Friday, December 12, 2014

Monday, April 2, 2012

Just Checking in

I have noticed I still get quite a bit of traffic on this blog.  If you are visiting here and wondering why I haven't updated since October that would be because I have moved my blog to over here.  You can find me writing these days on I Come Quietly.

So if you haven't updated your Google reader or whatever form you follow me with, I would encourage you do do so if you want to stay in touch.

Thanks much.  I hope you will join me in my new space.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hello Goodbye

It's been coming for awhile. This space,'s just not me anymore. I'm in need of a change. I have changed, and my life is currently in a constant state of change (or so it feels).

I have been here for a long time...long for me that is. I never used to be good at keeping journals.  I would always start one with good intentions but then it would peter out.  Writing is something I love and I often need it to process life, so I think that's why I have kept up with this blog over the last 5 years.

I have loved this space. It was what I needed at the time. It documented an era in my life, one that I am still in but slowly phasing out. God is pulling my heart in a different direction although it is still similar (if that even makes sense), so I felt like it would be fitting to create a new blog.

I thought about writing a long goodbye post and then just didn't see the sense in it.  I'm not really leaving, I just decided to move over here.  If you want to follow along I would love to have you (it's still a little bit of a work in progress.  I am hoping to post there soon as to why I chose the name I did) I have been writing there for a little bit now, I just hadn't decided to fully make the move until now.

Sooo, you will no longer find me here. From now on I will be writing over at, "I Come Quietly"


Friday, October 14, 2011

We're back

We got back home a week and a half ago and I am struggling to adjust. I want so much to share about the amazing journey that God took us on in S. Asia but words just aren't coming yet. There is a lot being pondered in my heart that is going to take some time to process.  I am still trying to get back into a routine. Homeschooling has been tough the last week.  It was harder then I thought to get back and just jump right into the busy life of being a mom. I have been tired and out of sorts since our return, but I know that it is just a matter of time before things settle. I am just praying that I would extend more grace to those around me during this process.

We returned and autumn was in full swing. I can't believe that the trees are almost bare as of today. I am so glad we didn't miss their beauty. I love the crisp air and the smell that the changing season brings. I took the kiddos on a nature walk and we crunched crunched through the leaves...oh bliss! I just love that sound.

I have been having some sweet fellowship with the Lord lately. His Word  feels so rich and I see my need to just fill up on it...not to cram my head full of knowledge but simply to sit at His feet and marvel at His goodness. This afternoon Bill held down the fort so I could lock myself in our room and just spend time with the Lord.  It was glorious! A full hour to read and pray and drink hot Chai.  I am working my way through the book of Genesis.  I don't know how many times I have read this book but I seem to learn something new every. single. time.

The youngest girls have been very clingy since our return so I am spending lots of time holding little ones.  It makes it a little hard to get things done around the house, but I don't mind so much.  I missed them more then I could imagine and I am just happy that we are all together once again...even if we are all a little crusty.

Life is good.  I just need some time to sort it all out.

Be back soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Socks and life

The new school year brought with it some cooler weather. I figured it was time that I get out all our socks. I have to say one thing I love about summertime is NO socks! I absolutely hate folding socks, thus the reason I had a whole basket to fold. When the temps got warm enough I pushed the basket of unfolded socks into the spare bedroom closet. Out of sight out of mind. Am I the only one who hates this chore so much? It just seems so tedious, and we are always missing socks. I can never do a load of laundry without  somehow loosing some.  I think I could fill a whole other basket with all matchless socks we have floating around the house.

Socks weren't really my reason for writing. Although it does make a good analogy.  It  sums up life and how it has felt the last few weeks, a pile of crazy, and a little disorganized. I have a thousand thoughts swirling around right now and just no time to write them.  The answer we were waiting for so long finally came and with it brought a crazy amount of busy.

We are leaving in a few days for an amazing adventure. We have been preparing for this trip for the last few months.  I can't believe it is finally here! Through all my doubts and fears we have seen God's hand at work which is so amazing...He is amazing! I am excited and scared, anxious and at times at peace.  So many emotions happening at once within me.  I am praying, always praying.  I want to learn what God wants me to.  I want to be obedient. I want my eyes to be open to see and my heart to be soft.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are doing what He wants us to right now.  We got some news today that had we had before we would not have gone on this trip.  I do believe that God doesn't tell us everything right away because often we would run away afraid (or at least I would) and not lean on Him. I would rob myself of His joy. I am so thankful that He loves me so much to tell me what I need to know when I need to know it.

I don't anticipate life slowing down when we return, but I am hoping that I can make time to share.   There are always lessons to learn in what God asks us to do and I don't want to forget any of this crazy ride He has us on.

