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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How About a Drink

Have you ever been outside on a really hot day? You would give just about anything for something to drink, wouldn't you?

Even though any kind of drink is appreciated, nothing will quell that incredible thirst the way a tall, ice cold glass of water will. When you are that thirsty, Mt. Dew, Gatorade, or anything else only offer a temporary solution. Before long, you are thirsty again.

Life is a lot like that glass of water.

Too often, we travel through this life looking for something, searching for something, needing something. Every single one of us go through this desire.

Most of the time, we don't realize we are even doing it.

Some people fill this void with drinking, drugs, food, abuse, material possessions, fame, or power. The Samaritan Woman at the well chose to fill her void with sex and attention from any man that made her feel special for more than 5 minutes.

Her life was changed forever when Jesus went out of His way to cross her path. He filled that part in her heart and soul that she didn't even realize she was missing.

How amazing is it to know that someone is out there looking for you, wanting to help you, offering you the greatest gift you can imagine. Someone who thinks you are worth dying for.

Jesus has that thing that you've been hopelessly searching for. He is the only one who can offer you something that will satisfy your soul. Best of all - it's FREE!

Salvation will change your life, if only you will allow it too.

{If you are new here, feel free to connect with your inner Bad Girl. None of us are perfect, we are just forgiven!}

Friday, February 22, 2013

How Many is Too Many?

Almost a year ago, I came to the great conclusion that I had entirely too much laundry to do. I couldn't make everyone stop wearing clothes & I certainly couldn't stop washing them. I had to figure out a different solution.

So, a little bit before Logan turned 1, I started having Austin & Makenzie hang up their own clothes.

Of course this didn't go over quite as smoothly as I had hoped it would and their closets will never look the way they did when I hung up their clothes, but hey, it took a little work of of me.

Or so I thought.

I am always getting behind on washing clothes. Therefore, I am always behind on sorting them out. Therefore, the kids are always behind on putting them away.

Yet another vicious cycle.

Austin is decent at getting his clothes hung up, even though he needs to be reminded several times and shirts tend to be more wrinkled when he pulls them from his closet than before they went in.

Makenzie is another story all together. It never ceases to amaze me at her level of thinking. She changes clothes 5 times a day & doesn't even entertain the thought of hanging something back up when she has only worn it 10 minutes. No matter how many times she is reminded, there is ALWAYS a pile of clothes in her closet floor. No matter how many times she is reminded, there is ALWAYS dirty clothes among the clean ones. No matter how many times she is reminded, I ALWAYS have to say it again.

This gets so old. I DREAD even walking into her room.

But, I went in to help, again.

Before I even began, I made her get all the clothes out of her closet floor & anything that magically appeared under her bed.

Lord have mercy. This is what that amounted to!

"How many times do I have to tell you?" "How many times do we have to go through this?" "Do you remember that the last time I promised you a spanking?"

Halfway through her pile, while I was wondering if things would ever change, I was thinking on "how many times?". I was reminded of another incident where "how many times?" was asked of another man.

Matthew 18:21-21 "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

Have I really went over the laundry issue 490 times? Do I really have to?

That made me wonder if this was a hidden message. Does Jesus only agree to forgive our sins 490 times? Or maybe He will forgive the same sin that many times?

How close am I to that number? Or have I gone WAY passed that many?

I don't know about that part, but I do know that His grace & forgiveness is far more than we deserve.

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ A Week Off?

This is officially week 7 since we started back to work after the extended Christmas break. You know what that means.....a week off! YEAH! Nothing structured, nothing planned, just time to relax, play, & get my house in order.

HOLD UP.

Yeah, that's what I get for thinking!

Yes, this had been a week off from "real" school. But somehow relaxation hasn't happened. Oh yeah, I remember due to emergencies, injuries, & illnesses, resting has been forced.

(in case you missed it, check out From Snow Bibs to Swimming Trunks)

Other than the absolute minimal, housework hasn't happened this week. I have caught up on laundry - Did you SEEEEE Makenzie's pile?!?! That's another story altogether. I have washed just enough dishes to have something to eat on. I can count the times I have cooked on one hand.And I finally got tired of the dirt so I swept once.

