These are the moments………

I wish I had a photographer to capture the moment I experienced a couple hours ago as I read to my children before bed. I bet it was a beautiful sight to behold. It would of been to my heart.

I lay on my tummy, book held in front of me, my five children all around me, including one sitting on my back peeking over to see the pictures. We all love this story written by Sheila Walsh called, “Will, God’s Warrior!”. I love to say everything Will says with an almost regal, noble, English accent as if he is in a period movie of the times of Camelot. My accent is probably horrible, which is probably why they laugh, but I choose to believe that it’s so good that it gives them the giggles.

At that very moment, I felt my heart so deeply connected to my children. It wiped away all the grunts, groaning, and screaming of the day. Including my own anger, and acting immature. Yes, I do so have those moments.

Tonight, though, after the chaos of the day was done, we connected. We read our books, we prayed our prayers, and in that moment we loved. There was peace. There was joy. There was much fruit from God’s grace abounding in us. I felt it deeply, and I know they did as well. After that, they all went to sleep without much fuss. Pure Bliss…..

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are the moments I treasure……

Psalm 127:3 (NKJ)
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Psalm 127:3
New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.

And I will leave you with this last thought from The Message bible…..

Psalm 127:3
The Message (MSG)
3-5 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Changing our confession…..

The last couple weeks, our family has been waging a war in the heavenlies and in our own souls. We have been warring against the negatives of our own hearts, and against darkness, and heaviness in our lives. We have been working on changing our confessions, and talking a lot about trusting God with our lives.

We have been talking about the fact that our battlefield is our mind. We wage war against the enemy of our soul, in our soul. We wage war with weapons that are not physical, but the Word of God is one of our weapons.

My kids and I have been immersed in the Word of God, and we have been using that word to win the war! We have been praying and asking God to help us. We have been giving our fears and emotions over to God daily.

I needed to change our title of my homeschool blog to reflect some very profound changes going on in my heart and my children’s hearts. I debated many things, but I settled on “In His grace” Homeschool Family.

The truth is, I cannot do any of this without His grace. I really struggle with sadness, frustration, and I am not nearly as patient as other people think I am. I do this, homeschool and be a stay at home mom, because I feel called by God to do it. I feel He has called us to do this at this season so that our children can know God and walk closely with Him. I feel that through this, God is drawing us closer as a family. That doesn’t mean it is easy. It really has it’s rough patches. There are days when I want to go in my room and lock the door and not come out for days, but I don’t. I push on. I work through the issues. I endeavor to walk in grace before my God towards my children and my husband. Sometimes I fail miserably at this, but it doesn’t stop me from pressing on towards the goal.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Philippians 3:12-15 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.

Studying Jamestown….. and I love homeschooling…

So, I love history. I love learning about the people and the places and what happened. Truly.

But. Jamestown. It was a horrible place! They went through so much bad stuff.

We were reading Surviving Jamestown yesterday, and Audrey screams out, crying, “Stop! Mom! I can’t take anymore!”

That’s just how into it my daughter was, and how compassionate she is. Amazing! See, that’s what I get to see in my children while homeschooling. With it’s challenges, there is such great reward. The reward is not in torturing my children, but in seeing them as they really are. Hearing their opinions. Sharing in their failures, and celebrating their triumphs!

I was so scared when I made the decision to homeschool. I wasn’t even sure I was capable, but I felt a tug on my heart. I saw my children struggling at school, and I knew something had to be done. There had to be something better for my kids. My choices were limited. I chose to lay aside my plans for me, and to pick up God’s plans for my kids.

It. Is. So. Worth. It.

Even on the hard days. You see, the hard days teach me about myself. I get to see all the good, the bad, and ugly in ME! I get opportunities to fix me.

I really love Trailguide for Learning, Paths of Exploration! I also crazy love homeschooling!

My silence…..

I wrestle with so many things in my life. The biggest one is insecurity.

I realized recently that one of the things holding me back from blogging consistently is insecurity. I am afraid of saying the wrong thing, the wrong way. I am afraid of not measuring up to others in the blogosphere. I read other people’s blogs and I instantly think, I wish I had wrote that!

