Thursday, March 24, 2011

Advice from our tree


Advice from a Tree
By Ilan Shamir

Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!


Years ago I saw a wonderful idea on how to chronicle all of the books my children read throughout the years. . .  a wall of books in essence.  This year we decided upon a reading tree; a tree because of new growth and old, sturdy knowledge.  Each year that a tree grows, it's core trunk remains steadfast, strong and full of life while the outer branches spread far and wide with new growth.  My children are so similiar; each year they retain the knowledge learned from past years, helping them to remain strong while their tender branches are reaching forth to grow and absorb new nutrients in the way of new knowledge.

Each leaf on our tree carefully lists the name of the book read and whichever child's name read the book or had it read to them.  At the end of the year, we make a big deal of taking down the tree, sorting out the leaves and recording all of the books that we've consumed during the year.  Each year I am utterly amazed at the number of books we read and just how many interesting subjects we perused throughout the year.  This is a wonderful confidence booster if the dreaded "Homeschooling Doubt" has settled into your thought pattern.  I love nothing more than  than seeing a very long list of books read over the last year to reassure myself that the girls are learning and glorifying God.

Reading is so important in our children's lives.  If it was not so, we would not have so many great quotes about how reading takes us to places we've never been before, how it opens doors, how we meet and get to know people we have never met before. . . .  .

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. 
 - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.

I suppose I should get back to reading, we are enjoying another Circle C Beginnings series book, Andi's Scary School Days and an amazing classic, Robinson Crusoe.  Have you read with your child today?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just Quiet Days


How I wish I had something amazing to post


Something so heartfelt and inspiring to cause you to ponder and wonder


Something so God spoken that His words would create that "awe" moment for you,

But, for now, I just have the wonder of our days passing by


Delighting in every moment. . .


Ever so sweet, that if I am not careful, I might just blink and miss that special something. . . . . .

As I spoke with a dear friend of ours this week, she made me realize something so wonderful.  My kids are thriving, even if I feel as if I am failing.

After each interruption to our school day, I feel I get further and further behind, that somehow they are not learning or experiencing the same as their counterparts - those in school from morning until afternoon.  Each night it is the same replay over and over again in my head - that somehow they will not stack up, per se, to those children who have spent so many hours in a classroom. 

Her "awe" moment words touched me and made me see that they are learning, even if it is in an unconventional way, that when they leave this home they will be prepared for life.  They will have meditated on God's law  day and night, they will be stronger for it.  They will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. 

And, I will have Delighted in every moment. .  . my heart is overflowing right now


Don't let your fear of failing hinder you from     DELIGHTING    in your children today. . .

Psalm 37: 3- 4

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will(I) give you the desires of your heart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

So many birthdays this month


Our month of March is crazy with birthdays.  Our Hannah's birthday falls exactly one week later than little Lindsay.  She is turning eight this year and what a blessing she is to the family.  She is so much like her father - with her deep brown eyes, her dark skin, her amazing ability to make someone laugh and her extra gentle spirit (I'm not sure her Dad would admit that he's a big softie when it comes to her - all she has to do is bat her big brown eyes and she has him eating out of her hands - so to speak)


We just returned from the monthly 4-H meeting, where all the March birthday kids had to get up in front so that everyone could sing "Happy Birthday" to them.  Her face was so red - she was a little embarassed.  She even made her momma go up, since my birthday happens to be next week.  I love how she loves her sisters and little brother and they are always busy playing something.  She's rather quite the tomboy, even though I desperately try to get her to wear her skirts and dresses. 

Her birth story was another fun story for our family, just like Lindsay's.  The General Manager was out of town when I went into labor, so he, in a panic, drove way too fast to make it back in time.  He met me at the hospital shortly after I arrived.   While the nurses were checking me in and I was waiting for my epidural, he went down to the cafeteria to get some lunch.  While I was in the pangs of labor, he was next to me eating a bowl of gumbo, calm as can be, as if I'd been birthing babies forever (she was only my second birth).  Dr. Helman and him jibber -jabbered while I was birthing Hannah.  Even today, I can almost remember the smell of the gumbo and how it was so overpowering to me while I was trying to concentrate through contractions.  Dr. Helman said, "she has a lot of hair and I could use some of it to pull her out."  Thankfully, she came out all on her own.  She was a very sweet baby, but she only wanted momma.  She was also the only baby I've had that refused to take a bottle, which meant we were inseperable for the entire time she nursed.

