Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

Actually, we are getting closer to two. I quite writing, just because I figured I was too late, too far behind...too something.

But looking back, I am realizing that I appreciate the journey, and miss things when I don't take the time to write them down.

So back at it.

I am now the Children's Director at New Hope Community Church. My kids are now homeschooled. They are huge! That really doesn't sound like all that much, but it has all changed so much.

Josiah is 12 going on 30. He is such an old soul. He loves studying his Bible and is working on memorizing the book of Hebrews. He loves baseball and is such a stud now! He is a joy to be around, loves to think, and is almost two inches taller than me. I enjoy him so much! It is strange to see my little boy become a man-child. But what a privilege to see him grow in the Lord!

Rayana is my little mother. She is 9 and 1/2. She can handle any situation with younger kids that we could ever throw at her. She is fun, capable and just so special. She is quickly catching up to me in height and I love that! She just finished her first year of softball and improved quite a bit! She really wants to be a pitcher like her older brother.

Noelle is our baby. Or at least she still plays that role pretty often. She is 6 and 1/2 and the 1/2 is very, very important to her. She loves to sing. She constantly has a song in her head and does her best work when she is humming. She can't wait to play t-ball this summer.

We are just finishing our first real year of homeschooling through an Alternative Learning Program that our state offers. It has seen far more joys than trials. I have loved getting to be a part of my kids learning and being free to teach them so much of God's truth! But I also struggle with wanting to give them what seems "normal". I constantly pray that God will show me how to serve Him best with my children.

So there's the short version. More to come.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So....all the 4US money is out of the house. I have survived 4US, one birthday, one anniversary, and a Pampered Chef party. One birthday to go and my insane life will settle back to just crazy. I am looking forward to it.

Pampere Chef was good. I sure enjoy cooking, so seeing all the cool gadgets really was fun. The turnout was disappointing, but I just don't have a lot of friends anyway, and it wasn't the best time. But I had to sneak it in to make it before September was over and I would lose 20% off of stoneware....which was my whole purpose for the party. I am anxious to have some free money to spend and then have some cheap items coming my way as well. Especially the bread pans! Can't wait! It's like Christmas in ...whenever they come!

Tonight was the third AWANA night. We are kind of used to the routine now. I think. There seems to be something I do wrong almost every week. I think eventually I will catch on completely. I am really enjoying not being in charge. It is much more restful and I am really getting to know my kids. I love that! They are all sweet kids who really follow directions well. I am anxious to pray for them more and just get to know them better! I am also really enjoying the special time that I have with Rayana. She is a special girl who has some special needs. She gets less time with me than the other two, and I really miss her. And I can tell that that has an affect on her. I hope that the time at AWANA will be special for her. It is the first time that I have actually been just a leader. I have only been a junior helper or a Director. AWANA is such a great program and I am really proud of them when they say their verses! Nothing touches my heart like hearing them say their verses!

Randy is interested in starting to go to a Bible study with some old friends that meets on Thursday nights. I am very excited! I would love to start that! It would be so good for our whole family! I am praying that Rayana's soccer practice might get changed so that we can begin that immediately. It would be terrific for Randy, for our relationship, for his relationship with the kids, and just for the kids in general. The kids are very involved with the Bible study, which sounds perfect to me. I have avoided small groups before because they always want to find babysitting for the kids. I am not anxious to spend time away from them! And Bible study seems like the most appropriate place in the world for them! to bed. Big birthday tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

4US and Priorities

Well, we are in the aftermath. This weekend was 4US, year 5. It is amazing. And exhausting, and demanding, and not over. My work really just started. And my house looks like it. Right now I am struggling with my priorities. How can I make 4US a priority and still keep my family as #1. Or should my family take a back seat for a little while? It is hard to know. And I hope that God will bless me as I seek the answer to this.

