Wednesday, November 26, 2008
In my head, I had mapped out a long, well-laid-out post on thankfulness and gratitude, but I think in the name of simplicity (and a hugemongous lack of time), I'll stick to the short and sweet. Hmm....Pete (along with three other men) is doing a mini-sermon on Sunday and his assigned topic is 'thankfulness for spouse and children', maybe I'll cheat a bit and just post a transcript? We're going to be BUSY this weekend, but all for wonderful reasons. Pete convinced his dad that we actually want them to stay more than 18 hours, so we'll have company through Saturday!
I hope everyone has a wonderfully peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving and that the turkey comas don't last too long.
Is gluttony still a sin this week? LOL
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Oh yeah.....holiday season. Sorry, my bad. Rest has to wait. There are rooms to prepare for guests, turkeys to thaw (and cook), potatoes to mash, pumpkins to.......pie......gifts to make, cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and an eight-hour drive in two vehicles with four littles, three cats, a dog who thinks he's a cat, an also-tired hubby, and two teens who think that a driver with a permit somehow makes a less stressful drive.
I need to stop thinking about "the list", because it's making me more tired.
Back to work!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
K-Mart has taken them off the shelves, it seems, and Target has them but has apparently ordered all new stock, because none of those dolls have the same "phrases" to their cooing. Just in case you want to avoid a trip to the store, here's a YouTube thingie with exactly what I heard (I know the video is sideways...it's clear audio I was looking for when I did the search for a clip--it's not mine, BTW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRXKkc3fqd0
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Okay, I've heard of it. I knew that everybody who gets out of the military stays on 'ready reserve' for 8 years, where they can call you back up to active service if they need you. Problem is, my neighbor got out SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO!
Why, oh WHY can they call her back to service now? Well, her job in the Army was military intelligence. Nobody told her till she got out that she was pretty much NEVER going to be completely out. They can call her back up to active service till she's dead, pretty much. It's all part and parcel of being MI. For one, the Army is always short on MI guys, and the ready reserve is a quick way to up the population count. Second, the Army retains the ability to call anyone in intelligence circles back to active duty if they're caught double-crossing the American government so they can be tried for treason. OUCH.
I'm glad Pete didn't go MI. Jon too! Yikes! Talk about a "lifer"!
Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Please try to learn our memory verse this week. We will be sharing a new verse every week and hope that you will store them in your hearts and find a special joy in His words.
Intro: Computers Help People Help People(Marketing credit: IBM)
There are many ways computers help us. It is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family far away, “meet” other christian women around the globe, and it can be such a blessing with homeschooling.
Assignment: Share some of your favorite homeschooling sites. The only “rule” for this assignment is that you have to list at least one “free” site. Many homeschooling families have made the choice to live on very little income to do what they believe is best for their children and I want everyone to be able to benefit from this assignment. If you have other sites that are “paid” sites, feel free to include these also as it might be something someone would really appreciate. If you feel led, share your curriculum choices with us. I always love to learn what is out there that I don’t already know about. Please make sure to include links to the sites you share.
If it weren't for the internet, I'm not so sure we'd have ever begun homeschooling! We were stationed in Germany (first time) and knew of NO one in real life who homeschooled, much less anyone over there. I had no access to curriculum fairs, homeschool support groups, bookstores, or even a really good library. Everything I learned was on the internet--even my first contact with another homeschooler through Christian Woman Magazine's editor, who so graciously passed on a letter from me to a dear friend of hers...and with whom I still correspond, even now that her children have long moved on to adult life and mine have begun to!
Over the years, I must have accumulated thousands of web addresses in my list of favorites. I have been part of online support groups like Project Titus 2 on MSN Groups (which is shutting down in February), I've done tons of research using the experiences of others on Home School Reviews, checked out the laws and regulations of different states we've lived in at HSLDA's site, and found TONS of wonderful links on Furious Shepherd's Homeschool Page. In those early days, and even as we have re-started with our first-ever homeschooled kindergartener(s) this year, the internet was my life-line to information and encouragement.
