Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Little Holiday Blogging Break

Hey Wonderful Blog Readers!

Thanks for sticking by me even though I've been such a terrible blogger lately!

Transitioning our life and family into homeschooling has taken all of my time, attention, and awake moments. If I could figure out how to blog in my sleep, that would be very helpful. : )

I need to take a little break from blogging until after the holidays or we will not make it to Mom and Dad's house with clean underwear.

I love having this creative outlet and all of your support and prayers. Please don't go away! I will be back in 2010.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Love you!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Song This Year

The Christian radio station I listen to only plays Christmas music during the month of December. There were times in the past when I thought this was a little over the top.

Now it has become a tradition and I really look forward to it. And every year, a new song makes its way into my heart.

Last year it was "Here With Us" by Natalie Grant.

This year, it is "How Many Kings" by Down Here.

It's the lyrics that make me love it. I ponder them for a long time after the song stops playing.




My favorite line?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thank You!!

Thank you so much for the encouragement you all gave me on the last post. Today was a much smoother, sweeter day. I felt your prayers.


I think I need to let go of perfectionism and some of my teacher training. : )


Home educating is not going to look exactly like my classroom did when I was teaching. I'm learning a whole new thing here. Our learning isn't going to always fit into neat little class periods, but that isn't a bad thing.

(Side note: My classroom in public school was a good thing, too. I keep meaning to make sure I say here that I'm not anti-public school. This was just a decision of what was best for our particular girls and family).


I need to remember that I'm establishing a lifestyle of learning and we can keep learning year- round. If I wasn't able to finish the Science lesson today, plenty of other learning still happened, and we can still get to that lesson, too. (When I figure this whole thing out) : )


You can see some video from our school day over here.


Thanks again for your prayers and cheerleading. They meant so much to me.

And thanks to Prince Charming for taking such a nice, long nap and giving us lots of uninterrupted learning time. You can do that again tomorrow, Sweetheart. We won't mind at all.



Monday, December 7, 2009

Hard Day

I only have a few moments to write something quickly, but I wanted to make sure that between this blog and the girls' school blog, that I'm not painting too rosy of a picture of our homeschooling and most importantly of myself. I always want to be real and not put on a show.

Bottom line: Today was HARD!! And it isn't over yet. : )

Last week really was blessed and memorable. I plan to treasure those memories. But today was a hard day. I'm definitely in the learning curve stage of all of this. Figuring out how to balance a busy, into-everything toddler, with the girls' individualized lessons and learning styles, our online school's requirements, King Charming's weird schedule, feeling like a single parent, and the groceries and the laundry and the cleaning and my book and the commitments I've made to other people.... well you get the picture.

I have a lot to learn. Lots of mistakes to make, too, I'm sure, until we figure out a routine that works for us.

Well, I better get the baby off the middle of the table, pick the girls up from AWANA, get everyone tucked in for the night and plan tomorrow's lessons so I can start over again in the morning.

Literally living on prayer, : )

Love,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our New Adventure and the Princesses New Blog

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about a decision I was trying to make. Well, I made it and our family has taken on a whole new adventure- homeschooling!

Well, technically we are still public school students who happen to school at home. It's a long story. The reasons behind our decision to pull our kids out of regular school and embark on this new adventure are also a part of a long story. And although this was an amazing week, I'm too tired to type out the story right now. So you'll have to be patient for more details. : )

I did want to invite you to jump over to the princesses' new blog and see what adventures we have been up to this week. We rode a train through the mountains today!

For their safety and privacy, I plan to eventually make their blog a private blog that you'll only be able to view by invitation. So if you are interested in following along with this learning adventure of ours, let me know and I'll make sure you get an invitation.

And the name behind the blog? At Maple Tree Academy? They came up with that! They named our school, Maple Tree Academy because of the maple tree in our backyard, and I couldn't miss the spiritual significance of a tree planted in good soil. Enjoy your visit over there!

By the way~ They are just like their momma- COMMENT JUNKIES. Please make their day and leave them a comment


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Prince Charming Lost Some Hair, Too

So, King Charming isn't the only one to lose some hair around here.


Prince Charming lost some, too. I finally put my foot down and declared, "That boy needs a haircut!"


Look at all those curls hanging out underneath his hat~





If you look in the mirror, you can see Grandma got to be here for his first haircut.

(She may have been the one to really put her foot down about the long hair. Something about your Grandma calling you, "Nancy" just isn't right. : )



He really looked shaggy when we took the hat off.



