Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Encouragement for today

I aboslutely love my job. I love staying at home with my babies and taking care of my husband and family. I love having the time to learn new hobbies, read books on many different subjects and really invest in my families lives. Today, I just had a verse going through my head so I thought I would share it,

" Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. " Galations 6:9

The most beautiful and frusterating thing about raising little people for God's glory is not seeing immediate gratification. However, if we stay steadfast into what God has called us to do then we will reap....but ONLY if we remain on course and constant. Ironic, we all grow weary but the bible addresses that as well..." They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength" " The joy of the Lord is my strength" " I can do all things through Christ who give me strength" " Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest for my yoke is easy and my burden is light"

God knows that life can be hard, frusterating, overwhelming and tiring. However, the bible mandates that we not lose heart. However, the only way to humany accomplish this is to supernaturally rely on God's strength, " For in my weakness He is made strong"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How do you fill your time???

This past week has been incredibly busy for me, my family. It has finally stopped today and I am looking forward to this upcoming week with not too much on the calendar. I am really into books that force us to think out of the box from the status quo toys, " Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Dora, etc" and make us channel our childrens energies into more creative, unhibited play. I do not think there is anything wrong with branded toys as my sons have a slew of Thomas the Train Wooden Railway sets and trains. However, I read in this book once that when children are only given toys that they have seen on tv, videos, etc...they loose that ability to make it their own. They no longer desire to give it , it's own personality but rather the personality that was chosen for it by the producers or creators of the product. I kind of go in spurts of what is my passion to read and research about. For awhile, it was just focusing on the lost art of play. I try hard for my kids to do puzzles, play dough, color, read, dress up, go outside. Do not feel condemed if you have a playstation, but I personally feel that my boys, especially, will have so many opportunities for those types of games that I would rather get down at their level and play " Rat a tat Cat", " Silly Faces" or" Go Nuts" ( just a few of my millions of favorite games with my babies) .

I love watching their faces discover, to go outside and explore and learn. To build confidence outside the confines of a television. Do my children watch movies, absolutely, but for the most part, there are exceptions, it is a very small porportion to what else they may have done on that particular day. I encourage you to allow your children to explore, to not stock up on the branded toys but rather invest in some quality NON noise making toys and watch as your children light up. I am a huge advocate AGAINST the pressure to enroll your child in many different activities. I was not always like this, I wanted Jayden and Austen to be in everything. They will be involved and enjoy being involved at church, soccer, co ops, etc. However, I highly recommend the " The Hurried Child" as well as " Einstein never used Flashcards". These are great books that really put into persepctive how we, as Americans, force ourselves into the mindest that we needed to always be going and doing and being involved.

I am fighting hard against that; especially after this week. I love being busy to an EXTENT. I do not want my schedule filled every day, every hour. I want my children to be able to play together and not live out of a van. Is it so important that we enroll our babies in sports at 2/3 or that we foster a loving relationship with them and delay the enrollment to , gasp, 7/8???? Just some food for thought. I do enroll my boys in soccer and they are not 7/8 but we also say no to some things too. We need to use our time wisely. Especially those of us who are homeschooling. This is such a critical and important time, not only in our childrens' lives, but ours as well. Enjoy this time, don't spend it being overstimulated and feeling pressure from society to have your child enrolled in the highest this or the best this. Spend your time cuddling up and reading together, simmer some homemade hot cocoa on the stove, pop some old fashion popcorn and breathe. Laugh. Realize this is life.

I encourage you to be wise with your time and not waste it foolishly. Many times, when God calls us to our families we are able to say no to some things now so that we can open our hearts and say yes to many things now. I have trusted God with this area of my life and feel such an immense peace that I do not want to use this precious time of staying at home filling it with as I like to call " fillers". A perfect example as of recent. My children and I are members our cities science center. We were able to go get a preview of the robotic exhibit as well as SID the Science Kid( I told you I was not completley against branded things) . Well, Sid was arriving mid afternoon which meant that we delayed arriving to the museum until smack dab in the middle of nap hour. Oh joy. We drove an hour to the science center, spent the time amongst hoards of children, lines, and parents trying our best to get a chance to do some hands on activities. My oldest son melted down only about a thousand times, and he does NOT do that often. My middle son was amazing and my daughter ran away countless times, throwing herself to the ground, me picking her up, her squirming to get out of my arms, all while we waited IMPATIENTLY for Sid and a simple picture. I was irriated, tired and grumpy. My children were as well and we snapped a lovely picture of the boys with SID as Riah screamed from stroller and left immediately to enjoy a silent hour ride home.

