Thursday, April 30, 2015

Busy Mom Central

What day of the week is it?  It took me a minute to realize it was Thursday.  The busier the better for me, but I am enjoying my 1 1/2 I am taking for myself while all of the cleaning needs to be done around me.  We were already out this morning for a doctor's appointment, but since we had such a packed schedule yesterday I decided it was best to cut it short.



What have we been doing?  The weekend was filled with the zoo, swimming and a slow walk at the wildlife refuge so my daughter could capture photos of animals.  I would say that the zoo is the craziest place to take my family of six above all other places.  The parking there is horrible, there are wild animals at every turn, so many people and so many exhibits to cattle the kids through.  By the end my husband and I are done.  We got a membership, so will be using it, but usually we go once every couple of years.





We are roofers, so now that the weather is changing and spring is officially here my husband's phone has been blowing up.  This is the first week in a little while that he has been out the door before the kids woke up.  My 5 year old was confused where his truck went, and my 3 year old was trying to make him coffee at 9:30 to find out he was long gone.  It is nice for everyone to be busy.

My 7 year old at home has been busy doing some math in the mornings and reading to her hearts content in the afternoon.  We have been going to the library once if not twice a week to keep up with her supply of books.  I am thankful for that.  Her math keeps her a little less excited and is honestly the biggest struggle right now.  I think I am going to add in a lot more online computer games to make it interesting and fun.  Math fun?  Ha!

My five year old is 6 weeks away from his kindergarten graduation.  I honestly can't wait to pull him out next year, and he finally decided he wants to as well.  It is weird to have all of the kids at home and then send him on the bus by himself.  I watch him as he goes, and have been driving him a lot because of my own guilt even though he loves the bus.  He has been having trouble with bullying a bit and is starting to not enjoy being left out.

My three year old is busy being himself.  His speech and conversations have matured almost overnight as he is approaching four.  He is going to a fun preschool next year with tumbling, dance and music, so I am excited for him.

My little guy is 8 mos old and crawls and sits up by himself now.  He is saying, "Mamama," which I love because its obviously to me!  At least I assume it is.  He is babbling and interacting with his sibling.  Such a cutie.

Yesterday I checked out a district homeschool program (gasp!) and actually really liked it.  They offer a ton of options and programs.  I know the stigma with participating in those and the threat, but everyone is different and each kid is different.  I am a mom of change and open mindedness.  I am just not open to my daughter being smothered any longer by tests and the common core math, or for her love of reading to be squashed.  I have some questions for sure.

Today after sifting through a couple of sites I seem to have found a pretty good interactive learning site that is free with minimal to no strings attached.  It is:
www.abcya.com

Now to end with a quote from Sharon Stone.
"I don't believe makeup and the right hairstyle alone can make a woman beautiful.  The most radiant woman in the room is the one full of life and experience."


Nepal Earthquake: Miracle rescues

Last week there was a devastating earthquake in Nepal that has left over 5,000 confirmed with more still not located.  It is a horribly sad tragedy.  My heart goes out to those who have lost family and friends as well as those survivors who are now trying to survive with nothing.  God bless the people in Nepal and I pray that He will protect the living as they struggle to re establish the basics of life.

Among all of the sadness I wanted to post the video below about two amazing rescues hours after the quake.

Proverbs 14:13
"Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief."




If you want to help the Red Cross is one of the many organizations you can donate to.
http://www.redcross.org/

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day! Plant a Seed in the ground and in your heart!




It's Earth Day!  I am so thankful for the earth and how it sustains us. We have celebrated by planting flowers and peas over the last week.

Here is a link for some free interactive games for kids about the earth that could be fun.
http://www.ecokids.ca/PUB/games_activities/index.cfm


The topic of planting seeds also reminds me of the various scriptures in the bible that talk about seeds, and the significance of having faith like a mustard seed.  Today's scriptures are from Mark 4:2-20

2 "And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said,“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“they may indeed see but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[a] 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit,thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
In different times and seasons I know that I have planted my seeds on various surfaces with success and failure.  Most of the time it has been on shallow or rocky ground where my faith has faded away due to the toils of everyday cares.  I am trying really hard to cultivate good soil, or a good soul, in which to nurture my seeds as they grow.  Hopefully into a tall and sturdy mustard tree, but I would even take a sunflower at this point.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beth Moore - Encased In Grace - Part 5



I stumbled on this video of Beth Moore, and her talk about being encased in grace at the end of this evening while taking my bath.  It was at the end of a long day and I knew I needed a boost of encouragement.  It happened to Part 5 in a multi part series I did not start in order, but as it turns out it was just what I needed.

She talks about how we can have a tendency to carry around our old selves after Christ has made us new when we need to bury it and leave it dead.  There was a moment watching it when I burst into tear filled laughter as she talked about throwing our old sinful selves at our spouses when those times of frustration come up.  On the outside I was laughing, but on the inside I was cringing as this seemed a God directed message straight to me.  Tonight I had a moment of my old self where I literally did just what she joked about, but it was not funny.  I went into a yelling rampage that I had not seen myself do in over a year because of circumstances outside of my control.  It was almost surreal because it seemed familiar, but also confusing.  What the heck was I doing?  I threw my prayers of help! to the heavens and then sat ashamed next to my spouse at dinner while eating in silence.  I finally swallowed my pride and said, "Yes I was frustrated by the situation, but boy do I feel kind of stupid and embarrassed by what I just spewed out."  We moved on from there.  Fast forward two hours to me sitting down and watching this message unfold.

