31 July 2007

she's getting it~

one night, after anna had been in her room for awhile, she came down with a piece of paper. on it she had written what she felt like the Lord was saying to her...

"I know the plans I have for you, Anna, for I am the Father God who you love. I have not abandoned you, Anna, for you love me and I love you. You have opened my eyes and set my new day full of blessing that I pour out on you. I love you with all the love I can ever give you. You are loved so much you can't imagine it. You have very few sins compared to a lot of people. Go and tell the world about me and my love for you and all people, and I shall prepare you and your family for lots of challenging adventures. I love you, Anna."

~is that amazing or what? glen and i were amazed. i will admit, we smiled a little at the few sins compared to most people part. at first i thought, "well, that is probably a little of anna coming through in that part," but the more i thought about it, i realized that nope, that probably was God. that is exactly what she needs to hear and He knows it. she is so sensitive, and tries so hard to please and do everything right. she is by the book. she needs to know that He sees her efforts to obey Him and please Him, and gee...she's a child. she does probably have fewer sins than most people :o)

i love it that she is learning to hear God, that she knows He loves her and wants to be friends with her. that He likes her and wants to talk to her. that He wants a real relationship with her. that He is not a big guy up there ready to squash her when she screws up. i'm still learning that.

now about that challenging adventure part....?

additional info on the organizer~

I forgot to mention that I got my current organizer a few weeks ago at Barnes & Noble. It was the same price that you can get it online, but of course I didn't have to pay shipping. They run $15. The current calender runs from July 2007 through December 2008.

30 July 2007

who needs a secretary?~

Amy Knapp's Family Organizer~

again, for those of you that know me, i am a planner, list maker, major organizer, etc. i spent several years trying out different notebooks, planners, etc. until i found the best planner ever, amy knapp's family organizer. i love it so much and think it is such a wonderful resource that i have got to tell you guys about it. i use it for everything and carry it with me pretty much at all times. it runs in an 18 month format, so i use mine from july to july to coincide with our school year. i use it for keeping track of what i do each day, the days the children do school, my to-do/errand list, my grocery list, my meal planning, christmas/birthday lists, and anything else i need to remember or keep track of. the two far edges are perforated so you can tear off your grocery list if you don't want to carry around the planner. i carry it around because i keep a running grocery list, costco list, specific errand list, and on-going Christmas/birthday list. i also keep a list of meal ideas in the back that i can pull from when i haven't planned anything out.

here is a photo from the website and a photo of how i use mine.

if you give a momys a muffin~

by Kathy Fictorie, a MOMYS~

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three year old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two year old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two year old. While she is changing the two year old the phone will ring. Her five year old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

how to bake a cake momys style~

by Angie Reber, a MOMYS~

Preheat oven. Get out bowl, spoons, and ingredients. Grease pan. Crack nuts. Remove 18 blocks and 7 toy autos from kitchen table. Measure 2 cups of flour. Remove baby's hands from flour. Wash flour off. Measure 1 more cup of flour to replace flour on floor. Put flour, baking powder, and salt in sifter. Get dust pan to brush up pieces of bowl baby knocked to the floor. Get another bowl. Answer phone. Return. Take out greased bowl. Remove pinch of salt from pan. Look at baby. Remove grimy hands from bowl. Wash off shortening. Take greased pan and find 1/4 inch of nutshells in it. Head for baby who flees, knocking bowl off table. Wash kitchen floor, wash table, wash walls, wash dishes, wash baby. Call bakery. Lie down. :o)


those of you that have known me for awhile have more than likely heard me talk about MOMYS. it is a big part of my life. it is an email digest for Mothers of Many Young Siblings, hence the name :o). to actively participate, meaning post questions and reply to posts via the digest, you must have had, at some point, at least four children eight and under. anyone can receive the digest (known as read-only momys), but to actively participate you must meet the above criteria.

