Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It started off to be an incredible Sunday morning. I awakened ready for a fresh Word and the fellowship the day had to offer. I was the first to be ready, and I quickly realized the other female in the house was running a tad behind. As her mom, I could sense and feel her stress. Meanwhile, the men of the house were ready and about to begin heckling over the one about to make us late. In a surreal moment, I told the gentlemen to give her some grace. I sensed her struggle and knew she needed some love. I strongly admonished them to KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.

We waited.

And waited.

When the door opened and she wasn't anywhere near ready, my blood began to simmer.

The attitude coming forth was not so nice.

Oh, yes. Where was my wonderful morning? I ignored the ringing bells going off all around me. I totally went from simmer to full on boil - as the gentlemen looked on with wide eyes and mouths opened.

I blew it. Really blew it. I did every thing I told the men not to do.

And off we went as one wonderful foursome to church. Not.

We go our separate ways for Sunday School. It was nice for me to have that hour - honestly, for the Lord to have that hour to work on ME. The conviction began.

We regrouped as a family for worship, which by the way, is one of the highlights of my week. She was standing by me. As we begain singing praises to God, I turned to her and asked forgiveness. I needed it from her before I could even utter anything else to the Lord. I wanted her to know how badly I messed up and how sorry I was. In her sweetness, she smiled and hugged me. Forgiveness was granted. We could worship.

Then it came. Communion. I was awashed anew by the blood of Christ.

If you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
words of Jesus ~ Matthew 5:23-24

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Turning Off the Television!

I recently had a friend ask me about our television habits. She was looking for ideas to inspire her and her family to turn off the television.

She has good reason - the impact the television, and our culture in general, can make on our homes is huge. We would be wise to be a guardian over that doorway into our lives. I believe that God has set us moms in place as a gatekeeper, a watchman on the wall to make sure no bad influences are coming into our homes.

In fact, in a book I read recently called The Marketing of Evil, a PBS documentary called The Merchants of Cool was quoted:

“Today, five enormous companies are responsible for selling nearly all of youth culture. These are the true merchants of cool: Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Universal Vivendi, and AOL/Time Warner. The documentary demonstrates how big corporations literally send spies to infiltrate young people's social settings to gather intelligence on what they can induce these children to buy next.”

In her book, Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World, written in 2006, Jill Rigby states the following stats: 75% of 12 yr olds watch R movies at least once a month. 90% of 7 yr olds watch PG13 movies regularly. The PG13 movie of today would have received an R rating 15 yrs ago. More than 65% said their parents were the ones who allowed them to see the movies.

So, with that being said, here is the advice I gave my friend regarding shows we watch and what we do to fill the time so we are NOT watching shows! ;-)

First of all, our days are so busy with school, chores and sometimes sports/church stuff that there is not much time for sitting around "letting our brains turn to mush" as we call it.
So when we do watch tv, we try to pick wisely most of the time. I don't know if you mean kids or both of you so my suggestions will be for everyone. In general, what we do watch, we record on DVR and skip the commercials. Also, Craig gets home at 7 and bedtime is about 830 so we don't have tons of time we are trying to fill.

For the older kids:
1. We DO watch: Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (PBS show)- neat field trip kind of show for kids
2. We have also let them watch Mythbusters sometimes, but I don't always love the language on there - I still think our kids are too young for it. But the experiments are interesting so if you can preview it, it can really be learning fun.
3. I order movies from netflix or library that go along with the history we are studying. We are watching The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur this year since we are in ancients. I also found that Netflix has some IMAX type movies on DVD that have been good.
4. My kids are liking the new Electric Company show but honestly I don't know if that is good or not. I need to watch one and see..... ;-{
5. We limit freetime tv by making them pay for 30 minutes with a ticket they earned by doing chores. Sometimes they'd just rather not spend it and save it for buying something else.

Non TV ideas:
Here is what we do when the tv is not on. These are not necessarily in the order they are done in our home!

1. Learning game on computer: Rosetta Stone Spanish, IXL.com for math game (it sends me reports on how they are doing); Carmen Sandiego for Geography, typing websites, or just letting them make a document they want to type up - we limit computer time to 30 min a day and not all days have computer time

2. Wii - we have enjoyed our wii - it is also a "screen" so we limit time but we have a lot of fun racing each other on mario karts, wii ski & snowboard, wii sports or doing Wii fit. It's hilarious watching our littlest one trying to do yoga on the wii fit. We probably do that once a week. Sometimes I am not in the room - doing laundry and catchup while they are hanging out with dad.

3. Games - We have lots of games. Just got Bananagrams. For boys, I would try Risk. They played that at game night at our hybrid school's game night and the boys and dads loved it. It takes a lot of time too!

