Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Insignificant we are?

This morning I saw a video about the size of our universe. About how if you line up all the planets in our solar system they would fit in the space between Earth and our moon. And how the Earth is a tiny speck of dust compared to the size of the sun. 

But yet the sun is a mere speck when comparing it to other stars. And even the Milky Way galaxy is just a blip in comparison to every galaxy out there. 
Some... in fact lots, take in this info and they say.."see how insignificant we are?? How could anyone believe that a god would care anything about the dust mite that is earth? Why would he actually send his son here to die so we could live forever with him." 

And then there are others that say, "how could anyone NOT believe there is a God? That something SO VAST and SO HUGE and SO COMPLEX that we can't even comprehend it, was created so that we have proof that a creator exists? How can we NOT realize how MUCH he loves us that we are so small in comparison to his creation and he did come to Earth in the flesh and suffer and die so we could live with him forever?!"

I've always been a bit fascinated with how people can be presented with the same info, but walk away with completely opposite conclusions. And I do find it a bit sad that some people's faith is in a Big Bang or explosion. There has never been ONE SINGLE OBSERVABLE INSTANCE where explosions did not cause chaos and disorder. Even on the smallest scale, it doesn't happen. If you've ever had an explosion in your kitchen and ended up with a tasty, beautiful cake, I'd love to hear about it.

Are there things we don't understand? Sure. Is it hard to understand why bad things happen to good people if there is a God? Yes. That too. But how does any of that nullify that there is a God? This generation isn't the first to question God. Not the first to think we know better. And who better to address this kind of thinking than God himself.
"Where were you when I made the Earth? If you are so smart, answer me. And who decided how big the Earth should be? What is the Earth resting on? 
Can you tie up the Pleiades? Can you unfasten the belt of Orion? Can you bring out the other constellations at the right times? Can you put each star in its place above the Earth? Can you shout at the clouds and command them to cover you with rain?
Did you give the horse its strength? Did you put the mane on its neck? Did you teach the hawk how to spread its wings and fly south? Have you ever walked on the ocean floor??"

These are just a few of the things God asks Job in Job 38 and 39. And after this verbal thrashing, Job's response should be our response when we get too big for our britches. 

Here it is:
"I know You can do everything. You make plans and nothing can change or stop them. I talked about things I did not understand. I talked about things too amazing for me to know. As I sit in the dust and ashes, I promise to change my heart and my life." (Job 42:2-3, 6)

So yes, we may be small and a mere speck on a map of the galaxies, but you can pillow your head at night knowing you AREN'T insignificant. That the creator of this universe LOVED you enough to put a plan in motion to reconcile us back to him when the prince of this world decided he would vie for your soul. And if you're in a place you feel you can't come back from--that the path to a right relationship with God is too hard, requires too much change, or just isn't possible.. Unless you're in the grave, that's not true. There WILL come a time when it's too late. But if you're reading this right now, that time hasn't come yet. He's waiting. Don't wait until it's too late.

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Time to Wake Up

I've had this on my mind a lot the past few days and just feel the need to write about it. Let me Preface it by saying that I'm speaking to myself as much as anything. I'm by no means perfect and hold no illusion that I'm anywhere close. So here goes.

If we claim to be Christians, have you given much thought lately as to just how coarse and unrighteousness popular music is? That question is surely not to be a popular one, but for most of us, it's an everyday issue we should give thought to. My girls have been studying Ephesians the last several weeks for Bible Bowl and here's what stuck with me:

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. .....Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. (Eph.5:3-5;11-12)

 So what's the practical application? You're thinking, well I dont do those things? What part has really slapped ME across the face this week? Pay attention to that last part. For it is SHAMEFUL even to SPEAK of the things done in secret.
It is no secret what he's talking about here. He just went through the list right before this. Other versions say " it is shameful even to speak of the things done in the dark." I really don't think I have to spell it out here. But yet we blast it from our car radios or iPods without even thinking about it. And here's how this little speech is directed at me just as much as anyone. My kids shouldn't even know the tune to "Fancy" or "All About That Bass" or "Bang Bang Into The Room". But they do. Because I haven't been diligent in keeping their hearts pure and I've allowed these songs to play in our van over the radio waves. It's mostly because I don't pay attention like I should sometimes. I've become complacent. They are fun, upbeat songs and I allow that to blind me to the fact that they are singing about sin and how great it is.