I do not feel comfy in my own skin, let alone, my own writings. I put this out here in the blogosphere, and while I do not expect accolades, I do hope for some sort of connection to others. I fear though that I share too much. Too much negativity. Too much positivity. That’s probably not a word. I fear I will share too much of ME. If I share too much, will others relate? Will they understand me? Will they really see me as me or will it paint a different picture than I had intended? I have become so keenly aware of how social media is just a glimpse into someone’s life. We think the door is wide open, and yet it is just cracked. Look at your friends facebook page, I bet you will only find pics of them smiling, laughing, having fun, and looking good. Rarely do we see others in the bad light. And everyone has some bad light sometimes.

As I contemplate what all this means, and what it means for me, I am challenged to find the words to say what I want to say. To represent me in the best way, and yet be as “real” as I am, and paint you the truly authentic picture of who I am.

That is what I know I have to do. Be authentic. Be who I am! Stop worrying about what others think.

Psalm 139- 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Marriage……….

In the last two years, I had more people confide in me about their marriages and marriage issues then I care to count. I feel ill equipped to advise anyone, though I do share the things I have learned with them. After 15 years of marriage, and a super rocky start, I do think I know a thing or two about how to make your marriage more successful. I can only advise someone on their part in the marriage though, and marriage takes two people fully committed to make it successful.  Two people, AND one very awesome GOD! That’s it right there, my marriage counselor is God. My marriage counsel comes from the Bible. If I live according to His words, I will be successful in most areas of my life. Even in the midst of great persecution and trials. I think my marriage has had a lot of those two things. I can’t say that we have never considered divorce, because that would be lying. In fact, just months after we said “I DO”, we looked at each other in tears and said, “This is hard, and every part of me wants a divorce, but I love you so much and I don’t really want a divorce.” Putting two people with different backgrounds together in one house and building one life is hard work. He had annoying habits, and I had annoying habits. Put that together with miscarriage, and financial irresponsibility… and you have a disastrous combination. I wish I could say, God came in and solved all our problems and we were instantly changed into perfect people, with a perfect marriage. Not even close. Daily, we work, together. If I had a dime for all the times God pointed out to me my selfishness, I would be a rich woman. God’s focus is you. Always you. He never talks to you about what’s wrong with your spouse, unless He is teaching you to be more patient, loving, and unselfish towards them. Life did get better and easier for us, and we did grow as people and as a married couple. We still have issues, but we have great love for each other, and respect for one another. No marriage is perfect, you just learn to accept each other and to work out the issues.

My key verse as a wife is this one…..

Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Enjoying life…..

I struggle with enjoying life. It seems life has a way of throwing things in my direction that cause me to want to murmur and complain, and a lot of times, I have been known to sit and cry. I want to be happy, and I want to enjoy life.

People say, you have to choose to be happy. For so long, I just didn’t get that. But lately, I have been praying that prayer from AA… God, grant me the serenity to to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I think it is making a huge impact on my heart. For once, I am accepting that there are things that I cannot change. And you know what? Those things are NOT huge, crazy, deal breaker things. They are dumb piddly things, so why did I spend so much time focusing on them? There are things I can change, and I am working on them, they will change, because I am determined. (i.e. weightloss, being more active, living life)

I can choose to be miserable with my husband’s career choice, or I can accept it, love it, and embrace it. I am choosing to embrace it. Even with all it’s crazy hard times. Being the wife of an officer in the Air Force can be a rough life. I choose to love it, and to embrace it. I am jumping into this life, feet first. Now, I have to make my kids choose to love it too. They have their moments of hating it too.

There are so many seasons in life. This is my season of being home with my children, to raise them, train them in the Word, and to give them a childhood of memories and love. There is no use looking at the things it limits us from. Only look at what it gives us, what we can do. There is beauty there. There is peace there. There is God in the midst of this crazy hectic life.

I am choosing to seek God in the middle of everything…. choosing to see Him working it all out.

Facebook and mindless staring at the computer….

I keep talking about living a more focused life and then I find myself doing things that are not focused. For instance, spending hours staring at facebook, looking at photos, looking at people I don’t even know. What am I doing? Completely checking out, that’s what. Things have to change. I feel it in my heart that I am WASTING my time, and my time is precious. I have 5 beautiful children who need to be taught (not just school lessons), to be loved, to be listened to. I have a husband who desires love, attention, and good meals (wink, wink). My animals need attention. Let’s be real, my house needs me to clean it. There is only one me. And just because I check out, my jobs do not go away. My relationships here in this house do not go away. Life continues, and then I have more work to do. I have really had a reality check in the last couple days. I realize how precious this life is and how much more I need to focus on what is important. This blog is important to me. I really want to see it thrive more. It’s possible, isn’t it? My Beachbody business is important to me, and I need to invest some time into it. Homeschooling my kids needs my time and investment. And now I am also applying to take some college classes. I am excited about that, and nervous. Can I do everything AND take college classes? I think it will help me be more focused. I guess we’ll see. I have a lot of work to do before I can start. Hopefully in the fall.