I suffered from the stomach bug for over 3 days. 72 hours. Is that normal? I still don't feel back to myself yet, but at least its not as bad as it was. Justin & Austin have also dealt with it, but not nearly that bad.

We did finish reading The Railway Children. It was all I could do to keep reading it. I know it is supposed to be a children's classic, but this is one book I can do without. It wasn't horrible, just hard to read & L O N G.

Austin has taken advantage of his freedom to further his plumbing knowledge by helping his grandparents at work a few days. He has also helped construct a new pig pen for our sow. She is expecting piglets soon!

And to top it all off, I have been summoned. That's right - jury duty. If you know me, you KNOW how much I DETEST the thought of this! This dreadful little card states that "Jury service is the solemn obligation of all qualified citizens." REALLY? Since when is it my "obligation" to sit in judgement on someone else?

So I drive down to the courthouse in the hopes of presenting my "hardship" only to be told that I cannot get out of it. I pled my case but it seems that our local authorities don't care that I am the only one available to watch my children or that someone else would have to miss work in order to stay with them or that I am having to bring 3 children with me in order to appease our system.

Can you IMAGINE how miserable my kids are going to be cooped up in a little room ALL day - possibly longer? Better yet, can you imagine how miserable everyone around us is going to be?

Hmmm.....on second thought, I think I will hype them up on sugar just to prove a point!

No, I can't do that, but trust me, I thought about it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

And it All Turns to Salt

In this week's chapter of Bad Girl's of the Bible, we read about Lot's wife.

Here is another well known Bible character who is not even given a name. I have a couple thoughts about that lack of information.

How many times are you referred to as so & so's wife or Billy Joe's mom or Big Daddy's daughter? A lot of times we lose ourselves in the shadows of other people. We feel insignificant. We wonder if we are even important.

That's one theory, but dear Bad Girl, God knows your name even when others forget. God loves you through your faults and failures.

The real reason I believe God chose not to tell us any more information about some very notorious people throughout history was so we could identify with them that much more. Think about it, these no name individuals could actually be any one of us.

How many times have we looked around us & thought everything was perfect? How many pretty knick knacks bring a smile to our faces? How often do we find ourselves immersed for hours in the latest gadget? How far in debt do we continually fall just so we can keep up with that proverbial Jones family?

Now, how often, when we start bragging about how fabulous we are & what shiny goodies we have, do we take all the credit? Look what I did. Look what I have. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.

Even though we are blessed with more than we deserve, how often do we give credit where credit is due?

Lot's wife forgot about good & evil, right & wrong. She was more concerned with the here & now. When she thought everything she held dear to her was being threatened, she didn't look to God for guidance. The only thing she could think about was saving her precious existence. She wanted her home, her things. I'm sure she was concerned for her family & friends, but she was much more worried about herself to see the lasting consequences.

Have we ever fallen into this trap?

We need to get up earlier in order to make it to work a few minutes sooner. We need to work later because we need those overtime hours to pay for that thingy we bought last week. We have to swing by a drive through because we worked too late to cook supper. We need to stay up later to do one more load of laundry. Oh yeah, we have to get up earlier the next morning to try to finish that project for work that we didn't have time to do last night.

Oops, we meant to study our bible . Oops, we meant to check the kids homework. Oops, we meant to call that friend who has been sick. Oops, we meant to kiss our husband goodbye before he left. Oops, we meant to let our family know we love them. OOPS! Maybe there will be time later.

Unfortunately, later never came for Lot's wife.

Take time for what really matters. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you. Quit holding onto the material things that won't matter when life is over. Don't look back with longing in your heart at the sins of the past. Give God glory for the miracles in your life.

Don't let your life turn to salt before your very eyes.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

From Snow Bibs to Swimming Trunks

It has been a wild and crazy weekend. Thankfully we are off of school this week.

As I write this post, I am lounging on my bed, surrounded by laundry and thinking about how sticky my floors are, while resting my knee on a few pillows. Hold on & I'll tell you all about that story.

