Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just Those Few Weeks

 Several years ago, I had an early miscarriage. A friend, who had also suffered a miscarriage, sent the following poem to me. It expressed exactly how I felt. I'm posting it today for a sweet friend who is going through this right now.  

Just Those Few Weeks

For just those few weeks
I had you to myself.
And that seems too short a time
to be changed so profoundly.

In those few weeks,
I came to know you...
and to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!

Just those few weeks...
when I lost you,
I lost a lifetime of hopes,
plans, dreams and aspirations.
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just those few weeks...
It wasn't enough time to convince others
how special and important you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
and no one is mourning the passing.

Just a mere few weeks..
And no "normal" person would cry all night
Over a tiny unfinished baby,
or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I??

You were just those few weeks, my little one.
You darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that's all the time you needed
to make my life richer
and to give me a small glimpse of eternity.

~S. Erling 

Our babies are safe in God's keeping. I'm so thankful that we can have the hope of seeing them in Heaven someday!

Please keep my friend and her family in your prayers.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Our Homeschool Mini-Story

"If you've read my bio, you already know that we homeschool our children. We feel very strongly about homeschooling, but we do our best never to appear judgmental or self-righteous to those who feel differently than we do!

We began our homeshooling journey several years ago when our firstborn was old enough for Kindergarten. Since my husband was working, I was the one who would be mostly responsible for teaching our children. I felt overwhelmed, inadequate, incapable, ill-equipped, and terrified. But here we are, about seven years later, and now...I feel overwhelmed, inadequate, incapable, ill-equipped, and terrified!" This is a quote from my post at  Joy Ever After today.

I used to think that there was no way I could ever homeschool my children. I mean, me?  Homeschool? Laughable! But, after prayerful consideration and talking to other moms who were homeschooling their children (and who were every bit as "human" and maybe even as scatter-brained as myself), my husband and I agreed to "do this thing". We ordered the curriculum and jumped into it with both feet. Or something like that.

There have been plenty of "pull-out-the-hair-and-bang-the-head-against-the-wall-and-scream-til-I'm-hoarse" moments. And not just the kids--I've had those moments, too. ;) Many times I was tempted to quit and send them off to school. But I knew deep down that it was never really an option and, somewhere along the line, I stopped even thinking that way. God called me to do this, and do it I will. And He has helped...of course! He said He would!

The rewards of homeschooling have far, far outweighed the trials. To spend these hours with my children, to watch the light bulb come on as they grasp a new concept, to feel the accomplishment that comes from knowing that, with God's help, I have taught them their readin' writin' and 'rithmetic, is simply priceless. The fact that I don't have to worry about what they are being taught and what kind of influences are shaping them while they're away from me for the best hours of their day is a huge blessing.

So, in short, here's how I feel. My children have been placed in my care by God for only a short time and it's my task to teach and to train them to walk in His ways and to be well-educated so that they might bring honor to Him. The church and our family play a part, but the ultimate responsibility for their education rests with their father and myself.

In this post I'd like to reach out to those of you who are also homeschooling moms, or those of you who would like to be, but are afraid and don't know where to start. If I can help in any way, however limited it may be, I would love to. And if you can help me, I would love for you to! That's what it's all about, right?

If any of you who read this are considering schooling your children at home, I urge you to prayerfully "take the plunge." There are many people, far more knowledgeable than I am, who would be more than willing to encourage you and to answer your questions. Check out the links below for more info, or find a homeschool group in your area.

Here are some homeschool links that I have found to be helpful:

Rainbow Resource Center. This site has so many homeschool helps to offer it'll make your head spin. I mean, if you order their catalog, be prepared. It's huge. I've spent hours drooling over it! They will also answer your curriculum questions free of charge.

At HomeSchool Reviews you can (duh) read reviews, compare curriculum, shop, and check out their forums.

Homeschooling From The Heart. I just found this site, and I'm already hooked. Of course they have a store, but you will also find reviews and helpful articles.

