Saturday, February 27, 2010


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I guess because I have lived in Paraguay for 4 years and spent 4 years before that in South Texas, I had forgotten that chilly weather can linger longer than a month in Central Texas. Recently I have so longed for the sunshine, to wear sandals and a t-shirt, and to be outside sipping terere. It has been so cold, rainy and down-right miserable for weeks and weeks that it made us even more thankful for Sunday’s weather…..the sun finally was up and the temperature read 70 degrees! Our family headed to the park where the kids always love the great playground, throwing the football or Frisbee, and riding their bikes. I always enjoying seeing them play with Jeff and having a blast, plus I usually get a couple chapters of my book read.
Two day later on Tuesday, we woke up to huge snowflakes and a layer of snow already on the ground. It was beautiful. The kids quickly piled on layer after layer, scarves, gloves, and boots and headed outside. Ginny headed up construction on the first snowman while Joshua made sure everyone was hit by snowballs. The kids and Jeff made a great snow fort and then Jeff and Ginny made a great Snowman of Liberty in the front yard. It snowed nearly the entire day – about 3 inches in total.
Today, Thursday, the weather was warm again (67 degrees), so we shed the layers and headed to the park again and broke out our terere. Life is full of adventures and we love it!

Fun in the snow.

love this guy!

Grass, dirt...or snow...Joshua loves being on the ground

Ginny making "frosty"

Ryan in his snow fort

Jeff and Ginny built a snowman of liberty

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


February 19, 2010

We do have active children; however….thank goodness these “accidents” were staged.

Ryan and Ginny were asked to be a part of a TV commercial for Doctors Express, the urgent care clinic where Jeff works. Ryan had to slide into first base and “sprain” his ankle. Ginny had to “run into a bush” on her bike and “sprain” her wrist. Both times the Good Doctor (Jeff) had to run to scene of the accident and assess the situation. Next, the kids were seen separately walking out of the clinic with their “parents” (Ginny’s “parents” were her grandpa and the office owner and Ryan had me as his mom). The kids did pretty well and enjoyed their debut.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Confessions of a wisdom-lacker

Just yesterday I sat next to a lady at karate who about fell out of her chair when she found out that I had five kids and one on the way. “I could never have so many kids. Just one drives me crazy,” she responded. Then she found out I home schooled and she really thought I was nuts. “Doesn’t that drive you crazy being at home with your kids all day long? I could never do that,” she said.

Over the years, I have received the same “you’re crazy” kind of responses from hundreds of people when they find out we home school our ginormous family. Sometimes I respond, “Some days are harder than others” or “It actually is pretty fun” or “It is something we are committed to and it has turned out to be the best fit for our family.” However, what I would really like to explain is this:
I cannot do it either. And when I try to do it, it is a disaster. I am disorganized, I get stressed and I feel like a failure. I wish at times that I could send my kids off to school instead of being “stuck” with them 24/7.

That is when God gently reminds me that the decision to home educate isn’t about me and what I think is best. It isn’t about what I want my kids to learn or how I want them taught. The decision to home educate my children is all about Christ and his call upon our family. I have to die to my selfish agenda, comfort, and insecurities and allow him to do it through me. He has called us to a lifestyle of home education and he will equip me. He walks with me, encourages me, and answers in my times of distress.

I cling to this scripture in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all…” I almost want to laugh at this verse each time I read it (which sometimes is daily). IF anyone lacks wisdom. IF. Well, that category of wisdom-lacker is definitely me! What curriculum should I use? How do I teach 4 kids (with 4 different learning styles) in 3 different grade levels? How do I best help my child with a learning disability? How do I balance time spent between teaching and time for myself? What do I do with the younger kids as I teach the older ones? How do I grade Ryan’s 5th grade writing papers? How do I stay organized when it does not come naturally? How do I encourage my slow reader? How do I respond when my children don’t want to do school? Should I feel guilty about attending a morning bible study knowing that I should be schooling the kids? How do I make Christ the center of our entire schedule?

Yes, I am definitely a wisdom-lacker. But what a privilege it is to be able to ask the all powerful, all wonderful, abounding in love, the creator of the universe my questions and actually get answers! God is so faithful and He has never left me hanging. When I fully allow him to teach my children through me, I actually enjoy it. With Him working through me, I can actually have some creative ways to teach. With Him working through me, I can chose the right subject matters and books that glorify Him.

I recently read an article that resonated with me. It said, I always use to scratch my head quizzically when I read I Timothy, “The women…she shall be saved through childbearing…” until, a few years ago when I realized the work God has worked in me through mothering. It occurred to me that most of what is valuable in me came as a direct result of yielding to the process of living with my boys.

How true! God has used home education as a way to refine me and help mold me into the kind of women, friend, lover, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, teacher, and follower of Jesus, who He wants me to be.

At the end of the day, I always feel incredibly blessed to be able to educate my children at home. What an awesome privilege and responsibility I have to (as the same magazine article stated) not only teach history, but write history on the hearts of impressionable youngsters, and make an impact on multiple generations.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


As Ginny and I were making a cake, Ginny declared, “Can I hatch the eggs?” (crack)

Tyler said, “Today do I get to go to my piggy class?” It took a few repeats for me to realize that he was talking about his PE class at co-op.

Yesterday Tyler asked me, "Do you remember when I stuck the eardrum in my ear and broke the q-tip?" (reverse the words eardrum and q-tip for the sentence to make sense.)

I thought this was worth sharing...

Someone sent this to me.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' And then I want you to tell them, 'Keep your fork. The best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come...Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share...being friends with someone is not an opportunity but a sweet responsibility.