April 24, 2012

Psalm 19

This Sunday, as it is the 5th Sunday of the month, all of the children will be in the service with us.  I look forward to these times, as I find I learn more as I try to explain things to Sophie throughout the service.  I've had a few parents ask me to share what it is I do for Sophie on those weeks that she stays in the service with me and I thought this week would be a good week to do that!

For starters, the weeks that she will be in the service, I email Bro. Jeff to find out what he is preaching on that week.  He has always been very helpful in providing, not only the topic, but the scripture passages, as well.  We usually try to read the scripture passage together at least once before Sunday so that when she hears it in church, she really perks up because it's something she knows.  We also use that time to explain the verses to her on her level.  This gets her a little more prepared for the service. 

Next, I go to the computer and use the wonderful power of Google!  I put in any and all phrases I can think of and try to pull up coloring pages, word searches, and all sorts of things!  I also have a free account at www.spellingcity.com where I can create a word list and then print off that list and other "games" that she can do with those words.  (I also use this with spelling for school.)  Also, www.ministry-to-children.com is a great resource for coloring pages.  I created a generic sheet of questions that can be used in the event that I don't know the topic, or just for use any time. You can get that here.  Then I gather all the things I have printed (and if possible, I save them to the computer by topic because you never know when you may need those again!), hole punch them, then put them in her worship binder!  (I just use an extra 3-ring binder I had lying around.  I printed a cover and taped it to the front so she would have something special that she used everytime she came to the service with us.  It's also a nice way to keep the papers together and then you can go back through and discuss what you have previously learned, as well.  Plus, it's just easier to turn the pages in a binder!)

Here is another great "generic" sheet you can use for any service.  This is a pretty good page for those who may not be quite old enough to read (because we all know that just because they can't read doesn't mean that they can't listen and learn!)

So, for this week, here are some of the things that will be in Sophie's worship notebook (along with the "generic" questions):
Psalm 19
Psalm 19 Fill in the Blank
Psalm 19 word list
Signs and Season Color Page (from Ministry to Children)

I hope this helps you as you teach and worship with your children!



It's Been HOW LONG?!?!?!

Just the other day Kevin and I were thinking that, back in Feb. we celebrated 11 years as a couple...and this June we'll be celebrating 9 years of marriage...and there's a lot that has happened in that time.  It brought a smile to our face and much praise to our hearts and lips as we looked at all God has done in the last 11 years.  Thought you might enjoy our little trip down memory lane, as well!

In the last 11 years:
-I graduated from college with 2 degrees and have worked 5 jobs (two of them different positions at the same institution, on of them in TX, and one where we lived on a futon in the back of a moving truck for 6 months).
-Kevin graduated from college and has worked 4 jobs and started his own company.
-We've lived in two apartments, one moving truck, and one house.
-We've been the victims of one poorly executed bank heist. (And all we lost was $11 and some blood from Kevin's head!)
-I started and ended a professional acting career.
-We've bought and sold a keyboard after my failed attempt to re-learn how to play piano.
-I don't even know how many guitars Kevin has had, but he had one awesome Parker Fly that I wish he had kept.  (I almost named our firstborn Parker Flye because that guitar was so beautiful!)
-We've come to know and love an awesome church family, SS class, and small group.
-We've had two amazing children who bless our lives tremendously.
-We've started a homeschooling journey that never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would do.

I am sure there is more, but that's all that's coming to my mind right now!

April 12, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That

Seems like it's been forever since I've posted anything.  I've sat down probably half a dozen times, pulled up the blog page, and really wanted to post something, but nothing would ever come to mind.  See, I want to be this amazing blogger that has these deep thoughts, amazing theological insights, and tons of inspiring stories...but...let's face it...I'm not that girl!  I want to be the one who gets on here and shares amazing recipes, cute projects, sweet stories about amazing spiritual moments with my kids...but...you guessed, not so much that girl, either!  I want to be what other people see as completely on the ball, organized, ready for anything, and perfect...yeah, not happening!  I want to be able to share amazing stories of how God has moved in huge, miraculous ways in our family so that you can be encouraged and reminded of God's provision and faithfulness, but that's just not the way God has chosen to move in our family...yet, anyway.  I want to be so many things that I am NOT, so I guess all I can do is be real and pray that God will use my "me-ness" to serve His kingdom and serve others.  You see, most days I feel like I am drowning in chaos, sitting in the midst of a messy house with no clean one in sight, laundry piled everywhere, on the verge of just giving in and spending the day wallowing in pity and tears, wishing I could go back to work (because at least there I feel like I have some control and a schedule and a clear, concise job description and purpose), yet having peace that I am doing exactly what God called me to do, no matter how hard it feels day in and day out.  I want to be up early each morning to spend an hour in the Word and prayer, then exercising, and still having time to shower and make a great breakfast for my family, all before the kids get up.  But, let's be honest, most of the time I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning 5 minutes before they get up, let alone in enough time to accomplish even one of those things!  Life is just overwhelming, isn't it?  Lord, give us peace!  Show us Your hand each morning and guide us throughout the day.  Open my eyes to the millions of glimpses of You I am surrounded with each day, but too busy or distracted or falsely discouraged to see.  Lord, give me restful sleep so that I can wake up early to be in Your word, to prepare my mind, heart, soul, and body for all that You call me to each day. 

