Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes

Sometimes, God's wrath is disguised as freedom and our free will to "do as we please."

Sometimes, His mercy and blessings are disguised as trials and hard times.

Listen...



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Festivities

Getting ready to hunt


And they're off...
(We let Eli out first for a head start)











Checking out the loot







AND dyeing eggs








Hallelujah, He's alive!!!

Friday would not have been a good day if Jesus had not triumphed over death.
If He stayed in that grave, it would not have all been worth it.
It would have meant nothing.
BUT GOD.... :)
(2 of my favorite words in the Bible)
God rolled that stone away, brought His Son out of that grave, and trampled over death, over sin, and over the powers of this world -
FOREVER.



Friday, April 22, 2011

GOOD Friday??????????

The fact that this day is referred to as "good" has always haunted me. I watch things like "The Passion," read Scripture accounts of Jesus' death on the cross, and hear medical reports of exactly what Jesus endured on that day...and I struggle to call it a "good" day. The truth is, though, that the tears brought to my eyes when watching a mere portrayal of Christ's crucifixion, and the pain that I feel when I recognize that it is my sin that put Him on the cross prove how good of a day that was...

for me,
for us as believers,
for those of us who will live eternally with our Creator.

Our Passover Lamb, perfect, spotless, and without blemish was sacrificed for us once and for all.

It is a GOOD Friday indeed.
Do you know that?



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In a rut

I am in a rut right now...an "I don't want to do this anymore" kind of rut. This is not the first time this has happened. When I mentioned to Derek that I should be allowed at least 3 breakdowns a year, he informed me that I had probably already hit that mark this year :)

When I have a "breakdown," it is more of a shut down. I stop doing laundry, stop cleaning up in the kitchen, eat out more than normal, and basically sit on the couch or playroom floor while my children play around me, crawl all over me, and bring me book after book to read. As a mom and a believer in Christ whose true hope comes only from the Lord, though, I have to pull myself out of these ruts. How do I do that?

I turn on really loud music in the kitchen and dance and sing my heart out with my boys.

I LET myself have a few days of that shut-down mode. The laundry and dishes will wait, and my husband is amazing at helping pick up my slack!!

I blog and try to use my trials and difficulties to encourage others :)

I go to the Desiring God sermon archives and search for a message that applies to what I'm going through and am very often amazed at how God points things out to me and speaks through John Piper and others. I listen, I read, I pray, I journal...

AND I throw caution to the wind, fill up my bathtub with water and almost every toy car we own, turn on the jets, and let the boys go absolutely nuts. The noise and mess they make drives me crazy for almost the entire time they are in there, but if there is ONE thing that seems to get the energy and need to be really loud OUT of my boys, it's a crazy bath time. (Or really, now that I think about it, maybe the crazy-loud noise level in a jacuzzi bathtub filled with 3 boys makes the normal-loud noise level of 3 boys running around the house just seem a little quieter in comparison?!...)




One more thing I love to do when I'm in a "rut..."
Take pictures of my kids. Somehow, even a child who has been acting horrifically all week can look so adorable when I see his cute smile captured with a camera. One day, I will look back, laugh, and miss these days.

Right?


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Siah


Monday, April 18, 2011

In the Name of Love Mercy

Well, I guess it's in the name of love, too :)
Spoiler alert for my mom: You're about to find out what you're getting for Mother's Day!!!

Ladies, this ministry was started by a mom blogger I follow. This amazing woman simply took a trip to Africa and couldn't come home and not do something about her feelings, her new-found love, and the burden that had been placed on her heart. Will you help support the Mercy House?

For Mother's Day, you can give your mom the beautiful gift of nothing...because, well, we don't need any more THINGS!! Flowers die, gifts pile up, and even the most meaningful, thoughtful purchases are really in excess when there are women (MOTHERS) in true need around the world. In this case, your mom will actually receive a beautiful card, explaining this amazing gift.

Check out this link. The post there will explain the details and instructions on how to go about supporting the Mercy House and giving your mom a meaningful Mother's Day gift this year.

You can also help support this ministry by donating any amount you choose on a monthly basis. If you're interested in that, go here!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A boy and his legos...




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Raising Real Men, part 7

Chapter 9 was a bit over my head, so to speak, because it was about teaching kids about money. Now, my kids can certainly learn about money at their ages (well, at least a couple of them), and I certainly need some guidance in how to teach them about it. Yet, this chapter dealt with teaching children about checking accounts, balancing check books, and using a credit card responsibly. I am not there yet, that is for sure! I need to come back and read this chapter in about 7 years :)

Chapter 10 is titled "Your Own School for Boys." Now, this is a chapter I can learn from presently! Here are some great points...
  • Boys need goals, and with homeschooling, goals provide something for them to conquer that day.
  • A list can help in their efforts to accomplish their goals.
  • A list can also give them the opportunity to be in control of their own schedule and when they start and finish certain things...all based on the end goal and the "light at the end of the tunnel."
  • The desire to race and compete in nearly everything they do can also be brought into the "schoolroom" full of boys. The Young's incorporate drills, races to finish schoolwork first, and various academic contests to encourage their boys in their work.
In discussing the different ways boys learn, the Young's mention the attention spans and concentration issues often at hand. I give you the quote of the week:

"Is it possible to hold a boy's attention? Yes, but it may take more energy and noise and activity than you expect." (p. 160)

Haha, now that I can believe and relate to :) One thing I was convicted with was to remember that my boys' "distractability" and tendencies to simply not hear me when I'm talking is not necessarily a sin that needs to be disciplined. It is simply a (big) gender difference that I need to sometimes handle, sometimes just deal with, and sometimes work around.

The activity level of my boys often amazes me. They are all individuals, and this comes out in their different energy levels as well. Justus does not like to sleep (never has), and when Titus and Eli get into their "zones," they can be louder and rougher and wilder than Justus has ever been. Whatever the day or moment seems to be filled with, it was nice to read that it is "okay" if I need to stop whatever we're doing and become a sergeant for a few minutes, making one or all of them take a break to run some laps, climb the stairs a few times, or do some jumping jacks. As much as I would like to have quiet reading, writing, and learning going on throughout the day, it is probably not going to happen with much frequency. I loved the reminder in the book, though, that this is one of the joys of homeschooling my boys! The classroom is not set up for boys and their crazy energy levels. MY classroom, however, can nurture and provide for this trait God has created them with. Some ideas from the book:
  • Working while standing
  • Listening to read-alouds while playing or rolling around on the floor
  • Stretching out while doing various work
  • Pacing
  • Squeezing a tennis ball

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It made me miss the mountains...




"Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:12-13

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peanut


On our trip this past weekend, the boys were able to do something they had never done before. In fact, I'm almost positive it was a first for me as well. Every time we walked down this one path, there was a squirrel that would run up to us and stare us down. He would even follow us at times, making me realize he was used to attention from people. What did we do, then? Well, we gave that squirrel some peanuts...






and named him none other than Peanut :)

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