Thursday, July 7, 2011

MoViNg On... 5th & 2nd!

Another successful homeschool year! Caleb continues to work and play hard! Not only has Caleb grown taller, but he has also grown wiser! James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom you should ask God, who gives generously to all.” I regularly pray for Caleb, asking God to gently guide him and teach him all he needs to know to be the man God desires him to become. I believe that God has given Caleb wisdom accompanied by confidence which has allowed him to excel in all his studies. Caleb has been gifted with generosity, compassion, encouragement, and leadership. Caleb is maturing in ways I didn’t even expect!

This year Caleb has shown strength in Reading, Language, Science, Health, and Bible. Caleb finds joy in reading on his own and has been known to finish a book in just two days. This brings me great joy since I wasn’t much of a reader as a young child. Science has been so much fun… Caleb shows great interest in learning about wildlife and gladly participates in Science labs and experiments with his DVD class. It’s very nice to see him engaged and eagerly anticipate future Science lessons! I was surprised and proud when Caleb’s Sunday School teacher praised him for his effort and participation in class. Mr. Bennet commended Caleb on his knowledge of the Bible and strong desire to seek all of God’s teachings.

Again this year Caleb’s hardship has been in Arithmetic and Spelling. He works very hard to maintain or bring up his grade point average; I am very proud of his will to do so! Caleb has been able to bring up his Arithmetic grade and hold it at a B- (87%) average. He has also brought up his Spelling grade and continues to hold it at a C+ (85%) average.

Overall Caleb has gained new skills and has been able to apply each of them in his studies. I am overjoyed and proud of our strong, loving, joy filled, and B average student. Watching him learn this year has been pleasurable! I love teaching Caleb; I wouldn’t change that for anything!

There is no doubt that I have a bright and enthusiastic 1st grader! It’s hard to believe that Hannah has completed her first grade year and will soon move on to second grade. Our daughter has been blessed with a cheerful deposition and tender heart toward family, friends, and the world! Hannah is spunky, gracious, forgiving, and a gentle little girl. Hannah is a beautiful person, she brings joy to those around her, and she never forgets to call on God for strength. Psalm 89: 15 reads, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.” Hannah is truly a light beam, a giver, and compassionate, loving child!

Hannah shows strength in, Arithmetic, Oral Combinations, Reading Aloud, and Writing. She has maintained a (95%) A- average. Hannah finds joy in reading new books and is pleased with herself when she discovers she can read books that might seem challenging! Hannah continues to gain confidence with her ability to read; often I’ll find her cuddled up beside Isaiah with a book in hand. It brings me great joy when I see her taking the initiative to read aloud to her little brother. Hannah has impressed me with her ability to write well. She is careful to think about her story and even more careful when writing it down in cursive handwriting. It’s nice to see her write for fun and makes thoughtful cards for those she loves.

Hannah’s hardship has been in Phonics. At the beginning of the school year she was averaging a (90%) B, but as more and more material was introduced and more and more Phonics rules were expected to be remembered, Hannah’s grade slipped to a (87%) B- average. Hannah is now holding strong to an 89% which is still a B- average. I’m proud of her persistence in trying to retain all of the rules to Phonics.

We are very pleased with Hannah’s progress in her studies this year; I’m excited about her second grade year, and I am eager to see how she will pick up new material. It has been enjoyable to watch Hannah succeed in her studies. Teaching Hannah is very gratifying; I can’t think of a better way to spend my day!

Dear God,
I am very thankful for my children! We very much enjoy teaching our children here at home. It is truly a blessing from you, one we will never take for granted. I'm grateful for this amazing gift!

In Jesus' name, Amen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FrOm ThE iNsIdE oUt!

