Monday, August 17, 2009

I Knew It Would Happen

My husband, Jeff, is multi-gifted and has had many career changes that reflect his giftings. Jeff can sing and is a great trumpeter and thought about playing professionally while we were in college, but the Lord called him to music ministry in order to use those talents for Him. (It was on a drive to check out SW Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth that we first heard about homeschooling) For several years Jeff was in full-time music ministry and did a terrific job. However, when our oldest child arrived at "Youth Group" age we felt led to leave the full-time ministry because our family's convictions didn't line up with what was happening at the "Youth House."

As I stated at the beginning, Jeff is multi-gifted. While in high school he worked as a dj at a local radio station and his mentor there was now head of the production team at American Family Radio. Jeff had done some free-lance work for them, but he now began an 11 year journey with AFR that ended this past April. He was then the head of the production department himself, a talk show host and head of the new AFR Talk network of 130 stations. His plate was full! But for those first 8 years he was also a bi-vocational music minister at a small Baptist church. We hadn't really left church music ministry at all. Just down-sized and eliminated the youth group. Oh, and he hasn't left the American Family Association, just moved across the street to head up The Homeschool Channel!

Three years ago we felt the time had come to leave the part-time position. It was very scary for us, because we had never, ever, looked for a church. We had always been called to serve and, for almost 20 years had never had a Sunday that Jeff was not serving. We knew what we were looking for in a church, ( we wanted to find a family - integrated church) but could we find one? For about a year we visited back and forth between two churches while Jeff filled in from time to time in a couple of the larger churches in our area. We never felt that either of the churches we were attending was the right church, but we were waiting on the Lord to show us what to do. Then an interim position at another large church in the area was offered to Jeff and he accepted it and served from Dec. to July. I have to admit that I am spoiled. Jeff is really great at leading worship and it was wonderful to actually feel like we had WORSHIPPED each Sunday. Music, for me, is such an integral part of worship. Anyway, since last August we have been attending a smaller church in another town and it is quite different. There are some aspects that we appreciate, but it is very different from what we are accustomed to....and the music is very different. And since Caedmon has gotten older, he has also gotten impossible to manage in the worship service. There is no way to slip out quietly and it is too crowded for me to nurse on the back row. So, I go upstairs and keep Caedmon during two services (sometimes able to hear the sermon on the speaker in the room, but Caedmon has found it and likes to unplug it, so I have to unplug it and put it out of his reach). Needless to say, I am not getting much out of going to church and there are other issues I have about it as well, but will leave that alone.

A couple of weeks ago Jeff had been asked by one of his former trumpet students to play at his church this Sunday (yes, we are old enough that Jeff has a former trumpet student who is now around 30 and leads worship at one of the large churches in our area!) We all went and while the beginning of the service was a little more lively than I prefer, what I knew would happen came to pass. The choir special was a selection that we had done at a few churches where Jeff had served. It was straight from Scripture, Philippians 2: 8-11. What a blessing to my worship starved soul! It was beautifully done by choir and orchestra and I sang quietly from the back pew as tears rolled down my cheeks. That's what I knew would happen....that I would cry the moment some familiar hymn or special was sung. My tears continued for quite awhile, but I noticed that I wasn't the only one in my family with tears flowing. I was able to stay in the service the entire time as I was able to discretely nurse Caedmon when he became restless and he fell asleep for the remainder of the service.

We are still trying to figure out what the Lord is leading us to, but yesterday made things a little easier to bear for me. These last three years have been difficult in many ways. Who knew that finding a church could be so difficult? We will continue to wait on the Lord and ask Him to show us where we are to be. Until then, I will be grateful for the time of worship that we experienced yesterday. An oasis in the middle of my desert.

Philippians 2: 8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lunch, Anyone?

I am coming up short in the lunch department here at Chambleeville. Trying to cook from scratch and dealing with allergy problems with Aaron makes lunch time a little tricky. I usually try to have some leftovers, but my leftovers haven't been very appealing to my picky children. I am working on the pickiness....I'm thinking serving rice and beans for a while may alleviate some of the complaints over the broccoli/chicken casserole and turkey pot pie leftovers that were offered this week. I think they would rather starve.

I have tried to eliminate sandwiches as I don't want to buy packaged sandwich meat with all its preservatives and we are making a move to go gluten free. Do you know how much a (small) loaf of gluten-free bread is? Why don't you make your own? Is that what you said? Well most gluten-free recipes need egg because there is no gluten to bind the ingredients together, but Aaron is allergic to egg, so that won't work either.

I don't like to buy canned soups or instant foods like frozen pizzas etc, too often. Not much good in them and lots of bad, plus too much money for too little food.

This week I served bean tacos one day with tomatoes, peppers, and sour cream. They went over OK. Today I served tacos with ground beef that I had already precooked and found in the freezer. I added some cayenne pepper powder and chopped up a cowhorn pepper from the garden to give it some spice. I purchase corn tortillas and I just put the meat on the tortilla, folded it up and browned them in a little canola oil in my iron skillet. I also made some homemade salsa using tomatoes and peppers from my garden and some garlic from the fridge. Just put it in the blender, added a little salt and gave it a whirl and it was good to go.