He was a trooper! I think the nice lady, the super fun "car" seat, and the Disney Cars video playing on the TV, distracted him from what was happening.


Ok, maybe it was the candy she bribed him with that REALLY did the trick.


Whatever did the trick, we walked out of that salon with one

SUPER HANDSOME DUDE!!!!!!!





Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm Thankful for...RAZORS????

I have been a terrible blogger! I have so much to tell you all about! Our family has been up to a lot these past few weeks!

But I want to begin with some thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving Day, I had so much to be thankful for: a wonderful family, good food, a roof over our head, love, and razors.

???? Yep. I was thankful for a razor.


I bet you all were not aware that November is 'STACHE month, were you!

Yes, indeed, my husband came home earlier this month and informed me that he had been informed at work that he would be required to GROW A MOUSTACHE!!! As a new supervisor he really needed to to play along, to be a team player, yadi yadi yada...

Yuck!!!

I'm not a fan of hairy faces. Not even a little bit. Tom Selleck was the closest to looking OK with a mustache, and I'm sure he would have been cuter without one. To say the least, I was not thrilled about King Charming's announcement or his ever increasing 'stache.

I kept watching it grow, until one day I no longer recognized the man I married:


I just closed my eyes and kissed him anyway. : )


And pretended I didn't know him when we were in public. I'm such a sweet, supportive wife.




I even accused him of developing a lisp:


Thop that you thilly thavage!!!

To which he replied:


Whacha talkin' bout, Willis!

Thanksgiving night he obliged me and ended 'stache month a few days early.

AHHHHH, I am one content, happy woman, enjoying my smooth faced man.

I just realized I haven't taken a picture of the restored King Charming. I've been too busy kissing him. : )

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And the Winner is...

It's time to announce the winner of the "God is With Me" books.

The infamous Random.org chose comment #3 as the winner. And that is-

Shiloh!

Sweet, sweet Shiloh. I'm so glad you are the winner! Shiloh is a long time friend that I haven't been able to see in person for years. Now she has two sweet girls of her own that I hope will enjoy these books. I'm thankful for cyberspace to keep in touch with great friends!

I wish all of you could have the privilege of hearing Shiloh sing. She has such a beautiful voice. So beautiful in fact, I asked her to sing at my wedding ten years ago.

Shiloh, send me an email with your mailing address and I'll get those books in the mail for you.

I'm sorry I have been such an absent blogger lately. I have a suspicion that many of you are busy with holiday preparations, too, and haven't missed me TOO much. But you can pretend and tell me you miss me just to make me feel better. : )

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zonderkidz Giveaway- "God is With Me" Books

Do you know little ones that need help dealing with fear?

Then have I got the books for you!



Overcoming fear has been a lifelong battle for me. It is a theme that God has been graciously working on in my heart for years. Now as a mom, it is interesting to see what brings fear out in my kids. I'm always on the lookout for ways to calm those fears and to build their faith.

Zonderkidz sent us a set of these books to review and keep for ourselves (Thank you!) and another set to share with all of you. At first, I was worried they may be geared toward a younger audience, and that my first and second grade daughters might not be interested in them. I was wrong!

The girls initially fell in love with the pictures in the book, (They'll let you know all about their favorites in the videos posted below) but what really touched my heart was seeing how much they took to heart the messages in the books.

The other night I was tucking in my oldest daughter, and she was scared of the dark. Then she remembered God is with me Through the Night. She looked at me and repeated, "I am loved! I am safe!" It was so sweet!

My girls wanted to let you know why they love the books, too: (Please forgive our amateur video skills) : )

video

video


Throughout this week, I'll be hosting a giveaway where one lucky reader will win both of these books just in time for Christmas!

On Tuesday, November 24th, I'll select a winner from the comments left using Random.org and contact the winner via email or through your blog. Make sure to leave your email address if you don't have a blog so I can let you know you've won. : )

Here's how to enter:

1. Leave me a comment about why you would like these books, who you would give them to if you won, or ways God has taught you to deal with fear.

2. If you share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or another social network, you can add an extra comment for each one you do and have extra chances to win.

Later this week, I'll tell you more about the author, Julie Cantrell, and the tips she has for helping kids deal with fear.


Stay Tuned!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Not TOO Early is it?

I'm listening to Pandora.com and just made a Bing Crosby White Christmas radio station. It's not TOO early for Christmas music is it? I just needed it today. : )

I spent the afternoon at JoAnne's Fabrics buying supplies to make gifts for my girls. I'd tell you all about my planned craft, but my girls are known to check out Mommy's blog. I'll have to wait to show you the result after Christmas.

