Recently Overheard, Feb. 12, 2014

Years ago my friend told me it would probably be hilarious
to hear the stuff that was said at our house. I agreed.
Here’s a few of them…

(While driving two hours out of Detroit:)
“Look! There’s CORN! Mom, are we in Iowa now?”

“Mom, I’ll just come over here and sit by you.
Cuz at church they teach us to sit by the unpopular people. ha!”

“I’m so glad they invented something called LEGOS”

“Wow! Look at all that nice toilet paper!
Our bums are gunna be happy and dance!”

“Did you hear what I gave Courtney for her bday? I gave her 18 dimes in a raisin box.
Well actually it was 16 dimes and four nickels cuz I didn’t have enough dimes.”
(Where did you get the raisin box?)
“It was in one of my drawers. and who doesn’t like their money smelling like raisins.”

“If Science had a face it would be a serious one.
If Social Studies had a face it would a smirk.
If Language had a face it would be happy one.
If Math had a face it would be a mad face.
If Ed Tech had a face it would be sobbing.”

Cereal is NOT Serious (and other Spiritual Observations)

American kids love cereal… it’s not surprising. It’s sugary, crunchy, milkly and even comes in chocolate, for crying out loud!!  My kids are like any other American child… well, they WERE, until the first of October 2012.

It all changed during those first few days. On the first day of that month my three youngest (7th gr, 2nd gr & 1st gr) stepped foot into a school…a “real” school building for the VERY first time in their lives! Up until that monumental day we’d home schooled them; but when the school we’d applied for back in January 2012 called to notify us that all three children were no longer on the waiting list- there was room for them- our lives changed! (The story actually reflects God’s miraculous hand at work, but that’s another story for another day!)

So, back to cereal…. after a couple of days of eating cereal for breakfast they revolted!
“Mom, this stuff is too sweet and makes my stomach hurt.”
“Momma, can we please NOT eat this. I’m always hungry at school.”

Crazy!  But fantastic!
Except now I have to work harder at making breakfast time cooking hot cereal (which they love), eggs, fried turkey ham & cheese (I’m not kidding) and other warm & satisfying  meals.  But I’m thrilled!  It’s work, but I take their tummies very seriously, so it’s worth the effort.

Isn’t prayer and Bible reading similar?  Like cereal? You’re following me… right?
When life goes smoothly we tend to read a smidgen here & there, catch a podcast, read a daily devotion booklet, but never really take our relationship too seriously.  UNTIL… life changes course.

Then, when our situation & loved ones are “out of our control” we decide we’d better get serious and start praying faithfully, harder & with more seriousness.

Cereal was fine for my kids when they were staying at home all day and didn’t face as many challenges. But when things changed they wisely knew they needed more nourishment.  Are you wise? Are you facing your day with a nourished spirit that not only belongs to Jesus, but has listened to Him, filled up on His Word and taken careful note of HIS plans for your day? Yeah, it definitely takes some work.

Taking care of physical needs are of some value, but taking care of our spiritual needs of WAY more valuable!  (from 1 Timothy 4:8)

 

Thoughtful Thursday

Summer break has officially ended at our house. School started today. As I think back over the summer I’m rejoicing over the lessons that have bounced around in my head & heart. Here’s a few:

Last day of summer Ice Cream Treat

I’m making a point to pray specific Bible scriptures for people… especially regarding my family & church.

I’m not my kids’ activities director. Yes, I provided a few unusual things to do each week, but their unscheduled time  brought out more creativity than a cart load of preplanned crafts or games.

Being together with the people you love can be such a good thing… even when it’s not super fun (and might even include times of tears and topics of deep sorrow).

Taking time away from the normal routines of life really manages to clear my head and encourage my heart.

I drove on the outside lane of the hugely tall Sunshine Bridge near St. Petersburg Florida… and amazingly I did NOT slide right off the edge! 
My ridiculously weird fear of driving on tall bridges is now a thing of the past! YIPPEE!

 

Self inflicted guilt does not make me better… it does the exact opposite. (and I think sometimes people actually take some sorta weird pleasure in
feeling guilty… when in actuality they should examine themselves. If something
needs to be changed, change it! If it’s unnecessary guilt then stop… and move on!)

And, after 44 years of being a chicken, I finally learned to dive into a swimming
pool. Yes!  Finally!  And my swim coach (aka- my husband) had me do it over &
over again!  Another fear, conquered!!!

Sleeping a little later in the summer months provides some lovely rest & a more relaxed feeling. But, never wondering if my kids will wake up while I’m still spending time with Jesus because I got up when it’s super dark… is even better!!

The joy of having HOME be your school… reading in a tree!

 

Is that BATMAN in that tree?

 

 

 

“Gentle Answers” aren’t always my Forte’

The wise King Solomon said “A Gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” (Proverbs 15:1) Ugh… I can be preetttty  accomplished at making “tempers flare.”  Solomon goes on to says that “the tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing.”  Oh dear…and ALSO…  “Gentle words are  a tree of life.”  Ouch.

