Sunday, June 18, 2017

Me & Charlotte Mason

On the...

A word about the reading of the Bible. I think we make a mistake in burying the text under our endless comments and applications. Also, I doubt if the picking out of individual verses, and grinding these into the child until they cease to have any meaning for him, is anything but a hindrance to the spiritual life. The Word is full of vital force, capable of applying itself. A seed, light as thistledown, wafted into the child's soul will take root downwards and bear fruit upwards. What is required of us is, that we should implant a love of the Word; that the most delightful moments of the child's day should be those in which his mother reads for him, with sweet sympathy and holy gladness in voice and eyes, the beautiful stories of the Bible; and now and then in the reading will occur one of those convictions, passing from the soul of the mother to the soul of the child, in which is the life of the Spirit. Let the child grow, so that, 
"New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven,"
are a joy to him, too; things to be counted first amongst the blessings of a day. Above all, do not read the Bible at the child: do not let any words of the Scriptures be occasions for gibbeting his faults. It is the office of the Holy Ghost to convince of sin; and He is able to use the Word for this purpose, without risk of that hardening of the heart in which our clumsy dealings too often result.
Charlotte Mason, Home Education

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Introducting Monat

I have naturally curly, frizzy, thick, and unmanageable hair.  I spend hours drying and straightening my hair and it's still coarse and not soft.  Then, a friend gave me a sample of Monat.  I didn't want to like it, for several reasons.  It was a little more pricey than my normal hair products and I was skeptical.  I'm a skeptic. But, after my first wash, condition, and leave-in condition, I kept feeling my hair not believing how soft it actually was.  I asked my husband, too. He said it was softer.  He could care less so I know he was being honest.  Then, I did some research and I liked what I saw - all the "NOs"

So, I not only decided to use it, but I decided to sell it.  I knew my mom would love it. Her hair came back much more coarse and different feeling after she lost it during chemo.  Her hair is softer and shinier.  My aunt also has our coarse hair and she loves it and has shared it with friends.  Everyone who has tried it have felt a huge difference in their hair. I'd love to share this with you too! Check out more here:

I'm going to be posting the before and after of my husband who has been using the Classic Confidence System for 2 weeks. I'm itching to post the pictures but I'm waiting the full 30 days! We can already tell a difference in the thickness of his hair. In the mean time - here are some before and afters from Monat!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Road Trip 2016

At the start of this post we have 7 days, 21 hours, 24 minutes, and 35 seconds until we leave on our Road Trip 2016! Blake and I are both so very excited to get away, just the two of us.  About a year ago when Blake nailed down his graduation date {finally! Yay!} his mom told us she wanted to send us to Italy. We wanted to go to Italy on our honeymoon but plans, time, and budget never worked out. We were both so excited and thankful for the opportunity.  A few months passed by and his mom asked us to make up a mock trip so she can plan funding and save the date to keep the girls.  During the week of planning, researching, fake booking flights, thinking about passports, etc... I grew less and less excited.  I shared this with Blake because any time I talked about it he seemed pretty uninterested and I thought it was simply because he had a TON on his plate and on his mind. But, we both felt like this just wasn't us. Sure, Italy is amazing and the opportunity was awesome but we shared our thoughts with Blake's mom and she was so supportive of us to do what we really wanted to do.  We wanted to road trip.  For our honeymoon we took a "Redneck Road Trip" to Tennessee and it was gorgeous! It was during November and the leaves were changing, the weather was crisp and perfect. It was so much fun!

SO, we thought we should do that again, but road trip the other way.  I've always loved the mountains, Blake too, we've always loved cabins and getting away from the big city or real touristy destinations so we chose Yellowstone {summer + Yellowstone = touristy. We know. But it's not the only place we are going. It's just a one day taste}. From there we planned a road trip back to Texas. Actually, because of the distance and all we wanted to see and do, we are going to be flying into Salt Lake City, UT. I have always wanted to drive through there and see the red rocks and desert. And, honestly, always go to the Mormon Church. :) I'm not Mormon but it's a beautiful site I am told. Anyway, we will day trip to Yellowstone, then head south to the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole, then head east towards CO, then south through NM and east bound 10 back home. We will be gone for about 8 days. Lots to do in a little amount of time!! We are so thankful to family and friends who are caring for our house and kids while we are away! I'll be posting plenty throughout the tirp and when I get back I hope to blog some things to remember but here's some of the fun we will be getting into...

