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.


PreschoolersandPeace said...

We, too, are attempting to change the way we "do" school. More life, less school... anyway, I am loving a book called Real Learning, by Elizabeth Foss. Here's her blog: http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/. Good, good stuff.

Love you-


andijeane said...

I can definitely agree with so much of what you posted! I love what you said about being driven by joy. I'm ready for fall too! It's my favorite season. We had a couple of nice fall-like days recently, but now it's hot and humid again. :-)

Thanks for sharing; I enjoyed this post.


JenIG said...

i love the words about being dazzled by God and your children see that. and you are so right about the whole 'joy' thing. i am *so* learning that right now and have been so thankful that God has really opened my eyes in this area. I can face anything if I have JOY, and this is not something that i drudge up on my own -- it is by realizing how infinitely incapable I am and how MUCH God has blessed us in so many ways. i really think it boils down to being thankful, not taking anything for granted and knowing that we really deserve *nothing*. then all the good that comes our way (which is a TON) is a pleasant shocker that can keep us content and satisfied all day / every day.

i love you SO much and I miss you even more!!

Anonymous said...

Kate, this is a beautiful and important article.

It should be an article in a magazine!

I am going to copy and paste some of it...and do you think I could post some of it on my blog?

I will link back to you for the whole piece.

Thank you for sharing your heart with us.




my5wolfcubs said...

I hear exactly what you're saying, because I'm feeling much of it too...but I'm already into the school year and promised my family I wouldn't make any changes. At least for the first quarter, or was it the first semester? :) I changed way too many things (thinking putting *more* on the assignment sheet would always be better) last year. I don't want to do that again. So, I'm holding steady w/ the assignments sheets but doing A LOT of thinking! And I have Real Learning that someone else mentioned...maybe I'll get that out!



Karen said...

We had planned to go to Modesto; I wanted to hear Ted Tripp as well. But with a new puppy in the house and not being able to afford 2 hotel rooms for our family of 6, we wound up staying home. Now I wish we'd made it there.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Ted's speech was audiotaped?


UndertheSky said...


I know it was taped because I have a CD of the talk I was referring to. I am not sure if they are still selling it though. http://www.valleyhomeeducators.org/ is the home of the conference and they might know how to obtain one. I know that Ted Tripp's website has a lot of resources and he may offer a similar CD there. http://www.shepherdpress.com/ is the website.

I am reading his brother's book, Age of Opportunity, and I just bought Ted's book, Shepherding a Child's Heart. I am only just in the beginning of Age, but it is already profoundly convicting.

Both of those books are available on his website.

Thanks for asking!



Marie said...

I get excited about laundry being done, too! Dishes, dinner, vacuuming - when it's done I get all happy. and I could totally get into looking like that beautiful lady!


PreschoolersandPeace said...

Hey girls-

You can order the conference CDs through the company that recorded him at VHE: www.otstudios.com. There's a link on the right for the Valley Home Educator's conference.


mom of five said...

Amen and amen to your wonderful post. I am teaching a moms group called Homemakers by Choice (one of the 5 teachers) and leading worship and you'd think I was speaking French when I talked about our kids' "appetites" and what we are setting before them. We are all made to worship, it's just a point of what or Whom we will worship! Last fall Paul Tripp (Tedd's brother who is a youth pastor) had a conference here called the Age of Opportunity, book by the same name. It completely changed my view and fear s of the upcoming adolescence and how to look at it as an opportunity to be in their world. Homeschooling has definitely laid a foundation of communication that I didn't have with my wonderful folks. Well, check out that book. So wonderful and thought provoking.

barbieheart said...

Stopping by for a "catch-up" of your blog. Your camping trip sounds wonderful! Thanks also for the beginning-of-the-school-year encouragement!


hugabunchmom said...

Sometimes you sound far too much like me. You are a blessing on a regular basis. I hope the fall weather comes soon for the both of us, I am also looking forward to it. I loved your previous post and the details on your camping, sounded fantastic!!

CTdittmar said...

What an inspiring post! Ahhh yes, I love your illustration. My grandmother in law was that woman, I'm pretty sure. She still looks elegant and lovely with her silvery hair coiffed just like that. I envy your chance to get those changing leaves and the spicy aromas. I'm going to have to forge fall here in the land of endless summer. Hawaii is amazing, but my heart will be longing for fall. Hope to get to enjoy it from afar...

Keri said...

A wonderful prayer...

it is mine also.