why momys? it is to provide support and encouragement for women who have many small children, and to address many of the challenges/blessings that come from many small children close together. many of the women are quiverfull minded. compared to most of the women (over 2000 subscribed from all over the world!), i have a smaller sized family :o). most homeschool, many are dresses-only and headcovering, many are "normal." there are all different denominations. it is challenging in so many ways, yet so encouraging and refreshing. our moderator is constantly challenging us to get into the Word, to have conscious goals for our children and visions for our families. it is often serious, and often funny. many of the women are adoptive momys in addition to having many biological children. (the four children within an eight year span applies to birth and/or adoption.) many of the women have children with health issues. raw eating, healthy eating, vaccinating vs non-vaccinating, autism, fertility issues, breast-feeding, bedwetting, potty training, home management, and homeschooling are some of the normal topics in addition to conversations/debates on Scripture. it is wonderful. anytime i have a question regarding anything, at least one of the momys will have advice, usually of the "been there, done that" variety. i highly recommend it, and strongly encourage those of you that fit the guidelines to participate, and those of you that may aspire to that to subscribe as a read-only momy.

did you know that the average number of children per woman in the US is only 2.09? that is slightly below replacement rate. that number is due in a large part to the rise of feminism in the 60s and 70s. women began to see children as a burden and were fed a lie that their worth was found in the marketplace and not in the home. but that could be a blog devoted solely unto itself. i do hope to address this more fully at some point, though. anyway, i believe there is a movement being birthed among Christians, and that is the return to the Biblical Family. a large part of that movement consists of families deciding to trust God with their family size. i understand well both sides of that argument and can be found on both sides of the fence. i am not going to pronounce judgment on anyone for what they believe regarding that issue :o)
however, i believe that the Lord is calling His people to raise up a generation that values life, values family, and can very possibly change our world just because there are so many of them. power is found in numbers, and if we, as Christians, welcome children as blessings, and raise them up to love the Lord with all their hearts, we can provide the catalyst our country so desperately needs.

so, in a culture that does not value children or Biblical womanhood, it is wonderful to have support and encouragement from women that are in or have been in the same place of life that i am in. i am normal there and people understand me, along with the many challenges and blessings that come with having a large family with lots of small children. it is my lifeline :o)

27 July 2007

frugal fridays~ kids consignment sales

I hope to start a Friday post on saving money through various means. Feel free to send me your tips and ideas! On that note...

It is consignment sale season!
(why they think we want to shop for winter clothes in the middle of july is beyond me)

One way I used to often save money was shopping consignment sales. It was an excellent way to find clothing for my children at a fraction of the cost. I am very particular about the way my children dress (not saying that is a good thing!), although I have gotton much better :o)

I used to buy name brand clothing for cheap, and then sell it again the following season. I could usually make close to the same amount I spent. Not quite, but close. That meant I was dressing my children for practically free!

Now, I don't shop consignment sales as much anymore as it is a lot of work to take six children to a sale and not end up spending more on junk and toys than on clothes, but I love ebay! Consignment sales, overall, are better than ebay, though, when it comes to cost. I do still shop consignment sales when I am able to get out alone.

I love saving money. When I am making a purchase, I often spend quite awhile researching the best product, best price, best quality, etc. Places such as bizrate, pricescan, pricegrabber, and nextag are good for finding the best current deal. Googling coupon codes is an excellent way to save money when online shopping. And then of course, there is ebay! In the past I have spent hours hunting down the best deal on something.

Anyway, sorry for the rabbit trail...

For finding a list of current consignment sales in your state, go to http://kidsconsignmentguide.com/

You have to look up your specific state, then scroll down to find nearby cities with listed sales, but it usually has quite a few listed.

That's your Frugal Fridays tip of the week :o)

(in the spirit of honesty, i did stumble across the frugal fridays idea on the biblical womanhood site, so for more frugal friday ideas, go there...)

supermarket savings 101 from Biblical Womanhood~

Crystal Paine of Biblical Womanhood, is going to be teaching a pilot class on supermarket savings for wives. If you are not familiar with meal planning, shopping, couponing, etc. this class would be a tremendous benefit to you and your family. I am just enclosing a copy of the email I received. For those of us already benefitting from meal planning, couponing, etc., she hopes to teach a more advanced class in the near future.

Biblical Womanhood is one of my favorite sites, even if you are not interested in the Supermarket Savings Class, check out some of the articles on her site.

I am planning on posting soon on bulk cooking, meal planning, and couponing.

Here is the information on the class:

Dear Friends,Now that I finally have my energy back again, we have so many exciting things going on around here. One those new and exciting things I can hardly wait to tell you about as it has long been requested and my husband and I hope it is a great blessing to many wives and mothers (and husbands, too, as they see the savings benefits!). Details are below:

Supermarket Savings 101:
A Two-Week Beginning Course on Drastically Reducing Your Grocery Budget

Taught by Crystal PaineFall 2007 Pilot Class begins August 13th, 2007

Could you use an extra hundred dollars or more each month? Would you like to know how to significantly cut your grocery bill without spending hours each week to do so? Have you tried using coupons at the grocery store and never known how to do them or what a good deal is? If so, the Supermarket Savings 101 class is for you!

