Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day Five

Today I am going to sit there, one on one, while they play.  Take my time with each one.  Today I am going to ask how my husband's day went, and listen.  Really listen. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day Four

Well I woke up at 4am with a sick kid :( so today's kindness is extra cuddles and hugs.  I made each one a special cuddle spot in the playroom that between subjects of school they have retreated to and snuggled in.  We are taking it easy today in school, but still plugging along. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day Three

Today I made homemade granola and we painted snow, played playdough, and painted pictures.  My husband had to work, so I took pictues will make him a collage. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day Two

Today for my random act of kindness I chose spontaneously hugging my children and husband as often as I can.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

coffee, kindness, and schedules...

Well we are almost to March 1st, ACK, that is hard to believe.  I have found a rhythm/routine that seems to be working for us in school.  I hesitate to mention it because that seems to be the point that everything nose dives...but we have several weeks under our belts, and even on the worst of days, this schedule seems to be what we need right now.  I was introduced a few years ago to the concept of Morning Time.  I found a blog (I think through Ann Voskamp's blog A Holy Experience?  The blog I found is called Morning Time Moms).  I went back to the first post and read through her explanation several times, tweaked it a bit to fit us...and the result has been wonderful.  We have gathered at our dining room table and methodically worked through a list of stuff together each and every morning.  Then in the afternoons I work one on one with each child while the others have folders of things to complete on their own.  I have also been using our handheld recorder a LOT for when they are working by themselves.  The littlest one who is just in the beginning stages of reading uses it for directions - she can play/re-play it as many times as she needs to.  Just plug in their headphones and off they go.  Of course the cutest days are when I go to check the recorder and find they have left their own little songs and such on it :).

I am drinking a hot cup of coffee right now in my snowman mug that my husband bought me this year.  It is a yummy cup of coffee, although almost gone right now, the cup just makes me smile.

I am starting something, and I would like to use this blog as an accountability tool of sorts.  I want to begin to do a 100 days of random acts of kindness for my children and my husband without telling them what I am doing.  Everyday I would like to blog a short sentence of what I did that day, I have spent weeks gathering ideas from various websties and blogs, so most of the ideas I choose will not be my own, I have just tweaked them to fit my husband and children's individual personalities.  I suspect at the end of the 100 days the person most changed, most affected by this, will be me.  I expect God will use the next 100 days to teach me how to become a more encouraging, a more kind, and a more willing servant.  Because if I am honest my number one battle begins and ends with selfishness. 

Day One: Today I printed out a sign I found "P.S. I love you" and I decorated the picture with all of the things I love about each of them. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I am ashamed to admit that I spend more time looking down and around than I do looking up.  I spend more time thinking anxious thoughts and worrying than I do worshipping or praying.  Sometimes it is so easy to just unplug from God and try in earnest to mark my own path.  I eventually come face to face with my own folly and usually in a mess bigger than I can handle, always in absolute horror at my stupidity, I sink to my knees and utter my desperation for Him and His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  Lately though I have begun to see the need to just stay there. 

On my knees. 

To be quiet. 

To know that He is God and what an enormous realization that is. 

He Is God, and besides Him there is no other. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cota For Emerson

I have followed this sweet girl's story for a long time now, her mom has chronicled their journey through countless long nights and many, many scary days. I ask that you visit their blog and pray tonight too.  I cannot imagine what they are going through now.   

Sunday, February 17, 2013

If I am going to err

as a parent which side would I rather err on? 

Too harsh or too loving? 

I will err no matter what I believe, what country I am from, what books I read, who I follow, which method I choose etc; because I am human.  But if I narrowed my focus simply to words, speech, tone of voice etc; I recently asked myself if I was going to err, which side would I rather err on?  Speaking too loving, too gently or speaking too harshly, too severely?

It's not necessarily what  I am going to say that will change, because right is still right and wrong is still wrong, the line doesn't scooch over whether I add a please on to it or I bark it out.  The change comes in the underlying message that I communicate to my children.  I know a lot of times in my own life, as a child, what the person(s) was saying was honorable and true and my heart was desperately in need of correction but they barked it out in such a way that I did not receive it.  I was immature and needed to be loved more than I needed to be corrected at that moment - or perhaps needed to feel loved so that I could be corrected?  But either way my heart hardened to their words.  They yelled, threatened, and spoke harshly over and over until it was too late and nothing they could say or do would reach me.  I shut down to them.  How tragic is that?  Now looking back as an adult I (mostly) have the maturity to look beyond how someone says something to the words they are speaking and glean from it, but as a child I did not.  So it stands to reason that my children do not have the maturity either to glean from my words if I bark them out, it stands to reason that they too need to feel loved (even if I love them from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, if they don't feel loved...then what good does it do?), and it stands to reason that their hearts will close to me if I do not guard how I speak my words.

