Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 7- Blanket Review

This has been one of my favorite reviews yet!

I waited, not so patiently, for my package to arrive. The day that it came, I tore into the packaging like it was Christmas morning! It was beautiful! The colors so vibrant. I opened the protective plastic covering, oh, the softness!!! The Whales Tale blanket from Day 7 is amazing! 

I let my children (5,2,&1) feel of the soft fabric. That was a BIG mistake! The fight started on who the blanket belonged to! They loved the softness and the bright colors. The older two talked about the whale. We read the Bible verse that is printed on it:

        "He refreshes my soul, He guides me along the right paths." Psalm 23:3
I love the idea of praying scripture over my children. What better way than to wrap them in it!

My sister-in-law is expecting a little one in January and raved about how beautiful the blanket was! (can we say baby shower gift!)

The blanket is 100% plush polyester. It is double sided: 

The front is decorated with this beautiful design!  

The back comes in your choice of 3 colors: White, Jade, or Teal.

The care instructions are to wash in cold water in the gentle cycle, tumble dry at low temperature. NO bleach or dry cleaning.  It has held up very well to being washed and cuddled by my 3 children! I think it is the perfect gift for new little ones!

You can purchase your own on Etsy or Amazon.

About Day 7

The founder of day 7 is Myra Harder, who has been working as a designer in the textile industry for the past 15 years. Through her career, her work has produced over 6 quilting titles, resulting in 100,000 copies of her books, she has produced thousands of yards of fabric for top design companies, and she has designed work for over 30 magazines, with 12.5 million copies in print. You will have seen her work on the covers of many top magazines on your local newsstands. However, as she worked, she felt the increased desire to share her faith in her designs, and a small idea started forming in the back of her mind. 2012 brought a decided change on the direction she wanted to create, and today we can introduce you to the first results of her new direction.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pieces of Me by Diana Lynn

About the Book: Diana Lynn is a Seattle-area business owner, speaker, and author of “Pieces of Me – Life of a Recovering Dysfunctional.” Diana loves to inspire readers with her personal story of overcoming difficult circumstances through perseverance and hope. As a pregnant, 18 year- old high school dropout, stuck in an abusive relationship, Diana had two choices: she could become a victim of her circumstances or she could push forward and discover a successful, fulfilling life. The choices she made shaped the rest of her life.
Her challenges and decisions in response to life’s obstacles serve to inspire readers of all backgrounds to find new beginnings. Her heart is to use her candidly-written life story to offer hope and inspire people to overcome their own obstacles, identify their own dreams, set goals, and figure out a way forward.
"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God 
as my successes and my talents and I lay them both
at his feet."
-Mahatma Gandhi

This was my favorite quote in the book. 
It reminded me that God already knows my heart.
 He wants ALL of me!

This book is composed of many short stories about Diana's life that helped shape her into the woman that she is. I was blown away at her honesty and her strength. I was captivated by her writings and absorbed the entire time! I was left feeling challenged to chase my dreams and I think you will be too! 

You may purchase your own copy at Amazon.
You can learn more about Diana Lynn on her website.

* CWA Disclaimer: In reading this book only one of Diana’s many stories concerned me. As a new believer facing the loss of her Mom, Diana makes a decision to consult a psychic. Please be aware that this is not a decision CWA endorses or supports in anyway. I believe the Bible is very clear about psychics. Instead, I hope this story will be a cautionary tale to believers showing the importance of supporting the brokenhearted through their grief so they are not enticed by the strategies of the enemy.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Be Self-controlled

Titus 2:5
"to be self-controlled"

Defined according to Merriam-Webster: "restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or                                                      desires"

Talk about a loaded definition! 
While reading a book for the Review Crew, I came across a thought from an author. She says that you can't control what others say about you, but how you respond to what they say. I spent some time with that thought. The Lord really grew that in me. It's not just other people, but all my circumstances.  I have a choice to make every moment of every day. I can chose to say what's on my mind and have negative attitudes or I can chose to keep my mouth closed! 