I say this to make this point, was it worth all the hassel, the driving and the stress just to "do something" Sure Sid is great, but we spent about 5 seconds with Sid and about 4 hours of high stress with my children, traffic and a slew of people. My conclusion is no. This was one of those times where I chose to do something not based on what was best for my family or myself but what I thought sounded like a good idea, a great opportunity. It turned out frusterating and deflating. What have a I learned, once again, priortize my time, spend it in prayer and say no to opportunities, there are not such things as "once in a lifetime opportunities" if it is not the right timing. We drove home, the kids all fell asleep and I stopped and bought myself a java chip frappuccino...ahhh, now that was bliss!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This past week has been amazing! My Mother in Law visited for about 9 days and we had so much fun. One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility in our schedules. We were able to taylor our needs to what the day held. We spent an afternoon hiking in Payson. It was beautiful and the boys found a snake skin, lovely, lizards, sticks, and cool air. I enjoy getting away from the city much of the time and welcome these retrieves into our daily schedule. I also started hand sewing a special project for Moriah's Christmas present. I am not posting any pictures until after is complete, but I am quite impressed with the progress this little project has made and thankful to my MIL for helping me along the way. I am not naturally a seamstress; God knows that better than anyone; however, I truly enjoy learning new things and hobbies. Jayden is onto letter "U" and we are almost done with the inside race track for SSRW. I am very excited about this as I am ready to move on to new things. I love homeschooling. There has defiently been some frusterating moments; however, the great ones truly outweigh the others. Jayden is now in two different co ops, activities at church and soon to sports. Austen is also enjoying being apart of all of his best friend's activities. Today, we worked on many different activities, one being his science experiments for his co op. We are observing dried peas compared to fresh peas and making comparisons, etc. It is pretty interesting and simple. I checked out a million and one books from the library yesterday; not a huge surprise. I am getting ready to incorporate a whole new section to our workboxes and I have only a trillion ideas to go on. One book, The Dangerous Book for Boys, is full of great ideas ie: rope tying, cooking, nature collecting, etc. that will be so much fun to add. The possibilities are endless. God is so faithful, if we hold true to him and allow Him to guide our steps life will be so much less frusterating, maybe not more clearer but less frusterating and full of peace.

I am gearing up for Oktoberfest; not because I am into beer, I am not, but because I am proud of my German heritage and will pass this along to our children. I am so excited to try different German recipes, listen to the music, learn some new words and embrace my culture. Will post pictures later this week or early next week.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today was an absolutely crazy day! It started off early and I had to get my workout in and shower before pictures, lunch and a new science co op that Jayden has started. I had the kids pictures taken today and it was an absolutely hillarious event. We arrive and the photo studio is actually running on time , which doesn't happen all that often. I have the kids color coordinated to the T and they are looking so adorable. I was only concerned with Austen because last year, we had to crop his picture from the picture of all three of the kids due to his less than desire to smile. He, however, suprised me as he flashed smile after smile and was winning my heart every second. The one that suprised me was little Miss Angel girls. She would not stop crying after the sibling shoot. There was no ball, "tickler", flower or doll that would soothe her heart. She wanted nothing to do with those devices, rather she only wanted me. There is one shot that is totally heart breaking and hillarious at the same time. There she is, with her little head wrap on, tears streaming down her face, her mouth open and turned down, looking up at the camera. SNAP. A moment in time that I will not forget. She looked so pitiful I could only laugh and hug my angels. She is growing up so fast. She says "hi", " Mumma", " Dadee" " ank you" and a few other words...how did this happen so fast? I love watching her walk, read stories to herself and love on her animals. She is such a mamacita and it is so precious to watch her and her gentleness.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our past few days

Whew...our past few days have absolutely flown by with much going ons. I have started a new system, a sketchy rendition of the famous " workbox" system that many homeschooling parents are doing. However, due to our very limited space and my intense desire to always abhor clutter I have found a different solution. If you are not familiar with workbox system, for visual goal orientated people like myself, it is amazing. Google it and the site will do much better at explaining it than I will. I am using a crate, $2.50 at Walmart, with colorful hanging folders. I have 12 hanging folders for Jayden. I put a different activity in each and when we get through them all, we are done for the day. He loves it, Austen loves it ( as I pair up Austen's fun with Jayden's) and I love it. I feel so accomplished and organized by the end of the day and the school part of our day flows very smoothly and without constant getting up and searching for things, etc. I am truly loving homeschooling and want to make a success out of it. I knew, however that organization was my key to that success. Here is what the past couple days of our workboxes/folders looked like