We've used a wide range of curriculum over our ten years of schooling our children at home, never really finding a good 'fit' till a few years ago. I've long been enamored with both the Charlotte Mason and Classical methods of education (go see Classical Christian Homeschooling and Trivium Pursuit, they're wonderful!)--but I could only admire at a distance, because I am the type of person who can't seem to put something together myself without including EVERYTHING...and thereby burning out both myself and my kids. I absolutely adore Tapestry Of Grace, but I know myself well enough to know that I'd try to implement every little suggestion, and TOG is just too meaty to do that! Maybe when the little girls are older. For now, though, now that I've finally bitten the rather pricey bullet and invested in Sonlight's curriculum, I'm more than happy. I've got my days planned for me, I don't have to try to fit everything in, and I feel like I'm giving my kids a great literature-based education that is leading them to love books as much as I do! Pete is pretty happy that we are able to re-use the books we're using this year for Morgan and Jamie when Danica and Shelby are old enough for it! Me too...
All that said, though, my all-time favorite internet resource has GOT to be DonnaYoung.org, because she has put all of the forms I could ever want all in one place--and they're FREE!!! She does have a site CD available for sale with even MORE resources, but I've not gotten around to ordering it yet--probably next school year, considering it's got a bunch of really nifty elementary-and-middle-school-age resources on it. I've copied and recopied her forms hundreds of times over the course of our home education journey, and I'm sure I'll be using them for years to come. We even printed out a bunch of planner forms last night for Kelsey to use, because she now wants to write out her own schedule for finishing her schoolwork this year (yay!!!) and she found exactly what she was looking for on Donna's site! If you are a list and organization junkie like I am (even if, like me, you're not the best at your follow-through!), you just absolutely must check out this amazing site! She even has several really nifty buttons to advertise with--I've got one on my sidebar, but here's another:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6
Monday, November 17, 2008
I was thinking this morning as I dressed Shelby how gorgeous her skin is, all over. Baby skin always is, especially to a mom. It's too bad skin doesn't stay like that forever.
No, when the little buggers turn eighteen and move out of the house to join the Army, they do dumb stuff that tries a mama's patience and makes you think twice about the wisdom of calling these overgrown children "adults". They mar their skin. They get TATOOS. Big ones.
And he justifies the whole thing by having the tatoo artist write "Family" on his side. Jon...I hope you don't regret this in ten years.
No, I don't plan on taking pictures. I'm just going to go admire Shelby's unadulterated baby skin.
Anyhoo....she and Pete's mom know about part of their Christmas presents this year--a *nice* picture of all of us and some pretty pics of the oldest two grandkids who either run or make a ridiculous face every time a camera is brought out. Well, we DO have good pics. We took them a few weekends ago. She doesn't know what they look like, because I'm not sharing till Christmas morning...HOWEVER....I will share some teasers (as in NOT the print-worthy pics) and a couple of funnies that ended up on the camera during that self-made photo shoot.
Tuesday (comfort food)--spaghetti w/Italian sausage, salad, Texas toast garlic bread
Wednesday (soup/salad/sandwiches)--oriental chicken bok choy salad
Thursday (easy peasy)--mazotti, salad
Friday (pizza)--garlic bread pizzas
Saturday (kids' choice)--salmon patties, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob
Sunday (Dad's favorite)--taco salad
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I may not be one who's incredibly great at *keeping* order, but I do crave it. I don't like living randomly. I'm not fond of just going about my days waiting to see what is going to happen next. Kind of like Morgan, who goes to bed every night asking "What are we going to do tomorrow?," and who awakes asking "What are we going to do today?," I need to know.
That little part of my personality may be what gives me the biggest challenge when it comes to trusting God for the 'details'. I'm a control freak when it comes to my life. I may not necessarily have to be in charge, per se, but I do at least need to know what's going on, who's in control, what their plan is, how I'm to go about executing my purpose......hmm......I'd have been a great noncommissioned officer if my life had followed a different path!
The only time I'm bad at relenquishing control is when the road ahead doesn't seem clear. What does God want from me? What are His plans for my life? What does He want to accomplish through me? What if I really did just let go of all the worry, the fear, the need to plan....what would my life look like?
It's an ongoing process. Maybe these sick days are a practice test...now if I could quell the randomness long enough to complete a scrapbook page without disgusting myself I might be in good shape.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I get it. I have a weak immune system. Enough already!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Our nation's colors and the representative flags of our Armed Forces. Are you standing?
The Alabama A&M Marching Bulldog Band. Pretty cool!