I am a very dramatic person by nature. I love acting and therefore have been trained to be animated. Couple that with my love of writing and you have a very animated person with the vocabulary to describe everything! I am a very excitable person. It translates in my writing as exclamation points! Yes, I really do talk with that much excitement most of the time.  On the flip side of things, I can get upset just as easily, especially if it is something that I am passionate about!

1 Timothy 1:7 in the Amplified Bible says "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of a calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control."

I know this is talking about fear, but I think it also translates into other areas of our lives. 
I can use a calm, well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control in so many other circumstances in my every day life! 

"control over one's impulses, emotions, or desires"

I am not a morning person! I am a night owl. I enjoy being up late after everyone else is in bed. I write for this blog during those very quiet evening hours. However, my children are very early risers! My own desire is to stay in my warm and comfortable bed until at least 8am, then I would like to get up slowly, drink a HOT cup of coffee while waking up.  That is NOT how my mornings go in this house. I am awake most mornings by 6am. I get breakfast for the children, change the 2 littles, and lunch ready for Thomas to take to work.  My first cup or 2 of coffee are lukewarm at best. It is not until 930 ish, when the children go outside to play that I get a hot cup of coffee while doing my quiet time. 
The Lord has to remind me far too often of the many years that I cried out for children on these mornings. I am learning self-control. I am learning to have control over my desires and also over my attitude during these early mornings when 3 children and my husband are demanding my attention.  I am learning to find the joy in these times with my family. That does not mean that I have mastered this yet. There are still mornings that I do not get up until it is time for Thomas to leave for work and I have to take care of the children. There are times that I do get up and I am so grumpy that my family wishes I had just stayed in bed. On those days all I can say is thank God for grace! 

This week I am being challenged to really practice self-control. I pray that you will join me! 

What are some of the areas that you struggle with self-control? 

Father God,
 I pray that you give each one of us the strength to maintain control over our impulses, desires and emotions. Help us to look to You for guidance. Please, give us strength in those moments that we struggle. Thank You for Your grace! 

In a Nut Shell...

I have been spending a lot of time thinking lately. I know that under the wrong circumstances that can be a very negative thing, but I believe that it can be very healthy as well.

The new place is almost blissful! I love the amount of space. I love that the children have a backyard to play in. I am enjoying the windows open and decorating for fall! I find myself spending major amounts of my days being truly thankful and praising God for this amazing blessing that He has given my family!

School is back in full swing. Popper is doing wonderful. His reading is coming along wonderfully. We are both struggling in his math, but learning together, which is my favorite part of teaching him! He has taken a season off from soccer and will return in the spring.

We are currently searching for a new church home.  There is some history and hurt behind this that I am not at liberty to share. I just know that God has done some major healing in my heart over the last 2 years and is still currently working on my husband's heart. I know that there is a home out there for us. We are trusting him to show us the way.

This weekend I got to spend some special time with my 2 youngest while Popper was with his Nana. I love that extra special attention that I got to give them. I am shocked and slightly embarrassed to say that I miss out on so much of their personalities sometimes because I am busy with Popper. I know that there are parents out there that don't understand this, but when you have a child with any kind of disorder, you tend to exhaust a lot of your energy on that child.  I am learning how to balance this just like other areas of my life.

I have started whole eating for my family again. Thomas says that he feels like he has a ton more energy. (This is a very good thing) I am leaning on my Father for this one. My heart aches at the thought of losing my best friend. I want him around for a very long time. He is such an amazing father and dad! My soul cries out almost constantly for healing for him.

Life keeps moving! Everyday I am grateful for another day to spend with my family, another day to praise my Savior, another day to be a mom, wife, friend.

I am glad to be back! Writing has become such a part of me and I have truly missed it!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Checking In!