This pilot class, taught by Crystal Paine who has fed her family well on very little for years, will show you how you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on groceries and do so in an efficient manner. Through six short and simple audio lessons, downloadable easy-to-understand course materials, an interactive message forum allowing you to have your questions answered by Crystal and talk to others who are learning right along with you, and hands-on assignments to help you learn the ropes, this class will walk you through all the basics to becoming a savvy grocery shopper. Written with busy moms in mind, this course would also be excellent for an older daughter, a newly-married woman, or even a grandma!

Topics covered include:
-Designing a menu plan that really works
-Menu planning on a budget
-Eating well on a limited budget
-Learning how to spot a good deal
-Time management and efficiency in frugal shopping
-The basics of using coupons - where to find them, which coupons to cut, how to organize them.

In addition to invaluable information shared, there will be a lot of class interaction so that everyone can learn from and be encouraged by one another. Crystal will also devote a portion of the class to answering questions and offering feedback.This class is geared towards beginners - those who know very little about frugal shopping and know very little about homemaking. Plans are in the works to teach a more Advanced class on Supermarket Savings in the near future to build upon this class.

Crystal's desire in teaching this class is that the stories, tips, practical examples, and resources shared will provide your family with creative ideas and encouragement on how you can master and minimize your grocery budget. And, in doing so, she desires to help you be a better steward of the money God has given you.This class is open to any woman or young woman over the age of 13. Class size is limited, so be sure to register soon.Pilot class pricing special - only $17.97!Fall 2007 Pilot Class begins August 13th, 2007

To register, visit:http://biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=129

Have a beautiful day!Crystal, for Jesse, Kathrynne, and Kaitlynnhttp://www.biblicalwomanhood.com/

P.S. By the way, if you have not yet registered for the Home Business Class and were planning to do so, it's filling up fast - like usual.
Read more here:http://www.biblicalwomanhood.com/homebusinesscourse.htm

home management~

One of the reasons I started this blog was to hopefully be an encouragement to other moms, particularly young moms. Life was very hard for me when I was younger (for those of you that know how young I still am...stop laughing :o) But seriously, it was. I got married at barely 17 and had my first baby a little over a year later. It was hard, I was depressed, I didn't really know how to manage my home. All of that is a whole other story that maybe I will share sometime, but my point right now is that I really have a heart for young moms, particularly in the return to Biblical womanhood and home management.

I don't really have a lot of emotional or spiritual advice. All I did, and still do, on pretty much an hourly basis is cry out to the Lord. I am a firm believer in the verses that promise the Lord will give wisdom to those that ask. I often ask the Lord for practical answers to my issues with the children and home, and I just look and listen for His answers. That is my emotional and spiritual advice in a nutshell. There are of course practical things I do for encouragement, refreshment, rest, relaxation, etc., but my thing is really practical encouragement.

I love managing my home. My daughter even wrote a funny little song about me being the "organizational mommy." (Honestly, I seriously border on OCD. I always wondered if something was wrong with me when I was growing up. You know, flip the light switch on and off until it "feels" right. That has its good and bad sides. I am learning to use the good ones and trying to overcome the not-so-good.) Anyway, six children eight and under have forced me to learn efficient home management. I love it. I am always reorganizing, de-cluttering, planning, etc. So, although I am by no means perfect, nor do I have everything down perfectly, I hope that I can be helpful to other young moms. I hope to post frequently on home management.
I call it home managment...my children probably call it serious control issues :o)

"If you want to be organized properly,
you need an organizational mommy..."
~by my sweetie Anna,
laundry/dinner helper
upstairs job checker
official baby helper
table wiper/sweeper

26 July 2007

who needs a pilates instructor?

so much for exercising in privacy...
i waited too long until the end of naptime to start
my pilates video. they thought it was great fun.
oh, the enthusiasm of children :o)

24 July 2007

why i homeschool, part two~ are our children called to be salt and light?

As I referenced in my earlier post, why i homeschool, part one~the Biblical basis for homeschooling, I came across an article written by Dr. Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. that sums up quite well why I feel so passionate about homeschooling.

