Monday, October 10, 2011

Multitude Monday

397. Tree trunks the color of night with leaves as gold as daylight.
398. Treasures forgotten and rediscovered.
399. Fresh bread
400. Soft, round faces

401. The last bright colors of autumn flowers.
402. Brilliant fall leaves reflecting the blazing colors of the sunset.

403. Distant bell chiming the time
404. Far off train whistles
405. Long drives
406. Good music
407. shorts and t-shirts in mid-October
408. pumpkin patches

409. Little cowboys

410. little boys who tie ropes around their bellies to make dinosaur tails
411. the pumpkin shake you bought me, the fun evening out we shared
412. blessings in disguise (lost glasses...time for new ones)  :)
413. answered prayer after answered prayer, great is thy faithfulness O God!
414. long overdue tasks finally completed
415. the Sabbath

Monday, October 3, 2011

Multitude Monday



396. Potty Training Mayme

Why I'm thankful for potty training...    

 Well, it has been a long month. We started potty training Mayme 4 weeks ago. This was our third attempt in the last 9 months. It took about a full month, and I say that gingerly because I still don't feel we're 100% there. Oh, maybe I should say that we are and give her the benefit of the doubt. She is really doing SO well! It is very exciting! I know there will still be some accidents though. She is such a smart little cookie, so it was frustrating that it took her SO long to really get it. It was certainly a LONG month. It started out as expected, lots of accidents, lots of laundry. We handled them very well.
     However, as the "3 days" dragged on to 4 day, 6 days, 7 days, frustration grew and weariness set in. It got more and more difficult not to get angry with her. It hit me that just because I knew that she could do it, didn't mean that she knew that she could do it. I quickly accepted that this was still going to take a while. I couldn't let the "3 days" go on forever. I had 3 other kids to care for and homeschooling to lead them through. Constant watching of a 3 year old wasn't feasible any longer.  So, I yielded and began asking the Lord what lessons He had for me in this.
     It isn't funny how quickly the Lord opens our eyes to the lessons He has for us when we are truly open to seeing and learning them. (I know He doesn't always do this, but often, more times than not, I've found that within seconds of asking what He wants me to learn, answers begin popping into my head.)So, here's what He showed me, this is the good He worked in my life through potty training:

1) The Lord is slow to anger. This is a good thing! He is so patient and long suffering with us. Think of all the times that we sin and stumble, when we KNOW how to do it, yet He is gracious and merciful and not condemning. I needed to learn to be more like Him.
2) I did a lot of laundry during this time. This was a GREAT way to help me get more disciplined about keeping up with laundry so that we didn't run out of sheets or underwear. Necessity is a great motivator! I admit that since she's been doing better (not wetting the bed at night or nap time, not as many accidents, not as many bad accidents) the laundry load has lessened, and so has my diligence. Still, I've learned that I really can do it--keep up with the laundry that is.
3) Small steps are still worth celebrating. Even if you haven't completely accomplished your final goal, any step in the right direction is still good and in the case of potty training, is still worthy of celebrating.
4) Encouragement is huge! This isn't a surprise, or at least it shouldn't be a surprise to you...I hope it isn't. It is amazing how much of  a difference even a little genuine encouragement can make in someone's life. She knew when I was frustrated and I became very aware of the ways she reacted to my frustrations or anger, even when I tried to hide it. However, when I genuinely encouraged her and reassured her that I wasn't mad or angry with her for having an accident, she seemed settled and at peace. The more encouragement we gave, the more steps forward she took. The more encouragement we gave, the less time it took to get back up from our falls.
5) Slow and steady isn't bad after all. Weren't we told that when we were younger? We want everything to be fast and instant in this day and age. I'm guilty of this for sure! Being forced to wait for something is good for us. It develops character and makes the end result all the more sweeter. I learned not to fret when we made two steps forward and one step back, or even when it was one step forward and two steps back because ultimately we were moving forward no matter how slowly...we were moving forward. My attitude didn't always reflect this, I'm sad to say, but I knew it to be true in my heart. Slowly and surely, I knew we would get there.

I'm sure there are more lessons that I haven't touched on, but that's enough for now. Praise the Lord for potty training. Praise the Lord that He can teach us and work in us through any ordinary, everyday thing, and then the not so ordinary everyday things too.  So, is potty training a toddler/preschooler in your future? Fear Not! God will show Himself faithful to you too. Let Him work in you during that time, and I promise you it will be a time you'll never forget...whether it takes 3 days or 30.

(In the middle of writing this, Mayme had an accident. :) See, I told you it would still happen, but it didn't upset me. I'm so thankful that she came to me right away and was able to finish the job on the toilet. Slowly and surely we're getting there!)