Art- painting bugs
Bug Stamping
Science Experiment
Read Insect books
Draw/Diagram anatomy of insect body ( Jayden took it upon himself to now only draw a diagram but do a comparison of two insects as well :) )
Cut out places insects live/glue in nature journal

Write letters to families
Play Dough
Independent reading
Geography ( didn't get to that)
Audio book-draw picture
Library Story time

I am so excited about this new system...I love the fact that learning is an ongoing, every moment type thing. Yesterday, the boys really wanted pancakes. Now, I make amazing waffles and they truly are amazing along with homemade syrup. Pancakes, on the other hand are completely different. In my opinion, the take a lot more work , are a lot messier and not as tasty. However, the boys wanted them so I said, "No problem, buddy" One and a half hours later, my kitchen splattered with batter from an out of control mixer, egg shells lining the counter, the smell of thick, dry burnt dough stuck to the frying pan and a lovely scent of smoke filling the kitchen. Yummm, want to join us???

The 2nd round of attempting at these pancakes gave the appearance that they were going to be tasty and as Jayden put it so kindly, " Wow, those look wonderful" Alas, they were as dry and disgusting as the previous ones. The boys ,however, wanted to eat the pancakes and blue syrup that I had made. I , on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with those pitiful, parched pancakes and began to search high and low for cereal, there was none. So, I started cracking eggs and pouring flour for a third time that morning with a growling stomach inorder to create my amazing apple cinnamon waffles.

Fifteen minutes later, I sat down at the breakfast table, ignoring the dripping noises of batter behind me and enjoyed my waffles. I explained to the boys that I still needed to learn new things and still needed to make a million and ten mistakes before I would get certain things right, ie: the pancakes. I further used this opportunity to encourage them to never give up. Maybe the kitchen , or the project or the process will look absolutely disastrous to someone on the outside but you can turn around and see that what you just created was a beautiful attempt at learning something new. That is a lot to say for many people who chose to never step out.

I will attempt the pancakes again, with a new recipe and a renewed outlook. They will come out, if it takes me the next 4 years. We are only failures if we stop trying and we will stop trying when we live with the fear of failing. Our children will learn from how we live. My children will see me attempt and fail over and over again, but what they will not see is me surrendering. What they will see is my success and the hardwork that came Before it, not after. I refuse to give up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We just came back from an amazing time up north. The air was a little cooler than where we are from and we were given , by a friend of my husband's, 3 day stay at a very nice resort. We relaxed, hiked, ate and swam together. We had a great time as a family and enjoyed the change of scenery for awhile. On our second day of our mini vacay, we decided to visit one of our beautiful state parks in the state. We arrived with the expecation of possibly siting a lizard, or two on our hike. We piled out of the van and started walking to the visitor center. As I took my first step down on the concrete stairs I saw a glimps of something slithering immediately below my foot. My brain had a split second delayed reaction before I saw an even longer something moving near me. I screamed the loudest I have screamed in mere decades and flung my body backwards, using the concrete slab as my pillow. My hands went out and I ended up pushing Austen down, hitting his head against the concrete. I'm screaming, he's crying, Jayden's exclaiming, Riah is sitting in the backpack and Ben is staring in astonishment. It was a scene that would have won us the 100,000 grand prize on America's Funniest Home Videos.

My logic for flinging myself back was I had almost stepped immediately on his, the incredibly long, snake's head. I have lived in my state now for almost 3 years and have hiked every where. Not one time, ever, had a come upon a snake until that very day. I did not know if it was a rattle snake and was prepared to protect my unassuming 3 year old from it's fangs. It, however, was a very long, over 5 feet, gopher snake who, according to the ranger, is cranky but not venemous. I have not felt that immense surge of adrealine as I did at that second. My life, flashing before my eyes.

After our "amazing" encounter, I was fulfilled and felt no need to come upon any more wildlife for that hike. We did, however, see many lizards, turtles and a hawk. We will be making a desert book of our sitings and posting it on here later. Jayden later stated to me, " If you get bit by a rattle snack, don't you go blind?" Wow, Jayden, that thought is so comforting! We did make it out alive , from our hike into the wilderness. We saw some amazing sights, beautiful red mountains, walked across peaceful brooks and took turns sharing eachothers' water, throwing rocks into the water and listening to the wind. It was a great day and we ended it with ice cream and a swim in a pool and hot tub that over looked God's amazing creation. We are so blessed.