Puritan Paperbacks

March 26, 2011

  I went downstairs for my morning coffee and before heading back up to the homeschool room where my desk and computer are, I ventured into the “Cove” which was affectionately named by the kids and me a few months back when we couldn’t communicate clearly which rooms needed cleaned.  The Cove is the back room, den area, if you will, with fireplace.  Not that anyone else needs to remember this but I might forget once the kids are gone.  I like to call it the Cozy Cove but I don’t think it’s stuck with them yet. 🙂  There are a plethera of books to choose from in this room and I just happened to the Puritan section.  What a glorious husband to put them into sections.  Maybe glorious is too strong a word but I must share my ardent feelings about this very special man. *grin*  Anyway, I happened upon one titled All Things for Good.  1 word… WOW!  And right now I have misplaced it and the children all declare when I ask if they’ve seen my book, “No.”  Maybe Darrel took it.  I was so greatly encouraged by its content and scripture that I want to be sure to bring it along on our vacation this week of which I am extremely excited to be taking!  Actually, I’d much rather be reading it right now than finishing off my To Do list.  Alas, I’ve once again succomb to blogging.  LOL  Gotta get busy!

Advertisements

Isaacisms

March 22, 2011

  Isaac is very gifted with being able to work out problems in his head, especially math problems.  I attribute this gift to his father and, of course, to God.  But this leads him to being lazy and not writing out problems so I can see WHAT he’s thinking and if his thinking is correct.  Today, I was telling him he was going to have to start working out his problems on paper so I can see where the problems occur or his misunderstanding.  He said, “I write slow!”  I told him I understood but that he wouldn’t get any faster if he didn’t start practicing more.  Then as he thought he said, “I’m glad there aren’t cursive numbers!” 

  I laughed.

  I read a note from a friend today about something her son did to damage their property (nothing serious).  Actually, it was more like graffiti but the point was that he knew better and had been told ‘a hundred times’ that paper is where we write.

  From this note I was encouraged by the mother’s response and growth in her desire to please Jesus Christ through her response and it led me to a book I own.  It led me to think about how often I only speak to my children about certain things after or during discipline and not during times of ‘happy training’.  It is easy to be lazy and not be faithful in reminding & teaching my children to honor God in all the ways He requires. 

  The book I opened was Honor Your Father and Mother; The Fifth Commandment for Little Ones by Pam Forster, published by Doorposts.  This is a wonderful tool to use as a parent and to allow older children to read on their own. 

  I immediately turned to a few pages in which I needed encouragement and to remind my children what God requires of them…of us all.  A beautiful thing about this book is that they allow photocopying for household use so I’m able to make a couple copies and let the girls color the pictures while we are reading and discussing the questions and scripture references. 

  The pages I printed out today were about honoring parents by not interrupting and a scripture reference from James 1:19.  And the last 2 are also very applicable to Darrel and I as well…honoring parents by not arguing, whining, criticizing or grumbling with a scripture reference to Proverbs 10:19.  And asking if they do what parents want them to do even when they aren’t watching with reference to James 4:17.  

  I want to be a faithful servant!  I pray that I will incorporate the questions and scripture references in our bible time each morning and follow up with each of them with patience and encouraging words. 

   

  I’m posting for a good friend of ours but in reality know that God is at work to remind me of tools He’s provided to help me in training the children He’s put in my care. 

  In the heat of anger, arguments, etc. I can easily forget to STOP EVERYTHING and get to the heart of the issue.  I have often told younger mom’s something I learned while at Pastor’s College about training children at a young age that I wish I’d heard; feed them, clothe them, and train them.  Oh, what simplicity but such truth!  How many days I thought I had so many other things that were more important; errands to run, bargains to retrieve, other friends to encourage.  And I’m not saying doing those things aren’t valid and good.  But when a young mother, one must look at the calling God has on one’s life at that moment.  (actually, after re-reading this, it’s not about being a young mother…it’s about being a mother.period.no.matter.the.ages.of.you.or.the.children.)  I believe there were many days I was looking  to the next thing, the next step, and I was missing what was right in front of my face.  Enough rambling…

  I do not recall where I found the tool of this ‘Anger Journal’  but it has been helpful and was especially so today.  After one of my children said something very hurtful to another I realized the severity of the cut.  I took the one upstairs that was angry and we went through the following.

