As Overheard in the Bathroom…

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There’s quite a few conversations I never expected to hear my children discussing:

  • “Are there any new chores we can do this week?
  • “Hey! Let’s go to bed at 7 p.m. tonight!”
  • “Didn’t you think those Brussel sprouts were delicious?”

This week, I heard something that topped them all. My daughters were in the bathroom when I heard this:

Daughter: “…if they believed that, they were basically like the heathens who worshipped more than one god.”

Me: (getting whiplash) “Wha-a-a-a-t?”

Turns out, they were discussing the The Council of Nicaea while brushing their teeth.

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a classical education, but I can promise, I never expected that!

(I admit…it makes my heart happy!)

What’s the most unusual conversation you’ve overheard between kids?

 

 

Posted in Education, Family | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Growing New Wood

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A couple of weeks ago, my very poetic husband shared this insight:

Like that apple tree, I try to grow a little new wood each year.

Actually, my husband would not consider himself poetic at all. However, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was; it’s his quote).

Sometimes, I get lost in the everyday. Sometimes I feel like I’m not progressing enough in my faith. I always think I could be doing more, learning more, being more…. This kind of thinking always leaves me in what Beth Moore-like pit. I start feeling defeated.

Then I remember: even the son of God grew in wisdom and in stature. Sometimes, things just take time. As much as I would like to see huge gains in my spiritual understanding, I should really be grateful that apple trees like me grow slowly. After all, the most important thing is to make sure I’m growing a little new wood each year.

Spiritually speaking, do you think that “slow and steady wins the race?” Why or why not?

Posted in Spiritual Growth | Tagged | Leave a comment

Taking the “Labor” Out of Labor Day

Yes, I’m still alive. To prove it, I thought I’d drop by Ye Olde Blog, sweep away the cobwebs and update you on this crazy life of mine. I’ll try to keep it short, though, because my goal is to take the “labor” out of Labor Day.

Buckle your seatbelts and prepare for a random post.

School is going great. I love my students, my classes are fun, I have great parental support and I’m learning tons.  Seriously, I feel like I’m getting a second education! Being new to the classical education scene, I’m learning SO much about history that I was never taught before.

As for life with my daughters in a new school and an entirely different type of schooling, it’s been interesting. Yes, there were days of tears and wailing…sometimes the kids joined in, too. ;) It was hard at first, but I feel like after much trial and error, we’ve kind of figured out a routine that works for us. The Eldest starts school at 8:30 and works pretty much all day long. She’s very slow and deliberate, so it works for her. I have to restrain myself from setting a timer or lighting a fire under her, but she always gets it done. The Youngest, however, was more difficult to figure out. We finally discovered that waiting until after lunch is best for her. I was scared to even give it a try (I feared that we’d be working until bedtime), but believe it or not, she works faster (and less tearfully) if she’s given the morning to play and hang out with the weenie dog. The irony: she always plays “school” in her room on at-home school days! Go figure….

I got to spend the weekend with my BFF who made a trip to west Texas just for moi! I’m telling you…there’s nothing like time with a friend to recharge your batteries. We went shopping and even had cupcake wars!

It rained this weekend! It was such a beautiful sound on my windshield! One thing that really disappointed me was that, after months of people begging God for rain, I didn’t hear one person show gratitude. Sure, it wasn’t a lot of rain, but it was RAIN!

For all you gals that think you bagged the best husband in the history of husbands, think again. My husband is the best, hands down. He spent his day off cleaning house while I was at school on Friday and he took the kids to the movies this weekend, allowing me to stay home in a quiet house and get my lesson planning done. He’s the best, I tell you. The BEST.

Today is my parents’ anniversary. I’m pretty proud to have a mom and dad who set an excellent example of godly, loving relationship. I know that not everyone is so lucky.

It won’t be long until we leave for our amazing trip to the Holy Land. I still can’t believe that I’m going, that our entire family is going! I have no idea how we will get 13 days worth of clothing in one suitcase or how we will keep up with school work while we’re gone, but it will work itself out, right? Riiiiight??