 I miss writing so badly right now. Things are very busy in my world. 
We have officially moved. I am in the last stages of unpacking. In fact, Monday was the first day that Mr Popper has done school in 2 weeks! 
On top of that, Thomas has consulted our family doctor. She is putting him on medication along with changes in diet and exercise because his numbers were so astronomical! He starts those this week as well.

I am planning on coming back to writing more frequently next week. That will include picking back up on the Tuesday Tidbits! I can't wait to share with you all the things that the Lord is doing even in the midst of this storm of life. 

God bless you all!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Storms of Life

This song has been my prayer this week. I know that God is holding me and my family right now! I am thankful that He allowed us to find out as early as we did! I am leaning on Him, knowing that He is going to pull us through this too! If you are in the middle of one of life's many storms, take heart, He promises that He will never leave us! (Hebrews 13:5) I pray that you are encouraged by this song!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Moving on Up!

Things are a little crazy around the house lately.

We are packing. In my world, that means lots of organizing and purging. I love the feeling of getting rid of excess. I feel so much lighter. 

What I do not like, the boxes that are stacking up around my house. I do not take the chaos well at all! 

I am so ready for the move. We will finally have a backyard for the kids to play in and Sister will have her very own room. 

It's an exciting season in our house!

A Prayer Request!

Yesterday, when I picked up Daddy T from work, I was greeted with some very disturbing news.  My heart is heavy and I am fighting off attacks from the evil one to get discouraged and worry about the situation. 

My husband and I recently went through health screenings to get life insurance policies. Our agent called to let us know that not only did T not qualify for premium benefits, but that his numbers were alarming! I am thankful that the Lord allowed us to catch this in time to seek medical help and to make necessary changes in our diet. 

Lately, I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, on eating healthy. Now, it is imperative that I make sure that the junk is out of my house! I will once again be making everything from scratch. No more processed stuff here! In my research, I have found that plastic containers are a huge no-no! I never realized just why. 
I never thought that I would be that radically crunchy lady, but here I am. 

The Lord has given me the resources to take better care of my family and I have to be a good steward of them. As a homemaker, it is my responsibility to ensure that the home is a safe place for my family, this includes the foods that we eat. 

I ask that you will pray for my husband, Thomas. Pray that God will heal him and that his numbers will be normal. Please, pray for my family also. That we will be supportive of him as he makes the changes necessary to keep himself in good health! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Love Your Children!

Titus 2:4
"that they admonish the younger women
 to love their husbands, to love their children,"

Last week we talked about loving our husbands and being foolishly tender. This week we are on to the 2nd thing that younger women are supposed to learn.
This command was almost a DUH moment to me. I was just curious why this would need to be put in.  I adore my babies, as do most moms. Why should we have to be commanded to love our children?

Upon searching the original Greek, I came up at a loss. It simply means to love them.

I spent some serious time in prayer over this verse.
God quickly reminded me of all the times during the day that I tell my children 'go play.'
I am embarrassed to tell you that this verse was written for moms like me! Moms that get so busy in their worlds of blogging, crafting, and cleaning, that we lose our focus. I do not believe that I am a bad mom. I am human. I tend to get so involved in reading my latest review book or writing my latest blog post that I am 'bothered' when my kids interrupt that time. I have known for a long time that blogging hours are a necessity, but sometimes when the writing inspiration hits I ignore those pre-selected hours and type away.  Other times, I am so focused on getting the house cleaned up and the laundry done that I forget that those things can wait.
Now, I am not saying that I should neglect all of my responsibilities of the house and totally spend 100% of my time on my children. I am saying that my balancing act tends to get off with my children at the losing end of things.
God commanded me to love my children. I will argue all day that I do love my kids. God quickly reminded me this week that my actions are speaking way louder than my words!

Am I spending time with my children? Am I teaching them and training them? Or am I so wrapped up in my online world that I shoo them away to entertain themselves?

Father, Help me to love my children! Let me show them and not just tell them that I love them. Please, help me to find the balance needed to be a good mom!
In Jesus Name, Amen

Why We Homeschool.