1.  What circumstance/s led to my becoming angry?  (What happened that provoked me to anger?)

2. What did I say/do when I became angry? (How did I respond to the circumstances?)

3. What is the biblical evaluation of what I said/did when I became angry? (How does the Bible classify what I said/ did when I became angry?)

4.  What should I have said/done when I became angry? (How could I have responded biblically when I became angry?)

This tool proved to be of much help today and brought us to the word of God.  Only the truth can set one free of anger and we are thankful for His word and faithfulness to us.  It was a beautiful time to reflect on forgiveness in Matthew 18:12 and remember that we have a debt we cannot repay…ever.  We realize that none are good, no not one in Romans 3.  We reflected on needing God to grow us in the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5 and talked about the need to pray more fervently for these fruits.  And lastly we encouraged our souls with not being weary in well doing by reading through Galatians 6:9.  We also had a mini-celebration when this child realized that the Holy Spirit helps him hold back many hurtful things he’d like to say, but doesn’t let them come out of his mouth.  We reminded one another that we MUST celebrate and thank the Lord for these victories because He is the one enabling us to tame the tongue. 

  So, even though very hungry for dinner, we knew that searching our souls and discussing these heart issues were more important.  (Man cannot live by bread alone)  God was glorified, we were all encouraged, learned more about how weak and frail we are and how great our God and King is and then went out for a $4.99 Domino’s pizza instead of mama cooking. 🙂  (I cannot begin to thank God enough for the encouraging words my 15 year old daughter was sharing with her 6 and 8 year old little sisters.  Later this evening she and I cried a few tears, while in embrace,  in thanks to God for His working in her life and the blessing she is to those around her…and relieving a bit of stress as well.) 🙂

Rodeo 2011

March 11, 2011

  What a mess I made!

  I’ve wanted to go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on and off since we moved to the greater Houston area back in 2000.  All of the sudden, Tuesday night, I get this grandiose idea to look up ticket prices because a friend told me Wednesday’s are cheaper.  Indeed they are!  So, I begin looking at the schedule, etc. to see if going is feasible.  Then I ask Darrel and he says yes.  Woo hoo, we’re on our way!

  I get the kids all tucked in and tell them we must be up very early for the horse competitions which begin at 8 a.m.  I print out tickets and look through the schedule once again…No worries, I’ll wing it this time and just get there and have fun!  I have a tendency to over-plan at times. 

  In the morning I wake everyone at 6:30 a.m. for a quick breakfast of biscuits and fruit and we hit the road!   We find a place to park for $7 but can only stay there until 1 p.m.  No problem.  5 hours of rodeo fun are sure to be enough for this crew.  We walk into the horse arena and there is a horse competition going on but it appears the only other people in there are judges.  WEIRDy!  So, we sit down and watch.  It was very interesting but the little girls got restless after watching the 7th or 8th horse do the exact same course.  So, we decided to go where we could see the “ACTION” !  We leave the building, freezing…it’s windy and pretty cold.  We walk for what seemed miles (it wasn’t) through a huge fair area, all the while hearing, can we ride rides?  They weren’t even open.  WHY weren’t they open, I thought to myself.  But we kept walking, all the way over to Reliant Stadium where we were met by an attendant who told me we actually wanted to go to the Reliant CENTER.  OH….so that’s where the “ACTION” is, I thought.  So, we walked what seemed another mile or two (it wasn’t) in the freezing wind and finally got there.  The kids were beginning to get hungry.  Well, no doubt!  There were food stands EVERYWHERE.  We walked in to the Center and knew this had to be the place as we SMELLED the animals.  So, we went to a kid area where there was sure to be loads of fun!  Hmmmm…. am I missing something? 

