Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Fun, Messy, Crazy, Terrorizing, Cute Toddler

We call her Little T....  More about my toddler later.

I'm sooooo excited about all the birthdays in August.  My three older boys have birthdays in the same month, all two weeks apart.  Why am I happy?  Laptops!!!!  For their birthday I'm buying laptops for each of them so we can get through our homeschool faster.  We have been homeschooling five kids on two laptops and our days have been long, house much messier, and mama more tired.  Ha.  So, I'm super, duper excited.
I'm so proud of the girls for doing a second dumping of all the junk in their room.  You wouldn't believe how little of stuff they have left and they don't want it.  Seriously.  I thought we did a good cleaning out a few weeks ago, but when we had to completely empty the room to paint, oh my gosh, the stuff that came out. I had no idea how much was hiding.  I don't push it on them, they just hate having to clean all the time.  I had a hard time putting ANYTHING back in the room because they were so concerned about clutter.  Makes me proud.  :D

Juliet is the HARDEST toddler I've ever had.  My days are so full with her.  She does not play at all with her new kitchen.  She doesn't play with her dolls, large legos, or any toys.  She pulled out all the diapers, wipes, draws on the walls, puts stuff in the toilet, digs her nails into the deodorants, dumps out all my jewelry, climbs on the counters, and has now learned how to take off some the gates we use to block rooms.  She JUST turned two.  Ohhhhh my.  We have chain locks on the doors because of her escaping tendencies. I'm not sure how but as much as she tortures her older siblings, she has them wrapped around her tiny pinky.


She cute, but I need patience.  Please, oh please, oh please, oh please. Haha.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Noah Movie Review and Giveaway!

Contest was on the facebook discussion about the movie Noah.  Winner is CHERYL!!! :D  Thanks for coming to read my review everyone!

Wow!  I'm not sure if I know of any other movie besides Noah that has caused such a stir.  I grew up in church and so I've heard the story hundreds of times.  I have it memorized so I was soooo curious to actually see this come out.  I guess more than anything I really wanted to see the visual of what it would look like for the fountains of the deep to burst through the ground and the rain to fall.  To see the earth being flooded. How tragic and horrifying it must have been!  Can you imagine the terror? Sure, our earth now is groaning under the weight of sin and it experiences devastation all the time.  This was the WHOLE earth being flooded.  Even though I knew they took SERIOUS artistic license on this story, I still wanted to see it as it's one of the most well known stories of the bible.  A facebook friend warned me to only view this as a fiction film.  I took that in mind before seeing it.

Whoa, okay, so it was serious artistic license.  But STILL, the visual was amazing.  I'd say it was one-third biblical and two-thirds fantasy.  There are many things that didn't line up to scripture such as the character of Noah, or even the animals on the boat.  There were way too many varieties on that boat of one type of animal.  You don't need a Chihuahua, Labrador, and a Poodle.  Just a male and female of each type of animal. Dogs, cats, birds, elephants, etc. Also, the talking rock formations reminded me of the caveman version of the Transformers.  Haha.  But seriously, I really don't want to go on about the details because there are still many that haven't see it.  If you haven't seen it, it's available for rent now or even to buy. 

My friend Brandy said, " I watched some of it and read that the producer took several different resources to add to the movie. I actually liked the creativity of it regardless of him adding more to the biblical account."

If anything, watch it to see what all the fuss is about!  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Testing My Limits

Sometimes I put so much on myself, plan so much, I wear myself out. I want to help anybody and everybody and it breaks my heart to say no.

Ivy wanted her birthday present to be some new clothes and her room painted. I took her out to get her favorite food which is hot wings. It was so sweet just spending time alone with her.

Today I painted the girls room with the help of Ryan. I had the girls pitch in for about an hour because they were begging but it was so much harder. It took about 6 hours to do the different colors. We're not done with it so I'll have to finish soon.

