Monday, November 21, 2011

Silence

My house is quiet.  Too quiet.  There is no laughter, no yelling, no screaming, no stomping on the laminate floor. It is quiet.  Why? you ask. My kids are at Grammy and Popsy's house! A few weeks ago when Mom called to see if we would come there for Thanksgiving she also asked if they could take the kids a few days earlier.  All 3!!!  This has never been done before.  So yesterday I met my dad halfway between here and there and dropped the kids with him.  The ride home was nice and quiet.  Once I was able to get home and be still it was too quiet.  I almost couldn't stand it.  This morning I have been very productive.  I miss the kids but I am enjoying the silence. We will see how the rest of the week goes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Learning to read..take 2!

Two years ago I started teaching Jackson to read.  The experience was traumatic to say the least! There was a lot of crying and yelling.  From both of us.  So when Ellie started showing signs of readiness I was a little nervous.  Ellie's personality is nothing like Jackson's.  I knew that it would be different.  I was just worried that I might make the same mistakes as before. 

We have taken this whole entire process very slow.  She has finally started to express frustration because she cannot read.  One of her good friends is an excellent reader.  This frustrates her.  I have been preparing her for reading since June.  That is when I formally started teaching her letters and sounds.  The reason why I waited is because I wanted to make sure she got it.  A lot of times letters and numbers are taught at a very early age and I don't think kids really get them.  I think they memorize but then don't know how to apply them.  This is one of the problems that Jackson had.  Anyway, I started with just teaching her letters and sounds.  We worked and worked on them until I felt she was ready for the next step.  Last week we took the plunge.  We have officially started SSR&W.

It is not as easy as she had thought.  We are learning to blend letters like "b-a". Today she was very frustrated.  She really just wanted to read a book.  So today was not as easy as she had hoped.  I on the other hand knew it would not be so I was able to remain calm when she got upset.  I know she will get it.  Jackson did and he was hard for me!

Thankful Part 3...

It is time to talk about the third child. My sweet sweet Charlotte Grace.  When she was a newborn I would sing "Charlotte Grace with a pretty face".  She is beautiful.  She has to be for all the trouble she gets into. 

She gets into everything!  She cannot sit still.  She loves to torture, I mean, love the kittens.  She is constantly watching them. She has a song for EVERYTHING!  She turns a simple task into a song.  She loves to hold out the last note as long as she can. "I am brushing my teeeeeeeeeeeef". She loves to work on her own schoolwork.  She has amazing fine and gross motor skills.  I noticed it when she turned two but more recently I have had several people comment on them.  She is a "lefty". The only one in the family that I know of.

Have you seen the movie "Up"?  The part where the dog is talking and then is quickly sidetracked by the "SQUIRREL!".  We lovingly refer to that movie when talking about Char.  She is easily distracted and still struggles with one step tasks.  She will get it one day. 

Even with how busy she is, Charlotte still loves to cuddle.  She is the most still of them all when it comes to "snuggles".  She finds a good spot in your lap and then makes that unmistakable clicking sound with her tongue as she loves on her sheepy. 

I love you Charlotte Grace!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful Part 2....

Today is Ellie's turn.  She is definitely the middle child and a girl. She frequently gets her feelings hurt and always thinks that her brother and sister get more love, toys, time, etc etc!  It can be trying at times.  But with all that being said, she is such a blessing to me!

Her goal in life is to grow up and be a mom and a "cooker".  She loves to cook.  Our favorite time together is between 2 and 4 when Charlotte is down for her nap and Jackson is off doing "Jackson things". Ellie and I snuggle up in my bed and turn on the Food Network and watch her favorite chef, Giada De laurentes.  We talk about the recipes and then we plan what we are going to make for dinner.  It is really fun. 

Her newest thing is that she wants to film herself cooking.  I am still trying to figure out the best way to do that.

Ellie also loves passionately.  She has a few really close friends and she cares so deeply for them.  So much so that I have threatened to make her take a break! :)  All in all she is a great girl.  I know the Lord will use her personality to grow me as a mom. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful for...Part 1

I have been participating on the 30 days of thanksgiving on Facebook.  Day 4 was for Jackson, Day 5 for Ellie and Day 6 will be Charlotte.  I thought I would make more detailed posts about each of them on my blog too! So here is Part 1:

I am thankful for Jackson. He is only 8 and yet he has such a giving spirit about him.  The Lord has truly given him a heart of compassion and of generosity.  Last week we had to stop and get gas by our home.  The plan was to fill up and then head into Houston.  Jackson noticed a homeless man sitting out by the intersection.  This man has been around for a few years.  Jackson wanted to know immediately if we could stop.  I said no.  After driving for a while Jackson asked if we would be out for lunch.  I told him that I did not plan on it.  He was adamant that we stop somewhere to buy this man lunch. His response to me was "If no one else will feed him, I will." How could you argue with that.  Unfortunately the man was gone by lunch time.  He usually is.  It was a lesson for me, not to leave things undone.  Next time we will have something for him. 

That is only one little reason why I am so thankful for my boy!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

True Greatness

This summer I did a book study on Raising Your Kids for True Greatness by Tim Kimmel.  A great book for all parents, especially Christian ones!  Anyway today, Jackson, out of nowhere brought the book to me.  He said, "Mom. I want you to read this book." I smiled and told him that I had.  He then wanted to know if Troy had.  I asked why and he responded "Because I want to do good things with my life." That is exactly what this book is all about.  I was so proud of my sweet boy when he said that.  He is an amazing kid.  And my hope is that we can raise him up for TRUE greatness.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Baby Steps

Jackson has really been struggling with ELA.  He hates grammar. He hates reading. He hates writing.  Now that he is in the third grade the curriculum expects him to be doing much more of ALL of these things.  Today we started out the day struggling.  We took a break at the bowling alley!  When we got home it was time to start up again.  He saved Friends and Heroes for the end today.  He had to write a mini-report.  He was able to choose from 3 different things and today he chose Nile Crocodiles.  We researched and then it was time to write.  He was upset.  But I decided to be merciful (something I couldn't do earlier) and told him as long as they were complete sentences written correctly he only had to write 3.  I figure since we are still getting used to all of this this would be a reasonable amount of work.  He was still a little discouraged until I told him I would not grade his spelling.  Amazingly out of 3 sentences only 3 words were misspelled! He was so proud of his report when he was done.

baby steps...

For reading today I told him he could pick any book.  He chose The Snake Dictionary. He has not been able to put it down. He is reading on his own without help.  This is monumental people!

It just goes to show that when you let go of what YOU want to do and allow what really needs to, happen.  Your day gets a whole lot better!!!!!!  I am so glad our day ended this way! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Creator's Kids

I am so blessed to have a God that works out ALL of the details!  If you don't know, more than 2 years ago I went back to school to teach Special Education. At the same time the Lord called me to homeschool Jackson.  I know...CRAZY!  It was and has been.  Each year we pray about what we are to do.  Each year God has told me to continue school and continue homeschool.  I began to ask God what he had planned. Not in a what the heck are you thinking kinda way, but a what is the plan kinda way.

