Saturday, June 30, 2007

Today was take your picture with the baby day.

Here is Devorah and Ben.

This is Daniel with Ben.

Here is Abby with Ben.

Here is Charlotte, fresh from camp and happy to see her brother again.

Then there is Tim. I didn't trust him holding his brother without help- so I tried to prop Ben up on the couch next to him. The only problem is that Ben is only 4 months and can't sit steady. Evey time I snapped a shot Ben was moving and came out blurry. So, I ended up taking one of the shots and editing out the blur of Ben and using just Tim.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen

I saw this idea somewhere else and thought it a very worthwhile exercise in keeping myself focused on the good in life. I am going to try to put out a list every Thursday of 13 things I am thankful for. Here is my first list-

1. God's provision- I don't know how he does it, but I do suppose that if my Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills He can surely get our bills paid and food on the table, right?

2. For a husband who has the strong desire to take care of me no matter how much pain he is in or how it cost him physically.

3. For all the help and work my girls are willing to do to keep this house going. I know I have said this before, and no they aren't perfect in this area- I still get flack once in awhile, but they have done so much to help out around here.

4. For the wonderful support group we have surrounding us. People keep up with when we have Dr. apt.s and stuff and call to see what happened and what is going on.

5. That support group also has been so wonderful in offering all sorts of help that we might need- from mowing the lawn to babysitting while we go to apt.s.

5. For baby giggles and smiles to brighten my day.

6. For God's healing- though He hasn't miraculously healed my husband's back I have seen Him do a lot of healing for others I know and I know He could heal Dan if He wanted to. I am thankful for the healing He has done for those around me.

7. God's abundant wisdom that surpasses my own- He knows why He does what He does and when is best to do it. We just need to remember that and keep trusting in Him always.

8. For the variety of food we have to enjoy. Even though it isn't necessary and even though our country is a little too into food and all, I do enjoy the variety of foods God made for us to enjoy.

9. For Grandparents who pay for our daughter to go enjoy a week of camp.

10. The freedom to school my children at home instead of being forced to put them in government run public schools.

11. Music- the variety of different types that we have to praise God and sing about how wonderful He is.

12. For God allowing us to falter and have times of questioning as we work out our journey of faith.

13. For God always remaining by our side even when we have our times of faltering and questioning. He is always there and never leaves us- ever.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For the love of a child

I have been meaning to type this up for the past few days but life has been busy. Monday we dropped our daughter off at camp. Driving her down and saying good-bye for the week made me realize how quickly time flies. This isn't the first time she has gone to camp, nor the first time she has went away for a week but for some reason this time it feels like my little girl is growing up too fast. Maybe it has to do with the fact that she is turning ten in just over a month- am I really getting old that quickly? I don't know what it is but my little girl is growing up and I'm not so sure I like it!
The other thing I have come to realize in the couple of days that Charlotte has been gone has to do with just how much I have come to rely on my girls. The oldest two have helped me out so much. Each child takes a turn helping mom in the kitchen. When it isn't Charlotte or Devorah's turn they are taking care of the baby for me. Devorah hasn't been able to do much in the kitchen while Charlotte is gone because I keep needing her to help with the baby. I am so thankful for my girls. While Dh is out of commission with his injuries they have really stepped up and helped a lot. I think I need to take the two of them out for some mom time and show them a little appreciation.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hitting you when your low

