May 30, 2011

Summer Fun and Summer Training

School is done for this year! We are excited about the idea of no more setting the alarm clocks in the morning or being in bed by 8 at night! Where we live, it is not getting completely dark until 10 o'clock or later. The 8 o'clock bedtime thing flew out the window awhile back. At least now we don't have to wrestle them up out of bed despite the late nights! We are looking forward to swimming lessons, long walks, bike rides, picnics and lots of "exploring."

Even though our schedule during the summer becomes very relaxed, I am planning on using this summer to catch up on some character training. Yes...that never-ending job we parents have. The thing I have discovered with this training is that you can train for a month on one thing, but if you let it start slipping for even a week, your month's worth of work just went out the door! Unfortunately, due to mommy not feeling very well the last TWO months - well, let's just say, I'm feeling like a whole year's worth of work has gone out the door! :) Adding another little one to our family is definitely not going to help the chaos, and so I figure we better start working to tame the chaos now.

A few months ago, I wrote a review about the book ESP (Explain, Show, Practice) Character Training by Kim Doebler. I am going to try to begin to follow her methods again because they really did work well when we were consistently using them. We are also, as a family, going to study the character and attributes of God and memorize Bible verses that describe God. I am very excited about this! Someone passed along a list of different Bible verses they had found that described God. For my quiet time, I have been going through these verses and have found so many that I love! I am praying that our entire family will develop a personal, more devoted love for God as we get to know Him better this summer.

Well, I just thought I'd share some of our plans for the summer and encourage those of you are going through this character training time with your kiddos not to quit completely this summer. It will pay off. We are setting aside 30 minutes each morning for character training time and 20 minutes after lunch for our Bible time. Then, we also spend a few minutes at the evening meal practicing our Bible verse. An hour or less every day this summer spent on these things will produce some amazing results that I'm looking forward to seeing in our family! :)

May 24, 2011

Summer Preparations

It has been an amazingly long time since I have had the motivation to sit down and write! If I don't even have that motivation, well you can imagine that the rest of my life has been the same! I think things may be looking up though! (Although, I do believe I've said this several times over the last few weeks!) However, with summer around the corner, how can it not be?

We are working on our last week of homeschooling. It's hard to believe Miss E will be going to third grade and Mr. A will begin 1st grade! On Thursday, we are going to have a little graduation party for Mr. A! I was telling him we would make some cupcakes and have a party, and he explained to me that we can do all this "because I can read now!" He's quite impressed with himself! :)

We were hoping to go camping this weekend, but I looked at the weather, and the forecast has changed - for the worse! It's only supposed to be in the 50's for the high and rainy. Doing all that preparation for a nice sunny time is one thing, but doing all that preparation so that we can sit in the camper and dry out and drive each other insane is totally another! Mommy's suggestion: let's pretend like next weekend is Memorial Day. (It's supposed to be in the 70's then!)

Also, on the list of summer preparations is spring cleaning! Yes, I know....I blogged about spring cleaning plans a long time ago! This pregrancy has really stopped me in my tracks this time, though, and so the only things that have been accomplished in our house have been the absolute necessities. I am hoping to tackle the spring cleaning this week and get most of it done so that I can focus on fun with the kiddos this summer.

Speaking of fun with the kiddos...I am working on making a summer calendar. Yes, my lists again. I've just found that if I don't write down and announce to the world what my intentions are they usually don't happen! So, as I begin to work on this, if you have some great summer fun ideas, let me know! I am so excited about enjoying my family this summer and taking a break from the routine!