I think I’m developing an addiction to Red Bull. I can’t help it–I hate coffee and tea is just not strong enough for the 6:45 a.m. commute. Will somebody please invent a coffee that doesn’t taste like dirt?

Know what doesn’t taste like dirt? Shaun Groves’ new c.d. Third World Symphony. Actually, I don’t know what it tastes like, but it sounds really, really good. It’s hard for me to get past the first song, “All Is Grace” because I keep it on repeat, but there’s also a sweet remix of the old classic “Just As I Am.” You should check it out.

I think I’ll go to bed now. I’ve been trying really hard to finish my book club’s selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (the back story on the lady whose cells–HeLa cells–have helped medical researched in a bazillion different ways). I’m trying the Little Engine That Could approach: “I think I can, I think I can…” We shall see.

I hope your Labor Day was as unlaborous as mine! :)

Posted in Education, Family, Friends, Holy Land Trip, Mama Musings, Random | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ten Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a School Teacher

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  1. Turns out, many things in my life that I *thought* were necessary, weren’t. This includes: sleeping, exercising, eating well, reading for pleasure, reading blogs, talking to friends/family, doing laundry, cooking dinner and blogging. Some probably need to be done (exercise *cough* exercise), but for now, they are on the back-burner.
  2. History is WAY more fun to teach than I thought it would be.
  3. Grammar is way LESS fun to teach that I thought it would be. Okay…I never really thought it would be fun, but I thought it would be a lot easier.
  4. Kids are smarter than we give them credit. If you expect great things, they will deliver (most of the time).
  5. I am not as smart as I once thought I was…but I can pretend really well. *wink*
  6. Grading papers takes about three times as long as I expected, writing lesson plans takes about 3,000 times longer than I expected, and I’m spending way too much one-on-one time with the copy machine.
  7. I never anticipated working at a Christian school, but it is an amazing thing to be able to teach from a Christian worldview. Discussions can go so much deeper! I leave class thinking, “We talked about important things today.” It’s a great feeling.
  8. Lesson plans were made to be broken. There’s simply never enough time to do everything! (I’m hoping I’ll figure out my rhythm, soon.)
  9. Never underestimate the power that words of encouragement or a prayer to make things better. God has used several people–some good friends and some people who I barely know–to keep me afloat during the past few weeks. Maybe you could be that someone to a person this week!
  10. I love teaching. I really love teaching. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s neverending work, but it’s beautiful when it all comes together.

 

Stay tuned for “Things I’ve Learned Since My Kids Started Attending a University-Model School!” :)

Posted in Education, Teaching | Tagged | 3 Comments

Summer is….

...car washes

...outdoor amphitheaters

...fresh fruit

 

tent cities

 

...experimentation (My daughter did a Food Network-esque Challenge by creating a dessert using only ingredients in the pantry)

...swimming

...best friends...

...and friends of all shapes and sizes (Our annual beach vacation with some of our closest friends)

reading (ocean side reading preferred)

 

...tans

...ice cream,

ice cream,

and MORE ice cream!

But mostly, my friends, summer is OVER. :(

 

Please be patient with my lack of blogging. Life is extremely hectic as I started my new teaching job this week (which I’m super-psyched about, by the way)! I’ll be back soon, but until then, your prayers are coveted as I start a new adventure and do my best to guide students both educationally and spiritually!

Posted in Family, Friends, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

An Epic Weekend

I don’t know about you, but I was desperately looking forward to the weekend last week. It was one of those weekends that had been on the calendar for months…an “epic weekend” as the young folks say.