He answered me this past Spring. Through a series of circumstances I was put in touch with and then subsequently hired by a woman starting a brand new business.  It is called The Creator's Kids. I will be the assistant director.  I am so excited!  We open our doors January 2nd.  And what is even cooler is that I will still continue homeschooling my children!!! 

Right now we are looking for teachers!  If you know anyone that lives in this area that would be interested in something like this please have them email a resume to info@thecreatorskids.com.  We are looking for part time and possible full time teachers to teach; music, art, home economics, creative dance and theater.  I would love to hear from you all! We will begin interviewing and hiring in November!  I am so excited!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Busy with School!

The kids and I have been busy with school!  We have been going through the motions and it has been pretty good...for the most part!  We still struggle with attitudes and that can be a bit challenging, especially when I am not in the mood.

Jackson finished an ETC book last week.  It felt like it took forever (because it did) but he finished.  I asked if he wanted me to take a picture and he said "No!".  Oh well.  We have also taken a break from Horizon's Math.  I could tell that he was getting too frustrated with it and for the last 3 weeks we have been only working on fast facts on the computer.  He really likes doing it and it takes less than 5 minutes sometimes.  There are parts of me that think he should be doing more but then the laid back, just let him work at his own pace cause this is why we chose to homeschool, part of me says that 5 minutes of math is fine if he is learning.  He finished a chapter book that was part of the Hooked on Phonics program we are using.  He really enjoyed the story line and I could tell he was really proud of himself when he finished.

Ellie is still trucking away at ETC.  We will be starting SSRW before Thanksgiving I am sure.  Part of me wonders if I should wait until after the new year.  I probably won't because she is so willing to learn right now.  We are still working on number recognition and some addition. She is doing well with it.

Charlotte is craving some school time.  I have started working with colors and shapes with her.  We are also learning "C" for Charlotte.  Last week we talked about circles, purple and the number 8 by making a spider.  She really liked it.  I will have to take a picture of the project.

Overall we have been doing lots of fun things.  There have been times I thought about taking pictures but then didn't because I was enjoying my time with the kids. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Want a QUILT?

My best friend, Mindy, is adopting a sweet sweet boy in a couple of weeks. He is so precious.  His name is "Frank" but it will soon be Henry.  He is only 2 months old and his parents are here on work visa's.  They love little "Frank" but you see he has Down Syndrome.  In China, people who are a little different are not accepted.  He will never be allowed to go to school.  He will not be allowed to be seen in public.  His birth parents love him so much they are willing to give him to a family that will love him and give him the best life! 

Adoption costs money.  The Lord called and the Churchill's said "YES!". They didn't know how they would raise the funds but the Lord does. So right now you can check out their fundraiser.  Mindy is an awesome quilter!  Please check out her blog.  You can win one of 4 quilts!!!!  I LOVE those odds!  I have one of her quilts and let me tell you....I LOVE IT!!!! 

Thank you for considering!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Something Different

Yesterday my sweet friend was sharing her struggles with homeschooling with me.  I encouraged her to try something a little different and today she said it worked! 

Taking my own advice we went outside and picked up leaves and pine cones.  The kids even picked little pink flowers off of my crepe myrtles (is that how you spell that?). Oh well!  Anyway we came in and painted with leaves and used tissue paper and crayons and even googly eyes to decorate all that we got.  It was great!  We had 3 extra kids over so you can imagine I did NOT get pictures! :(  But the kids made some really cool collages. I will post pics of the finished masterpieces soon!

What kind of fun things do you do to break up the monotony of the day? Ours was impromptu, what about you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Natural Consequences

About a month ago, Charlotte burned her hand on the stove.  It was a very scary moment for me!  I literally did not shaking until the doctor walked into the exam room at the ER. 

I had just finished telling her to get back from the hot stove.  I removed a pot of boiling water and she put her hand flat on the still red eye! If ever there was a lesson in natural consequences...this was it!


She is doing much better and the scarring is minimal.  Needless to say she doesn't go near the stove!!!

Get Set....DONE!!!

Ellie is blowing through ETC! Last week she finished book two of the "Before the Code series, Get Set for the Code".  If we hadn't had so many breaks over the last couple of weeks she would be even further along!  I am so proud of how hard she works and her WONDERFUL attitude toward learning. We have also been supplementing with Reading Eggs.  Not that we need to, it is just something fun!  We have already started Go For the Code!  When we are done with this book we will start Sing, Spell, Read and Write!

As always here is a picture of Ellie with her completed workbook!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Charlotte

Each day we start with breakfast and a few chores.  Then we go on to start our school day.  Charlotte is old enough to realize that she is missing out on something.  Lately she has been asking for her "school".  She has a few things that she just loves!  Some of them are independent play and others are with Mommy!

Matching these bears is always fun!  She is learning size and color with this activity.  As I type she and Ellie are pretend playing with them.  They have each grouped them by color making "families". 

Puzzles are always fun.  She has actually begun to do more difficult puzzles.  She is learning how to look at the colors on the pieces of a traditional puzzle and is able to match them up.  She still can't quite finish one but she is getting really close!  Luckily, Ellie is a puzzle whiz and is very patient and loves to teach her sister!


She also LOVES to color!  You can see that she is a lefty! She has excellent fine motor skills and has been holding a pencil/crayon correctly for about 9 months now.  Recently I noticed that she was starting to color in the lines really well.  Occasionally she will scribble on the paper, mostly when she is being silly.  She is also starting to "write letters" with a pencil or pen.  She already recognizes what writing looks like and is very intentional with the lines and curves that she makes on a piece of paper.

We also LOVE to read together.  Each morning when the big kids are done Charlotte and I pick 3 or 4 books and read them together.  I have started asking her context clue questions and have even asked her to read to me.  I love the stories she makes up just by looking at the pictures.  She even does the voices! :)

We also have started going to PBSKIDS.org.  She does not use the mouse but I let her point to the place she wants me to pick.  She really enjoys that!

All in all she is doing really well.  She is very bright.  I don't want to push her.  I want this to be as organic as it can be.  I am going to continue to put things in front of her that interest her.  After all she did JUST turn 3!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Counting and Patterns

When I pulled Jackson out of first grade he could not count past 20.  We worked tirelessly but he finally got it.  Now with Ellie in Kindergarten we are working on numbers.  She is adding already!  But I noticed that she is having difficulty with numbers 11-30 and for the life of me I can't remember what I did with Jackson!  So I put out a cry for help today on facebook.  And I got some wonderful ideas.  But one stuck out and we tried it.

