Friday, April 27, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: CC End of the Year Party!

We finished up Classical Conversations this week with our end of the year party.  Mostly, it was a party at a park with lots of delicious food, but we did have a short awards ceremony.  Sarah Beth and another child from our campus both completed the difficult task of becoming a Memory Master.  They had to memorize all of the memory work for the year and be able to recite it four different times.  It's a big deal, and I'm so proud of their hard work!

I also wanted to recognize Sarah Beth because she completed six years of Foundations and three years of Essentials, and is graduating up to Challenge next year.  It's a wonderful turning point in her education, from memorizing great information to starting to learn how to use it.  I'm very excited!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:

  • Sarah Beth scored her first soccer goal on Saturday!  Unfortunately, I wasn't there because I was at Rachel's game.
  • no piano lessons this week.  Our teacher's children were sick, so she cancelled which meant that we didn't have to rush through school and lunch to get there on time.  It also gave us time for a quick trip to the library!
  • running errands by myself yesterday afternoon.  I was able to get my hair cut and do some other things that are difficult with children in tow.
We have a busy weekend planned with a birthday party for John's mother.  Eighty years is a big deal!  

We've had a busy April, and May looks to be even busier.  I just want you to know because I may not be around in the blogosphere much.  

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Memory Masters Preparation and a Finished Blanket

This week started off dark and gloomy and cool, but it ended up warm and sunny which was a nice improvement!  We want to enjoy this warm weather before it becomes hot.

My week has been filled with Memory Master preparation and testing, or at least it feels that way.  :)  Sarah Beth and Daniel also have a research paper due next week, and we've spent a good bit of time on those, too.  Other than that, it's been a relatively normal week.

Here are some more things I appreciated this week:
  • finishing the blanket pictured above.  It's always exciting to finish one blanket and start a new one!
  • finishing up the Missional Motherhood Bible study.  We're starting Hosea by Jennifer Rothschild next week, and I'm excited about that one, too.  (Lifeway has the videos for this study online free until the end of May, if you're interested.)
  • seeing Sarah Beth work so hard on her memory work for Memory Masters.
  • having friends willing to help proof my children for Memory Masters.  They're busy, too, at this time of year, but they carved out some time in their schedules to help.
Can you tell how much Memory Masters has dominated my mind lately?  ;)  We have at least one more week, and then it will be done!

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I've got a slow, lazy day planned.  Rachel has a soccer game in the morning, first, though.  John is taking Sarah Beth and Daniel to hunter education so they can do some hunting this summer.  Tonight we're going out to eat to celebrate my birthday.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Monday's Quote: Are You "Just" a Mom? NO!

Upon meeting someone new, have you been asked what you do?  Have you ever responded, "I'm just a mom"?  Let me tell you something you may not know already:  you are not just a mom.  God can and does use us mothers to move the world, to shape it His way.  We have important work to do, and we need to keep that in the front of our minds because so many people tell us otherwise.  Here is Gloria Furman in Missional Motherhood:
The world says that you are just a mom and that your mothering ministry is not newsworthy.  The world says your work is mundane, but every offering and discipling moment in your life is actually unique--unprecedented in history and never to be repeated.  Your work in evangelism and discipleship done through the power of the Spirit gives Jesus praise that echoes in eternity.  And this moves heaven to notice.  (p.  198)
Does that amaze you as much as it does me?  Every time I speak to one of my children is a unique opportunity:  do I waste it with harshness and exasperation, or do I use it to bring God glory?  It also terrifies me because I think of the many times I have lashed out at my children and hurt their tender spirits.  I can never go back and "fix" that moment.  Thankfully, with the grace of God, I am learning more patience and understanding as I deal with my children, hopefully pointing them to our ever patient, ever understanding Father.

Have you ever felt like "just" a mom?  After reading this quote, do you feel like there's more to the role of motherhood than you may have thought?

Friday, April 6, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Day off from School

What is it about little girls and their mothers' high heels?!

Wednesday morning, I woke up to no lights.  The electricity was out.  Ugh!  That's never fun!  I had to figure out what to fix for breakfast and what to do with the rest of our day.  I don't know about you, but a house without power depresses me because usually it's dark outside, too.  Sarah Beth sweetly asked if we could skip school, and I told her that was fine since I wasn't feeling too studious, either.  Finally, right before lunch (right before we left to go out for lunch), the power came back on.  While being without electricity is not fun, it is a wonderful reminder of how much I appreciate having it.  And a reminder not to take it for granted.  :)

Other than that, we had another fairly normal week.  I think I've said it before, but I like normal and routine.  :)  That way I know what to expect and can plan around it.  It's the unexpected that throws me for a loop because I haven't planned for it.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • Daniel passing his first Memory Masters proof.  He has three more to go.
  • a trip to the library.  We don't have the time to go as often as we would like.
  • rain.  We received a nice rain Thursday afternoon.
  • only one soccer practice for each girl this week.
This afternoon I plan to take Sarah Beth for her first Memory Master proof.  Tomorrow I will take the girls to their soccer games while John takes Daniel to scout out a potential hunting camp to lease.

