Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Wow, this feels forced today :(

And it shouldn't because there is SO much to be thankful for.  I've been feeling so down lately.  I know all the right bible verses on why I shouldn't, I even read with the children this week from Ephesians when Paul said I will be content in all circumstances. But I am.  I have no excuses.

I am thankful for a dear sister in the Lord who loves me so much.  Every time we are together I feel so challenged yet comforted. 

I am thankful for the blessing of baby clothes!  This baby has so much to choose from!  I'm even running out of room.  I am thankful that I get to feel him kicking and, yes...sometimes I even talk out loud to him!  I can't wait to just snuggle and hold him when he gets here. 

I am thankful for a husband who fills my van up for me when it needs it! 

I am thankful that I get to rejoice with my children when they succeed in their school work.  I am thankful that I get to read chapter books out loud to them.  I am thankful that we get to study the Word of God together. 

I am thankful that I get to listen to my husband teach Sunday School!  I am thankful that I am his helpmeet on this side of Heaven.  His knowledge is overwhelming and encouraging...and he is mine!

And, I am thankful for HEAT.  We had to bite the bullet and turn it on and it is so nice to sit during out school day and feel the warmth of the furnace!  My kids huddle around the vent and enjoy it multiple times throughout the day.  We praise God that we can heat our home!

I need to do a little homeschooling update.  This was a wild week for us with lots of appointments out of the house!  The kids loved it, of course...but it made for a crazy schooling week! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thrusday

This morning I am blown away by the hearts of my children.  I am so thankful that God trusted Sam and I to raise these little people on this side of heaven.  My absolute favorite part of homeschooling is the fact that I get to spend a good chunk of time studying the Bible with the kids in the morning.  We spend time reading Scripture, then pour over it.  Talk about it, ask questions, tuck it in our hearts.  We work on committing sections to memory.  This has cemented homeschooling into our future.

This morning has been by far my most treasured precious moment.  I need to record it while it is still fresh in my mind, and while I am still sitting here letting the words of my sweet children just soak into my heart, just marveling at their hearts.  I started reading from Psalm 27 and stopped after the first verse and we talked about the Lord being our stronghold and that we have nothing to fear because God has us held tightly in His hand if we believe in Him. We talked about people that will do evil, and we may be in the path of it.  Then we talked about how the Chapter tells us to NOT be afraid.  There is no need to be fear with Jesus in our hearts.

We parked on this verse and read it through a few gives me chills just reading through it again...

Psalm 27:4
One thing have I aske do fhte Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

Then we talked about Jesus being a gate of protection around us.  There is nothing to fear with Jesus as our gate.  The heart of our Turner is so humbling for this Mommy.  He immediately, without a second thought, asked about those around the outside of the gate.  He asked if he could tell those people who don't have Jesus in their hearts so they could BELIEVE in Him (Romans 10:14-15) and come into the gate of protection of Jesus.  He started listing people he could tell.  Isaiah looked at him and said, "But Turner, isn't that scary to tell them?"  And T gave Isaiah a look that totally said, "Seriously?"  He replied, "No, not at all, what is there to be afraid of?"

And this pregnant Momma is weeping AGAIN, just writing it the heart of this child.  A child.  He has less fear over sharing the Gospel then most adults, his mother included.  Oh Lord, let his passion rub off on me!!

And today, I am thankful that I get to share these moments with my children.  I'm rejoicing that they firmly believe in Christ, the RISEN Savior.  I am praising the LORD that they are within the protecting gate of Jesus.  

Tissues, anyone?  I'll take a few now.  Well, maybe a whole box.  Grandma's I'm sure could use a few too :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Big Day!

Silly Girl!

Mr. Robot getting down to work!

Brother helping Brother.  SO encouraging! Love it!
Today there were amazing strides made in our home in schooling!  It was a HUGE blessing coming off a fairly dismissal week.  If it weren't January looking a bit wild with the new little one arriving, I probably would've written off the whole week, but we plugged away...all be it...miserably.  Friday night as I was talking with Sam about how I'm just not getting enough curriculum completed, he reminded me to look through the state standards to see exactly where the kids were falling.  They have already completed more than 1/2 of the standards for their respective grades.