Here are a few things that I did:

  • spent hours in 100+ degree heat
  • ate way too much junk food
  • cleaned up the vomit of strangers (twice!) who ate even more junk food than I
  • hiked up a steep incline (up a canyon wall) with 2-3 people pulling me in the opposite direction (also in 100+ degree heat)
  • walked and walked and walked and walked (in really terrible tennis shoes, no less). Did I mention it was 100+ degrees?
  • lost approximately 42,000 brain cells by being confined in a small space with all kinds of unidentifiable fumes from craft projects

So, maybe that doesn’t look like an “epic weekend,” but it was! Last weekend was our church’s annual Kids Camp. It’s kind of a big deal. In fact, I would say that it’s one of the biggest (and most important) ministries of our church. We take approximately 150 kids to a church camp located in the bottom of a canyon just outside our city limits. For four days, we spoil kids (unlimited snacks!) and share the love of Jesus with them. Because we only charge a minimal fee ($10–the church pays for the rest which I assure you is much more than ten bucks), we usually take many kids from poverty situations and difficult home lives who think that camp is like Heaven on earth: plenty of food, adults who love on them and a swimming pool to boot! Teachers always report back about how the kids spend the school year  reminiscing about their camp days and asking them to play the highlight DVDs that we send home with them. We end the weekend with a worship service that all parents are invited to attend, followed by a hamburger cookout (because Baptists don’t get together unless there’s some kind of food involved). ;)

It was exhausting and–you guessed it–HOT, but like the Visa commercial says, the cost was priceless. Here are some wonderful things that I got to do this weekend:

    •  receive lots and lots of hugs
    • make crafts, play games with and teach the Bible to a bunch of super-awesome second grade girls
    •  go on a hayride
    • watch The Husband drive a tractor for the first time (they were desperate for a second hayride driver)
    • hike a canyon wall
    • council with a girl who told me that she believed in Jesus and was ready to follow Him all of her life :)
    • hang out with some of my favorite adults, including my friend Shawnda (our camp speaker) who has truly has been gifted with the ability to relate the Bible to children
    • hang out with some pretty cool teenage “junior sponsors” as well (appearances can be deceiving–LOL!) 
    • eat homemade cookies! :)  
    • visit with people that I’ve only seen in passing at church, getting to know them a little better 
    • watch grown men race little boys in an effort to prove that they aren’t OLD men :)
    • watch The Husband try to preach while wearing full metal armor and carrying a sword (the theme was “Battle Ready”–as in being ready to face life’s battles) 
    • listen to the sound of children sing praises to God and thinking that it must be a sweet, sweet sound in His ears

Even though we were all looking and smelling what I can only refer to as “campy” (see photo) by Sunday afternoon and we were all ready for a hibernation-type nap, our family loves being a part of this ministry. I think Jesus would approve.

What are your favorite children’s ministries?

Posted in Life as a Preacher's Wife, Ministry | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

On Sales and Samaritan’s Purse

What time is it?

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Time for back-to-school sales. I know…it hardly seems possible, but it’s that time of the year.

So, while you’re stocking up on 25 cent crayons and reduced price markers, don’t forget to grab a few extras for Operation Christmas Child! If you think back-to-school snuck up on you, wait until you blink twice and Bing Crosby is suddenly belting out “White Christmas” on the radio!

Speaking of which, here’s the ever fabulous Mr. Crosby and his silky-smooth voice to get you into the back-to-school Christmas shopping spirit:

 

 


You’re welcome. :)

Posted in Operation Christmas Child | Tagged | 2 Comments

Random Mom Question…

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I don’t want to become one of those moms. You know the type: the kind that micromanage their kids’ schedules and make them be involved in every activity under the moon? I do want my kids to pursue their talents and their passions, but….

1) What if they are truly talented in one area but lack desire? Should I encourage them to “carry on” even though it may not tickle their fancy? Chuck it up as a lesson in self-discipline? Would we be wasting God-given talent by not pursuing it?

2) Interests wax and wane. I recently discovered an old scrapbook from my senior year in which I declared my intentions to become a speech therapist or an interpreter for the deaf. I have absolute zero recollection of ever wanting to be a speech therapist or even knowing what one was (ironically, my middle sister became a speech therapist)! “Passions”–or better yet, “interests”–aren’t the most reliable thing on which we can base decisions. Is the better way to provide a child with opportunities to have different types of experiences so that one day, she might develop a passion?

