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.