This morning started off with T doing some awesome reading!  He has started reading CVC words!  While up stairs laying down for our afternoon rest, he found a Bob Book and started reading it! He was so excited to come down stairs and read it with me.  His frustration was evident as he sounded out word after word, but I was so proud of him sticking with it and not giving up.  He voiced frustration over not being able to read like his brother.  Isaiah started the year off very behind in reading, and while he still struggles he has developed fluency....and don't tell him but I do believe reading is becoming more of a pleasure for him!  T also rocked his math assessment which for him is fantastic!  He doesn't care at all about numbers.  He said to us one day at the table for dinner, "No, I don't dream about numbers.  I don't know why anyone would do THAT."  Isaiah looked at him astonished, as he nightly practices his addition and subtraction facts on his chalkboard in his room.  I found that the reading gave T the success he needed to experience to want to tackle the numbers.  He is like superman right now during school, tackling everything in sight!

I'm so grateful that I get to rejoice with them...and looking back from the other side of the tunnel (ie. our not so fun week last week), I am grateful that we get to struggle together also!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

* I'm thankful for mornings when it is just Sam and I at breakfast before he heads to work!

*My Nana!

*Listening to my husband teach Sunday School

*Bible time in the morning with the kids before we start school, hearing their hearts simply amazes me.

* Our God is Greater by Chris Tomlin

*Choosing to rely on God when it is hard. There is a reason for this season.  Lord, Blessed Be Your Name

*Spending the evening building legos with my family!

*For my  husband bringing me home a hot fudge sundae after bible study!!!!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Love and Gentleness

Ephesians 4:2

English Standard Version (ESV)
2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

This verse was in my inbox this morning.  Perfect!  I've been feeling very discouraged lately.  Beat down.  Lonely.  I don't feel like I'm getting enough curriculum completed in homeschooling.  There are ways that God is growing the faith of my husband and I in painful ways that we would rather jump over and skip, but we are pressing on.  God is driving me towards holiness and being deep in His Word, which in itself is crazy intense.  The 'world' doesn't understand this passion, therefore I look like a freak.

I was able to spend an hour and a half yesterday, alone.  It was a great time of fellowship with the Lord while I hung out in the lab at the hospital doing my glucose screening.  I cried out to Him and begged Him to make some situations in life better.  To fix them, to make them go away!  God isn't in the practice of making our lives easy.  Oh how I wish He was!  However, He is in the practice of making us holy.  Driving us to become more like Christ.  It was in early August, a few months ago, when I apparently prayed for patience.  God began teaching 'staying put'.  Sticking it out, not throwing in the towel when it gets hard.  You can fill in your own "it", my "it" applies to multiple areas.  I've been slowly learning this tough lesson for a fix-it and move on girl.  Sometimes we just have to sit in the pain, in the small area between the rocks, and let the Lord refine us by the fire (1 Peter 1:7).

This verse was a sweet reminder of how I treat others even when things are rough.  It was a sweet reminder of how to parent my children when they are running around my house with a ton of pent up energy or when we are trying to get through a lesson. 

Heavenly Father, help me to stay put.  To allow growth in my heart to become more like you, even when it hurts.  Help me to keep showing love and gentleness even when it is hard.  This I can only do with your help, Lord.  Amen.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I have been looking forward to this post all week, to record the praises...what God has been doing in my life!

As a child of the King of Kings, I should be ready to give an account at all times of what He is doing in my life TODAY.  And I love that Thursday's are a day for me to sit and reflect over what He has been doing in my life, in the lives of my children, and in my heart. we go!!!!!!!

1.  The kids have amazing doctors.  Our pediatrician flat out rocks.  And T's specialist for his asthma is wonderful.  He listened and took all my concerns seriously this week.  He and his staff have been wonderful with T...and instead of taking him to 2 hours away every 3 months, they have an office that they come to monthly an hour from us.

2.  I am thankful for friends that will help me out and watch my other kiddos so I don't have to try and keep everyone happy when I take one to the doctors.

3.  I am thankful for the forgiveness of my children when I blow it as a mom.  I am thankful for the forgiveness of my husband when I blow it as a wife.  I am thankful for the forgiveness of a friend when I blow it as a friend.

4.  Listening to my oldest sing "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "Jesus, Messiah" while in the shower with all his heart.

5.  The heart of my T-man.  He is so concerned about people having Jesus in their hearts.

6.  A friend who is driven towards holiness and isn't afraid to speak the truth with me.

7.  My parents.  Who are willing to watch my kiddos so I can date my husband this weekend!  I absolutely can't wait.  Plus, we get to spend time with them.  And Dad comes every Tuesday for dinner while he works in town.  I'm so grateful to spend time with them, as are my children!!

