Thursday, September 30, 2010

clueless

Found myself at the library with the boys this afternoon.  Had a good time helping them find some books to read...some of my favorites from my childhood included.  Then we found them some comfy chairs to sit and read while I found a book or so for myself. 
Mind you, it's a new library (only opened about a year ago) and I have only stepped into the "adult" zone as I will refer to it once before today.  I started walking around taking in what sections were where...fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc.  Several people were there studying, using the computers, and selecting armfuls of books. 
By all means there are numerous books to choose from, but I didn't know where to begin.    It's been awhile since I've read a book for leisure.  Not up to date on the latest "bestseller" list...and not even sure I want to be.  Looked at several books in the "religion" aisle...some of those scare me.  Browsed through "places to go" kind of books, but they mainly were trying to tell me where to eat, sleep and shop instead of telling about an actual city or country.  Not interested. 
Found a true story from Alaska, but I know how it ends and didn't want to cry my eyes out a second time.  Was disappointed they didn't have more about Alaska...I know there are several I'd like to read for I've seen them in airport bookstores at outlandish prices.  I always put them back on the shelf and tell myself just to go to the library when I get home.  Been there.  Done that.  Found none.  Will have to look up the actual titles and request them from another library, I guess.
So, after about 30 minutes of walking around clueless as to what to read, I walk over to where my boys were quietly reading (very proud of them for this, I might add) and ask them if they are ready to go.  Tim looked up and asked me, "Did you find a book?"  I simply told him no and that I'd just enjoy reading some of his to him.  He seemed okay with this, and believe it or not, I am okay with it too.  Quite excited, really. 
Dr. Suess, here we come!           

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

warm wishes

Saying goodbye to a wonderful, funfilled summer was difficult for me.  I held onto summer until the very last day...it wasn't that difficult with 90+ degrees registering on the thermometer. 
However, time forces us to move on whether we are ready or not.  So my thoughts went today to my favorite part about winter - hot cocoa with little marshmallows!
Great memories go along with hot cocoa...
snow days...






good friends...











great conversations...














and warm, cozy fires.











Can't say I'm ready just yet, but I'm getting there.  Cheers! to more memories to be made!

Monday, September 27, 2010

rainy day

Yesterday was a rainy day...one like I haven't seen since I was hiking on a glacier in Alaska back in July.  The boys went off to explore the "rivers" in the yard, all the while splashing around in the swirling waters under their feet.   I couldn't help but just quietly walk around and watch them having fun in the rain.  I joined in on the fun after a little while, though...after lunch and on our second set of play clothes. 
Today reminded me of why...I love my boys...I love puddle jumping...and...I really need to get a new umbrella.




















Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Friday, September 24, 2010

little chef


This week Alex and I had science class in the kitchen.  He loves science.  I love baking.  A perfect activity for us both.  As he was standing at the counter mixing the cookie dough, I was reminded of some precious moments we've had over the years in the kitchen together. 
I pulled out our picture cd's and found pictures from when Alex was "making" cookies.  Alex liked to help alot, so I bought him his own bag of flour to have in the kitchen.  He was 20 months old when I snapped the first pictures.  
                                                                   

