Saturday, August 29, 2009

Link Love

I go to some of my favorite blogs and one of my favorite things to find is a "link love" post. It's where they share some treasured links they have found in their browsing endeavors. I wanted to do the same for you.

Here is a great one on 70 great things about having children.

Scott and I are planning on getting a clothesline. This link will show you 10 reasons to get one! (just scroll down a bit)

This one gave great ideas for outdoor fun as a family.

Now I talked about wanting to live out on some land with some good friends. But this is a little too much. :0)

Enjoy! and let me know whatcha think!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mothering Inspiration

I wanted to copy and paste a couple inspiring mother quotes. You can find where I got them from here and here.

"IT is wholly impossible to live according to Divine order, and to make a proper application of heavenly principles, as long as the necessary duties which each day brings seem only like a burden grievous to be borne. Not till we are ready to throw our very life's love into the troublesome little things can we be really faithful in that which is least and faithful also in much. Every day that dawns brings something to do, which can never be done as well again. We should, therefore, try to do it ungrudgingly and cheerfully. It is the Lord's own work, which He has given us as surely as He gives us daily bread. We should thank Him for it with all our hearts, as much as for any other gift. It was designed to be our life, our happiness. Instead of shirking it or hurrying over it, we should put our whole heart and soul into it."

-- James Reed, Joy and Strength for the Pilgrim's Day by Mary Wilder Tileston, p. 39

“My Father, give us a sturdiness of mind and heart for the many tasks ahead.

May we speak with the law of kindness on our tongues.

Make us helpers, suitable for our husbands–forgetting our selfish wants, and truly looking to lighten his load.

May we be a crown to him, and not rottenness in his bones.

Give us strength of body to build this house and not tear it down.

Adorn us with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

Make us long suffering toward our husbands and children, not easily provoked and not easily provoking to anger.

Give us energy and vision to “watch over the affairs of our households”, seeing it through Your eyes…a mission field, and a battleground to be won for You.

Help us speak with wisdom.

Help us to be busy with our hands, faithful with our time, and productive in our work.

Give us stamina for the day, helping us see that all the little things are not really little in Your economy.

May we be encouraged in the trenches and know that “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”.

When we are tired, give us rest; when we are irritable, give us grace; when we are grumpy give us gratitude; and when we are spent, carry us on from there.

Losing my life to save it…"

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Homeschooling Goodness

I suppose homeschooling is on my mind since most children that go to school are back at it after a hot summer. One of my favorite bloggers says that we should always be preparing for the NEXT season. Rhea is 2. I plan on starting some sort of "schooling" with her when she is four. I am studying different techniques and thoughts quite a bit, so that, when the time arrives I am prepared (or some what anyhow!).

I wanted to share some goodies I found with ya all!

  • Over at Sprittibee I found a HUGE list of homeschool links.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nothing Like It

There is nothing like the love a mother has for her children. It is so beautiful. It brings me to tears some times to think of the gift of little ones. When my wonderful in-laws take my loves for a night it reminds me of how much I enjoy having them around! In fact, I had them stay with my in-laws one night recently and I ended up crying on the couch.

And to think, I need to have my Lord before them... God wants to be first in our lives. I am realizing even my children can become an idol. Father, protect my heart and remind me of this often!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More foster care stuff

I read these stats and it made me want to get involved with foster care even more:

Did you know: there are over 800,000 foster children in the US . Annually 20,000 kids age out of foster care nationwide, an increase of 41 percent since 1998. One third of them didn’t have a high school diploma and about 20 percent become homeless. Nearly half of the young women who have been in foster care become pregnant at least once by age 19. The need is great.

The need is definitely great. Reminds me of that verse: the harvest is great but the laborers are few. The need for adoption is huge but those willing to adopt are so few! I read some where that only 2% of people end up ever adopting!

Scott and I would like to adopt children younger then ours. This will be a while but I am praying for and about the children the Lord has in store for us.

So many hurting little ones. Oh Lord, please give us as your people a heart for the orphans!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Provoking our children

Provoking our children to anger comes in many ways. Here is a list of 25 that I found here.

