Friday, August 31, 2007

Ted Tripp Update

Deb from One Beggar's Bread sent me a link to an article by Ted Tripp on the very subject I blogged about. Here it is. :+) Thank you, Deb!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

So much!

There are so many things to be thankful for in a day. A genuine smile, a soft touch, a hug in passing, a happy reader, air conditioning, silly cats, clinging four year-olds, apricot peach iced tea. Life is so good so much of the time.

We have such a wonderful group of friends in our lives. We have life and love and happiness so often. I have a truly marvelous husband who loves me like I was the only woman alive. That makes me feel so good! We have freedom, joy, peace, and always have food on our table. We have laughter and children and full bellies.

We have salvation and grace that is free to us, but was not easy for Him.  We have a majestic Savior, a King of Kings and the Creator of all the universe moving in our lives. He listens and loves and makes all things new.

I am thankful tonight.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life Take Two

If I could have a whole new look without all the suffering and lack of pregnancies that it would take to get there, I would look like this if I could. She is elegant and beautiful. It reminds me of the The Great Gatsby - though that is a rather sad and depressing book in this mother's humble opinion. I just love her hair! Mine would never do that. LOL OK - now on to other things. :+)

I finally have some time to take a breath. I have been more swamped than I have allowed myself to get in a mighty long time. That is a rather unwise thing to do, but I did it anyway. What with summer's busyness, camping, family trips, swimming, homeschooling conventions, online social outlets, real life social outlets, and even a bit of summer sickness - well, life just got a little out of control. I took myself and eleven of my best dirty loads of laundry to the laundromat last night and went to war. It was something to see. One does not often get the satisfaction of seeing eleven loads of laundry washing themselves all at once. It was rather marvelous. :+) Expensive, but marvelous. LOL Post camping-can't-get-out-from-under-it kind of laundry. BUT, ladies, it is DONE and I can walk into my laundry room now. What a feeling. How amazing that I can be so excited about it. Grin.

I have been wanting to talk about the homeschool convention I attended for some time, but the same insanity that kept me from my work also kept me from devoting too much time to Under the Sky. So here it is, what little it is, right now. :+)

Modesto has a bang-up conference every year with always-interesting speakers and a ton of vendors. I mean a ton for the size conference it is. It was grand fun. Ted Tripp was the main speaker and he just met my heart right where it needed to be met. If you have never heard him speak and have the opportunity to do so, no matter how old your children are - go! His talk was entitled, Giving Children a Vision for the Glory of God. Our children are worshipers he said, they were born to worship. And they will. They will worship whatever you set up before them to worship. Are we polishing idols for them? Is that fun or amusement? Is it baseball or money? Is it pride and performance; pleasure or possessions? There are so many things we can worship, aren't there? I think of so many things that I communicate to them on a daily basis - is it that we must, for our very life and breath, worship God?

Life is found in Christ. Our craving for pleasure can be satisfied in a hunger for the Lord. He spoke about the greatest deliverance being in our Savior. Help your children to feast and delight in the Lord. He said a shrunken God will not be one before whom they will tremble and obey with reverence. What he said that hits me the most was that *our* joy, our life, our treasure must be in Christ. We must be driven by joy. I must have the beauty of God, the glory of God, before my eyes and heart. We must be dazzled by God to dazzle your children. We don't live out of facts and circumstances, but what we do with God. What we do with God determines how we interpret life. Solid joy and lasting pleasures are found in knowing God. Without Him - we are truly lost.

In that same vein I visited Lamp & Quill. I am in the process of delving into this curriculum. It is richer and fuller than I even thought it was to begin with. It is full of the glory of our Lord. It is marvelous to see Him in each and every day. I will keep you posted.

We are making some big homeschool changes here - we are trying to have a living school as much as possible. What does that mean exactly? Well, we are still trying to figure that out. I am such a failure in so many ways and get easily discouraged. I wonder why God gave *me* these tremendously amazing children. How come, Lord? How can I be all you need me to be to them? I guess I really can't, can I. But I can be all He needs me to be with His help. That is what I must remember when *those* kinds of days come along.

