Okay, I know I posted about his last week, but I just can't let this go unacknowledged... Here is the pill he swallowed this morning!! (That is his hand.) Boy, has my life just gotten a whole lot easier!!!
June 30, 2007
June 25, 2007
Anyway, we survived. Jacob said even though Aunt Candace was a fun teacher, he doesn't want to go tomorrow. The welcome stuff in the sanctuary was chaotic, unorganized (as all first days of VBS are), and loud (and very fun for most of the kids). But a major recipe for anxiety for Jacob. And I failed to prepare him for the "chaos" part of it all. And his class had twenty 5 year olds, many of them rowdy boys, so it was a bit chaotic too. Then back to the sanctuary for more loudness and organized chaos!! So...maybe I'll keep him in my small class tomorrow. (Not sure if it's better to encourage him out of his comfort zone-I know he'll survive-or help him enjoy it the most and keep him in a smaller class. )
Anyway...now to my post title...
A bit of background: For several months now (maybe longer than that) I have had a growing desire to be using my gifts/desire for special needs kids. I really miss that outlet/challenge/reward but have felt like there's not much I can do about it. I have wanted for years to be a part of a special needs program at a church, but we haven't really had a church home for as long as I've had that desire. Well, just last night at dinner I told Robert I felt like the Lord was leading me to start a special needs Sunday School class at Manley. It's certainly a large enough church, and there are a number of severely physically challenged kids I've spotted, not to mention the ones who look "typical" that I don't know about. So, I was asking his opinion and how he'd feel if I made that sort of commitment (and maybe if he'd want to help me because he's so great with kids). I wondered if our children's pastor might look at me like I had three heads, but knew I needed to talk to him anyway. But, let's get through VBS first...
So this morning I walked by the ladies doing the special needs class for VBS. (I was committed to the 4 year olds before I knew we were reaching out to the special needs community.) I was telling those ladies how envious I was that they got to help the special needs kids. Anyway, then for some reason I started telling them that I really felt the Lord leading me to start a special needs Sunday School class and that I needed to start looking in to that with out Children's Pastor. Well, one of the ladies, Darlene, has been praying for a year for someone to head up that exact thing, feeling like this VBS was to be the beginning (they just weren't sure who the leader should be)! And the lady next to her, Mrs. B, said (she wrote on her membership paper when she joined) that she has been praying for this since 1981 when she joined!! How's that for confirmation?! (Then as we were moving all of our kids from one spot to the other, Mrs. B was telling the children's pastor's wife, Delores, about our conversation. Delores was so excited she was in tears! Yay!! So I think it will actually happen!
June 23, 2007
VBS is every morning from 9-12, though teachers have to be there by 8:30...quite a feat for our crowd of late (and one very slow) breakfast eaters! Then Thursday afternoon there is a "surprise" for workers after 12, and Friday afternoon is our closing celebration. So, we have quite a long week ahead of us!
If you want to pray for us, you can pray:
~that the children's hearts will be open to what the Lord has for them to Learn.
~that I will teach clearly and on their level and only worry about pleasing the LORD!
~that Mattie's ear will clear up and not go into an infection which would cause me to miss (I'm the lead teacher in our class).
~that Jacob will not be too rowdy in a very excitable situation. And that he'll tolerate without reactions all the "treat-y" and sugary foods he'll be having this week, 5 days in a row, way out of his typical diet. (Aunt Candace will be thankful for these prayers later...he's in her class!)
~most importantly, that God will be glorified, and that the kids would see that we want to point them to HIM most of all!
June 22, 2007
by Megan Breedlove
Jesus DIDN’T say, “Whatever you do for the least of
these, I appreciate it.” HE SAID, “Whatever you do
for the least of these, you do FOR ME” (Matthew 25:40)
I started my day early,
Before the room was light.
I lifted my son from his crib
And wished it was still night.
But as I held him close and said,
“Hi Tyler, precious one,”
I knew that as I greeted him,
I greeted too God’s Son.
When my daughter woke up later
Calling, “Mommy! Mommy! Down!”
I picked her up and hugged her
In her worn Elmo nightgown.
I know she felt the closeness
That a mother’s touch affords.
I welcomed not just Danielle,
But so, too, the Lord of Lords.
That day, I mixed some formula
And opened jars of peas.
I fixed some “pizza butter” bread
When she grinned and said, “Pleeeeease.”