1. Lack of marital harmony.

2. Establish and maintaining a child-centered home.

3. Modeling sinful anger.

4. Habitually disciplining while angry.

5. Scolding.

6. Being inconsistent with discipline.

7. Having double standards.

8. Being legalistic.

9. Not admitting your'e wrong and not asking for forgiveness.

10. Constantly finding fault.

11. Parents Reversing God-given roles (ex:wives leading homes).

12. Not listening to your child's opinion or taking his or her 'side of the story' seriously.

13. Comparing them to others

14. Not making time 'just to talk'

15. Not praising or encouraging your child.

16. Failing to keep your promises.

17. Chastening in front of others.

18. Not allowing enough freedom.

19. Allowing too much freedom.

20. Mocking your child.

21. Abusing them physically.

22. Ridiculing or name calling.

23. Unrealistic expectations

24. Practicing Favoritism

25. Child training with worldly methodologies inconsistent with God's Word.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stay at home mom encouragement

"Thank God, O women, for the quietude of your home, and that you are queen in it. Men come at eventide to the home; but all day long you are there , beautifying it, sanctifying it, adorning it, blessing it. Better be there than wear a queen's coronet. Better be there than carry the purse of a princess. It may be a very humble home. There may be no carpet on the floor. There may be no pictures on the wall. There may be no silks in the wardrobe; but, by your faith in God, and your cheerful demeanor, you may garniture that place with more splendor than the upholsterer's hand ever kindled." ---Reverend T. DeWitt Talmage, D.D

For more "stay at home mom encouragement" be sure to check out THIS POST!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Living One Day at a Time

Does anyone else struggle with this? This is one of my "main" habits. I like to worry/contemplate about tomorrow when God clearly tells me that tomorrow is not promised and today has enough to work for us to concentrate on. I read this great quote by Theordore Roosevelt

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

I love it!

What I can: what CAN I do? What has God given me in my ability?

What I have: most people have SOMETHING they can give. Even if it is just our time. How do we use our precious time?

Where you are: STOP thinking about being somewhere else... someone else... God has put us exactly where He wants us and we would be wise to bloom where we are planted.

It is a must have for a happy life to take it one day at a time. His grace is sufficient for TODAY.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Who's in Charge Around Here?

Sometimes I ask myself: "wait a minute! Who is in charge around here? Me or my kids?!" I am in charge. That is my God given authority and it is my responsibility to live that out!

I am reading a great book called: The Mother at Home. It is all about the important and great role we mothers play. No one else can replace us in our children's lives. If we fail to do our best then we fail dearly. There is grace. There is strength from the Lord. Yes. But don't let that give you reason to slack in your duty. A while back I talked at my friend Erica's baby shower about how our parenting (or lack of) will affect generations to come, not just the present. In a sense we parent thousands to come.

As we guide and raise our sweet children let's keep in mind that we are in charge and it is in everyone's (even those who don't exist yet) best interest that we keep it that way :0)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Great List of homeschool "musts"

borrowed this list from Kelly Crawford.

At the top of our list of educational goals are:

  • A love and understanding of Scripture (the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.)
  • Teaching them to be self-learners. In my opinion, the government knows full-well how dangerous a society of self-learners can be, and has purposely created a system that convinces the masses they can only receive a real education through the transferring of information from a “professional”; such a concept ensures that people will be taught only what is “safe” for an engineered society. But for centuries, the most intelligent men and women of history were self-taught; the average high school graduate can not even decipher the writings of these historical intellects. I believe John Taylor Gatto when he says the system has purposely “dumbed down” our students. The proof is in the pudding.
  • Teaching them to think. Ask them questions, challenge their reasoning, and press them to give an answer for opinions they express.
  • Giving them a love of reading. Not all children will love to read as much as others; but from the very beginning, one of the most important things a parent can do is to read to their children, read in front of them, and make books an important part of life. Another thing is to read challenging books in their hearing, even if they don’t grasp it all. They need to hear rich language before they understand it, just as they need to hear simple language before they can speak it.
  • Communication skills. The ability to express one’s self is vitally important. Writing well and speaking well are invaluable assets in any choice of career or role in life. These skills usually come more naturally to a prolific reader, and the more parents verbally communicate with their children the better. (Another benefit, in my opinion, of not being dominated by a peer group for most of the day.)
  • Teaching them to be numerate. I’m not as concerned with whether my children pass trigonometry as I am that they are able to understand measurements and basic life-concepts of math. I made a B in college Calculus and still struggle making change at a yard sale ;-)
  • A love of arts. Poetry, music, beauty–whether it be an intricate composition of notes, or the simple, mysterious beauty in the arrangement of wildflowers, we seek to heighten an awareness of the order, creativity and beauty that makes up the very character of the God we serve.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3 years today!