I was really wanting Ellie to realize that counting is just a pattern of 0-9 repeated over and over.  So this is what I did.  I took note cards and wrote 0-29 on them.  I also used different colors for 0-9, 10-19 and 20-29.  I then had her lay out each group of numbers in order.  She has 0-9 down!  So we went to the next set.  She couldn't figure out what came after 11.  She knew it was 12 but wanted to lay down 15.  I asked her to look and see if there was a pattern.  Her little eyes lit up!  "Look!  0 and 0 and 1 and 1!!".  She quickly laid out the rest of the cards!  She was so excited.  We counted each one aloud.  We will keep practicing and eventually I will time her.  Here are some pics!



Sorry the last one is crooked...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friends and Heroes: A science experiment

We LOVE our Friends and Heroes curriculum!  Today we did science.  In the story, the boy Macky helps his father sell items like silver.  We learned how valuable it was all of those years ago.  We also learned about things like; luster, malleable, conductor and tarnish.  We then did a really cool experiment.  In the past our experiments have not been very successful but today it was!!!

We started with some very tarnished silver.  I had two rings that I have been meaning to take to get cleaned.

Then we put them into a pan lined with aluminum foil.

We brought water to a boil. (This is the mom part!).


Then we measured the baking soda.  It takes 1/4 cup per liter of water.  We talked about the different ways to measure and how each went together.  We also went over fractions again.


Then we added the boiling water and the baking soda to the pan.  The frothing was very quick!  And the tarnish came off just as quickly!

We used tongs to get the hot rings out and study them better!  We had a lot of fun today!




It doesn't seem like it could even be possible that we are struggling ALREADY this year, but we are.  For the most part we are getting our assignments done.  It just seems that the overall moral is a little down.  I think part of that is the fact that I have been in a little funk lately. 

Here are some things we are working on:

Hearts: I truly believe I have great kids.  For the most part they are well-mannered and obedient.  But we have been struggling lately with bad attitudes and disobedience.  There are many different opinions from the masses on what I should be doing to correct these things.  There are several different approaches that I have been trying.  Some are working and some are not.  What I do know is that I am starting to see a slight shift in their behavior which means it is all downhill from there...right?

School is boring: I had all of these ideas about school this year.  I had planned out the curriculum and thought "okay this is going to be good".  Well, it's not!  The kids are bored.  Yesterday after Ellie was finished with her assignments she asked if she could play a game.  I pulled out the pack of Crazy Eight's cards that we got from the Dollar Store and she and I played.  It was her first time and she WON!  As we were playing I realized that we were practicing shapes, numbers and colors.  She didn't even know that she was learning.  Afterwards we put on some dance music and I let the kids get up on their desks and dance.  We had so much fun!  So I want to start doing more things like this.  I don't want it to be monotonous for them. I want them to be glad they are homeschooled because of all of the fun things they get to do!  I mean what kid in public school can say I played cards today for math and that was it!? 

As you can see this is all a process.  If you are willing and able to look at the big picture then it can become really fun.  Making adjustments to your schedule and your lessons can lead to a whole lot more exciting times for you and your kids!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Two new fun links!

Let me start by telling you that I am not getting anything for endorsing these two sites.  But I do like them!

The first is Reading Eggs.  My friend Mindy told me about this one and we started playing it yesterday.  Ellie LOVES it!  We are just starting to learn letters.  She knows 85% of them.  We have been using ETC but I noticed that she was having some difficulty recalling some of the letters.  I wanted something that would help reinforce what we are already learning.  (ETC does have an online program too).  When we started Reading Eggs I thought, "Wow this is really going to be fun". And it is! We were able to get a discounted rate at Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

The next site is a FREE site! Sheppard Software has free math games for all ages.  Ellie and Jackson are using this site to reinforce what they are learning.  So far it has been a hit!

Do any of you have a site that you love to use?  Let me know!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 3

Just want to let you know that as I type this post my 3 year old is having one of the biggest meltdowns I have ever seen! I just had to scream at her to get her to stay in her room.  Motherhood.

I wanted to post some pictures of what we have been doing.  It is only day 3 but the kids are really enjoying our new schedule.  So here it goes.

In Friends and Heroes, we are learning about keeping a diary/journal.  We researched Samuel Pepys and read some entries of his.  Then Jackson had to pretend he was in a loft of a barn like Macky from F&H.  He was to wrap up in his blanket and write about his adventures that day.  The lesson suggested that we do it by candle light but I used my own discretion. This was out of Jackson's comfort zone.  He is still not a very good speller and lacks confidence.  But after writing a bit I caught him writing notes by himself.  I LOVE when he realizes he CAN do something!

Charlotte received excellent presents for her birthday!  One of them was this sorting activity.  She still doesn't quite understand patterns but she does understand different colors and sizes.  She really enjoyed this activity today.


Ellie is really doing very well with ETC!

We also played UNO Moo!  The kids really like this game!  Thank you Mrs. Mindy!

Look who is learning how learning how to ride a bike!  Go Ellie T!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Isn't that the way it goes

Right after I hit the "publish post" button my son decided he would slow down so much that he would not finish school.  Luckily this is not my first rodeo and I stuck with it.  He finally finished a good 3 hours later!  It was a good day otherwise. 


Today he is struggling again.  I am trying to be patient.  We all struggle at times.  It just looks different to each and every one of us.  So what do you all struggle with at home, if you homeschool?  And if you don't, what does your child struggle with at school?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our First Day 2011-2012

As I am starting this post Jackson is still working on math but he is almost done! Today was a good day!

Today we started our official school year!  I decided to do it today (even though we have been schooling throughout the summer) because it was Ellie's first year of Kindergarten and she was a bit sad about missing the whole "first day of public school". So I decided to make our first day a big deal for her sake.  Plus it is a great way to start the year!

We started our day with a great and favorite breakfast, pancakes and bacon! Char helped me mix the pancakes!


While I was getting breakfast ready Jackson and Ellie sparred in the backyard!

During breakfast we read from the book of Acts. In our Friends and Heroes curriculum we are learning about the early church so I thought it would be good to go through the entire book of Acts with the kids.  We talked this morning about the ultimate demise of Judas and the appointing of Matthias to take his place with the other Apostles.

Then it was time for "First Day of School' pictures!  Ellie had to have her bacon in hand..whatever!  They all dressed themselves and for that I am happy so all of you that have really cute pictures of kids in their brand new outfits..don't hate! :)


For whatever reason the two other individual pics are not loading...I will try again later.

Anyway.  After pictures we came in and started our day.  We started with a video from our Friends and Heroes study.  The video is 30 minutes long so I used this time to clean up the kitchen (which was nice!). When the video was over I sent the girls to work on chores. (Originally I had wanted the kids to do their chores before school but today worked out much better).  While the girls cleaned their room Jackson and I learned about the Roman soldiers.  We talked about what an Empire was and he had a great modern day example.  I was really impressed.  He remembered seeing on a TV show where a bee hive had been taken over by wasps.  Great job, J Hunter!

