January 2012

Posted in church, Everyday Life on February 1st, 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

My blogging style has changed – maybe temporarily, maybe permanently.  It’s evolved, if you will, to meet the growing needs of my family.  I no longer have time to sit down 5 times a week and write about my thoughts, my plans, my stories, my ideas, nor do I have the time to detail my agenda.  With 5 kids now and all of the new things we’re doing (new baby, homeschooling, new career for both Hubby and I, new ministries…), I rarely do find myself sitting down and when I am, it’s rare that a computer is in front of me.  So for awhile, I will just post updates on the members of my family and our lives.  This will still serve as a way to keep in touch with those who read my blog (those especially that I cannot find as much time as I’d like to talk on the phone with because of all the noise in my house – phone conversations are nearly impossible at certain times of the day!), and my blog will also continue to serve as a family diary for us to look back on someday and enjoy together.  Updates:

Family – we began homeschooling last fall, and we still like it.  We’ve had to make some adjustments to our planned curriculum since new little bro Luke (born Oct 7 2011) is quite a happy though demanding handful.  We began co-op on January 9, which is a local program they have here at a church for homeschoolers.  We go every Monday, and each grade level participates in 3 different classes taught by the moms of the group.  Since it’s our first year, I don’t have a class to teach yet – I pulled nursery duty.  Yep – 3 hours every week working in the nursery with my little Luke and about 5 other babies – Luke is the only boy.  My husband asked me how I managed that one (because I LOVE babies!), and I don’t know – lucky I guess!!  Apparently there are some ladies who don’t want to deal with diapers and fussy babies and all that, but for me, there couldn’t be a better job for me to serve at co-op.  My other kids really like co-op.  Beeber (age 3) is in Preschool, and he came home the first week with a “carrot project” – the top of a carrot in a cup of water.  It was supposed to grow some green out the top, but ours didn’t.  He didn’t seem to mind though.  It’s funny because when he handed me his carrot as I was picking him up, I thought it was the remainder of what he had done with his snack until the teacher explained it to me – haha!  Disney is in Kindergarten at co-op, and she really likes it.  Since we’ve decided to homeschool our kids beginning at 2nd grade, Disney is also in public school preschool, and she loves both of them!  The older girls enjoy co-op too; it gives some of the structure of school without all the unnecessary rules and drama, and the classes are taught from a Christian perspective.  I like that the kids are held accountable to other adults besides their parents for their assignments and quizzes.  The Sunday-Monday rush is taxing for our family since we have seven bags to pack Sunday night for co-op AFTER a big weekend spent getting ready for church service, but it’s worth it and we are settling into a routine.  Wednesday sees us leading groups at youth group, and we had a friend offer to take the 3 middle kids to AWANA and they really like that.  Thursday we have Bible study, and as I said, much of our weekends now consist of planning Sunday church service and TRYING to find time to rest and relax.  Overall, we’re busier than ever, but I feel happier than ever – God is so great!  I felt so run-down and was having a really hard time for a few months, but I had some checkups with the doctor and think I got the problem solved.  I feel better than I have in years and I can’t thank God enough!!  Now we just have to get Hubby some more sleep since he is waking with Luke all night, every night AND working 2 jobs, not to mention all of the help he gives me around the house.

The past few months, I’ve learned better to accept the circumstances of life as seasons that are constantly changing.  I’ve also learned to better accept that the way things are now are most definitely going to change in a few months.  I’ve learned to look forward to seeing what God has in store for my family rather than to let the ever-changing dynamics of our lives fill me with fear, dread or worry.  As far as things at the new church, we’ve set up a wonderful childrens ministry, and we have about 20 kids that come every weekend.  This is an AMAZING thing when you realize that the church had 0 kids attending only 4 months ago.  We have been contemplating ideas for a youth ministry (tweens and teens) as well as some other things, and only God knows where we will be with that in a month or two.  As I tried to say, things change so fast that it’s difficult to update it all on my blog, especially when this post alone has taken me a few weeks of having to put it aside and come back to add more later in order to finish it!

Before I stop writing for the day, I do want to share an amazing God story we got to witness this past Sunday.  My husband had been up late most of last week writing his sermon, and there was a pancake supper at church on Saturday night.  I ended up staying home with my boys because I was feeling run down and Luke was crabby and oozing things from places (you don’t really want more details, trust me…  baby stuff).  So late Saturday night, Hubby decided to start telling God in prayer that he needed rest, and I was doing the same.  Sunday morning, I was making my runs for church – I am the designated driver for the childrens ministry.  Many of the kids that come to our church need rides because their home situations are…  let’s say complicated.  Our church is located in the middle of the country about 6 miles from town, so I make 2-3 trips there in the morning to pick up the kids and to drive my own family.  Sunday we saw a man riding a bike on US Route 6; his bike was pulling a trailer that normally is used for pulling children, but his was loaded with supplies.  I wondered if he was homeless or someone who was making a long trek because it isn’t all that unusal to see someone journeying down US 6 – our little corner of the world seems to be on the way to everywhere!  So we see people journeying down 6 from time to time, but not usually in the winter.  On my last run, as I pulled into church, I noticed the man on the bike was also pulling into church.  I got the kids settled, then went out to welcome him.  Turns out, his name is Michealangelo, and he had been on his journey on his bike for FOUR MONTHS!  He’s from Los Angeles, and he began by biking north in California, and then coming out this way headed to New York – because God sent him on this journey.  He saw the sign for our little church on US 6 and decided to stop.  Michael has amazing faith, and he had amazing stories to tell!  My husband asked him if he would share some of these with our congregation, and Michael obliged, even after sharing his concerns about the way he was dressed.  I don’t have the time to go into all of the amazing details of the personal touches that God put on this story – I’ve already burnt the eggs that I was cooking and the house smells disgusting.  But I will sum it up briefly:  Michael’s unexpected visit meant that my husband’s sermon that he had carefully prepeared was not used last week because we were treated to the testimony of Michael instead.  So my husband can rest a little easier this week knowing that his sermon is already prepared.  Also, we’ve been talking in our own family and at church about really living a Godly life and what that looks like; we’ve been trying to make opportunities to GO OUT and serve God rather than just sitting around, doing the same old things for US.  Michael’s testimony reaffirmed these concepts – here is a man who has devoted his entire life to doing what God wants him to do.  He left the life that he knew and WENT OUT THERE and is sharing the Word…  And here I am frustrated because my words are failing to convey the story…  And I wish I could find the links to the info about this guy on the internet.  Hubby found them so maybe when he gets home from work I can ask him and add them to my blog.