I feel confident when saying; I'm well on my way to a healthy life...
May is coming to an end and I've realized that a person (I) can change drastically in 3 short months. March was the starting point for a new life, a healthy life. And as the last days of May draw near I can say "WOW, I feel healthy!" With God as my foundation and the driving force that keeps me on task I have not only physically changed

but have changed on the inside too. There are times that I've caught myself pulling up my old habits, the doubt that I can't do it, or it's too hard attitude. The difference now is that I can quickly push that old self aside and be confident in the task ahead. I've done things that I can only remember as a high school teen. Now granted there not done as gracefully, but I've done it and felt good about it. I've even gone so far as to set a few steep goals, like registering and running in a 5K. As I change on the outside and see the pounds melt away, I change inwardly too. God has reminded me of the strength and determination I once had. This type of self confidence disappeared over the years with each pound I gained and with each joint or muscle that caused pain in my body. My back was a big reminder of my weight every day, especially when ever I was doing anything physical. The pain I felt in my back really kept me down and discouraged some days. Today my body feels wonderful and I rejoice in God's healing power. I no longer have back pain nor do I have pain in my knee joints! God has taken these burdens from me and mended my soul in the process. I've been freed from a life of obesity, over eating, & self doubt! God has placed special people in my life who offer encouragement. I will forever be grateful for their concern and time that they have invested in me. Just when I thought I was comfortable with how I used to be and was ready to except that was just the way I was going to live, God said NO! He has changed me from the inside out and given me a new desire to become more, more like the woman He wants me to be.

Dear God,
I want to willingly give myself over to You so that You can forever change my heart and my soul. I want nothing more than to praise You for this new me. God, convict me when I stray from the path You have given. I no longer want to live a life that disappoints You. I want to thank You for showing me that I no longer had to except the way I was and that I found the courage to change for You. Thank you, God for teaching me to live for You only...

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a FaMiLy ThAt RuNs ToGeThEr...

On March 1st I made a decision to get healthy, get fit, and get slimmer!

In February I started by making my meal portions smaller. It took me some time to make my stomach understand that it didn't really need all the food I was packing into it. Now I've actually shrunk my stomach and have a better understanding of how much I honestly need at each meal. Then I began to educate myself on the types of food I should be purchasing and bringing into our house. The kids struggled with this more than me, especially when they saw regular snack items leaving the cupboards for good. The only thing I struggled with and still am struggling with is the new grocery budget! Once I learned about good food I then incorporated exercise into my week. I began on the indoor bike making sure I gradually pushed myself with each workout. I started physically feeling better and found that I had more energy throughout the day. When the scale presented a new (lower) weight number I was thrilled by my efforts! I was becoming healthy and truly desired a new life style for me and my family. Each week the scale bounced back a new number showing me that I can do what I set out to do. As I felt fit, I felt a stronger desire to run again. Years ago when I was a teen girl I ran a lot. Soccer was my sport of choice and I played hard in my position as a half back. This position required a great deal of running and I become really good at getting up and down that field with ease and having the endurance to keep a steady pace the entire game. I loved it! So, given my young girl ability this mama of three in her 30's was up for the challenge. I was ready to run, so... I started running. I've concurred 2 miles so far using a simple pattern of walking to one telephone poll and then running to the next one. It feels great and even better when I push myself and run two polls! Now it’s become a family affair. Greg and I gather our three children, two dogs, and head out! It's an enjoyable time with my family, it's a challenge for all of us, and it feels GREAT! Last week Greg and I went out on our own early in the morning with the 2 dogs. I really push myself and felt very good about it too. The next day however, I felt great discomfort in my shins. This became worse; I realized then that I had shin splints, ouch! I've been taking it easy staying home and using the indoor bike again, though I'd rather be outside running. Soon, God willing, I'll be back out there!

This is just the beginning; I have many more pounds to go and many more pairs of shoes to go through. I'm ready, more ready and determined now than I've ever been. It's a life style change, a new beginning, a fresh start, and will be a true success story for me and the health of my growing family!

Dear God,
Thank you for shinning your light on the path of health. I'm sure that this has been your desire for me all along. God, you have given me a new energy, a new way to see the beauty you've created in me, and I love it. You have placed in me the determination to become healthy and run alongside my husband and children. Now, I look forward to summer days playing outside with my children, taking long bike rides, and eating with a purpose. Father, you have loved me since the day you built me in my mother’s whom, you know all about me. It's hard to believe that you care about all the things I care about, and find interest in me. I know that you care about this new life I desire to live for You, Greg, and the children. God, help me each day as I continue on this new path. Give me the strength I need each day to endure. I love you! I'm gonna pretty up this temple for You!