8.  God's Word, always alive.  Always changing me (when I, ahem, allow it too!)  Always TRUE. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I blew it.

Flat out blew. it.

A year ago I would complain that I didn't have time.  After all, I was a busy mom to three little ones.  Busy, Busy, Busy.  Honestly, I was lazy.  It was easy to use the mom excuse to put things off that I just flat out didn't want to do.

Today?  I really am busy.  Sam will come home and ask if I did something that I had told him I'd do...and I could blame it on pregnancy brain but it likely just got pushed out!  I *think* my house is cleaner and I work hard to get laundry put away in an orderly fashion rather than living out of clothes baskets.  And eating out is a thing of the past.

In all honesty, I had no idea homeschooling would be so much work.  It consumes my every thought during the day.  I am constantly thinking of ways to push the kids to learn more, to learn better.  To help them in areas they are struggling with I am trying to think of ways to approach the material again in a non-traditional way to help them grasp it better.  Every moment right up until dinner time.  And then every moment until bedtime is centered around learning.  Yes yes, I can be a slave driver.  I worry that I'm forcing to much work and not enough play.  I try and have my plan book closed and put away off my desk by 4pm each day so I can focus on dinner but even while chopping veggies I'm thinking of ways to help T grasp recognizing numbers.  Or ways to help Isaiah become more efficient at reading.

One little one has been left out of much of this homeschooling madness in my brain.  Our little girl is too young for school but old enough to know that she isn't involved.  I thought I was trying my best, but my best was pushing her off to play by herself.  Homeschooling has been the biggest adjustment for her.  Last year she had me all to herself while the boys were in public school, this year the boys require 150% of my attention...and she gets pushed out.  Today she decided to let me know her thoughts.  It was a sobering wake up call for me.  I felt horrible when I realized that her heart was aching for some of Mommy's attention.  I stopped all of our lessons for an hour or so in the afternoon and sat with her and read to the children "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and then we snuggled while watching "Go Diego Go!"  I have a friend that I reached out to in the middle of my near meltdown (and then freak out of...oh my goodness, it is only going to get worse in January when our new little one arrives!)  She focused me and will help hold me accountable over the next few months.

And tonight, we crept up to her bed while the boys of the house were intensely watching their nightly Wheel of Fortune.  I knew she was craving some snuggle time, and I was too.  She held my arm so tight around her little chest.  We prayed together and then I watched her drift off to sleep.  Praising God for the gift of these precious little ones that He gave us and praying, oh praying, that I won't blow it again.  Praying that I will take the time to STOP and just BE with the kids.  Praying that I won't work away these precious days while they are all here under my roof with lessons and miss life passing by.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Out of the Norm

Our week started off not ideal.  The kids seemed really sluggish and sleepy, I was right there with them!  We had a wonderful weekend of football (the boys had a game in chilly, rainy, windy weather) and family (yay! birthday parties!).  As Sam headed off to work he suggested as the kiddos still lay in their beds sleeping and me snuggled under our blankets that we take a sick day.  The idea intrigued me.  BUT I had the whole week planned and taking a day off would mess up my plan book!  I decided to see what the day held before I made any 10am the house was in full swing.  Instead of forcing us to work at the dinning room table I moved our school room into the living room and we completed our lessons on the couch and coffee table.

Believe it or not, the kids totally loved that we changed up our day!  We didn't get school work done till 4pm, but we did get it done!  We took our time, played, relaxed, and NAPPED!  Yes, napped.  It was so delightful!  I noticed a huge difference in my mood.  I'm struggling with how relaxed I can be while not compromising their educations.  It is such a balance!

Today we had T's pulmonologist appointment so I had planned for school to be off today.  Which is something of an oxymoron when your mother is your teacher, right T?  I had him working on numbers (his absolute least favorite) while we waited in the exam room by using the calendar on the wall. We also worked on before and after (yesterday and tomorrow) using the same calendar.  Then to keep him from using the doctor's stool that is on wheel's as a race vehicle I pulled out my calculator and we worked on number using that!  I have such an advantage knowing what they are learning, and more so, what they are struggling with so I can work on those areas all throughout the day.  Poor kids, right?!?!

The last few days have been not so traditional for me, but they have been so much fun!