Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family Drive Faith


I have recently finished the book called "Family Driven Faith" written by Voddie Baucham.

This book, in my opinion, was outstanding!! What a shock to the traditional church/christian family norm. Though this book is not necessarily a homeschooling book, it is definetly an advocate for home education, as well as the family-integrated church. If you want to be challenged as a parent and christian family this is the book to read. This book is about putting the responsibility of our children's discipling back on the parents (not on the church), Voddie Baucham gives some practical ways to do this as well as his Biblical interpretation of how/why this should be done. While you may not agree with some or all of the philosophy you will find great insight, provocative teaching and must-have family pointers.... okay that's my plug for the book, now a few things that I personally took away:

The Importance of Teaching/Living the Word at Home

Depending on which statistic you read you will find that somewhere between 75-90% of young adults raised in the church will leave the Christian faith by their second year in college. Those numbers are shocking and a tragedy!! I believe, that where we are going wrong is that we are relying far too much on the church to instill a biblical foundation for our children. The nurturing of our children's hearts is repeatedly given to us (the parents) in scripture but never to the "church". (Deut 6:4-9, Psalm 78:5-8, Proverbs 1:7-9, Proverbs 22:6) So why is the primary disciplship of our children going on within the church walls? While I have nothing against sunday school and children's church programs I do have a problem with a child who is taught more about the Bible in church than at home. We must take the responsibility, as our child's parent to raise them with a Biblical worldview. It is NOT the job of the church to instill good values and morals, or to teach our children their Bible stories, etc. It is OUR jobs, as parents. The church is only one tool or help, not the source.

The Importance and Beauty of Family Worship

Worshipping at home as a family, what a beautiful thing! I remember when I first got involved in a women's Bible Study, my friend Jaime, had said (when we were discussing where are children would be) "It is a good thing for our children to see us discussing the word, praying and worshipping together." When we would meet either for our women's bible study or our small group/life group/mini church, the children would generally play in the background. It isn't always easy or without interuption, but it is a good and beautiful thing for our children to be a part of.

More importantly than worshipping with other believers though, is creating a time of worship and spending time in the Word of God as a family. Our children learn primarily through our actions - what better action to mimic than this? Yes, I want my children to see me and realize I do my own quiet time but I also want them to be a part of a DAILY Bible reading and reflection with their family, and to develop this as a habit to pass on to their families (some day).

Family worship is a time to introduce scripture, discuss beliefs and issues; a time for our children to ask questions - with the freedom to respectfully challenge things they may struggle with. Creating the time and atmosphere for prayer and worship within the walls of our home is a truly beautiful and biblical thing.

More... I have so much more I would like to say on this book and the tips I've taken away from it, but I'm out of time for now, I will try to continue more later - However, I recommend you buy or borrow this book for yourself to read - I don't think you will be disappointed!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Desires and Disappointments of our Heart

How often do I let go of my desires because it causes disappointment? I then turn towards resignation --- just getting by in life, just live my life the best that I can without desiring too much. How we handle our desires and disappoinments say alot about how/what we think about God. Do we abandon our deisres because it hurts or charge through without even consulting God? By behaving in these two extremes we are at risk to believe lies about God. Things like "God doesn't care about my desires" or "God said 'No' because I'm doing something wrong"

Psalm 20:4 "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed."
Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

This isn't to say that sometimes our desires won't be fulfilled they may not be, but we must not give up on our desires all together. God did not create us as robots, He created us as human beings with a heart full of emotions and longings.... seeking those desires and prayerfully pursuing them is a good thing. Our caution must come that we don't put our desires above the Lord.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Party


We just had Treyton's third Birthday party this past Saturday. It was the most relaxing and fun birthday party so far. We had such a great time. It was kind of nice because it felt like it was spanned over two days, both sets of grandparents were able to come into town a day early and stay a little later so it was a weekend full of thrills for Treyton.


I am attaching a few pictures from the party!
What kid doesn't love presents? Treyton is no exception (as you can tell by his lit up face!!)
It was a beautiful day so we were able to put the jumpy house outside!! It was a lot of fun for the kids.
This picture is actually from sunday - we were on our way to church with ALL of the grandparents and cousin shayla!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pictures

I wasn't able to attach pictures earlier so I thought I would attach some now... I hope you enjoy!

Treyton hugging his little sister. He is such a little cuddler with her... where has this been all his life?

This is Dad (Tim) carrying Alexa around in the wrap.... super cute right?

Dad and Treyton have been learning lots of "circus acts" (I call them) tonight they were doing this on Tim's shoulders and walking around!! Crazy!!

Me and my baby girl... there aren't too many pictures of just this two of us and I liked this one!

Crazy Week

Well, I am finally sitting down at the computer. I know I had promised alot of you that when I would get the time that I would tell you about my crazy week, so here it goes.