What about you? Do you realize these perverse words are being broadcast all day long every day? And here locally, this week, they are followed by commercials and free ticket promos to Disney on Ice. As Christians we have GOT to be more diligent in guarding our hearts and minds. And the hearts and minds of our children. They are going to have more than enough exposure to these things without us as their parents being the ones to expose them to it. Or fill their minds with tunes singing about it.
We have got to come to the point where this kind of thing makes us blush. Because frankly, it doesn't. And that's shameful.

There once was a man. His name was Jesus. He DIED for us. And just the word "died" doesn't really do it justice. Aside from all the physical abuse he took on, he took on ALL the pain and suffering of every last sin in the history of EVER. Back up in that verse Paul says that instead, let there be thanksgiving. One simple way to say "thanks"? Turn off the filth. Be aware of the ways the devil gets to our heart. I know this week as we focus on being thankful, I'm putting this one at the top of my list. Will you?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back in the Swing

We are working on getting back into a routine around here. I just wanted to get today's activities documented. The girls did great with their work and there are always funny moments.

The math that Natalie worked on today:Her comment about the left side of the workbook.. "Why are they showing me?? I don't even have to think!!"

We did a lot of reading and then finished up with this book.
Afterward we started our first day of journaling. I just gave them some plain paper and told them to write or draw about what makes them happy.

When Abby was finished, I helped her with labeling her picture. In her words..
1. Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
2. Playing in the sand on a warm sunny day.

And here is Natalie's. She decided to make a "book"

1. Going to church
2.Getting a baby brother and sister
3.Making Crafts
4.Going to Disney World

And because I don't want to leave the boy out, here's a pic I took of him a few days ago..
This was not the scene today when we were doing school however. He was into everything and all over the place. I've got to figure out some simple activities for him during this time. He was trying his best to color on everything in sight!
And yes, he is an Elmo fan. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Rock Star

My kids love NickJr. Most days it's on at some point. There's a kids band on there and they show their videos during commercials. The one that they are playing REPEATEDLY these days is, "Just Like a Rock Star."

My kids love it. They know most of the words and they jump around and dance every time it comes on. Innocent enough right? I'm constantly striving to be aware of what my kids are absorbing and learning, from the things around them and from what they watch on TV.
So I got to thinking.
What are they learning if we learn to want to be just like a rock star by today's society's definition?
A few things that immediately come to mind:
Rich and famous.
Entrenched in worldly things.
Entrenched in material things and priorities.
self absorbed.
possibly a substance abuser... and the list goes on and on..
I'm not saying this is the message of the song. The message of the song seems to be about having fun and working together with your friends. And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with having fun in of itself. I want my kids to have fun. But I don't want them to be just like a rock star if we're talking about a rock star in this day and age.

So I took a bit of liberty and defined it in a different way.
What does it mean to be a rock star?
Jesus is THE rock of my salvation. His banner over me is love.
And upon this ROCK, the church was built. He is our solid foundation. When we stand with him, we can not fall.

Lets be honest. Our lives here on earth do not even amount to a grain of sand when it comes to the grand scheme of eternity. This earth is not our home. Our citizenship is elsewhere. (Phil 3:20) And I pray that I teach my children that. It's so easy to get caught up in our every day lives and forget this. It happens to me all the time.
Call me a religious extremest or fanatic. Maybe you think I'm over analyzing it. And maybe that's true. But it really doesn't matter. What matters is that my children learn to love and please their Heavenly Father.
I'm not a perfect person or parent. I'll be the first to admit that. It's very rare that when I pillow my head at night that I'm not asking for forgiveness for getting so frustrated, for not being patient, for not being as kind as I should or for yelling. I'm not proud of any of that.
But I'm thankful God loved us enough to provide a reconciliation through His Son's blood.