By the way, I mentioned above that we used the 3 Day Potty Training method. I did overall really like the method, advice and tips! I would recommend it to others without hesitation. Like I said, we had tried two times before to potty train our daughter and I don't blame her for the failure; it really was more our fault for not being consistent and faithful to help her enough, in many different ways. My first two children were potty trained in about 2 or 3 days easily just by putting them in underwear and pants, so I guess I just expected the same from her. Every child is different!! This method really gave me the push to get back in the saddle again and stick with it this time, no matter what. I didn't call in for help and mentoring as is offered through their website. And after a week or so, we began to realize that we had to change some of their suggestions as they weren't helping thanks to Daddy and a little tough love more progress was made. But overall, I was really pleased with this method and the help it gave us this time around. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homeschooling Meme

I'm not sure exactly what a "meme" is, but it looks innocent enough. :) 

One Homeschooling Book You have Enjoyed
Well,here are some that have really encouraged me on my journey

- Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola*

- Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola*
- A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
-Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason
(* These books are SO encouraging! I think they describe CM homeschooling so gently and beautifully. I think of them often when I'm discouraged or need a new idea or feel lost.)

One resource you wouldn't be without
Well, these are the ONES that I wouldn't be without:
  - Bible, the days we do neglect to start school without Bible reading, always end up disastrous! God's word is living and renews our souls and minds. I especially appreciate this Bible reading list.
- Library
- Good Books
- Internet, this is where I find a lot of Charlotte Mason encouragement and a TON of ideas in general, we don't really use it for any specific school things yet. 
- The good old out doors!
- A book of poems. I'm delighted at how much we all appreciate this part of the morning. It's a welcomed breath of fresh air!

One resource you wish you'd never bought first I regretted some of the workbooks I bought, but now the kids like to do them for fun. There are some things though that I've bought based on recommendations from friends only to find that they really didn't fit our families learning/teaching styles. Oh well.   

One Some ;) resources you enjoyed last year
- Books
 -Amy, and other friends who've given counsel and encouragement

One resource you will be using next year
- Internet
-Outdoors (hopefully more than we are now)
-More Books
-more poems, art study, foreign language, and music

One resource you would like to buy
I agree with who ever said Bookshelves to fit more books. :)
And maybe the new Kindle... and learning games and nature related DVD's books (especially some of the good ones I hear about from Vision Forum)

One resource you wish existed
hmmm...this one stumps me...maybe a daylight extender? :) No I dont' know if I would really like that, but it would be nice to sometimes have more time in a day. 

One homeschool catalog you enjoy reading
 I agree with Amy, "Don't really read any (just make wishlists on Amazon"  I do love to look at book lists from Charlotte Mason and from Ambleside. I also enjoy reading different CM blogs and books.  

Tag six four ?? other homeschool bloggers...I don't know who else to tag? So I guess it ends here. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogging again

...It's been so long since I've been able to post regularly on my blog. So much has been happening, that it seems there is hardly time to breathe at times. Now that fall is here, school is started, routines are forming, I hope to be able to slowly work some writing back into my schedule (of course there are still a few projects to finish first). The last couple weeks of my Colossians memory verses have urged "being thankful" three verses in a row, so let's start there:
Colossians 3:15-17
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
377. 17 days of only diapering one child. Though potty training progress is 100% complete, I rejoice in only having one child in diapers...instead of two.
378. A good start to our quest of home learning...we're starting our third week of the year and every week gets better and better
379. a precious new life to love
380. first hints of fall color splashing on the trees and grass
381. food sizzling in the pan
382. a summer goal accomplished: two children can now ride without training wheels!
383. kids begging you to read one page more (even out of "school" books)
384. the good lessons learned through hard trials
385. mirrors, to see ourselves, our reflections, no matter how clean we are, and especially when we are dirty so we know what needs to be cleaned
386. The Lords gentle cleaning hands
387. 101 uses of blankets and couch cushions
388. warm soup on rainy days
389. routines that bring peace and blessing
390. dates with my husband
391. yarn on needles
392. books on kindle
393. dresses on girls
394. boots on boys (and girls)
395. smiles on faces :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Today's the day!

Today is the day!

