Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Sillies

In honor of our 9th Wedding Anniversary this Wednesday (the 4th):

When she says:

“It’s your decision.” She really means, “The correct decision 
     should be obvious by now.”

“Do what you want.” She really means, “You’ll pay for this 

“I’ll be ready in a minute. She really means, “Kick off your 
     shoes and find a good game on TV.”

“You have to learn to communicate. She really means, “Just 
     agree with me.”

“Nothing. She really means, “Everything."

When he says:

"I’m hungry.” He really means, "I’m hungry.”

"I’m sleepy.” He really means, "I’m sleepy.”

"What’s wrong?” He really means, "I don’t see why you’re 
      making such a big deal about this.”

(While shopping) "I like that one better.” He really means, 
     "Just pick one, and let’s go home!”

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Failing the Struggling Learner?

This morning, I caught the tail end of a news story about a school (in New Jersey?) that will no longer give Ds to their students.  They can get an A, B, C, or F.  Below 70% is a failing grade.  The principal said he was tired of giving students passing grades for doing almost nothing.  I (for the most part) say, "Good for him!"

There's no doubt that our public school system is failing our children.  There's no doubt that "academic education" is far from their first priority.  You can find many articles and e-books at that show the history of the school system and its main goal to win the hearts and minds of our children in order to produce "good citizens" that don't question the government.  Our very own Declaration of Independence tells us that we must hold our government accountable!

That being said, I myself grew up in public school since the middle of my 1st grade year, and I did all right, as will many kids in public school today.  My parents worked hard to keep on top of what was going on and help us navigate that tricky road that wants to veer off (that's putting it mildly!) the True Path.  I was blessed to be one of those students that always did very well with little effort.  I mean, I worked hard on my papers and homework, but rarely did I truly struggle to understand my lessons.  And I thank God for enabling me to do so, but I understand that most do not have the same experience I did.  Many will struggle to achieve Cs and will work as hard as they possibly can for a B.

Enter yet another advantage to homeschooling!  

I can take as much time as my children need to fully understand their subjects.  I don't have to assign a C or D letter grade at Christmas break because I'm forced to move on to the next lesson.  I can decide that even a C is unacceptable and keep working to find new ways to help my student 'get it.'  I can wait for that little light bulb to come on!  Even better, I can choose to give no grades at all!  (Our state makes that possibility very easy- I realize others are forced to require more.)

I can help my struggling learner in a way that a school teacher can not, even if they wanted to, because I have great advantages.  I have TIME!  I have a LOVE for my child that wants to see them succeed, one that even the most loving of teachers don't possess.  I have FREEDOM to choose when to push and when to back off and pursue something else for a while.

Many school teachers are wonderful!  They truly have a desire to see their students do well, but they don't have the advantages that I do.  They are bound to a system.  They are pressured by requirements and standards that set up struggling children to fail.  They are obligated to 20-30 students (more in jr. high and high school) and cannot possibly meet the needs of each one!  Their hands are tied- and those are the good teachers!  We won't even discuss the teachers that are there for a paycheck (or worse), and wish they could get it without the kids!

I realize that I am just at the beginning of our homeschool journey, and there's a possibility that I am being a bit naive, but I'm just guessing that out of my six children, one is bound to not easily excel at academics, and I'm okay with that.  I know it will be a struggle.  I know that there will probably be tears and frustration, but I can take peace in that I know that I will not let that child get lost in the struggle.  I will not give up on him.  He won't have to worry about his teacher (mom!) failing him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Sillies

You know the economy is bad when:

You get a pre-declined credit card in the mail. 

You order a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?" 

CEO's start playing miniature golf. 

The bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them . 

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald's is selling the 1/4 'ouncer'. 

Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children's names. 

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore. 

The Mafia is laying off judges. 

BP Oil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Nightwatch



Do you ever wonder what is going on in your children’s brains?  Every now and then, I really scratched my head wondering where they come up with this stuff.  Take, for example, the above scene.

Let’s start with the background; if you look closely, you can see part of a little head.  That’s McAwesome- comfy and cozy on the floor.  Yes, that’s right, the floor.  I wish I could tell you that he’s the only one on the floor, but, no.  Hero is sleeping on the floor as well.  I also wish I could tell you that it’s just the boys there, but, no again!  Sweetheart Girl joins her big brothers on their floor. 

And there they sleep…every night…These kids have perfectly wonderful beds, but for some reason they prefer to camp out on the floor.  Every night they pull down the blankets and pillows from their beds, and every morning (okay, almost every morning) they put them back on.  I personally think this act alone would get very old, very quickly.