Ryan had some weird mysterious mosquito thing happen to him. He was bit hundreds of times and is on 4 medications. We are thinking it happened at the park. The doctor said it's so bizarre and he had to be monitored at the hospital. He is much better now. ;)

The other day my washing machine broke so I'm having to take clothes to laundry mat. After we did that tonight, we had to go get groceries. Then come home, put groceries away and clothes.
It's 4am and I'm finally ready to sleep after taking care of all that. I'm exhausted but so grateful for my beautiful family. Tough times build character. Teach patience.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Routines and Babysitting

I've had some extra kids at my house these last couple of weeks.  Sometimes I had 11, this week I only have eight (Ryan is at someone else's house for the week and I have two that aren't mine over).  It's really hard because we are in our homeschooling season and I have to work whether or not the kids that are with me understand we need to study.  Some days though I just had to quit because the house was way too loud.  I know at times I need to put my foot down and not always be the available babysitter because I'm home.  I need to just say no and that's that. 

Updated chore chart for 2014.  Much neater and changed a tad. :)
 I made an exception this week for two girls.  They are in their teens and actually are more helpful than a hindrance.  During homeschool hours they will help with the reading and flashcards with the younger ones.  The hardest thing for me is my routine.  I hate to go out of a routine because it takes me several days to adjust.  They were kindly (and amazingly) asking which chores they could help us with.  I have each zone assigned to members of the family and we get it done so efficiently, we rarely need the help.  I mean, if I call chore time, within 30 minutes the house can be almost perfectly clean. That's years and years of training and consistency.  Not luck.  Oh man, that bugs me when people think it's just luck I have kids that are good at it.  Believe me, we've sweated it out with them for lots of years to train and keep going even when we didn't feel like it.  There were days where we battled and battled for them to do their work but we never, ever gave up.  The only times was when I was having a baby in the hospital, sick, something crazy happened, OR we took a special family day outing.  Those are only rare exceptions.  Otherwise you can find us here doing our bible study, homeschool, then chores, day in and day out except for the weekends.  If I even give an inch when the kids whine about their work, they will take it a mile.  They have to know mama is serious and it has to be done.  Rain or shine.  Except there is no rain here.  Or snow.  Better yet, we homeschool so it doesn't matter.  I never have them do my work for me.  I have my own zones I take care of.  If possible, I do my chores at the same time they do so they can see me doing it when them.  Kids learn by example.  :)

We've been trying to do more family game nights rather than just separating at the end of the day to do our own thing.  Often I don't sit down for time alone till 11 at night but that's okay.  I love my days busy and full.  :D 

Friend Adriana doing flashcards with Ivy     

Update: Since Ivy finally got her new prescription glasses, her reading skills have soared!!  I mean, she's daily trekking through her books.  She may be behind but she's quickly closing in the gap.  Today she was reading a book and doing so bad I got worried.  I realized she forgot to put her glasses on. Once she did, she had no problem reading the book.  Ivy and I laughed and laughed together at the mistake.  She doesn't seem to understand these are all day glasses.  She keeps setting them down around the house and losing them.  Anyway, I can sigh with relief that we solved the problem.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Vacation Bible School 2014

Ivy doing a team dance to the song Jesus, What a Friend
 When I heard my church was going to be having another Vacation Bible School this summer, I couldn't wait!  I've always, always wanted to work with kids and especially it's been a huge desire to help with VBS.
Here is our VBS video! 

You can see Ryan and I at the end of the video dancing with the kids.  Ryan is just scooting along in his scooter keeping up with all the kids.  He had such a  good attitude being a leader with me.  I'm the second person in the video to get a pie in the face.  LOL.  There was actually someone getting something for those 5 days.  It was an offerings contest and the money was counted every night to see if the boys or girls one.  Well, the girls only won the first night with the most money given.  Well, I got pied on the Tuesday night!  It was so gross and fun at the same time.  
Me in the back and Ryan as a team leader in the black shirt
Working with kids is a big deal for me because it's been my desire for many years.  I know I have my own kids.  Ha ha.  What I mean is, working with kids to teach them like I was taught many years ago.  I have very, very good memories of learning while young in sunday school and children's church.  Kids have very soft hearts and this is the time to reach them. 

My cute Caleb (4)
Little Caleb was in mine and Ryan's class.  Boy, he's such a cutie.  