Well, those are my well laid plans for summer preparation. I'm sure they won't go completely as planned, but at least there is a goal! I will just keep reminding myself as I try to accomplish these goals that interruptions are God's opportunities for me to be a blessing to others and to be blessed by others! Happy summer preparations to you! :)

May 9, 2011

Our Exciting News

Most of you have probably already heard, but I am ready to announce to the blogging world that our family is expecting another blessing during the first week of December! We are sooooo excited and already can hardly stand the waiting! Baby number five, or "George" as all of our kiddos have been named before they were born, is already a much talked about and asked about person in our family. The internet is such a neat tool to use to be able to show our kiddos what our little one looks like as it grows in Mommy's tummy. This has been a wonderful way to show them how God knows and plans every little detail of our bodies and how intricately designed we are. I have always loved Psalm 139, but whenever I am carrying a little one in my tummy, I especially love to read verses 14-16.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

What an amazing love God for each of us - every individual created with loving attention to every detail. I pray today that I will remember how lovingly God created me, and that I will trust my Creator in all things. I also pray that today I will see each of my children as the individuals that they are - created by Him, loved by Him more than I ever possibly could, but for some amazing reason, loaned to me to treasure for a very short time.

May 3, 2011


This morning, I read from Henry Blackaby's short devotional book Experiencing God Day by Day. I love this devotional book and would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a quick but very concise and practical thought to focus your day on Jesus. Today, the quote that really made me stop and think was this.

"Contentment frees you to enjoy every good thing God has given you."

Wow! That's a pretty powerful statement! To think that contentment sets us free. We usually don't think of contentment in that way - at least I don't. I think (very inaccurately) of contentment more as finally settling with what you have - as in a last resort. "Well, I guess I'm not going to ever get anything better, so I guess I'll learn to be thankful for what I have." That's probably not quite what God has in mind when He wants us to be content.

By being content - truly satisfied and thankful for EVERYTHING God has given me - I am then free to enjoy all the good things God has to give me. How many times have I missed the good things right in front of me because I'm too busy complaining? How many times have I wished things had turned out the way I had planned them only to look back and see so many wonderful things I would have missed if God hadn't stepped in? It is only when I become truly satisfied with all God has given me that I begin to see life from His perspective instead of my own. I remember then that God sees and knows everything, and that this moment of my life is really very small in comparison to all that God has planned for me. When, I am content, I can choose to make the best of this moment, even enjoy it, looking forward to all the good things God has for me because of it!

Dear God, please make me a content Christian, wife, mommy and friend so that I can be free to enjoy all the good things you have given me!

May 2, 2011

Celebrating a Blessing!

Today is my baby girl's third birthday! It's hard to believe it's been three years since the Mr. brought her over for me to see her for the very first time after waiting for nine very long months. Miss M was a big surprise for us! When we found out she was on the way, her brother was only 5 months old! Her oldest brother and sister were 2 and 4! When she was born, we had a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 year old and a 14 month old! I spent most of my pregnancy with Miss M overwhelmed and crying! My thought the entire time was, "I cannot handle the three I have. What in the world am I going to do when we throw a newborn in?" The Mr. and I still laugh at how excited we were to drop the three older kids off and go to the hospital where we would have nothing to do except have a major surgery and take care of a newborn! It truly was a mini-vacation, and we were so excited for it!

Well, here we are three years later, and I can say it has not been easy, but it also has not been as difficult as I imagined it would be. God truly does give you exactly what you need to complete the task He has given you to do. I remember when Miss M was 2 weeks old trying to go grocery shopping with all 4 kiddos by myself. We did it! I was exhausted by the time we got home, but it was a great feeling of accomplishment! I've also found that about the time I begin to feel like things are getting easier, a new wrench is thrown in! But that's ok. The mister's and my's motto now: "Just go with the flow!"

People look at us like we are crazy, and we just look back at them and say, "Yep, we are!" But, it's a great and fun craziness. I sometimes think on all we would have missed out on if my life had gone exactly as I had planned it. It wouldn't have been nearly as fun or exciting, but most of all, I really don't believe I would be the kind of Christian I am today if everything would have gone as I planned it. God has begun a work in my heart that has left me more and more dependent upon Him for the answers I am looking for. He has changed my heart and my perspective in so many different ways.

So, to those of you moms who may be feeling slightly (or as was my case - extraordinarily)overwhelmed at all there is to do, remember God has given you your little blessings, and He will give you everything you need to accomplish what He wants you to accomplish with them. Take time to celebrate and enjoy your blessings - not just on birthdays but everyday! Oh yeah, and don't forget - "Just go with the flow!"