Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For all our Presbyterian friends

The other day in the grocery store a nice older lady stopped Levi to ask about the bat he had painted on his cheek. He told her all about Trunk or Treat at church and had a nice conversation with her while I tried to decide which flavor of yogurt to buy. Then my little missionary-in-the-grocery-store said "ma'am, do you go to church?" She smiled and said yes, she went to First Presbyterian and where did he go to church? "Oh. (looking kind of sad for her) Well, we just go to a regular church."

Katrina's Big Idea

Katrina at Callapidder Days had a great idea and, as usual, I'm quite a bit behind on joining in. The idea is to actually plan what we're going to read this fall so that we can accomplish something. Now that will be a big deal for me:) I'm always reading, but it seems I never get to really process what I've read. I hurry and get it back to the library on time (yeah, sure I do) or I hurry through so I can start something else. But all the great books in the world aren't going to do me any good if I don't remember what they said. So my goals for this fall are to read these books and either write a review for here (if I think y'all might be interested) or at least make some notes for myself). All these before January1st!
1. Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival
My ladies' group at church is going to use this one for our next study. It's supposed to be a twelve week study but we're going to stretch it out over the next year because we only meet once a month. I really (REALLY!) wish we could meet once a week, but that's just not happening right now. I'll definitely be reading ahead though:)
2. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
I just finished this one (and no it's not cheating to add books I already read if I read them this fall, cut me some slack people!) and it was great. I expected it to reinforce our determination to homeschool, but it was full of insight about how education could be handled for all our nation's children. Really got me motivated to think a little more about what we need to do for all children and not just what I want for my own kids.
3. Teaching the trivium: Christian homeschooling in a classical style
I'm working on this one and it is a BIG book:) I've done a lot of reading on homeschooling and educational theories and all that jazz. After reading The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home shortly after we decided to teach our own kids, we had settled on the Trivium or Classical approach to use as the backbone for our homeschool. I knew I would be pretty eclectic, but I really liked having the Trivium as sort of a guide to go by. Teaching the Trivium is great because it really makes the distinction between teaching something because it will make our kids well-educated and teaching them because it will help them in the Christian walk. A side note - after reading the chapter on languages, I told Casey I really thought I'd like to make Greek the first foreign language we work on (possibly the only depending on how much affinity any of us show for languages). He said "I thought we decided that a long time ago." Apparently he'd decided a long time ago and just hadn't mentioned it!
4. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
This book is written by an actual brother and his sisters and I just have to check it out. It is so so so important to me for our kids to be friends. My brother and I were grown before we really became close - we fought like cats and dogs most of the time growing up (although I loved him back then; I just couldn't have admitted it!). I hate to think of all that time we wasted and how close we came to killing each other...
5. Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers,
I actually already read this one, too:) It was quite good. I enjoyed knowing that there are enough people out there who are living out values similar to mine to warrant writing a book about us:) I certainly didn't agree with everything the author had to say (differences over religious ideas come to mind) but I would still really recommend it. It's so great to hear Christians calling other Christians to think through what they believe and then Live.That.Way.
6. How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less
Lest y'all think I never read anything fun:) I'm slowly (but surely! but did I mention slowly:() losing weight and I have to start dressing better. I'm sick of jeans and a t-shirt or jeans and a sweater 6 days a week and the same old dresses or skirts on Sunday. really I just can't take it any more!
7. The Fat Flush Plan
Barbara Curtis has had such fabulous success using this that I can't wait to read up on it. I'm not officially dieting just yet, but Jack will be a year old soon and I think by then I may be ready to wean him either entirely (sniff, sniff) or enough so that my dieting won't be an issue.
8. Small Beginnings
Speaking of Barbara, I love her writing style, especially when she writes straight to moms. I think this one will be a big hit with me.
9.Girl Talk Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood
Brenna is only two, but I figure it can't hurt to go ahead and start thinking about these kinds of conversations. And there are lots of other young women in my life that I'd like to positively influence. I've heard a lot of good buzz about this one - I think I'll enjoy it.

