Saturday, December 18, 2010

True Confessions

I know that it is needless to say that I just can't keep up with blogging during this holiday season. But...I HAVE to post this! I enjoy sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, and this one is pretty darn ugly. Unfortunately, it's about my heart during this glorious season! Here it goes!

Yesterday, we celebrated our last day of school by not doing any school and going to a friends house to have a Christmas party...we read Christmas stories, watched a Christmas movie, did a craft, ate pizza, decorated cookies...a fantastic time! I had a few errands to run after our party and before the kids' spanish lesson at three, and here is where it hits the fan.

Our first lovely errand was dropping off all the gifts we had purchased and wrapped for our Adopt-a-Family through Salvation Army. I truly love doing this and we are so blessed that I feel a responsibility to help those that may be struggling. However...I will not be shopping at Wal-Mart again...but that story is for another post all about my ugly heart as well...

Anyways...after dropping off our gifts, we the Post Office. Oh yes, the post office at this time of year with 4 young children, 3 of which just have a hard time with self-control...why have I not learned????? The line is only about 20 people long, they actually have a pile of toys that the kids can play with--nice! I have my bag of gifts to fit into a box and a few envelopes...we pass the flat rate display panel and pick out a box that my packages will fit into and start putting my packages in the box...the kids are sprawled out on the floor around me playing with the toys, we are slowly inching our way through the line as I move along filling out the addresses on the 3 packages I have to mail.

**sigh** "Do you mind if I go in front of you?" says the elderly woman behind me, which I know by reading her body language the last few minutes has NOT been happy to be behind me.

I pause for quite awhile, since I am not quick on my feet at all and am just absolutely bewildered that someone would ask me this... "No, I'd really like to keep my place in line..." I weakly respond.

There you go. I cannot believe I told this little old lady no! Now, there were a few more comments from this little old lady that I won't share, since I am tempted to justify my behavior! I tried to redeem my failure to hand out grace and be a light for Jesus by asking her if she'd like to go ahead of me once I got to the front of the line, but she not-so-graciously declined.

Oh dear. A major fail on my part. It led to a good discussion with the kids that night, especially Zeke who could understand my struggle to show this lady grace. I told him that this is the way parents and trained and disciplined by God. He got to see me repent that night when I was praying for him at bedtime and ask God for another chance to extend someone grace who doesn't deserve it, just as our Lord gives us favor when we don't deserve it.

I am so far from Jesus! I feel as if my heart has shrunk this season and is just a few sizes...too small...


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Month-old school review :)

Yes, I think these pictures are about a month overdue on my blog, but hey, life happens...and we've had A LOT of life happening here! One thing I LOVE about these pictures is that Abby was self-motivated to draw them and they show that she was inspired by what we are learning. I chose to deviate from the read-alouds scheduled in our Creation to the Greeks curriculum, and I have been really pleased with our choices so far (these choices were mentioned in the book list in the back of the curriculum, but I would have had no time for them without cutting out the scheduled read-alouds). Our first read aloud was All of a Kind Family, and then we dived into The Golden Goblet, and now we have started one of the scheduled, Star of Light. Abby drew these pictures toward the end of the The Golden Goblet. The kids absolutely LOVED this book, and even though it was heavier reading for Eli and often took me more than a half an hour to read one chapter, they would beg for more each day! This book gave such a vivid picture of the Ancient Egypt culture...and seemed to fall right in line with the cultural things we were learning on any given week. For example, we learned all about Egyptian villas one week, made a model of one, and then got a great description of one while reading The Golden Goblet! Same with the quarries, marketplaces, artisans, tombs...I just loved it and we were all sad when we finished the book. Abby and Eli have empty booklets on their desks with the title "Ranofer's New Life" because we were mourning the end of this book and I asked them each what they thought Ranofer's life would look like now...and that we wished there was a book about Ranofer's new life. I should probably encourage this creative spark and desire in them...but a homeschooling mom has only so much time in one day/week/month :) Anyway, this was just cool, so I had to share it!
Here are some other pics from the past month:
Abby and Eli after making an apple pie during our reading of "How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World" ( I am trying to read some Five in a Row books with Abby and Eli this year)

The boys playing with their throwing sticks, just like the boys in Ancient Egypt:

Congrats to Zeke for completing his test for white belt senior...

And here is Micah mining in a box...actually, he was coloring inside the box and found it to be dark, so requested his head lamp. This child keeps me way too busy!

Since all this, we have just been plugging away. I have stripped some of the projects out of our weeks because I am yet again feeling very overwhelmed with life, so am trying to get the basics done, plus return/regroup from travel, decorate for Christmas, do my Christmas shopping, make dinners, recover from a nasty cough/cold that is entering its third week...etc...sigh...

More later on our awesome Thanksgiving trip to Niagara Falls and New Hampshire! And, wasn't cutting down a Christmas tree supposed to be a fun family adventure, full of happiness and memory making? Well, that is NOT how it turned out for us this year, which left me really discouraged about the kids' hearts...but it did lead to a good heart to heart discussion with Zeke and is keeping me very humble...

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.