I suppose I ought to start making them sleep in their beds, but they’re happy enough!  They get a full night’s sleep, they don’t seem stiff and sore the next day (young bodies!), and I figure someday, they won’t want to do this sort of thing together.  So for now, I’ve decided to let it go.

So tonight, as I walk down the hallway, I see these two animals at the doorway.  I guess I’ll have to wait till morning to ask what their purpose is:  Are they ‘guard dogs?’  Did you want Mom and Dad to think you were funny?  Maybe you were just bored?

I don’t even have to ask who did it- That has McAwesome written all over it.

Lastly, the Shrek.  *SIGH*  How this animal(?) came into our possession is a story I won’t go into now, but suffice it to say, despite my disdain for the movies, Shrek is likely to be a permanent fixture around here for a while.  This thing has been loved on, slept with, kicked around, and even chewed on by more than one kid!  It has been a crash test dummy for the boys’ made-up games, a karate sparring partner, and a good-old-fashioned punching bag.  It’s been a tea party guest and a makeshift tissue (gross!), and who knows what else poor Shrek will be in the future!? 

But, tonight, he’s the nightwatch.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just The Two Of Us

Daddy-man and I had last weekend all to ourselves!  My parents offered to take the kiddos from Friday afternoon to Monday morning since my dad had to work the 4th, and they wouldn’t be able to come up (they come to Tucson every weekend for church).  They usually take the three older kids for a visit every now and then, but this was the first time they’ve taken the babies, too!  Minion 1 and Minion 2 are finally starting to creep out of all that baby fussiness, and they are a little easier to handle (sometimes!).  And let’s face it, Twinkle is an angel-baby and, therefore, practically sinless :)

So I drove the kids to meet my dad at the junction (where  I-10 and Hwy 30 meet), and we switched vehicles.  So not only did I not have the kids all weekend, I didn’t even have to drive a minivan!   Wow!!  It’s been a looooooong time since that’s last happened.  I cruised home in the truck with University of Oregon paraphenalia all over, and when I made a stop for a few groceries, I had a momentary panic attack when I thought I must have left the kids in the car.  But it passed, and I headed home.

Daddy-man and I went out to eat at Red Lobster: YUM!  At one point the waiter (excuse me, seafood expert) came out to tell us that Daddy-man’s trout had committed suicide by jumping off the plate just before they brought out our dinner.  It really wasn’t a problem for us as we were in no hurry, but the manager came out to apologize and didn’t charge us for the trout! 

Saturday morning, Daddy-man had Men’s Prayer Breakfast so I thought I’d have a leisurely morning before leaving for soul-winning at 9:30.  I wanted to remember what it was like to take my time to make a delicious smoothie for breakfast, get a little reading in, and actually iron the top I wanted to wear that day.  Of course, when I got up at about 8, I looked at the clock to discover it was actually 9:06- so much for leisure…

We had a great morning soul-winning- a lot of our teenagers went out, and I had two of the girls in my group.  After that, we had a church leadership meeting, and we were invited out to lunch with our Children’s Ministries Director and his wife (also good friends).  After lunch we went to visit one of our deacons who just had major surgery.  That was a real joy to me because I don’t often get to make visits- something about inviting 6 kids into someone else’s home…

We intended for Saturday evening to be a quiet night at home, but we got a phone call from the couple we went to lunch with, and they had tickets to the circus that they couldn’t use and asked if we wanted them.  We went, along with their daughter (she’s my age) and really enjoyed the show.  Barnum & Bailey’s Circus was an incredible improvement over the little rinky-dink one we took the kids to a few years ago.  Here’s a pic of us:


And here’s a pic of Deana and I with our clown noses:


The next day was church.  I woke up on time today (yea!), but when I pulled my top out of the dryer, I found a tear in the seam, so I had to do a quick patch job (not too bad, if I do say so myself).  We had a retired pastor that just moved to the area visit us, and we were blessed to be able to invite him and his wife to lunch.  It’s always a joy to get to glean a bit of experience and wisdom from those that have faithfully served in full-time ministry!  We enjoyed a quiet afternoon- meaning, Daddy-man napped, and I (not a napper) read and surfed the web.  That evening at church we had a surprise missionary- a young couple from West Coast Baptist College on their way to El Salvador.  They were a great couple!  They will do a great work for God in El Salvador, and I really pray we can be a part of it.  I am almost in love with this family!  We took them for ice cream after the service Sunday night.

