Saturday, December 26, 2009
Do we ponder the gift long and hard? The gift of Jesus. JESUS, at this name Every Knee Will Bow. This is the same Jesus, low and in a manger. A baby, lying helpless, full of need, wrapped in human skin. Holy One, Magnificent King! So much to ponder, to struggle to comprehend. Beyond my earthly abilities to understand. Who chooses this? Chooses to come. Chooses to die. To die for you and me.
He comes as a baby in a manger, no castle for Him. He is amidst the animals and the manure. In the middle of the filth. A baby. He came this way, capable of making his entrance any way He would choose. The one who simply speaks and earth is formed. He came with no fear of getting stuck in the middle of our filth, of my filth. He became a man and dwelt among us.
Then He grows and during His time of ministering on earth, He calls people to come and follow. To take up their cross and follow Him. The King of Kings, with no place to call home. He calls follow me, to follow him to His death. Oh what a mighty warrior, who will lay it all down for you and me. To conquer death and its grip...if only we believe!
So I have pondered this humility this Christmas and I can't help but to ask, what does this mean for me? I am to model my life after Christ, to come and follow Him. How do I model humility? What steps do I need to take to become more like my King? To be found low among the people? To not appear great, but small. To not dwell among the Kings, but the filth, and with no sense of disgust but love. I pray that this year Christ holds hard onto my heart and teaches me what it means to become smaller so that He can become greater, so that He may receive ALL the glory. Lord show me how to experience true joy in humility. To be content to be low among the people.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Here is Aidan getting ready for some sparing.
This is one of the ways that the kids match up against one another. The object is to push the opponent out of the designated surface area.
And here is Rebecca sparing. Can you tell she is smiling while she is doing it. They are actually throwing punches and kicking. They spar about once a month and they get to do it both ways when they spar. This is the favorite night of the month.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
So since finishing up school on Tuesday, we took Wednesday as a day for some fun activities around here. We rented 2 Christmas movies, I gave the kids an early Christmas present from there teacher (a book for each of them) and we made these great little mangers. I found this idea online somewhere and they are perfect. They require little to no prep work and are easy to make. The kids loved them. I have always thought it would be so fun to do ginger bread houses, but we never have. This is that sort of idea, but it focuses there little hearts on Jesus which is my goal in all we do this time of year. Here are there masterpieces (be prepared to ooh and ah!):
Aidan has a Joseph to the left with the green face, Mary is to the right, and baby Jesus in the manger in the middle of them. Aidan wanted hay so we crushed frosted flakes to make the hay for Jesus to lay on. The creature to the right with the green and red is supposed to be a sheep and a shepherd is standing behind him.
Rebecca has Joseph, Mary and Jesus also. She also added a sheep (with its bottom facing you to the left) and a donkey standing to the right. The M&Ms on top are supposed to make a star.
Andrew really preferred to eat the m&ms more than anything else (you can tell by his messy face), but I helped him at least get a Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.
After finishing these the kids ate them for a snack. I was having mixed feelings about making and eating Jesus, but I remembered that He refers to himself as bread and that made me feel better about it. I tried to share this great symbolism with the kids and they looked at me blankly, but at least I felt better about it.
While we were making these, Aidan asked if we have ever made these before. We haven't, but that question warmed my heart. I remember when Aidan was a little baby and I was sitting in MOPS and was hearing all these great ideas and traditions that other families had. I craved this. I wanted to create this type of family and home that would allow them to look back when they are older and remember the things we did together when they were young. To remember us being together and enjoying life together. We started a few things and we have added some over the years, but this is the first year that I am realizing that these traditions are special to the kids too. Aidan has asked if we are going to do certain things again this year. He remembers and he wants to be a part of those fun family activities. It is a great joy to have the opportunity to share these special times with my kids. We may not always get to do all of these things, but I want them to always remember us, as a family, together!
Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you are enjoying yourself and your family this holiday season!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Trace started attending Alcoholics Anonymous and while struggling to find anything that would help him put the pieces together he ended up reading CS Lewis's Mere Christianity. Then one day he encountered the scripture that says "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it". Right then he believed. Since that that time we have found ourselves back in the church and studying the word. Trace has felt convicted that he needed to be baptized again for a while and he did it this time (by the way, I know Trace would right this differently so please keep in mind that this is me telling his story to the best of my ability). I am so proud of him for responding obediently.
I have talked a little about Aidan's faith journey here. He accepted Christ as his Savior this summer and was eager to take this next step. I love the way baptism happens at our church. First Trace was baptized by our Pastor and then Trace was able to baptize Aidan. It is so special to get to play such an intimate part in your own child's baptism. I am praying that a deep Spiritual Heritage will flow from our generation to the next, to the next, and the next. This is such a beautiful picture of that kind of Heritage. During the baptisms an older man in our church who has a deep love for Jesus was privileged to stand with his two grandsons and their father and together they baptized the young boys. I can only begin to imagine the joy that would come in getting to baptize your grandchildren. God's loving kindness is overwhelming sometimes.