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March Reading

As I look down this list, I'm surprised at how much I read this month -- and at how many good books there are on it.  I had a hard time putting them in order of how much I enjoyed them, and honestly I'm still not sure I like the order.  :)

Here's what I read:
  • Missional Motherhood:  The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God by Gloria Furman.  Does this book sound familiar to you?  It might because this is the third time I've read it.  It's just that good!  There is no such thing as "just" a mom; God uses us mothers to grow His kingdom as we teach our children about Him.  But He doesn't stop with mothers as He also uses every woman as she ministers within her sphere of influence.  It's amazing to think how God can use us "just" moms.  
  • Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimee K. Runyan.  When my mother recommended this book, I knew it was  a good one!  Telling the story of a Soviet Union women's flying squadron during WWII, it is a fascinating fictional read based on a real squadron.  This book tells the tale of a specific woman as she goes to flight school, gets married, and enlists.  It kept me riveted while I jogged on the treadmill!
  • Mary Slessor:  Queen of Calabar by Sam Wellman.  I read a little blurb about this lady in an email I received from Christian History Institute, and I thought she sounded very interesting.  So I picked up a book about her, and she did indeed live a fascinating life!  Slessor moved to Africa to be a missionary, but the Lord placed the unreached people on her heart.  She moved into the jungle to teach them about Jesus.  Once they knew, she moved further inland, and again.  The Lord used her in a mighty way to end barbaric practices and to bring people to Him.
  • The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan.  Sarah Beth found this series at a bookstore and loved it.  After Daniel read it, too, and really enjoyed it, I thought I would read it, as well.  I was surprisingly pleased with the engaging story and interesting characters.  Rangers are a kind of peace-keeper in a medieval-type world, and this book tells the story of Will who is apprenticed to one.  
  • Exiles by Jaye L.  Knight.  This book is the fourth in this Christian fantasy series.  I think it is absolutely wonderful, and I recommend it highly.  But I won't bore you with a summary because if you haven't read the first three, it won't mean anything to you.  :)
  • All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick.  Based on a true story, this book tells about Jennie Parrish one of the first women doctors in the state of Oregon.  She had to overcome many obstacles along the way from an abusive husband and subsequent divorce to the prevailing idea that women should not be doctors.  I really enjoyed this book.
  • Sacred Influence:  How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of their Husbands by Gary Thomas.  I've read several books by this author, and usually I find his advice on marriage to be very helpful.  I guess his teaching in this book is as well, but I didn't like it.  Neither did the other ladies who studied it with me.  Thomas feels like wives can have a tremendous influence on their husbands, and I agree with that.  However, the point in the book seems to be that we wives need to help our husbands as much as possible, accommodate them completely (as long as no sin is involved), and basically bend over backwards to make them happy.  Then maybe, just maybe, if we're lucky, our husbands will respond in kind and do nice things for us, too, hopefully.  Honestly, this advice made us angry:  why should we give and give and give just for the hope that we will receive something in return?  I know it appears to be scriptural, but it's exhausting.  
What have you read recently?  Anything good?  Or not so good?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monday's Quote: Why Helicopter Parenting Teaches Our Children Not to Trust God

I have never wanted to be a helicopter mother.  I have always felt that children should learn to do for themselves so they learn to be independent.  However, I must admit that sometimes I do step in when I shouldn't.  But I have always figured that the biggest problem with helicopter parenting was that it did not teach children that their actions have consequences.  I was wrong.  The biggest problem with helicopter parenting is that it teaches children that they cannot trust God.  Gloria Furman in Missional Motherhood says this:
The greater concern about helicopter parenting is not that children will not learn independence, but that we will inadvertently model to them that God's faithfulness is not dependable....  The overarching consequence of obsessive overparenting is simply that in our failure to live out the truth of the big story, we fail to pass on that big story.  What is this helicopter parenting subconsciously teaching our children about God, themselves, and His call to spread His glory to every corner of the earth?  In our disciples' [our children's] eyes it may seem that God, who is so big, so strong, and so mighty, is really no bigger than we are.  God is not mighty to save; Mommy is.  (p. 168)
I have been convicted.  In addition to working hard to teach my children independence (which is still a great thing), I also need to teach them to trust a loving, all-powerful God.  And to teach them that, I have to model it.  What a huge responsibility!  Thank God that He will provide plenty of opportunities to live this trust out.

What do you think about helicopter parenting?  Are you one?  Or not?