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Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Black Friday...

And I'm not camped out in front of the Wal-Mart! I was however up at like 6 am shopping on CurrClick, cause they're having a huge sale and giving away 28 free items. Whooo-hoooo! So, I'm in my pj's with a big ole' cup of coffee which is much better than dukeing it out in the toy isle of Wal-Mart or watching grown adults fight over a Barbie that's a whole $3 cheaper than it will be in a couple of hours. Some people will do anything for a bargain...

Well, yesterday was Thanksgiving and the weather was perfect. So, since we were not doing our dinners until today and Saturday, we decided to rid our yard of leaves, which, out here is next to impossible. You would not believe how many leaves we have, and I am not exagerating. This little neighborhood is locally notorious for having massive amounts of leaves, something the realtor failed to mention when he sold us the place. We finally got smart and bought a leaf blower which makes the work alot easier, plus you can chase the kids around with it and it makes em' squeal. I was glad Chloe was napping cause we might have lost her in the piles they were so tall. We did lose our rake. The kids loved playing in the leaves and they weren't the only ones...

Here's some more pics of our forray in the foliage...

We drug the old tree out from under the house and braved the closet for our decorations. Our tree is totally break proof , though I'm sure if it can be done, Jack will do it. My ornaments are shatter-proof and most of them fabric or felt and we've got it decked out in ribbons and white poinsettias and little wicker baskets with berries and leaves. We made some gingerbread men in overalls last year. I really like it, it's red , white and green and I think very festive. We made some spice ornaments but I can't find them. I just saw them last week! My house is like some sort of black hole, I'm convinced of it! The kids had a ball but hung all the decorations in one place, so I had to keep on em' to be diverse. Jack kept rearranging and just couldn't decide if it was all right or not.

The kids can't seem to stay out of my knitting stuff...

To end our unit, we read "Squanto's Journey" and made Squanto Dirt Cups. They looked pretty carny, but it served the purpose of illustrating how the Pilgrims planted their corn. We crumbled up Oreos then put chocolate pudding over that and then the kids "planted" some candy corn and a Swedish fish. See, I told you it looked carny...

And here's my budding artist, who, up until about 2 months ago, I was not aware could even draw, much less it make sense...Hope all my US friends had a super Thanksgiving and hope my blog buddies from the Far North had a great day! Blessings, Della

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Thing I'm Most Thankful For...

It's one of my favorite times of the year. I've been prancing around humming "Count Your Blessings" as I make out recipe lists, gearing up for , in my opinion, the most neglected of holidays! Thanksgiving. It's a shame our society , overall , seems to recognize that we have something to be thankful for one day out of the year. Honestly , everyday ought to be Thanksgiving. We ought to live Praise filled lives. In my devotions last week, I was forced to look at my own contentment. When we are bogged down with how we can get more and bigger and better, we miss out on enjoying what God has given us. He's been good to me and he has given me EVERYTHING he desires me to have and ALL of my needs. The Word says that "godliness with contentment is great gain." Thanksgiving ought to be much more than a day where we overeat and watch football and nap. Nothing wrong with those things, but I'm just saying , there ought to be more thanks in thanksgiving.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm gonna share my testimony of the best thing that ever happened to me (and it wasn't the day McDonald's started Free Coffee Mondays, either.) If I have one thing (and of course I have many) to thank God for, it would be my salvation.

In January, I will have been born again, saved by grace, for six years. Counting it up now , it doesn't seem possible that it's been that long ago, but, it has. I had never been in church much until I met Jody, and his dad being a preacher, we went to church quite a bit. My father in law was the first real preacher I heard. And , to this day, he's my favorite. I think there will always be a special place in every Christian's heart for the man of God that cared enough to give you the truth about your situation. Now, by the world's standards, I was a pretty good person. Hard working, trying to be nice to others, with my moments of rebellion. But I was a sinner, simply put, because , if for no other offense, I denied the existence of the God that created me and ignored the fact that I was in a state of separation from him. The Lord was on my trail from the very first church service I attended and he didn't let up. After Jody and I were married, I had gone to the alter a couple of times, but no change ever took place. And I knew it and made no qualms to let others know it. I had heard about people saying they got something when they didn't, but I wanted it to be real, I didn't want to have to go back to get it! I tried to run and I shudder to even think how many times I turned the Holy Spirit away, but one morning, I gave in.