We've just celebrated Christmas. A very large part of the population focuses on our Savior in a manger at this time of year. I'm thankful for that. But I also hope and pray that we focus on our Savior on the cross, every. single. day. of our lives.
Knowledge of him is power. Living for and shining for him makes someone a Rock star.
So do I want my kids to be just like a Rock star?
You bet.
It's one of my daily prayers.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life

I thing called life has kept me away from here. I have soooo much I want to update on, so if anybody knows how to add a few hours to a day, let me know...
This is serving as a self reminder to do a trip report because we went to Disney World!

Happy December!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Personal Assessment

At the end of 2010 I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2011. Since we are approaching the last 2 months of the year I thought I would pull that post up and see where I stand. Before I even look at it I feel like it's not gonna be good. That's the thing about writing down your goals. You kind of have to stare your failures in the face. :)

So here goes:

•Getting all of our paperwork organized.
This is done for the most part. I say for the most part because since I accomplished this, (probably 4 or 5 months ago) I have put all the incoming paper work in the same place. So that means I have about 5 months of paperwork to file. I need to be in a place where I file it in the right place as soon as it comes in the house!

•Getting all of my scrapbook pages in books. I now have 3 years worth of scrapped pages that need to go in albums. If I had to make a guess, that equals about 250-300(maybe more) pages.
Wow. Not done. So now I have all that I've scrapped for 2011 to add to the pile. I did just recently purchase some albums, but I'm still going to need to buy quite a few page protectors and quite a few more books. I need to buy a couple every time Hobby Lobby runs them 50% off.

•getting the clutter and stuff under control around here. This is probably the biggest one because it involves every room and closet in the entire house.
Major FAIL. This is probably the #1 thing that I wish I had a handle on. I am very seriously considering hiring someone to come in and help me with it. I hate that my house is so cluttered and full of junk. Got to get aggressive in getting rid of stuff. It's just stuff after all and 90% of it adds no value to our lives.

•get the garage cleaned out enough so that I can put up a few shelving units for stockpiling.
Not done either. (Are you sensing a pattern here..?) However this is not really a priority. I'd much rather get my home where I want it, in regards to the clutter than deal with this right now.

•Daily Bible reading.
I've done better with this than in years past, but still not reading daily and there just isn't any excuse for it. I make time to read facebook everyday. And that's quite a slap in the face, as it should be.

•start exercising and lose some weight.
Done, although I don't exercise on any kind of schedule or even routinely. But it did happen.

•get on a better daily schedule.
Not really much to say about this on other than it's still a work in progress.

So there it is. My unaccomplished goals of 2011. But you know what I did do? I nurtured, cared for, and taught 3 little one. And although that's just one sentence, it's a full time job with lots of overtime. And I'm certainly proud of that one. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Past Month..

So I need to catch up around here!
In the last month, the boy turned ONE.
These are the cupcakes I made for his celebration. I saw this idea online at pinterest, and it was perfect for Jonathan.
He liked them a lot. He demolished a whole cupcake.What's going on with him at one:
He's pulling up and cruising the furniture, but not standing on his own or walking just yet.
He has 5 teeth, 3 up top, 2 on the bottom. And a 6th one peeking through up top.
Sleeps from 8 til about 6am.
Says mama and dada and uh-oh. Nods yes and no and waves bye bye.
Smiles very easily.
Weighs in at 23 pounds and wears 18 month clothes.

In the last month..
I also completed my last month with Scrapbook Sussies. After 6 years of business she's decided to close up shop. Here's what I did with the September kit.

It's still available for purchase AND she has a huge inventory sale going on right now. I loved her kits and enjoyed working with her for the last 3 years! Thanks Lara for all you did with the club and putting great product together! I'm sure gonna miss my monthly Sussie fix!

And on the school front..
We've been a little lax the past couple weeks. We're still making our biweekly trip to the library and we're full speed ahead on our Memory verse work. But that's been about it. Just lots of book reading and memory work. Hoping to get back on track with a bit more of a scheduled day with that.