Until then... 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What we decided on

As of today everything for this school year has been ordered and is on it's way here.  Because it took us so long to make a decision about what were were going to do, we won't be starting school on Monday. I would rather start at the beginning of the week instead of the middle, but I am learning to be flexible. :)

Here is what we have decided on for curriculum.

Anna- 5th grade
     ~"Switched-On Schoolhouse is a comprehensive, Christian homeschool curriculum that offers computer-based learning for grades 3-12. With animation, video clips, and other fascinating multimedia, Switched-On Schoolhouse is the perfect Christian homeschool curriculum for today's generation...Unlike traditional textbook curriculums with dry, one-dimensional lessons, Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS) has a diverse, vibrant mix of entertaining lessons, assignments quizzes, and more! Fun-filled lessons are created to captivate students' attention and engage them in learning."

We ordered the subjects separately instead of getting the core package.  We decided to drop Bible (which is included in their core 5).  We are doing our own thing for Bible with the kids, so didn't feel it was necessary to spend an extra $89 for that program.

For Bible we are using Building on Firm foundations. Bill is using this with All the kids.  I am also looking into doing the Bright Lights curriculum with Anna.  It is a Bible study for mother's and daughters. 

Ryan- 2nd grade
     Usually I would do the same curriculum with both of the older kids but since the Switched on Schoolhouse doesn't start until 3rd grade that wasn't an option. We decided to go the route of an online academy. We enrolled him in the A Beka Academy.

"A Beka Academy is an accredited, comprehensive distance-learning program for Kindergarten through grade 12. This academically-challenging, college prepatory education features high quality video instruction and uses Christian character building textbooks from A Beka"

We chose the  streaming video option.

James- Kindergarten
Claire- preschool
     I have to say I am probably most excited about doing Kindergarten this year. We ordered My Father's World.  This is a description from their website of What My Father's World is all about,

  • Recognizes the Bible, God's truth, to be the foundation of wisdom and education.
  • Utilizes hands-on, unit studies with daily lesson plans that are easy-to-teach.
  • Enables families and multi-age groups to learn together. Many of our programs may be taught to a range of ages simultaneously.
  • Combines the best of Charlotte Mason's ideas and classical education with a Biblical worldview, an international focus, and our own observations of how children learn.
  • Uses a comprehensive, sequenced learning program beginning with preschool learning toys to develop readiness skills. Our complete unit-based curriculum includes a phonics-based learning-to-read program and focuses on God's amazing creation (kindergarten), the world of the Bible (first grade), and U.S. history (second or third grade). Then a year of geography sets the foundation for four years of chronological world and U.S. history (through eighth grade). Our high school curriculum provides a Biblical framework for English, history, and other subjects.
  • Provides easy-to-teach, integrated curriculum that is enjoyable, academically strong, and focused on character development.
  • Is committed to the Lord of All, who tenderly searches for people from every tribe and language. A portion of our profits helps support missions work overseas, especially Bible translation projects. Our heart's desire is that someday soon all people would be able to read of God's love in their own language.

After talking to several friends who have used this and looking through the materials, I feel really confident that this will be really good for James and Claire.  I decided to teach James and Claire together this year. While Claire is a little young to be doing Kindergarten I think she will do really well in keeping up with James.  She is really motivated to learn and I actually think she could learn to read this year alongside James. I am not going to push it, just encourage her where she wants to learn and grow.  The same goes with James.  If I see that he is really not doing well this year, I am not going to push it.  I am a mom who believes it is okay to start your children later with school.  We did that with Ryan.  I started Kindergarten with him at age 5 and he just wasn't ready.  By the next year (when we repeated kindergarten) He did so well.

I did not order the complete Kindergarten package but instead  ordered the basic. Then I chose what extra things I wanted to go with it.  Here is a list of the extra things I ended up deciding on,
~Cuisenaire Rods
~ Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book (Ordered through My Father's World)
~a-z lowercase puzzle
~Number puzzle boards and Pegs
~Kid's puzzle (Ordered through MFW)

So there you have it. Our curriculum choices for the 2011-2012 school year.  Now that I finally have the burden of that decision off my shoulders I am looking forward to starting.  So much prayer has gone into all of this.  I know it is going to look a little different then what I am used to, but I have confidence that God will give us the grace we need.