This parenting stuff…I think I’ll get it perfected in about eighty years or so.

What’s your philosophy on extracurricular activities?

Posted in Family, Mama Musings, Parenting | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Picnic for Two on The Domestic Fringe

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Summer is the perfect time for picnics. The thought of spreading an old quilt over a patch of soft, green grass, and gorging on the finest summertime delicacies while tiny birds serenade from the treetops makes me squeal with glee. Throw in a cute little old-fashioned picnic basket and I may faint with giddiness.

The funny thing about picnics is, they don’t always match the ideal picture in our minds…Read more HERE.

Today I’m guest posting on the ever-fabulous Domestic Fringe blog. Stop by and check out the Summer Series–a series of guest posts from a variety of bloggers!

 

Posted in Blogging | 1 Comment

When Life Gives You Chickens…

Like I said, my mailbox went from empty to running over in no time. I had been wondering for months what Happyness’s family had purchased with the gift money I sent during the drought and/or illness months (a time when food is scarce or illnesses are more common than others). Mostly, I just wanted to know what she thinks about our correspondence. Does she feel special? Does she feel loved? Does she think we are crazy? :)

I was pleased as punch to recieve a letter and a photo from Tanzania.

Chickens! She bought chickens! That makes me so happy. Chickens are a great source of eggs and meat. It’s the gift that keeps on giving (if there’s a rooster to oblige)! I grew up  on a commercial chicken farm where we had approximately 24,000 chickens. I won’t tell her how many chickens we had (that’s seems to be in the category of American abundance), but I will certainly be sure to share that I have my fair share of experience with the feathered beasties!

How cute is her little brother, Oscar? I wonder if he is sponsored…

Some things we learned from Happyness’s letter:

  • She told us that she received our singing birthday card, family photograph and stickers (I always include stickers with my letters). She said, “I have loved and enjoyed them so much.”
  • Her favorite color is red (I asked), but she also said, “my colours are mine.” I’m assuming she means that she has her very own set of crayons?
  • She loves her friends Omega, Jesca and Ija so much. I think these are different friends than the ones we have heard about in the past. I’ve been meaning to pull “a Jessica” and send her friends a letter, too.
  • The letter was written in April and she was on holiday from school for Easter. She planned to attend church then visit her grandfather. I’m glad to know that she has a male figure in her life since her father passed away. She said they would spend the holiday doing chores like fetching firewood and washing dishes. Housework stops for no one!
  • As for the family gift, she said: “I received $15….I bought a hen and my underwear clothes.” This is a little confusing to me because I sent $25. Maybe it has something to do with crappy exchange rates. It’s also clear that she bought more than just one hen and some undies. Maybe the Center bought the rest of the items (they usually assess what the family most needs), then allowed her to spend $15. If that’s the case, she made wise choices! In the photo, she also has sandals, a brush, two jars of something (maybe lotions or creams) and a package of Jamaa which I have had no luck finding on the internet. I t may be cookies or some kind of special treat; I often see families with a bottle of Coca-Cola and other luxury items in their family pictures.

 You know, one of my reasons for getting involved in Compassion’s program in the first place was an ongoing conversation I had been having with God about the poor and our responsibility (as Christians) to care for them. Scripture is clear that we should take care of the orphan and the widow (the weakest members of society), but many Compassion kids come from a two-parent home. Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sold on sponsoring a child from a two-parent home because, in my mind, they had an advantage over others. However, the Wise Sage and Soft Rocker, Shaun Groves, recently made a great observation: Compassion is in the business of orphan prevention. Many kids, like my Happyness, live in high-risk HIV communities. Even without AIDS to contend with, we all know that poverty prevents families from getting routine medical care–simple things like vaccinations and check-ups that can prevent the smallest problems from becoming a life-threatening situation. Compassion is providing something much more important than meeting physical needs: they are introducing families to The Great Physician.

Bottom line: the blessing is all yours if you sponsor a child through Compassion. Check them out….it does a body heart good! :)

Posted in Compassion International, Spiritual Growth | Tagged , | 1 Comment