My husband recently reminded me, on a day in which every single thing that could go wrong went wrong, that teaching and parenting and raising kids is like painting.  When you paint something there are a lot of tiny, almost imperceptibly small strokes from your brush over and over again.  But when you step back from the canvas there appear to be one beautiful, strong, single, broad stroke.  How I speak my words are the paint brush, the words themselves the paint. I want to brush them on lovingly, gently, consistently, so that when I step back the one, single, broad stroke is one of beauty.

So here is to a day in which I err on the side of being too loving.  Where I keep the big picture in mind, but do not fail to keep in mind the teeniest of small beginnings and effort for good.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Lately I have had a lot of complaining and asking of why during our school day - specifically language arts time :).  It occurred to me that it would be beneficial to give a big picture to our children (so they could see that a whole bunch of trees build a forest :) ).   Once I did this it was like an 'OH ok'.  I see where I am and where I need to go and why, so in case it would help anyone else I wanted to share.

Oh and there are TONS of different ways to get from point A to point B - so this may not work for anyone else, but it works for us...well, most of the time :) :

Beginning our journey we need to learn :
ABC’s  - say them, see them, and write them
·         Print – capital and lower case (learn to use and recognize these lines : vertical, horizontal, diagonal and then semi and full circle) – once you learn this skip ahead and then comeback
·         Cursive – capital and lower case
·         Typing

Once you do the first three of ABC’s you need to learn the sounds
·         They make one by one
o   Vowels and consonants
·         Combine them
o   Blends
o   Digraphs
o   Diphthongs
o   YAY now we read and make words – we concentrate simultaneously on writing and reading

·         Narration
·         Copy work or
·         Dictation
Words – After you learn the letters and their sounds then you get to learn words and you get to play with building more words J  As you learn to write them you need to learn and practice
o   Spelling and Rules
o   Vocabulary (word study)
o   Grammar – this is why we do daily language lessons
o   Punctuation
o   Proofreading marks
o   Prefix
o   Suffix
o   Abbreviations
o   Contractions
o   Homonyms, synonyms, antonyms etc; 

·         What a sentence is
o   A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought
o   Begins with a capital letter
o   Has a subject and a verb and is organized so that it makes sense
o   Ends with the correct punctuation
§  4 types of sentences
§  Statement
§  Question
§  Exclamation
§  Command

·         Paragraphs
o   Indent (two finger spaces from margin)
o   Topic sentence
o   2-6 sentences (usually four)
o   Conclusion
o   Types – narrative, persuasive etc;

·         Outlines
·         Letters (friendly and business)
·         Stories
·         Fiction/Non-fiction
·         Reports – book etc;
·         Research
This is why we do daily writing with ease
Begins the same way – with learning sounds of letters and letter combinations (phonograms)
§  45 basic sounds to our language
§  70 ways to spell those sounds (basic)
Learn how to read and understand
§  Words
§  Sentences
§  Paragraphs
§  Pages
§  Chapters
§  Explore Genres – Fiction and Non-Fiction
This is why we read  After we introduce each topic we have to practice, practice, practice until it become second nature.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Where have the years gone?  I glance in the mirror and see new wrinkles and new grey hairs appear daily.  My children who were once small and cuddly are now almost bigger than I am.  The smallest one, not so small any longer.  I have no idea how the time could have galloped, unheeded, ahead of me.  I wasn't ready for the lazy afternoons to be gone and now be piled high with school work and life.  When did they become smarter and wiser than me? 

I see in the not so distant future the years of adolescence looming large and breathing down our necks.  How will we navigate these waters that everyone seems to hate so much?  Will our children grow up and be God chasers or self-consumed?  Will they learn from my mistakes and boldly make their own?  Will they realize that they are wonderfully and awesomely made, simply because God made them, not because they shop at the right stores or have the latest hair styles?  Will they refrain from judging others just because their sin looks differently than ours?  Will they seek to love before being loved?  All of these questions bubble up and over as I sit down with my prayer journal.  How do I, a person who fails more than I succeed it seems, how will I, with my husband, lead them through each day?  The curser blinks on and off for what seems like an eternity before the answer comes to seeking to be led and not just to lead.   I trust in Adonai and acknowledge Him in all of my ways and He will direct my paths. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I am back

sort of.  This has been an interesting past month and a half,  not one that I would be too anxious to repeat.  I am going to attempt to post once a week at least for now, but we'll see how it works out. 

I hope your new years have been off to a wonderful start - I cannot believe it is February already - but it is, which means there are only eleven months left in 2013.  Moment by moment my family and I will live it, give thanks for it, and hopefully accomplish some of the goals we sat, but either way these days are a gift and I am continually reminded to humbly accept them as so.