I remember it was a Tuesday and I was getting ready to go to work. I was putting on my mascara when the Lord gave me a glimpse of my condition, in all it's ugliness and the outcome if I turned him away that morning. And, though nobody else could hear it, I did loud and clear. His voice telling me it was my last opportunity. Well, that was what it took. The Lord giving up on me. I believe he saved me before my knees hit the floor to pray. And since that day, well, I've never been quite the same. I still look the same in some ways, but, make no mistake, I was made a new creature that day, just like He promised in His Word. There have been dry times and valleys that seemed they would never end, but there have also been times where my heart has overflowed and the Lord of Creation has spent time with me. Two days later, I found out I was going to have Lillie , and I can't thank God enough for doing this work in me before my kids were born. I was baptized ( fully dunked in the river, old school style) when I was 8 months pregnant. What a sight, I wish I could find the picture.

As I type this now, my heart overflows with joy and gratitude. It's good to remember from time to time what He's done for me along this journey home.

So that's the story of the one thing I'm most thankful for, for without His pardon, His grace, His mercy, I never would know what true blessings are. Praise the Lord, today and everyday. Happy Thanksgiving to my family, friends and fellow blog buddies. I am thankful for you all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Found It!

Yippee-Skippy! That's all I can say. My children managed to find my camera charger several weeks ago and ...misplaced it. My battery ran out last week, so I've been in a state of near panic hunting for it. Well, Friday I was feeling industrious and had just done a devotion on the evils of idleness and decided to switch the kids's rooms. The girls are now in the bigger room and Jack has the smaller one. Well, lo and behold , under the girl's bed was the charger and I did a happy dance that I pray none of you has to see. With all that said, as I 've mentioned we've been studying the pilgrims. We've done some activities, but mostly reading. Today and tommorrow I plan on wrapping up the 4 or so projects we didn't get to. Here's the books we've used in our study...
The Naughty Little Pilgrim by Wilma Pitchford Hayes (This is a very historically accurate story of Little John Billington who came across the Mayflower with his family. Now, I find history fascinating. William Bradford wrote that their was no family that caused more trouble than the Billington's. Little JOhn and his brother Francis nearly blew up the Mayflower by firing off some muskets in the gun room. Not real bright... Little John decided to disobey and got lost in the woods and taken in by some Indians. However, that particular outcome was really beneficial to the Pilgrims. I also found out from one of our other books that John Billington's father was executed for murder. The Billington's may very well have been the first organized crime family in the New World...Ha! Reading this story , I couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity... a chill really. That little boy sounded sooooo familiar...OHHHHHH wait, yeah, this goober.
The Three Little Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness
On the Mayflower by Kate Waters
The Pilgrims and Me by ...shoot. No, not shoot. Shoot as in I can't remember that lady's name! Oh well, not worth losing another braincell over.
Squanto's Journey by Joseph Brucac
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh (Which I plan on reading tommorrow night when we count our blessings from the blessing box.)
We have mostly been lapbooking and , man, I'll be so glad when I can trust my children with glue and scissors unattended so they can start doing these. It is so much work, of course, I think I tend to overdo it in my zealousness...Here's the finished product minus the cover cause we ain't done that yet.
OK, this is the flippy window diagram of the Mayflower I made and the most involved element of the lap book as it required alot of air brushing, number typing and knife cutting. It turned out nice though and I was pleased I didn't slice my finger off with the exacto knife.
Here's a flippy flappy book that has some common phrases and their Pilgrim translation. My buddy Joy actually had her children speak pilgrim for a day and I thought that was super neat!This is a mini fan book of our bible verses... By the way before you, I am not a professional hand model, though I get that alot :) That was sarcasm, by the way.This is a flippy flappy book on "Thanks" in many languages.This is a clip art of a travel trunk that I made into a pocket and placed cards with the items that the Pilgrims took. The Pilgrims probably used a book written by those who had already traveled to the New World as a guide. It's pretty neat to try and figure out what the items are being that they were written how they sounded and in olde English.The second pocket has a list of things Lillie would take to the New World. Her princess backpack, baby doll and cheese crackers were some of the must have's for this little traveler.
On the side flaps are shutter books of the clothes that the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag wore. The middle section is made up of some pics and brief bios of some of the more notable pilgrims.Moving on along, this was the humdinger, let me tell you. Thankfully Lilllie Anna glued most of the pieces on. It seems rather plain, doesn't it? Well, looks can be decieving...This is just a closeup of sorta how it looks. And this is just a section of....THIS...and it keeps going as well. I really liked the idea of an illustrated time line being that Lillie can't read fluently and the pics help her recall the events.The text of the Mayflower Compact and it's signers...Facts about turkeys. I wanted to make this a fan book, but couldn't find any brads...guess that means one of the kids ate them...An accurate depiction of what food was served at the Harvest Feast. Hate to break it to you die hard pumpkin pie wasn't on the menu. Neither was that jellied cranberry sauce or sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Hope I didn't just kill Thanksgiving.Well, I've been knitting like a mad woman trying to finish my Christmas projects. Here's the hat I made Lillie and , well, she loves it. So much so that she wears it around the house. Doesn't she look like a little orphan from a Dicken's novel? No post would be complete without a picture of Chloe eating.Will have some fun projects for you tommorrow. Hope ya'll have a Praise filled Thanksgiving week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Saga Continues...