In my first post, I talked about the Biblical basis for homeschooling. One argument many Christians use is the "salt and light" argument. This basically says it is okay for me to put my child in school (any school, not just public) as Christians are called to be salt and light to the world. Is this argument Biblical when it comes to our children? I don't think so, and again, I am going to quote from Dr. Ray's article.

"Where in the Bible is the prescription for parents to pour their young ones as salt and light into a hostile environment? Where is there a Biblical command for them to send their six-year-old (or twelve-year-old, for that matter)-who has not clearly been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and his gifting has not yet been identified as evangelism-to go out, alone, to take on the unbelieving 40-year-old teacher, the 33-year-old pagan bus driver, the 52-year-old sexuality-education Freudian or feminist school psychologist, the plethora of anti-godly books, music, video, and more that comes with government schooling?"

For those who make that argument, think about how difficult it is for us, even after walking with Christ for years, to not laugh at a dirty joke, to excuse ourselves from a gossipy conversation, to resist the urge to watch the latest video. Do we expect our children to stand stronger than we do? What about not putting a stumbling block before little ones? The Bible teaches it would be better for us to have a millstone tied upon our necks and be cast into the sea than to cause a little one to stumble! How many stumbling blocks are we expecting our children to soar over when we immerse them in an environment that glorifies and calls normal the lusts of the flesh?!

Okay, so what about junior high or high school? Can we expect them to be salt and light then? I believe that yes, occasionally the Lord may call certain individuals to that, but not normally. There is the occasional individual that possesses the calling and strength of character and maturity in their walk with Christ to be able to stand in that environment as salt and light. But how many teenagers, in the middle of adolescent hormonal changes coupled with tremendous peer and media pressure, do you know that can and would do this effectively? I think most still need to be sheltered and discipled by their parents at this age. Consider also that when Jesus did finally send out his disciples to minister, He sent them out in groups of two. Fellowship, accountability, encouragement, prayers of agreement. King Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived, given wisdom by God Himself, said in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, "Two are better than one...If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!...Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken." That, coupled with 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'," should give all of us pause when we consider this argument. More often than not, our children will be conformed to the pattern of the world more than they will affect it for Christ. It takes a lot of salt to effectively season a pot. Are our children, then, battle-ready giants able to take on our culture alone?

Another point to consider is that Jesus was released into his public ministry at the age of 30. Thirty! The Apostle Paul, an adult, was not released into his ministry immediately after his conversion. And he had seen and heard Jesus audibly! He had a dramatic conversion, yet he was still sheltered and discipled for several years before he was ready to go into the world. Do we expect our children to take on American culture, with all its godlessness and glorified sin, all on their own? For seven hours a day, five days a week, before they have even walked with Christ in the maturity and awareness that comes with age? What are we thinking?

I am challenged by this in so many ways. Convicted, really. How many stumbling blocks do I put in front of my children? I don't want them to be normal. I don't want them to think that having boyfriends/girlfriends and a broken heart is normal. I don't want them to be so aware of pop culture that they have to have the latest music, clothes, etc. in order to feel okay about themselves. I don't want them to think a "rebellious period" is normal. I don't want them thinking bad language in moments of frustration is okay. I don't want them to think it is normal for men to be ignorant, stupid, or wishy-washy. I don't want them to think a woman gets her worth from a career or that children are just a trophy, or even worse, an afterthought. I don't want them to think that hurtful sarcasm is funny. Yet, these are all things they are surrounded by. We don't even let them watch regular tv, yet it still permeates our culture. They learn it from other people. The children in Sunday School, the lady at the grocery, their friends at New Song. God help us. Give us wisdom and insight into how to and why to protect and shield our children in such a way that we are in the world, but not of it.

Our children are going to be taught, trained, and indoctrinated by whomever they are spending the bulk of their time with. That is who is going to be discipling them - teaching them, training them, and indoctrinating them. Indoctrinating not meaning brainwashing, just being taught doctrine, whether it be religious doctrine or just how the world works. I do not want Uncle Sam discipling my children. It's hard enough for me to do it, I most certainly don't trust him to :o)

a milestone~

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I went for a walk during naptime. Wow! Now, mind you,
I only walked in our driveway (we have a long gravel driveway where I can see the house at all
times, plus we live way out in the middle of nowhere,) but, nevertheless....a taste of freedom! I grabbed the ipod (one of the greatest inventions ever in my opinion), left Anna downstairs to listen for the babies, and off I went. It was refreshing, invigorating, and left me with images of my pre-six baby-self :o)

20 July 2007

true love~

nothing says "i love you, mom," like bunches of spontaneously picked flowers and leaves...
unless it's from the five year old, and then nothing says "i love you" like some "shiny" rocks....
some women measure love by jewelry or other finery....well, you can give me a pile of flowers and shiny rocks any day...