What are some of your choices for lunch? Do you have some ideas that I t could use? I need some inspiration before I grocery shop tomorrow and make out a menu for next week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ugh!

A late night last night means a late start this morning! It is almost 9 and I still have 4 children in the bed! One thing that I have always appreciated about homeschooling is how I can almost re-set time and we can go on with our day, getting all taken care of IF we don't have outside obligations on that day.

Jordan goes to work everyday after lunch and that does cause me a little bit of panic as we do a LOT of history, geography and Bible studies together in the mornings. He has been working on his literature, grammar and Building Thinking Skills before we start our group times in order to fit everything in. We haven't even started math yet. I will add that back in next week.


Now I MUST get the other children up and going or we will be working until dinner time. Hope you all were more productive this morning than I was! (But I have to admit that I do enjoy a little extra quiet after a restless night with Caedmon)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'THIS BOY" again!

Have I mentioned that I don't sleep at night? As soon as I relax in the bed Caedmon (who is our room mate) wakes us. Within an hour of putting him back in his crib he is up again. The only way I can get any sleep is to have him sleep with us in our bed. This is NOT ideal at all especially as I am a human pacifier for most of the night and we both are hot and sweaty. Needless to say, I am one TIRED, OLD mama! Which may be the reason I have caved in so much to Jackson's requests for movies this year. Which may also be why he has no interest in his ABC's and 123's. Believe me! I know! Horrible moma! This morning, before 8 he has asked for a movie. I was explaining to him that watching too many movies will make his brain turn to mush.

"What's is mush?", asks Jack.

"Mush is like oatmeal," says I. " We will be doing our school work and house work and playing today," I continue.

His movie choice lately has been Gene Autry or Roy Rogers. I could tell his brain was working. "But Mom, this is for my singing!" And now he is convincing me that it is filling many other curriculum requirements that he has for himself. "It has cowboys, guns AND music!" So THIS BOY will someday be a singing cowboy, I'm sure. But don't ask him how many legs his horse has or how to spell his name!

Off to stop the movie!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Redeem the Time

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5: 15-17

This is our memory verse for our first week of the new school year. It will probably become our theme verse AGAIN for this year. There is so much in this verse to digest. Today, after the children copy the verse, I think we will look up the word CIRCUMSPECTLY and discuss its meaning and each day discuss a different phrase. "Redeeming the time" has been in the back of my mind for the last couple of years. We only have a short time to teach, train and disciple our children. Eighteen years is not enough time to teach them everything we want them to know, so we have to focus on what is most important.

After looking at some of the blogs of my IRL friends I feel that I am not prepared to start today (our math programs are not even installed on my new computer yet!), but we forge ahead anyway with what I have planned. I am eager to see what the Lord has planned for us this year as we begin a two year study in American history and as I add another student to the mix. Praying for all of you as you start your school year!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Plans

I am working excitedly on our school plans for the next year. We will be doing a two year stretch on American history and will begin with eight weeks on the explorers. I love planning and tend to over-plan--trying to do way more than we can attempt. Notebooks are semi-ready and I hope to do my daily plans for the week during some quiet time this week. Jeff and the older guys are headed up to Chicago for the homeschool expo there this weekend while the rest of us, along with Lauren and her two babies are headed down south to visit my extended family. We will all return this weekend and I plan on starting school Monday. So much still to do, but I will have to settle with what has been done! The freezer is full of frozen meals, so dinners will be easy for our first week back to schedule.

Enough here! I still need to do some packing and hit the road in about an hour. I don't think we will make it on time!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Burned Out and Used Up

I have mentioned before that I have suffered through a time of burn out this year. I felt that I was constantly doing things that were going to be undone within one hour of completion and that most of what I was doing really didn't matter anyway! My time with other moms had been greatly reduced last year, so I was missing that time of encouragement that we so often get when sharing with other moms on a regular basis. Jeff's work schedule has been crazy which meant there was less time for him to be available to take over things on the home front so that I could re-charge. I was also greatly discouraged because I was watching a co-op group that I had worked to build up over the last 8 years or so just fall apart and I could do nothing to help as I wasn't participating in the group this year. I felt burned out and used up, was not having any fellowship and really needed to be encouraged and reminded of the vision that God had given us for our family. I have had my time of refreshing and reminding and hope that I never go through a time like that again. There are still some things that are out of my control but overall I am excited to get started with our 22nd year of homeschooling and seeing how the Lord will shape us this year.
A sweet friend posted this video on her blog this morning with the thought of sharing it with Meagan. I don't know Meagan's story or what she is going through, but this ministered to me, so thanks for posting it Christy! I thought I would share it here with all of you and hope that as you do all those little (and big) chores around your home, deal with fussing children, teaching, training, discipling, cooking, washing, and cleaning day in and day out...that you would be encouraged and consider that God is with you and He will be your encourager.





