Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday's Truths

I am starting a new thing. A Series, so to speak. It is called Tuesday's Truths. Why Tuesday's Truths, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I am in a wonderful Bible study on Monday nights. We have been meeting for at least 5 years, maybe more. My good friend and I thought it'd be fun to get our friends together for a Bible study that was no pressure. We saw a real need for it. A Bible study where you could do it every day of the week and get a lot out of it, or if you had a busy week, you could just show up and still get a lot out of in and no one would make you feel guilty for not doing your "homework".

That is how it was born. We have ladies with college kids, and ladies with babies, older ladies, young ladies, all moms, one single mother, several missionaries, some homeschoolers, some working moms, some with kids in private school, some with kids in public school. We have at least 4 denominational backgrounds represented, and several ethnicities. I LOVE this Bible study. We are real, we are who we are, we don't put on airs to impress. I wish everyone had a group of ladies like this to be friends with. There are about 14 or 15 of us at any given time. We have people come in and out. Mostly the missionaries. We pray for them while they're gone and rejoice and welcome them back when they come home.

I learn so much from these ladies. That is why I have decided to have Tuesday's Truths. I glean so many Truths from these wonderful ladies about my precious God, that I thought I'd pass it on to you all! I hope you enjoy these installments of Tuesday's Truths.

So here's the first...

We read an article by Stanley Voke. I have included it here. It is truly one of the best articles I have read in a very long time.
WE also read Romans 1 and Col 2:6

We talked about the ways we justify ourselves instead of relying Christ's Justification of us. There were 4 main ways we self justify; they are the struggle for righteousness, the struggle for attainment, the struggle for our reputation and the struggle for appearance.
Here is how I defined each one...

The Struggle for Righteousness is to try to "be right" on our own, to attempt to live a sinless life, to try to keep the Law.

The Struggle for Attainment is to try on our own, to be what we think we, others, or God wants us to be.

The Struggle for Reputation is to keep the Glory for who I am or what I do. It belongs to God

The Struggle for Appearance is to try to have people perceive me as better than I really am, to look like a good mom, wife, homeschooler, etc. To not appear to have weaknesses.

How is Christ the end of these four struggles?
Righteousness - Jesus made me right, I don't have to "be right" I already am made right by His work on the cross.
Attainment - Jesus already attained perfection for me, what else is there?
Reputation - It is what Jesus thinks of me that matters, not what the world thinks.
Appearance - It is Jesus in me that I want people to see.

These are my nuggets from last night, I hope you are blessed by them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I have been watching the news a lot lately. Not sure why, I don't really like the news. but it got me to thinking.

Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears, (don't click me off, I know you're thinking, good grief they've even invaded the blogs!) They are everywhere, on national news, CNN (continuous coverage no less!) even local news. LOCAL! Neither of these girls are local, so why my local news???

This morning, after seeing yet another "news clip" about Anna's baby's father saga, and Brittney's tirade at the paparazzi, I thought WHO CARES! I'm sick and tired of these ladies. Then suddenly it hit me. I know who cares...God. They are so lost. Hollywood is lost. I watched pieces of Oprah's Oscar thing last night and frankly I was ambivalent, I don't care about these people. They have everything, and nothing at the same time. They are empty. I enjoy a good story like everyone else, and I am glade we have talented actors who can act out a good story for my enjoyment. But I don't care about their personal lives, they are usually train wrecks anyway.

Wow, was I convicted. Is anyone in Hollywood speaking the Truth to these troubled lost people? Is there anyone in their sphere of influence who can tell them of the unconditional love of Jesus?

I have realized that Hollywood is one of the biggest mission fields today. Is anyone there? Did anyone tell Anna about the Savior before she died? Did she know? Will anyone tell her baby? Is anyone going to come alongside Brittney at rehab and tell her of The Healer?

I think I would rather go to the deepest, darkest, most dangerous, jungles of South America, than try to spread Gods word to the hurting in Hollywood. How sad. Is anyone telling them? They are searching for peace, looking to Scientology, Kabbalah, Buddha, and on and on and on. Is there anyone to tell them of the Prince of Peace.

I pray someone is...

"Does Anybody Hear Her"
by Casting Crowns

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon's ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She's another two years older
And she's three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she's going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can't see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The co op day blues...

Today is co op day. Co op day makes me tired. I teach two children's Literature Classes. One to grades K-2nd and the other to grades 4th-6th. I love it but it absolutely wears me out.

I leave my house at about 7:45. (one main reason I homeschool is so I don't have to get out the door that early! What was I thinking teaching a 1st hour class???) I get home around 1:30. This may not seem like a lot, but with Fibromyalgia, it takes a toll. I usually spend the rest of the afternoon in bed, resting. Then I go back and pick up B at 4.

Today we read Robert McCloskey's Time to Wonder in my little kids class. What a great book. It is a bit long for this age, but the pictures are fantastic! The kids really liked how he painted wind, something we can't ever see in real life. I love seeing these little guys light up at a great story!

In my big kids class we just finished The Bridge by Jerri Massi, We'll be moving on the 2nd book in the series next week.

I love teaching these classes, but I hate how it wears me out. I really wanted to teach a High School Literature Class next year but dh asked me not too. :o( I know he is right, just these two take so much out of me. I hate being so limited.

Tomorrow will be better, It'll be Friday after all!
Off to take a nap before I have to make dinner...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why does homeschooling have to be so messy? Why can't we have a nice orderly classroom where everything has a place and everything is in it? Homeshooling seems to ooze to every nook and cranny of our home. We school at the dining room table, in the living room, in the back room, in the kids individual bedrooms, and occasionally in my bed when I'm not feeling well. There is literally school stuff in EVERY room of the house. I found pencils on the floor of the bathroom! Why???