He indeed is my little chef. ♥



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday's Walk...Janis Lynn

In searching for a photo from my senior year in college, I was bombarded with sweet, sweet memories of one of my closest college friends....Janis Lynn MacLeish.  I met Janis in the fall of 1993 when she came to Taylor University Fort Wayne.  She was in my wing of Lexington Hall.  Although, I was her RA, Janis taught me so much about life and living in a very short time that I often felt she did a better job leading than I ever could.  Life was never the same for me after she and I became friends.  It was oh, so much better! 
The room brightened when Janis finally awoke and entered through the door of one.  She befriended the likes of anyone and made no enemies...except for the girls who were jealous of her for one reason or another.  Her laughter echoed throughout the halls everyday.  One knew when Janis was away for the weekend for it was creepily quiet on campus.
Janis called our closest circle of friends, "The Clic".  There were 5 members with 2 honorary members.  We were inseparable for the most part...at least in spirit.  Janis was our leader...we all had our strengths that played well off of and with each other, but Janis held us all together as only she could.  One of the funniest things we did was have a bathroom stall decorating contest on our wing of the dorm.  People would walk further just to come down to our end for the bathroom because of it.  It was hilarious.  Janis' stall was called "The Lair".   We got all gussied up one night in the spring and had a girls' night out.  I'd post pictures, but they're best left in the 90's if you know what I mean.  Fashion is so much more fashionable these days. :) 
I did not realize how full my photo album is with photos of Janis.  She's in so many...and with such expressions, too.  One never knew what she'd be doing in the background (or foreground for that matter) as you snapped a picture.  Back then, we had to wait to see what our pictures were like...I can only imagine how many I'd have had digital been around back then.  The camera loved Janis.  Janis loved the camera.  The picture I've posted of Janis at the beginning of this post is her impersonating a penguin in front of my dorm room.  I loved penguins and had all sorts of them around...including her that day.
We became so close that year, we found ourselves calling each other by our own names.  People would call out to one of us in the hallway and we'd both answer them...and laugh and laugh at the fact that we did.  The pizza delivery guys constantly put our names on the order wrong. 
Janet and Janis...lived next door to each other...both tall with long blondish hair and blue eyes...constantly seen with each other.  We had the same love for our friends.  They meant the world to us.  We had a quiet side that we only shared with our closest friends.  Had crushes on the two of the best looking guys on campus, but wouldn't let that interfere with our friendships with them. 
She was so kind to befriend me and give me crash courses on some of life's greater things...all the while laughing at me, with me and near me.  That year went by all to quickly.  I graduated and moved back home.  She transferred to the Upland campus.  We made sure there were weekends for getting together again.  It was awesome, but never the same as those days spent next door to each other.  One weekend when we both were in Ft. Wayne visiting our friends at TUFW, we had all gone out together and hung out, but after awhile Janis wanted to take a walk.  We walked around campus, talking and laughing at what we'd done here and there...if those walls and walks could talk!  But, we ended up in front of Wittmer Hall where the TUFW sign was...and we sat on top of it and talked for awhile longer.  I'll never forget thinking that she could be anywhere with anyone she wanted and she chose to be here with me.  She made whomever she was with feel as if they were the most important person around...and at the time you were to her.  We talked about how good it was to be back, but that it wasn't the same anymore.  She was saddened by how time changes things...as was I.  But, we didn't let that get us down...before you knew it we were back at Lexington Hall "breaking in" through a window to get in for some sleep because no one was around with a key.  (Note: no window was broken during the afore mentioned "break in").  We were never without a laugh very long.
Or so we thought.  January 13, 1998 silenced the laughter of Janis Lynn MacLeish.  God called His daughter home that cold, wintery day.  Her big heart that shared and showed love to so many, broke that day for a final time.  I remember getting the phone call late that evening.  Not Janis...not yet.  I need her.  Janis was the glue that held us all together as friends.  "The Clic" leader couldn't be gone. 
In true Janis fashion she brought all of her closest friends together again.  And she was in the center of it all...beautiful as ever!  All of us there that knew her from TUFW fit onto one bench (a rather long one, mind you).  We all knew Janis' love and friendship the same...not one more than another.  As we said our goodbyes, we stood in a semicircle in front of her casket.  The Janis we knew was now laughing it up with her Lord and Savior, wanting us to stop the tears and start laughing probably. 
Even 12 years later, she had me laughing out loud as I see her face in my photos.
It was a good walk down memory lane tonight.     

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

it works for us

I do like the "Hip Homeschool Hop"...but I've never posted anything about our homeschooling story.  Not for sure why...not really for sure why not.  Maybe I've never felt there was a "story" to be told.  Maybe because I wonder what people will think...and just maybe I don't really want to know.  I'm still a newbie to this homeschool world.
I am convinced that choosing education for our children is of personal conviction.  There is no one who can tell us what method/choice/option is "right" for our children except God, after prayerful consideration of the matter.  What works for one family doesn't always work for another.  Not every Christian is called to homeschool or choose a private school.  Thank God this is so or our public school system would be that much worse off! 
I try to support others in their choices for their children.  There are pros and cons to every option of education known.  We all need each other's encouragement along the way.
Alex and Tim each went to 2 years of preschool at a local church.  School was 3 hours a day for 3 days a week.  They gained so much from their years there and it was a blessing to see them grow up and accomplish what they did in those first impressionable years.  Doesn't mean each day was easy.  Tears were shed on more than one occasion...sometimes by me right along with them.  But, when they each graduated from PreK, there was no prouder mom in the audience than yours truly.
There was one major reason for choosing homeschooling:  to show the boys the world.  It was not to shelter them from anything, but to expose them to everything the world has to offer.  Preparing them for the real world, they had best be in it some along the way to learn what it's like. 
Alex began homeschooling in Kindergarten.  Those were some long days in that summer before school began praying we were making the right choice.  Trying to be confident in our choice and not let the worry show, we entered the homeschooling domain in fall of 2008.  It wasn't really worry about not attending public school, it was about choosing the right homeschool option.  There are just a "few" to choose from and it can be quite overwhelming.  Our option has been for Abeka Academy dvd program.
Tim began homeschooling this year in 1st grade.  The church he went to preschool in offered Kindergarten last year, so he attended a 5 day program there with his friends from PreK.  Funny thing was and is that I struggled with sending him there instead of homeschooling because of how strongly I felt about the teaching methods that Abeka uses in order to help K's get the foundation they need for a great education.  As he is working hard to catch up in reading this year, I try not to wonder too much if I set him back by choosing one option over the other.  It is important to live as much as possible with no regrets.  Nothing to do now, but go on and make the most out of every day we are given.   
We love Abeka Academy.  Most importantly, Alex and Tim love it.  No, it might not be a "standard" method for homeschool...I am not the one doing everything.  I do not feel led to be one who does everything.  Teachers are teachers for a reason and if they do their job well everyone benefits.  The boys have a classroom.  They have a teacher.  They have classmates.  I have a schedule.  I have responsibilities.  I have input.  We all have freedom.
It works for us.                  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chess, anyone?