Saturday started E A R L Y with a trip up to Jonas Ridge in Boone snow tubing with the church. If you are local and haven't tried Jonas Ridge yet, you need to! The slopes are fun, the drive isn't too far, and the price is reasonable.

This is the 3rd year in a row that my family has been to Jonas Ridge, but it was the first time in 5 years that I was going to get to actually tube. Pregnancy & nursing a baby knocked me out 2 years running. YEAH finally, I get to have fun too!

The first hour and a half went by without a hitch. Kids and adults alike took turn after turn zipping down the slippery snow white slopes and creeping back up the moving sidewalk. Squeals of delight and fear could be heard all over that mountain.

I took a break to snap as many pictures as I could.

I should have stopped while I was ahead.

The very next trip down, my foot found a rather large snowball that tried its best to keep me up on that slope. My left knee was snapped outward & I have been limping since.

I seriously considered a trip to the ER, but my wallet talked some sense into me.

Here's praying for a quick recovery!

Saturday night was our sweetheart dinner at church. I really wanted to stay home with my leg up, but I'm glad I went. We played the Newlywed Game & I haven't laughed that hard or seen that many red faces in a LONG time.

Monday also held a special treat for all of us. We took off with a ton of kids to Ray's Splash Planet for a little "summer" fun at their indoor water park. As I was thinking about all 10 children that went with us, I realized that we had 8 different grades/age levels represented. (I know, weird, but it fascinated me) 9th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, K, and 20 months - 6 boys & 4 girls. They got along great and had a blast, except Logan.

We got down there at nap time & the water was a little chilly, so Logan was not happy. Less than an hour into the fun, Logan was all wrapped up in a towel & asleep in my arms. That's ok, I got to rest my knee, take lots of pictures, and read while snuggling with my baby.

We had a picnic lunch outside and thankfully it was a pretty day and the wind wasn't too brutal.

Unfortunately, lunch ended up being anything but peaceful because my little dare devil wanted to be like everyone else sitting on the picnic tables, except he lost his balance and hit his head on the way down. So now we have a hysterical, bleeding baby who is holding his breath.

Its a good thing I don't get too excited! Of course having my EMT hubby and a nurse friend there helped a lot.

It looks like we didn't escape a trip to the ER this weekend after all, we just delayed it.

Hey, at least now I know how to get to the hospital in Charlotte!

So almost an hour and a half and 2 staples later, we rejoined everyone else back at the water park. It seems that the excitement didn't die down when we left. We also dealt with a cut across Makenzie's nose and another child with a bloody nose. Just about every one of our 10 darlings ended up having some sort of issue before the day was over. Due to the high chlorine content in the water, there were several coughing, breathing, and red burning eye issues. Headaches also seemed to run rampant through our group.

But all in all, I think everyone had a good time & they were returned to their families in relatively good condition.

Hey, we are planning a trip out of town in a few months, don't you want to go with us?!?!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Parks, Chickens, & Hearts


Happy day after Valentine's Day!

Around here, we don't do anything very special for Valentine's Day. (Although the hubby & I are going out on a date tonight!) We didn't have any parties or anything like that, so thankfully the kids weren't too jacked up on sugar. We did celebrate with chocolate hearts & Mad Libs.

We are still reading The Railway Children by E. B. Nesbit. I'm struggling to get through it because of the way it was written. There are English phrases a plenty & lots of railroad slang, but its a fun story. The kids are really enjoying it.

Apologia Astronomy is teaching us that Earth is the perfect planet.

We have danced & indulged our way through the roaring 20s only to find out that the fun has to end sometimes. We are beginning our study of The Great Depression.

Unfortunately, Teaching Textbooks is having to be retaught this week & next. Mixed numbers & reducing fractions are just not sticking.

Makenzie is reading a little better. I NEVER thought it would frustrate me as much as it does. I'm still not sure if it is lack of effort or honest to goodness struggle.

We are still working on obedience. Somehow it seems that we will never learn this lesson.