Today I have come to the conclusion that the devil is a very smart being. It seems that he so well knows the human race and so well knows me. Today I was not having a good day emotionally. I have really been struggling lately with life. Nothing really big, just tired and drained from all of the junk that has been going on around here. So, knowing just how I have been feeling, Satan gave me a blow I didn't expect.
Knowing that he is smart, the question is- How am I going to react to this? The devil wants to get me so out of focus in life that I become ineffective. If he can get me so wrapped up in my doldrums and keep me concentrating on the junk then I wont have the time or attention to give to the parts of life that really matter. My husband, my kids, those around me who need to be ministered to.
Not only will the devil succeed in getting me off focus and away from the things I should be concentrating on, but what little attention I do give them will not be positive. I know many times when I have been so caught up in worry or trouble that I have allowed it to sour my mood. Kinda like when the bills are piling high and the stress builds, all of a sudden next thing the kids are getting yelled at. Its not that the kids are doing anything wrong its just nerves are frazzled.
Did the devil succeed today? Unfortunately yes, for a few hours or so. However I am back in gear now. I need sleep, but I have pulled myself back under God's sheltering wing. Whatever is going on is nothing that He can't handle. I may not understand it, or know what the next step is, but He does and that is what is important.
Isaiah 40.31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Friday, June 22, 2007

This site has a newsletter. If you subscribe then they will send it weekly and each newsletter has a link to something on their site they are giving away that week. All of their materials are e-books. Next week they are having a big multi giveaway. For Mother's Day they tried to give about 12 titles away in one day and there was so much traffic to their site trying to get the books that most people weren't able to get any of them. They have switched their servers and are going to hold the giveaway this coming week (6/25) spread out over a few days.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What can you remember?

The three girls (ages 9 1/2, 8 1/2 and 6 1/2) have been memorizing Psalm 139. They add two more verses to their memory each week and have gotten through verse 10 this week. Our goal is to memorize at least the first 16 verses. I think Daniel (4 1/2) would be capable of this as well but I haven't pushed him to do it. I think I am going to though. I really want to have them remember these verses for more then the week they work on them. I know someone who has her son repeat back old verses throughout the week instead of just the one he is working on.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Working as a Family

I hear a lot of people who complain about the lack of help they get from their kids around the house. Then there are the people who complain about always having to clean up after their kids. Then I think about a book I read- the lady was Amish and had six children. When asked if having more children was too much work her reply was that the more kids you have the less work you should have to do.
Children are a part of the family, it is the family's job to keep the house running and stomachs fed. They need to be taught the value of responsibility and they need to learn to take care of themselves and others. Doesn't it promote a better sense of togetherness when you all work on household work instead of leaving it all to one person while the others go off and do their own thing?
Having said all that, I just want to take the time to really appreciate how much my girls do around the house. My oldest three (all girls) are almost 10, 8 1/2, and 6 1/2. They all have their daily chores and (mostly) do them without a hassle. There are even certain jobs they each love to do and want to do more then they need to (why is washing the walls with a spray bottle of vinegar water and a rag so enjoyable?). When some people hear that I have had the last two babies at home they remark about how if they were me they would want the few days in the hospital to have some time off. When I had our last baby in March the girls stepped up and really helped daddy out around the house. I was able to be at home *and* have the rest and relaxation I needed because they all worked so hard together.
I have a list of chores that are for the kids to do. Each day I write down what they have for them that day and they check off everything as they do it. The only problem is that they are suppose to read a book for 30 minutes a day and they tend to want to read before chores and also try to extend their reading time past the 30 minutes. However, having children that are addicted to book is a subject for another post on another day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

interseting site

If you have a lot of time on your hands, check out this site- homeschool videos
They have all kinds of videos they have found on the web that are educational interesting or just plain fun, and all of them are family friendly.
My kids have enjoyed a few of them and so have I.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On being a morning person

I am not a morning person. That is not to say that I don't like getting up early, if I have to I will. What I mean is that no matter how much sleep I got the night before or how early or late I am getting up I need some time to fully wake up and get my thoughts together and start my day. I don't like to jump right into things but want to take a little bit to get myself together.
Unfortunately, my boys don't share my feelings. Daniel(4) and Timothy(2) think that the day is a waste if they aren't up at 6:30, 7:00 every morning. To them, to sleep till 7:30 is sleeping in. Once they wake up they immediately switch things into full gear. By the time they have been dressed and taken downstairs they have usually been either 1) punished for getting into something they shouldn't have or 2) woke up everyone else in the house with all of their running around or 3) fought over something that neither of them were really suppose to have. Needless to say they do not get their rambunctious energetic personalities from me.
On the other hand maybe God is punishing me for all those times I, as a stay at home mom, looked at people who had to get up early for work every morning and stuck my tongue out cause I got to sleep in.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