Here is a picture of Dad and son before the baptism.
And here are two in the water. Aidan is entering in the first and in the second you can barely see his head peaking over. I love these pictures (even though the quality is terrible).
Our wonderful Sunday School Class had a party to celebrate and they invited Aidan up for the celebration. This was a really sweet time for me as a mother to have other believers that Aidan did not even really know rally around our family as we celebrated. Aidan was a little overwhelmed by this detail. He could not understand why nor was he prepared to receive the attention.
And last is a picture of my kiddos and the cousins. My brother and his family made the trip to help us celebrate with Aidan. It was a wonderful time Celebrating. my heart overflowed with gladness!!! God is good and faithful to answer our prayers. The drawing of Aidan to Him is a huge answer to prayer!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Things have been really busy for us this year with the addition of homeschooling so I decided to keep the party pretty small and we invited 3 friends and their siblings. Aidan chose to have a bike riding party and we got permission to do it at the church in the parking lot. We made name plates for the bikes and then we added two different noisemakers to the bike (bells that dangle and a paper clicker that hit the spokes as they rode). I set up an obstacle course and the kids got to each make their way through it.
Here is Rebecca with the flag sending out our first racer through the course
And now Andrew needed a turn
The kids had to make it through the course and then they had to drive through the silly string attacks of the other kids. This was one of the highlights for sure! Here is Aidan spraying one of his friends
Andrew even got covered in silly string
This sweet little one road way out far making it impossible for anyone to get her...very smart girl!
After the obstacle course, we took a break for an easy hot dog lunch and some cake. We are so thankful for our friends that were able to come.
Here is the birthday cake
We had too much wind so we attempted to block it with the cardboard in the back ground.
And that night my brother and his family cam in town to celebrate some more. It was a great day of play and fun with Aidan. I cannot believe Aidan is 7. I know I say that every year and I mean it every year, but 7 really seems older. Aidan doesn't seem like a little guy anymore. He is growing up and developing his own personality. I completely find myself at a loss once again, but I am enjoying this stage. I love that Aidan loves to learn and is curious about everything. He loves to learn new facts about all sorts of things. Learning is simply cool at this age and for a home school mom that is super fun! I love that he is getting to a point that I can trust him more and give him a little more freedom. I love his sense if humor that is developing and even though I might not get the joke, it delights my soul to her him laugh! Aidan is such a sweet little boy. I get compliments about you all the time Aidan. You are a special boy! I love you dearly! Never forget that...I love you! I love getting to be your mommy!
I will try to write about the baptism very soon, but I think this is all I can do for now. What a special weekend!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Trace has taken over the Friday afternoon History lesson for me. He gets off work early on Fridays and has been so sweet and wonderful to take this on. It is a sweet time for the kids and him too. I have been known to enjoy my Friday afternoons by running errands, reading a book, or taking a nap. It is a great time for me too!
Here is their first Friday with daddy. The first week we defined history and archeology. After the archeology lesson the kids went for a "dig" in the sand box.
Week #1 with Dad was a success!
Here are our cave paintings.
And this is supposed to be the white crown that the Pharaoh of Upper Egypt wore. It would later become part of the double crown when Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt became one.
So there you have it. The last couple months in pictures. We do things that do not pertain to history or science around here, but those just aren't as fun to take pictures of. And just in case you are curious, all ideas listed about come from our history curriculum. We are using the Story of the World and I bought the activity guide to go with it. All creative ideas should be credited to the book.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I did take a few pictures to mark our first day because that is just what you do on the first day of school, right? Here are the kids in the school room. That door is a pocket door between the kitchen and school room/office and I painted it to be a chalkboard which is great fun to use.
I am going to write out our school day for my own benefit(down the road)and for those of you that are interested. If you have no interest at all; this is where you want to stop reading.
After handwriting we take a break for outside time and lunch. Then before Andrew takes a nap we all snuggle together on the couch and read. It is truly the highlight of my day! Andrew takes a nap and the bigger kiddos join me for a simple history or science lesson (I do mean SIMPLE!). Then they rest and read in there rooms and I get a little quiet time.
That concludes our school day (usually history is finished about 1:00-1:30)and the remainder of the day consists of planning for the next day, doing laundry, cleaning, cooking dinner, and running errands. The biggest struggle for me right now is finding time to get to the grocery store. I just can't seem to get that done during the day and have been making late night trips after the kids go to bed. Trace and I will have to figure out the details as time goes on.
We also have chosen to be a part of a co-op called Classical Conversations and we have loved it so far. The kids all seem to like it, they get a morning in a very structured environment and they are learning so much! Most of the families stay after class time for lunch and playtime together and we have enjoyed having this time scheduled into our week. We go on Wednesday mornings and take off those afternoons. The style and philosophy of the co-op fits perfectly into my homeschooling philosophy so far and the material overlaps and helps tie the loose ends together. I expect many hard days ahead, but I am so thankful that this is the place where the Lord has us for this season of our life.
And here are the pictures that the kids took turns taking with there new teacher on the first day.