Sunday, December 28, 2008

hoopdy-doo and dickory-dock


my cry.



new year.
new beginnings.
REnewed heart
new me...


Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Monday, November 10, 2008

underway...


The process has officially begun!

I attended my weekend training this past weekend for my Doula certification!

The word doula comes from Ancient Greek δούλη (doulē), and refers to a woman of service.

My head is whirling right now. Full of checklists that keep changing their order. I have time, so I just need to relax - being careful not to lose my drive.
What I know now:
Childbirth Education class at Providence (Dec.)
Breastfeeding class, Ann Arbo (Jan.)
I need to finish my "packet"
LOTS of books to read, and start building my lending library.
... and, AND...
I'm waiting to hear from a potential first client!

Big stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

decision pending

If I talk about it...
it will become too real.

With that reality comes the commitment.

I'm still prayerfully considering,

but I thought I'd give YOU a hint.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

rewind

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground



To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,



Content to sleep, their work well done,

Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly

Until they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the air
Til all the trees stand stark and bare.


Exhausted, drop to the earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

by Elsie N. Brady

Monday, September 15, 2008

Overdue amounts of fun

+ absence of manners and maturity = GIRLS NIGHT!



... and just in case the photo confuses you...

video

Home-Centered Learning - GREAT Article!

Putting the Home in Homeschooling

By Clay Clarkson
Printed in PHS #25, 1998.


A young mother approached Sally at the break during one of our conferences. She had a worried look in her eyes that said, "Help me, please!" For several minutes, she poured out her anxious concerns that she wasn't doing enough for her children, that they weren't progressing, and that she was failing as a homeschooling mother. "How old are your children?" Sally asked when the woman finally took a breath. With a note of seriousness, the woman replied, "Oh, they're three and five years old."



If that seems humorous to you, that's good. There's hope for you! After countless conversations just like that one, though, our stifled chuckles have turned to sighs. Too many parents see their homes only through the lenses of institutional education. Rather than finding joy and freedom in their homeschooling experience, they find themselves in bondage to cultural models of education defined by textbooks, workbooks, classrooms, age-grade norms, testing and grading.



Fortunately, we discovered early in our homeschool experience that textbooks and formal curricula are artificial means of education. Rather than unleashing learning potential, they hold it back. For us as parents, they created a false security that we were doing enough, and a false confidence that our children were really learning. For our children, they created a false dependency on formal methods of learning, and a false distinction between learning and living. Conventional classroom methods diluted the wonder and joy of real learning, turning it into a tedious and burdensome task unrelated to real life at home.



On the other hand, our children naturally loved reading and being read to, talking about their own insights and ideas, learning through real life, and having lots of time to explore and learn on their own. The more we studied Scripture and observed our children, the more confident we became that this was how God designed children to live and learn. It was the liberation of learning in our home!



As we lived out these principles, we found it helpful to express them in a model. Educational theoreticians would call it a paradigm, but we think of it as a corrective lens for seeing your home from God's perspective as a living and learning environment. It consists of five areas of focused studies.



  1. Discipleship Studies: We start with the study of God's word to gain wisdom. Our goal is to shape our children's hearts to love God and to study and know his word.

  2. Disciplined Studies: Then, we study the "basics," such as math and language arts, that require a more disciplined approach. Our goal is to develop our children's foundational learning skills and competencies.

  3. Discussion Studies: Then, we spend the bulk of our studies in the humanities, reading and reading aloud literature and history, and studying the fine arts. Our goal is to feed our children's minds on the best in living books and the fine arts.

  4. Discovery Studies: Next, we direct our children into the "study of learning" in areas such as nature, science, the creative arts, and all other interests. Our goal is to stimulate in our children a love for learning by creating opportunities for curiosity, creativity and discovery.

  5. Discretionary Studies: Finally, we turn to the "study of living," focusing on natural gifts and interests, community involvement, and life skills. Our goal is to direct our children in developing a range of skills and abilities according to their drives and gifts.