Many things have been happening since I blogged last:
--Sophie and I have started memorizing The Sermon on the Mount (using the program found here)  We didn't start at the beginning of the year like she did, so we are just ignoring the dates at the top and doing them one week at a time.  We just finished week 6 and are working on week 7.  So far, we've learned Matt. 5:1-12.  You want something that will be humbling, challenging, and encouraging-have your 6 year old daughter as your accountability for memorizing scripture.  Man, she is on me constantly about having it ready to go...and she is the first to correct me when it's not right.  She loves it and I love doing it with her.  Kevin and I have had some good teaching moments with her as we talk about what these verses mean (of course, we haven't gotten to the part about adultery or divorce yet, those could be interesting!).  Such sweet, fun moments each morning and evening!
--Both kids had birthdays!  Sophie is now 6 and Ethan is 3.  Where does the time go?!?!?!?!?  I am amazed each day with all they can do and how creative they are.  I am pretty sure they are both already smarter than I am!  Their party was a lot of fun.  We are trying to be much more purposeful this year about doing different service projects around our town, country, and the world.  Their party presented the perfect opportunity to do that, and teach them a little about selfishness vs gratitude.  Instead of bringing gifts, we asked those coming to bring a pair of shoes for Shoes for Orphan Souls.  We collected 20 pairs of shoes and 34 pairs of socks for orphans around the world!  Not sure they both totally grasped what we were doing, but we had fun and it's given us some good topics for discussion. 
--Prayer walking is still going on...and I still don't really enjoy it that much.  I really thought that after the first time God would just suddenly change my heart and I would have this amazing passion and love for it.  Yeah, that didn't so much happen!  But, I do pay a lot more attention to things happening with my neighbors and find myself more likely to stop and pray (not out loud) when I see them than I did before, so I guess that is progress! 
--We are just about 2 or 3 three weeks away from finishing Sophie's first year of school and our first year of homeschooling.  It hasn't all been sweet and wonderful, but I am so glad we were obedient and that this is what God has called us to.  I don't think I've spent this much time in prayer ever in my life.  There's no way I could do this on my own!  I am sad to see the year end, but we're both ready for summer!  And, I already have almost my complete list of what I need for next year ready to go.  Hoping to make it to the CHEF conference this year...where I hope to be able to buy most of what I need for a pretty good price.  I guess we'll see!  I am going to attempt to start small with Ethan next year.  Pretty sure I am going to use The Letter of the Week material from Confessions of a Homeschooler's website.  It's pretty inexpensive and has everything I need to do just a few things each day with Ethan.  Please pray that this goes well.  He's very smart, but I can already tell he learns VERY differently than Sophie...and it's been pretty easy with Sophie, but it will be more of a challenge with him.  I know that if homeschooling is what God calls us to do with Ethan, He will equip us, so also pray that my fear will be replaced with faith and trust in God.
--At the Hearts at Home conference this year (it was my first time to go), I attended a nutrition seminar.  I have been working out quite regularly (thanks to motivation from Ashlie Hirtzel and the ladies that have been doing the kettle bell class at church), but haven't been seeing the weight fall off like I was hoping (yes, shallow, I know, but I'd still like to drop that baby weight from Sophie 6 years ago!).  So, in addition to the working out, I have added a few things, one at a time, to my daily routine.  The first thing I did was to add some multi-vitamins.  Couldn't really tell you if it's doing anything, but at least in my head, I feel better just thinking that I am getting some additional vitamins I haven't been getting in the food I've been eating.  The other thing I've added, or rather taken away, is to stop having caffeine after 2 p.m.  Man, I am much more tired at the end of the day now because I haven't had that boost, but I do think it has helped me get a little more sleep.  The next thing I need to do is change up my eating habits a bit.  I am a terrible snacker, so I am trying to get more fruits and veggies in the house to snack on, versus all the junk food.  My other bad habit is eating at like 9 p.m. every day!  I am working on getting rid of that, too!  So, if any of you know of any great, healthy recipes...or if you have extra veggies from your garden, send them my way!

That's really all that's happening.  Sorry it was long, and pretty boring!  May God bless your day and may He reveal Himself in a new way to you today!