  Well, for one, I guess we just aren’t rodeo type people.  If you have animals to show or you are in some kind of competition I’m sure it’s great.  We wanted to see guys getting thrown off bulls and horses, wanted to see barrel racing…that kind of thing.  And we weren’t finding it.  I finally gave in and spent $12 on cinnamon rolls, set the kids down on some small risers to watch kids walking their calves around for judging and took off to get some information.  After talking to 2 nice ladies I learned that I had made a COLOSSAL mistake!  ALL the stuff we were there to see wasn’t going to begin until 6:45 that NIGHT, and yes, it was in the Reliant Stadium area.  UGH!  What to do now?

  Well, I hung my head and we went home.  OH, I have to say we did go through this little farming area that Trinity enjoyed.  We especially enjoyed getting the free snack at the end.  HA

  Once home we decided we should suck it up and go back later that evening.  But my heart ached because I was supposed to have my Women’s Accountability Group which only meets once a month and I was now going to miss it. 

  We did, indeed, go back that evening, watched some pig races, Muttin’ Bustin’ (little kids weighing 35-60 lbs riding sheep), and Hope ate a gigantic turkey leg.  We got our seats which felt like they were in the sky…Hope and Trinity were scared at first but got used to it, especially since I let them have a cotton candy.  We got to see the Chuck Wagon Races, Bull Riding, Buckin’ Broncho Riding, Calf Roping and all the ‘ACTION’ we wanted to see earlier in the day.  It was fun!  But it is an experience this ole’ gal won’t have again any time soon. 

  I like watching all the ‘ACTION’ but if you have FOX cable, invite me over and we’ll watch the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on the couch!! 🙂

March Post

March 4, 2011

  I am somewhat surprised that it was Dec. 2010 that I wrote my last post, but not thoroughly shocked.  Writing in a journal is somewhat like exercising.  You have to choose to do it.  Something else is going to have to be sacrificed in my schedule to do it.  It’s so easy to post a little ‘ditty’ on Facebook and move on my merry way.

  I am definitely surprised that it is already March 4th!  WOW!  Today we’ll drive to the Houston Arboretum for Isaac, Hope and Trinity to take a nature class with a nature walk.  In the past Trinity has expressed her desire to ‘go to school’.  I believe this comes from her desire to make more friends.  She tends to be a social butterfly.  So, after sharing this joyous occasion with them, who would be the one saying, “No, no Mommy, YOU are my teacher?”  Yes, the little Trinity.  She seems very upset to have a class not taught by her mother or father, but I think she’ll be pleasantly surprised.  And I have NO doubt that if there are other children her age in that class, she will return to me victorious in making a new friend!  Danielle and I will take a nice, leisurely nature walk while they are in class and I would venture to say that Danielle will bring my camera and practice her picture-taking skills.  She will be taking a Macro-photography class on the 17th with a photo shoot the following Saturday. 

  Commenting on education, my teaching and being organized or not so, a couple of weeks ago, out of absolute necessity, I made notebooks for each child.  This was done more for Hope I think.  I think she works better when she ‘sees’ all the work she needs to do for the day.  It’s more accepted and she knows how to buckle down and ‘get it done’!  Each notebook has manilla folder inserts with the days of the week and under each one, the worksheets or directions to do a particular project or reading assignment.  It’s certainly helped keep me on track and we’ve been finishing up before lunchtime which has been lovely!!  However, I must admit since we’ve had this beautiful spring weather, we’ve been learning more about digging huge holes in the backyard, planting bushes we’ve received from a friend, pulling weeds, planting wildflowers, and the like.  While inside the kitchen last evening I watched Isaac, Hope and Trinity in the garden.  One had a rake, the other a shovel and another a hoe type tool.  They were just pounding and scraping away, to which I thought, “AH, I must get out there and unload those bags of humus/manure.  They are doing such a great job ‘playing’, I can get them to work all this in the soil without them even knowing it is work!”  Well, they did work it in some but I’m afraid I messed up the play.  Some of we mommy’s should leave well enough alone. 🙂  Lesson learned.