So stay tuned to find out how it all goes and what we decide we like/dislike about what we are using.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turning a corner

During my run this morning I felt something change in my body.  I'm sure it wasn't an instantaneous change, it's been changing over time but this morning was when I sensed it.  I have totally turned a corner with running.  My endurance is so much more, my breathing is controlled, I don't feel out of breath and I'm not as tired afterwards.  I can tell my muscles are getting used to to running because I can stretch them further, they are not as tight as they once were. I feel excited about this like, "Whoa, I can actually do this running thing!"  I have not lost a single pound yet in the last 3 weeks but I am sticking with it despite the fact.  My body seems slow to make changes so I'm thinking over time I will eventually loose the rest of the baby weight. It just might take longer then I wanted.

Bill has started running again too.  I am really excited for him.  He used to be a runner and has always enjoyed it but he hasn't done it in years. Don't tell him this, but I think I was influential in him starting back at running. :) I think he saw how much I was enjoying it and it made him remember that it was something he once loved. 

I took Ryan with me this morning on my run.  He got all dressed in his shorts and running shoes and declared that he was going to run with me.  I thought about turning him down because I really enjoy running alone.  I don't like to talk while running. I love listening to music or to the sound of my feet hitting the pavement.  I decided though to give it a try, I told him he could join me. He turned out to be a really good companion. He isn't much of a talker, so that wasn't an issue for us. He did really well too, I was surprised actually.  He stayed with until about 16 minutes into it. We were close enough to the house at that point that he just ran home.

I think this is so good for our family. I think it is building healthy habits and hopefully being a good example to our kids about taking care of our bodies. It's fun that Ryan sees both of us exercising and wants to do the same now. It serves as a good reminder to me that our kids are always watching so we must be wise in what we are living out before them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Decisions on homeschooling

I've been struggling with guilt lately.  We have a lot of big decisions to make, many of which revolve around our kids. One of the biggest decisions is regarding homeschooling curriculum. When we pulled the kids out of public school this past December I just did a mix of curriculum with Anna and Ryan. It wasn't  the most organized system but it got us through the rest of the year.  I knew at the beginning of summer that I was going to want something more organized. We began praying months ago for wisdom in this area. But, here we are just 2 and a half weeks before school starts and we still have not ordered anything.  Every time I have sat down to research or pray about it I just feel this huge weight and then I feel paralyzed in making any kind of decision.

I think the problem is, I have this ideal of homeschooling.  I have thoughts about how I think it should go and what I want it to look like. I love the whole Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. I want to be more hands on. I want to understand my kids better and teach in way that is effective for each of their learning styles. I want to be involved. However, because of us moving overseas (hopefully in the next year) we need to find something that doesn't require so much planning and teaching on my part. Bill feels strongly about getting the kids in an online charter school, at least for the next few years. We want to try it out this year and see how it goes before we got overseas.  The reason for doing this is because the first few years in another country are going to be very busy and stressful for us as we learn the language and culture. We still feel strongly about homeschooling, so it looks like for now this is our best option.

This decision has lead to even more guilt on my part. I couldn't put my finger on why I was feeling so much guilt until the other night when I was talking it out with Bill. I realized that it's because of the ideas I hold of homeschooling.  A few months ago I went to a homeschooling seminar. It was while Bill and I were in training and it was geared towards people like ourselves who are going to be homeschooling overseas. One of the biggest things that struck me about that seminar was when one of the speakers said, "homeschooling will look different overseas then it does in the states." It sounds like a duh statement but I had never really thought about it. Oh course it is going to be different.  I keep thinking about that and realize that I need to come to grips with it.  I have to get rid of some of my ideals and learn to be flexable.  At least for a time.  For my sanity and stress level, we are going to have to do things differently over there.

I was talking to a new friend of mine recently and telling her my concerns with the curriculum that we are deciding on. She looked at me and said, "You know, you can make anything work. It's all in your attitude and how you approach it."  I really appreciated her saying that to me.  Yes we may find that we don't care for what we have chosen to use this year, but we will work with it and learn from it and adjust things as need be. And who knows we could find that we absolutely love it, this new way of schooling and it could radically change my my ideas about homeschooling. I don't want it to sound like I  expect our experience this year to be all negative. I just know it's going to be different. It always takes me awhile to adjust to change.

I have also come to realize over the last few days that I don't need to feel guilt.  Guilt does not come from the Lord so it is not something that I need to succumb to. I am still my children's teacher (no matter if they are using an online teacher to teach their subjects to them). I will still be proactive in teaching my children character traits and what God's Word has to say. Those are the lessons in life that are the most important.

We are going to be making our final decisions about curriculum this weekend, and ordering all of our materials. I will come back once we do and write about what we end up with.  Looks like it's going to be and interesting adventure this year. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011


We have been waiting for a long time. (or so it feels) In fact, waiting has been something that Bill and I are getting really good at. I would venture to say we are even becoming pros. :)

Hurry up and wait. It's the name of the game.