I heated up some leftovers;
I had to nuke them twice.
And when I fed my children,
I was feeding Jesus Christ.
I made some funny faces,
And “played pubzzles” on the floor.
I dressed kitties, ran around outside,
And played with them some more.
We laughed and jumped and tickled,
Making memories to be stored.
When I spent time with my children,
I spent time with my Lord.
I wiped up sticky cereal
And washed the dishes clean.
I straightened, picked up, put away,
And dusted in between.
I did six loads of laundry
And folded it like new.
When I cleaned for my children,
I cleaned for my Savior, too.
When my children were both crying,
I held them in my arms.
I cuddled them and whispered
That I’d keep them safe from harm.
I told them how their Father saved them
With His perfect Lamb.
When I comforted my children,
I comforted I Am.
Later on that evening,
I put them in the bath.
I washed their little bodies
As they kicked around and splashed.
I dried them in soft towels
And put their jammies on.
When I washed my children’s feet,
I washed the Holy One.
I cooked and cleaned and rearranged,
Made beds and taught and played.
I made sure that we had food to eat
and that we often prayed.
I died to self.
I made a home from ordinary things
But when I served my children,
I served the King of Kings.
To some, I have done nothing,
But to two, I’ve done the world.
I made eternal differences
To my precious boy and girl
And to the One who watches over
Every pathway that I’ve trod.
For when I’ve loved my precious children,
I’ve loved Almighty God.
June 20, 2007
I saw this on Sally Clarkson's blog today. (She co-authored Educating the Whole-Hearted Child with her husband, Clay.)
(The link is only for credit. I've copied the entire thing here.)
Many years ago when Clay and I were first living in Vienna, I began an interest in bread making. Though we loved the different choices of bread available in the local bakery, we really missed our American sandwich bread. The Europeon breads available for sandwiches, at the time, were either white-flour wonder type of bread, or very chewy rye or doughy whole grain bread. (I just returned from a trip to Vienna and found the variety to be much wider than when we first lived there many years ago!)We longed for a normal, soft wheat bread for our sandwiches.
The drive for familiar bread sent me to several cook books. I read many articles on bread, tried many recipes and started an adventure that turned me into a full-fledged baker. In our small neighborhood market, I could go and have my wheat ground fresh and then take my flour home to use for my bread. One of my fellow missionary friends had my favorite recipe, but I decided to start experimenting with it and added my own touches to our very own bread recipe. Oats, eggs and milk supposedly added to the bread’s lightness. I incorporated them. Honey was a preferred taste. Our children preferred the golden 86 wheat in recipes.
Over the years, I tried whole kernel breads, but found my family preferred not having seeds get stuck in their teeth! (Sarah and I love whole kernels all through our bread!) So I started another experiment—grinding millet, rye, brown rice, spelt and flax seed into fine powder and putting it into my bread, as well.
So making bread, whole grain rolls, pizza dough, herb-onion bread and dinner rolls and pancakes became our family favorites that evolved after years of experimenting, reading, and copying other good bakers. But in the end, my goal was to come up with what suited us. (Please don’t ask me if I give out my recipe—I get those requests all the time, but since I am an “add a little of this and a little of that” person, I don’t know how to come up with an exact recipe. I also use a Bosch, which not everyone has, so I have promised everyone that by the time my next book is finished (and will hopefully come out next spring,) I would perfect my recipe in such a way that others can try it. Promise!)
However, I have noticed that I have never seen anything like my recipe in the books I have searched. It is uniquely mine! As I was thinking about this, I was also thinking of how much scope there is for all sorts of recipes—spaghetti sauce, chocolate cakes, chile, etc., for a great variety of different things combined together, but still taste good! No one recipe is right—-they are all different, and yet good to the taste to those who prefer them.
Similarly, families all have a different flavor. Some are more intellectual, some athletic, some very active, some more practical, others more introverted. Yet, all of these possibilities and more are valid and worthy within the bounds of their own unique family culture. God is a God of variety and diversity as can be seen in so many different aspects of creation. Yet, I have seen many families, and more particularly moms, who are always comparing themselves to others and falling short of someone else’s list of attributes.
Comparing ourselves to others will almost always lead to disappointment. God made us for His glory as we are and as our children are within the limitations of their own personality. My children are so vastly different from each other—in personality, looks, body type, preferences, growth and development, intelligence and skills. To compare them or discipline them the same or to expect that they would all behave the same would place undo pressure on them to conform to a box that they could not fit into.