Do you need more focus in your life?

Summertime….

Right now my kids are breaking from school. Except I am making them do math some. We won’t be on break for long, but I have lots of things to get caught up on. I gutted our school room, literally. Emptying out this years school work, organizing, and throwing away stuff I don’t need anymore. It’s been super refreshing.

The kids have also been playing outside a lot. Getting to know all the neighbor kids. I wish we lived in a beach town, but alas, Ohio does’t have a lot of beaches where we live.

I hope to get back to school just after the 4th of July in order to get caught up on this math stuff. I need to work hard with Abigail also, she did kindergarten this last year and for some reason we didn’t finish the stuff we were doing. So I need to push harder I guess. I have been so worn out though. I need a recharge. 🙂

So, that is life right now. Sorry I can be quiet for long periods. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. 🙂

Five Minute Friday: See

See.

Go.

I struggle to see life the way I want to see it. I want to see things through a happier, optimistic view. Yet, I see it sometimes through a sadness I cannot get rid of. I struggle to see my kids constant tugging on me as something to cherish. I want to cherish it. I want to love it. I want to appreciate all I have.

Change my vision, Lord. Change my heart. Help me to see my whole life as the gift You have given me. Help me to see the love around me, and to see what really IS…. and stop seeing what ISN’T. I want to have a clear vision…remove the clouds, the cobwebs, and mostly the sadness. Replace it with an open heart… and mostly open eyes…..

and See me, Lord, please See me. Know me. Let me be found as faithful to all You have given me.

Stop.

Curriculum Choices for 2012/2013

Well, first, I am having a hard time keeping with my school year begins in August 2012 and ends in June of 2013. I am even already forgetting what grades my kids are in. LOL. I just do not care about grades per say, or about school years in the public school sense. I think it’s all dumb. Why should we stop learning? My kids need all the extra practice and help they need, and besides, if school is fun, why should we stop learning?

So, this is my plan for now and the upcoming year.

Currently, my oldest is 10 and she is considered 4th grade (going into 5th grade), but she is using 2nd grade Horizons Math. When she finishes her Horizons book, she will move onto Math U See Gamma. I hope this change will be revolutionary for her, so we will see how it goes. I have read up on Math U See, but I am not sure how it will be for her.

My second daughter who is 9 and right now is considered 3rd grade (going into 4th), is also using 2nd grade Horizons Math. When she finishes her book, we will move onto Teaching Textbooks 3. I decided the two girls need to use different math because they kept comparing themselves to each other and it was making for some rough interactions.

My son who is 8 and in 2nd grade (going into 3rd) is right now finishing up 1st grade Horizons Math. We were considering him also using Teaching Textbooks 3, but I need to have him take the test for it first.

Our main curriculum is Paths of Exploration by Trailguide for Learning. We have already started using it and I have to say, it is amazing! I cannot say enough about the change in the atmosphere in our school. We have had fun discussing history and I love how it covers every subject except math. The kids are having so much fun and are actually learning!

We are also using All About Spelling. I am confident in this program, though I will be honest, I am still trying to figure out how it works. I will get back to you on this one.

For my 6 year old who is finishing up Kindergarten, we will continue using Hooked on Phonics, but the first grade level. We are currently using Horizons K Math, and we will move onto Horizons 1st grade math after. We also will be using Five in A Row, which we have already been using some.

As for my little learner, she is interested, but not absorbing. I really do not want to push her yet. So for now, she can listen in on Five in a row and then in the fall, I will begin a letter of the week activities with her. We had started some, but like I said, she hasn’t really absorbed much. Plus, we have used the preschool Hoooked on Phonics some and she sits in on the 6 year olds Kindergarten videos as well. I am relaxed as far as early learning and don’t think children should be pushed hard until 1st grade, honestly.

One last thing, we are using the Light for the Trail supplement with Paths of Exploration. I like it very much, and so far it has been really good scriptures for memorization. We also are reading the Egermeier’s Bible Story Book, and working our way through a bible study book called, What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers. I think it all works together well. 🙂 You can never have too much bible. 🙂

So, this is our current curriculum round up! 🙂