Today, Mayme is excited to throw away all her diapers and wear big girl underwear! I'm going to take the next three days and spend a lot of focused time with her to work on potty training. It is time. She is ready! So, pray for us!  :)  I'm going to turn off my computer and phone and get rid of distractions, to help ensure our success. We are all excited and ready...and a little nervous. This is such a good thing though and it is definitely time. Still, please pray for us. :)  This is our third attempt. The other times, I know part of the reason for failure was our fault. This time I'm gleaning from the wisdom in this potty training method

I didn't want to JUST post something about potty training though. So, as a blessing to you, head on over to Ann Voskamp's blog, "A Holy Experience", and check this out. I love this so much that I printed out the printable version and laminated it! Hope you enjoy it and are blessed by it too!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Talk to you soon!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multitude Monday

360. Trees to climb

361. Goggles

362. concentration

363. First Birthdays

364. new boots (these are so cute! baby "rainboots")

365. Limo Rides! Lucy won a Limo Ride at VBS. 

366. Third Birthdays!...367. Mrs. Potato Head

368. Sweet smiles

369. Fifth Birthdays
370. Dinosaur costumes, just his size

371. Night lights

372. summer scooter fun

373. makeshift tables
374. anywhere picnics

375. little feet
376. His footsteps ever showing us the way
I will praise the name of God with a song; 
I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Feet!

Well, after about 4 years of asking if she could take ballet lessons, her night has finally arrived!
I just dropped Lucy off for her first dance recital! Needless to say, she is very excited.
Good luck Lucy! :)

She asked if she could do one more pose. :)

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Multitude Monday

359. Resurrection

So much can be said on this topic. The excitement of life to begin with, the nurturing of that life and enjoyment of it, and then seeing it slip from your hands. Life beginning to fade. The hopelessness and despair and finality of death. What would we do if there was NO hope? Where would we be if Christ had not risen form the dead? I don't know where I would be. I am in no way qualified to speak here in great details on the matters of life and death. What do I know; what I have I experienced in comparison to so many others? Very little, is the answer. I have but a few small treasures to hold out in my hand for you in regards to this subject. Like a little child with a small and fragile bouquet of wildflowers picked from her city backyard. Cherished treasures nonetheless.

We had a plant growing on the east side of our house when since we've moved here six years ago now. In the spring, it grows beautiful long slender green leaves. The rounded ends sprout out of the ground in a majestic show. A welcome sight in early spring. Suddenly, one day they began to wilt and die. Tyson carefully watered and cared for them, but it was all in vain. Our beautiful plant despite all our efforts wilted into a pile of brown limp leaves. Months passed and new flowers and plants sprang up. We forgot about our plant as all that remained in its place was bare ground, no signs of life whatsoever. Then, in late summer, to our utter amazement, tall slender stalks began to grow, holding at the top a crown of flower buds, a royal promise. Yes, they bloomed. Beautiful soft pink halo of flowers, delicate yet majestic, rising above all other plants around it. A sight to treasure. I don't know much about plants, but I believe that there are many plants that fit this category of "resurrection" plants. They grow and then seem to die off only to give way to beautiful flowers. They remind me of so many verses. I am so thankful for resurrection and the hope and joy that is securely held in the promise of our future resurrection in Christ.

Some scripture to meditate on:

John 11:25, 26a "Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."

John 12:24, 25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

Romans 14:9 "For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."

Romans 8:24-25 "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

2 Corinthians 5:7 "for we walk by faith, not by sight."

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

A poem to ponder:

Hope and Joy by Christina Rossetti
If hope grew on a bush, 
And joy grew on a tree, 
What a nosegay for the plucking
There would be!
But oh, in windy autumn
When frail flowers wither, 
What should we do for hope and joy, 
Fading together?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


So, before I am accused of not being thankful, I want to thank my sweet friend Catie for making a new blog header for me. Did you notice? Isn't it neat! If you get my blog posts by email, you might want to come to my actual blog in order to see the new design. I've made some changes to the layout of my blog too. There is now an option to subscribe to get my posts automatically sent to you by email. So, if someone is forwarding these to you regularly, you may want to sign up to be sure you don't miss anything. :) Not that I've been posting a lot lately, but I have so many ideas and am trying to make some time to write and share. It keeps me on my toes. :)

You might also want to head on over to Catie's blog and see the cute header she made for herself. She has a really cute post up there about things she never wants to forget about her sweet little girl. It will bring tears to your eyes! She's also just created a blog for our MOPS group.  I tell you, this girl's got talent!

Now that I have her to help me, I might just change the look a little more often. :) How do I get one of those neat signature know that you end your posts with? :)

Thanks Catie for thinking of me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Are  you a perfectionist? Am I? I'm afraid to answer that question...probably because I wouldn't answer it perfectly. :)  Do I expect my kids to be perfect? I think sometimes I do. Where did I ever get the notion that I would have kids who obeyed me perfectly? Where did I ever get the idea that I would be able to train them to obey immediately and perfectly? Do I really believe that? I think that sometimes I do. Why else do I get so frustrated and upset when they don't? 