17 July 2007

note from ethan~

after a couple of warnings, a certain five year old earned himself a spanking from dad.

we let them draw and read at night in bed, so a little while after they had been in bed, dad received some mail...

"Dad, I love you, but I don't like when you give me spankings..."

who needs a cook?~

thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, my guys all love to help cook, they especially love cutting potatos. they are actually quite helpful...at least when it comes to potatos :o)

16 July 2007

from the mouths of children and infants...~

**I wanted to just take a minute to add onto this post since recently through Facebook quite a few of my real life friends and others have been reading this blog.

The leadership that I've mentioned in our church has recently changed. We have a new children's pastor and some really awesome stuff going on. While the fundamental beliefs that I have are still what we believe regarding family worship and my frustration with parents not be willing to worship with their children, etc. I just wanted to clarify that this post *is* two years old and things are not quite the same. My heart still misses the small days and the children being an integral part of worship, and I still believe it is best for families to worship together, but I just wanted to say that we are loving our new children's pastor and the awesome stuff he is bringing and the heart he has for our children. I no longer feel the preschool area is overlooked, etc; but we do still keep our children with us during worship. I am leaving this post up because the heart of it, our feelings and motivations towards children in worship, family worship, etc. are still very much a part of who Glen and I are.


I have recently been pondering a new change at our church, and since two of my friends, Wendy and Her Royal Excitedness, have just posted on their blogs about our church, particularly how they relate to the children, I decided to do some of my pondering publicly.

Our church has just in the last month begun having children's church (1st through 6th grade) for the entire service time. It is quietly "advertised" but no one has introduced it from the front so far that I've heard. I was also told by two people in leadership that they hope to soon implement this change for the pre-school age. They've had the nursery set up like this for awhile.

My heart is grieving. That is truly the best way for me to describe it.

Wendy described how in earlier GC days, the children danced and waved flags during worship. It was wonderful. There was a rug in the very front that all the little girls (and boys) would dance on. You could just feel the Lord smiling on them. The number one reason we left our old church and began attending GC was because we could worship together as a family. The children went to classes that were small and sweet, taught by parent volunteers that took turns. That is mostly gone now. Yes, GC is still family friendly, but they've lost a lot of that "welcome the little children" kind of feel. It has changed. My friend Hailijah and her husband joke about flat-screen churches. It's what they call it when a church goes all hi-tech and changes. Now, I am not saying that is bad. Growth is good, and they needed the flat screen tv in the hallway for overflow and for people that are watching their children. But a lot of what originally attracted us to GC has changed.

Am I just missing the good ol' days? Yes, but some no, I think. We have had some new leadership come in for the children, and while I know they have a heart for our children, I feel that the pre-school area is overlooked and not valued. We have a hard time finding teachers, and the ones we have are not particularly well equipped. (I will give them credit, though, that has improved some over the last year or so.) My husband teaches every other month for the full month. But, he often ends up in there on his off month because no one wants to help. Church has become all about the adults. That is the best way I can describe how I feel. All these parents try and drop off their children way before class time, and then are irritated with my husband when he comes at the appropriate time. Then they stay and talk for awhile after church is over before they come to get their children. Meanwhile, my husband and I are trying to watch our six and clean the classroom, and we often have to deliver children to their parents. Frustrating...Anyway, that was kind of a rabbit trail...sorry.

All this comes together for me in a way that makes me feel that the young children are being tolerated more so than welcomed. I've not talked to anyone yet about how I feel. The one time I tried, I approached someone who I though would be a little understanding of my point of view, but we never got that far into the conversation. I could tell she thought it was a good idea and she also talked about it in such a way that I got the impression this was something the parents were wanting. Ahhh! Come to church, find someone to take your kids, so you can go to church? We are supposed to be discipling our children, not putting them away from us while we worship. How will these sweet little ones learn to worship if they never get to participate? If GC starts having class time for nursery through sixth grade that lasts all of church, our families will never be worshipping together. Jesus welcomed the little children, they danced and shouted "Hosanna!"