A few months back I was clued in on a really good free website-
You can enter your child's name and grade and they are given weekly spelling lists which they learn through games and quizzes on the site. The only problem I have is that the site will give them words that will all utilize a certain spelling rule but not explain the rule. For example, this week Devorah is doing words that have either ee (seek) or ea (beach) in them. There is a rule for figuring out which spelling (ee or ea) a word uses but the program never share that rule. I think I will start looking over their spelling words ahead of time and help them learn the rules before they take the tests. Other then that it is a great program.
Anyway, Charlotte had to spell Wednesday this week and wasn't getting it down well. It certainly doesn't look like it sounds. I told her to remember the phonetic spelling in order to help her out. That is how I always did it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Name Meme

I saw this on someone else's blog and thought I would do it as well, so here are the kids names and what they mean.

Charlotte- Little and Womanly
I like to tease my husband about Charlotte's name. When we were naming her, his favorite basketball team was the Charlotte Hornets. I always tell everyone that we named her after them. In all reality it was a good friend of ours who thought of naming her Charlotte.

To Speak Kind Words
We wanted a name from the Bible but didn't really like Deborah. When we saw this Hebrew variation we knew that was it.

Father of Joy or a Father's Joy

God is my Judge
Dan always wanted his firstborn son to be a Jr. He never knew that meant waiting till number four to finally get his wish!

To Honor God

Son of My Right Hand

That is all the kids. We didn't name them after any of the grandparents or relatives. Except for Charlotte's name and Devorah's middle name, they are all biblical names.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Taking a Beating

Our church family is on the smaller side. We average around 125 people in church on Sundays. I am amazed at how many people are going through so many physical ailments. In the last two years at least seven people have been diagnosed with cancer (two have passed on), one member had to have ACL surgery, one member suffered a stroke, sever are dealing with back issues, one went through problems with blood clots and another had several surgeries and had post surgery complications.
We have decided that God must be on the verge of doing something incredible in our church because it seems like the devil is just attacking everyone. The awesome thing is that God has healed a few people miraculously and everyone is still pressing on in the work God has called them to do. Also. any time someone gets down about things there is always someone there to help them regain their focus. Just brings home the importance of the church body acting like the family it is.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Clean stoves and clean lives

Tonight I finally tackled something that I had putting off for a few days. A couple days ago I had three pots spill over in the course of two days on two of my stove burners. That means of course that I was left with some pretty dark gunk around my burner. So, after I did all the dishes tonight I finally decided to tackle that mess. Unfortunately, since it had been sitting there for a few days, the gunk had ideas of its own and they didn't match up with mine. Now, 15 minutes, plenty of elbow grease and some baking soda later I have managed to clean up most of that mess.
While I was tackling that black stuff on my white stove, I was struck by the parallels between the stove and my lives. Sin mars my being and is just as unsightly as that burnt on mess was on my white stove.
Also, if I let sin sit around in my life and don't deal with it quickly it gets the chance to sit around and really plant itself. If I had cleaned up the stove when the mess happened it would have come clean a lot easier. If I would confess and clean up the sin in my life when God first brings it to mind it would also be a lot easier. When you let sin stick around it is very unsightly and becomes very hard to remove.
I know the reluctance of admitting sin and dealing with it, the task is not easy by far. However, the sooner it is dealt with the easier it is to deal with.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Recent reads

I figured I would keep track of the books I have read so others can maybe find something good to read.
I recently read a book by Michael Reagan titles 'Twice Adopted.' It is a really good book to read if you have any interaction with, or are yourself a victim of sexual abuse. There is a lot of other really good learning in the book but it really revolves around the abuse he suffered as a child by a camp counselor. Since the statistics are really high that you know someone who has gone through something like this it is worth checking out. Everything he says is from a Christian perspective as well and very well grounded.
I am currently reading 'The Hand of God: the Journey from Death to Life by the Abortion Doctor who Changed His Mind.' This man was on the inside of the fight to make abortion legal. He performed thousands of them himself along with running several clinics. I haven't gotten to the point where he turns around, but it is an interesting book so far.