I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. When I was young, I use to sit my little brother down and make him practice writing and reading long before he entered kindergarten. I even taught preschool during my first year of college. I loved the morning board, centers, bright colors. I just knew that this confirmed that I would love being an elementary school even more.

Then, I married my husband and had a step-son in a public school. I came to realize very quickly that children were being left behind simply because they have a different learning style than the others. This wasn't the teachers fault. It was the system. How in the world can we expect these teachers to teach 25 different students of all different styles of learning all while maintaining high test scores?

Around this same time I met my best friend, a homeschool mom of 4. Her husband was my son's children's pastor at church. They were my 1st real glimpse into the world of homeschooling.

My main goal as a mom became to homeschool my children. I wanted to be a part of their education. I wanted to find their learning style and teach them accordingly.

I began to research all things homeschool. I found this verse:

Deuteronomy 6:6-8
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

I know that most every homeschool family uses this verse. I just feel like the best way for me to diligently teach His words to my children, is to actually have them home and teach them! 

Another reason, we have boys, very active, ornery, energy-filled little boys! As their parent's, Daddy T and I, realized very early on that they are not fans of sitting still for long periods of time. The public education system has eliminated so many recesses that there is little time for boys to burn their excess energy. I believe that this is where several of the behavior problems are coming from in public schools! At home we have the freedom of taking breaks as needed when our boys get too antsy to pay attention.

1 Corinthians 15:33
"Evil company corrupts good habits."

I have more influence on who influences my children! I am very aware of who they play with. I am able to correct behavior more easily when I am there when things happen. 

What are some of the reasons that you homeschool? I would love to hear them!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Baby Fever

Sister is now 1-year-old!  I am not sure if it is because I have always been pregnant at this point with my other 2 or if I am legitimately wanting another one. Either way, the reality is, I have a very bad case of baby fever! 

I feel that may be some background is necessary here. About six months after T and I got married, we found out that we were expecting! We were thrilled! All I had ever wanted was to be a wife and mom. Finally, I was going to be doing just that. However, at 20 weeks, we lost our precious daughter to downs syndrome. The loss was devastating to say the very least. I felt like such a failure. The next few years were the toughest of my life. My marriage and my faith were tested to the ultimate extreme (whole other blog post). 

We spent the next 5 years childless. Finally deciding to pursue adoption. The Saturday before we were to have our home study, we found out that we were finally expecting again! I was a nervous wreck and by far the most annoying pregnant woman ever! I was so afraid of losing this child too! Thankfully, the Lord blessed us with Mr. Popper. A mere 28 months later, Brother Bear joined us. 20 months after him, Sister appeared. 

When we found out that we were expecting Sister, T and I began discussing our family and our future. He was adamant that he was through having babies. He just felt that our family was complete. Me, I was tired, on my 3rd pregnancy in 4 years, I just knew that I longed to able to sleep at night and get up and down out of the floor. Pair that with an increased risk of downs when I turned 30 (1 in 50). I backed his decision and agreed. We decided that we would at finished at 3.  T went and had his surgery when I was 6 months pregnant with Sister. 
When it happened, I was thankful. I was truly overwhelmed and at my max. Looking back now, I regret it! BAD!!! 

T does not. He still feels that our family is complete. I know that he is the head. This is one of those submit things that leaves me feeling at a loss.

I pray that God will change my heart or his. I ask forgiveness: I feel like we took God's work into our hands. 

I can only sit and stare not knowing what else to say. The longing is very real, but so is the desire to honor my husband and his wishes. 
I believe that we serve a very big God that knows the intimate places in our hearts. This is one of mine. I pray that this transparency isn't misconstrued. I hope that you understand that T is not a bad person. He very much is a family man. He is one of the best dads I have ever seen. He also has wisdom to know his limits. It is my job and calling as his wife to honor that. I have made that decision, I just pray that the peace will soon follow it. 