So for now, we're keeping our older two in worship with us, even though most of their friends "get" to go to class now for all of church. I'm just waiting to be asked why we are not allowing our children to go until later. We let them go after worship when the teaching time starts. This is hard. They were initially disappointed, but have been remarkably good sports. I so want them to understand that we made this choice out of our intense love for them, our desire for our family to worship together, the way we feel the Lord wants families to worship. I admit I need to do some searching to figure out why I believe this so strongly.

There are a few families in church, three that I can think of including us, that appear to feel the same as we do. They are large families, too. That is another thing that appears to have changed some. Our church used to be known for having a lot of larger sized families. Not that large families are more "spiritual," it just made for a different feel. GC was unique, and welcomed their children in church. They were an integral part of worship. Most of those families are still there, and the parents of those families are reaping the fruit of how they worshipped when their children were young. Their children, almost all of them, are walking with the Lord and are passionate about loving Him. They have great relationships within their families, too. No serious rebellion that I've seen. (Not that I know everything, I could be missing something, but for the most part it looks good.) Of course everything does not all hinge on whether or not children go to Sunday School for the entire service or not, but to me it just says something about the hearts of the people that brought their children up this way and the values our church embraced.

Anyway, a lot of that is still there, it's just not obvious or embraced as it once was. It's like our dna has been changed. We're becoming more normal. I hate that. The children still dance, but they're in corners or aisles. They will mostly be gone once class is available. What about "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2. What will happen and what will worship be like when our children are gone?

The hospitality room for nursing moms is great, but it means that moms are not as comfortable as they once were. Now I take full advantage of the nursing moms room, but lets just say I get a lot more fellowship and encouragement than actual teaching :o)

I'm having a very hard time articulating this. I am making it sound like children are no longer welcome in our worship, and that is not the case. They are just not embraced as they once were. Families do not seem to be valued as whole parts. When did church (in general) become like this? Biblically, families worshipped together, although men were separated from the women in the temple. New Testament churches met in homes, and I just have a hard time seeing families walking into homes and children being sent away to be "taught" so their parents could worship in peace. There is teaching going on, as in Lori's post, and I don't really have a problem with there being a separate class time, but teaching does not, and can not last for the entire 2 1/2 to 3 hours our church typically lasts, espcially for the little guys. They can digest "God wants me to share, ", and color a page, but that's about it. The rest of the time is play and snack, and managing the children who have to be...well, managed. I just think my children will benefit more greatly and have a richer, more real experience if they are in worship. They can learn all about God at home (which is where they should be learning it), and learn how to worship Him by well, worshipping with us as we worship. That is how they learn. Our church worships. Really worships. I think our worship is what draws a lot of people there. And I do not want my children to miss out on that. Not for anything....and especially not for some animal crackers :o)

(I am very curious to hear what other people think and feel about this topic, so please comment!)

13 July 2007

the birthday boy...a proud member of the upstairs club~

Noah was two years old last Saturday. I can't believe it. He is such a cutie.

I am so glad he is finally two. We have good two year olds around here. Twos are sweet.
Well, they are all sweet, but you know what I mean.

I'm still waiting for the magic two year old change, though. He is still very much a baby. He still nurses, a lot, especially since he was recently displaced as the youngest cutie. He climbs on everything, and thinks he should be able to do whatever the big kids do.

For those of you have been asking and waiting...he is now an official member of the upstairs club! All of our children sleep upstairs now except for Haven. Last night was Noah's first night. It was great. As long as he doesn't figure out that he can climb out of the crib we're doing good. I'll keep you updated :o)

whispers or bricks?

"God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick."

~i don't know who originally said this, but i like it :o)

12 July 2007

why i homeschool, part one~the Biblical basis for homeschooling~

so i'm just going to jump right in on the controversial stuff. i know among believers, there are many different beliefs on homeschooling vs public school vs private/charter school, etc. i've been dwelling a lot recently on putting my thoughts into words on why i believe so strongly in homeschooling. after meeting a very interesting lady awhile back who actually called her children "the brats," and asked me why i would do that (homeschooling) to myself, i realized i needed to be able to articulate why i believe the things i do. part of my desire in starting this blog is to help me get my thoughts together.

so anyway, i've been thinking on this awhile. then just this week, a newsletter i receive from the medical needs sharing organization we are members of arrived with an article that sums up so many of my thoughts so well. it is written by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., who is the author of the Home School Researcher, the Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling, and the founder of the National Home Education Research Institute. i will quote parts of it.

