Thursday, April 30, 2009

Awana awards, tests and more..

The Awana awards went well. Julia got an award for finishing her book, as did Katie and Garrett. Carlina also finished hers but there is no award for that. Alicia is still working on hers, so is Colton. Next year we'll have 1 in nursery (Anna), 1 Cubbie (Thomas), 1 Sparky (Garrett), 2 Tnt'ers (Katie and Alicia), 1 Treker (Julia) and 2 in High School group again. I hope to help in some respect next year, don't know what yet. I am going to be a leader for the 2-3 year old group this summer in VBS.

I've been helping to get ready for the town yard sale...our church is having one with all money going to our building fund. Spent a couple of hours organizing stuff last night in the church basement.

Colton, Carlina and Julia finally got their Iowa Basic Skills test scores back. I was very pleased, they all scored well. This is the first standardized test they have taken since beginning homeschooling, so I was happy they did so well. I do not like standardized tests and don't believe they measure much of anything, but if they are going to have to take them (we didn't have to in Florida),I was happy for them that they did okay.

New haircuts....

Carlina and Julia are all ready for summer with new shorter haircuts!!!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Blahs..

I haven't felt very bloggy lately. I think all the troubles of the world and the ups and downs of life sometimes get to me. This morning I was feeling overwhelmed by it all and went to read one of my favorite verses:

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I adore what Charles Swindoll has to say about this in "The Greatest Life of All... Jesus":

"Jesus' yoke illustration conveys an invitation with three parts:

**He invites us to exchange the tiresome burden of legalism for a lifelong Sabbath of the Soul.

**He invites us to accept Him as our teacher so that we might learn how He coped, He managed stress, He faced pressures of the world, He forgave, ministered to others, and how He remained connected to the Father.

**He invites us to reject slavery to religiosity, wealth, status, relationships or anything that burdens us so that we might become a slave to Him.

The best word to describe servitude to Jesus Christ is refreshment."

Wow, refreshment! Relief! Rest! All that only through Jesus....what or who else is there, really? We can look at the things going on in the world and not lose heart....we can deal with the daily pressures of living with joy and ease...we can take a deep breath and rest in Him.

On a different note, we are looking at a house out in the country. It isn't a large house but it has a bit of land with it...just about an acre. It would be nice to be out of town. Julia isn't too happy, she likes living in town...close to the park, pool, church, friends. The others seem to be okay. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a basement that could be made into a room for Colton...a large master where we could have Jesse and I's bed and the boy's bunkbed...so we will see. I'm not terribly keen on moving again so soon. We will probably make a low offer, so small chance that it would go through anyway.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Forgot to mention...

We didn't win any races at the Pine Derby but Julia and Carlina did get an award for design....it was a fun night. Katie was very sad at the end of the night that she didn't win anything. I think she was exhausted and over-wrought due to all the goings on. She is often very emotional. She is also my morning person...the only child who actually likes to go to bed early and get up early. Thus, a late night can throw her over the edge.

90 degree day!

We had a wonderful day yesterday. Jesse had the day off and we enjoyed working around the house, taking a walk, having a picnic at the park. It was incredibly warm....like summer was instantly here. Today is not soo nice...very cool and windy. We watched The Man Who Knew too Much this morning. I have seen this a few times and really like it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pine car derby...





Tonight!!!! Jesse worked really hard getting 6 cars ready!! The kids painted and decorated them and they are very excited. Doubtful that we have any winners (some of the wheels are quite crooked!!) but it will be fun nonetheless! Here are some of the cars...will take pictures tonight!

On another note, we are looking to move our camping trip forward (to the end of May) due to Driver's Ed. Colton and Carlina will be taking that in June and can't miss any classes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baby





6 months old!!! She is still a tiny little girl @ 13lbs 6 oz.

Witnessing....

Aren't we all at a loss (at times) when it comes to sharing our faith with others? I like this analogy...it really expresses the urgency surrounding witnessing:

If your neighbor's house was on fire and he was in danger, wouldn't you tell him? That's just the case here spiritually. Many of our family members, our neighbors, people we meet every day are living a life that will end in destruction unless someone shares the hope of Christ with them. (Creativebiblestudy.com)

I want to explore some things that make witnessing easier....it will never be comfortable (to most) but God will lead us, through the Holy Spirit. He will help us know what to say and when to say it.

Here is the Bridge to Life illustration. It is really simple and straightforward. You can print this out and give it to people.

More to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday..





We had a great dinner last night with Mom and Terry...she made turkey and all the fixings. Tonight we took them out for dinner at the Olive Garden...so yummy!!! We had a nice time with ice cream from Culver afterwards...so I am fat and sassy. Tomorrow is their 7th anniversary...I am so happy they live close by, now.l

Here are some recent pictures of my cutie-pie and her dog, who loves her so much.....his mission in life is to lick her face.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gentle and quiet spirit....

" Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold or putting on fine apparel-rather let it bet the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." I Peter 3:3-4

The internet is buzzing about the 47 year old singer (Susan Boyle) from Great Britain who so impressed Simon Cowell on "Great Britain's got Talent". She is very unassuming in looks and manner....certainly no movie star good looks or rail-thin model body...but her voice!!! Wow!! Everyone looking at her before she began singing doubted that anything so beautiful would come from her. Sadly, that is the way of this world....outside is what counts...how you look, how you dress, how you do your hair, your makeup, etc. But God prefers a greater kind of beauty....an inward gentle beauty. This beauty never fades and is never ravaged by time. It comes from a personal relationship with the Lord and Savior of the Universe and lasts forever and ever.

The word “gentle” comes from the Greek word praeos, which means “mild” or “humble,” and “quiet” is from the Greek hesuchios, which literally means “keeping one’s seat.” Hence, by implication it means “still” or “quiet.”

Precious” is from the Greek word polutel─ôs, which is made up of polus, meaning “much” or “great” and telos, meaning “expense” or “cost.” Hence, this word refers to “great value.” (Source for Greek:Ministry of Grace)

This kind of spirit is of "great value" to God. Perfecting the "hidden person of the heart" by walking with God is our goal each and every day.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

How did I end up in this chair..and other odd ???'s

This morning I was drugged and had a stick with a light on it shoved down my throat!!

Okay, it wasn't against my will and it took place at a Surgery Center. I even have pictures of my shiny esophagus! For the past several weeks I have felt like there is something in my throat. Yesterday I went to my family doctor and she referred me to a GI in SC. Thus, today he was looking down my throat and finding....(a fir tree? watermelon plant?)...no, nothing except some excess acid. Yucky. I am supposed to start taking some acid reducing medicine. I am still not sure what the problem is. I still feel like there is something there and have pain after I eat (this has been going on for a couple of days). My mom suggested I start taking acidolphilus..so I will do that and see how it goes.

It was gorgeous today (70!) and we walked to the Library. The town has seemed to come alive with the warmth. There are people everywhere..walking, riding bikes, playing in the park. Life is good!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will you be next?

Joel's Trumpet

Will homeschoolers and Christians soon be considered right-wing extremist groups?

Can a family of 10 get by with one bathroom?

Well...yes!! Contrary to what HGTV says (uhhh..1.3 bathrooms per person?), it can be done! It helps to look on the positive side when considering such an adventure. Here are some positives:
1. Less to clean (saves time and money)
2. One must learn patience (especially early in the morning or after church!)
3. A great gathering place...this time before church, when all are getting ready.

Our very first house had one bathroom. This wasn't a problem for newlyweds at all. We lived there until we had 3 children (only 1 potty trained when we moved out.) Our next house had 2 bathrooms...we were so spoiled to actually have a master bath!! When we moved out we had renovated the basement with another bathroom, but we didn't get to enjoy that. Then in Florida, our house had 4 bathrooms! That was craziness!! The next house we were down to 1...that was a hard adjustment after 4...now we are at one once again and loving it:)

Field trip







Yesterday we took off to see if the train museum was open....it wasn't (only on Saturdays), but men were there working on the exhibits and they let us in for a bit. Garrett was thrilled to see the giant loco. Also, Garrett doesn't have the mumps..he has a huge piece of candy in his cheek.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My view...


This is what I see when I am typing on the computer (besides the computer screen). Montie is either here or on the dryer when it is running...she does not like the cold at all (she is a Florida cat!).

Today...

Mom was so sweet and brought over oranges, yogurt, bananas etc. for us. I loved the orange, so good for a cold. She also brought over some "airborne"...that fizzy stuff that boosts your immunity.

Right now Jesse is running a tractor out back, leveling the driveway to get ready for a load of rock. Currently, all that exists back there is dirt, so when it rains...it is a mess. I am so thankful for the rock! A friend from church is a farmer and has a semi, he picked up the rock for us.

Anna was so sweet and happy today....made being sick practically a piece of cake. Hope tonight is as good!!!

I have been trying to figure out what I still need for next year for school. I want to get a Bible Curriculum from Abeka, some books from Sonlight, some preschool stuff from My Father's World and more.

one lump or 2?

I feel as if I have been hit on the head with a hammer today. This Spring cold is really giving me fits. I am hoping it is not a lasting one...so hard to accomplish anything. It is gorgeous outside (60 degrees) and I am wishing that I felt like going outside. All of the stores are getting their plants in and I am getting Spring fever!! I am hoping to get some things planted around here.....

Monday, April 13, 2009

New week..