Love their Husbands

Titus 2:4 
"that they admonish the young women 
to love their husbands..."

The first focus that we come to seems simple enough, 'love their husbands.' However, I know that there is a reason that it was included.

I went digging into the original Greek. I found out that the word love here is the Greek word philandros which literally means 'to be fond of.'  It is written in a present tense, active voice and thus means that we are to be actively fond of our husbands on all occasions.  source

Next step, define fond. Ooh, I love the way Merriam-Webster puts it: 'prize highly, having an affection or liking, foolishly tender.'  I picture a young newly-wed girl who is still googly eyed over her man! 

That is how I am supposed to look at my husband constantly! WAIT!!! What about when he forgets to take out the trash, or he just hurt my feelings!?!? These are instances where I have a very hard time liking my husband much less being 'foolishly tender' towards him.  Yet, that is precisely what God has called us to do! 

Remember back when the two of you first met. How incredible it felt when you were around him! How your heart skipped a beat when the phone rang and it was him! **SIGH** That is the feeling that we are to hold on to. Doesn't sound so simple anymore! 

I sit here and ponder the early years of my marriage. I remember how thrilled I was to have a husband and to be taking care of him! I would not have complained if he missed the hamper. I would have joyfully picked-up after him. I longed for the moment that he got home from work so that I could talk to him. I soaked up every moment with him.  Fast-forward 10 years, what is it like now?

Do I still joyfully do his laundry?
Do I still long for him to come home to actually spend time with him or to get a break from the kids?
Am I so lost in the digital world of Facebook, Pinterest, and the season premieres that I ignore the time that we have together after the children are asleep?
Do I still get butterflies when I kiss him?

If you are like me, the answers to these questions may be a bit embarrassing. In fact, I am not sure of the last time I truly felt 'foolishly tender' towards my man! God has blessed me with a remarkable husband. I am very guilty of allowing myself to get so wrapped up in life that I have let the little things disappear. 
I know that it isn't necessarily going to always be easy. I understand that I will not always 'feel' like being fond of him. BUT from now on it is a choice that I will strive to make.

I pray that you will join me in this. Let's rekindle that fondness that we had in the beginning!

Father, please help us as we strive to be fond of our husbands. Help us to love them the way that you called us to. In Jesus Name, Amen 

Join me next week as week learn about loving our children!

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Tuesday Tidbits Study!!!

Titus 2:3-5
 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

I do not feel as though I am in the position of 'older women' mentioned in this verse. I am very much in need of being taught and mentored myself. However, even as I pray asking what I should write about, I am pressed with the thought that there are women younger than I am that I can teach. 

I am also aware that there are women out there that do not have the luxury of having an older lady in their lives. I believe that we can all learn so much from these verses.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to break down these verse phrase by phrase. I am hoping to gain more understanding and insight on my role as a wife and mom. 

There are 7 truths here that I am going to focus on for the next 7 weeks.

Wives should:

  1. love their husbands
  2. love their children
  3. be discreet
  4. chaste
  5. homemakers
  6. good 
  7. obedient to their own husbands 

There is a lot that we as wives and moms can learn from these 3 verses. I am so excited to dive in headfirst! 
Would you please join me next week as I begin a new edition of 'Tuesday Tidbits.'

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Voice of Truth

I have a past.
I try to keep it hidden. I don't like to bring it up.
It is filled with hurts, both mine and others.
There is plenty of sin there too.

The Devil would love for me to live in my past. 
He loves to try and drudge up old hurts.
Sometimes he succeeds.
Recently, he has been succeeding way too frequently.

I have been questioning my calling. 
Thinking may be I really hadn't heard from God.
I mean how could He use me when....
there is so much that I could put to finish this sentence.

I have felt defeated as a wife, mom, and child of God.

Tonight, while driving, God reach down and touched my heart.
A song came on the radio. 
I felt uplifted. I literally felt my Father reach down into the pit 
of my despair and pick me up!