Your home can and should be a warm, vibrant place where your children love to learn as freely and as naturally as they love to play. In fact, education is the natural outgrowth of the discipleship relationship between parents and children, so it should be the natural activity of every Christian home. That is what this "home-centered learning" model tries to capture.



There is great freedom in knowing that what you are doing conforms to a pattern that is already built into the very fabric and rhythm of your lives by God - he has designed your children to learn, he has designed your home to be a learning environment, and he has designed you to be a learning guide. Joy and freedom naturally follow when we cooperate with God's design.



We have come to the place where we can honestly say that there is no distinction in our home school between home and school - we are living to learn and learning to live all at the same time. That is what should happen in a home.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

be informed...

Sid the Science Kid


Our friend, Michael Lloyd, has been working on this show.
I am extremely impressed and my kiddos LOVE it!
Check out your local listings!
The show has a great website, too!

fashion plate at 8



Let's not forget the MP3 player in the ears with Daughtry, Colbie Calliet, Jonas Brothers, and Leeland.
Miley Cyrus? - ppssshhhh, she's SO 5 minutes ago!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

aaaand, we're off!

First day of school.
Kids were per-fect.
We got everything done.
We stuck to the schedule.
It will not last.

C'mon, be real... it just WON'T!
That's okay. I don't really prefer this "robotic" type of morning, but I'll tell ya...
if I can get this school day to be more of the norm.... PRAISE GOD!

I love that each year I am getting a little more and more into their groove, and them mine. We are learning so much about each other. I really want to encourage others (since I'm usually the one needing the encouragement!) to stick it out. I can say that because today went well. One good day really does cancel out 10 bad ones.
And what is a "bad" day... really?
Your kids would rather PLAY than do math??? - Set up a "pet store" with all their stuffed animals
Your kids would rather be anywhere but the kitchen table listening to you "teach"? - Pack up a bag of books and a blanket and head to the park
Your kids have ants in their pants and you can't wait until wine 'o clock?? (okay, that's usually my complaint) - Crank up the music full blast and attempt to dance and clean one room... all before the song ends. OH, and don't forget to laugh.

For the most part, we CAN get through this with great joy.
For the most part, my days won't be picture-perfect (who has that "picture", anyway??)
But... as always... I am blessed beyond belief to have this opportunity to be with my children in this capacity...
and THAT is worth it ALL!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's a "Mom Thing"....


... Isn't it?

those were the days, my friend...

Summer 2008

ouch.

Pulled this from an article by Sonny Scott of EdNews.org

Young families must make the decision: Will junior go to day care and day school, or will mom stay home and raise him? The rationalizations begin. "A family just can't make it on one income." (Our parents did.) "It just costs so much to raise a child nowadays." (Yeah, if you buy brand-name clothing, pre-prepared food, join every club and activity, and spend half the cost of a house on the daughter's wedding, it does.) And so, the decision is made. We give up the bulk of our waking hours with our children, as well as the formation of their minds, philosophies, and attitudes, to strangers. We compensate by getting a boat to take them to the river, a van to carry them to Little League, a 2,800-square-foot house, an ATV, a zero-turn Cub Cadet, and a fund to finance a brand-name college education. And most significantly, we claim "our right" to pursue a career for our own "self-fulfillment."

Please don't misunderstand my agreement with Sonny as "tooting my homeschool horn", rather, I am extremely saddened by the breakdown of the American family. All of these "stranger-raised" children will soon be the adults of our society.
It's not going to be a pretty picture.

Friday, July 25, 2008

just like that.


He's done.
My sweet baby/little boy is really okay with the fact that
he does not need his trusty blanket anymore.

Trusty blanket = "ee-haa"
"Ee-haa" also comes with "taggy".

I love "taggy".

"Taggy" and "Ee-haa" have been his source of comfort when mommy is not around.
Now, he's such a big boy, that he's alright when mommy is not around.

He's confident in the fact that I will return and passes the time with a book, or a matchbox car, instead of running his fingers in and out the silky tags.

I don't keep much.
I'm good at getting rid of things we are done with around here.

