Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Little Pumpkin Do!





So we have a very special little guest this week. My niece, Serenity Nevaeh. She is just the cutest little girl and we are having so much fun with her. The boys love having her around. They are very attentive to her and enjoy making her laugh. And I have a little girl in the house for awhile.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Petco Field Trip



We had such a great time at our Petco field trip. We went with a group of other home school families. The kids were so wonderful and they were all so well behaved. They learned a lot about the different animals that Petco carries. They learned about their habitats, special traits, what the eat, and how they care for their young. The boys and I decided if we could have another pet we would want the chinchilla. It was so cute. But the boys each have a kitty and that's about all the fur we can handle for now.


I did want to share this little story about our day to give praise to God for it. I get migraine headaches every so often. When I get them I am pretty much down for the count. I need to be in bed, in a dark room, and I need to sleep. They sometimes get so bad that I get physically sick. I know I am about to get one because my vision will go blurry. It sort of looks like water is running down the side of my eye. So anyway we were at the Hallmark store just prior to our Petco trip and my vision became very blurry. We had looked forward to this day for over a month and I was worried that we might have to cut the day short. I was also worried how bad it might get and how I would get us all home (we were about an hour and half away from home) I called a sister in the Lord and had her pray for me. Then another sister prayed for me right in the middle of the mall. Within 45 min when I usually would be in serious pain, I felt nothing. I had a little pressure in the front of my head and then even that was gone. By the time we got to Petco I was 100% and never experience a migraine. I know that the Lord healed me. I am not so much amazed at that, because I know He is powerful, but what touched me even more was how much He cares for ME. He knew how much I wanted this day to go well and He just stepped in as a loving Father and took care of His daughter.


Here are some pics from Petco





Polly want a cracker?

Lizard

Snake...no way was I touching that

Elijah's hand and all the gold fish




Isaiah checking out the birds






The kids checking out...hmmm

not sure what this little fur ball

is.


Isaiah looking on at the mouse

He did not want to hold it!




Elijah petting the ferret

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring is all around

We have been so blessed the past few weeks with beautiful weather. It's been sunny and bright and just wonderful. It's so nice to get outside and enjoy God's creation.

Elijah finished learning about "spring" this week in science. He decorated his own kite, made a book about spring and made his own spinning pinwheel. Here are the pinwheels he made (and of course Isaiah had to make on of his own)



Monday, April 21, 2008

Isaiah's Milestone!


Isaiah had a big day Saturday! Every spring and summer since he was about 4 we have tried teaching him to ride a bike (without training wheels). Every year it would end in tears and frustration. We knew he would get it eventually. We walked the fine line between pushing and encouraging him and allowing him to give up. So this year I knew it was the year. He really wanted to learn this year, and it was his choice to try again. After about an 45 min of trial, instruction, falling down, a few tears, HE DID IT! I can't tell you how awesome it was to see him just go, on his own. Isaiah learned a valuable lesson about persistence! Now I am sure Elijah will not be far behind.


.



Friday, April 18, 2008

Beautiful Weather!

So we have been amazingly blessed this week with really beautiful weather. It was a long time in coming but we enjoyed every moment of it.


Isaiah is studying Ancient Rome right now in social studies. The Egyptians were his favorite but the Romans are running a close second. This week we learned how the Romans made mosaics for flooring and on walls. We thought we would try our hand at making our own. They came out wonderful. Isaiah made a rocket ship and Elijah made a sun. Just thought I would share there works of art with you.



Isaiah making his Mosaic

(Left)Elijah's sun (Right)Isaiah's rocket ship

Elijah making his mosaic

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"House upon the rock"


Elijah is learning about community helpers in social studies. This week he learned about the "builder" He was very fascinated to learn about all the different people that it takes to build a house. He was curious to know who build our house. On the left is Eljah showing off his toolbelt that he made. I thought it was a good opportunity to teach him about building his life upon the rock. He loves the song "The wise man builds his house upon the rock,....the rains came down and the floods came up.....but the house on the rock stood firm" It was a lesson for me as well (as they always are). It's so vitally important that we build our lives on the foundation of Jesus. To me that means that we view everything in light of Him and His word. Life is messy, there is sorrow, pain, laughter, tears, trials, accomplishments, and everything in between. But we do not need to be tossed around like a ship at sea during a storm. We do not need to give into to the uncertainty. If we have Jesus as our support, as our foundation, we can stand in the midst of anything.