And finally I'll leave you with my latest project. My BFF brought some bottlecap pendants to our last girls craft night and I really wanted to do a bunch of these for our upcoming vacation to Disney World. I even watched some YouTube videos and figured out how to make the wire wrapped jewel/pearl dangle charms.

The girls are loving them and of course want one with every character they can think of. I'm personally loving the Alabama ones! Roll Tide!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bragging on my Kids a Bit

My kids are rock stars. Really. The past two weeks they have amazed me with what all they have retained in their little brains. In the past 10 days they have memorized 4 Bible verses. I thought we'd be doing good with 1 a week, but they are showing me they are capable of so much more.

I had to get them on video saying some of the verses. Abigail may be a little hard to understand. She first quotes Acts 8:35 "Then Phillip opened his mouth, beginning at this scripture and told him the good news about Jesus".
She gets the reference wrong, so I then have her quote her reference (Proverbs 6:6) which is "Go to the ant, O sluggard, consider her ways and be wise." Then she re-quotes Acts 8:35. Hopefully you can understand her knowing what she's saying beforehand. :)

After the lesson we had this past Sunday at church services, I decided this one that Natalie says would be this week's verse. *Warning* You are about to get a glimpse of the wreck that is my living room 95% of the time.

And an added bonus to all this is that I'm memorizing these right along with them!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

So After almost a Week....

We are finishing up our first week of school @ home and the girls are really loving it.
We've read lots of books.

We've made paper ants....and painted apples...

We've sung a lot of songs and mastered our memory verse:, "Go to the ants, O sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise" Proverbs 6:6
When asking Natalie just what this means, her paraphrase is.. "Look at the ants if you're feeling lazy and do what you're supposed to do without being told!"
I know I'm her momma, but I'm very proud of her! She has tried especially hard to do the few things she's supposed to do without being reminded. We've added a new chore of wiping off the table after meals and she LOVES doing it.
In fact both girls have done so well with the memory verse that we went ahead and started another one on Thursday.
They both LOVE the hands on stuff so much, we are going to be doing lots of crafts.
It's going to be a busy year!
Tomorrow we will wrap up our week by doing a bit of a review and making a trip to the library. It's time to get all the books we need for next week!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Let the Learning Begin!

So today was a very big first for us...

Natalie misses the cutoff to start Kindergarten this year by about 5 weeks. For about a year now I have had the idea of homeschooling floating around in my brain. When I first started thinking about it, I really didn't think it was a reality for us. It's a bit overwhelming when you think about what all it involves. Plus, she loves her 1 day a week preschool SO MUCH that I wondered if I could make it as fun. As time went on and I gave it more and more thought, this is the conclusion I came to:

We'll give it a go!

She is SO ready. And really, with our situation it works out perfectly to try it out this year and see how it goes. If it goes well, we'll continue. But if it doesn't seem to be a good fit for us, then she'll start public school right on time, NEXT fall.

So, I plan to document as much as I can here throughout the year. I'm doing this for my benefit, as my blog is as good a place as any for me to reference. So for the half a dozen people that still read here, this is what you're in for. :)

She knew we were starting today, and she was very anxious to get started. So much so that she helped me do dishes, laundry, and gather trash so we could hurry and get the chores out of the way before we began.

We started out the morning doing our calendar and the weather. Then we jumped right into the letter A, and learned quite a bit about ants. Her favorite bit of info that she learned is that their noses are inside their feelers. Both girls followed a trail of ants(paper ones!) and put together our memory verse and found out what we could learn from the ants.

We read Those Amazing Ants and then practiced writing the letter A.

I am using a combination of stuff for our curriculum.

For our main lessons we are using ABC, I Believe.
I'm also using this really cool Berenstain Bears Curriculum.

And thanks to a dear friend I have the 4/5 Sonlight Curriculum that I will be incorporating in.

And while I do want to have a structure and a bit of a schedule on paper. I'm not being really rigid with it. We'll go with the flow, and a lot of what I do will be based on what she wants to do. She loves doing crafty stuff and she loves to color, cut, and glue. In fact she knew I had planned for us to make an ant this week and while I've been typing this, she's wanting to know when we're making it!
If you'd like to see any of the other resources I'm making good use of, I have them all HERE on my Homeschool Pinterest board. You just click the images on Pinterest and it will take you to the website.

