Friday, August 26, 2011

Fold it up

Luk is five. He is messy. He likes to destroy a clean house. He is a five year old. However, he does have two able hands and legs. So, since he was about Logan's age (21 months), I have been having him do clean up sessions. He knew that when I said it was time to clean up he would help me put his toys in the baskets.
Well, Luk usually gets himself dressed, and we have had talks about what things look nice together  and what don't. He came out one morning with a multi-striped shirt and multi-striped tie, and I showed him to different patterns on me. He went back and switched to a solid color tie on his own. I love that even though we have talked about it he still is pretty creative with the way he dresses. Here he is wanting to match his dad:

and just because I like this picture here he is for a canoe trip:

Love this kid. Well, he does a great job picking out his clothes, but does an awful job putting them away. I have taught him how to fold his clothes as he sees me doing the laundry. So, yesterday I put him to the test. I had just finished folding two loads of laundry, and as I went to put his stuff away... his drawers were awful. His t-shirts thrown everywhere in the drawer (not folded), and as I looked at the rest of the drawers same thing for the pants, pjs, and underwear. Well, I wasn't about to refold everything when I just gave him a fresh start two weeks prior and given him verbal warnings.

While I was cooking dinner and he was in his room, I told him that he needed to refold all his clothes and make his drawers look nice because he had let them get messy. Logan walks in there, and I begin to wonder how that is going to work out for him. However, nothing extremely loud came out of the room.

After I was finished cooking (about 10m) Luk was playing in the living room, and I was not sure what I would find. Let me show you:

Sure, they aren't perfect, and they don't look like I did them. But he did a great job. He got a big high five and a couple Hershey Kisses to show him how appreciative I was. It probably helps that he knows he gets paid for each chore he completes. My husband and I have told him being home doing his chores and his school work are his job. He usually does a great job, or like times like yesterday he does an excellent job. Did I mention I love this kid?

This is one of the joys of parenthood and homeschool... we even practice our folding clothes skills! =D

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day Two

A day like today is the reason moms would say they don't homeschool... Yep, the day that the kid just twiddles his thumbs and makes two hours of work last four hours... Unfortunately, the bad mom in me came out, and I am not saying this to receive a pity party, but rather show proof that I can't do anything without the grace of God. I got loud, sent my son to his room, and I sat and began reading some of the blogs I follow. One in particular (of course) spoke of how your child's spirit is more important than a schedule, and how one needs to ask their children for forgiveness.

God was speaking to me. The bad mom had to make a choice to accept responsibility for her actions, or ignore them and not show my son my true error. So, I went into his sat on the floor, and ask my son to forgive me for my yelling and attitude. I told him how sorry I was that I got that way, and that sometimes mommy makes mistakes and has to ask God to forgive her. He looked on as I said this to him intently. He first said, "It's okay, Mommy." I told him that, it wasn't. I explained to him that it was not okay that I acted like that. It was important that he know that it was not okay that I let Satan attack me. I was asking him to forgive me like I asked God to forgive me. He did. He replied, "Mommy, I'm sorry that Logan wasn't listening to you. I'm sorry that I wasn't listening to and doing my work. Will you forgive me?" We hugged and loved on each other for a few minutes. It was a beautiful moment with my son. This is why I homeschool, and why days like this can't stop me.

I get to be my disgusting sinful self, and I get to show the grace of God in practice. God allows me to be an example to my son, and I cannot ignore the bad and praise the good. I have to teach my son that our response to sin is repentance and to seek forgiveness from those we hurt. As we finished our hug he told me he had a surprise for me, and he came back wearing this:
He said, "Mom, this is what we have to wear all the time, or we will not be ready for Satan!" The Armour of God! I cried my eyes out, I hug my boy. I leaned in and whispered, "Thank you! You just taught mommy, today!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day One

I'm sitting back listening to my son picking up his mess from a game (with Dad) of "real life" Angry Birds that just took place in the hallway. I ask him to bring out his drawings from his Bible time to show daddy. Today was a great day to see how Luk would like our Workbox System. It really works out best for us. Luk is a boy that likes to see his progress, and he was excited to see his boxes being finished. The original place for the boxes were his room, however I can't set the up at night. There is also the fact that we can't do school in his room because Logan went a bit nuts when we tried that. So...

The linen closet has been transformed into a school closest. If you notice there is no "5"... ask Logan. I don't know where it is! So, we just don't have it and we skip it. Luk noticed immediately!