"It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas" and I couldn't wait for after Thanksgiving to start listening to Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Perry Como.

Anyone else been bit by the Christmas bug early this year?


Monday, November 9, 2009

My Thought For the Day

This quote was on the bottom of an email I received from a friend this week. It spoke volumes to me and is my "Thought for the Day."

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result but the cause of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all. So don't wait for trouble to intimidate or paralyze you. Make a move.

-Norman Vincent Peale

Have a blessed Monday everyone!

Love,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

But God, Isn't this the Wrong Way?

Warning: You are about to enter the realm of my wandering, rambling thoughts. It probably won't make a lot of sense. : )


So what are you doing, Lord?

It's so weird. I've been taking steps- (albeit tentative, nervous steps)- in a certain direction that I THOUGHT God was leading me in. Now there are new ideas, things that may be coming from Him, but appear to be going in the OPPOSITE direction than where I thought He was leading.

And it is quite possible I could be making it all up and this new direction isn't coming from Him at all. Confusing, huh? : )

Then there are remaining questions of unanswered things that I thought He was doing and then didn't. There still seems to be so many loose ends floating around inside of me, and I can't imagine how He is going to tie up those loose ends. I guess I just have to trust that He will.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Ideas, ideas, ideas...

What are God ideas and What are Becky ideas???

And even if we turn around and walk in what feels like the WRONG way, isn't God capable of getting me to the RIGHT place anyway?

In your prayers, above everything else, beware of limiting God, not only through unbelief but also by thinking you know exactly what He can do. Learn to expect the unexpected, beyond all that you ask or think.

See each time you intercede through prayer, first be quiet and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, how He delights in Christ His Son, and of your place in Him – then expect great things.” -Andrew Murray

I love the title of Lysa TerKeurst's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God? That phrase has been running through my mind all morning, and I keep responding, "What happens when you are willing to say yes, but don't know what to say 'yes' to?" Guess I better read the book instead of just the title. : )

Oh well, no matter which direction He's leading me, He's definitely working IN me. Guess there is stuff in there that needs some remodeling.

Lord, please bring clarity and direction to the chaos of all my scattered ideas, half done projects, ambitions and dreams.

I want to follow, not lead.

I want to follow, not drag my feat.

I want faith and courage and wisdom to lead the way, no longer held back by fear and procrastination and rabbit trails.

Remember, Lord, how in the fourth grade Mrs. Hall called me "her little absent-minded professor"? Not much has changed since then.

So instead of this fretting, I'm going to just be quiet and worship You. Then I'll see what you do next.

Love,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Makes Our Wii Look like an Atari


Our friend Scott just linked to this on Facebook. The girls were able to finally save enough money for their Wii last spring. This makes our Wii look like an Atari. Doesn't it seem Sci Fi to you? We've come a long way from my Pong and Space Invaders days.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Look at Mom's Fall Display! : )

My Mom just sent me photos of her front porch.

It makes me homesick for a visit to Mom's house. Do you recognize the silver tray chalkboard project in the picture below?

Mom and I did the project together. I love how she did hers:



Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of this season!
Love,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ooh! I Want One! What Would Your Rules Be?

In my blog surfing today, I stumbled across this craft idea on We Are That Family and saw her inspiration at The Pleated Poppy. I love, love, love it and can't wait to make my own. You gotta go see it.

After reading more about the project here, I've been contemplating What do I want our family rules to be?

I love some of the rules on the Pleated Poppy, but before I go commit them all to canvas, I want to think through What is our family all about?

One of my favorites from her board was ENCOURAGE YOUR SIBLINGS...SHARE IN THEIR JOY This is a concept I've been trying to teach my kids. I really like the way this is worded.

So I'm curious- What rules would you put on your family rules board?

Get me to Michael's, I got to get my craft on. : )

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tenderly Pursued by Immanuel


2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (New Living Translation)

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Jennifer spoke at the conference I went to this summer in North Carolina. She's a very special woman. When I shook her hand, I was struck by how beautiful she is inside and out. Jesus shines through her.

Here's a little about here from her website:

“It is well with my soul.”

For Jennifer Rothschild, these words are much more than the lyrics from a familiar hymn; they represent a foundation upon which many life lessons have been learned…in the dark

At the young age of fifteen, Jennifer was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease that would eventually steal her sight. It was more than a turning point for the Miami, Fl, native. Her dreams of becoming a commercial artist and cartoonist faded. Words and music have replaced her canvas and palette for more than 25 years.