So before we got started this morning...

The girls had a helper. For now, our main instruction time begins when he goes down for his morning nap!

Then after our main lesson the girls wanted to color. On our homemade "clothes line" from left to right we have:
* our ant trail they put together with our memory verse (Proverbs 6:6) and our ant motto, "Do your work/chores without being told to do it."
*What's the weather today
*Our letter A which will get decorated later in the week
* A craft from Bible class
* Her Letter A writing practice worksheet.

A plan to use this "line" to display as much as I can of what we are working on for the week. An interactive bulletin board so to speak.
Oh and sidenote..notice that from the 1st to 2nd picture Abigail went from her regular clothes to her princess attire. Ha!

Both girls love to color and I got lots of preschool workbooks for Abigail because she wants to be included in School too!
We'll wrap up this afternoon with a sight word lesson, but Day 1 went really well!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SO MUCH more than Cookies.

Earlier this week while driving home from the grocery store, a local church sign caught my attention. It simply said this,
"Come to church. We have cookies."

Is this really what it takes to get people in the door?
Can you just imagine Jesus walking up to Peter and Andrew with a box of Krispie Kremes, and saying "follow me. I have donuts."
Sounds ridiculous doesn't it?
Maybe that was the point. Maybe it's said tongue in cheek. Then again I'm not so sure as this same church also advertised "our worship band will rock your face off. We'll help you to your car."
You laugh. But I'm not kidding.

I admit I thought a lot about this over the next few days, because of all the things that God's family has to offer, why would cookies be enough to get someone through the doors?
So what DO we have?
If we're in Christ we have redemption.
If we're in Christ we have no condemnation.
If we're in Christ we're set free from sin.
We have Peace.
We have Joy.
We have Love.
We have Goodness and Mercy.

"do you not know, that all of us that were baptized INTO Christ, were baptized into his death? We were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too may walk in newness of life." Romans 6

We have a new life.
We have Eternal Life!

So come to church. We have SO Much MORE than cookies.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make it Monday

Just a quick post today to share the layout I did for Memorable Seasons, Last Scrapper Standing. Our challenge was to use a non scrappy item and to create an embellishment cluster.

My non scrappy item is the clear star on the right side of the pictures. I made this out of a plastic chinese takeout container lid.Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

@ Ten Months..

You are such a happy baby! Seriously, unless you are hungry or tired, you are always always full of grins. You laugh so easily and strangers love you because you are always smiling like crazy at them.

You are an army crawler right now. You move fast with those arms dragging the rest of your body behind you and pushing with you feet.

You go to bed at 8:00 and typically wake up between 5:30 and 6:00. Anytime you want to start sleeping about another hour I'm all for it! :)

At your 9 month check up you weighed exactly 20 lbs. My best guess is that you are still right at that, but maybe even 21 or 22. You've started wearing 12 month clothes, but I can already tell you're going to move on up to 18 month clothing before long!

I haven't given you any jar baby food in several weeks. Most of the time you eat yogurt and rice cereal, apple sauce and rice cereal, or whatever we are eating mashed up. I've started giving you mini Nilla Wafers to snack on and you much prefer those over cheerios.

Your first tooth showed up a few weeks ago. You now have another one coming in,both on the bottom.
Happy 10 Months Baby Boy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

And So You're Three

You were a Friday the 13th baby. But it was as far from unlucky as you can get. The timing was just right even though you weren't supposed to be born for another week. That head full of dark hair was a sharp contrast to your born bald older sister.

*Your Birth Day

*One Year Old

*Two Years Old

And now sweet girl, you are 3! You are my girlie girl. You love to sit with me while I put on my makeup and pretend you are putting on makeup too. Your favorite color is pink, with purple a close 2nd. You love to dress up as pretty much any Disney princess and then you must be called by that princesses name. (Obviously :0) Currently Rapunzel and Ariel are your favorites, but Cinderella, Belle, and Aurora are just as good, it just depends on the day. For the most part you won't wear any pajamas unless they have princesses on them.