"...Every parent, church leader, grandparent - each one who has a concern about the Biblical discipleship of the children of God's children - should carefully try a thought experiement. Imagine putting aside one's own childhood and all the biases picked up from one's own community, one's own K-12 schooling experience or college background, one's local church, one's favorite Bible teacher, one's denomination, and one's civil nation. And then imagine picking up the Bible and reading from the beginning of Genesis through the end of Revelation, and asking the following questions:
1. To whom does God give (prescribe) the responsibility for and authority over the teaching, training, and indoctrination of children?
2. Does God prescribe for His people to willfully put themselves or their children under the tutelage of pagans or nonbelievers? Or, does He forbid this?

Consider, for example the following scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Psalm 1:1-2,
Psalm 78:1-11, Psalm 127:3-5, Proverbs 4, Proverbs 6:20-23, Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 22:6,
Proverbs 23:7, Ecclesiastes 4:12, Isiah 54:13, Jeremiah 10:2, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Malachi 4:5-6,
Matthew 7:24-29, Matthew 18:1-7, Matthew 22:21, Luke 1:57-80, Luke 6:39-40, John 7:15,
1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 6:4, 2 Timothy 2:15,
3 John 4.

...Our children are not to be learning the ways of the world, to be discipled in their ways of thinking, believing, and behaving. We are to help them set their minds on the things above, of God, and this cannot be done effectively if they spend six hours per day, five days per week, nine months per year with their minds on things of the world. Jesus said that a pupil, after being fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:39-40). A child's teacher is the whole ball of wax, not just [the actual teacher]. It is that teacher, the state-controlled curriculum, and all the other activities, methods, children, adults, and anti-biblical thinking that naturally adhere to state-run education..."

i hope i gave proper credit in quoting Dr. Ray.

so, first of all, to all my non-homeschooling friends, please know that i absolutely love you :o)
i am not so narrow minded as to think that God does not sometimes call different families to different things. i think the main thing is for us, as parents, to seek the will of God, fleshly desires and selfishness aside, and listen to what He has to say to us about it. some of this will be found in the Word, though, and i do believe that the teaching of children is the parents' responsibility. God gave my children to me for a reason.

it is hard. really hard. i was second guessing my adequacy as my children's teacher again today. (a great book dealing with that is A Mom Like You by Vickie Farris. it is an excellent encouragement for homeschooling moms and moms thinking about homeschooling that feel inadequate). but i believe, with my whole heart, that as i trust the Lord, day by day, that He covers my homeschooling in His grace, that His power is made perfect in my weakness, and that He honors my desire and my attempt to walk in obedience. this does not make for perfect children or perfect days. what it looks like is lots of prayer and lots of blind trust :o) and i think that it is in our blind trust and faith in Him that He shows up the most powerfully!

it is a sacrifice. a hard one. one that i often wish i didn't have to make. how much easier for me to send my children away so i can "get things done." but what is my life for if not for discipling my children? that is my number one priority. i cannot keep their hearts and be the primary influence in their lives if i put them under the influence of other adults and children for the majority of their childhood. they will begin to value what their teachers and peers think more than they value what glen and i think if they are constantly bombarded with different ideas, priorities, etc. children don't know how to be "in the world but not of it." how hard that often is for us who have been walking with the Lord for years, much less how difficult for a child! how can i expect them to stand without falling at such tender ages? and when they did fall, i would not there to help them up, to teach and encourage them. instead, they would be surrounded by people who would tell them it is no big deal.

please, please do not think i am standing in judgement over those of you who have chosen differently. this is partly to get my thoughts in order so as to have an answer when asked why i homeschool, and partly to hopefully be an encouragement to those who have the desire, but are scared. and yes, it is a challenge for all of us to get into the Word and seek the Lord's heart for our families and our children. and for those of you that know in your hearts, when you are still and absolutely honest with yourselves, that you should homeschool...be encouraged! just do it. yes, it is hard, but we are not called to ease or mediocrity. trust the Lord to cover you. He is all you need. He will be faithful, He will provide. ask Him to give you a heart for and the desire to keep your children home.