Here is our Kitchen Cabinet Wall:

Before the boxes we do our "Calendar Time"  followed by Bible time, which is use reading the book of Judges followed by him drawing a picture of what was read.

Here's "What's in the Box"

Box 1: Phonics

We have been staying on an easier phonics level because Reson and I decided that we wanted Fluency and Comprehension to be apart of him learning to read. The amazing thing about this is that Luk checked out "Silly Sally" from the library and was able to read it. The AR level is 2.6, and we were very proud that accomplishment.

At the moment we are working on rhythm reading since it is clear that he can read higher levels, but with that we can consistency, and so we practice on, working on...

Box 2: Handwriting

After Luk did his Handwriting Without Tears, we did an activity with the white/magnetic board.

Box 3: Science
This is our week of reading the material, which will be followed by a lab.

Box 4: Geography and map learning

Box 5: Math

This was our day. It was followed by Karate that we decided to put Luk in a few months ago, but waited until the school year began. Here he is with some of his church friends.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kindergarten Begins...

The start of our new normal has begun today as Luk was introduced to his first few pretest so that I could determine exactly where he was, and so that our evaluator could see our starting point. Today, I put in some basic critical thinking tests in math and reading/phonics. It was a care-free testing so that he could just do his thing. They were built so that he could self-administer, really. It turned out pretty pain free. As he did each one, I let him know that when I give him the tests that it would done like this and this.

The first test: Pre-primer Dolch Sight Word List Assessment

Luk scored 35%; he 18/40 words, which was pretty good this we've been focusing more on phonemes and blends. The sight words that he did know were ones that have been seen in his Explode the Code books and readings that we have done on our own. I wanted to make sure that I didn't push him before this year. I have to remind myself everyday that he is only five years old. This can be quite a challenge when he talks like teenager many times!

The next test I put in front of him was one on a critical thinking basis with the alphabet. Each section was covered once he finished the top sections. 

My husband and I really want to make sure that he knows his stuff, not just something that is routine. In that sheet there are above are blanks in random areas, but the third section is completely empty. Sure, Luk can sing his ABCs, but to write them with no help in the correct order proved that sometimes the Y goes before the X... interesting. Luk scored 34/38 so 89%.

The third sheet is a number sheet with blanks. I only made him do half of it, and he will complete the other half for tomorrow. He also did number recognition from a 1-100 chart (random picks).
He did perfect on it.

We also incorporated Mama Jenn's "Read It, Spell It, Write It" page. He really liked it. So, we will keep on keeping on.

After we did these things, there was 30 minutes of quiet/reading time. So, we had a little Star Wars action going because well, we like Star Wars. Luk was in a battle field mode as we began our day reading the book of Judges. He drew a photo on how the Canaanites had chariots and the Israelites struggled with this:

I think he wanted to pretend some fighting scenes. Logan tagged along (waiting to get him his Education Cubes also from Mama Jenn)

As our day came to climax (dinner making time = stress time) Luk pulled out his US President Flashcards (shocked me). I pulled out our $1 Wal-Mart place mat of the Presidents, and we had a nice matching game going on.
Luk's favorite President: Abraham Lincoln. Why? He was such a good one. (nice)
Luk's bad President: Richard Nixon. Why? He did a bad thing. (Watergate, just in case)
Luk's actor President: Ronald Reagan. Why? He was an actor. (DUH!)

However, we learned a bit about Theodore Roosevelt about the "Teddy" Bear story. As Luk would say, "he didn't kill the bear when he went hunting... I don't know why though." In this we also learned about Pres. William McKinley who was President and Teddy was Vice President. What Luk and I really liked about him was the fact that when he was shot before he died he asked the people around him not to hurt the man that shot him. We were really impressed with that response. I am going to look further into his spiritual life especially after reading this I am curious to see where he stood.

How do we end our school day? We end it with a bit of unschooling in the science area with daddy.

I, also, wanted to share one of the many many many reasons why we love our public library. Our wonderful Mrs. Dee who does story time did a theme on cupcakes... did she know this is Logan's favorite little treat... hmmm...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Are you Super Mom or Abiding Mom?

I have this paper posted on my fridge. There have been moments that I have stared at it in disgust, yet other times that I look at it in joy. The disgust comes after I followed the "Does" column all the while ignoring the "Is." Yet, there are moments, quiet moments when I look at it... and there is a joy that comes through my mind as I see improvement that the Lord has granted me in areas of the "is."
I have found that my views are not popular with in areas of the way I mother or the way that I am a wife. It must be an out fashioned thing... right... I tend to think it is was is called of me from God.