I pray that you are equally encouraged!
Happy Monday Momma! 
Be sure to listen to the Voice of Truth in all you do today!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Help Meet or Constant Dripping?

Is this how it is in your home?
 This is the way that it should be!

 I am ashamed to say that there are a lot of times that my husband is ready to go back to work minutes after getting home. I am often so tired from a long day of cleaning, schooling, changing diapers and dealing with 3 kids under 5, that I snap when I finally have him home.

Proverbs 19:13 says
 " a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping."

I am sad to confess that some days this verse very much describes me. I am so focused on me and what I need. I find things to argue and fuss about.
Proverbs 31:12
"She brings him good, not harm, 
all the days of her life."

I like this verse much better! I want to bring my husband good. I want him to be glad to come home to our family. 

I am so thankful that God has given me a husband that loves me and is forgiving.

Please help me to be a help meet to my husband. 
Help me to bring him good and not harm. 
Please forgive me for the times that I am quarrelsome. 
Thank you for my husband and the blessing that he is to my family!
 Help me to honor him. 
In Jesus name, 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Monday Mommas!

That's right it's Monday! Another week filled with stuff. 
Some of that stuff is important. 
There are appointments and schedules. Life is busy. 

Our schedules can be so overwhelming. Soon, our days are filled to the brim. 
Are we leaving room for time with Him?

Before you go into your new week, have you prayed?
Have you committed your week to HIM?
Have you asked for His guidance throughout the week ahead?

I think the reason so many people dread Mondays is because they are forgetting the most important part.
 I think that Mondays should be exciting days for Christians. 
We have just had a day of rest, a day to worship our King. Most of us have heard a challenging Word from our pastors on how to be a better follower of Christ. We should be excited to enter our mission field. 

Today, before you start your week ahead remember:
He has special plans for you today. Are you willing to allow Him to lead you? Or are your plans overshadowing His?
This is the day that He made. Are you rejoicing in another day? Or grumbling that the weekend is gone?

Join me in celebrating another gift from the Father!
Happy Monday, Mommas! 
I pray that you have wonderfully blessed day!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Celebrating Sister

My, what a year it has been!
Look at you now, baby girl!
I love you, Sister!

Growing Great Kids by Kate Battistelli

"Growing great kids doesn't happen by accident.
 It only happens when we're intentional, honest, patient, and unwavering."

This is the point that Kate Battistelli, mom to Christian music artist Francesca Battistelli, drives home in her book "Growing Great Kids." I was skeptical of another parenting book, but this one is truly different. I felt challenged and brought to tears several times beginning in the first chapter.

Being a mom of 3, I often wonder if I am doing enough. I have always prayed for my children, but this book has challenged me to pray differently, more specifically for each child.  Ms. Battistelli writes about how she prayed specific prayers over her daughter, kept a journal of the prayers, and when God answered them, she wrote in the date. I have been personally challenged to start praying over every aspect of my children's lives and to journal those requests. I believe that seeing those prayers answered will be a huge faith booster!

Ms. Battistelli really challenges parents to "Train up" their children. She encourages us to pray with our children to help find their God given purpose in life and cultivate it. I finished the book feeling encouraged that God loved my children more than I do, that He has a individual plan for each one, and that He wanted to help me guide them. He wants what is best in their lives, and that He wants me to seek His face when raising them.

Each chapter ended with questions that made me really think through the truths of the chapter. She ended with a prayer asking God for help in the areas covered. I found myself truly crying out these prayers instead of just reading them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

You can purchase your copy on Amazon ,, or Barnes & Noble.