i am not perfect. i do not live up to my own standards. my true belief is that i should probably keep my children home with me all the time, and that God's desire is for my children to be completely sheltered from the world until they have grown and been discipled enough to stand when exposed to different beliefs and ideas. a good part of me believes this means that we would always be together as a family and they would not be exposed to anything without glen or i there. for me that would mean complete homeschooling, not going to new song. it would be keeping our children with us in church most of the time. nowhere in the Bible that i can think of is there an example of children being outside the influence of their parents or siblings in a way that is in the will of God or profitable for them. Jesus was 12 when He went off with his friends in Jerusalem, and even those friends were probably of like mind.

but i know this is radical thinking. i've still not come to terms with everything as it is off the grid for most people. i just don't know. but i do know that my children loving the Lord with their whole hearts is what matters to me more than anything, and i just want to do whatever it takes to accomplish that.

interesting quote ~ ""I am much afraid that schools will prove to be great gates of Hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."
-Martin Luther

another argument many Christians have is the salt and light issue. Dr. Ray addresses this also in the article, and i hope to comment on that soon.

11 July 2007


i think i married the perfect guy. seriously. completely serious.

he is the most amazing husband and dad that i know. he gives and gives and gives and keeps on smiling.

he gets up during the night with noah to comfort him in his "i'm not the baby anymore" adjustments, gets up at 5:30 to get ready for work, fixes breakfast for the other children that are already awake, makes his own lunch, gets his guys called and organized for the day, and leaves to do whatever it is that he does so well.

he goes all day long solving problems, organizing people and materials, pacifying belle meade ladies in their particularness, all while fielding phone calls from a tired wife and excited 7 year old who has lost his latest tooth. he goes by the grocery if needed and comes home to be greeted by six sweeties who all demand his undivided attention.

he helps get dinner on the table (while still fielding phone calls from the guy who doesn't seem to understand some people have families and like to actually eat dinner in peace), encourages our children in their table manners, helps clean up, and proactively trains them to help clean up. the latter part taking place while he graciously allows me to take a bath.

he then takes all the children outside to play, brings them in to go upstairs for bed, reads the Bible story, prays with them, brushes their teeth and puts them to bed. and as i was recently pregnant and refusing to go upstairs unless absolutely necessary, he does this all alone.

he then comes downstairs to a wife who is ready to talk, finally, with an adult, and he graciously spends time with me. he eventually gets time to do his paperwork and get his next day squared away, staying up much later than he would prefer.

and he changes every dirty diaper there is when he is home...with a smile...
(you're all jealous now, i know it :o)

but the most valuble thing to me is that during this day to day practical stuff, he pours himself into our children. continually. he disciples them. he has their hearts completely. he values them. when anna needs a dad to tell her she's beautiful, he is all there. he knows that if she knows and feels she is beautiful to him, she won't need that from someone else later. when caleb needs a dad to teach him to shoot his bb gun safely and treat girls with respect, he takes time to teach him. he plays soccer, rides bikes, teaches them how to use his recording equipment and lets them. he lets them "help" on every one of his projects and jobs around the house. he does the hard stuff. he is their friend.

i've heard you shouldn't be friends with your children when they are young, and while i understand what they're trying to say, i'm all for being friends with your children. friends now, friends later. and he is their best friend. mine too.

for all of you that think i'm super mom...now you know why. i'm not super mom. i'm married to superdad. seriously.

i love that guy.

05 July 2007

the pacifier club ~

I think one, possibly two members need to resign....I'm beginning to think they purchased lifetime memberships.
Any suggestions on encouraging a baby to suck his thumb????

sweet sleepy baby ~


our newest superhero ~

The Hutchison Blanket Brigade is pleased to announce the arrival of their newest superhero...

Haven Asher Rivers Hutchison

Haven arrived on 30 May 2007, weighing
9lbs. 8oz. While not yet able to fly, the other superheroes are eagerly awaiting the day Haven can join them on their many adventures.

i just need to do it ~

It's been a year since I started this, and I've yet to post again. I keep waiting until I can get my brain around what exactly I want it to be. My first post was very much what I was passionate about this time last year and really what was going on with me emotionally, spiritually, all that good stuff. I am still very much passionate about that, but it's not what my life is all about. Or rather, I don't want to just write about the heavy and emotional stuff. I want this to encompass many things. The fun stuff, the practical "how to manage 6 children" stuff, anything I happen to be thinking about. I still can't get my brain around all of it, so I decided I just need to do it. So I am.
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November