Monday started out pretty well, a friend of mine from the AAC Bible Study called and offered to order us Pizza that night. It was an awesome offer, so we accepted, and it was a good thing we did. A few hours later, Tim called and said that his car was broke and he needed me to find the nearest dealership to where he was at. Supposedly, if he would slow down even a little bit his car would die, so there he was in the middle of town (stop signs and lights and all) unable to stop!! He made it ALMOST to the interstate before his car died. So that afternoon I went to work, picked him up and brought him to his car to see if he could get it started... praise God he did!! So he quickly got on the interstate and started towards the dealership right off of the Kaukauna exit. He got off the interstate and of course the car died on the road in front of the dealership!! He pushed it to the side of the road and luckily the dealership towed it the rest of the way for free. We got home at around 5:30 just in time for the Pizza girl to drop off the pizza!! (Thank you Donna!)

Tuesday I had my book study with my girls from CTR - it was a great time and I really got a chance to share some of the things I was going through and they really encouraged me, thank God for them, because without that meeting I don't know if I could have gotten through the rest of my week so far. I had my 6-week checkup that afternoon and decided to go shopping ALONE (for the first time) that afternoon. I had 4 hours totally alone.... doing something I don't particularly enjoy but really wanted to do! When I got home Tim had told me that Alexa had been particularly fussy that afternoon. I too noticed it, she hardly would eat when I wanted to nurse her and when i picked her up from her crib she would start screaming.
By 9:00 I figured out that there was something wrong with her arm - every time I would move her or she would move her arm she would let out this scream (which was different than a normal cry). Of course, I started bawling, thinking that her arm was broke or something. We considered bringing her into the ER but decided to wait until the next morning. I stayed up with her until 4 am holding her completely still so that she wouldn't cry. She got a GREAT night sleep (sleeping 5 hours solid) however, mom did not!!

Wednesday morning I called the clinic and they said to come down right away and they would work us in. Luckily we were able to see our normal doctor (WHO WE LOVE), after some x-rays we found out that Alexa's collar bone was in fact broken. The doctor was unsure if it was broken since birth or if it was a recent break. We could not think of an instance when she could have broken her collar bone but the doctor assured us that these things happen and it can sometimes be the smallest thing that causes a break. We left the clinic but by the time we got home I had a migrane so badly that I was ready to throw-up. I spent the next 4 hours either in the tub or in bed trying to get rid of my migrane. Finally by 1:30ish it was gone.

Today has gone really well, I went to my AAC Bible study (the last one) amd was surprised that my small group had decided to supply my family and I with a meal and some food (isn't God's timing incredible!!) God has been so good to us through all of this (of course) giving us the grace we need for every moment. Not to say that we haven't been stressed but we're getting through it and can see the other side. We are surrounded by loving friends and family!! THANK YOU ALL! We truly appreciate all of your prayers and support!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mommy Tips

Reading Books:
· Make frequent trips to the Library, this is a cheap and fun way for your kids to read all kinds of books
· Check in your community for different story times – many libraries and book stores (and sometimes even coffee shops) will offer story times for your kids. If there are none in your area, maybe get a group of moms together and do a “story-time swap” at each others home
· Every birthday and Christmas buy your child a special book, hardcover is best if you want it to last, write a note in the front and they will cherish them forever!
· For older children, try to get them involved in series; like Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Beatrix Potter, Box Car Children, etc.
· Have a family reading time, pick classics and read through them as a family
· Listen to books on CD/tape while you are driving
· Reading Program, offer an incentive program for your kids, this should not include school assigned reading
o Offer a penny a minute for reading
o As a reward for reading ____ # of books, have a fun outing for the family/child
o Offer small treats/prizes for small children after finishing a book

Displaying & Sharing Art
· You can frame a few choice pieces of artwork inexpensively – your kids will love it and its very clutter-free looking.
· Display artwork on an “artline” (like a clothesline, but pinned to the wall). It can be as long or as short as you would like, you can use clothespins or even paperclips to pin up the artwork
· Create an “Artwork of the Month” club – have your children pick out one piece of artwork a month to send to a grandparent, aunt or uncle.

Ways to Get Money!

SWAG BUCKS
The other day I discovered a search site that combines Google and Ask.com into 1 called Prize Wish and you get a chance to win Swag Bucks when you search. You use the Swag Bucks to purchase GiftCards from various retailers like Starbucks, Amazon.com and Target.There are a few ways to "win" Swag bucks:
1. Just Search & WinJust search like you normally would do and you have a chance at winning an amount up to $5. If you win, you will see a large Swag Buck with the amount you earned appear and it will automatically post to your account.
2.Shop OnLine & Earn:For every $2 you spend at a Participating retailer, they will give you $1 in Swag Bucks. Some stores listed are Walmart,E Toys, FashionBug and a lot more!
3.Refer Friends & Family:Each time you refer a friend by email, you get to earn Swag Bucks when they search and win! You can earn up to $100 matching Swag bucks per referral!Sounds good?
It doesn't hurt to try it out after all it is Free to register which you will need to do in order to get your Swag Bucks. Also, there is no limit as to how many Swag Bucks you can win, each time you search, you get a chance!If you'd like to sign up through me that would be great, just send me your email address and I'll send you a link! Now I'm off to search for even better things with the hopes of winning some Bucks!! Wish me luck:)