A Note From the Author:
"I want to share with you that I'm not a childrearing expert. But I am an expert in raising my child just as you're an expert in raising yours.
No one knows your child better than you do and no one will love them, pray for them and fight for their future like you will. I’m passionate about helping you believe God has a Big Purpose, a God-sized plan for your precious family. 
I have no interest in greatness but I have a great interest in helping you raise great kids and encouraging you to partner with God to uncover their unique destiny. Our children are entrusted to us for such a short season and our job is to nurture, guide, train and help them become all God has called them to be!"
You can learn more about Kate on her website.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Children's Museum

We have been looking for some new ideas for field trips and family activities. We decided to give the children's museum a try. We were both a little skeptical that there would be enough to keep our kiddos busy as young as they are. We were pleasantly surprised. There were so many things that the kids were able to play for 2 hours. In fact, they would have played longer, but Dad and I were worn out! Here are just a few of the activities that we enjoyed.

They have a creation station. Every month they have a craft of the month as a focus, but the children are not limited to that craft. They can make just about anything that they would like. When we were there the focus was sewing. The boys chose to sew penguin puppets. They loved it.

Their focus room was sound. The kids had a blast making music!

Everyone's favorite part was the tape tube and slide! It is actually made out of packing tape!
It took 25 people an entire week to make this amazing creation. 
There is a net between you and the ground, but I have to tell
you, as someone who isn't fond of heights, it is a tad on the scary side!
I think the boys went through it at least 2 dozen times! 
Sister loved it as well! The height didn't seem to bother her in the least.

We had a great time. I love that the kids were learning as well as having fun!

Homeschool Check-In

It's been a while since I have written a homeschool post. I thought it might be time to check in and give an update on how things are progressing.

We have learned a very valuable lesson....
After a long weekend of family time, the house tends to get messy. I found that the house was simply too distracting to me. I was having a hard time focusing on my children because I was too focused on the mess. I had this brilliant idea, clean on Mondays. I have found that it is the perfect time to teach life skills that they need. We spend the day getting things back into order. It has allowed us to focus on our other studies throughout the rest of the week.

The boys are loving learning.
 I am taking 2 weeks to complete one week of our curriculum because of all the fun stuff listed. It works out great. The boys are getting their memory verses truly memorized and are able to recite all 3 that we have learned. They are getting to hear the Bible stories multiple times and the lessons are proving very valuable during times of reprimand.

(please ignore the chair on the table, Sister is in a climbing phase)

Mr Popper is my worksheet kid. I am not a fan of the traditional worksheet. (hence the reason that I homeschool) I prefer the hands on approach of learning while living. However, God has blessed me with a child that is stretching me a little. This past week I printed off a packet of worksheets on writing numbers. I only printed 1-10, thinking that that would suffice. I mean 2 per day seemed like a realistic number for him. On Tuesday, after he finished all 10 pages in one setting, I realized that I might have to order actual book curriculum for this boy of mine!

Brother Bear is actually taking me by surprise. He already knows most of his shapes and colors through his Leap Pad games. I am finding out that he is NOT a worksheet kid. He loves to paint or do anything messy, and he loves video games (the Leap Pad). I have made several busy bags for him. He will do the activity once, may be twice, and then he is bored. I am going to have fun with this one too. I am thinking or other learning sights might come in handy with his schooling.

Of course, while the boys are learning, Sister wants to be right in the middle of it. I have been using manipulative toys and magnet boards are a good way to keep her busy in her highchair.

It is shaping up to be an exciting year.

Becoming His Help Meet Week 4

This week I am covering the word submission. The idea sounded simple enough, and then I began to study and dig a little lot deeper.

I started where I always do, looking up the word submit in the good ole Merriam-Webster.
                                    Submit-to yield to governance or authority, to yield oneself to the authority                                         or will of another.
This sounds simple enough to me. However, I went deeper. I wanted to get to the root of this word in the scripture from Ephesians 5:22 where wives are told to submit to their husbands as the church does to the Lord. 
I did a few parallels and found that most every translation is worded the same. They just seem to use submit and be subject interchangeably.  
Next, I decided to dive-in head first. I found the original Greek. (deep breath)

 I am new to studying scripture this way.
 I am embarrassed to tell you that I have never dug this deep until this study.
 I am learning a whole new way to look at things.
 I am also learning that prayer and being lead by the Spirit is incredibly important when conducting studies of this magnitude. 
That being said, please stay with me. 
If you do see anything in my writing that you feel is error,
 please do not hesitate to contact me.
 I am humble enough to know that I am a baby in this area. 