The weekend was tiring but fun. Easter breakfast (for the church) went well...Jesse made a 10lb bag of Krusteaz mix into waffles...the whole bag. We also had bacon and sausage and someone brought a big tub of strawberries! Jesse and I were thankful for all of the help. His mom and sister cooked bacon and sausage, while Jesse did waffles. I set up and served along with Carlina and another lady. Several washed all of the dishes when we were done. We had a nice dinner of roast lamb and turkey at Grandma's. Jesse's Grandma (who is 91) was at Grandma's on Sat and we enjoyed visiting with her. She still lives by herself and drives. She is doing very well.

I woke up today with a sore throat and general malaise...glad I didn't have to go anywhere today. I worked on the laundry (there is a huge mound that is now done, but not put away) and picked up the house. The older kids did school....the others had today off. Julia and I studied Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Made vegetable rice soup (I think I put too much thyme in it!) but it is okay and thawed some frozen rolls.

Prayer for today: (by Bob Hostetler)

1. Pray for my child's Salvation:
"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may receive by grace and rejoice in the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory."(Isaiah 45:8 and 2 Timothy 2:10)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter...

Our pastor said that there are 3 kinds of people:
1.irreligious
2.religious
3.transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Which are you?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Going to Grandmas

Today we are headed over to Jesse's mom's for lunch and to visit with Uncle Joe, Aunt Sam and cousins. They don't get to come down very often, so we are excited to see them. It is a beautiful day out...sunny and already pretty warm (for us, anyway!). We had a wonderful Good Friday service last night. Did lots of praising God with hymns, heard a wonderful message by the Pastor and watched a short video of 2 famous Easter songs.

Grandma S. took Alicia, Katie, Thomas, Anna and I shopping yesterday. We went to Target and she bought Katie an Easter dress, Alicia 2 shirts, and myself a shirt. She also took us out to lunch...we had a great time!!!

Ex-muslims celebrate Easter....

This is awesome:

Joel Rosenberg's Weblog

This particular quote stands out to me: But millions are finding that only Jesus Christ heals the ache in their hearts and the deep wounds in their souls.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Grandpa...Target and a human experiment....

Today I went with Jesse to SC to...he was going to visit his dad who has been ill with a very contagious virus but is on the mend. I rode along, but decided not to go in with him (I had Anna with me). I didn't want to accidentally expose either of us. Jesse dropped me off at Target to wait for them. I knew it was going to be awhile, since Jesse would be helping his dad with bills, taxes, etc. I did some shopping....a dry erase/magnet board, laundry detergent, Easter candy, diapers, a gift for a baby shower and then waited in the food bar. While waiting I ate some chicken tender with ranch dressing and drank a coke. I was in Target for 3...yes 3...count them...3 hours!!! During that time Anna slept, played, cried and eyed my food (it makes her very mad as of late, to see me eating!). Multiple people commented on her hair (which was quite wild today) and 2 said she looked like a baby doll. One lady came up and made a totally obscure observation about polar bear mothers protecting babies from their fathers...out of the blue. Another gave me a tract about Heaven, telling me the Lord had told her to give it to me. She told me that she had lost an 11-year old daughter named Ann last summer due to a horseback riding accident. ...heartbreaking!!! Later I opened the tract and found a $20 bill inside. All in all, very interesting and I wondered what more would have taken place if I would have been there all day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day in town....

First, one of my favorite quotes about Grace, on the back of What's so Amazing about Grace....."There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less."


Today was busy...Carlina's last (hopefully) orthodontist appt to have her braces adjusted...next will be getting braces off and retainer on. Then Julia will (also, hopefully) start on hers this fall. We bought swimsuits for Carlina and Julia at JCPenneys...very hard task but found some that were pretty modest. We ate lunch at the mall and then went to Walmart for some supplies. We had gotten our big bunch of groceries yesterday at Fareway in another town. Jesse thinks Fareway was even cheaper than Walmart. I was looking for particular Easter candies at Walmart but didn't think they had a great selection. Target seemed to have a better one the last time I was there.

Colton and Carlina are reading an interesting book... I can't wait to read it myself.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Carlina as Teddy Roosevelt

Bunny cake


Katie's birthday bunny cake....

Disappointed?

No, not really....I was not looking forward to 15 inches of snow. Instead we got just a little bit, but the winds did howl. Church was canceled this morning and we canceled Katie and J's party, too. Sad. That's one thing about having a summer birthday in Iowa.....don't have to worry about the weather for the most part....unless you're under a tornado warning of course! Right now the bunny is hopping around the floor. Oliver is asleep upstairs so don't have to worry about him bothering little March. Yesterday Oliver was trying to bite March's cotton tail and one of his ears. Thomas is wearing his superman pj's and yellow boots. He says he is Superman and he is awesome! He also likes to pretend like he is Buzz Lightyear.