When Sarah was a little girl, if I just glanced the least bit disapprovingly in her direction, she would immediately repent of whatever she was doing—often even thinking I was disappointed in her because she had such a sense of her own internal excellence. Joel is such an abstract person, that often he would be in his own thoughts and totally oblivious if I had even been talking to him. To train him, I had to make sure I had his attention and then he was willing to obey. Nathan was my confident, strong willed child, much like me. I had to spend lots of time with him talking, playing and doing his school work, and training personally, because his extroversion and active little mind and body required different focus. Joy started out very self-sufficient and calm and is very intuitive about our expectations and what we expect of her. I motivated her by giving her the opportunity to spill all that was on her heart and just pointing her in the right direction. All children needed a different twist in their recipe to make them adequate. No system or formula exactly fit any of my children.
I believe that God offers us great freedom in exercising our authority over out children and home. There are “many ways to skin a cat,” as the saying goes. There are also many ways to love and discipline and instruct children. The result of many ways of such training is excellent.
Many women with whom I speak and work live under a phantom all the time that there is only one way to get it right. I find it unfortunate when speakers or books place great burdens on women’s shoulders to live up to or who define success by such rigid rules, that most feel like failures not living up to the standards. Satan is the one who loves to use these standards to kill the spirits of moms so that they will live constantly under the “feeling” that they have disappointed the Lord. Many seek to live by formula—the exact rules and values and decisions of some arbitrary leader who has spelled out such lists for others to follow. Such legalism kills the spirit of a family, produces an atmosphere of performance and uses guilt to motivate. Not only that, but such an atmosphere of strictness and regulation can ruin our testimony with other non-believers.
That is not to say we throw all rules out! God is a god of order and variety. But we must balance them in order to have a good result through the recipes of our family lives. I have to keep my water from being boiling hot or icy cold if I am going to see my yeast rise. Yet, I have a pretty big margin to work within in order to insure my yeast rises.
If we are too lax in the training of our children, they will be puff-balls and have little self-control or personal strength in their character. If we are too harsh in our discipline and instruction, our children will become performance and works based in their desire to receive our approval and will be subject of great criticism of others—future Pharisees of America, as I have said before. Yet, both are needed to bring a balance, resulting in great souls—love and grace; discipline and training.
How does this work itself in real life? I must establish my standards on scriptural principles. For instance, we have always used the verse in Phiillipians, “Whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure,” and so on, as our standard for the kinds of things we should allow into our minds and hearts. Yet, when Clay and I decide what standers those are for our family, some of the movies my children are allowed to watch may be too offensive for your family. Some of our standards may seem too strict. Our choice of clothes style might fit well with your values but might compromise the values of others. Same with choices about books, food, school, college, internet limitations, and so on. . There is not an exact way to make these choices. We are expected by God to operate from our hearts and our consciences and to live by faith and allow the word of God to inform our decisions.
I was praying about an issue with my children one day. The Lord made it very clear to me that my children would be used by Him in different ways to reach different people. Sarah leans more to the introverted-intellectual side of things; Joel is an artist and musician and loves to espouse a certain value system in his preferences; Nathan is quite gregarious and very people oriented—a little more contemporary and extroverted in his clothing and behavior; Joy is still in the process of choosing her values and ways of expressing her own personality.
Yet, I judge how they are doing not by the externals alone, but by their hearts—Do they love and respond to us? Do they love the Lord and are they advancing in their walk with God and developing their heart for others. If the answers to these questions are yes, then we allow them freedom to be who they are. As young adults, they are learning to forge their own “recipes” of life if you will. There will be a Clarkson value system at the base, but I am sure they will add their own imprimatur to the living out of their stories, because they were uniquely made by God for His purposes.
Through this process of growth, over the years, I have had to understand that not all of our own choices of how to live will please everyone. Yet , as long as we feel we are obeying and pleasing God, we are free to express our faith through the integrity of our own family culture. Variety indeed is the spice of life—may we celebrate the unique ways we reflect God’s glory, enjoy life to His glory, and live in the freedom He has provided. Each family culture will have its own flavor, but hopefully, by God’s grace, each can be flavored with God’s beauty and unique design.