4. Reading aloud - If I don't get the reading in during the afternoon, then we read aloud at night. Often I will read to the older ones while Craig helps the little ones get a bath. We are reading great books that are historical fiction, that really bring history and sometimes the Bible to life. Sometimes the language is hard, but that is good for vocabulary! Other times it is more simple.

You can find good book guides/lists in the sonlight.com catalog (download it for free), biblioplan (a history program that has great reading recommendations), veritas press catalog, truthquest history. I am using biblioplan mostly for our family reading and Sonlight for the little girls' reading assignments on their own.

5. Crafts - of course, you can always work on crafts! Especially for girls - knitting, sewing, making a miniature dollhouse, quilling. You can get a Keepers at Home girls handbook that guides you through lots of homemaking skills. My girls are in a keepers club but before that we had the book and were just learning things on our own. They also have a handbook for boys (Contenders for the Faith) but I have not checked those out yet since our boy is not old enough! Also boys like making models and stuff like that...

6. Books on CD - we do this in the car mostly but I know a friend who's boys listen to books each night. There are tons of great ones. We have the Narnia set from Focus on the family. It's exciting. We also love Odyssey and recently checked out The Penderwicks and laughed so hard as we were driving along. You can also get Story of the World on Cd from Amazon if you have a history buff among you. We listen to bits and pieces that go along with our history and it's pretty entertaining. The guy has a nasal sounding voice though so sometimes the kids make fun of him! ;-) We have also been listening to True Tales by Diana Waring. Fascinating stories about history and the Bible.

7. Chores & Skills - you can always ramp up their responsibilities to keep them busy. Help them learn a new skill to help out around the house and build confidence.

8. Memorize verses. We follow the scripture memory system at http://simplycharlottemason.com/timesavers/memorysys

9. Bible study--read a section and discuss

10. Quotes with Character -- a book of quotes-- we pick one and copy into spiral notebook either printing or cursive

11. Conversation with Character-- a speech class for ages 9 and up

12. Growing kids Gods way coloring book - great for teaching obedience and how to act for little ones

13. Our 24 Family Ways--short lesson and coloring page

14. Manners-- have a manners lesson and practice learning new manners. There are several books on the market for this.

I hope these tips give you some ideas of something new to try as you turn the tv off. And also, keep in mind that as you do this, you will not be like the rest of the world around you! In fact, you might even be called a dork! So for encouragement that it is okay to be a dork, I leave you with this blog at stuffchristianslike.

Blessings as we raise our dorks and turn off the television!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

sNOw Retreat

I was so ready for a getaway last weekend with other homeschool moms. Ready for girlfriend time, girlfriend laughter, girlfriend talk. Ready to hear from the Lord. Ready to soak Him up all by myself, with no children asking me what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Then came the first snow of 2010.

Really it was more ice than snow. I am saying first because I believe we will have a second--more intense and enough to build a snowman and snow angels!

A southern gal can dream!

Well, the snow postponed the retreat. I was bummed and really did not know what to do with myself for a few hours. Then I realized I needed to provide lunch, dinner, breakfast, etc.

My daughter asked me that afternoon if I was really disappointed. I paused. Thought about it. My response was, "No, I am not really disappointed. Did I want to go, Yes! But I trust God in the details of the retreat to know this was not our weekend to go."

At that moment, I realized I possibly have grown up - some. As much as that was the right answer, it was truly the answer of my heart.

I want that to be my heart's desire for 2010. I want what God wants and nothing else. I know His plans are for me to prosper and not to harm me. I want my tween to grasp the greatness of the God we serve and to know He does all things well. If my plans are not on His timeline, why do I want to carry them out?

Trust me, I have been on that path before, and it was not fun.

So instead of enjoying the North Georgia mountains, I got to sled with the kids, take walks, enjoy the beauty of frozen snow covered ponds, drink lots of hot chocolate, watch old movies...retreat, you could say.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


This time last year we began planning for me to work part-part time at our family business.

We began planning how in the world I would work and teach and clean and cook and lead a scouting group and host a small group and ...you know the drill, all the STUFF we moms do.

God wanted me in the office. My husband wanted me in the office. So I prepared for the office.

Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary of working with the most handsome, fun, loving, and considerate boss I have ever had. Can I tell you it is fun to kiss the boss and sit on his lap in the middle of the day?!

I learned to say no to things this year. Our kids learned responsibility in doing jobs at the office, too. They learned the importance of teamwork and giving up some of their time in order for the family goals to be met. As an added bonus and blessing, they gained some great friendships at the office that has enhanced who they are.

I learned once again God equips us with what we need when we need it. Once again I learned He blesses the obedient.

I was a tad fearful of starting last year with a new hat to wear. God showed me again how little faith I had and how great He is to meet my every need. He made it so the hat fit just right. He had created the mold and shaped it just for me, just for this time in my life.

  ©Blog Design by Amy Bayliss.

Return to top