Ok, that was about when that lump showed up in my throat.
Is it any wonder I couldn't find my son in that sea of camouflage?
Jon's company. Nope, I never found him.
Pete and his big boy toy. He's on top of the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), doing that cute little golf wave--the one on the left under the flag.I was thrilled to be able to salute not only my two heroes today, but also the ones who have gone before them in uniform, preserving the freedoms and privileges we enjoy as Americans. Let us not forget what our forefathers intended this nation to be, and may America once again return to her roots! For my husband, son, father, father-in-law, grandfathers, grandfathers-in-law, and every generation on both sides who have served in every conflict of our nation's history, I stand honoring every sacrifice that has been made. Let's not see those sacrifices wasted to return to something our forefathers sought to escape.
9.He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land."
10.Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this ?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11.So they said to him, "What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?"-for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.
12.He said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you."
13.However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.
14.Then they called on the LORD and said, "We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man's life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased."
15.So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
16.Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
We were studying, in particular, that Jonah was totally oblivious to the calamity his disobedience to God was causing all around him and that he managed to be completely asleep during a storm so bad that seasoned mariners were emptying the ship in an effort to save it and themselves. We talked about how "your sin will find you out", and that sin has a way of affecting people all around us without us even noticing because we're just too caught up in "I'm only hurting myself" to pay attention to the storm that is threatening others. But that's not what caught my attention...
Why on earth, if he KNEW that he was the reason for the peril these mariners were in, WHY did Jonah not jump ship himself??? Why did he stand there and put the responsibility on their shoulders??? Notice for a second verse 13. These pagan sailors, with full knowledge of exactly what they needed to do, were so concerned for the life of their passenger that they put their own lives in jeopardy for a bit longer as they tried to row to shore instead of throwing Jonah to what they understood to be certain death. THEY were trying to save HIM--a prophet of God--but apparently Jonah hadn't repented enough to do what needed to be done to save the people who he was jeopardizing by his mere presence! He knew he needed to be in the water for them to be spared, yet he left that on THEIR heads. "Throw me into the sea," he said. He didn't do it himself, though! WHY???
Isn't that just the way of sin? Haven't you heard someone who was caught in sin stammer out in a lashing out of self-pity to "oh, just throw me out, if I'm that bad"!? Teenagers, maybe? An unrepentant wandering spouse? Offensive guests? It seems that sin blinds us to the responsibility WE have to those around us to get out of our own sin, does it not? Then again, Jonah cared more for the little worm-eaten tree that was shielding the sun for him than he did the entire city of Ninevah....so maybe for some of us it takes more than being tossed into the ocean, eaten by a fish, and vomited out on the beach for us to learn that we aren't the center of the universe.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Two medium drinks and a large popcorn to share: $17 (does that make anyone else cringe?)Sitting in a quiet theater watching a movie with your sweetie for the first time in two years: Priceless.
Pete and I had a wonderful 'date' the Friday before last (yeah, I'm JUST getting around to blogging about it....so?). As soon as we put the girls to bed, we left Kelsey in command and took off for a quick Christmas shopping trip and then a movie. It was SO nice. I think we both decided that it needs to be a regular thing, this date night deal!
And now, my amateur review of Fireproof. (Notice there are no drumrolls?)
I didn't really have high hopes for this movie, I'll admit. I expected it to be a bomb, much like Left Behind was. To some degree, it probably was. The acting was....marginal. It actually LOOKED scripted in many places, and I found myself chuckling in sarcastic pity at how cheesy some of the characters' conversations were.
However...it kept my attention, which is more than I can say of a lot of the more highly-rated "classic" movies. The plot was actually good--it was realistic, it was honest, and the message was practical. A little over-the-top 'preachy' at times, but I anticipated that. Sorry, I guess preachy-ness is just one of my pet peeves. I got over it. There were some very good points for every married couple to ponder, every spouse individually as well. I really do wish this movie had been available for me and Pete to go see about three and a half years ago--we really could have used the reinforcement of those messages in the midst of the worst of our marriage. I hope and pray that at least one couple can be reached and their marriage saved because of what they saw in Fireproof. If that can happen, then all the cheesiness would be more than worth it!
One little detail from that movie went home with us.....Pete now plans to use the hot-sauce-chugging trick on whichever of his soldiers challenges him next! Men.....