  • Yellowstone National Park, WY - Old Faithful Inn {Built in the 1800s {I love history}, Old Faithful, Mud/Paint pots, falls, rivers, mountains, etc...}
  • Jackson Hole, WY -   shopping, the elk horn arch to Town Square, Grand Tetons, Scenic River Float with a dinner on the banks of Snake River, Mangy Moose, Wild West Shootout
  • Rawlins, WY - not too sure...will be a lay over on the way to CO
  • Fort Collins, CO - a choice of two Diners Drive Ins and Dives spots to eat lunch
  • Denver, CO - The Broker for dinner, downtown, nightlife, a "city stop," Pike's Peak {peek/drive-by}
  • Colorado Springs, CO -  Garden of the Gods, mountains
  • Canon City, CO - Royal Gorge Train Ride, Royal Gorge Helicopter Ride, World's largest suspension bridge, mountains, gorgeous views, etc.
  • Santa Rosa, NM - Route 66, the Blue Hole
  • Fort Davis, TX - McDonald Observatory, Balmorhea State Park, San Salomon Springs, desert, starry skies...
I can't it's only 7 days,  21 hours, 4 minutes and 25 seconds until we leave! ;)

Monday, March 28, 2016

God's Promises and Power

2 Peter 1:3 - 11
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of goodness and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters,[c] work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I struggle with most of the fruits of the spirit.  I am not patient, I can be unkind when I become impatient, I can also be unloving when I am not being kind because of my impatience, this all steals my joy, it definitely takes away any peace I had, and so on and so forth.  It is all tied together and without one, it's difficult, if not impossible to have the others. 
I am a lot like my 5 year old daughter. Yes, I have about 29 years on her and saying I act a lot like a 5 year old is super embarrassing to admit.  So, when I came across this verse today I knew I had to share it with her.  She struggles with self-control. I struggle with self-control.  Any little kink in anything she has planned out in her precious head throws her for a loop and a tantrum immediately follows.  To be fair though, I do have a bit more self control - maybe 5 minutes pass and then I snap. Ha! But, I wanted to wait for the right time to share it with her.
The right time came this evening when she wanted me to play kid songs on Pandora but I told her as long as she continued to whine about it, I wouldn't play them.  She continued to she didn't get to hear her kid song channel.  Woe was Anna.  After I sent her to her room I went in, talked her down from her emotional ledge of not hearing her kid song channel, and I said I have something to share with you.  
I read the verses two times through.  I then went back and talked about the different meanings of the words and asked her questions to make sure she understood. So, we made a deal to help one another with our self-control and our love and goodness and Christ-likeness.  I know I'll have to work much harder on myself - especially not to snap when she throws a fit so I can be a good example to her.  She is growing day-by-day and I am too.  I have the greatest confidence that one day, Jesus will touch her heart, like He did mine and her father's, and change her little life.  I pray that she comes to know that God will provide all she needs - By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I answered a response question from my Bible study this morning and it made me realize just how selfish and demanding I am when it comes to my relationship with the Lord. I have been praying, wishing and hoping for a third baby for over a year and a half now. While to some that's a drop in the waiting-for-a baby bucket, it is still hard. But, I keep waiting for this blessing...selfishly waiting, not considering His promises and ALL that he has already done in my life.

 I think back to a time I made God wait. The entire DECADE God waited for me to return home. I lived how I wanted, in sin and darkness for over 10 years. I am still not out of the pit yet, I'll never be perfect, but I think sometimes if I am good enough, or if I try hard enough then God will finally bless me. I'm sure it's the same with everyone. There's something in your life you want or think you need and if we just stay on this right track then it will be given to us. I think back to those dark years in my life and I see many times where God literally spared my life from myself and my own stupid decisions that put my life or the life of others in danger. I had no guilt or shame. Yet, God pursued me. He kept searching for me. I kept turning away and He kept showing up.

A pastor I heard on the radio once said, "Sin will take you further than you planned to go, cost you more than you planned to pay and keep you longer than you planned to stay." I was living that life. What started out as fun, "innocent" parties with friends, ended in ugly, messy, legally expensive and soul costly problems that I don't care to even think about.