Even though we have fought through getting our work done and focus problems, we have had A LOT of fun this week!

Several chickens got out of the coop so we had to chase them around.

We took off to the park to enjoy a sunny afternoon with swinging, sliding, & skateboarding. My dad even joined us.

Austin had the first poultry judging meeting on the year.

And the BEST part....we brought home new diddles. They are so cute. Logan doesn't know what to think of the little fuzzballs yet.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All Your Needs

I originally wanted to title this one "Here We Go Again", but the more I've thought on it, God wouldn't let me.

Justin got the news yesterday that his job was being terminated. WHAT? Yeah, that's what I said. I know he was only temporary, but when he was hired less than 6 months ago, everything he was told boiled down to the fact that one day soon, he would be made permanent.

It's not only my husband, but every temporary employee for this company will lose their position in exactly 2 months.

2 MONTHS

That's not very long to try to find something else in our gloomy economy.
That's not very long to try to save every nickle we can.
That's not very long to try to pay off a few more bills.

2 MONTHS

We were JUST starting to get caught up.

After Justin was laid off 2 years ago, we have struggled & scraped by. We have robbed Peter to pay Paul. We have been late on payments. We have denied our children & ourselves. We have borrowed money & sold possessions. We even considered giving up on homeschool so I could go back to work.

BUT, we never went hungry, we were never cold, we were never stranded, we were never alone.

Psalm 37:25 "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his offspring begging bread."


My very first thought was "God, why? God, what are we going to do?". Immediately He reminded me "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Yes, Lord, I KNOW, but........

As the day wore on, I felt worse & worse. There was even a time that I left the older kids to do their school work & I went to lay down.

Through it all, I couldn't get certain people out of my head. The family that is grieving the loss of their baby girl. The sainted couple torn apart by circumstance & technicalities. The families anxiously awaiting their loved ones to return from war. The parents watching their children struggle with life threatening disease. The friends looking head first at surgery. The marriages that are hanging on by a thread. The parents who don't care about the examples they set for their children. The people entrapped by drugs & alcohol. The lost on their way to Hell. The families being ripped apart by cancer.

And ALL of these are people I know PERSONALLY.

WHO AM I?! Who am I to feel sorry for myself? Who am I to question WHY? Who am I to doubt a God who has proven Himself to me time & again?

WHO AM I THAT A KING WOULD BLEED & DIE FOR?


So when your day takes an unexpected turn toward what feels like everlasting doom, remember those who are worse off than you are.

Please take a few moments & lift all these needs up to a God that CAN & DOES care about our trivial problems. Pray for my family that we will always follow His lead. I KNOW that He has something bigger & better in store, we just have to find it.

 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Little More Lovin ~ Bad Girls of the Bible

We all love to be complemented, right?

We all love to be told we look nice, right?

We all love to be desired by someone, right?

There's nothing wrong with that.......or is there?

How far are you willing to go to get that compliment?

How much are you willing to lose just to have others tell you how beautiful you are?

How much are you willing to sacrifice to feel desired?

Is our need to be desired more important than all the things we used to hold dear?

Potiphar was a man who seemingly had it all. He had a prestigious job in the palace guard. He probably lived in luxury. He more than likely had many friends. And his wife was beautiful, I'm sure. 

Potiphar's wife was a woman that many others envied. She had an important husband. She probably had every "modern" convenience available. And she had the attention of almost everyone.

Everyone except the one person she sought after the most.

Genesis 39 doesn't tell us the whole triangle of Potiphar, his wife, & Joseph, but if we can use our imagination for just a few minutes, we can see the bigger picture & the underlying problems.

I believe that Potiphar had become so important in his job that somewhere along the line, he forgot to keep his wife close to his heart. In turn, Potiphar's wife felt neglected. She had everything she could ask for, except her husband.

How many times have we been there?

Potiphar's wife started seeking attention from every possible source in an effort to repair that missing piece of her heart. But when her efforts didn't turn out the results she was looking for, she sought to destroy everyone around her.

Have any of us tried to substitute other things or people for what we were really needing?