After he was done with that, I sent him to clean his room and then he was allowed a break.  Meanwhile Ellie came back to the table to work on her assignments.  She chose Explode the Code first.  When she was done Charlotte wanted her time.  So I allowed her to color in a workbook we got at the dollar store.  The big kids played outside for a while.  Then it was time for Jackson to read and Ellie worked on her math.  When they were both done we all played a game of "Old Maid".  They all thought it was a lot of fun. 

So here I am now.  Jackson is working on finishing his math and I just got done reading to the girls. After lunch I am going to read "Tom Sawyer" to them and then it will be nap time for Char and play/TV time for Jackson and Ellie. 

So how was your day?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gearing up for 2011-2012

Hello friends!

It has been a very fast summer! We have had a pretty uneventful one as far as vacations go.  But this summer Troy was able to find a job and that was the most important thing.  We only have one car so we were stuck at home for the most part (with the exception of a few great friends that didn't mind picking us up every once in a while). We didn't get to swim like I had hoped.  But what I had planned even before Troy went back to work was schooling all summer.  I knew that it would not be as formal because, well, let's face it I am really bad at the follow through.  There. I said it.  I put it out there!

So we have had school this summer.  We actually did really well sticking with it.  The big's went to Mom and Dad's for a week and that was a week off, and there were a couple of days in there that I decided we needed a break.  Last week we were at Mom and Dad's again.  We did assignments while we were there and this week we are home and we have not done anything.  I have been getting things all set up for the new school year. 

There will not be any new books or curriculum.  It is all the same as we have been working on this summer but come Monday morning there will be: an extra special breakfast, pictures in front of the tree out front (it is Ellie's first day of Kindergarten!), brand new crayons, markers, map colors and pencils, and maybe even a extra special snack for our first day. 

I am hoping that the kids and I will be able to do some trips to the library and the park this year.  It all depends on whether or not we get another car.  I know the Lord already knows what kind and where it is.  I am just patiently waiting for Him to show us the way. 

So how are you all getting ready for this school year.  Whether you homeschool or not...we all have fun traditions!

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Week

This week has been a good one.  The kids have all done their schoolwork with little to no complaints.  We did have a tough time with Jackson on Monday but since then it has been good.  We are almost caught up from our 2 week break which really is amazing. 

My house is not too bad either!  I have really been trying to make the kids do their chores first thing in the morning,  This helps motivate me to stay on top of mine.  I have actually kept up with the floors!  Another thing I have noticed is that my sweet husband is more likely to help me out with the dishes if the rest of the house is clean.  I don't know why that is.  Maybe it is because he knows I have been working hard instead of hardly working!

I feel good about this week.  Even Char has had fun coloring and reading to me!

On another note our cat is about to give birth any day.  I keep thinking that today is the day and then nothing!  She is huge!!!  Hopefully I will have pictures of babies soon!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Following Through

Okay so I am just going to put it out there....most days we sit in front of the TV all day and do nothing.  This has become a reality that I am ashamed of.  I could blame it on the heat or not having a car, but in all actuality it is because it is so much easier to let the kids be occupied by the big box that makes noise! As you know we are schooling through the summer and the last two weeks have SUCKED!  We have not gotten anything done. 

Se la vi (is that how you spell it?).

So this week I decided we are going to start over.  No more kicking myself or boo-hooing.  We are going to start.  The first day, Monday, we had 3 different visitors stop by.  This put a wrench in my plans but I stuck with it and made the kids stick with it too.  While I prepared dinner, Ellie sat at the island and did her ETC while Jackson sat at the table and worked on his math.  Jackson did not finish until 9pm.  He is a trooper!

*Before you get all judgmental on me for making my kid work into the night... let tell you that it took him about 6 hours to do 2 pages of work.  He chose not to get it done! Today he finished a much larger amount of work in about 45 minutes!

Anyway. Today was much better.  We started the day off without TV and the kids ate and played outside first thing.  Really, we have to go out before 9 am to keep cool (or cooler!).  After playing we started school.  Ellie is always faster because she has less work.  She finished with a great attitude and then worked on her chores.  Jackson also had a great attitude and finished all subjects by 10:30!!  Only an hour and 45 min!  I was so proud!  Char watched PBS.  I know I just said no TV but she woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I didn't want to fight her while I was helping Ellie.  And if  I am following my lesson plans, 30 minutes of TV is allotted for Char! The kids ALL did had their chores done by 11 and we were able to go next door to play with our friends.

Anyway all that to say I am going to really try to follow through with the kids this year.  It is so easy to stop doing our work when it gets hard or we get a better offer.  I think it is a good lesson to teach them too!  I am not worried about how they will turn out in the academically, I am more worried about how they will turn out spiritually.  And following through is a lesson that needs to be learned!

Monday, August 1, 2011

When is my birfday?

This a another post about my dear Char!  She is obsessed with her birthday.  She has been talking about it since Jackson's in April. 

Yesterday she looked at me in all seriousness and asked, "Is my birfday in four more minutes?".  I just about died!  She had her four fingers up and anticipation on her face.  I was sad to tell her she still had 20 days!

She was okay with that.  After all, she has no concept of time! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

This isn't going to last forever

Char just came into the living room holding her dress up around her chest with a long strip of toilet paper in her hands.  She looked at me with all seriousness and said, "I need you to wipe my hiner".

This made me think of her and how little she is and how big she is all at the same time.  Not quite 3 she is talking like a big girl.  She is completely potty trained and she doesn't even tell me when she has to go anymore (hence the reason she has to come find me to help her!). She is "writing" her letters and shapes, she only knows how to make a circle.  And she loves to read me the stories in her books.

But then there are those times that she just wants to be held.  Times when she wants me to blow on her food because it is too hot.  Times when she is scared and needs me to go with her to make sure it is all right. Times when she needs me to wipe her hiner!  I love that little girl.  I am not ready for my baby to grow up! She still has a long way to go!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Schooling Char-"I want to do my maff"

Today when we started school Char quickly exclaimed that she "wanted to do my maff". So we got out the spoons.  We got this idea from a preschool swap and it has been fun.  The spoons are different colors and have letters on them.  I turned them over for her so that the letters did not through her off.  Right now we are just working on colors.
Then I put one of each color in a cup so that she could match them/


Then she matched them!'

She did this several times.  She had a lot of fun.  I tried making a simple pattern.  She recognized that it was a pattern but had a difficult time continuing the pattern.  That is something we will work on in the future.  But for now this is her "Maff". 

By the way..there are no pictures of her because she was completely naked and refused to get dressed for pictures.  So you will just have to look at her little hand! :)

A small milestone

Ellie has finished her first book in the Explode the Code series, Get Ready for the Code.  She did really well with it and by the end she was able to work independently.  I love this curriculum because the format never changes (not even in the books for the big kids). It is also very thorough and I truly believe she gets it and is ready to move on to the next book.  She was so excited and we got a great picture of her showing off her completed book!

Monday, July 11, 2011

An encouragement....