You are so very close to being potty trained. I just have to remember to ask you to try to go all day long. If I forget to remind you, we almost always have an accident. I was hoping to have this nipped in the bud by your birthday, but it's ok, you're doing good.

You are a bit of a drama queen. :) If you can't find your waffle blanket or your sippy cup you tend to have a meltdown. Little fusses with your sister over toys cause these meltdowns too. Soooo emotional. Sorry babe, you get that from your momma. :)

You love to be silly. You love knock knock jokes, especially telling them with/to daddy.
You love to sing. You love to color.

You love your big sister. You copy a LOT of what she does. You say a LOT of what she says. When I ask simple questions about lunch or drinks, etc., a lot of times you wait to see what she's going to do before you answer. Or you change your request to match hers.

You are a joy to our lives and we love you SOOOO Much! Happy Birthday Abigail!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Scrapbook Sussies June 2011

How in the world is it already Summer? It seems like just a few weeks ago we were playing in our record breaking 10" of snow! But boy has summer come charging in.. with been dealing with upper 90 degree temps the past few days and the heat index is in the 100's for the rest of this week!

So, on to my Sussie pages. Here's what I did this month! These feature pictures from Easter weekend and Mother's Day.

And as usual there's so much in these kits I have plenty left over for more pages. Check out the full kit HERE.>>>Scrapbook Sussies.
Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We Have This Saying...

We have this saying at our church congregation that the kids learn at a very young age. It begins with a question:

What is God's ideal for marriage?
And the kids answer with:
One man for one woman for life.

Which leads me to this morning's conversation with my 4yo.She was looking at a picture of her Nana (John's mom who passed away from cancer in 2005), and the questions began.
Where did this picture come from? Did Papa take this picture? Was Papa married to Nana?

And this is where it got interesting. I explained to her that yes, Papa and Nana were married. And they had 3 kids. Daddy, Uncle A, and Uncle S. After just a split seconds thought, she asks, "So boys can be married to 2 girls?.. cause Papa is married to MeMe now."

And this is where "that saying" she knows so well came in handy and made what could have been a difficult conversation with a 4yo, much easier.

Well Nat, what is God's ideal for marriage?

"One man, for one woman for life."

Right, and since Nana's life here on earth is over, that means what?

"ohhhh, so he could marry MeMe"

Yes, and aren't we glad he did! (Cause we sure love our MeMe) :)

I really didn't expect to have these kind of conversations already, but as I stumble through this most important job as a parent I'm reminded of a couple of things.

We must intentionally teach. A lot of times we don't deal with the difficult things until they arise. So we end up doing reactive parenting rather than proactive parenting. But if we teach them Biblical principles early on, it makes things much easier when harder questions or situations arise. It's true, kids learn some things by accident just based on the situation or happenstance. But it is my prayer that I take every opportunity to instill the things of God into my children.

And speaking of opportunity..
Teach your children of God diligently. When you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you go to bed, and when you rise up. (Duet.6:7)
which seems to translate into ALL THE TIME. It's a tall order. And I don't claim to get it right all the time (or even half the time for that matter!) but it is my duty as a mother. My number one priority to my children.

Their souls depend on it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scrapbook Sussies April 2011 Reveal

Happy Sunday everyone!
Today I have my April Pages for Scrapbook Sussies. As usual SO MUCH stuff in this kit. Check it out HERE.
And here's what I did.

The pages I did with this kit came together so easily! Love that the two sides of the kit allowed me to do both boy and girl pages. Lara is so good at putting supplies together.
Hope your week is off to a good start!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

These Pics Leave Me Speechless (Almost)

So sweet.

So not a morning person.

Such an entertainer.

I. Love. My. Kids.
I just can't hardly even look at them without my heart melting.
Every single time.

They frustrate me.
They make me want to pull my hair out.
They humble me.
They teach me.
They help me grow.
They make me smile.
They make me laugh.
They remind me of the Greatest Love of All. (John 3:16)

I. love. My kids.
Happy Saturday!