Cathy Duffy Reviews. Reviews and articles from a curriculum specialist.

Home School Legal Defense Association is there not only for legal advice and protection, but also for information, newsletters, and many other resources. Great place to begin if you're new to homeschooling. You don't have to join to have access to many of the site's features, but members do have some awesome benefits!

And one of my absolute favorites, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Too much good stuff to even mention here! They also have a Facebook page that is oh, so helpful. Trust me on this!

There are many, many sites and blogs dedicated to homeschooling. Obviously, not all are created equal, but many of them are truly Biblical, very informative, and encouraging!

I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep us in your prayers as we continue on this exciting journey!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm Thankful For...

I've seen others writing posts just to mention things for which they're thankful, and I happen to think that it's a fantastic idea. Far too often we focus on our disappointments or on how stressful life is. We whine about things we can't have and we miss out on truly enjoying all of the blessings we do have. We can always find things for which to be thankful! And so, I'd like to express my thanks...

...for learning even more about my little girls through their writing.  For the laughter in our home. For new friends and old. For cuddles and books and sweet little kisses. For watching my son fall asleep in the middle of his goodnight prayer. For a husband who loves us. For new opportunities and for reassurance when I feel like I've blown it. For autumn colors and smells, open windows and breezes. For answers to the prayers of my children.  For dreams. 

Have you thanked God for your blessings?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Why is it that some parents think it's funny to blurt out something personal about their child in front of others? How is it humorous to cause your child to blush fire-engine red and die of embarrassment?"

Today's post on Joy Ever After: Are You Keeping Their Confidence?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Upside-Down Pizza Casserole

I thought I'd share a link for this quick, yummy recipe. We tried it last week and loved it. I doubled the recipe and tweaked it just a little by adding pepperoni and black olives (for my hubby). You could also add sauteed peppers and onions, ground sausage, or whatever pizza toppings you like. I served it with a salad. It was so easy, and a definite hit with the kids. 

Here's the link: Upside-Down Pizza Casserole


Monday, October 3, 2011

Conquering the Storage Bins

Don't you just love storage bins? They're life savers! Well, that might be stretching it just a bit. But only a bit.

Seriously, I do love them. Especially since I have four children to clothe and not enough money to buy a new wardrobe for them at the beginning of every season. (And, even if I could afford it, I wouldn't.)With all those hand-me-downs, as well as Christmas decorations, extra linens, etc, it means I have a lot of storage containers, and that poses a problem. How do I find what I need without going through all of the bins? I prefer the clear ones, but even then you can't always tell if it's exactly what you were looking for without opening the lid. Thankfully, I came across this solution. (I don't remember who came up with the idea or where I heard about it.)

Number the bins. Genius, right? Right! (Yeah, it's pretty simple and you probably already thought of it, but please don't tell me if you had. I'd feel stupid.)

I have numbered the bins and made a list that tells me what is in which bin. For example, bin #1 might contain baby keepsakes. (I'm way too sentimental. I will not tell you how many bins I have that contain baby keepsakes.) Bins #2-#4 contain fall clothes, bins #5-#6 contain Christmas decorations, and so on.  That way, all I have to do is check my list and pull out the bins I need. If the contents of the bin change, I just update my list. Easy peasy! You can get as detailed on the list as you want. Whatever will jog your memory and let you know what's in there.

You'll notice the middle bin. I would like to defend myself and say that I did not label that bin thus. It's an example, though, of how frustrating and confusing it is to scribble the contents of the bin directly onto it. 

So, there you go! One of my simple sanity savers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Already October!?

It's October? Already!? Boggles my mind. I do love it, though. The weather is absolutely delicious! 

Tonight, we're planning to go to the church picnic for food, fellowship, hay rides, a bonfire, and even fireworks! My kids are so excited.

I hope you're enjoying nice weather and fun times with family and friends!