My husband and I have been married for three years today. Seems longer. Not because we have a horrible marriage but because we have such a great marriage. I can't imagine my life without him.

Things I love about my husband:

He is such a man (I shared this one at mommies' night out). He is manly. I don't know how to put it any other way. I LOVE IT! :0)

He loves God and His Word and He's not afraid to talk about it!

He loves our little kiddos so much.

He treats his parents well.

He provides and seeks ways to save money. I know he will ALWAYS take care of us.

He is continually seeking to be a better husband and receives my "hints" very well and humbly.

He is quick to apologize and forgive.

We can laugh together about things that no one else would find funny!

I am blessed.

homeschooling book sale

Hi everyone!

My favorite blogger (Kelly Crawford) is having a sale on her e-book: Think Outside the Classroom. If you homeschool or are thinking about it I am sure this will be a good purchase!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Foster Parenting

My heart breaks for the thousands of orphans/abused children in america. I admire those who have chosen to be foster parents. Scott and I continue to discuss and pray about God's plan for our family.

More Homeschooling Advice

Here is some more homeschooling advice. This time for family and friends of those who homeschool:

I found this lovely list posted by Kendra Fletcher on Preschoolers and Peace. It was too good not to share. (her blog doesn't exist anymore but I still wanted to give her credit).


If you are the mother, grandmother, sister, friend, father, or brother of a homeschooling mom, here are some things you should know:

1. Educating children at home is a full-time job. Don't get irritated if she consistently allows the answering machine to do its job. If she were a teacher in an institutional classroom, you probably wouldn't think of calling her during school hours, so try to realize that while still at home, she is keeping regular school hours, too.

2. Unlike homes in which the children are gone for eight straight hours, her home is in a constant state of activity. The children are not only home, they are home making messes. All day long. Their mother doesn't even have the opportunity to go into their rooms while they are at school and weed out the junk. And if she is like me, you might find odd homeschooly things lying around- like the month we had a dead turtle in the garage fridge.

3. Housekeeping and homeschooling are mutually exclusive. If she is doing her job educating her children academically, then her house is not being cleaned. If she takes the day to clean the house, then school will not be accomplished.

4. Place realistic expectations on her- she cannot simultaneously teach school, make three square meals, keep a house that looks like it has sprung out of the pages of Architectural Digest, have her nails done, drive children to extracurricular activities, and have all the clothing laundered and pressed. Something's gotta give, and in my experience, it is usually her personal care. So don't expect her to don the latest styles, have her roots meticulously dyed at just the right moment, and her aforementioned nails filed and polished to perfection. And while most of us aren't slovenly, we just tend to put some superfluous aspects of personal care at the bottom of the to-do list.

5. For many of us, homeschooling isn't an option. Many believe it is not only the best way for their family, it is the only way. Many see homeschooling as a Scriptural directive. When sharing a particular struggle unique to homeschooling, comments like, "Well, why don't you consider putting them in school? Maybe homeschooling just isn't your thing" aren't helpful. Instead, offer a listening ear and your fervent prayers on her behalf.

6. If you are truly concerned about the state of her emotions, home, children, or marriage, offer practical help to ease her burden. Personal time is at a premium for her, so consider offering to take her kids for the day so she can recuperate. If you like to do laundry, offer to come over and get the loads going, fold, and/or iron. If you like to cook, consider putting together some meals that she can store in the freezer for days when time is at a premium. If she teaches a broad spectrum of ages and grades, consider offering to come in once a week or more to teach preschool to the little ones. One grandma I know created "Nana U" for her preschool grandson (number five of seven) and not only did it ease her homeshooling daughter's burden, it created a special bond between grandma and the child.

But there’s a caveat here: ASK her what would be most helpful to her.Don’t presume to know what would help her. Taking the oldest children for the day might be fun for you, but it’s quite possibly not at all helpful to her. The living room might need to be vacuumed, but it’s not helpful if she’s trying to take a nap. Someone once told me, “If it’s not wanted, it’s not helpful.”

7. Think about what a financial burden homeschooling may be placing on the family. The loss of her possible income can be a real struggle nowadays, and you might be able to buoy her for another year by offering to purchase little things like simple school supplies. Gifts for the children like books on subjects of interest to the child, field trip fees, museum memberships, and the money to pay for music lessons or other extracurricular activities are the best thing you could give a homeschooling family. Not only does a homeschooling mom not need one more thing to manage or pick up, she would be thrilled to see you take an interest in the many academic items on her wish list.