Now, obedience is important! I DO believe we need to train and teach our children. However, I know for myself, somewhere along the way, my mind, my heart, tends to lose focus of what the real goal is. Instead of training them and leading their hearts to see the Lord in everything, I slip and want them to be make it easier for me. Instead of seeing their mistakes and sins as great teaching and learning opportunities, I sigh at the inconvenience it is going to cause me. I'm tempted to throw in some explanations and cover-ups, lest I really make myself sound THAT bad, but then I'm reminded. I am sinful. Sin is ugly. 

There are a LOT of parenting books out there. I don't want to mention any of them because I know my focus is to focus too much on this book or that book and lose the bigger picture. However, I do want to give credit to the person where the idea for this helpful chart came from. While I never read his book, our Sunday School class went through a DVD series on the book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Trip. (And actually you can buy DVD's of the teaching on Amazon!) Anyway, as the title suggests, a lot of the focus here is on the child's heart. So many times we try to only deal with the behavior. Ted talks about how you can't just put good fruit on a bad tree and expect that to make a difference, inside, the tree is still bad. 

So, I made this chart to hang up in our room...a nice private place where a lot of our discipline and training talks can happen without embarrassment. These are charts that Tedd used in the videos. 

At first, I mostly used this chart with Lucy and Jude, but now, it is really hitting home with Mayme. Even, if I just remind her and ask her where her heart is, is it clean or is she sinning, a light goes on in her head (sometimes). Sometimes, she even runs to the piece of paper and tells me where she is on it. 

This first part, explains that when we have sin in our heart, we will consequently behave badly. When our heart is clean, right with the Lord, free of sin, our behavior will reflect that as well. Now, notice that you can't immediately go from bad behavior to good behavior, or from good to bad. You have to go up through the heart, and even through the cross. You make a decision of what you will do with Christ. 

The bottom of the chart explains Ephesians 6:1 and Deuteronomy 5:16. When, the child is in the circle of honoring and obeying, he is safe. When he chooses to disobey and step out of that circle, he is in danger. 
Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” And my role as a parent is to keep my child safe and bring them back into the circle. 

If you want further explanations of how I use these charts, you can contact me. They are pretty self-explanatory, which is the point, even our 3 year old understands them. Sometimes she even tries to tell stories about them and change their meaning. :) haha This is one thing I don't want her to confuse though, so I straighten the story out and she finishes it correctly. And of course, it is a good reminder for me as well. Where is my heart? Where is your heart? 
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.

I didn't mean to upload this picture, it just was there. :) What a good reminder. Have fun and enjoy those kids! They are just kids. It is not my job to make them perfect people,
but to help shepherd their hearts and direct them to their Shepherd.

Oh yeah, one more thing...going back to the perfectionist thing. (How's that for a summary statement? :)
God, who we all agree is the ONLY perfect parent, has children who go astray and rebel against him.

Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the LORD has spoken:
“Childrena have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
So why would I think I could do a better job and expect my children to behave perfectly? This is a good reminder to go back to the heart of the issue. Lord, where is my heart?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Multitude Monday

344. Cereal for breakfast on Sunday mornings...
the kids look forward to this all week. So do I, although most weeks
I find something else for breakfast. It is quick and easy and helps us
get to church on time. The week these pictures were taken, Jude had his tie flung
over his shoulder so it wouldn't get dirty. :) Too cute.
I guess, Sunday morning bowls of cereal has become a tradition in our home.
What do you eat for breakfast on Sundays?

345. the smell of a summer walk, freshly cut lawn, freshly washed laundry,
dinner on the grill, sweet smelling flowers
346. scenic views
347. brilliant sunsets
348. sticks, stones, blocks, hours of play
349. His still small voice
350. Grace and mercy even when we don't still ourselves and obey His voice
351. lazy summer days
352. good books
353. learning harmonies
354. songs of my childhood being rediscovered by my children
355. rain boots
356. pink tutus
357. faithful friends
358. The Good Book

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Multitude Monday on Tuesday

333. Wedding Rehearsals

334. Funny Faces

335. Little Boy Firsts

336. Sunsets...and my new favorite picture

337. Daddies and their little girls...and my other new favorite picture

338. Sisters, lovely inside and out

339. blossoms

340. Flower girls...crafty ones :)

341. Marriage

342. Friendship, Love, Commitment

343. Twirly skirts

Congratulations Summer and Jason (6.25.2011)!