But anyway, it was a magical Sunday, and I am thankful that I got to be a part of it!  I will leave you now with a little update about my little Luke – he tried his tot wheels for the first time in January.  He likes it, but only for short periods of time.  He is a grown up little guy in a baby’s body with a baby’s attention span.  He loves to stand, and practice walking ALREADY even though he is not yet 4 months old.  He also loves to watch other kids in action – his sisters and brother and also the kids at co-op and at youth group.  WOW – I really have to blog more often!  Once I got going, I had so much to say but not enough time to say it…  sorry that I was kind of all over the place, but that’s the price I pay for sitting down and trying to do this with all these kids running around and my many tasks to accomplish!  Until next time…

 

lukes first time in tot wheels.mov

Fun At School

Posted in church, Kids on October 18th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Some random kid-related stuff to report…

First, my “visitor”  showed up to my Sunday morning class.  I haven’t had the time to blog about it, but basically there is a parent who came to drop her daughter off a few weeks ago at the worst time possible, and the kids were all over the place (it’s not normally like that, a set of circumstances culminated to create the ‘perfect storm’ – long story).  On top of that, her daughter is a 1st grader, which means that she has just come over to the north campus of church.  Our first graders “graduate” from the preschool wing and move over to the other building when they get in 1st grade, and their curriculum changes.  So this parent had concerns about what her daughter was learning and specifically where her weekly “coloring page” was.  So she asked if she could come “observe” my class, and I was all upset and nervous.  I sat and pondered this, I prayed about it, and I decided to give it my best shot and show this mother what a wonderful childrens’ ministry we have.  I wasn’t even  nervous, and I used the entire ride home from Illinois planning out my lesson for class the next day.  And what happens?  She is a no-show.  Fast forward to the next week, which was in reality this past Sunday, and she shows up.  Luckily I had kind of figured this would happen, so I was well-prepared again.  But I also  had 9 kids to look after – of course she couldn’t come observe when I had 4 kids last week when games and lessons are much easier…  But I think it went well!  I can’t speak for the “observer”, but the class ran as smoothly as it could have with 9 kids running around.  She wasn’t just a statue standing in the corner making me nervous during class, but an active participant (after some encouragement by me) in the crafts and games.  It is my hope that she came away from experiencing her daughter’s Sunday school knowing that our childrens’ ministry program at church is wonderful!  We have so many components (there is music, dancing, skits, big group games, small group games, story-telling and crafts – all in one hour every week!)  and super volunteers who bring it all together which provides a variety of ways for kids to learn one lesson and virtue.  I am so proud of how well my 1st graders are picking up on this month’s virtue, which is “initiative”.  I know, a huge word for such small kids, but the lessons are broken down and relate to kids so well that they really are getting it – especially my 1st grader at home, which really surprises me!!  So anyway, I just wanted to express my relief about how I don’t have to worry about my “visitor” anymore.  At first I was terribly upset, but after a lot of thinking and praying, it all worked out for the better!  I was able to step back and take a look at our childrens’ ministry and appreciate it even more when it was under scrutiny, so I am very thankful to God for opening my eyes and getting me through this.

Next bit of kid news – last week was National Eat Lunch at School week, so  us parents were invited to eat with the littles.  My husband and I folded ourselves into the kiddie-sized lunch tables and visited with the 1st graders.  One problem I didn’t see coming though – we brought little brother (he is 2), so of course he starts running around the lunchroom, but…  Mom and Dad were so crammed into the little lunch tables that we could not get up to chase him unless someone else got up first – we were packed in like sardines!  Finally we were able to get out and get him before he caused too much trouble, and we had a great time for the remainder of the lunch.  I think Sammie really enjoyed haaving her family at lunch.  Here are my 3 youngest at ‘big kid’ first grade lunch:

And at recess it was so neat to see some of my 1st graders from Sunday morning childrens’ ministry!!

So after lunch in 1st grade, it was time to head to the fire station for a field trip with my preschool-age daughter and her class.  I brought my 2-year-old along to this also because I thought he would enjoy it, and he did, even if it was a challenge trying to get him to hold still while the fireman was talking.  But as soon as the fire gear came out and the fireman began to put on his boots, gloves, hood, hat, etc, my son was very attentive.  After that, each of the kids got a turn “driving” the fire truck!  My son made his way up to the front of the group and reached his arms toward the fireman – it was really neat to see because a few of the pre-schoolers, one being my daughter, were nervous about being lifted up by the firefighter and into the big fire truck.  But once they saw the little dude have a turn and how much he loved it, they were all eager to try too!

So overall a great week!  October is always so busy for our family, but I enjoy every minute of it!!