I hope the words she spoke today rang true in your heart today like it did in mine. I'm so thankful for how God has been reminding me of His love for me. He loves you, too.

You are tenderly pursued. God is wooing you to Him. How will you respond?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hey Dad! I Finally Met the Infamous Wooden Indian!

Growing up, my dad was full of expressions that will always remain vividly in my childhood memories. Where he picked up some of these gems is still a mystery to me.

I already told you that he thought I was "Slower than a seven-year-itch!"

And when I was disappointed or thought life was unfair?

"Tough titty said the kitty when the milk ran dry!" was his compassionate response.

There are others, some I'm afraid are unmentionable, and some I'm still trying to figure out what they mean. : )

But a common one I heard, whenever little girl chattiness set in was, "Becky! You would drive a wooden indian nuts!"

Huh? What's a wooden indian?

Well, Dad, now I can say that he and I have been formally introduced!

King Charming and I went out in the country to see a house we thought might be too good of an opportunity to pass up.

(It WASN'T!!!! It was beyond words horrible, and definitely not worth leaving our beloved neighbors for)

While we were trekking through the mini orchard, lo and behold, laying on the ground looking just as exasperated at me as I imagined he would, was a large wooden indian!


I apologized for any agony I might have caused him in the past, and then snapped this photo to share with you and Dad.

He looked like a pretty patient fellow, but there's just so much little girl chattering a carved piece of wood can withstand. : )

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Sign of the Times

Littlest Princess came downstairs this morning and said, "My dollies need their vaccinations, Mommy."

It is the sign of the times when little girls aren't playing house anymore, but are setting up make-believe vaccination clinics in your living room instead. : )

I believe our family is on the mend. I hope.

Saturday afternoon, we had a super fun fall day at the corn maze, and I thought we had reached the
light at the end of the sick tunnel.


But alas, Sunday morning, Littlest Princess woke up with her own fever, sore throat, and cough. She's home from school and already seems better than yesterday.

Prince Charming is finally better, laughing and smiling again. It is so great to have my boy back.

And of course he's well enough to be pestering assisting his sister with unwanted help at her vaccination clinic.

Ah, the fun of pesky little brothers grabbing your stuff when you are busy with serious make-believe! : )

I'm on the road to recovery, trying to get my strength and energy back, and trying to stay awake.

Oldest Princess started this whole thing, so King Charming is the only one left. He claims he has studly super immunity, so hopefully it will skip him all together, and our family can return to normal.

I'm thanking God that if this was the dreaded swine flu, that we made it through with pretty mild symptoms.





I hope you and yours are staying healthy. If not, feel free to stop
by and Littlest Princess and Prince Charming will be happy to give you a shot. : )









Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm still here...

sort of. : )

I haven't been feeling well for the last two weeks, and what started out as a bad cold, just doesn't seem to be getting any better. I keep thinking, I'm not that sick, but I'm having a hard time keeping up on anything. All I want to do is sleep. And I wish that person who is trying to drill a hole in the middle of my forehead would knock it off! : )

I think it is probably time for a trip to the doctor. I'm sorry I've neglected all of you, especially those who are doing the 10 Pound Challenge with me. Don't give up on me!

Be back soon!

Love,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

W.O.W. Results- I Painted! : )

I'm a wannabe, but I had fun!

I didn't know what I was going to paint exactly, just that I was itching to be creative. So, I grabbed some acrylic paints, brushes, stencils, and the value double pack of canvases at Michael's and pretended I was a little kid again. I searched the Internet for inspiration and then just started paining. You gotta try it! It is so much fun!

The view above Prince Charming's dresser last week:





















Here it is this week:





























And Papa's handsome picture that was once in a boring white $2 frame, is now a $3 frame because I added some Fire Engine Red paint to it. : )


Before:





















After:



















And this guy is no longer sitting on the floor:




















It's hanging on the wall:
























Woo-Hoo. What a fun project! Thank you, Heidi and Emily for playing along with me and for the others of you who cheered me on.

I tried to take a painting class once, and I think the instructor had a hard time not laughing me out of the class. It was fun to try this and not need it to look like anything, just a little token of love from a mommy to her boy.

My kitchen table and floor were an art studio for the week. And I had to paint at night when kids were asleep who wanted desperately to HELP me with my project.





Now the girls want paintings for their rooms. A ball is one thing...painting Shawn Johnson and a puppy dog is another!

What do you think, Prince Charming. Do you like your room?


How did your projects go?