Monday, August 3, 2009

This Boy!




THIS BOY decided Friday that he did not want to have training wheels on his bike any more! Jeff took them off and THIS BOY was two wheeling it all around our yard and drive way, going around in circles and then just slowing down long enough to drop to a stop. Today, THIS BOY is out starting and stopping as if he had been riding two wheels for 3 years instead of just 3 days! As far as physical abilities go THIS BOY is ahead of the game. He is not yet 5 years old and can throw a ball very well, bat, cut down a tree, run very well and now ride a two-wheel bike with no help.

However, THIS BOY has no interest in any kind of educational activity except for a time of book reading. He will be five years old in just two weeks and THIS BOY has no interest in learning how to count or to recite his ABC's. If I have learned anything in our 21 year (so far) adventure called home schooling it is this: Wait till the child's ready. Things go a lot easier if you do!

So, today I have been roughly going through my resources and making a list of what I can do with THIS BOY to get him a little more interested in the 123's and ABC's. Now, when you see my list, please realize that we have been collecting educational supplies/materials for the last 21 years. And no, he is not going to do everything everyday. I have several different types of activities and I plan on doing one or more of each type during the day. I will probably set the timer for 15 minute intervals and then let THIS BOY run around or ride his bike or jump on the bed (NOT!) for a 15-20 minute break before going on to another activity. Devin, Aaron and Kaelan are going to be my student teachers each working with THIS BOY for 30 minutes a day. We'll see how it works out. Of course, there is THIS BOY to consider as well, but that's for another post.




1. Lauri lace up shapes
2. magnet board
3. Giant Pegboard with string or rubberbands
4. jumbo Cuisenaire rods
5. Wee Sing tapes
6. puzzles--Lauri, Melissa and Doug, Discovery Toys
7. stickers and paper
8. sorting buttons
9. watercolor painting
10. What's That Sound?--Discovery Toys listening lotto game
11. attribute blocks
12. exercise cd
13. rice or cornmeal pictures
14. Duplos
15. dress up clothes--ok, he does this every day already...cowboy, knight, fireman...we never know what he will be!
16. Measure Up cups with rice
17. play dough
18. dominoes
19. lace up beads
20. plastic nuts and bolts
21. trace numbers and letters
22. pattern blocks
23. wipe off board

Games
1. Memory
2. The Shape of Things
3. Snitch
4. Picture Peg
5. Playful Patterns
6. Candyland
7. Cover Up
8. ABSeas

Activity Bags
1. Sort and Thread
2. Clips and Straws
3. Bean Bag Toss
4. Shape Lotto
5. Straw Size Line Up
6. Paper Matching
7. ABC/123 Match
8. 123 Trail
9. Can You Remember Numbers
10. Grid Matching
11. Match the Bead
12. ABC Puzzles
13. Chalkboard Fun
14. Clip the Square
15. "b" or "d"
16. Hand puzzle
17. Alpha Spoons
18. Fabric Pattern Cards
19. String It
20. JACKSON spell your name cards
21. Fish Color Match
22. In My House Matching Game
23. Fun Days Matching
24. In My Town

Geosafari-
Jr. Basic Set--20 cards
The Busy World of Richard Scarry--20 cards
Beginning Math--20 cards
Science Fun--20 cards
More Learning Fun--20 cards

One=on-One time with mom
-Language Lessons for Little Ones by Sandi Queen
-Primary Building Thinking Skills
-Get Ready for the Code
-ReadyWriter
-Teach Them to Your Children
-A Hive of Busy Bees
-Bible story books
-calendar
-weather chart
-chore chart

And when he is ready we will add Alphaphonics by Samuel Blumenfeld and Math-u-See Primer.

Chase is 2!

Chase's birthday was July 12. He really enjoyed his first taste of ice cream!




45

I suppose if you are in your 20's or 30's that 45 seems pretty old. It even looks old up there in my title for this post, however, it really doesn't FEEL all that old. Until I look in the mirror first thing in the morning, that is! Yes, this weekend marked my 45th birthday! The children blessed me with a great breakfast Saturday morning along with some wonderful gifts for my "research time" in my garden tub. Two of one of my favorite contemporary writer's newest books along with bath bubbles and hot chocolate. Jeff got me a beautiful red Fiesta casserole dish! I love the color! I only have one other piece of Fiesta ware and I have had it for about 13 years--a cobalt blue tea pitcher my mom gave me for another birthday years ago. I also received a beautiful necklace and ear ring set made by a sweet young friend (they match my new casserole dish!) and another set of ear rings that she also made as a gift from her mom! So sweet! I can't wait to wear them.

Kaelan also made a beautiful chocolate cake that we enjoyed last night! Devin thought it turned out better than her cakes do! Oh, the blessings of having daugthers! Especially ones who love to cook!

How many 45 year old women to you know that have a 10 month old baby? Not many, huh? I think having the babies keeps me feeling young. Some days that is!
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