Samaritan’s Purse

For the last few years we have prepared Operation Christmas Child  shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse. This years experience was a bit different.

I had read the book “Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney and was struck by the stories of how God has used these gifts to transform lives.

I was challenged to pray for the children who would be receiving the gifts, to write letters to them, and to involve my children even more in the process.

As a family we went shopping for the gifts, and the kids had so much fun picking out items for the boxes. They, and my husband, picked out stuff that I never would have and I loved their fresh perspective and the joy they expressed in picking out the gifts.

Back home, I let the kids lose and they had a blast packing the boxes, drawing pictures and writing letters.

Once they were in bed, I spent the next few hours repacking and organizing the boxes (I couldn’t believe how long it took!) and praying for the kids, their families, and the communities that would receive the gifts.

If you aren’t familiar with Samaritan’s Purses’ Operation Christmas Child, I would love to encourage you to get a copy and read “Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney from http://www.samaritanspurse.org/.

I have packed shoe boxes for years and while I certainly hoped, I never realized the extent to which is using this ministry. Praise God for His faithfulness!!

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Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27 (NKJV)

November

Buddy. Now that Button is here, I look at you and wonder where the last 5 years have gone. YOU used to be my itty bitty little baby, and now you are getting taller and taller and are growing into such a handsome, responsible, young man. You are alot of fun to have around, especially these last few weeks where you have started to see if you can successfully sneak up on people throughout the day. Like I said, it’s never boring around here… You are also really enjoying music lessons. You have started some piano this year and are figuring things out really fast.

Blondie. I am SO proud of you. It hasn’t been fun getting bleeds and having to go see the doctor, but despite everything you keep showing us how strong you are. I think you are stronger than me, ’cause I need just as many treats to get through these situations as you do and I’m not even the one getting the needle. This month you also learned how to count by 10’s and even though you say you can’t read, you’ve been able to read everything put in front of you.

Happy. I have very little hope of actually keeping up with you, little girl, but between me, your dad and your brothers, we might have a fighting chance. When you wake up in the morning you are a bouncing blonde bundle of pure joyful energy. You always seem to be almost underfoot, but manage to stay just out from underfoot as you try to help with with just about everything during the day. You are my little, chatty shadow who loves to sing (this month you’ve been singing “I’m a Little Monkey” from the boys’ music lessons).

Button. You are 3 months old already. How did that happen!? Just like your sister was, you are a very content little girl. You love it when we talk to you. Your face lights right up with a huge smile and we can’t get enough of you. I also caught you rolling onto your side the other day. Here we go…

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Ads

I want to say that I am sorry to anyone who may have been offended by any ad on this blog. I had totally forgotten that WordPress said there would be intermittent advertising on the blog, and then my husband told me he had seen an inappropriate ad on the blog.

My apologies.

It won’t happen again. I’ve upgraded to the ad free version. Advertising these days can be so horrible and most certainly does not convey the message(s) I wish to express here.

Once again, my apologies…

Kindergarten

One thing I have learned during our relatively short journey into home schooling is that no matter what THE PLAN is, I must be open to the fact that not only might the plan change, but it will change.

So we started Kindergarten with Buddy and Blondie in August, shortly before Baby was due. THE PLAN was to do the A Beka book K5 curriculum, continue where we left off and finish “Teach Your Kids To Read In 100 Easy Lessons”, as well as incorporate some narration, copy work, dictation and memorization this year. Both boys are taking violin again this year and will be trying out some piano as well. Buddy is signed up for his second season of rec hockey and has been asking when it starts.

Now that I’ve written that all down it sure sounds like alot, and sure enough, it wasn’t long into the year that I realized THE PLAN would be changing.

Maybe I’ve read too many books, but lately I’ve felt alot of pressure to get this whole homeschooling thing right. There’s this feeling that if my kids aren’t in university level classes by 12 I’ve failed them as a teacher.  Well, even though I know that that is unreasonable, I still feel driven to push the kids harden than I should.

Compared to those involved with the grassroots home school movement there are SO many resources available, and whenever I talk to anyone just starting or interested in home schooling, they are quite simply overwhelmed by philosophies, methods and approaches (as I was, and still am for that matter). And to be completely honest, there are way too many “printables” available online, and I’m rather sick of hearing about sensory activities (mostly because I apparently don’t do enough of them). It is so easy to feel flooded by information and completely inadequate to home school.

Just when I start feeling confident about one of our curriculum choices, I read another blog, get an email about some curriculum or hear from another mom about what is working so wonderfully for her children. Now I’m confused and am convinced my kids can’t possibly be learning anything, which is completely ridiculous, but still, how do I know I’m doing this right?

I keep finding myself in this place, and I keep coming to the same conclusion. When I take an objective look at how the kids are doing, not only are they learning they are doing excellent. So things aren’t nearly as dire as I think they are.

So THE PLAN changes and that’s ok. Instead of being, THE PLAN, it should simply be, the plan, and should be very flexible. Focusing on the kids is way more important than how many lessons we finish. Even though I personally really like teacher guides and school times that go precisely according to plan, life rarely goes according to the book and if I’m not okay with that, we are all going to be stressed out.

So ya, there’s been a few changes to the plan this year so far, and there will most certainly be more on the horizon…

So Moms, whether you home school or not, please don’t be so hard on yourselves. God has blessed you with your children, and has a specific purpose and plan for you and your family. It’s not going to look like mine or another families. Seek Him and His will for you and your family.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

First Snow

So I was told it was supposed to snow last night, but I didn’t say a word to the kids about it ’cause I really wanted to see their reactions in the morning. This morning when the discovery was made, there was an eruption of joy and shouts of “Winter is here!” followed by desperate attempts to locate and put on their snow gear. Dawn had hardly broke when Buddy, Blondie and Happy burst through the doors and into what they consider glorious snow (I’m not so inclined to agree). They ran around like excited little puppies to every corner of the yard. Happy, however, didn’t fully realize the important of her mittens. After a while she came crying back to the house, holding her mittens in her cold little fingers not understanding why they hurt. We had a little chat about that and now we’ll have to wait and see if the lesson took.

Welcome, Winter. In years past we haven’t been the best of friends. This year I am going to attempt to remain on speaking terms with you. My kids love you, and it’s because of that I will do my best to get along with you, but please, please could we skip the whole -50 degrees temperatures we had to endure last winter???

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