Ashley (6)
My little Caleb on the right and me in the background holding our team flag

Kyle reading a scripture to the VBS kids

I'm getting a pie in my face here.  :D

Kyle reading a scripture to the kids

It was an amazing time!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Curse of the Law

Sometimes I still can't believe all that God is doing in my mind and heart.  It's like I've woken up and saw that life is beautiful.  It always has been but I had been in a sad slumber.  At one time I felt like life was too burdensome and by the age of 34 I was done.  I was weary and didn't want to keep "fighting the good fight and keeping the faith."  It was just too hard. I never knew I wasn't meant to carry the burden of my own "humanness."  Hope that makes sense.

  • Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20

  • For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all  of God's laws. James 2:10

  • But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God's Book of the Law." Galatians 3:10

  • The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Romans 8:3

  • Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Galatians 3:13

Get it?  It's incredible! Because I only believed in saving grace but not sustaining grace, I believed my good works was what was keeping me saved and in right standing with God.  Well, of course I tried with all my might but to my HUGE disappoint, I failed often.  I thought maybe I was failing because I didn't go to enough church services or because I wasn't praying hard enough.  Now I understand why a perfectionist mindset was killing me.

Legalism = Perfectionism

I had a legalistic mindset.  No one could do it and no one before me could do it except Jesus Christ.  THAT'S why he came and  became the perfect sacrifice for us.  We are no longer held under this perfectionist mentality.  Thank God.  Before if someone asked me if I believed in sustaining grace.  No way.  Yes we are saved by grace but we are on our own after that.  Boy, I was wrong and definitely still put myself under the curse of the law.  This is what explains my spiritual exhaustion.  

  • Legalism- Thinking we are made righteous because we live righteously.
  • Grace- Living righteously because we've been made righteous.

  • Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

What?  God's throne of grace?  Where has this scripture been all my life?  I've aways looked at it as the throne of judgement or throne of condemnation.  Never, ever as the throne of grace.

When Jesus died on the cross He not only gave us the gift of saving grace but of sustaining grace. 

Insert taken from webpage: Laws on Top of Laws

"The problem with the Pharisee’s is that they had, over centuries and centuries of following God’s Law, added their own laws on top of God’s Law. Breaking God’s Law was so abhorrent to them that they added more laws to keep them from the things that would keep them from the things that would tempt them to break God’s laws. In many ways, it is not a bad idea. If I have an alcohol problem, I should not drink, but having alcohol in the house is a bad idea, and even going to a bar with friends should be out of the question. Constantly surrounding myself with temptation is a bad idea. If A leads to B which leads to C (and C = sin), then don’t do A or B. Take away the temptation that leads to the sin, right? So, by that logic, if working on the Sabbath is sin, maybe I should cease from doing any labor, any “work”, anything physical, right? 

Nope. Taking your traditions and beliefs and elevating them to be equivalent to God’s Law is wrong, but holding others accountable to your traditions is wrong too, according to Jesus. Even more than that, withholding good on the Sabbath is a sin, as Jesus has shown.
God is after my heart, and He is after your heart. He doesn’t admire your laws, standards, rules, righteousness or holiness. Your righteousness is like filthy rags to Him. No. He wants to save you from yourself. He want to see Christ in you, your only hope of glory. He wants us to behold the glory of the Lord, and therefore be transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. Jesus is your only hope, He is my only hope. Only Christ pleases God. Only Jesus lived a perfect life that I could never live and died the death I should have died because of my sin. Only He is worthy. Only His righteousness will cover me."
When we constantly focus on sin and don't do this don't do that, it actually can cause our minds to focus exactly on those things!  Rather, let's put our focus on Christ.  I'm amazed that now I completely put my trust in Christ, in His grace, those temptations aren't nearly like they used to be.  I was told, "well, that's because the devil is done with you and has no reason to fight you."  Nope, there really is such an amazing freedom and peace when we put our trust in Him rather than in ourselves.  When we understand we are no longer living under the law.  When I decided to stop living under the law, it took the power away that sin had over meYes, I'm human.  Yes, I'll make mistakes.  It was never about perfectionism.  It's about our heart.

  •  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:8,9
 God bless!!!