In Jesus' name, Amen

Thursday, March 17, 2011

i WiLl PrAiSe My HuSbAnD

Many years ago I wrote this letter about my husband and gave it to him. Though this letter describes how I feel for Greg I don't think I will ever be able to convey the true magnitude of my love for him in mere words. I'm sharing this letter with all of you because I'm missing him this week while he is away in California on business. I dislike when he is on a trip and away from us, but understand that if he is to provide for us these are some of the sacrifices we must make. Greg is my most favorite guy in the whole world; he is my best friend, my trusted ally. Things just don't run as smoothly when he is away and he is surly missed more than anything.

When I think of my husband, the first thing I want to do is to praise him.
What a strong man he is, he carries so much on his shoulders.
He has so many responsibilities that I far too often take for granted.
He faithfully goes to work every day to provide for our family,
making the money that God allows him to make so that he can buy all the things that nourish us. Even with all these responsibilities he still remembers to love his wife. Greg truly shows his love, through thoughtfulness, kindness, gentleness, patience, and understanding. I even get a kiss each morning before he steps into his office and another every evening as we snuggle into bed together. Greg remembers to encourage me and regularly praises me for being a great mom (which always seems to happen on the days I feel I have failed as a mom). Greg manages to get outside and care for our yard during the spring and summer months, he's careful to do all the necessary jobs to keep the grounds in good condition. Greg also applies his handy skills within our home, making sure it stands for another 15 years or more. He says he isn't good at playing "handy-man", but I believe that if he sees that a job must be done, he is off to a great start.

Greg never forgets his gift of fatherhood. When his long day in the office has come to an end he gleefully comes downstairs and immediately jumps into his “daddy roll”. He smoothers our three children with all the love he can muster-up, straight from the bottom of his toes to the tips of the hairs on his head. Because Greg is so thoughtful he helps me continue my task of putting dinner on the table most evenings with no interruptions, by going off with the kids, working on AWANA verses, playing outside, or doing odd jobs in the yard with them. Greg will then sit down for dinner with all of us, remembering never to complain about what is on the menu. He chats with all four of us about our day too. He even hands out discipline for the children’s manners and behavior when needed. When bed time is near Greg is ready to work with me as a team. Together we tuck our babies all snug & tight into their beds. Greg will read with enthusiasm a wonderful bed time story, making sure his character voices fit each roll. I've even heard him sing the kids a bed time Song as they close their eyes. An attractive and endearing quality to have. When the kids are on their way to la-la land Greg and I get ready for our time. Most nights before I come downstairs Greg has already made the evening coffee for us. Then we sit together and watch a program or movie. Who is this man God has sent me? How perfect he is! Why do I feel so undeserving of God’s gift? I will say thank you every day for my husband and I will love him with all that I am. God has truly blessed my family with a man that is first committed to HIM and then to his family.
How wonderfully my husband is fitting to the mold God has intended him to fill. God has sent my family a great provider, “Our Super Man”. I will praise my husband, lifting him up according to his needs.

Thank you God, for this man you have sent in your image. Lord, will you please continue to help him grow closer to you? Lord, remind him of his place in this world and how important he is to You and to us. Let him know that he is a righteous man. Praise him for all he does for You in your Son’s name.
Thank you God for my Husband!

In Jesus' name, Amen

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DaDdY's LiTtLe GiRl

Yesterday marked the 44th year of marriage for my parents!

Often I find myself remembering my Dad, but more often I catch myself missing him. Knowing that mom and dad's anniversary was approaching naturally brought back special moments with him, memories I Cherish of him.

I decided to thumb through my wedding album this past week. My memories of that day were of complete joy, I remember not having a care in the world, I remember the words my dad shared with me. I remember singing to him as we danced together, I remember the words from the song and his reaction to them. I cried as I sang and rested my cheek against his. He said I was beautiful, he said I sang beautifully too. I don't think I'll ever forget the words to Kippi Brannon's song- Daddy's Little Girl. Because at that time there couldn't have been a more perfect song for me and my daddy to dance to. As I thought of my dad I also thought of how much my mom must miss him. Imagining life without my husbands seems impossible, unbearable really. It was at that moment that I began to cry. I asked myself, "How has mom stayed so strong all these years?" Each day she wakes and each day she trudges through. It was then that I knew God has been there all along, with her and at times even carrying her. She may not always remember that He is there, but I know that He is and will always be with her. Boy do I miss Dad. I long for him, I long for him to know my children, I desire for him to meet the woman I've become. But, I have hope. I have a promise. One day I will be in the arms of my dad again and together we will spend eternity praising our heavenly father. For now I hold tight to my memories. I rest my head on Jesus' shoulder. He knows this loss I feel and when it hurts I know He will carry me.

