Him and to try my very hardest to live my life in obedience.
will i mess up?  everyday?  YES!!!  
am i a sinner?  YES!!!  
and that's why i need a SAVIOR.
 and so at the end of the day….the most important thing…. is to know and believe what Jesus did on the cross over 2000 year ago for me.  for my kids.  and for you.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Friday, September 26, 2014

Preschool Letter of the Week: Review Aa, Ee, Ii

We made it through the first 3 weeks of school, and things went pretty well.  But I'm also learning as I go…and I feel like a lot of what happened during school time those first weeks was…. that I would basically put something in front of Grace to keep her busy while I worked with Parker.  Which is completely what I do not want to do.  Yes…in some ways, I do want this to 'keep her busy' at times…but because those first weeks she wanted to be doing something if Parker was…it was a lot for me to keep up with!  Now…I'm happy to say that things are balancing out a bit and she's a little more motivated to play while Parker does school.  I am also making more of an effort to spend more one-on-one time with her mixed in with her independent activity/play….and also not getting so caught up with mastery at this point.  She's still 4 years old and we have the rest of the year to review as we learn the new letters.  This is her last year before school….and I want both of us to enjoy it!

But I decided to take our 4th week of school to review and use some of the things I had already prepared and never got to.   We did a different letter each day. (all of the activities she did are not pictured…this is just what I have!)

Letter Aa

 Letter Aa all Sizes Handwriting sheet from The Measured Mom found here.  I love these handwriting pages!


Letter Mazes from 1+1+1. Q-tip painting from 1+1+1.




I also tried to add in a few more activities to work on the letters in her name.


Letter Ee

Ee is for Elbow macaroni

I thought to add in a little 'fun' I'd make some pom pom magnets.  I even let Grace help me, thinking this would make her even more excited.


I pretty much had to 'make' her use them.  Ha!  I'm not sure if it's a texture thing, but she wasn't a fan.  


Letter Ee number puzzle from here.


Shape puzzle from 1+1+1.


Letter Ee Color Block puzzles from 1+1+1


Ee is for Envelope!  Idea is from here.





Letter Ii


I've also noticed we need a little fine motor work.  Some of the cutting and pasting from COAH curriculum gets pretty frustrating to her….so we're easing in with this Kumon cutting activities book and she seems to like them so far.




Ice Cream Count and Match FREE File Folder game from The Measured Mom.


Ice Cream Dice Game found here at Gift of Curiosity.  We would take turns rolling a dice…and each time, she'd tell me the number.  She used the pink poms and I used the green poms….and whoever had the most poms covering numbers at the end won.



Ice Cream in a bag, idea found here from Spell Outloud.

And the most fun thing we did…Ii is for Ice!
Melting Ice Science Experiment with Salt and Color found here at The Artful Parent.  I waited to do this until Daddy and Parker were home.  I needed Geoff to help regulate and clean up…and I just thought Parker would enjoy and learn, as well.

What does salt do to Ice?  It melts!

A few days prior (just because I wasn't sure when exactly this would happen)…I took a few tupperware, filled them with water, and placed in the freezer.


I filled these small cups with a little bit of water and quite a bit of food coloring.


They sprinkled a little ice cream salt (because that's what we had on hand…any salt will do) onto the ice.  They could hear the small crackles as it started to melt.



And here's where I'll interject….my only advice is to really let it melt down a bit before doing the color.  We still eventually got to see what the salt did to the ice…but I think it would have made a better initial impact if we would have waited just a bit longer.


See….you can't really see.  :)   

And that's because what's supposed to happen….is as the ice melts…it melts and forms little tunnels and crevices throughout the ice….and adding the colored water allows you to see these tunnels! 

We interrupt this program to bring you play dough for the 17 month old!


Moving on…





Pretty!







And there you have it.  Salt melts ice.  :)

In hindsight…I should have made her do a journal of some sort…drawing a few pictures and then telling me what to write, but I didn't.  Next time!


And lastly...a little play time captured with Bubs!  As I mentioned before…over the past week, she's been getting better about playing while I do some school work with Parker.  And I love it!



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