My 7 year old took an afternoon to teach me to play chess...he doesn't think I'm catching on very fast, but I'm trying. :)


















Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our God

There are days when circumstances begin to overwhelm...on those days I have to take a step back and refocus on my God and who He is.  A song pops into mind time and time again lately..."Our God".  What I love about this song is that it is filled with scriptural truth.  So, in trying to take my mind off of me and more on my God, I went on a Scripture scavenger hunt.  His Word comes alive, moving my heart and challenging my mind, all the while allowing me to get to know Him better.  Giants fall when God arrives on the scene. 
He is that good...all the time.

Water you turned into wine...John 2:1-11
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
Opened the eyes of the blind...Mark 8:22-25
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"

He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around."
Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
There's no one like you...2 Samuel 7:22

"How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."
None like you...Exodus 8:10
"Tomorrow," Pharaoh said.
Moses replied, "It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the LORD our God.
Into the darkness you shine...John 1:4-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Out of the ashes we rise...Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness,a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Our God is greater...1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Our God is stronger...Proverbs 18:10; 1 Corinthians 1:25
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
God you are higher than any other...1 Chronicles 16:25; Isaiah 55:8-9
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways  and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Our God is Healer...Exodus 15:26
He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."
Awesome in power...Jeremiah 32:17-19
"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.  You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.
Our God...Deuteronomy 32:3; Leviticus 26:12
I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!


I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
Our God...Deuteronomy 6:4-5
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.


And if our God is for us...Romans 8:31
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Then who could ever stop us...Acts 5:27-39
Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
And if our God is with us...2 Chronicles 32:7-8
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.  With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.
Then what could stand against...Joshua 1:5

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

sunrise...sunset

Saturday, September 4, 2010

friendship...cont'd

The friendship between David and Jonathan continues to find it's way into my thoughts...and so, therefore, here onto my blog.  (To read the first part click here.)  I had only read 1 Samuel 18-20 at the time, but have finally read on and am once again finding myself reading the chapters over and over again, not wanting to miss a thing God has for me about friendship in these chapters.  God is so good!
Several questions have surfaced for me in these chapters, not the least being why did the man "after God's own heart" come up with a plan that included lying?  (1 Samuel 20:5-8) Wasn't there any other way?  Really, David...not a great example here...just sayin'...
Moving on to the end of chapter 20, after Jonathan indeed has the answer that his father, King Saul, has every intention of killing David. they reunite in the field after the boy hunting arrows with Jonathan leaves...both knowing what this means for them.  Continued hiding and constant separation.  All due to circumstances out of their control.  Seems unfair.  Terribly hurtful.  I love what happens next...
After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.' " Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.  (1 Samuel 20:41-42)
Jonathan turns the focus off of the circumstance and back onto the constant - God himself.  The same God that allowed them to bond is the same one allowing them to be separated now.  All they had left was God and He was enough.  What an encouragement this is to my heart...my heart that has said goodbye to a friend one too many times can find comfort in the fact that God is still God and in control of it all.  God truly wants to be the main focus of my life...even where friendships are concerned.  Doesn't mean there won't be any hurt along the way.  The friends wept together.  They were hurting.  Because of God, however, they were able to go on...even though now it was on different paths.
More questions...do you ever wonder if one or both of them wished they had never met?  Ever wondered why God allowed this to happen in your own life?  I have.  In a moment of grieving for a friend, I have wondered why God allowed us to meet in the first place.  The answer is always the same.  We meet and we part for His glory.  Understanding the circumstance is secondary...relying on the Constant is primary. 
Another (seemingly unanswerable) question is why is David weeping the most pointed out of the two?  I can relate to David, here...I live out life with my heart not with my head.  I was not called Janet "the Waterfall" Wilson in college for nothing.  Things move me to tears more often than not...always have and probably always will...especially when someone I love is concerned.
The story continues with David hiding, Saul seeking, and Jonathan being the go-between.  Jonathan was strong at heart, no doubt.  He knew how to handle himself and make others around him feel safe at the same time.  Jonathan, in the middle of chapter 23, does a beautiful thing for his friend...
"And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God." (1 Samuel 23:16)
Here is the meaning to being a friend...to help someone find strength in God.  Again, the meeting between two friends was in secret and ended in separation, but it was worth any risk for Jonathan to go and encourage his friend in the Lord.  Awesomeness, pure and simple.
I am challenged by this story of friendship.  I am encouraged to look for the Constant amidst the circumstances.  I am grateful for a God who cares enough to send people into my life...some only for a brief time...with whom I can experience an amazing friendship. 
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.   Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday's Walk...down memory lane

Photobucket


Click here for a slideshow of my walk down memory lane...