Indeed it is a true statement, “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”
Romans 14: 22
June 19, 2007
Sunday I put a Claritin pill in a bite of applesauce and he swallowed it without knowing the difference. I told him afterwards what he'd done. Monday morning I told him about it and he swallowed a vitamin (3 or 4 times the size of his Claritin pill) on the second try. And this evening he swallowed a very large magnesium capsule!! (This one is twice the size of the USANA vitamins. I would put it in the horsepill category.)
This is so good for him because his vitamins usually taste nasty. (Corn is what everyone uses to flavor pills, so I have to buy capsules and open them up.) Now he just has to have his enzymes in powder to use up what I have.
Today we celebrate 8 years the Lord has given us together! I can't believe it's been that long. It's gone by so fast. I think it just gets better every year, and I can't wait to see how much better it is in eight more years! What a blessing it is for each of us to be married to our best friend.
I'm so thankful God chose us for each other!
"I have found the one whom my soul loves." ~Song of Solomon 3:4
P.S. For my anniversary gift I got a $100 gift certificate to spend at a spa!!!
Relaxing, peaceful, quiet massage, here I come!!!
June 16, 2007
I am so thankful for you! You are a huge blessing to Jacob, Mattie and myself. You are fantastic with our kids, a huge help to me, and a great example to every other dad out there. You are so faithful to work hard to provide for us and it does not go unnoticed. I cannot imagine not having you in our life!
We all love you so much!!
June 15, 2007
These little grass men were very fun and sprouted grass within days! After the grass got really long, I let Jacob cut their "hair." Well, let's just say he's not touching my hair anytime soon!
This activity was pretty fun. We cut off the tops of these veggies (with no green stuff growing) and surrounded them with water. And within a couple of days we had sprouts on top of them all! We did turnips, radishes, carrots and beets.
June 13, 2007
This morning she found a box of Band-Aids on my nightstand. She carried it around for more than thirty minutes, opening and closing the box, completely lost in her own little world of her discovery. At one point I had gone downstairs to empty the dehumidifier. While I was outside dumping the water, she was crawling down the basement stairs. I came back in to the utility room and saw her on the stairs in her little white baby-doll dress with pink hearts on it. When she saw me, she got a huge grin on her face. She held up the Band-Aid box to show it to me. "Wysyutdwsing." Then she leaned over a little bit, pulled the box near to her tummy and opened it. She pulled a few Band-Aids out of the box just enough so I could see them, looked to make sure I saw them, "Yojbbhjtejhgfagow!" and then quickly tucked them back in her box. She was so excited to share her little treasure with me! She closed her box again and grinned from ear to ear. She had a secret, and she wanted to share it with me!
It made me hope that she'll always want to share her treasures with me! It reminded me to pray for her even now. And pray that I can be the kind of mother to foster a loving, forgiving, encouraging relationship so that she wants to share her secrets with me, no matter how old we are. Mmmmmm, what a blessing that would be!
June 11, 2007
That's my life!
June 09, 2007
Last week we studied the whole creation overview and how many people don't believe what the Bible says about creation. We read several versions of the world's beginning in Children's encyclopedias, all of which were from a Big Bang/evolutionary perspective. We talked about the fact that many books have wrong information and the Bible is the only book that is always true and has no mistakes. So we choose to believe what the Bible says about Creation because the Bible is always true!
After the overview we studied light. We learned about light containing all seven colors of the rainbow, that a rainbow is light separated in to the seven colors and that the colors are always in the same order. Here is Jacob's rainbow. We also created rainbows with my engagement ring, a prism and CDs.
We also learned that light always travels in straight lines, called light rays, and that when those light rays are interrupted, we get a shadow. Here's Jacob's shadow at different times of the day.
And of course we learned about the various forms of light we have available to us.
Then this week we have learned about the water that God made. We focused on weather, clouds and the water cycle. Here we are creating our own water cycle in a pot.
Here is Jacob's picture of the water cycle. (I drew the arrows, and we talked through this one as he drew it.) It amazes me how much of this he can understand. It's been fun to see him soak it up!
Here is Jacob's picture from the day we studied clouds. Thankfully this day God gave us all four kinds of clouds in the same day!! What a treat!
And to finish out our week, God gave a humdinger of a thunderstorm yesterday and a rainbow afterwards! What a way to finish up a week!