Think about Potiphar's wife before you put on that outfit, fluff your hair a few extra times, reapply your lipstick, or bathe in that intoxicating scent all because you know there is a chance that a certain someone might see you. Especially a certain someone who is completely off limits.

Are you interested in learning more about this strange little love triangle? Come join us as we study the Bad Girls of the Bible over at Christian Momma and find out more.

God's Word in My Heart

I had the privilege to review the ebook God's Word in My Heart recently. Yeah, what fun!

Jennifer Thorson from The Purposeful Mom wrote this little treasure in the hopes of making scripture memory easier for everyone. It includes lots of fun ideas to help your children (& you) learn God's word.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20 says "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:"

We, as parents, have a responsibility to our children, ourselves, & God to obey His commandments & share His word.  

Most Christian parents that I know already incorporate scripture memory into their lives, but I'm sure we could all use some fresh ideas & a little encouragement.  

God's Word in My Heart shares some of those new ideas. I LOVE how Jenn listed ABC verses. How fun would this be while teaching your little ones their letters?!  

We have actually been using one of her ideas in our Keepers of the Faith group. The kids are memorizing a few verses while adding motions to it.

My family actually uses a scripture memory box that I found out about from The Homeschool Classroom.


As you can see, we are still a work in progress, but it has helped tremendiously with my memorization skills as well as a constant reminder that we need to say our verses. I am the world's worst person to forget this part of my day!

If you are looking for a little extra encouragement in walking closer with God, check out Jenn's blog or her page on Facebook & give her book a try! 

Click here to visit The Purposeful Mom.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Hard Work, Candy, & Dirt Bikes

Hmmm....well now, THAT ^^^ is an interesting title for our week.

First, I am VERY thankful to say that Logan is feeling better! He was still a little fussy at the start of the week, but he is back to his usual mischievous self now.

I "allowed" my kids to be pimped out for child labor on Tuesday. We were down to the last of our wood pile & winter is not over yet, so they gladly volunteered to be woodchucks for the day.

We had Keepers & Contenders on Thursday. The girls had a tasty time making candy while the boys discussed exchanging letters with pen pals. The girls dipped teddy grahams in chocolate & worked on peanut butter balls. Of course the best part is always eating the finished product. YUM YUM!

During 4H, the older kids worked on their presentations. This was a first for Austin so he chose something he can do with his eyes closed (not really). Austin taught everyone about proper dirt bike safety & modeled all of his gear.


I came across a website this week that you REALLY need to check out. Kids of Integrity offers FREE lesson plans to help develop better character in families. We really need to improve our obedience & respect in this house.

We had our quarterly support group meeting Friday night. I enjoy these meetings because we get a chance to "just be". There's not any pressure, no time lines, no demands. We get to fellowship with like minded people who understand & only want to encourage each other.

Oh & my personal favorite, I got to go to Gullions Friday! YEAH!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Original Bad Girl

Do you ever feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Do you ever think that everyone is watching your every move? Do you ever think "Why me"? Do you ever wish you could change the past?

You are not alone.

I can't see the past & I can't predict the future, but I understand a lot of things. No matter the make, model, or year, people are still people. We all feel pain. We all feel fear. We all feel disappointment. We all make mistakes that can haunt us for much longer than they should. We all hold grudges when we should just let things go.

You know how bad you feel after you have just made, what seems at the time, the biggest mistake of all time. You spend hours, days, sometimes even years, dwelling on those few moments of utter stupidity. You spend time, energy, even money trying to fix things or change the past. You cry, scream, beg, & cry some more trying to fugue things out.

Of course, we are all over reacting.

That moment where it seemed our world stopped turning, somehow, didn't stop everyone else's world from turning.

But what if it did affect everyone else? How would we react then? What if that bad judgement call changed the world as we know it?

One colossal blunder rocked Eve's world. One slip altered her very existence. One single decision changed the future for every single person.

How would you like to deal with that for the rest of your life?

Compared to her, our sins don't seem so serious.