Jesse was up at 4:30 this morning (his work schedule really messes him up) and made breakfast....pancakes, eggs, hash, bacon, etc. It was so good. He is a great cook and we love when he is home (not just to cook for us of course)!!!! It is just really nice to have him around. We all miss him so much when he is gone on those 12 hour shifts.

Finally... are you a friend of God? This is from seekgod.org and I think it is wonderful. Can you imagine being called a friend of God? What an amazing and incredible title:

God created you in His image so that so that He could have a personal relationship with you. God is seeking an intimate heart to heart relationship with you. There are some very good parents that have friendship with their children, while still being parents. God is your Father but He desires friendship with you also. (James 2:23 NKJV) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Long day

Friday was a very long day...especially for dh. He worked all night (Thursday) and then went to the dentist with me (about 1.5 hr away) the next morning. I had 2 more teeth filled. After a brief stop at the mall for lunch we returned home. We picked the girls up at school and took Katie out for a birthday dinner at Pizza Hut...she turned 8 today!!! Then headed over to our Homeschool Presentation Fair. We presented our "Jeopardy" with Colton portraying Woodrow Wilson, Carlina portraying Theodore Roosevelt and Julia portraying Thomas Jefferson. Carlina had concocted eyes, mustache and eyebrows and taped them to her face...very funny. After the fair we ate goodies and then helped clean up then home! Jesse was so glad for much needed rest.

Katie got some birthday money from Gran M and bought a cute Webkinz puppy. Besides the bunny we also got her 2 badly needed nightgowns from the Children's Place. There appears to be a blizzard headed our way, so her party on Sunday (shared with cousin J who turns 7 on the 4th) might be cancelled.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eating us out of house and home...


Besides changing colors, Katie's bunny has grown massively and is eating everything he gets his paws on....Here is Uncle Bill holding him...
















Belated April Fools!!

Happy Birthday!


Katie turns 8 tomorrow!! She is not too happy with her birthday present at the moment as it bit her very hard this morning. She had sticky, gooey honey bun on her hand, so the bunny wasn't being mean...just hungry! Awhile back I never thought I would have Katie. After Alicia was born, Jesse and I decided that our family was complete. We had the 4 kids that we always wanted. However, the summer of 2000 I was taken completely by surprise when (in Metropolis, Ill on a family trip) I took a pregnancy test and found out that #5 would be joining us the following Spring. We were thrilled and when Katie was born, thanked God that He knew better than us. After that we have left things to Him in that respect and Katie has been joined by 3 younger siblings so far.

Easter picture...


It was very cold the day I took this picture....but the kids braved the wind and temps.

Reality...

What is reality? As we go about our lives do we question the reality of it? Jesse's dad has his own separate reality. He believes he is getting ready to go out and combine or cultivate, when in reality he is in a hospital bed or strapped in a chair. He thinks that all his love ones are constantly around him. Jesse called him recently and he (Jim) said that Jesse was right there with him.

What about our realities? Do we look at our daily lives..perhaps mundane...filled with seemingly unending tasks and wonder what is going on? As I re-read Waking the Dead I am reminded that "the story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it. You have an Enemy. He is trying to steal your freedom, kill your heart, destroy your life. To live in ignorance of spiritual warfare is the most naive and dangerous thing a person can do. It's like walking into an al-Qaida training camp, wearing an "I love the USA" t-shirt. John 10:10-the thief is trying to steal the life God wants to give."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Old reliables....




Our suburban is looking much better due to the front grill that has been replaced! It still has a big dent in the side..but the blower works (we have heat!) and the door opens. We need to fix a few things on the car...like the window. Jesse's artwork covers the offending spot....

Correction

A reader corrected my assumption that Roosevelt's and Jefferson's wives had died during their time in office (we obviously hadn't checked the dates yet!!)...here is what Claire says:

Three president's wives did die while their husbands were serving but neither Martha Jefferson (1748-1782) nor Alice Roosevelt (1861-1884)were among the three. They were Letitia Tyler (wife of 10th president John Tyler), Caroline Harrison (wife of 23rd president Benjamin Harrison) and Woodrow Wilson's wife, Ellen.

Regarding presidents...I see that Mrs. Obama is planting a garden at the White House for the first time since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden during WWII...here is the story. Pretty neat.

Katie had a big filling done today and is not feeling too good. I am keeping her home until she feels better. Poor thing has teeth like me....which reminds me, I have another dental appointment on Friday.

Jesse came home with a cold and feels awful. He still has 2 night shifts to pull off....hopefully he can make it. I think those 12-hour night shifts take years off a person's life.

Thomas is watching Elmo right now and yelling "Good-bye" at him. He has been a bit naughty lately...loves to make messes with his food, etc. I am looking forward to warmer weather, he can work off some of his energy.