It is a good wake up call, and makes me appreciate God's love and grace for me.  This scripture passage in Proverbs 3:11-18 comes to mind.

"My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.b
13Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed."




Friday, April 17, 2015

William M Tugman State Park

A couple of weeks ago my family and I went camping for three nights at William M. Tugman State Park in Reedsport, Oregon. It was one of the only parks in Oregon and Washington that had a last minute pet friendly yurt available, so we were kind of at their mercy.

The campground was nice with multiple on and off duty camp hosts on staff. The yurts had a nice amount of privacy with enough room to toss a football, enjoy the fire pit and picnic table area as well as pitch a tent if needed.




Here is a pic of a caterpillar we found hanging at our site.



 There were bathrooms accessible from a cool woodsy trail that made it a little spooky at night and showers in another area.  The yurts had a futon queen bed and bunk bed with room left for our baby's pack n play.  The electricity and wall heater were nice for the kids at night.

My favorite part of the park was the day use area, which had a playground, fish ladder and Eel Lake with trails around. The lake had a view that took my breath away. I tried my best to steal a moment of pure enjoyment and solace while wearing my baby and walking my dog while my husband explored with our other three kids.







During the week we spent time heading towards Coos Bay to visit the beaches, and checked out the sand dunes recreation area. My five year old said he wanted to live in the yurt, and I was happy we caught good weather in April.  Overall an amazing trip.




Spring Sun!

It is Friday and it was almost 70 degrees today.  My husband has been sick with the flu for the last couple of days, which is not fun plus no money is getting made. Today was the first day he seemed in good spirits and made it outside to fuss around and do client calls.

The kids and I spent the morning getting our cleaning and some math problems going. Most of the math got done and maybe half of my cleaning.  Ah well.

We spent the rest of our day playing outside in the sun, planting sunflower and lavender seeds, and loading up on a week's worth of books at the library. I was getting rather ambitious in my outdoor planning, with visions of brimming street side planter boxes, homemade water features and chickens running free. I even made a list so as not to forget. I wanted to sit in my small rental home yard and look out at my edible oasis in the city. My husband brought me back to earth by saying that some of the ideas are not feasible in the space provided and that we are just renting. Renting with four kids on a month to month lease is enough to keep you on your toes .

I am not sure what will happen outside, so I will keep you posted, but aside from the chickens I will make something happen.

Our weekend is filled with sun, swimming, birthday parties and cheer sleepovers, and that is just Saturday.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Luke 17:11-19 and Giving Honor to Jesus

Today's passage is from Luke 17:11-19
"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan.  

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give raise to God except this foreigner?  Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Today's devotional is a short and sweet quote by Martha Graham.

"The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted."

I Will Sing of My Redeemer with Lyrics by Fernando Ortega

A week for spring break, now back to HOMEschooling

We had our spring break last week going off of my son's school schedule since he is starting to homeschool next year.  On a side note...after giving it a good think...I have decided I will be taking my 5 year old out of public school next year.  He will probably be kicking and screaming since he told me he does not want to be taken out, but after every school day it takes him a good 2 hours when he comes home to come back to normal.  I honestly have experienced the worst attitudes from him probably from fatigue and expectations.  It is honestly not worth it or positive.  The challenge for me will be keeping both kids challenged and interested without their sibling rivalry all day long since they are very different personalities, but I am leaning towards unschooling.

I will get back to some homeschooling gems I have found in a moment, but wanted to mention our spring break festivities.  At the last minute we decided to go on a three day camping trip down by Coos Bay, Oregon with the family and my 21 year old brother who is leaving for college again tomorrow.  We stayed in a yurt at a state park, while my brother had the tent and managed to have the most amazing stretch of weather.  It was easily one of my favorite camping trips.  We checked out the sand dunes, visited an eclectic gift shop that had the most beautiful glass collage of a lighthouse I had ever seen, stumbled on a free archery range to try out my son's new bow and arrow, went fishing and relaxed around the campfire.  It was most amazing and I feel extremely blessed to have been able to experience it.  It literally took us the entire weekend after we got home to recuperate from it all, so we did sporadic loads of laundry in between extended periods of lounging.

So, this week I have stumbled on a couple of homeschooling wonders and wanted to share them.  The internet is so full of opportunities that one could go crazy trying to sort through all of them, so I am choosing to take it a bite at a time.

One of them is a website called Curriculum Click.  Their address is www.currclick.com
It is chock full free to severely inexpensive courses that are all online.  Some are self paced with print outs and some meet at a certain time during the month on a chat/video session.  They also have some free clubs like a Lego club, book club and an American Girl club to name a few that meets online with a moderator during the month.  I am super excited about this one.

The other is a website I found, which would be great for my son called www.stemmom.org
This lady has worked hard to compile a site full of STEM info and projects that could keep one busy for days.

The one aspect I have chosen to focus on so as not to get overwhelmed is her link to a monthly science calendar on The Homeschool Scientist website that has a daily science focus and a clickable link for each day of the month.  It makes a focus of science easy and straightforward for us moms who need a quick go to.  The link for April's calendar is http://thehomeschoolscientist.com/2015-april-science-calendar/#.VS7ZytzF_E2.

The sun is coming out after a weekend of rain with a warm forecast for the weekend.  I think we will be spending some time outside