We are trying out a few new things this year. More structure, a co-op for the littlest ones so often left out of the "big sister" events, more music, more art, more living-learning. We are going to be using Total Language Plus for grammar, vocabulary, spelling, writing, reading, etc. It looks like a wonderful program and just what I was looking for. I hope it truly is. I will keep you posted on that too!

I am ready for fall. I am ready for the weather to change. I am ready for spiced candles, for colorful leaves, for orange and brown and yellow to be beautiful to my eyes, for the house to take on those colors. I am ready for pumpkin farms and lapbooking with the little ones. I am ready for new things. My prayer is that He will give me the ability to do and be all He needs me to be - that I can be the mom my children need too.

May He make it so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life Interrupted

For good things of course. :+) Here are a few selections from our life over the past month or so.

For Christmas last year we gave our Abigail the
Physics Solar Workshop from Timberdoodle. This was her solar airplane creation. It really moved too (which was nice!) :+)

This next picture, apart from being what I think is very pretty, is likely my pride and joy from our weed-ridden backyard. Can you believe these grew!? They were sweet and delicious.

What does a mama do when Daddy takes the older two to work for the day on a Saturday to take away the loss? Well, we make bread shapes and bread loaves of course! All handmade in creative fashion by the smaller berries. (Well, OK, I did the loaves. :+)

Happy faces covered in flour. :+)

My husband's boss provided some spectacular seats at Raley Field for the Rivercats game. Here are my smilers.

And here we come to the church camping trip extravaganza! Our very own Taj Mahal (otherwise known as gigantic tent).

This is where we were. I did not want to crop this picture because it was so pretty. If you click on the link then click on the picture you can see the beauty of California's Lake Tahoe. It was just so pretty! Here is another smaller picture.


Campfire adventures happened every night with beautiful skys and yummy s'mores. The stars were just amazing - they do declare the glory of God most especially when there is not other light around them. We saw many shooting stars as this past weekend was the Perseid Meteor Shower. They were just spectacular! Can't take pictures of those so the campfire scene with only a fraction of the folks there will have to do. :+)

It is hard to show you in these cropped pictures just how pretty Tahoe really is. This was a path right behind our campsite. (Which, incidentally, we saw bears on--though they were not too careful about using the path.) :+)

We drove home over Donner Pass, famous for its fateful story of the Donner Party. In Sutter's Fort, Sacramento, you can see one of the children's dolls. You may be familiar with the book, Patty Reed's Doll. Every time I go over Donner Pass I think about these poor pioneers. I cannot imagine being a mama in such a situation. It made me SO thankful for our cars and clear weather! I hope you enjoy the picture you will see if you click on Donner Pass above. It was taken from a car, but the view is still a nice one. :+)

Happy campers. :+)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heading to Dirt

Hey, all! We are heading out to a four day camping trip with our fantastico church family. We are very excited. I have been in the throws of work, reviews, laundry, camping gear, etc. It has been a wild few weeks. I think my devoted HSB Literary Club ladies think I have abandoned them.  I did post on August 4th so I hope they know I have not!

Last time we camped with our church family our smallest was only two. She saw me taking out all the camping gear and wanted to know what it all was! It was then that I realized that she didn't know because she was so small the last time it was out. She is in for such fun! S'mores, great fellowship, swimming, campfires, and lots and lots of dirt. :+)

I know I have not blogged about our conference run, but I do plan to. A new company I discovered and have been immensely blessed with is Lamp & Quill International. They gave us some products to review - their first year Bible curriculum - and we are absolutely thrilled. When it comes to Bible curriculum it is difficult to please me because I want it to be sound in doctrine, not twaddle-like, and work for all the family. This is really a tremendously thorough and God-glorifying program! Check it out!

I hope you have a lovely weekend too!