But "Ee-haa" and "Taggy" will have a special box, in a special place...
... to help me remember these special days.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

this ain't no disco!



Go ahead and start the track down there before you read.
Soundtracks are an important part of ignorant stories. (are they?)

Okay, let's begin.
Cutting fresh, delicious, fiery peppers from your garden and then PICKING YOUR NOSE is far from smart.... OR any other part of your face for that matter - your eyelids, upper-lip, or forehead. Ladies and gentlemen, I just went through a double ice-cube healing regimen in an effort to stop the BURN. Not only did I fry the tender inner-nose, but WAAAAY up there into the sinuses - GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY!!!!!!!!!!! NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IN DA SHED!!!!
Not smart y'all.
Not smart.


Lesson: For the love, PLEASE wear gloves and then wash your hands after handling habanero peppers! Washing your hands after picking your nose, optional, but highly recommended!

You now have full permission to make fun of me.


Disco Inferno (Single Edit) - The Trammps

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

something in the air...


Homeschooling moms everywhere are starting to think. (uh, oh... that could be dangerous!)
The official learning year is fast approaching and the FUN of planning begins!
Really, I mean that! From those I know, MOST are very excited to plan!
(it's the implementing that stinks to high heaven!) Ohhh, the best of intentions should never be disregarded!

A few thoughts:
I'm changing things up a little bit from last year.
I'm getting a little more serious about getting certain things completed.
I may put my little man into a preschool program a couple days a week to have a little concentrated time with the girls.
I'm going to do some joint subjects with friends. (science and history)

Here's what we've got on the plate so far...
Piano once a week.
GRACE Co-op Fridays
Language Arts - Rod and Staff everyday
Math - Horizons everyday
Science - Apologia, Zoology 1 (and all the birding that I am in love with...) T&Th
History - Mystery of History M & W
Bible - Stick Figure Bible and morning devotionals everyday

For us... that's M-O-O-O-O-RE than enough.
We've been doing math and reading all summer... just to keep it all fresh in our minds.
Both girls will also be involved in Girl Scouts and cheering for the Royal Oak Chargers.
Little man will be choosing a sport in the next year or so...
Until then, he'll just have to be content being my baby!

It's going to be a good year!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

anointed.

... to be in the presence of God.



Carrried to the Table ~

Wounded and forsaken
I was shattered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone
Summoned by the King
Into the Master's courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms

I was carried to the table
Seated where I don't belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love
And I don't see my brokenness anymore
When I'm seated at the table of the Lord
I'm carried to the table
The table of the Lord

Fighting thoughts of fear
And wondering why He called my name
Am I good enough to share this cup
This world has left me lame
Even in my weakness
The Savior called my name
In His Holy presence
I'm healed and unashamed

You carried me, my God
You carried me

~Leeland

Thursday, June 26, 2008

life in a northern town

Some highlights from our latest adventure.

We headed north to Grayling/Gaylord to do a little campin' and attend the Big Ticket Festival... take a looksie!

Jammin' with the David Crowder Band...

video

Chillin' with Brandon Heath. Love him.
video

Enjoying my new FAV band! - LEELAND!





















... can I pause a moment right here to say, WHAT'S WITH THE MUSICAL, OBSCENELY TALENTED TEXANS? I'm speechless...

Other highlights would include...

Bullriding...











Hiking...













Learning about big trees...













Reeeeally big trees!




















Discovering...




























... and just enjoying the good life...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

they're the people that you meet each day....

... or... do you?