Dear God,
I am overwhelmed and filled with thanksgiving. You have blessed me greatly. Lord, I thank you for delivering me from the pain and suffering that comes from loss. Dad's passing was very painful for a short time. It was only by your grace and compassion for me that I finally found peace. I remember him today and I miss him. And even though I cry it's not an unbearable pain because I know I will see him again soon. Thank you God for your overflowing peace, grace, compassion, and love for me. I love you will all that I am! Please give Daddy a kiss for me!

In Jesus' name, Amen

Friday, January 7, 2011

FiNdInG cOnTeNtMeNt

I've never been one for making New Year’s resolutions, but for some reason this year I've found myself doing just that. I've committed to two resolutions. With your prayer and my perseverance I feel they can be doable. My first resolution is to be sure to send out birthday cards to my friends and family. The second is to be 100% content with this life God has given to me. I want to be happy with EVERYTHING and accepting of all that He has blessed me with. I believe that if I remember to seek wisdom and discernment from God's love letter to me. I will find this peace once and for all. I desire His teachings and His path for me and the life He wants for me.
Don't get me wrong, I have been blessed with a full and happy life. However there are times I find that I want more. More money, a better home, a "newer" used vehicle, a vacation, and so-on, and so-on. Why is it that I feel that I can't be happy (content) with how things are right now? Why must I always look to the future with anticipation and delivery of "MORE"? Well it's about time to STOP dead in my tracks and look at what's right in front of me. I have money and the means to purchase what I need. Just when I think I won't have money for the weeks grocery shopping God puts a check in my lap. I have a beautiful unfinished home that keeps us cozy, dry, and warm. So what if it's the wrong color or has light bulbs hanging from the ceilings. It's a gift from God with a gorgeous chunk of land attached to it. Greg and I OWN both of our cars, not everyone can say that. So what if the carpets are worn and filled with stains and honestly who really cares if the windows get stuck. The suburban has been a faithful and reliable tuff truck. It gets us to each and every destination. And if I wait God will present the right and most perfect time for rest. I just need to practice the gift of patience.
So… With all that being said I plan to live in the moment, capture each day, and relish the abundance of God’s forever Grace and blessings. I have to trust that things are just as they should be and I have to stop living for what I feel should come. I realized today that I’ve been handed all that I need, I’ve been given many gifts some that I didn’t even see as gifts. God is with me always and I can rest safely in His arms.

Dear God,
Where do I start, you have given me so much. And still when I ask you give. From now on please help me to remember that all I have is from you and you know just what I need. Father, teach me to live each day the right way and that I glorify you through it. Feed me with your wisdom. Help me to recognize the beauty of each day and the blessing that comes from the rising sun. Lord, you amaze me!

In Jesus’ name, amen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh ChRiStMaS tReE!

I'm still having a hard time believing that Christmas is just three weeks away... For some reason I'm still living in November.
This time of year just fills me up with joy and peace, so I welcome December with open arms. I find that most days I'm filled (extra full) with kindness, gentleness, goodness, & faithfulness! These gifts of the Spirit are important, and are most important to me as a mother and wife. Today I asked God to help me focus on these gifts so that I could share them with my family. He has answered that prayer!
Well... We move forward with gladness in our hearts and tackle our first Tradition. Putting up our Christmas Tree makes Christmas time seem real to my family... The glow of the white Christmas lights give a welcomed calming feeling. The roaring flames from our wood stove keep all of our fingers and toes warm. There is an indescribable "coziness" about our house! Before long the snow will fall and we will be well into this new season. But for now, for today, I will Praise His name and I will rejoice, for He has come as child, a beautiful baby boy!

Dear God,
Thank you for this season, a time of family, of warmth, of joy, & Tradition. It is by your Grace Father that I am able to experience these great gifts. Lord, thank you for your son and gift of life.
In Jesus' name, Amen