Donna! I made it! Well, it's been 7 days and according to doctor's orders, I was to have my little Goober back in the emergency room to have those stitches taken out. Oh day that I have dreaded... I thought since I was having company for dinner that I'd go on while my mom-in-law was here to watch the girls so I wouldn't be stuck in the waiting room all evening and not get supper ready. I was going to wait until Jody got out of school, but that was just too late in the day. I mean, how hard can it be? I mean, he's a CHILD and I'm the ADULT! Why am I huddled in a dark closet binge eating? I mean...he's just a little squirt...I can DO this. Ahhh the power of positive thinking. Well, so off me and the little goober went. He once again panicked everytime I mentioned anything doctor related. I gave him a crazy big bag of Tootsie rolls and the bribing started up. Finally, I just got irritated and told him to stop being a baby. We got to the hospital and I was truly embarrassed! I know that sounds horrible. He was scared and all, but he was really not acting very nice. Poor well meaning elderly women all over the joint were trying to talk to him and he'd just wail and blubber and snot. Finally he said he needed to go to the bathroom. Just what I wanted to hear. NOw I could give him that tongue lashing and hushed threatenings and maybe squeeze in a leg swat or pinch. The kid refused to wash his hands and he cried when the automatic paper towel machine kicked in. Finally after about 20 minutes of having to endure the most ungodliest junk on the TV, the nurse called us into the triage. Long story short, she said it could be up to 2 hours before she could see him cause she'd have to wrap him again and hold him and there were no rooms availiable. I just told her we'd be back. I was NOT going to sit in the waiting room with him acting like he was for 2 hours when I could be sucking down a Mocha Latte from McDonald's and drowning my sorrows in snickers bars. I called my mother-in-law who is one of the wisest women I know and she asked me if we couldn't just take the stitches out ourselves. BRILLIANT! I don't know why I didn't think of it (oh because of that half brain cell thingy). I mean the kid's gonna scream regardless, but at least I don't have to wait. So, when Jody got home, I got my embroidery snips and we set to the task which took all of 1 minute and was totally free, except for maybe the therapy I'll have to have after all this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amazing Grace!

This is BEAUTIFUL! I have never heard it sung like this and I totally dig the bagpipe. I listened to it with my eyes shut and just bawled like a baby! Enjoy and think about when he extended that grace to you! Before you play it, be sure to scroll down and pause the music player. Blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

All Stitched Up!

Well, it was bound to happen to the little guy. I mean, it's only by a miracle of Almighty God that he made it 3 years incident. Yep, little Goober's got 5 stitches. He slipped and hit the coffee table, gashing his eyelid open. I wasn't panicked by the injury as much as I was the prospect of taking my doctor-hating son to the emergency room. I can not stress to you enough how horrible an experience it is to take Jackson to the doctor. He panicked while we buckled him in the car, he panicked all the way to the hospital, he panicked in the parking lot, he panicked at the registration counter ,he panicked in the triage, and he panicked anytime anyone in scrubs looked his way. All this panicking BEFORE they had to restrain him by wrapping him in a sheet, like a little (did I mention, panicky?) king Tut and sew up his eyelid. We bribed and we shushed and we shushed and we bribed. But let me tell you, if you've never had to hold one of your children down while they scream at high decibels and thrash around in have yet to completely experience parenthood. Jody got a little too much experience, I think, when Jack lost complete bladder control and wet all over him! Man, I've been there...more times than I want to admit. It took one nurse to hold his head and both me and Jody to hold him still on the table. The doc was fabulously quick , however (I think maybe he sensed that my son is a whole different breed of patient, the kind that leave you wishing you'd been a lawyer.) He had a sense of humor, making some little joke about going to see the ear doctor the next day ( now that I think about it, he wasn't smiling when he said it...maybe he was serious.) I sure hope he doesn't sue us! Anyway, we were only at the hospital like and hour and a half which was a miracle within itself and the little goober got a dandy hospital bracelet, stickers, a popsicle , a Sprite and one of his small Christmas presents out of the deal. The kid racked up on the goods! It's a shame how a parent will grovel and carry on when trying to calm a doctor-phobe. Thanks to my brother in law Denny and parent's in law for being here at the house and staying with the girls. Much extra thanks to my mother in law who came over and stayed with me yesterday and risked her life to clean out my closets. She did a great job, even convincing my father in law to take my 12 or so totes of kids clothes to his house! She's very persuasive. She even let me go out...ALONE for a couple of hours. Praise the Lord for a mother in law who can turn drill sergent Nannie in a few seconds and whip these puny kids into shape! I only have one beef...she seemed dead set on leaving me with a basket of socks to sort and mate...oh well, beggers can't be choosy! Have a blessed, stitch free day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ain't We Cultured?