Junk and finding freedom

Today we spent most of the day rearranging and cleaning our girls' room. Of course in order for all of that to happen, we first had to have the girls find and take out all of the stuff they had laying all over the place. Now the room has been vacuumed, dusted, furniture rearranged and nothing outside of their dolls and stuffed animals and jewelry boxes has been put back in. The room looks so much better. We are trying to talk them into getting rid of all the other stuff. I probably will end up sorting through it all with them, but I don't think they will be keeping most of it.
Its amazing how freeing it can be to get rid of stuff. The clutter builds up so slowly that you barely even recognize it happening until all of a sudden you are surrounded by all sorts of stuff. A lot of it may be quite useful or nice but the end result is the same- you sit surrounded by all sorts of endless things that weigh you down and hinder your ability to do other things. I really feel that if I wasn't so busy all the timing trying to keep on top of everything laying all over the place it would leave me so much time to do other things that are more important and worth the effort.
I think we can let clutter get in the way spiritually as well. How many times has God tried to take you down a road but you have too much baggage to carry with you. Sometimes are you so busy with life and keeping up with things that you don't have time to spend with God. Maybe the clutter crowds around so much that you can't even hear him calling you anymore. The question is, do you even realize he is missing or is there so much stuff surrounding you that you can't even tell?

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Father Son Time

There is a golf course near us. What is unusual about this golf course is that it is in the middle of the city. The metroparks just built it last year. They have this really good program for kids during the summer. It teaches inner city kids character lessons while they learn to play the game.
Today the golf course had an open house. My four year old Daniel is a big golf fan. He even uses rulers to practice his swing when he is in the house. So, Daddy (Dan) took his son up to the golf course to get a look at it. Daniel was given a free bucket of balls to hit at the driving range. While he hit the balls two kids from the local high school's golf team gave him pointers on his swing (they were rather impressed with the swing that came from such a young one btw). After they were done at the driving range they were able to go over to the putting greens and let Daniel practice (he hits balls at home but can't practice putting as he hasn't got anyplace to practice). They were suppose to give tours of the course but no one was around to give the tour so Dan went and asked about it. They then let him take a golf cart and drive his son around the entire course and view the whole thing. Its the first time Daniel has ever been on a real golf course. We will simply say that Daniel came home with one of the biggest smiles on his face I have ever seen!

Fellowship is so nice

Tonight we went to visit a family from church. They invited six families to come over their house for dinner. The kids all had a blast on the trampoline and in the pool, they also enjoyed visiting the rabbits. It all reminded me that I need to get going and start having people over more often like I have been wanting to do. I don't want to look back on my life and have all sorts of things I wish I had done. Spending time with friends and enjoying other people's company is something I want to do more of soon.

Friday, June 1, 2007

What My Title Means

I thought maybe I should spend my first post explaining about the title of my blog. I am a wife (for 10 1/2 years), mother of six (ages 3 months to 9 years), stay at home mom, and home schooler. Those are my main jobs, though not my only jobs. Needless to say, having six young ones home all the time (and a husband who is currently always home) and trying to school them and keep up with everything life can get just a bit crazy.
This blog is where I will record all those glimpses of calm, all of the triumphs over struggles, all the stuff that makes up the real reason for life. This blog will be my record of sanity. I will also post any and all information that I have come across that may help you find your calm. I am here to help me maintain the me in all of the mom, wife, church member, teacher, etc. rolls that I fill. I hope you enjoy my little piece of calm in the midst of the chaos of life.