We started a new curriculum and schedule today.  A schedule is something that we, as a family, struggle with.  I can never keep up and the kids always do something to mess it up! But that is okay..I think! :)

So this morning as I was reading over the teacher's notes for the lesson today I read a prayer that was so good.  It put me in check and I really appreciate it.  I thought I would share it because as a mom this is such a battle.  Not just for homeschoolers but for ALL moms out there!

"Diana just wanted to protect her family. She was going wrong because she was relying on her own strength, rather than crying out to the Lord for help. When she was reminded of the story of Daniel and the lions' den her heart was softened. It is very easy to rely on our own strength and get stressed. This robs peace from the whole household. Today take courage that there is no lion's mouth that God can't shut, and when you trust Him you do not need to fear."

"Dear Jesus, I call on your name to strengthen me to raise my children to love you. I surrender to You and ask that will lead our day. Please give me wisdom, grace, and energy. To your glory alone, amen."

We started our day with this prayer and the Lord is so good.  Instead of being frustrated with the fact that the schedule was already out the window at 9:15 am, I was gracious to my children.  And because of that my son asked me some really good "God questions".  I could have missed them if I had been consumed with myself today!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Vacation at Grammy and Popsy's!

My bigs went to my parents house this past week.  It was a good time had by all.  Mom and Dad took them fishing.  Ellie was the only one who caught anything...

and did she ever!  An 18 in, 2 lb catfish!

Jackson tried....


but she beat him again!  Another catch!  This time a little bass.

Ellie fishing with Popsy.  Jackson is in the background trying a different spot.

Char and I made the drive to go and pick them up in Waco.  She was one tired puppy!  She fell asleep with her tongue hanging out!  Love this little girl!

There are more pics that I will post when Mom sends them to me!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

PICTURES!!!





The kids painted the other day.  They needed something fun to do and what is more fun than painting?  The did great and I think I am going to frame them and decorate the school room with them! Hope you enjoy them! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Adventures in Gardening

I have a black thumb!  It is no secret! I try, Lord knows I do!  Last year we attempted to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.  I was in charge of them and they all died and we only got one green tomato that never ever turned red.  So this year when my husband planted tomato plants, I left it all up to him. Guess what we are getting tons of tomatoes!

I wish I could show you pictures but I can't get any off of my phone! :(

This all leads me to my dad.  He has started a blog about his garden.  He is doing a great job and I wanted to send you all over to his site! Check him out.  He is also on facebook under NonGreenThumbs!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My 2 year old is a MESS!

Many of you know that both of my girls have their favorite security items.  For Ellie it is a little brown puppy appropriately named, Puppy, and then a pink and white crocheted blanket from Mimi.  For Charlotte it is a little (used to be) white sheep from Bath and Body Works appropriately named, Sheepy.  So now that you are all caught up....

About two weeks ago Puppy went missing.  It was a sad day in the house.  Ellie cried and did not sleep well the first couple of nights.  Thankfully she was able to get over it and really has only missed it when she was extremely tired. I found it odd that we couldn't find Puppy.  I had just seen him in the gameroom and he just disappeared. We even cleaned it well and couldn't find him.  So two weeks and a very tired and cranky girl later, I decided to look one more time!

*Just a little side note here.  To all you Mom's out there, are you the only one who can find anything in your house?  I am!  And it drives me nuts!

Anyway back to the story.  Last night I decided to take one more look.  Behind the couch under a few strategically placed items was PUPPY!! I was so excited.  I quickly took him to Ellie, who was already in bed, and she was elated.  I told her where I found him and that it appeared someone had hidden him there.

Charlotte jumped out of bed and declared, "I did it!". She was so proud.  She then told us that she had put it in her "Fecret hidin' pwace" (secret hiding place).  She is such a MESS!  For two weeks she has known that we were looking for it and she remained quiet like she had no idea.  If this is how she is at 2 what will she be like at 15?  Lord, help me now!

Been Thinkin'

I have not been blogging because I don't know what I should be writing about.  This blog has taken a whole other direction then what I had originally intended.  Originally it was just a way for me to let my family see pictures and hear stories about the kids.  Now it is more about my life and my walk with the Lord.  Don't get me wrong. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I have been thinking about starting a new blog. Really a second one.  One that is for me.  Just about my journey.  The kids are a part of my journey but I really want this blog (A Day in the Life of the Brown's) to be about the whole family.  Not just me. 

So these are some things that I have been thinkin' about.  What do you all think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Curriculum

Every homeschool mom knows that it can be very overwhelming when it comes to choosing curriculum.  Especially if you have a bunch of friends that homeschool or are a part of several homeschool forums.  They all have opinions and every single one them is doing something different.

I received a new curriculum (I believe it is new this year maybe even came out in 2010) for free in the mail last week.  It is a 13 unit study (per series) and I received unit 1 from series 1 for free.  It came with a DVD and PDF files so that the curriculum could be used by more than one student.  It is based on the Friends and Heroes DVD series.  The unit includes; history, geography, science, Bible, character building and art.  Because I got it for free we are going to try it.  But just looking at it I think this is the route we are going to go.  Check out the website here.  They have free online games and coloring pages too!

We need a good Language Arts curriculum.  Up until now we have relied on Sing Spell Read and Write and more recently Hooked on Phonics.  It was a great curriculum for J but he needs more.  So I am going with Rod and Staff English 2.  I know that he is in 3rd grade but we have not had any other formal LA teaching.  (My main focus has been on reading!).  So we are starting with 2nd grade.  If he gets it quickly we will be in 3rd faster! :)  Jackson will also continue with Hooked on Phonics.  He is doing very well with it! We are also continuing with Explode the Code (for Jackson) and the pre-requisites to ETC, Get Ready/Get Set/and Go For the Code (for Ellie).  She is actually almost done with book A; Get Ready for the Code.  And she loves it!
*Edit* Here is the link for the store for Friends and Heroes.  It is a different website.  Sorry about that! :)
We are sticking with Horizon's Math.  Jackson does well with it and now Ellie has started it.  She loves it.  Jackson hates it (but it is not because of the curriculum). 

We are also going to sprinkle in some other Unit Studies.  We did a few last year and are continuing through the summer.  We are making mini-lapbooks on the 50 states.  The kids will really enjoy it.

So what are you doing next year?

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Curriculum...Why do we have to change?

Something you may not know about the homeschool world is that there are SO MANY CHOICES!  Oh my goodness!  I love that there are a million blogs and I have a ton of friends that homeschool but goodness me...there is so much to choose from. Everybody has their favorites, including me. 

This is the time of year that everything goes on sale.  So I am reading blogs and forums and even receiving emails from websites about all of the great deals.  I am getting sucked into thinking that I need to change.  Well it ain't broke so I shouldn't fix it!  So I am not.  But I am!  Ha! I know same old Christi, can't make up her mind! :) 

I purchased Hooked on Phonics.  Not because I wanted to use it (no comments Mindy) but because I wanted to resell it.  I bought it for a super cheap price and I knew I could make some cash off of it.  It arrived.  I opened it and now I think I want to use it!  It is for older kids 2nd-6th grade.  Jackson is almost done with Sing Spell Read and Write that he has been doing since we pulled him out.  So we actually do need something new.  This is actually a perfect transition.  SSRW is extremely expensive and I just don't have the money for it right now.  So I guess God had a different plan for J. Hunter this year!  So on Monday we are starting Hooked on Phonics! I will let you know how it goes! :)

A leap of faith...and a new baby!