Okay, now on with my findings...
       In Ephesians 5:22 the Greek word for subject or submit is hupotasso: hupo-under tasso-arrange in an orderly manner. This a military term used to explain troops under their commander. In Greek the verse reads slightly different than our translations. The literal translation is:     
The wives to their husbands as to the Lord. 
as the church is subject to Christ, 
so also the wives to their husbands in everything.

The word as is the Greek adverb hos- in the same manner as.
I found all my information here!

There are several commentators on this site and they all explained things basically the same way. I will try to give a brief summary:
The word submission is used throughout the Bible to all Christians. It is a command. However, it is also a voluntary act. We have to make that choice to follow God's command in this. We are told to submit or place ourselves under our husbands not as a belittling command, but as an act of putting things in order. (even though we are 'one' Gen 2:24) Jesus submitted to His Father, though they were one in the same. The Bible also says in verse 21 of Ephesians 5 for Christians to submit themselves one to another. 

Basically, submission should be a more common term used and practiced by Christians, both men and women. It is an act of humbling ourselves. Romans 12:3 puts it this way:

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

As I have gone back through this study, I have learned a few things that I had missed in my previous studies. I think that is the awesome part of God's Word, you never stop learning about any one subject.

I pray that you are being encouraged by this study the same way that I am. I am going to continue to make Tuesday Tidbits all about marriage and the challenge that we have to be better wives to our husbands. 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Heartfelt Prayers

Prayer has always been a very important part of my life. My parents taught me from a very young age to talk to God. They have always encouraged talking to Him just like a friend. However, as my children are getting to the age of awareness and understanding, I have shied away from teaching this to them. I'm not even sure why. May be it was laziness. All I know is that it was much easier to teach them the 'God is great, God is good' and 'Now I lay me' kind of prayers. Not that there is anything wrong with those. I just want my children to truly know God as their personal friend! I do not believe that can happen until they learn to make their prayers personal.
That said, I was blog hopping a few weeks ago at one of the link ups. I came across a blog post on children praying. I would love to direct you to it, but truthfully, I didn't think much of it at the time. It was an encouraging story of her children and their prayers. It wasn't until later that the Lord started working on me in this area.
 I have been challenged recently to pray differently for my children (a future post). One day, during my prayer time, I was asking God to let my children know Him in a real and personal way. In that moment He spoke to me about teaching them to pray. I began to get convicted every time that we sat down to a meal and they rushed through their routine of prayer. That's what it had become to them. Not a special moment where they were able to thank God for the food and for family. It was a memorized jingle to them. That is when I knew that I needed to change my parenting.
Daddy T and I talked to the kiddos about really talking to God and how special it was. We told them to talk to Him just like they would us. I can not even begin to tell you how much their sweet, honest prayers have blessed me the last week. The honesty, the heart felt words, the innocence...
I am amazed at how much I have learned about my prayer life from my children. I long for the same purity and honesty that they have in their prayers. Mr Popper thanks God for all the people that are close to him. He asks that his daddy come home safely. He has started praying that God would give his mommy a minivan that was cheap enough for her to buy so that she can get the kids in easier. (tear) Why had I never thought to pray that?
I talk about how nice a van would be. I dream about how much easier it would be if we had a van, but never have I prayed for a van. Did I think that my Father was too busy for that request? or that I was being selfish? He already knows my heart and here I was hiding my true 'desires' and requests. I was busy covering it with all the religious wording and....just that, my words!

My Father desires my heart not my words. 

So, tonight as I say my nightly prayers, I think I'll talk with Him about that request. I know that the van isn't a necessity, but I also know that God likes to bless His children. He also likes it when we are honest with Him and take Him our hearts.