8. Simple questions like, "How can I pray for you?" and "Is there any way I can help you?" are like a cool breeze in her life. Don't assume you know her needs- ask. You could just be the vessel God uses to carry her on through this very demanding and ultimately rewarding season of her life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Poverty Facts

I found these poverty facts on the compassion website.

• Children under age 18 make up 49 percent of the population of the world's least developed countries, compared with 21 percent of the population of the world's industrialized nations.

More than 2 billion people lack access to electricity and modern forms of energy.

More than 1 billion (one in five) people live on less than U.S.$1 a day.

• Every day,
1,600 women and more than 10,000 newborns globally die due to complications that could have been prevented.

• The annual world economy breaks down like this:

Low Income, $825 or less: 37%
Lower Middle Income, $826 to $3,255:
Upper Middle Income, $3,256 to $10,065: 9%
High Income, $10,066 or more: 16%

• Approximately 143 million children in the developing world (one in 13) are orphans.

More than 10 million children under age 5 die each year. Two-thirds of these deaths — more than 6 million deaths every year — are preventable.

• Approximately
41 percent of the world's poor people live in India.

Scott and I recently started sponsoring a child in Ethiopia. Her name is Galila. She is a precious girl and we are excited to be able to help her with her physical as well as spiritual needs through compassion.

Please consider sponsoring a child today. Just think of the difference you can make. I don't see any reason why we as rich americans can't help others out. Look at those facts above! So many people are in need out there! I praise God for compassion. They are doing an amazing job helping little ones who have no hope.

For just a little over a dollar a day you can change a child's life! Think of that. What sorts of things do you waste a dollar or dollars on all the time? That extra trip to the grocery store (gas money), that pointless toy for your child, the "treat" they just had to have (or you just had to have), the silly amounts we spend on coffee!, bottled water, and so much more. I am just as guilty. Scott and I are continually looking for ways that we can be better stewards of our money. I think one way we all can do that is put it toward a life that desperately needs it!

Unless a grain of wheat falls...

We live in an opposite world. Opposite of what God would have for us. So much sin. So much pride. Lack of love. The world tells us to watch out for "number one" (ourselves) while God tells us that if any one desires to follow Him we must deny ourselves. The world tells woman to "stand up for themselves" while God calls women to be gentle and submissive. The world tells us to worry more about our looks then the condition of our hearts.

This scripture brilliantly describes how we are to die to ourself and why:

John 12:24-26

"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.] If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him."

How can you die to yourself today?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What do they see?

Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror. Sometimes we can take a hard look in the mirror, being God's Word, and not like what we see! God's Word has a way of revealing who we truly are. How He sees us.

If your children were to describe you what would they say? I really enjoyed/was convicted by this letter a mom wrote to herself... her old self. If we are a Christian we have an old (wo)man. We know her ugly ways and unfortunately our children and husbands see her come out too often!

This letter was addressed to: mean mommy. Here is part of it. I encourage you to read all of it.

"... First, I have determined in everything, to give thanks seeing that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) I will rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) for I am learning, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11, 13) When those doubts begin to creep in I will be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

If you could just stop blustering and ordering everyone around long enough you might see an eternal perspective. You would realize that there is so much more to life in Christ than the day-in-and-day-out ups and downs. Step back for a moment from the immediate stressors. Why, there isn’t a hair that falls from my head that the Father is unaware of. He cares for birds and flowers in the field. How much more does He care for me and my family? (Matthew 6:25ff) Not only that, but He is working every circumstance in my life for my good and for the good of my children who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
Since I know that I must be sober, to love my husband, to love my children (Titus 2:4), I will be gentle among my little flock, even as a nursing mother cherishes her children: So being affectionately desirous of them, I will be willing to have imparted unto them, not the gospel of God only, but also my own soul, because they are dear unto me…even when I must labor night and day. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9a) And most of all I will remember that charity—an antiquated term for our word love—suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity—or love—never faileth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

If I have to, I will get really radical. When you show up, I intend to meet you at the door intent on bodily harm. For I see who you really are. You are the old (wo)man that Scripture speaks of so clearly. But I know this, that my old woman is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth I should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) I will likewise reckon myself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So I will let not sin therefore reign in my mortal body, that I should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield my members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield myself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:11-13) Because I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Prepared to do battle,
A Loving Mama"