SNAPDOLLARS
I came across a site called Snapdollars for this site, there is a lot of ways to earn points but the real money comes in the form of referrals. You get $5 for EACH person you refer! The only thing I don't like is the fact that they charge a $3 fee if you request to be paid by check. If you sign up now, you'll get $5 as a sign up bonus and I get $5!! Just click the link to sign up:) I just love when I can get free money!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Homeschooler's Threaten our Cultural Comfort

A while ago I posted a link to an article called Homeschooler's Threaten our Cultural Comfort (which I highly recommend for everyone to read) a friend of mine passed it on to some of her friends, one of which e-mailed the author directly to ask what specifically influenced him to write this article and what his experiences were that caused him to have his perspective.

The author, Sonny Scott replied back and I thought the answer was interesting so I decided to post it here!
"A fair inquiry, so here goes:
I had some very good friends who home schooled back in the 70's -- and encountered a bit of criticism for it. Their children turned out great, and are now home schooling their own children. The whole family is an inspiration. A few years back, I hired a man who used his vacation days to attend home-schooling conferences with his family -- year after year. He impressed me, too. I taught public school for 27 years. My heart breaks at the accelerating deterioration of achievement, ethics, and sense of purpose there. My wife (who is also a teacher) and I did not home school our
sons, and I have some regrets there. Finally, while studying the Book of Daniel with my Sunday School class, I began thinking about the persecution that the Jewish people have encountered in virtually every society in which they've been dispersed. I wondered at it, and surmised that maybe it stemmed from their superior allegiance to One beyond the state and the common culture. Maybe society is always suspicious of those who reserve their complete allegiance to something other than the state. Believe it or not, I decided that home schoolers could pitch hit for Jews in this morality tale. Many of the details came from my own observations of home schooling families, however.
Thank you for reading, and for taking time to write.
Best wishes,
Sonny Scott"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One of "Those" Moments

I almost titled this blog "One of those days" but in reality I'm having a really productive and good day.... I just had a "moment" of .... craziness, which of course I will share with you all!

As a gift, my mother purchased Tim and I a Moby Wrap, I absolutely LOVE it!! It has become a life saver ecspecially in the last 3 days.
Today on our way home from a friends house after discussing homeschooling/preschool co-op this fall I decided to stop by the dollar tree (one friend had said she got a couple of nice workbooks for her son there so I thought I would check it out on the way home) and to run a few other errands. When we got there I put Alexa in the wrap right away because I knew she wouldn't last in the car seat and there was no way I was going to get much shopping done one-handed. So after "wrapping up" we headed into the store.
Treyton did great, and Alexa slept the whole time (like I said this wrap has been a life saver!!) I was actually starting the think I had this mommy of two thing down!!
After getting to the car and buckling Treyton in, I walked to the other side of the car to get Alexa into her seat, as I pulled her out of the wrap I noticed IT.... she had pooped while we were in the store and up until this point I hadn't realized it and OF COURSE it had leaked out of the diaper!! It was ALL down the front of my shirt (and I don't mean just a "dab") and on the inside of the Moby Wrap - I quickly checked the front of the wrap and thankfully it had not leaked through and I walked around not noticing!! Needless to say I had a comfortable ride home.
~Obviously, we decided not to run the rest of our errands and to just head home for the day~
*** By the way, the pictures were taken yesterday, the one of Treyton is of the first "flowers" he ever picked mommy.... I always heard mom's say that when their child picked them flowers or drew them a picture that it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen... I always thought "sure, yeah right" but it's true, I have NEVER in my life seen a more beautiful bouquet of flowers, and even as I type this now, they are sitting on my dining room table in a vase! ***

Monday, August 4, 2008

When is enough, enough?

As I start to gear up for this fall and setting our schedule, I am reminded of what our family goals and priorities are. It is so easy to get caught up into doing too much and running around all over the place. I find that even when I'm at home (just our family) that I still struggle just sitting and "being" a family. I always want to be doing something or accomplishing something - there is always something more that can be done. I forget that just being together is accomplishing one of our greatest priorities.
I encourage each of you to focus on what's important in your lives and families - learn to say "no" to certain commitments that will strain you or your family. Remember what's important - and what's NOT!
If we're not careful we will allow busyness and "doing" to distract us and wear us down until we have nothing good to offer to those people in our life that matter most. The real hard part is that alot of our busyness is "good stuff" - another Bible study or mom group, helping out a friend, organizing a closet, cleaning the floors, working at the church, etc.
You must ask yourself when is enough, enough?