"Blessed is the marriage of a woman who joyfully serves, offering gifts by the work of her hands."~ Time-Warp Wife

Apparently, this quote was liked by a person on my friend's list, but I sit back not getting an answer for the discontent with the statement. However, it made me focus. I am an accomplished woman. I have a degree in English Literature, a wonderful husband, and two beautiful little boys. Am I accomplished if you read just that alone?  In today's society, sure, but would quickly think otherwise if they knew more...

I don't work outside the home. No, I stay at home homeschooling my two boys.

I delight in keeping our house clean.

I find thanksgiving in serving my husband offering the gifts that are done by my hands.

Now, I sound like a maid serving the egotistical superior male. The stereotype of serving in this generation is really a sign of the ignorance in this world. We see serving as a downgrade. We see it as a woman giving up her "power" in the house. It's easy to let the world cloud our mind with these ideals, and you sit at home with screaming children, toys scattered everywhere, and it hits you... I have no purpose here. The kids don't listen. The laundry never stops. Escape!

However, if we look at our purpose from the time of Adam and Eve, we are given the job of "helper."
20bBut for Adam there was not found a HELPER fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.   Genesis 2 

With that comes something of great value. Along with us being a helper, we are of great worth for we came from the man directly. He will rule over us for the sin committed in the garden, but what we need to remember along with him ruling over us is that we will be of ONE flesh.
24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2

How do you become one flesh? We share in delight with each other for who we are. Who God created us to be. When we align our lives with Christ our marriages move in-sync with one another as if in ONE flesh.

This is just the beginning of what a marriage is to look like, and I am sure I will write more about this later. Our world has deformed what marriage is, and has made it to look like a battle of who can stay the boss the longest. 

And so comes the page on the fridge and comes part of my purpose as the "Helper"... having children adds a new dynamic to the marriage so a Godly woman's train of thought must develop into something greater. Am I accomplished by the world's standards, to some "yes" to others "no. Am I accomplished according to the God who is the Creator of all things? I look into my heart, where do my standards lie? I don't care about your standards or even what mine can turn into if I focus on the world. I care what is written in the book of truth. My delight is in pleasing my Father. 

So, I stand against the kitchen counter sweaty from deep cleaning the bathrooms, loading the laundry into the dryer, and I listen as two brothers are laughing one second and the next screaming over a toy. I look at the time to see that it is barely 9:00 am. I look back at my page, go down the list:

impress others/please the Lord... I pray out loud that I am pleasing to Him; 

controlled by agenda/controlled by the Holy Spirit... at this moment the Holy Spirit as I skip a chore to stand and read this page; 

self worth in accomplishments/self worth in Christ... Christ you give an abundance of this; 

peace in perfection/peace in the storm... a great storm has passed through and I reflect thinking of the gift of peace He gave Reson and I (thanksgiving);

discourage by failure/failure remembering His perfect strength in my weakness... again reminded of the frailty of the past month and see only His strength gave us strength and endurance;

expects perfection/practices grace... I look down knowing this has not been done. I look back on my apologies for my imperfections. I am reminded sanctification is never ending process;

teaches kids to be good/teaches kids to be Godly... I look at the page below this one that reads "Pray for God to change your heart." This page that has a little girl knees bent in prayer. I think about sending Luk to his room to ask God to help him practice self control, yet I remember sending him to his room with no Godly direction. I think about how often I need to be disciplined by my Father, and I go without acknowledging Him;

frustrated by lack of fruit/ abides and bears much fruit... I have looked at this sheet with frustration in this area, but over the past couple of months I have begun to see that I was simply ignoring the fruits. I wasn't stopping and engaging in His fruition;

does things with her kids/builds a relationship with her kids... I think back to a day when I sent Luk to his room for nap after a discipline lesson that was not God directed, and yet I remember all the other days I sit with him and he tells me about his sadness, his joys, and his frustrations. Though they seem small today his ability to tell me the small things will lead to him wanting to share the big things as he grows;

perspective on seen/perspective on unseen... Is my focus on the above or of the world? We are working on that as we disengage the television and engage the Holy Spirit;

quantity/quality... this seems to be an ongoing battle as we choose activities to get the boys involved in, but I am reminded that what I show them is important now will dominant their engagement. So, we focus on one sport that is still overtaken by the Word;

children think mom is too busy/children call her blessed... I look down again and smile. It was only this morning that I was reminded how blessed I am. Logan climbs into the bed in the dark at 6:30am, and he kisses me followed by placing his head against my cheek. Luk climbs into the bed at 8:00am whispering, "I love you, Mom." Blessed.