I took a few days pretty much away from the family to work exclusively on 4US. Actually, Kara, Nathan and the kids were there the whole time, I was just very busy. Is it wrong to put aside my motherly/wifely duties to work for 4US? I don't think it is. I think that the benefits to my family far outweigh the negatives, for a time. What really concerns me is the amount of time that it takes for weeks before, after, and during the event. How can I keep a schedule and still do what needs to be done 4US? How do I go about picking up the aftermath of an event like that and the pieces of my family. I feel 20 steps behind, and getting farther behind ever so quickly. I know the end will come, life will get back on schedule, but I am feeling the strain of the chaos. I crave a schedule, without interuptions, one that I can cling to and know there is time for everything. Right now everything is in chaos - the kids schooling, the house, 4US, my responsibilities. How do I know where to pour what little time I feel like I have? I pray that God will give me the answer.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Saturday was Rayana's 8th birthday. It was a wonderful day...filled with simplicity and fun. She told me over and over that it was the best birthday ever. That makes my day. Life is so full at the moment, it was hard to take time to really celebrate with her, so I was very relieved that she felt special! We started with chocolate chip pancakes....her favorite food EVER...then went to Josiah's first soccer game, followed by Rayana's with cookies and drinks for her team. They all sang to her and she loved it. Then it was home to change out of soccer clothes and out to Moctezuma's with Masako. She loved every minute of that, but especially the big sombrero and the loud singing by the waiters. Then we came home and cut off her hair. She had a good foot cut off and donated and now is sporting a very adorable, and much easier to care for, hairdo! We both love it, but Randy really misses her long hair I think. Then off to church, which was just what she wanted to do for her birthday. Then we finished with Blizzards at Dairy Queen with Uncle Bill, Nathan, and Masako. It really was a great birthday. Finally, she snuggled into a new bedding with new hot pink sheets, a new pillow and a new comforter. I can see why she enjoyed the day.

Our schedule is not easing up at all, but we are starting to fall into sync a little. Josiah and I are getting the hang of his school work, and Noelle is getting the hang of hers. Rayana is enjoying public school for now. But wants to reevaluate around Christmas. I think that is a great option. I sure would love to have them all at home, but I am also aware of how much work that might make for me. But on the other hand, there would be a lot of extra time as well. Time spent making lunches (more than once a day), time in the car, waiting in parking lots, at recess, in between classes, that we could squish all together and just get it done. It sure is tempting.

And I'm still working on my schedule. Months ago, I ordered a book from It is called Manager of their Chores. I loved it and have implimented their chore system in our own home, though I am not as disciplined with it as I really should be. I am finding that the big reason the kids chores don't get done is not their unwillingness as much as it is our lack of a good schedule. Well thankfully, the wonderful family at also wrote a book on scheduling called Manager of their Homes. So I ordered it as well. They were both a little expensive, but I strongly believe that they represent a bood biblical model of what God wants for our home, and they have encouraged me to tackle character training in our children, which is something that had basically been overlooked. So I am almost finished reading the book now and am working on listing everything that I need to get done in a day so that I can see if it will fit. It is very interesting to think of very moment of my day scheduled like that, but I can really see how unproductive I am and how a schedule could really allow me to devote my time to my family. I am anxious to see where this will lead.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love the way God works!!!

So I have been praying for a long time for God to give me discipine. I am not naturally very disciplined...unless I absolutely have to be...then I get it done. But if there is not might not happen. Well, in preparation for our new crazy school year, I decided to read the Maxwell's book on scheduling. I have had a very hard time getting very far into it though, as life is busy, but have scheduled time to read it a little at a time. (Like that?? I'm getting better just by owning the book!)

Well today was crazy, but Josiah and I managed one hour to sit down and work on his school. We did a lesson from his Intro to Online Learning class. Can you guess what the subject was?? Of course...organization and scheduling! Then I ended up needing to take Rayana to soccer practice and wait with her...which gave me 45 minutes with nothing to do but sit and read my book! I only have a few chapters left and have serious prayed about a new, organized and disciplined schedule for myself and the kids. We have a lot to do, and it just isn't going to work if we don't discipline ourselves and use our time wisely. I am excited to being the actual process...but am determined to wait until I finish the book. I want to have all the necessary info together.