People around me need calm. They need to be attracted to knowledge and given every opportunity to find life!  This especially includes my family. (If you don’t have children this STiLL applies to YOU!)  Here’s a few things that i jotted down in my journal recently that help me use my words positively as a parent.

 

  • Make eye contact when speaking and listening!  BOTH!
  • Know when it’s time to stop multi-tasking. Busy doesn’t always mean efficient.
  • Be consistent. Set standards. Enforce them & Live By Them.
  • Pick my battles. This doesn’t mean that I stop being consistent. But rather, I decide what the important things are and stick to’um.
  • Be wise. If  I’m constantly learning & growing, then wisdom & knowledge will be more appealing to my kids (and/or those who are following my leadership)
  • Admit mess-ups!  People notice… and kids are people, too. So just ‘fess up, apologize & move on. It leaves a huge impression on everyone… including yourself. (When I apologize it make me think twice before I do it again.)

These ideas certainly apply to all kinds of situations. If you’re in any form of leadership…these can help.  Anything pop out to you? If so, is it because you already do it or you know you should do it?

(So many of you read this blog… so few of you leave your thoughts.)

 

 

 

Just Cuz it has Good Pictures

Do we ever really outgrow the urge to pick something based on first impressions?

We mature. We learn to look more deeply. But if we’re honest, we’ll probably

admit that we’re drawn first to the “pretty” one, right?

I’ve done that many times throughout life… but it’s not really as superficial as it

sounds… or, maybe I’m just kidding myself.

Over the years I’ve laughingly said,

“Why do anything the easy way when I can make it more complicated?”

(and I’m fairly accomplished at doing just that)

I’m just SO willing to go the extra mile or take the extra long step cuz

I like the way it looks or sounds… and in the end I wanna pull my hair out from

all the frustration I caused myself.  Most recently I’ve become VERY aware

of my problem.

Homeschooling:

We’re entering our 8th year and I’ll have 4 children that are school-aged

this year. I should totally be in a groove, right?  WRONG!

In our 2nd year of this process we discovered curriculum that worked well.

But, alas… it was boring looking. Too many black & white pictures, too many

scripture verses were in the King James version, etc.  Never mind that it was

easy to follow, all-inclusive and literally taught me how to keep track of grades.

(I hope you’re reading this paragraph with a great deal of scarcasm in your

voice!)  So, I switched. Experimented. Choose something that was bright,

had gorgeous colored pictures and more modern Bible versions. Nevermind

the fact that each subject had 5 to 11 books per SUBJECT!  UGH!!!!! WHAT?

What a struggle!  I’ve wanted to scream a zillion times… instead I just cried

and got cranky!  My kids felt the same way, too… MANY TIMES! Grrr!

All this trouble… just so my kids can have colored pictures in their books?

Am I insane? (OK, it was more than nice pictures that drew me, but that’s

the basic idea. )

It all seems like a great idea.

Seems worth it. Seems like the added work & time won’t be so bad!

But… (here’s the clincher):  If God is not directing us to do something

then our “added effort” and colored pictures are gunna make us want to pull

out our hair! And we’ll start to resent the time & joy it’s stealing away from

our lives.

I’m treading carefully & prayerfully  and asking Jesus to direct my plans

and curriculum choices…

I’m refusing to be sucked into what seems so grand & bright…

I’ll just be obedient.

He knows what’s best for my kids & what they can handle…

and I’m already taking deeper breathes.

(hmm, since I’m relaxing now, maybe I’ll have more time to

take some good pictures of my kids! )

Stuff I Lurned ’bout home schoolin’

I’m NOT a pro. We just completed the 7th years of schooling our kids at home,

and I have a zillion more things to learn. But here’s a few thoughts that may

encourage you if you’re considering going down this path.  I don’t claim to

be the first one to post these thoughts, and there’s no particular order to them.

Just be encouraged.

(The picture below is from spring 2010)

 

 

If God has asked you to home school your children then

He will give you all that you need to do it successfully…
but you must depend on Him… daily!

YOU know your child best. Your gut is usually right.

God gave this child to YOU to parent.

Your kids are on loan from JESUS… they belong to HIM!

Keep that in mind when you wanna pull out your hair!

Look your children in the eyes when you’re frustrated with them.

It reminds you of how very much you love
them and it instantly brings clearer perspective to the situation.


Write down WHY you are homeschooling… BEFORE you begin.

Then, when January rolls around & you’re
feeling a little boxed in, or spring fever stricks with a force,

you can reread your reasons & find courage
to stick to it.

Make sure your spouse is totally in favor of homeschooling, too.

Even if you’re the only parent who will be teaching,
you need his support & encouragement

Quitting isn’t optional. If you know that God directed you to homeschool

your child this year, then decide that you will homeschool your child this year!

Period. No quitting. That’s not to say that reevaluating your decision each year isn’t wise,

but once you KNOW what you’re supposed to do, if  “quitting” is
an option you’ll probably go that route.


Don’t compare your child to every kid you see… or hear about… or read about.

Children learn at different paces & in different ways. That’s one of the great

things about teaching them at home… you can create a personalized method

and environment for them.

Smile. Laugh. Take a deep breath… OFTEN!