Today was good, today was fun. Tommorrow is another one! Dr. Seuss.

Yesterday,feeling as if we lacked culture in our lives I took Lillie to see Seussical the Musical. Dr. Seuss is right up my alley right now in this season of life, being without many brain cells. I find the repetition and rhyming to be calming... I've read Green Eggs and Ham so many times, I have it memorized. Dr. Seuss is culture...I just didn't say what kind of culture. I mean, really, Dr. Seuss can open up so many conversational opportunities and reveal many life lessons. You look skeptical...

Okay, for instance. Green Eggs and Ham...the importance of cleaning out your fridge. Very important life concept. Horton Hears a Who...when you hear little voices that no one else seems to hear...tell an adult and get some counseling. The Cat in the Hat...don't open the door for strangers and don't let a talking cat with no fashion sense tell you what to do . Oh the Thinks You Can Think...think all you can while your young, cause once you have children of your own, you lose the ability. See what I mean? All kidding aside, had a nice time , though. I always like to watch what amazes my children. I don't get it alot of times, but as we grow older, we shed that sense of wonder we once overflowed with. It was good to spend time with my oldest daughter who sat totally still and never even blinked once. We will start assembling parts of our Pilgrim lapbook today and I'll post our progress. Have a great day and don't forget to walk thankfully today!!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just One of Those Days...

Ever have em? My children are cranky and rowdy and looking for a fight...the housework seems much to do and seemingly not enough time to do it...I'm wondering if the Lord wasn't having an off day when he decided I was fit to be a mother (okay, I'm kidding on that one).
Still, as much as I want to yank every single hair out of my head this morning, I am reminded of something a man said to me in the grocery store a week or so back and my reply. See, so often we talk idealistically about our lives to others, yet we seem to forget we said those things later on when the heat is on. I'm sure I'm not the only mother of more than one child that gets this at the store. You're in the check out and your kids are doing what they do best...make a lousy first impression. Some well-meaning person says to you..."My! You sure do have your hands full!" I'm sorry...but I get SOOOOOO TIRED of hearing that. Some people aren't trying to be judgemental or mean, but others , you can just hear the disdain in their voices. Wondering why anyone would want to have that many kids, even if all you have is 2. One such man asked me this question on one of those days when I was poised to talk back and in a pretty good mood . "You sure do have your hands full!" "Yep."was my sophisticated reply. "It's better than having empty hands." He didn't say anything else to me...just smiled that smile people give you when they think you're nuts.
Today, I am reminded of those words that came out of my mouth. It was easy to say it then, but hard to keep it in mind on a day like today when everything is chaotic and I just want to find a dark closet and shut myself in for a couple of hours! But I have to admit...I prefer my hands to be full. I am aware of how quiet my life would be without them. And for all their bad days and bad habits, they have just as many good days and good habits sometimes as well. I just tend to focus only on the bad ones I suppose. I am keenly aware that if I'd focus more on those times they are doing the good, that the bad things and bad days stay in better perspective. The perspective of the verse in Psalms 127 "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." My children...a reward? Whatever contest I won, I'm not entering again :) All kidding aside, it's the truth. I'd be part empty without my children. They are such a part of me and my life, such a chunk of what the Lord has in store for me, I can't and refuse to imagine life without them ever being in it. Even if they are gone tommorrow, I am better because they have been in my life. Thank You Lord for these little monsters!

Friday, November 7, 2008

And the Journey Begins...

