Monday, February 12, 2018

Daniel's Tenth Birthday

Today is Daniel's tenth birthday.

He loves his sisters although sometimes he forgets they are girls and gets a little rough.  :)

He works hard at his schoolwork. 

He loves taking pictures.

He took this beautiful one.

Daniel has an adventurous spirit that seems to be normal for boys, so we encourage it as much as we can!

I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to work in Daniel's life!

Friday, February 9, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Hunting Trip

Okay, I didn't go on the hunting trip.  John took Sarah Beth hunting last weekend, and they got three deer.  Sarah Beth killed one of them, and she was so proud of herself and rightly so.  Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a stocked freezer!  Beyond the hunting and food acquiring, I'm really happy that they had the weekend to spend together.  My children have a wonderful father who loves to spend time with them -- and take them on the adventures that I would rather not.  :)

Other than that, I feel like we had a cold, rainy week.  It didn't actually rain every day, nor was it gloomy every day.  But that's the overall impression I have of this week.  We did not have Classical Conversations this week, so I enjoyed the extra day home.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • celebrating Hannah's birthday on Sunday
  • Sarah Beth's good friend who took her up to a museum in Houston this week
  • hearing my children play hymns on the piano.  I know I've mentioned that before, but I love it!
  • taking a day off school to run some needed errands, like getting the kids' hair cut
We have a quiet Saturday planned and then I start a new Bible study Sunday evening.  We're going to study Gloria Furman's Missional Motherhood, and I'm so excited!

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday's Quote: Does God Care About our Boring Days?

An ordinary school day.

Life is usually made up of many ordinary moments with just a few exciting ones sprinkled throughout it.  As people, maybe more so as Americans, we think life should be full of exciting moments with a few boring parts interspersed in it.  Our spiritual lives, especially, we think should be full of mountain top experiences and maybe a few valleys, and that's it.  Otherwise, we're not doing something correctly, right?  What if we're wrong?  As Tish Harrison Warren says in Liturgy of the Ordinary:  Sacred Practices in Everyday Life:
We tend to want a Christian life with the dull bits cut out. 
Yet God made us to spend our days in rest, work, and play, taking care of our bodies, our families, our neighborhoods, our homes.  What if all these boring parts matter to God?  What if days passed in ways that feel small and insignificant to us are weighty with meaning and part of the abundant life that God has for us? 
When I think about my children's growth, usually it's indiscernible:  they grow just a teeny bit every day, and it's immeasurable.  But when I look at their growth over several years, well, there's a huge difference from where they were to where they are now.  I think our spiritual growth is like that.

Honestly, I have to admit that I appreciate a relatively boring life.  I appreciate a husband who comes home from work every evening, and I appreciate my days going on as they have in the past.  But maybe that's because I tend to think that "exciting" is bad:  a broken leg, a car crash, even a gallon of milk spilled all over the kitchen.  But in that "boring-ness," there is tremendous potential for growth -- if we're patient.

What do you think about this?  Do you enjoy a boring life?  Or do you crave excitement?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hannah's Second Birthday

Today is Hannah's second birthday!

It's been fun to watch her grow and develop this year.

Her siblings are enthralled with her, too.

She loves getting into things and making messes.  :)

She loves to play outside!

Learning to walk -- very important!

A ready smile.

She loves to look at books and listening to them, too. 

We look forward to watching Hannah continue to grow and develop as the Lord wills!

Friday, February 2, 2018

What I Enjoyed this Week: A Weekend Away at the Summit

Going with a friend is so much better than going alone.

Last weekend, I went to the Homeschool Moms' Winter Summit for the fourth year and had a wonderful time.  Every year I learn something new and come home with things to work on in order to become a better wife and mother.  I also come home refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the school year.  My sweet husband came home early from work on Friday so that he could take care of our children while I was gone.

Here are a few other things that I enjoyed this week:
  • how well my husband did with the children.  He even took them to the Lego store in Houston for Rachel's birthday and the next day to the Houston zoo.  They had a great time while I was gone.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should go out of town more often.  ;)
  • being able to breathe through my nose.  When you're all stopped up, you realize how much you take such a simple thing for granted.
  • Baskin Robbin's ice cream.  Remember scoops are only $1.50 on the 31st!  We take advantage of this deal every time it's available.
  • reminders of things I learned last year at the Summit like not putting my loved ones in the cage of expectations.
  • the warmer weather.  It certainly hasn't been hot, but it has been freezing, either, so I'll take it!
  • The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison.  What a wonderful book about how we can find the sacred in the ordinary and vice versa.  
  • being home.  As much as I enjoyed my weekend away, I'm so glad to be home!
We have another quiet weekend planned which I really appreciate because I know they're going to get very busy once soccer starts.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Reading

I read a diverse group of books this month, but I enjoyed all of them and would recommend any of them.  As a new thing, I thought I would start listing them in order of importance, that is, how important or entertaining each book was to me.  Here's a list of what I read:
  • The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance:  Nurturing Your Marriage Through the Homeschool Years by Heidi St. John.  I listened to a podcast by the author, and it intrigued me, so I found a copy of this book.  What a wonderful reminder of how important marriage is, even when a family is homeschooling.  As wives, we must remember that our husbands are more important than our children, and the author gives practical ways to help busy homeschooling mothers do this.
  • Destination Moon by James Irwin.  This engaging book was written by the eighth man to walk on the moon.  While it is written for children, I found it fascinating, and I learned a lot while reading it.  Irwin gives a quick summary of the previous space missions, then concentrates on his personal trip to the moon and how it changed his perspective.  After visiting the moon, his new mission was to tell the world about Jesus Christ who created the moon and saved his soul.
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The narrator is transported to Mars from the "Wild West" in the late 1800s, and he doesn't know how.  While there, John Carter makes friends in a savage, warring tribe and falls in love with, you guessed it, a princess of Mars.  This book is jam-packed full of action and adventure, and it's still a wonderful read even though it's over a hundred years old.
  • The Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart.  When World War II ends, Fran receives a letter from her fiancee that he has found someone else.  In order to start a new life and to continue her nursing training, she moves to the Kentucky Applachians to learn midwifery.  She has many adventures as she finds her way in the mountains and learns new skills.  I really enjoyed this book, especially when I learned that it's based on the work of a real person.
  • Miracle in a Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas.  This book was recommended in World Magazine, and I'm glad I read it.  When Perla moves into town with her daughter and no husband, almost the whole town judges her.  As she becomes an important part of keeping the town going through a severe drought, they come to appreciate her more.  The author reminds us not to judge others for their repented, forgiven sin because we have our own sin, too.  
What did you read this month?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Happy Eighth Birthday, Rachel!

It's hard to believe that today is Rachel's eighth birthday!  It feels like she was just a little baby.

She enjoys having fun and being a little silly sometimes.

She makes friends wherever she goes!

Mostly, though, she loves spending time with her daddy and me.

I am constantly amazed at how much she thinks of others.

Rachel is a wonderful big sister.

Happy birthday to our sweet Rachel!