Day 15:More snow. I love the snow, but I think I’ve had about all I can take! No Family Quest tonight, so we headed over to Grandma Carol’s for some puzzle time and lasagna. It was a great way to spend the evening.
Got two new books in the mail today. One is for Sophie and I to start teaching her about how to take care of her body and to gently start to introduce all the changes that she’ll be experiencing in the next couple of years. (Is it scary to anyone else that she’s getting old enough to need this information?!?!?!) Haven’t decided yet just when we’ll start this book, but glad to have it. The other is a book to use for our fast from stress in May. Looking forward to digging into it to see what it has to say about taking specific times in the day to stop what I’m doing and pray.
Finally back to school today! I have recently started doing one day that is just math and history and one day that is just math and science, then the other two days are math and language arts. It’s actually been working pretty well. It keeps all the history together and easier for them to remember, and does the same for science. We’ve all seemed to enjoy it, so I think we’ll keep it up.
Got two more books I am excited about today. One is another book for helping Sophie understand all the body changes of the tween years. Once I skimmed it, I realized it’s a little too old for her, but I have a friend with a daughter just the right age. Hopefully it will work well for her. The other is one that is a study of the Sabbath, again preparing for our fast in May where we will be celebrating the Sabbath as a family. Looking forward to learning more about this sweet time to prepare our hearts for worshipping our Creator.
Day 17:MORE SNOW! We don’t have our homeschool classes today, so it’s another snow day. The morning went by quickly as we worked together to get the house clean. It was fun and it’s nice to have the house back in order! We were also able to sort through the kid’s toys and set aside some to send to Douglass Community Center. Both kids have birthdays next month, so we had the chance to talk about ways we could give back since we’ll have so much on their birthdays. Giving toys to others is a great way to show God that we are thankful for what we have, and a great way to show worship, by choosing not to be wasteful with our toys, etc when there are so many others with so much less.
Kevin also got several things hung up for me in our school area. LOVE IT! We’re hoping to get all the school stuff off the walls upstairs and on the walls in the basement so that hopefully by spring we can work on making that dining room wall a Eucharisteo wall…a wall where we, and anyone who visits, can write the things they are thankful for at any given time. I am so excited about this wall, so I hope we can find a way to make it work.
Recycling is going pretty well. In just one week we already have probably 1/3 the amount of trash in the trash can (of course, the recycling bin is overflowing!) But man, this is hard, for 2 reasons. 1-old habits are hard to break, and 2-so many things (mainly plastics) don’t have the information on them you need to know in order to make sure they can be recycled! I guess we’ll learn by trial and error!
Found today an irritating day not to be on facebook. I had a few questions I wanted to throw out there for some quick answers, and facebook would have been the perfect solution! Oh well, guess it’s time to be creative!
We finished The Magician’s Nephew today. Struck by two things in it: at one point, when Aslan is still making Narnia and talking to the animals, etc, the observation is made that Aslan’s eyes never closed. This drew me back to the Beth Moore study we did on the Psalms and the sweet Psalm that promises God never sleeps. Oh, what relief! He is El Roi, the God who Sees, who is never sleeping or slumbering, whose eyes never close or cease to watch us here on earth. The second was a little later in the book when the horse, I think, makes the comment that Aslan already knew what Digory was wanting, but he seems to be the kind that likes to be asked anyway. Another great picture of our all-knowing God. Nothing we want or need ever surprises Him, but He still likes to have communication and relationship with us as we pour our hearts out to Him!
Day 18:What a nice day! It started out with some much needed girl time with some sweet ladies!! Then, when I got home, Kevin and the kids were still out doing breakfast/grandma time, so I had some great alone time. It was a great quiet time, a little personal reading, then some school planning for next year! Whoo! Lots done today. Of course, I still need to clean the house for the company I’ll have Monday when we do our first “poverty meal”, but all that can come later, right?
Started reading Sabbath in the Suburbs today in preparation for the month of May when we will be doing Sabbath once a week. Not sure if this book will change me deeply, but a few things did hit me today as I was reading it: “The Sabbath day is a gift for the Jewish people because it reminds them of the time when their people were slaves in Egypt, captive to Pharaoh’s regime. But God brought the people out of slavery. God parted the Red Sea and gave them safe passage to freedom, and with it, the Ten Commandments. Among them? For six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest (Ex. 20:8– 11). So the Jewish observance of Sabbath is an exclamation to the world: ‘We are not slaves to the empire anymore! We are free!’ Sabbath is more than a day; it’s a mind-set.” I am so looking forward to this month, yet nervous at the same time! I don’t really know what to expect at all!
Day 19:This was a lovely day! What a great time of praise and prayer with our Sunday School class (not to mention a great fellowship breakfast), sweet worship and teaching with the church family in our service, then a fun, relaxing afternoon with the family. I was able to catch a small nap and do some coloring with Sophie. God has really softened my heart to her need to spend non-school time with me and I am trying to be better about stopping what I am doing to spend and cherish time with her.
Day 20:Today was our first “7” meal. We learned about Romania and ate Romanian vegetable stew. Not gonna lie, the kids were not a fan of the food. But, they loved Miss Michelle. She and her husband are missionaries to Romania (and he is Romanian.) She brought lots of pictures and other fun things to look at. She also had lots of eye opening information about those living in the village where they serve. They have no access to medical care or running water. She works with many orphans who will always be orphans (at least in the earthly sense) because of the strict adoption rules in Romania. She also gave us several ways we can help them serve and give God’s word to those orphans. (I can’t believe that I didn’t take any pictures!) Can’t wait to share our plan (when we get it all finalized and put together) with our friends and family so they can help, too!
Day 21:Another great day…and really another day I didn’t miss facebook! Still processing all the things we learned last night about the orphans in Romania. My heart breaks that they will never be allowed to be adopted simply because the government won’t allow it. How much these children need loving, nurturing, forever families, and they will never receive them. It makes it all that much more important to be sure they know about Jesus and the adoption and love they can have through Him!
One of my biggest trials today came from a size 4T suit. I had been looking at suits for Ethan for Easter and had eventually talked myself out of it. They were kind of expensive and I knew it wouldn’t fit him for very long, so it didn’t really seem like a good investment. But I must be honest, I wanted to get it so badly! It would look so cute on him! I had thought about it for days. Then Kevin’s mom bought him the suit I had been looking at. Again, not gonna lie, I was very excited. It has a little purple shirt that matches a shirt Kevin has, and Sophie and I have purple dresses, so we’ll all be able to match for Easter! Then, the shallowness of that just hit me. There are children in this world who don’t have the supplies to brush their teeth, take a bath, or even have more than one outfit, and here I am focusing my time and money so we can wear matching colors for one morning. Lord, help me to find the balance between pouring out our excess and thankfully using what You have given us here in our own home. I feel trapped. I feel lost and unsure of how to balance not spoiling my children and not unjustly making them do without. I don’t want them to resent our giving from our abundance, I want them to rejoice in it and desire to make it a lifestyle for the rest of their lives. I want that to be the automatic response of everyone in this house! I am just now sure how to ensure that it doesn’t become tedious or merely checking something off a list. Lord, help!