No I AM NOT HAVING A BABY! :)

I want to share something that I think it is really cool.  Two years ago our church began calling on us to pray for the most unreached people group in the world, the preborn.  These little lives are so precious and ordained by our Maker and they are being mercilessly killed everyday..by the thousands.  Now I am so against abortion it is not even funny, but there are instances where even some Christians think it is okay to do this.  One of them is after a test that you get in the early stages of pregnancy that lets you know of any birth defects.  One of those "defects" is Down Syndrome. This test by the way is not very accurate (I have known many to have a positive test result just to have a baby born with the correct amount of chromosomes).  These babies are more often then not....aborted.

Over the last year I have become very close to a beautiful family with a little boy that has an extra one of these chromosomes.  His name is Jonas.  He is one of the most precious human beings I have ever come in contact with.  Sure, he is delayed. But I believe that he is closer to God than I could ever be.  He is innocent.  He is precious. He is just the way God wants him to be.

That being said.  His parents, Roger and Mindy, have decided to be accountable for those preborn babies.  They have been called by the Lord to be the alternative to abortion; to adopt a child that is just as special, just as precious, and with a purpose just like Jonas.  This is not an ordinary adoption.  They have to go through a private agency and a national network.  They don't have a ton of money, but this is what the Lord has called them to do.  This is considered a "private adoption" and there are costs involved.

Oh I forgot to mention that Mindy is a phenomenal quilter/sewer. So she decided to make quilts and raffle them off!  She also makes bags that you can purchase here.  She will also make a quilt for you. Just let her know the size and the type of fabric you like and she will quote a price.  Her email is (mindychurchill at yahoo dot com). All of the money raised will go to saving the life of a child that God made with a purpose. 

I hope you take the time to check out her blog and her facebook page!  This is a special family and they are doing a great thing!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bringing Elliot Home-Pampered Chef Fundraiser

Hello friends,

Many of you are my friends on facebook (and in real life for that matter) but I wanted to post on here too because, well, some of you are not. 

If you don't know..I sell Pampered Chef.  I have a friend that is trying to adopt from Eastern Europe.  He is a precious, precious gift from the Lord and they are working hard to raise enough funds to bring him home.  It is terribly expensive.  I have actually only known this sweet family for a short while (they are in our homeschool co-op) but already I love them so much.  They have such a heart for the Lord and for the orphans that the Lord calls us to care for. You can read her blog to learn more about their journey and also where the money is going!

Okay I feel as though this is all over the place.  What I am trying to say is that I have offered to sell Pampered Chef to help raise money for them.  We could have done a raffle but I felt like people would want to get something for their money...and who doesn't like a good-quality kitchen tool (many which have lifetime guarantees!)?  Pampered Chef does do fundraisers but because it is for a family and not an organization they won't contribute for it like it is a fundraiser. I have offered to give all of my commission.  So the more purchased-the more I make and the closer we are to bringing Elliot home. 

So if you need some new products check out the website and order!  You have to go under the host name-Jennifer Johnson.  You DO NOT have to live in Houston or Texas for that matter to purchase something.  All you have to do is place your order and let us know where to send it if you are out of town.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I feel as though I should post something.  It has been a while.  I have thought of several posts but I have scratched each one.  Not because the content wasn't important but really because it was too emotionally charged.  I have struggled over the last week or so with some strong emotions. Part of me wants to blame others the other part knows that it is me and me alone that can take the blame for the hurt feelings or anger. So I choose not to blog about it. 

We are still unsure of Troy's job situation.  It looks like he has two offers on the table by two different companies.  Now it is time to pray.  I can't imagine that God would so clearly shut doors in this process (7 months to be exact) just to give us this very difficult decision at the very end.  The thing is one job would be extremely rewarding..he would be helping those in need (much like we have been). But the pay is not that great...actually it is not good at all.  But there is a possibility that they will offer more (we will know on Monday).  The next job is much more rewarding financially.  The pay is more than he made at BAE and we would be comfortable when it came to paying bills (something that has not happened in a while).  To many this is a no-brainer, but to us it is a difficult decision.  God calls us to do things that are not the "norm" and if we are obedient then he will reward us in that. 

So that is all I've got.  At least about the Troy-job stuff. We are still schooling.  It is hard because I am done and so are the kids.  But we are going to school all summer.  I know it sounds crazy but I really want to take off November and December.  If we school this summer we should not get off schedule too much. 

I still don't have a camera, but I am working on it.  The kids are enjoying our unit study on shells (yes we are still doing it!).  Hopefully we will actually get it finished soon and get to move on.  I have a Memorial Day study that I would like to do...so we better get crackin'! 

Until next time....Be blessed!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I am God

Last Sunday we had an awesome lesson on "doing good" (Galations 6:9-10).  I walked away feeling refreshed by the Holy Spirit. Before I got to my car someone handed me an envelope with cash and a post-it. The post-it read: "Be still and know I am God" (with a smiley face). The amount of money was substantial and I was overwhelmed with the feeling that another believer was "doing good" for us out of obedience to His Word.

Monday, Troy had a job interview.  It went really well.  He felt like he was going to get it.  They would call on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, we got a letter in the mail from the unemployment office.  We have not received benefits from them for the entire month of April and in actuality he had only been paid $20 from Lowe's in April.  So our total income for the month of April was $86 (only because I worked a couple of days at the church).  In all of that every single bill was paid on time.  We received the right amount of money from others (without asking) to pay for ALL of our bills.  That is a substantial amount let me just tell you!

Also on Tuesday, I had to go to the ER, but first went to Urgent Care.  I am fine but the total cost between the two places was the amount that was in the envelope on Sunday.


On Wednesday, Troy talked to the place he interviewed at and they said wait til Friday.

We have been receiving medical benefits for the kids (more of a safety net) while Troy has been unemployed.  (Most of our debt is due to medical bills that occurred when he was unemployed before.) We also have been receiving food stamps.  Not something that we are proud of but a necessity (especially when your mortgage is 85% of your income). On Thursday we received a letter that they were no longer going to allow us these benefits.  Why you say? Well there is no good reason...
Friday has come and gone. We still don't know about the job.  My children do not have insurance.  I really don't know how we will pay for food.  But what I do know is that I was told on Sunday to "Be still and know that I am God".  This was no coincidence.  That post-it is on my refrigerator door right now.  All week whenever I have had a conversation or the phone has rang or I have felt overwhelmed with it all, I hear the words; "Be still and know I am God". 