I am so thankful that God waited for me for a decade. I'm thankful he didn't give up. I'm thankful He kept pursuing me. I'm thankful He didn't leave me in that dark place. Great is His faithfulness. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Outside Looking In

This post came to me while going through a journal I had written in last December. It's July, I'm talking about Christmas. Christmas in July!

We changed into our Christmas pajamas, headed to Sonic for chocolate peppermint milkshakes (We live in Texas, it doesn’t get that cold in December) and drove to the neighborhood that was getting all the buzz for their light displays. There was one house in particular we wanted to see. It was something off of YouTube; a house strung with over 50,000 lights and they danced along to the music that played from a certain radio station you could only tune into when you were within a certain number of feet of the house. It was beautiful and special and wonderful to hear my two little girls laughing and then quieting down, in silent awe of the beautiful display. 

Then, the front door opened. It wasn’t St. Nick or tiny elves coming to dance a jig and entertain, but a father and son. The little boy was in his Christmas pajamas too. The father and son were holding hands and they walked down their driveway and across the street to stand in their neighbor’s yard to take in the greatness of their hard work that had brought so many in our community smiles and joy. This precious act, of a young boy, wanting to take in the excitement of his house lit up and dancing to Christmas carols warmed my heart. The fact that even though he lived there and saw this daily for at least a month, wanted to enjoy it too, reminded me of our own houses; our own lives that are cause for celebration, even in the small things.

How often do we look into other people’s lives and catch a glimpse of their happy times, yet we don’t stop and enjoy what we have been given and what’s happening in our own lives that is cause for celebration? We see happy faces on social media, pictures of birthday parties, baby showers, engagement parties, weddings, all these glimpses of happy, joyful times of celebration, yet it makes us feel even smaller inside. We don’t stop, open the door, walk out front and take in the beautiful view of our life. The daily doldrums of errands and to-do lists squash the tiny moments of celebration we can celebrate every day. I'm not against social media and sharing those brief happy glimpses of our lives. I do want to remember that it's a brief glimpse, though. I want to take a break even from my own perfectly cropped and filtered photos and enjoy ALL of it from the tiniest success to the tiniest defeat; knowing that all things work together for His good. The good and the bad.

Even if life is full of hurts, sickness, frustration, there’s always room for celebration. Maybe it’s your daughter, learning to fasten her own safety belt and she’s so proud she can’t wipe the smile from her beautiful face. Or, your son, figuring out a math problem that has stumped him for days. Or maybe it’s a moment to celebrate your husband, who made a breakthrough with his boss over a big project right before the final deadline. Maybe it’s you. You have worked so hard to get it all together when you don’t realize that together, you have it all. (Cliche? Yes? But, true). We are all a part of the body of Christ. He has given us all special gifts and talents and each is supposed to be celebrated. Remember, like that little boy, not to forget about your own excitement and celebrations. Take time to walk away from it all, stand back and take in the sometimes messy, but always beautiful view.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chore/Behavior Punch Cards

Since my last blog post about chores I decided to re-think how I'd handle chores and allowance for Anna, who is almost 5. I found a chore chart on Pinterest that lists chores for children of different ages. I created my own chore cards that Anna places in our hanging chart each day. She chooses one and I choose one. I let her know that there might be more added to her chores depending on what we are doing that day.

Over the last year or so we have stopped and started giving her an allowance several times but recently we have been giving her some change each day; that totals up to her weekly allowance. That is, if she does what she is supposed to do. That got me thinking that I would rather not give her money, candy, toys, etc. at the end of the day but for her to wait for the end/beginning of the week.  Viola! Punch cards!

I saw some punch cards that I have from my favorite retailers and thought it was a great idea to create my own for her chores! We have been focusing on Anna's heart lately so I went with a heart theme. Not her literal heart but the condition of her heart and how she handles the "no's" and the discipline and her feelings and emotions. I also used Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for people." Hopefully this works a little better and I know she will love keeping it in her wallet and pulling it out each day! We are going to have her redeem it for her allowance and then maybe every 4 weeks if she's earned her allowance the past weeks, give her a trip to the Dollar Store or something like that. We haven't thought it all the way through...we will keep you posted! What incentives or systems do you use with your children? 

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