She is such a sweet girl and I know she loves the Lord.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her future.


Happy Birthday sweetheart!  We love you very much. . . . .

Saturday, March 5, 2011

No More Carseats for her


Today is our 6 year old, Lindsay's birthday.  The alarm on my cell phone went off at 3:30 a.m. this morning waking several. Unbeknownst to all, Anne had apparently set my phone alarm to go off to remind us just how early Lindsay was born. 

When she was born, I was smitten from the start.  She was so sweet with her baby blue eyes, light blond hair and cute button nose.  She slept well, she didn't fuss much and she loved to be held and snuggled with her older sisters.  Anyone could hold her and she didn't mind.  I remember back to the General Manager's Chief Promotion, which was shortly after she was born.  A dear friend of ours held her almost the entire party while I took care of the rest of the arrangements.

Her Daddy loves to tell the story of how she was born the night before he was to attend a very important meeting with a 3-star General (he got to miss that meeting of course) and how Momma woke the neighborhood up with all of her screaming.  I think he likes this story as much as the story of eating gumbo . . .  that post will have to come next week.

We have many nicknames for our sweet girl in the middle:  Doodler (her artwork started on the walls), Wigi, Squishy, Winsey; each I think an enduring name to describe her character.  She loves playing with her sisters, everything from Barbies, Polly Pockets, house and the most imaginative one of all, prairie girls.  She's quiet natured, kind, smart as a tack when I can get her to focus and oh so gentle.  I cannot wait to see what the future holds for her.

We all love you very much Lindsay.  May your day be special.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My blinders are on

I hear Pastor preaching on Sunday, about having blinders on.   Does anyone else hear the lesson he is teaching, or is he just talking directly to me?    I try to look away, but I hear him anyhow.


It is that point where we have begun to focus on something so hard . . .  that thing that WE want, but is it of God?  Does God want it in our lives . . . .  is it part of His will for us?

But, I really, really want it, you say, and I deserve it - God should grant it to me because I have been praying about it for so long.

Sitting there, I realize that I have been so easily distracted by analyzing others "blinders" that I forgot to take a look at my own.  It's times like these that God is taking us out of our comfort zone - to give us a gift - a place where we can lean on Him and know Him more intimately - something we would never do in our comfort zone.

I struggle to concentrate on the sermon, yet my mind wanders to my blinders. . . . the one thing that consumes my thoughts daily. 


My arms are so full, yet empty at the same time - I can feel the blinders around my eyes - wanting, struggling with a selfish desire to hold another little one, to smell the sweet baby "smell," to hear the baby babbles, to see the toothless smiles. . .  .  To beat the "clock" that is ticking away on my child bearing days.  That somehow, just one more child would complete my life. 

He's almost two now and he is still my baby, but reality sets in. . . he is not going to be for much longer.  What if he is the last and I never have anymore blessings - any more gifts - Children are a gift from the Lord and I want my arms so full of them!

PhotobucketBut with these blinders I have closed myself off to God's will - it's as if I've told Him that His way is NOT sufficient or good enough for my liking.

So I come to Him, heavy hearted, repentive of my blinders - counting the gifts that I have, reminding myself to wait upon the Lord. . . Psalm 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.   My blinders need to be removed if I am to see my gifts.

Counting gifts is about gratitude -  and I need to count these hard things too.
#190 - #198

two more baby chicks born, including one incredibly fuzzy yellow one

tendrils of curls outlining Abby's face because her hair is finally growing back from twisting it off so many times

little ones arms wrapped around my neck playing with my hair clips or twirling "myz hair"

the sound of snow falling, having it change to hail and then back again to snow

snowflakes and daffodils

cold, really cold days spent wrapped up inside

hundreds of sweet little birds landing on fences, building nests and laying eggs

a furnace that is working

patience - it is a constant struggle to attain

removing my blinders