This is one of those catch-up posts I'm bad to do. Kinda just a summary of what we've been into this week. Lillie has officially memorized the Old Testament books of the Bible, so we were able to mark that off our goal sheet for the year. We have started our Thanksgiving unit this week, and though circumstances caused us to miss two days, we've still learned alot.
Wednesday we read Kate Water's "On the Mayflower" and talked a little about why the Pilgrims came here and discussed the book. Lillie did the virtual tour of the Mayflower off the Scholastic site.We did a coloring page and Anna did her copywork of Psalms 92:1. We decorated our family blessing box, which , I think is going to be a very special project for our family. Every night at dinner, we each put in what we are thankful for that day. Then when we have our little Thanksgiving with just us, we will "count" our blessings and read them aloud.
In this unit, I really wanted to focus, not so much on the facts of the Pilgrims journey(though they will have their place), but on the providential hand of God in their circumstances. How this country's history would be changed if the Pilgrim's had not been so brave! Some of the children on the Mayflower weren't even traveling with their parents. Other's left children and other family behind to make the dangerous journey. Though snares and difficulties , sickness and heartaches came their way, they pressed on, believing in the plan God had for them. Today I introduced the kids to a compass and the four basic directions. Captains had to chart their courses using compasses, maps and the stars. They had to be really good at math! I knew there was I reason I never was a ship captain (that and I sink better than I swim). I made a large compass out of masking tape and I told the kids to stand in the middle. Then I'd shout out directions and they'd have to turn their bodies that direction. The faster I got, the more the turning became hopping. It was quite amusing...

I drew a crude and simple map of our neighborhood and some of the places we go .(cause I can't draw all that great) and let them tell me what direction we go to go to the bank, grocery, library, etc. Lillie filled in a compass rose worksheet and then we made a puppet of the Mayflower. The ship came from the site and I just attached a dowel rod to the back and made the background out of construction paper, only glueing the waves on the sides so the bottom was left free to thread the puppet through. The kids thought it was super neat...

Did a good object lesson for bible time this morning. Read in Matthew 7:13-14 where it talks about the strait and narrow way. Then read Hebrews 12:1 where the writer tells us to lay aside the weight and sin that so easily besets us. I made a line of masking tape on the floor (yes, again! It's the new duct tape!) and had the kids walk it with their arms out to the sides ala balance beam. I explained that the line is the narrow path that leads to God. Though a challenge to stay on it, it still wasn't impossible. Then, I made the kids balance a small book in each hand as they walked the line. It became a little more difficult. Then I kept adding books until they couldn't take anymore. Lillie said,"Momma! Those books are too heavy, I can't stay on the path!" I then explained that the books are like sin. They weigh us down, they separate us from God and they make it hard to stay on the path. It was a challenge to walk the line without the books, but it was easier than trying to walk it weighed down. We can walk it if it's just us and God! I then told the kids to throw down the books and walk the line again, explaining that if we repent and ask the Lord to help us get rid of those sins, he'll do it and we can once again travel the path easier.
Here are some random pics over the last week...Christmas shopping is HARD WORK!She looks real spiritual, but she's actually just asleep on the Lord!Here are two pages from our Solar System book kinda showing how we used notebooking. I created the sheets myself and we added a lapbook mini book with facts to each page. You can see, the kids had to color in the planet showing one unique characteristic of each planet to help with recollection. Here is Jupiter and the Great Red Spot...And Saturn with it's rings...Swinging on trees...

More Pilgrim excitement to follow! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

When All These Things Come To Pass...

Let me say first, I love America! I don't like the path we've taken, how far we've strayed and alot of the junk that goes on here, but I love living here. It is a great country!
Now, let's talk post election. You're probably as sick of post election coverage as anything. I spent an hour getting a tire patched yesterday and all that was on the tv was people picking apart and analyzing this election. For some this was a great victory cause they're guy won, for others it was probably a panic and a cold sweat...for me? Well, I didn't wake up Wednesday morning with either dread or great excitement. I didn't start hunting for a generator and stocking up on canned goods (although, that might not be a bad idea now that I think about it). Why? Well, since I asked for you...I have not forgotten whose in control of this thing. I was conversing with someone the other day and they made the comment that whether you liked McCain or not, vote for him cause you certainly don't want Obama. Now, don't misunderstand me on this one. I think you ought to vote, it's a duty you have as an American citizen. However, I think alot of people have forgotten what the Bible says about the appointment of rulers. God will put in there exactly who he wants to serve out his perfect will. One other point people have forgotten is that, according to scripture, it ain't gonna get any better! Jesus will come back at a time of turmoil, not a time of peace and prosperity. One man will not change this world and the course it is on. Now, he can do his part to either better it or mess it up, but he won't change God's plan. He can , by some miracle (possible, but not likely) turn this country towards God, but the outcomes of any scenario lie in the hands of the Creator. That may seem "glass half empty" to you, but it gives me great encouragement. You see, I have a hope in something better that I will have for an eternity. By repenting and turning my life over to Jesus, I have recieved that precious gift of eternal life. It's close people, the skies could open up TODAY. Best thing to do is not put confidence in a man, but to make sure your soul has made preparation for that great day!