On the other was the first day of school for the kids! Rayana is in the second grade, and really loved her teacher. Her birthday is this weekend, and we are excited to be bringing cookies to school....quick way to make friends! Josiah had the opportunity to spend the whole day at Idlewild, just to see how things work, get to know the teachers and hang out. So we didn't get a lot of is schoolwork done, but think it was very good for him! And we have his schedule figured least for now. He will go to Idlewild at 11 on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. He will be there for recess, lunch and then either Art or PE. Then I will pick him up at 1. 6 hours a week will really help him to stay in touch with his friends, and hopefully leave him with enough time to do his work at home. I am ecstatic about how this has all worked out! Now if he could just get some more challenging work...but one step at a time!

Noelle loved her first day of homeschooling. She called me "Teacher" all day, and wanted me to call her "Student". She really enjoyed the activities and I believe it will be very beneficial for her as well as allow me to focus on Josiah a little more, while she is occupied with her work.

All in all...I am very excited, both for our new schedule and for the choices we have made for our children this year. At least for now, we are giving them the best we can.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What a ride!

These last few days have been absolutely crazy! It started Friday, with my husband's 20 year high school reunion. I was up far later than my normal bedtime! Then Saturday night....same thing, but even later. Then last night....started to go to bed at 8...and couldn't sleep! Ended up staying up intil 1am....AGAIN! It is going to be a rough couple of days adjusting my body back to a normal schedule.

The reunion was terrific. I had a great time meeting many of my husbands friends, and putting faces to the names I have heard so many times. It was also great to see my husband really enjoying himself. He had a blast.

We also had an old friend of his here from Iowa for a couple of days. It was great to get to know an old friend, to find out more about his life and to see pictures of his family. I felt very bad for him though. This had to be an extremely rough weekend....he got almost NO sleep! He is definitely going to need a vacation from THIS vacation!

So, this week starts school, for all three kids. It is going to be a very rough year...schedule wise. I am praying for wisdom and discipline.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Too MUCH!!!

How can I possibly make up for years of ignoring my house in two weeks?? I don't know. But I'm giving it my best shot.

Tomorrow starts my new year...of sorts. This weekend is my husband's twentieth high school reunion. We are planning to attend events on both Friday and Saturday evening. We are also having an old friend come and stay with us for the reunion weekend. And then school starts next week. Which is always a beginning of the year for me.

That said. I decided to take a look around my house and try to view it the way a guest would. It was enlightening. There was stuff EVERYWHERE! Old broken, abused and unused stuff! So last weekend we had a big yard sale. Boy was that a lot of work! 5am mornings trying to get the signs out and stuff put up. Late nights trying to save everything from a downpour and then clean up. Then tending to a house, that though missing lost of stuff....looked like a bomb had exploded.

So, in the last two weeks, I have....scraped popcorn off the beams, primed and painted them, painted most of my dining room and kitchen, moved bought a bookshelf, cleaned a gallon of primer out of the carpet and kitchen floor, bought new dining room chairs, got rid of our supersized junk collecter by the door, cleaned all toys out of our living space, shampooed the carpets, cleaned out the refrigerator, rearranged some furniture, caught up on laundry (and got rid of a LOT of socks), taken a very expensive but productive trip to IKEA with a sick child, down a lot of work on 4us, repainted most of the bathroom, cleaned the porch, rearranged the garden, multiple trips to the goodwill, trip to the dump and recycle center, multiple store trips, and much more that I can't think of right now. I think that makes me Superwoman!

I am vowing though, in light of own much less. We need less than half of what we have. We want to live more organized, calm lives, and we can't with so much stuff. We can't clean well, we can't be hospitable, because we have too much. So....we did a big overhaul, and will again before Christmas. But we are at least a few steps in the right direction.

Now, back to work, less than 24 hours left!