So... I was recently reading Peppermint Filled Pinatas by Eric Bryant. He's from a super-cool church in L.A. called Mosiac, and this past winter, he spoke at my favorite place of worship (*ahem* my church, Genesis).
Wow.
Like Shane Claiborne; amazing author, speaker, radical - this book did a great job of making me notice my short-comings when it comes to living out Gods will with every part of my life. I LOVE THIS FEELING! I know! Feeling like I suck is AMAZING! Know why? In a nutshell, it gets me off my butt and makes me move.
I always ask God to guide my steps and move me in ways that will bring glory to his name.
God does not always lead us in a way that feels gentle and safe. Sometimes he gives ya a swift kick in the rear. "Go! Move! It's out of your comfort zone, do it anyway!" -God.
Aannyway... back to the book.
You can read the synopsis and reviews on the Amazon link up there (click on the book's title), but in a nutshell: Embrace diversity and love your neighbors.
We are all different. It's not always comfortable. Many of us are residing in jam-packed little neighborhoods with a bunch of people that we do not even know! This did not sit well with me. It was on my mind for several months. Complacency and comfort were binding my hands, heart and feet to make any difference.
Why do I live in a NEIGHBORhood and feel so distant from my neighbors? Why don't we just pack up and move out to the country? We chose to live here, surrounded by people that get out of their cars, go straight into the house with closed up doors and windows, and stay there until they get back into their cars again.
I was ready to make an effort.
I made out a flier and passed it out to my neighbors, inviting them to come over on Monday night after dinner for snacks and socializing. We figured, what was the worst that could happen? No one would show because it was a lame idea and we'd have a family night playing games in the backyard. No harm done.
Monday night came and the people started trickling in. 1, 3, 4, 6.... 19 people showed up, with snacks in hand, to see what this "Patio Party" was all about!
Aside from going away to school and living in Berkley for 5 years, I have lived in this home for 30 years! I met neighbors that remember me running around outside in my diaper when I was 2!
Everyone was so happy to be here. We hung out until the sun set and decided that we would rotate "Patio Parties" every Monday night this summer.
Last night, we met again across the street. Neighbors told neighbors and we had 30 people show!
God is good.
I had little faith in the idea but gave it a shot with the nudge of God.
Today, I know my neighbors and relationships are being built! I looked outside this morning and saw 2 neighbors chatting on the sidewalk that lived 3 houses away from each other and never met. I look forward to going on a walk tonight and possibly running into some of the new people that I've met. I pray that I can show God's love regardless of our differences.
Making a difference, one backyard at a time...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

in lieu of pools

The Batman Slip-n-Slide ranks up there on my list of Top-10-purchases-that-entertain-young-children. You can't be too in love with the lawn, because it does not return to its original form for a couple of weeks. If you're anything like me, you should use the potty prior to the show, or your liable to pee yourself laughing at all the slippery mishaps.
That's terrible, I know. Thank my mom for that inherited trait.

Monday, June 9, 2008

letterboxing


















Excuse me... did I grow up under a rock?
How in the world did I not know about this?
I have found the best family hobby EVER and I can't wait to get started.

Okay, well, I did get started. It failed. (stay tuned for details, it was pretty funny.) But it did pique my interest enough to make me a bit, oh, shall I say OBSESSED?

Letterboxing. A world-wide treasure hunt. Can it get any cooler than that?
I am 32 and FINALLY get my wish to become a GOONIE!
















For those of you that have "known about it for years"... yeah, thanks for sharing. ;)
For the rest of you that are saying, "What? How can I join in on the hunt?!?!?!"...
Just let me know. We'll chat.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm ba-a-a-a-ck!

(with a very hearty appetite for life)
encouraging words greatly appreciated!


vices 1 - 7







Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You're going to Hollywood!

If we've learned anything over a 5 year span of watching American Idol, it's the fact that mom has a thang for men that can sang! No, no... seriously, (well, that is true) it's the ability of each singer to "make the song their own". It shows that you are not merely a professional karaoke singer, but someone that can throw a little artistry into somebody else's songs.
My oldest gal, in my professional karaoke opinion, is one step closer to The Golden Ticket. Take a listen. You'll agree.
I'm so very proud...

Monday, May 19, 2008

WHAT'S GOIN' ON OUT THERE?!?!?!


These...
... this...

... some of these...

... ooo, and this...

... and to top it all off with these intoxicating little buggars...

... and some ambiance.

(I didn't think it would be appropriate to show piles of doggy-doo)