I have systems, tools, plans, spreadsheets, assignment sheets; I have so much Rubbermaid, I think I'm keeping the company in the black all on my own. And still it oozes.

I guess this is a metaphor for how we school. School is not done from 8 to 3 daily. Well, I guess I should say not just from 8 to 3. Educating our kids is something that is done constantly and in all areas of life, not just the three R's.
I need to remember this when I am trying to contain our school. It should be uncontainable metaphorically, realistically though, I wish I contain the stuff!

We are reading The Bridge by Jerri Massi. It is part of our Middle Ages study. I had G and E take turns reading, then I finished the chapter. A listened. As the kids were reading, I started looking around. What a mess! :o)
I took a few photos of the kids reading. The girls enjoyed playing with their brothers cars while they listened. I don't have trouble keeping their attention while we read. However, the rest of the day, every time I turned my back someone was outside! It is so nice out today, I don't blame them!

While all this is going on, B is locked away, in the back room, hiding from all the noise and chaos, getting his work done. I want to go back there with him!

On a language arts note, we started the Nicene Creed today for our copywork. The kids seem to like it. We talked about what a creed is and why we have them. It was fun. After we do this for a while, and I feel like they can do it without too many mistakes from dictation, we'll move on to the Shorter Catechism. I print it out for the kids on my StartWrite program, so it's in cursive for the older kids and print for A. A, still does some phonics work, and E and G do a grammar workbooks and Spelling Power: they listen to read alouds and read on their own. That is about the extent of their LA program. Sometimes I wonder if it's enough. But then I guess, don't we all?
Well, the kids need the computer for Spanish, so I guess I have to stop avoiding the laundry, and general mess and get back to work. Must put all the homeschool ooze back in it's place!

Enjoy the photos!

Monday, February 19, 2007

We had such a wonderful day yesterday!

We did home church. We read Psalm 8, talked about it and even SANG the song that it inspired.

Psalm 8
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

I love that Psalm. We prayed together and had a really nice, calm, family morning. Then we went to the grocery store, bought picnic stuff and headed to the park! It was such a gorgeous day here in TX. Sunny and 60 degrees. We had so many grey days that we just couldn't possibly stay indoors.

We threw a few pieces of bread into the lake and learned something interesting about Seagulls. They're cowards! They flew over the bread for quite a while, until the ducks made it over and started eating it. Once the gulls knew it was safe, they flew down and snatched the bread from the ducks.

We called some family and friends and they joined us in the afternoon, we did many fun outdoorsy activities like horseshoes, frisbee, football, soccer, and biking; sometimes all at the same time, and ever scarier, sometimes at the same time, in the same place!

A few friends and I sat and soaked up the sun (after taking part in several of the activities listed above). I sat and watched my wonderful family and friends, worked on my latest afghan crocheting project, and praised God for his wonderful creation.

O Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth, Indeed!
Here are a few photos of our wonderful day.

Well, the inevitable happened, got into a fender bender in the 12 pass van.

My ENORMOUS Van sporting Jetta paint

I was on my way to pick up our veggies this morning (were in a veggie co op) and as I was changing lanes in our ENOURMOUS van, I heard a bang. Sure enough there was an itty bitty little black jetta pulling over I pulled over at the next side street and the jetta followed. I got out of the car praying I was safe. I'm all alone, not so nice area of town, you get the picture...anyway it was a middle aged Hispanic lady, smaller than me Imagine my relief!

We exchanged info, She had a small dent above her drivers side front wheel. My car is only sporting a little black jetta paint. She did make comments that troubled me about possibly messing up the alignment I am kicking myself for not taking a photo, I had the camera in the car! I just didn't think about it. I have a friend whose dh has a disposable camera in the glove box of every car they own for that very purpose. I can't believe I forgot. Dh said it will probably be cheaper to pay out of pocket to fix their car than go through ins. Our deductible is $500 There went the new bunk beds for the boys

Still can't believe I did it. That van is just so huge and even though I checked the mirrors, I didn't see her. Apparently my blind spot is jetta-sized.

Please pray with me that they don't try to make more if this than it is. She seamed like a nice lady but you never know. We are completely willing to fix it. It was my fault after all. But I don't want to get taken KWIM. I am praying they are fair.UHG! What a morning, I am still shaking. I've never been in an accident before.

Well, I have entered the world of blogging...
I am a homeschooling mother of 4. My oldest son B, is 15, next comes G at 12, then we have E who is 9 and last but never least is A, the baby, at 8.
They all keep me pretty busy. We have been homeschooling for 9 years. B went to a private Kindergarten, then he began homeschooling. I did have some help with him because I had babies at home. I started homeschooling all by myself when it was time for G to start Kindergarten, and we have been doing it ever sense.
We have had some ups and downs like I expect everyone has. My oldest struggles in math, my 2nd is dyslexic, and I suspect my youngest is as well, although we have not had her tested yet. Only my third seems to be academically inclined.
We spent 2 years going back and forth, daily, to the Scottish Rite Dyslexia Lab School for G, and I won't be surprised if we have to do it again for A.
We are involved in a Homeschooling Co op where the kids take classes and I teach 2 Children's Literature classes.
My oldest is also being tutored in algebra (God Bless that woman!) and that has helped lighten my load.
We also participate in AWANA as a family. My dh is a Director for the Pioneers, and I am his secretary, and our oldest is an LIT for our group and the kids participate in their various programs.
Well, there you have it, the introduction to my family and my blog. I hope you enjoyed meeting us. I think this blogging thing will be fun!