I wonderful lesson for me this week.  The lesson is still not over.  Who knows when it will be.  But what I do know is that He is God-Redeemer, Maker, Healer, Provider, King of kings, Lord of lords, Hosanna, Messiah, Alpha and Omega.  Without Him there would be no hope.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How is your heart?

I feel the Lord has really been working on me lately.  Which is funny because he has been working on me for a long time...so I don't know why I think he takes a break! :)  Anyway, he has been showing me new things that I did not know about myself.  The main thing is my heart and where it is right now. 

I have heart issues.  I think we all do.  But I don't know that we can truly see them unless the Holy Spirit shows them to us.  I have been reading Philippians 2, something the Holy Spirit was leading me to do.  He has used this scripture to discipline me.  I use the word discipline because discipline and disciple are the same when it comes to the Lord.  He has used the first 4 versus to show me my junk.  He has convicted me of my selfish pride.  No, I didn't get a spanking or some other physical punishment but what I did get was a feeling of shame and guilt for the way I had allowed myself to become.  But in the same verses he shows how good he is, by sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. After realizing the Holy Spirit was convicting me I was able to repent and then receive his blessing.  How awesome is that? 

I am excited to see what else he has in store for me!

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, 
if there is any consolation of love,
if there is any fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
if any affection or compassion, 
make my joy complete, 
by being of the same mind,
maintaining the same love, 
united in spirit, 
intent on one purpose.
Do nothing out of selfishness of empty conceit,
but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests but for the interests of others.
Have this attitude in yourselves that which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although, existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
Being found in appearance as a man,  
He humbled Himself by becoming  
obedient to the point of death, even 
 death on a cross. 
Philippians 2:1-8

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's my blog and I can post if I want to...

It has come to my attention that not everyone thinks that I should blog.  Maybe it's the content.  Maybe they just don't care about what I write about.  Maybe they think it is too personal.

The whole reason that I blog is because God is so amazing and has done so many things in my life.  I have always felt that I should be transparent about what he is doing in my life and I have come to the realization that I go through all of these crazy things so that He can be glorified in them.  Because it is not by my own strength but His that I make it each day. 

I have been encouraged for a few years by several different people to write all the things God has done, down.  I have a journal that I keep at home but I also write some of them on here, my blog.  There have been countless times that people have expressed that their faith was renewed, they needed to hear just that message, or that they just plain loved how God was working in my life.  Even if only one person read my blog and only one person got that God loved them from it that would be enough. 

So to those that don't appreciate it...don't read it.  It is not required reading.  But I know that others will be blessed when they hear about the power that our Father has.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unplugged

Today marks Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered the city.  The day that Hosanna came.  The day he proclaimed without any words that He was the Messiah.  This is all leading up to the fact that He died. 
He died. 
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death.
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death even though he was unblemished.
He died a very brutal and painful sinner's death even though he was unblemished for me so that I could have eternal life.

I came home from church today thinking about that.  This is very overwhelming.  I began reading my Bible and just concentrating on His Word.  While I did that I was interrupted several times by my children.  I don't mind the interruptions but these were for things like the TV and video games and computer time.  Their lives, and mine for that matter, are consumed by something that is not godly.  The TV, video games and computer have all become distractions from what is truly important.  So this week we are unplugging!  I am turning everything off.  I still have school and will commit to only turning on the computer for school related activities.  But I will not be on facebook or blogging.  I want to lead by example and train up my children in the way they should go!

Deuteronomy 16:22 "You shall not set up for yourself a sacred pillar which the Lord your God hates."

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 "Hear O Israel!  The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words with which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you are in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Keeping up the momentum

I feel as though I must post something.  I have been doing much better about posting things on here. 

The newest thing that is going on at the Brown house is that Troy is having half of his toe amputated sometime this week.  The infection in his toe is healing nicely but the infected bone has started to degenerate which is common in diabetics.  This is something that we are at peace about.  We know that we tried all that we could and now this is out of our hands. 

We are having insurance woes again but I am certain God will work out those details.  We have the money to self-pay but it would completely wipe out all of our cushion (and since he hasn't been able to work through all of this, we need it).  We are willing to do just that because we are confident in His provision. 

So where are we now.  He cannot have the surgery until we get the insurance resolved so it looks like we will wait until Thursday.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of all this mess!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sun Stand Still (Part 1)-Audacious Faith

I am reading a new book, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick.  I wanted to write about it because I have not been able to put it down.  It is such an awesome book and I think it will be an awesome movement if followers of Christ step up and believe in the power of Jesus Christ. 

I labeled this post "Part 1" because I am only on chapter 6.  I can't begin to tell you about the whole book or all the concepts in it, yet!

So the first thing I want to tell you about is the title of the book, Sun Stand Still. It is in reference to the prayer of Joshua when he was fighting the Ammorites. Joshua prayed and asked God to make the sun stand still (Joshua 10:12) so that he could defeat them all!  God heard his prayer and he did just that.  He stopped the sun.  He suspended time.  One thing I like about Furtick is that he believes that Word of God is just that, the Word of God.  He takes everything that is said in between the cover of it as face value, 100% true, no if's and's or but's!  I have been and still am the same way.  So this miracle that God performed for Joshua was just that a miraculous thing.  Furtick challenges modern day Christians to have the same boldness in their faith. To know what God has called you to do and then to act out in faith that he will provide for you and work miracles for his glory. 

When I first started reading this book I felt like it was one of those 'if you believe it you can achieve it' books.  This is NOT one of them!  Furtick is very clear that there is only one way to get anything done and that is through Christ Jesus.  He is just trying to wake up a stagnant church that goes about life in such a way that does nothing to further the Kingdom of God.

One of the cool things he talks about is "Audacious Faith".  He notes that audacity has a negative connotation to it but that he wants to change that for God.  Think about Joshua, he had the audacity to ask God to stop time...and he did! It makes me think of all the plans the Lord had and still has for me.  Will I believe in his power and his promises and have the audacity to ask him to move in me so that his kingdom will grow?  Or will I miss out completely?

I know that I can't wait to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant".  But I need to act in order to hear them. 

This book is really cool and I am excited to read more and share it with you all. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something that I have noticed in my life and in this journey is that after a really big high from the Lord I usually have a deep plunge.  Earlier this week  I posted an awesome testimony of God's goodness in my life.  I was at the top of the mountain.  Today I sit in front of my computer at the bottom of the valley.  I have been praying and asking God to get me out.  He will, I just have to learn why I am here first.  (He is funny that way!).

I was getting ready for church and the whole time I was having this HUGE pity party for myself.  I started thinking about what caused it and there were a few things.  One was the show that I watched last night.  It really brought me down.  It is one of my favorite shows but the content was so graphic and so inappropriate that it actually kept me from getting a good night sleep.  For awhile now I have felt like I should stop watching such shows but I have yet to do it.  I think that this is the kick in the pants I needed! :) Second, I feel very lonely.  There have been some situations with friends that have happened recently that have been quite insignificant and yet Satan has been able to take them and twist them and made me feel like I didn't have a true friend in the world.  I know that is not true.  God has placed an awesome group of women in my life.