I didn’t forget, though, that it was Independence Day!  We climbed up on the roof to watch the fireworks at A Mountain, and Deana and her parents climbed up as well.  We didn’t get down till almost 11! 

And there you have it.  I met my parents at the junction Monday morning, and brought everyone home.  Daddy-man went into the office, but I asked to him to be home when we got back because I figured the kids would be pretty wound up!  And boy were they!!

I won’t post about their adventures for time’s sake, but I was already tired within 30 minutes of them being home!  But I missed them, especially the babies since I’m never not with them!  Daddy-man and I were ready for them to come back home, but it really was a wonderfully relaxing, calm weekend on our own.  So thanks Mom and Dad!  We love you, and now we have definite proof that you love us, too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A VERY Happy Father’s Day

Yes, I know we're almost two weeks past Father's Day, but it was a great one for our family, and I've been waiting on pictures to post about it.

Forgive me, but I'm going to pass over all the normal Father's Day stuff (love you, honey!), and talk about the two things that made this day extra special.

First, we had Twinkle’s Dedication.



A Baby’s Dedication is very different from infant baptism.  The Bible is very clear that baptism is an outward profession of one’s decision to trust Jesus as Savior.  It doesn’t ‘wash’ away any sin, only the blood of Jesus can do that!    A baby can not make any such decision.

Basically, a dedication is all about the parents!  Dad and Mom publicly declare before the church their promise to God that they will be faithful to raise that baby as a gift from the Lord, to rear him in the ‘nurture and admonition of the Lord,’ and to live as an example of a faithful Christian, so that when that baby is old enough to understand the gospel, he will decide to, by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. 

Every Christian parent ought to dedicate their child to the Lord.  We have Hannah’s example in 1 Samuel, and we also see an example of this when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple when he was eight days old.  Now, it may not be a big, public church event, but all parents ought to declare their intentions to the Lord in their hearts.

Baby Dedications have always been special events to me, wonderful memories tucked away in my mother’s heart.  Hero and McAwesome were both dedicated in South Carolina by the same pastor that dedicated my husband as a baby (Herp spit up on him!).  Sweetheart Girl was dedicated by our pastor in Sierra Vista, the same man who married us!  Our Associate Pastor Eli was licensed and ordained recently, and we’ve asked him to do the twin’s and now Twinkle’s dedications.

So that was the first exciting thing that happened.

We went out to lunch and did normal Father’s Day stuff.  The kids gave Dad their gifts, and he gave the appropriate ooos and aaahs.  We attended church that evening, then came home and got the kids into bed.  They were having a hard time falling asleep, and sure enough I heard Hero and McAwesome calling for me.  I went into the room, and McAwesome said something that I cannot for the life of me remember, but I know I didn’t quite understand what he was trying to say.  Then Hero asked if McAwesome was one of the kids that had gotten saved at VBS the previous week.  No, he wasn’t.  Hero was a bit incredulous- he’s been praying for McAwesome since he became a Christian two years ago.

McAwesome then cried out in frustration, “Well, how do I know if I’m saved!?” 

Well, now, I can hardly tell them they should be sleeping by now, so I told McAwesome to come with me, and I took him into my bedroom and we went through the Scriptures.  McAwesome understood everything.  He knew what sin is, and he readily admitted that he was a sinner.  We went through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and how only through Christ can we get to heaven.  McAwesome mentioned hell all by himself, and said that he deserved to go there.  Okay, long story short, when I asked McAwesome if he wanted to ask Jesus to be his Savior or if he wanted to wait, he said he wanted to do it then. 

I was blessed to be the one that led our oldest son Hero to the Lord- it was a Thursday night and Daddy-man wasn’t home.  But this night, Daddy-man was home, so I thought he should get to pray with McAwesome.  I brought McAwesome out to the dining room, and Daddy-man went over things one more time with him, then he helped McAwesome pray. 

My McAwesome is SAVED!! 

McAwesome is always willing to be vocal about not wanting to do something (he’s not a people-pleaser), so I didn’t worry too much about him praying just to make mom and dad happy.  Plus, this is hardly the first time it came up, but he’s just never seemed to fully understand and he’s never wanted to before.  But McAwesome’s also not a talker, so I wondered what type of evidence we might be able to see.  However, he’s told many people on his own that he’s a Christian now, and he’s already mentioned wanting to get baptized.

What a way to close out Father’s Day 2010!