Eve was the original bad girl. She had everything she could possibly ask for - a handsome husband, a beautiful home, the best food to eat. She lived in paradise. But somehow, she wasn't happy. For some reason, she wanted more.

Isn't that the way we all are? Even when we have more than we need, even when we have more than we could ask for, we are never truly satisfied.

I've heard it my whole life..."If only Eve hadn't eaten that apple." "If only Eve had said no." "If only Eve walked away."

We are so quick to judge other people because we KNOW that we would behave differently.

I hate to break it to you, but you have no idea how you would react in a certain situation until you have to face it.

Don't just assume the worst because someone has a less than stellar moment. Don't throw stones when someone handles things in a different way than you would.

Most importantly, don't forget we are all "BAD" at one time or another.

We will be studying the Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs over at La Toya Edwards' blog for the next few weeks. I hope you can join us. Maybe you will discover your inner "Bad Girl" & learn from her mistakes.

How Bad Are You?

All of us have a past. Most of us have more than our fair share that we are ashamed of. Some of us have made smart decisions most of our lives. None of us are perfect.

I love reading stories (whether from the Bible or where ever) about strong women with good morals, but I identify more with the prodigal daughter. Yes, I realize that in God's word, it is the prodigal son, but in all actuality, so many of us are prodigals in our own way.

I am excited about the Bad Girls of the Bible book club starting tomorrow over at La Toya Edwards' blog Christian Momma.

I hope that you can find time to join in this study either on her blog or over at her Facebook page. You might learn something about yourself that you never knew before.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Be My Valentine ~ Who Needs to Breathe

This week in the Be My Valentine marriage challenge may be a little hard for some. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.

Sometime in all of our lives we find someone special. We go out of our way to catch that special some one's eye. We dress nice, we fix our hair, & we wear perfume. We flirt, we say sweet things, & we let them know how special we think they are.

We fall in love, we get married, we live happily ever after.

But when do we stop making that extra effort? When do we stop caring how we look? When do we stop pursuing those private intimate times with our love? When do we get comfortable? And why?

Every single one of us falls victim to this ageless game. Don't you think its time to break this tradition?

Don't take that man of yours for granted anymore!

Don't be lounging in sweatpants with a greasy pony tail when he gets home.

Don't neglect to tell him you love him.

Don't wait for him to make the first move. 

Put on something sexy, fix your hair, & wear that scent that still makes his pulse race. Kiss him like you can't live without him until both of you are breathless. And the minute the kids are fast asleep - seduce that man of yours like you did when you were dating!

He'll thank you for it!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tales of a Homeschool Nothing ~ Blue, Grey, & BLACK

It feels like a black cloud has been hanging around this week. I didn't realize it to begin with, but by the middle of the week, it had reared its ugly head.

School has been nothing extraordinary this week. We added, subtracted, multiplied, divided, & counted. We have wrote, read, poked, prodded, & played. We drifted past World War I, swung into the roaring 20's, discovered the Harlem Renaissance & jazz. We fed the animals while it was 70 degrees & we fed the animals when it felt like 15 degrees.

We did make it to see a play about the Civil War. Reliving the Emancipation Proclamation & Johnny Marching Home along with finishing Ruthie's Gift were the highlights of the week.

Like I said, nothing extraordinary. Just another day in another week in this crazy thing I call life. I was counting down the days & looking forward to the weekend.

THEN.....that cloud broke loose.

Logan got sick & I mean S I C K. We still don't know what is wrong, but for 3 days now he has had a fever, a snotty, stuffy nose, & he has refused to get out of my lap. Its a little hard to get much done with a toddler in your lap.

So there went my plans for the weekend.

Just what does the weekend have to do with a homeschool post you might ask?

Well, I was planning on attending a Homeschool Mom's Retreat with many Christian ladies & friends. I have been anxiously awaiting this weekend ever since it was mentioned a few months ago. Not only did I need the extra encouragement, the reassurance, & the knowledge that I am not alone, but I could really use some plain old silly girly fun.

So, unfortunately, I missed out on the retreat and I still have a sick baby on my hands but such is life. This is the life I have been granted & I wouldn't change it if I could.