Blessed. The word gets misused so much today. Blessed because you have money because you got a vacation and it's quiet. What way are you blessed? Is it the reverent and honor through worship, blessed? Or is it the blessed because of good fortune or enjoying happiness? Are you blessed through the pain and through the bad? Blessed. There's more than one kind of blessed.

Sacred. A sacred life that is dedicated or set apart to have a service of worship for our Creator, or devoted exclusively to one service, to serve God. Sacred. A word left out of tongues... you are blessed, but are you sacred? That puts you in a whole new light... doesn't it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I sit stunned... and disgusted... (News on Somalia)

Disgusted would be a good word, but I think I may be more than that. The headlines on Google Reader:

MSNBC:                                                                                                                                                     “Democrats Fall Short in Wisconsin Recall Elections”
“UK Readies Water Cannons as Rioting Spreads”
“Back from the Dead? Young Surfer Amazes Doctors”

“Census tracks 20 years of sweeping change”                                                                                          “Americans’ message on joint debt panel: Let’s make a deal”                                                                     “As riots rage, Britons want show of force”

Google News is the same things. Yahoo News is talking about “Big tickets deals are coming,” “Worst foods for your teeth,” or that “Obama announces new fuel standards for big vehicles.” Let’s also look at Britain riots, North Korean/South Korean news, etc.


This doesn’t happen over night. A famine that is the worst this country has seen in 20 years doesn’t happen in a week. It takes time and is gradual, and then the effect of death hits hard like a Mack truck hitting a Smart car. What are we doing!!! Who cares about our S&P credit scores, who cares about big tickets deals, or the worst food for our teeth. There are people with NO food to care about what’s happening to their teeth! Families are losing all of their children to starvation as we, throw away scraps and looking for more food to throw away.

We are called to care for the least of these… and they are dying right in front of our eyes while we worry about fuel costs. Disgusted with myself and my peers as my children sit healthy in front of me playing on the computer, and are fighting over who gets the mouse. My heart breaks knowing that as I sit here while two parents are surrounding the last of their three children in agony over his death and no money to bury him.

I pray they have hope in Christ. I pray that someone has gotten to them to share the hope that only He can give to such grief as this. Devastated to think that so many have already perished without that hope and that message living in their lives, and devastated knowing more are to following. How can we ignore it with our “World News” being focused on Britain’s riots.
Riots starting because people have no jobs and no money…

Really?! You are destroying your home, your country’s safety, and yet people that have no choice are just sitting still dying, looking on as the flies swarm their dead… how can this even be truth? However, it is!

Truth of a sinful world… seeking revenge and hate… glorifying riot crimes… ignoring the reality of all of us sitting behind the computer while hundreds of thousands die from malnourishment, diseases, and hopelessness.

We are so arrogant to think that we don’t deserve to be treated unfairly; we don’t deserve to talked about badly; we don’t deserve to lack a job and money. What do you deserve? You deserve the right to riot, to find the right food for your teeth. I wonder what do you think that those that die of poverty deserve?

I know the truth and fairness of it all is that we die and spend eternity and hell. Yet… Christ died to bear this fate. He died so that I could experience hope. He died so that I might believe in Him and love the least of these. Do you love the least of these? Do you love the people of Somalia? Do you love the people of Peru, of Africa, of Guatemala? How about Thailand, Ethiopia, Bolivia, or Tanzania? Do you really love them?

As you sit down finishing your summer vacation at the beach or lake what are picturing?
Right now all I can see is the people that God loves dying in a land with no water in sight or no crops to be eaten. You say, why God? How could you let this happen? I say, He is a just and fair God. He will bring condemnation to those that do not believe, and those that do will suffer and still have hope because that is what He promises. Christian living is not a straight away path to the land of milk and honey.

No… No… Paul, Peter, Moses, Isaac, Lot regular men, Hannah, Sarah, Mary regular women, all to prove that even with love of Christ, His people will suffer for Him and that is the only life worth living because it is when you are of Him and not of this world that true hope comes.
Sure it’s a hard pill to swallow (and a huge one at that), but for those that love God all things come together for His good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

We can’t think that God only uses good for His will. No, bad must happen for His will to be done. Jesus’ death is the greatest example. A holy perfect man died for my sinful ungrateful flesh. How unfair is that?