We wait on the Lord to reveal His will.

This is a big week for us. Tomorrow is the 16th. A final decision is going to be made about our future. There are days when it has felt like it ALL hangs in the balance, but we know this isn't true. He has a plan, no matter what the decision is.

It's like opening a package on Christmas morning. I know that whatever is in that box is going to be good...because it was given to us by the Giver who gives good gifts.

So we wait with anticipation and matter what this weeks answer will bring.

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Is 40:31

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We are family

It would be easier to send them out to play 
instead of playing with them

It would be easier to turn on the TV
instead of turning it off

It would be easier to not get involved
instead of getting involved

It would be easier to ignore
instead of paying attention

It would be easier to do what I want
instead of what they need

It would be easier to send them to school
instead of keeping them home

It would be easier to deal with outward appearances
instead of the heart

It would be easier to love what is lovely
instead of what isn't

It would be easier to respond harshly
instead of kindly

It would be easier to only share part of the truth
instead of the whole

We had a rough day yesterday.  The kids just couldn't seem to get along.  I felt like, instead of being Mom I was Referee. It was hot out but not as hot as it has been. I told the kids they needed to go out to play. From the moment I uttered the words there was nothing but complaining. They fought over everything while they were outside. I had a lot of issues I had to deal with with them. It was very draining.

I'm not sure what the change was but I happened to look over at the kids as they all huddled around Katie (who was sitting in a make shift pool, aka a rubber maid container), I see  them pile their hands on top of each other.  They did it several times. I leaned in closer to hear what they were saying.  I was surprised at what they were doing. "On the count of three. 1. 2.3...FAMILY!" They shouted.

For a brief time I got a glimpse of something good...the value of hard work.  The value of putting in the time.  The choices we make to do the right thing with our kids, often times the hard thing. It is no easy task being a parent.  There are days when I wonder if any of the work I put in will amount to anything.

God is good to give small reminders.

Keep going.

Keep pressing on.

There ARE good things happening here...even when it doesn't feel like it.

To see fruits of our labor is such a reward.

This verse has become something that I pray over my children. It is my desire that they would live it.
"Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life.." Phil 2:14-16

In order for them to live it, I have to model it and so that means making those hard choices.  That means being diligent and consistent. That means letting Christ love them through me so that they can see Him.

And so I press on. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reaching an end of an era

(Picture taken back in February)

Tonight we reached another milestone. Katie went to bed without me nursing her. I knew it was coming because she has been loosing interest. The last week or so she hasn't wanted to nurse at night. AND, she has been biting me... alot! So, tonight she went to bed happily without me. Not sure how that can be possible, but it's true. My baby is changing every day. Wanting to become more like the big kids.

We are not officially done nursing, we still have our mornings together which she enjoys as do I, but I have the feeling it isn't going to last much longer.

I think God is being really gracious to me in the way that this is happening. I was feeling so sad that I was going to have to wean her anyway. Bill and I are planning to go out of the country on a vision trip in September and we won't be able to take the littles with us (that is a whole other post in and of itself). I knew I needed to start the process of weaning her but had really been dragging my feet about it. I feel better about the fact that she is naturally weaning herself. Then I won't feel so guilty, although I will still be a little sad about it.

I know there are many out there who will not understand my heart in wanting to nurse her for a long time. I just think that breastfeeding is such a beautiful thing and such a sweet time with my baby. I really am going to miss it.

But instead of dwelling on the sad side of this I will look for the positives and look to the days ahead with joy. We are moving ahead with life as we should. :) Getting out of this baby phase will be so strange as I have either been pregnant or nursing a baby for the last 10 years.  That's a LONG time! It has been good.

So I wonder what the days to come will be like? I wonder what freedom there will be in not having a baby nurse?  

I guess I'm about to find out...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A new playlist

I recently started doing the Couch to 5k. A friend of mine had told me about this several months ago, but I put off starting it, partly because of the heat and partly because I wasn't sure I could do it.  Finally after feeling antsy (running seems to help when I am feeling this way) I determined that I would give it a go.  The first time I went out, I knew it was very doable for me.  I loved the training plan. I love how it gradually builds.  I have tried running in the past and have never stuck with it.  Having a plan makes it so much easier to stick with it. I feel like I am accomplishing something.

Okay, so to the point of why I am writing this...

When I run I like to take my MP3 player with me.  It helps to pass the time to have something to listen to.  The problem is right now I feel like I keep listening to the same songs over and over.  So I want to put a question out there to all you who exercise...what is on your playlist?  I am looking for some more upbeat running type music.  I listen mostly Christian music, so if you know of any upbeat Christian music that would be great...but I am open to all types of suggestions.