Yesterday I happen to catch the last few minuets of the Oprah show. ( I am not a fan) What caused me to stop was they were talking about "moms" The last bit that I caught was how we as women need to put ourselves first. We need to "listen to ourselves". I thought how sad that millions of woman are watching this show and believing this lie. Put ourselves first? Listen to ourselves? Sounds like the same lies that were feed to Eve. Mat 19:30 says the first shall be last and last shall be first. It's the complete opposite of what the Lord wants us to believe. "Listen to ourselves"? Why when I am evil, selfish, and Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I do not find. It caused me to think of the foundation these woman had.Their foundations seemed to be themselves, what people are telling them, and feelings...all are wavering and surely the winds and rain will wash away.

But with Christ as my foundation, it's not about me and the hear and now. I don't need to put myself first because I am not living for me. His word is firm, and true, and it guides me in my life. It doesn't change because of my situation or my feelings, it makes no excuses for my sin.
It's firm. And that is truly what brings peace and allows me to stand.

What an awesome truth to hand down to our children, in a world that is all about self, want it now, have it now, do it now. They can stand firm, they can stand for righteousness. The will not be swept away with the despair of this world. They will not need the praise of men or themselves. They will desire to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Mat25:23

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock. And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house. And it fell, and great was its fall.
(Mat 7:24-27)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"just a mom who loves her children"


Many of you have heard and perhaps watched the story of Whitney Cerak and Laura Van Ryn, two college students involved in a horrible accident which claimed the lives of 5 people back in May 2006. Whitney was believed to have passed away in the accident while Laura critically injured. But the opposite was the case and it was not realized until 5 weeks after the accident. The Van Ryns tended to who they believed was there daughter for 5 weeks only to come to the sad conclusion that their daughter Laura had in fact died in the accident. The Cerak's who buried their daughter 5 weeks earlier were given an amazing gift of life in their daughter Whitney. I just finished the book the families had written "mistaken identity" I knew these families were believers because I had watched the story on Dateline. But the book just draws you so much closer to the hearts of both these families and truly is a testimony of how awesome our God is and what a beautiful savior we serve. I won't go into all the details because I really recommend you buy and read the book for yourself. (you won't be able to put it down)




I will share this however. For as long as I have been a Christian I have wanted God to use me in an awesome way. I have struggled with finding what He wants me to do. The past few years I have realized the call on my life is a simple one. First to know Him more deeply, second to be a wife, third to be a mother and lastly to just be available to Him. Each of those callings have many levels but in nutshell that's it. So as I read the story of these families and how many lives this story has touched for the name of Jesus I longed for have that impact with my own life. The very last chapter of the book is written by Whitney, the girl who survived the accident. She wrote that many people have said to her "God isn't finished with you yet" or "God has something great in store for you". It made her question whether she would ever live up to such an expectation. A friend shared the story of Elijah in 1 Kings. Elijah goes out to the desert to talk to God and to hear from Him. He sees and hears many amazing things, great winds, earthquakes, and fire yet God was not in those things. It was only when he heard a quiet whisper that heard the voice of God. Whitney goes on to write how this spoke to her about her own life. That allowing God to have her life for His purposes was BIG enough. She writes "if I'm just a mom who loves her children and tells them about Jesus,that's enough" A wave of the Lord's presence rushed over me when I read that. "that's it" He whispered to me. It's just what I needed to hear.

So as I start our day, I encourage you to allow Him accomplish His will in our lives. And to remember that with God there is no small things. He can't do small, all His plans are purposeful and perfect.