As I fought back tears, feeling sorry about myself, I started telling myself truth. The truth is that I am a child of God.  He loves me above all other things and that is what truly matters.  Not what is on TV and not my earthly relationships.  Sure God has put people in my life to love on me and to encourage me, but really the most important thing is my relationship with Him.  Without Him I have nothing! 

I went to church this morning still battered.  Worship was good.  I just cried the whole time.  I felt close to Him.  There was a new song that we sang (I will get the words and post them here) that was so powerful.  We then had an awesome sermon on legalism.  It was out of Galations.  It reminded me of God's true grace and how much He loves me.  I let things get in the way of that and that is so silly.  We all do though, I think. 

Even in our ABF we talked about faith and it made me feel good.  Thankful that God never goes back on His promises.  That even though he called Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, He did not require him to do it.  He instead allowed Isaac to be the fulfillment of the promise made to his father so many years before. 

Life is not going to always be easy, this we can count on.  I just have to remember that when I am doing something to further His kingdom then I will be on the enemy's radar.  But I am protected by the Sword of the Spirit and the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ.
 1 Blessed is the one
   whose transgressions are forgiven,
   whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
   whose sin the LORD does not count against them
   and in whose spirit is no deceit.

 3 When I kept silent,
   my bones wasted away
   through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
   your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
   as in the heat of summer.[b]

 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
   and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
   my transgressions to the LORD.”
And you forgave
   the guilt of my sin.

 6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
   while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
   will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
   you will protect me from trouble
   and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
   which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
   or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
   but the LORD’s unfailing love
   surrounds the one who trusts in him.

 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
   sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Psalm 32

Friday, April 1, 2011

His Wonderful Works

I know it is the name of a good friends blog but I had to post about how wonderful the Lord has been to us this last week.  I am documenting our journey so that when I forget (much like those silly Israelite's) I will be able to look back and see how awesome He is!

On Sunday, after church, Troy came home way early from work and said that he had an ulcer on his foot and he was going to run up to the Walgreen's Clinic and get an antibiotic for it.  This is the first I had heard that he was having problems (Troy is extremely private about certain things). Two hours later the phone rang and the caller ID let me know that someone from the hospital was calling.  It was Troy letting me know he had been admitted into the hospital.  He had gone to Walgreens and Urgent Care and they both said to go straight to the hospital.  Once at the hospital the nurse knew right away he would be admitted.

I was shocked!  I had no idea what was going on.  I quickly found a ride because he had our only car.  I wasn't able to see him right away because he was still in the ER and children were not allowed back.  This was a God thing because I was so mad.  I wanted to chew him a new one! But instead I had to go back home.  I dropped the kids off with Lindy, my wonderful neighbor, and went to pick up dinner for Troy and myself.  In the parking lot of Schlotzky's I just started talking our loud to God.  "I am so mad, Lord! I can't believe that he kept this from me and I can't believe that he wouldn't just go to the FREE doctor.  Now we don't have insurance and this is going to cost a fortune! Why do we always have to be in DEBT?!?!?!?"  As I talked to Him I was soon comforted.  I knew that my husband was priceless and really if the bill was a million dollars I still had him.  I got all of my anger and frustration out by talking to the Lord and let me tell you that my heart was softened by the time I made it the couple of miles to the hospital.

When I got there, Troy was really down.  He was mad at himself.  But because I had already had this talk with God I was able to encourage Troy instead of tear him down.  I admitted to him I was mad but that there was no changing it, there was only moving forward and doing better next time.

That night on the way home from the hospital there was an interview on KSBJ about debt with scripture affirming how God felt about it.  I was encouraged that He gave me that opportunity to hear it. I also found out there will be a seminar coming up in April and it is free and I am going!

On Monday we found out that the infection was all the way down to the bone and Troy had to have an MRI to make sure that the infection was not IN the bone.  I was still worried about the finances but I knew that somehow God would take care of it.  I got a message from a friend that said she was praying specifically for God to do something miraculous with the insurance situation.  She felt as though the Holy Spirit was leading her to pray this.  That day a post card from Lowe's came in the mail reminding Troy to sign up for medical insurance online.  We did.

Meanwhile back at the hospital Troy had an MRI and our worst fears were confirmed.  The infection was in the bone.  And we needed to decide whether or not to amputate.  The amputation would be about half of his big toe.  Y'all this the hardest thing we have ever gone through! What to do? I know what I thought was right but it was not my decision.  It was Troy's.  We prayed over it.  I had a complete peace that no matter what we decided that it would be right.  I just didn't have a peace about what to decide! (Does that make sense?). Meanwhile, I kept getting little notes here and there encouraging me and many of them were direct answers to prayer, they just didn't know it!

We had to make a decision fast and Troy decided to NOT amputate and try 6 weeks of IV antibiotics.  I was worried but okay with his decision.  Then his doctor came in and said that we had to get approval from the infectious disease doctor for antibiotics.  All of the sudden our choice was taken away.  I felt good about that.

Meanwhile I asked specifically from my prayer warriors to pray that the insurance would accept the claim.  It would have to be an act of God because we enrolled after he was already in the hospital and this was considered a pre-existing condition. The ramifications of that are HUGE, let me just tell you!  We were worried about after care and the cost involved.  We filed for emergency medicaid and were denied.  I was beginning to get discouraged.  Then all of a sudden I felt peace, peace that passes all understanding.  I was home when Troy called to let me know that the insurance company agreed to pay for it ALL!!

I couldn't believe it!  It was a huge answer to prayer and I knew that it only could have happened with the Lord.  He finally came home on Thursday.  He is currently on oral antibiotics for the next 6 weeks.  We will see how it works.  He has MRSA, a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics.  But the doctors are sure his "cocktail" will make it better.  I am sure that my God will make it better!

God is so good and He takes care of those that love Him.  And you know what...He takes care of those that don't too.  He loves you.  Give Him a chance to love on you, you will be amazed!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

She can swing!

It is a typical morning in the Brown house today.  We just finished working on our lap books and now the kids are outside enjoying the semi-cool morning while I catch up on email and other random things.  I am sitting in the living room in front of our big window occasionally looking up and watching what they are doing. And much to my surprise I see me 2 1/2 year old sitting on a 'big' swing going almost as high as her sister.  The only thing is there is no one pushing her.  As I watch her I realize she is pumping her legs! 

Oh my goodness!  She can swing!

I know that first children are slow to do things because they don't have someone to watch and the subsequent siblings catch on more quickly; but man, I was not expecting this!  She is growing up so fast and that makes me so sad! :( If I am being totally honest it makes my uterus hurt! I have been heart broken over her milestones because that means that she is no longer a baby.  She is closer to a preschooler than a toddler now.  I know I am not the only one who feels this way..right?