June 07, 2007
June 06, 2007
You’ve been called by God
To shine like a star
In a dark, depraved world
Don’t blend in
Refuse the daily temptation
To be absorbed in yourself
Take interest in others
Deliberately humble yourself
And live the life of a servant
As you live in the crisis
Of “continue to”
Keep working out
What God is working in
Watch your mouth
Choose words of life
And one glorious day
You will see the face of Christ
And He will show you
Every good purpose
He fulfilled through you
And there will be delight
Even if you are despised or ignored
You are Christ’s star
Go forth and shine
Hmmmmmm...I could just sit on the couch and snuggle up in that! And boy, did I need this today! (Especially the part about not being absorbed in myself.) What a beautiful challenge.
This is a commissioning Beth Moore wrote for a group in Albuquerque.
June 04, 2007
Clean up the house when you're through playing.
(Cat in the Hat)
You don't have to fight if you don't want to.
(The Story of Ferdinand the Bull)
We're all meant to need each other.
If you think you can, you can.
(The Little Engine That Could)
Don't leave home without your purple crayon!
(Harold and the Purple Crayon)
Eat a balanced meal every day.
(Bread and Jam for Frances)
There's no place like home.
(The Wizard of Oz)
Never eat someone's else's vegetables.
(The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
It doesn't matter how small you are.
It doesn't matter how big you are.
Don't cross the street without your mother!
(Make Way for Ducklings)
Never eat the last piece of the puzzle!
(Curious George Goes to the Hospital)
Ole Golly is right. Sometimes you have to die.
(Harriet the Spy)
Be glad you live in a world where there are Octobers.
(Anne of Green Gables)
Expect all the summers to be magic ones.
(Gone Away Lake)
(Seen in the 1998 movie "You've Got Mail!", this apparently is from a poster published by Koen Book Distributors in 1997.)
Google has this new thing now. You can make igoogle your home page. (You don't have to have a google e-mail address to do this.) It's more than just the search engine on your customized page. You can customize the theme and add all sorts of things that are of interest to you: local new stories, foxnews.com stories, quotes of the day, sports stats, local gas prices, and the coolest thing for blog readers - google reader. Google reader lets you customize a list of blogs that you read, sign up for a "site feed," and updates that list when there are new posts added to your chosen blogs. So instead of checking the ten blogs you like to read, you just glance on your google homepage and it tells you if there are any new posts! It saves a lot of time waiting for web pages and blog servers to load, only to find out you already read the most recent post!
Here are the directions...
-Click here: http://www.google.com/ig
-Register for a google account or sign in with your present google ID.
-Add whatever you want to your customized page (you can change this anytime). If you have a few minutes, look under all the sections. There are tons of things to put on your page...free itunes, Bible verse of the day, Bible search engine, flylady reminder of the day (easy non-overwhelming way to de-clutter!), calculators, moon phases, local weather, etc.
-Google reader is under the tools menu. (It says "google reader (labs)" for some reason.) Once you add google reader, you add the specific blogs you'd like. Most of them are added by copying the URL (web address) of the blog in to the appropriate section when prompted. (Open up another tab, navigate to the first blog to add, once the page is showing, copy and paste the address in the original tab. Then do this for second blog, etc. Opening up the extra tab makes it a lot quicker to do.) For homechoolblogger, the blog has to have "my RSS info" available in order to do a site feed. Not sure why.
So clear as mud??? Just thought I'd share a neat feature that I love!
June 03, 2007
June 01, 2007
Today the kids were playing outside. For a while they were in the pool and Mattie was sliding down the slide. Jacob was always quick to be there at the bottom and catch her so she wouldn't go under. She'd get so excited seeing him at the bottom waiting for her!
And then later Jacob was riding the John Deere tractor that Michelle and John David passed on to us awhile back. (It is very well loved around here!!) Mattie was running behind him screaming in excitement because she wanted to get on with him. So he rode her around for a while. Then he wanted her to get off so she pushed him from behind. The instant he'd stop for something, she'd climb right back on and sit behind him for another ride!
What a joy it is to see them loving each other so much. Jacob watches out for her diligently (and hurts her every now and then too by just being a 5 year old boy) and encourages her to do the right thing. Mattie squeals in delight almost every time he enters the room! They love to chase each other, play in the sandbox together, read books together, play in the bath together, and giggle in the mornings when they wake up in their shared bedroom. These are the reasons we didn't want Jacob to be an only child, and God has been so good to us in giving us Mattie to be a companion for him!