(Zec 4:10) For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Transformed

video

So today in Sunday school class we talked about the transfiguration. I love this story and I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to teach it to His special children. I really wanted the kids to walk away with the knowledge that Jesus is God and He is Awesome. When He was transfigured on the mountain in front of Peter, James and John, He was giving them a glimpse of who He really is...God. He was transformed from the Jesus that they knew, walked with talked with, into Jesus the One, full of Majesty. The best part about sharing this story with anyone is to share the hope we have in Jesus. If we believe in Him and He is the Lord of our lives, He will transform our lives. He will make us more like Him. Not only that but we will become like Him when we are with Him in heaven. 1Jn 3:2 says "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. " and one of my favorite verses Php 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" The kids were so excited to learn this truth and I was so blessed to be reminded of it. For our craft we did this cool project of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. When you look at it from direction it's a caterpillar, and when you look from the other direction it's a beautiful butterfly. I am so thankful that this life is not all there is and we as believers have so much to look forward to. Let us give praise and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for all that He has done, is doing and is yet to do!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snowflakes

Ok so I know Spring is finally here and we don't want to think about winter for another second BUT Elijah is studying the seasons in science, and the past week or so has been winter. We studied how each snowflake is different. It was a good lesson on how God has created each one of us different and that He has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives that is special and unique to us. Elijah was very excited to have a "project" of his very own. He made a snowflake crystal from hot water and Borax laundry booster. Here the pictures of Elijah created his one of a kind snowflake

.Stiring the water and Borax
Hanging the snowflake
Crystals formed!










Wednesday, April 9, 2008

TOGAS!


Just had to share this cute picture. We are studying ancient Rome and learned today about the style of dress important, male, Roman citizens would wear...togas. We just had to make our own. The boys LOVED it!

Proverbs 22:6




Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(Pro 22:6)

When I tell people I home school I get a lot of different reactions. "Wow that must be difficult" "I could never do that" "So how is that going for you?" I realized yesterday that the academic part of the homeschooling is the easiest part for us. Teaching my children to read to write, teaching them math concepts, world history, science, art, health is not the most difficult part. For that you simply need to discover how your child learns best and teach them that way. You make learning fun and engaging. You encourage or praise when needed. For me that side of homeschooling comes naturally to me and I am blessed to have boys who love to learn. The part of homeschooling that is more important are matters of the heart. Now this is the reason we are homeschooling in the first place. We want our boys " taste and see that the LORD is good"( Psalm 34:8). We want them to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to decide for themselves to follow and love Him all the days of their lives. Along with this comes character training. It's hard work. I am in the trenches. Yesterday was a real difficult day with lots of respect and obedience issues. I thought for a moment, it would be so much easier to just give in and let them do what they want. I has other things that need to get done that day. But then the Lord spoke to me as He often does and reminded me of Proverbs 22:6. It's is important that my children are men of godly character. It is important that they know right from wrong and are compelled to choose the right. It is important that they understand that sin has consequences. It is important that they know they have forgiveness with our Heavenly Father. It is important that they know their parents love them and truly have their best interests at heart. And there was nothing I needed to get done yesterday that was more important than that. I have often said "what will it matter if my children are successful if they are spiritually bankrupt" And it's true."Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? "(Mar 8:37) Taking the time to sit with them, teach them God's ways, pray with them, and just be involved 100% in the shaping of their character is such a huge responsibility. I am so thankful for His word to teach me wisdom, His Holy Spirit to guide me, His power to carry me through, and most of all His grace which is sufficient for me. (2 cor 12:9)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring in the Sticks of Maine



A little bit of ground under the trees!


So spring has started to make it's way to our neck of the woods. I can't believe it's actually happening. The kids and I went outside for some sunshine today. It was about 50 degrees out. That's a heat wave for sure! We walked around looking for signs of spring. We saw some of the first growth of our tulips, we heard some birds chirping, we also were bothered by some pesky flies. We are so thankful to have been able to enjoy some nice weather, after a l-o-n-g winter. Praise God for His Time!




There is still a lot of snow in the front yard, but we don't care!