Well, that's it for the fall. I know I'll probably read a lot of other stuff this fall. I usually have a couple of books going at a time. But these are the books I'm committed to really delving into. And making this list has been such a blast (yay nap time!) that I might do it every season:) Thanks, Katrina!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Do you ever just feel ....?

I am not even sure what word to put there. The last two weeks have been (in no particular order) scary and devastating and empty and chaotic and unproductive and busy and stressful and... and nothing even really happened. How is that for twisted? Nothing particularly out of the ordinary has happened at my house and I've been right here, plodding along. But all around me there is stress and heartbreak and just a steady stream of negativity. And I've been very yucky feeling (for lack of any real way to explain it). I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my church, my family, my friends and I love my God. But I feel cold and drained and unattached. Everything on the outside is going so smoothly (well, almost everything) but on the inside I feel like I'm watching someone else's life. Does that make any sense at all? And I know this is just a temporary thing and that I'll get through it, I'm just not sure how I go about getting through it. Anyone out there with a good swift kick in the pants for me? I 'd appreciate it:)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

MOnday check in on Wednesday

It has been a pretty busy week, but I thought I'd post a check-in anyway. Better late than never, right? This last week and a half has been...rough. And of course I know why - I've been busy and let that squeeze out my time with Him. Knowing I need it, knowing I can't do this without His constant help. SO I'm not surprised that it's been hard to give up reading while I eat. I mean this is a lifelong habit, literally, and it's something that part of me does not WANT to give up. I know I need to and I know that the reward will far out-weigh the loss, but part of me is still as stubborn little girl stomping my foot and howling "I DON"T WANT TO!" My Father is teaching me self-control - I just wish I was a faster learner.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kids are funny:)

Levi is in the kitchen crunching on chips without asking. So I calmly say "Levi what are you doing?"
He says "Oh nothing. Just a little ingestment."
I say "what?"
"Just a little ingestment - I'm trying to test what happens when the food you chew goes down the long pipe into your ingestines. First I have to chew it into tiny pieces. I'm using these chips."
I think he's figured out that I'm a sucker for anything that sounds like he's learning:)

Monday check in

I sit here in awe at the power of my Father. Something that seemed like an impossible goal last week, by His strength, was a breeze. An absolute breeze! I have a real hard time not turning to food for stress relief. An especially big problem was that quiet time when the kids are in bed and Casey's just left for work. Every night as soon as it got quiet, I'd think "now I can grab a book and sit down and eat something!" The bigger the stress or better the book, the longer I'd want to stay at the table reading and eating. And then I'd go to bed. So that ain't healthy. Last Sunday night I really prayed about this and through the whole week I didn't eat after supper even once. I'll admit to being tempted a time or two, but it was amazingly easy to say "I don't eat after supper any more" and walk away. As if...the food didn't have any hold over me any more! Now the day time was still chaotic and I didn't really pay much attention to what I ate then (beyond making sure I wasn't eating between mealtimes). But I couldn't believe how much of a difference praying about this (and the prayers of lots of others, THANK YOU!) made this last week. It's really reaffirmed for me that God does really desire for me to do this, and that He really is willing to actively help me. He isn't just up there handing me assignments and then leaving me to my own devices to accomplish them. And since I know He will help me, I'm feeling brave enough to tackle what I think will be the toughest challenge of this whole thing. This is a behaviour that is absolutley ingrained in me - I've been doing this for as long as I can remember and I'll admit I love it. I don't really even like the idea of giving it up, but I know I need to. And I know I'll need a lot of prayer to be able to! This week, starting now, I'm no longer going to read while I eat. Whoo. I'm going to be real honest here. The idea of eating without reading holds no appeal for me. I can't even imagine just sitting down and eating something without anything else to do. The only time I ever don't read while I eat is when we're all at supper. At breakfast and lunch I usually talk to the kids while they eat and then when they're done, I grab a book and whatever I'm going to eat. SO this is going to be a large shift in how I do things. Please pray for me if you feel led to. I sure would appreciate it!