Lord, You are full of such splendor; you are God almighty and just. Please bring hope to people that haven’t been awakened by your Holy Spirit. Grant them the most excellent sense of hope in You. Help us, Lord. May this famine in Somalia bring us to do Your work that You have commanded us.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because Iam going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  John 14:12-14

I just reached in the refrigerator to get Logan a glass of juice. Lord, please don’t ever let me forget the blesses You have given me. Please, help me to remember to give to those that need to be given to. Don’t let this greedy selfish American living destroy my calling for You! Heart Breaking that I can reach 10 feet away and supply my children’s hunger and thirst while thousands reach 10 feet to hold their dead child one more time…

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm gonna go to Africa

"when I grow up, and I'm going to help the people make them clothes, plant food, water, make houses for them," proclaimed my five year old as he came into my room from his nap. He continues the story with wanting to be a firefighter to help the people of Africa control fires, but that he needs to be a police man to help with crimes. However, he has to a hunter, too so that he can catch meat for them (they may not have a problem in some of areas of Africa with this). He drew a picture of the animal clothing he would make for them, "like God made for Adam and Eve."

Making underwear

Animal Clothing and Homes
I sit still listening to this, and I think to myself, "start praying for the missionary in him." I had been praying that he love, love the people that God love so much, and that he would care for the people that needed care. I wish I knew why Africa because talk around the house has been Peru, but he is stuck on Africa. He then states, "Mom, when I grow out of my clothes I will take them to the people in Africa because I know they need clothes." Again, I am silenced by this thought. Brilliant thought because I never thought in that light. A boy who makes a measly quarter or two on his chores, and he thinks of the things he has right now in his possession. I pray for the woman he marries in a whole new light, now. Our prayer at night with him would be that her parents would raise her to love God, but now it seems we may need to be more direct that she will embrace that love and that it be morphed to a love that loves the very least of these and want to serve them.
I tell Luk about how when we go to Peru in June/July that we can bring clothing and help them rebuild after their earthquake, but again he was insistent that it would be Africa that he would this. Again, I'm thrown for a loop over this new journey he has for Africa. I embrace the conversation. Compassion International asked a few days ago on Twitter, "At what age should children be exposed to the reality of extreme poverty?" My immediate response was, "Any Age!" Reson and I have been very open about poverty in our house. I can't say that Luk grasps it fully, but he gets portions of it. He knows that the people do without and that their is a lack of hope, but he doesn't "get it" get it because he hasn't seen it or experienced it. In that phrasing I guess I don't fully get it either. I have seen poverty in areas that we traveled to in Jamaica on our honeymoon, but I didn't get a chance to be engaged in it like my husband. So, I understand it, but I don't "get it." I want Luk to grow up getting it.
So, we are thriving to introduce it to him next summer. However, until that time comes we try to have those with the least in our home.

Smith & Pataso on our family room wall

Lovely Compassion Child covering Luk's Christmas photo
She is right at the door as you walk in. I don't know anything about her, but that she is in need of a sponsor. I pray for her and I will probably never find out if she gets sponsored. I will still pray for her and our boys. I wonder what the Lord has in store for Luk's life (and Logan's), but I pray and hope that this desire does not burn out. It has been a wonderful gift for me to see him love people he doesn't even know. Is it ever too early to introduce poverty to your children? Is a child ever too young to live in poverty? The answer is no. Children are born into it every day, every second. I will not hold this as a secret from my children. Start now, and teach your children that they are blessed, and God has called them to bless others!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Sit and Think What Comes of it All (Poem Attempt)

The days are long
The nights are short
The babe screams loud
While the boy teases like its sport

I sit and think what comes of it all

The bank faces drought
The month seems grim
But I stand knowing Your power within

I  sit and think what comes of it all

The man works hard
He sees little light
Until he comes home to the brightest star on the right

I sit and think what comes of it all

My heart seeks refuge
I know where to go
His promise in me comes from words that must show

I sit and think what comes of it all

His love so fierce
It captures my soul
For I know He will not abandon His goal

What come of this is good for all
We who come and kneel to His call

He causes things bad and good to work His for story
I sit and know what comes next is His glory


I’m not sure if it’s any good, but when God wakes up from sleep at three in the morning you better find something to write on. Thank you “Color Note” on my phone. I am indebted to you and your convenience!