Sunday, April 6, 2008

Keeping our eyes on Jesus

So I teach a group of kids on Sunday mornings at our church. This week the lesson was on Mat:14 where Jesus walks on the water and then Peter goes out to join him It's one of my favorite stories. There are so many things we can learn from it. The main focus that I wanted to get across was that when we are distracted (looking at the waves) we take our eyes off the Lord. When we take our eyes off Him we will sink. How many times in my own life have I experienced this? I am distracted, then I am discontent, then I am disgruntled, then I am disillusioned. It's so important to keep our focus on Him. But our God is an awesome God. He hears us in our times of distress. Like Peter when he realized he was sinking, he cried out to the Lord to save him. What a lesson to us, when we realize we are sinking in sin, or sinking in sadness, or sinking in anything thing that takes our focus from Him that we cry out to Him. And He is faithful. He immediately reached down to pull Peter up. And he will do the same with us. If we draw near to Him He will draw near to us, and immediately lift us up. Here's Isaiah wearing the glasses we made in class. They say "Keep your eyes on Jesus"


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dear Grammie




Today Isaiah's assignment was to write a thank you letter to someone in his life. He choose my mom, his "Grammie" Although they don't see each other as much as I know they both would like, they share a special bond. My mom was there when I had Isaiah and even cut the umbilical cord. She had a dream that we named him Isaiah even before we had thought of the name. They have a very special relationship. Here is the letter Isaiah wrote to his Grammie.



Basketball & Prayer

Isaiah had his last basketball practice yesterday. He has been doing "pee wee" basketball at the local school for about a month. He loved it. He was able to learn a lot of basic basketball skills and he really enjoys interacting with all the kids. So yesterday was the final day and to celebrate the kids played a real game against the parents. That meant since Dad was at work, Mom had to play. I have never played basketball in my life so needless to say it was humours. I even passed the ball to the referee at on point. Isaiah on the other hand did really well. He made several baskets and was a real team player. It was a lot of fun.

Last night we had some good friends over for a time of prayer. We live in a very small town and we are so blessed to have like minded fellowship right up the road. We all felt convicted that we needed to spend sometime in prayer together, and pray for this area we live, our church family, and just have that intimate fellowship with each other that prayer brings. The Lord really met us last night and we really were blessed.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling
Psalm 2:11

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"I just love you so much"


Just a cute little story to share about Elijah. We pray with the kids, during our bible reading time, before meals, and throughout the day. We have really been able to watch the spiritual growth of our boys by how they talk to their Heavenly Father. Isaiah's have become much more personal, more full of praise and thanksgiving. Elijah (who just turned 4) would always say the same thing "Thank you Jesus for our food, thank you for making us, thank you for my brother, my mom and dad, Jesus' name amen" The other day he was praying and what he said just blessed Peter and I so much we couldn't contain our smiles. He prayed "Jesus thank you for making us...*long pause*.....I love you, Jesus, I just love you so much, Amen" It was the first time we heard him tell Jesus he loved Him. It was such a precious moment. It made me think of how much the Lord wants all his children to come with Him with such a simple prayer of love. And really when you think of all He has done for you, for me, what else can you say but "I love you,Jesus, I just love you so much"
Another cute story...this time from the lips of Isaiah. We were doing a writing assignment today in school. The purpose was to get him thinking of things to be thankful for. There were a series of questions to get him thinking. One question was "What is the nicest thing someone has done for you recently?" Isaiah wrote "When my mom and dad took us to the arcade to play games" The question that melted my heart was this "Who in your life are you thankful for?" and Isaiah wrote one name "God". I asked him why he wrote God and he said "well because without God I am not Isaiah" Now that's something for me to think about,my 7 year old has come to know that he is nothing without God, but with Him he is complete, how much more should I know that. Sometimes we can say it but our lives don't always reflect it. May our lives truly reflect His greatness!

Bethany <><

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Let it snow!

So before we went to bed last night we looked out the window and it was snowing....and it was starting to accumulate. This morning as I type this we got 3 inches, and no it's not an April fools joke. Now the fluke snow fall normally wouldn't bother us, but after this winter we have had it's just kicking us while we are down. So my question is what would the Lord have us learn? Patience, perhaps. Maybe He wants us to recognize the season we are in and stop worrying about the one to come. So I am thinking we'll go sledding today!