Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting back into the groove!

We finally got started back to school last week. I was hoping to start a little earlier but with a funeral and another trip to Shreveport for Kalysa and I, it just didn't get done. It is really nice to start getting back into the groove of things and back into a routine. We have also started a whole new chapter of our homeschool adventure. In our years of homeschooling we have not participated in many organized activities. There are lots of things we do with another family or two but they have always been just when and what we wanted to do at the time. This year we have added a scheduled weekly class and I am soooooo excited about it.
We started band!!!  I played the clarinet all through jr. high, high school and the first year of college and I loved it! I thought that my playing days were over since I obviously was not going to be a professional clarinet player but I always wanted my kids to learn an instrument. Now that my world view has changed I realize I should have continued my playing to honor the Lord. He gave me a talent that I have failed to use for His Glory. I can't wait for my children to play a special at church sometime!
We met with the band directer and he talked with each of the kids and allowed them to try out all the instruments. Kalysa was her usual shy self and refused to participate so she actually is not in the band this year but Kenyon and Keslee tried everything out. Kenyon went to the meeting thinking he only wanted to play the violin but after trying them out he decided he really wanted to play the saxophone. Keslee thought she wanted a flute and that did not change. Kalysa says she wants to play the clarinet so maybe missing out this year will persuade her to speak up and she can join next year. I told the directer how much I loved the clarinet and missed being able to play. He handed one to me and told me to try it out. After 20 years of not playing I actually still remember more than I thought. Then the directer really made my day. He said "You know parents can be in the band too." 
WHAT?!?! I can be in band and relearn my clarinet?!? I AM THERE!!!
So Kenyon, Keslee and I go to band once a week! My friend Mamie has a daughter in band also so Kalysa will stay with Mamie and her other kids in the overflow room for families and work on other school work while we are in practice.
Now my house is filled with music-well.....almost music. I don't think we can really count it as a joyful noise just yet but everyone enjoys practicing. Even the baby wanted in on the leasons☺. Isn't she a cutie!! Remember just over a year ago when I got to witness this cutie enter into this world? Boy, how time flies! They grow up so fast!!

This weekend my son had an awesome boy scout function. His troop entered the cardboard boat regatta at a local lake. The boats could be made of only cardboard and duck tape. His boat was the silver bullet. They had races and then all surviving boats got to participate in a demolition derby. There were some VERY creative boat entries.


Kenyon's boat survived the race and they even came in 2nd place.

Between races the girls just could not resist taking a little dip in the lake!
We had not planned on swimming so they just went in with their clothes on and came home dripping wet. They didn't seem to mind!

Our boy scout troop had 4 boats and they all survived the races. As you can tell, not everyone was as fortunate!

During the demolition derby  every one's goal was to sink the other's boat. This huge (creative, awesome) crocodile's crew came prepared with secret weapons of water filled buckets. One way to sink a cardboard boat is to fill it with water!
This was another very creative entry. It is Michael Phelps. We all know how awesome Phelps is in a pool but unfortunately he is not so great in a lake!

He had to be dragged to shore in pieces.
His owner even tried CPR but it was no use. Michael did not survive the regatta!

This batmobile was another very creative entry. Batman and his robin made it out and almost made it back to shore before the bottom fell out. I heard them say it took them over 2 months to build this boat. At least they had fun while it lasted.

Kenyon and his crew won the 2nd place ore for their race.



These scouts came in 1st in their batboat. Got a little creative with their costumes☺ It was a lot of fun and I think our troop is pretty hooked. This was the first year they entered the regatta but I have a feeling it will not be the last!

Well that is what we have been up to this weekend. What fun or interesting things have been going on in you life? Guess I better be sure everyone has their church clothes picked out and get them all to bed. By the way, Monty is still looking for a job. If you feel so inclined, please pray that the Lord will open the doors to just the right job for him soon. Have a great week!!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Just a little update

Wow! It has been a LONG time since I have posted anything here. I don't really have a good reason for that. Life just seems to go along whether we are ready or not. In trying to keep up with most things, I just kinda let my blog sit. I see it is just like the laundry.....still here when I finally get around to it ☺. I will try to give a brief overview of what has been going on here.

Everyone has had their birthdays (except me) this year and I just can't believe it. My baby boy is 14.....FOUR-TEEEEEN! How did that ever happen??? Oh man it just goes so fast. My little baby girls are now 9 and 10. My husband's uncle just passed away this week and we got out some old photo albums for the kids to look at to help them remember the times they were around him. It is just amazing how different, how grown up, they look after just a few years. The new picture at the top of my blog is just an example. It was taken shortly after we started homeschooling, about 5 years ago.

Our school this past year was not ideal. With the whole broken leg thing, it really put a strain on our year. Each of the kids finished up their own math and language but our history and science did not get finished. I was hoping to continue through the summer to get it done but with the kids all having church camp and the natural busyness of summer, it didn't happen like I wanted. I did get to go to the homeschool convention in May and have all or our curriculum for this new school year. I just have to finish going over things to see how much of the start of the new year would be a review of the last year and try to combine what we missed with where we will start. I was hoping to start our year next week but now that we have a funeral to attend and family coming in I think it will have to be later.

The biggest news in our lives right at this moment is Monty's job.....actually his lack of a job right now. He worked in a warehouse for the past 10 years. A few weeks ago the supervisor found some damage on a pole and nobody had reported having an accident with their forklift. Everyone was on break at the time and Monty's forklift was parked closest to the damaged pole so he got suspended for it. They took his statement (that he did not hit anything) and did some sort of investigation while he spent the week at home waiting to hear from them. Yesterday it was decided that they were terminating him. It was not what he was hoping but I know it was God's will. He has been praying about finding a different job for the last few months. I guess the Lord decided that he was not acting as quickly as God had planned so He decided to move things along. The same thing happened when we decided I would stop working and stay home with my children. We had prayed about it and decided it was what God wanted and made plans to do that on our time. Our timeline showed that we could accomplish that goal within 2 years. God's timeline was a little different. Withing weeks of us making our decision the department I worked in was closed. We have seen how God has taken care of us since then and I know He will take care of us now. Although it was a shock to begin with, I am now pretty excited to see just what God has in store.

Well that is a little update for now. I have lots of things I would love to write about and I will try to  keep up a little better on sharing with you how God works!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When I got wet... Part 2

you can read Part 1 here

Through the last 7 years Amy and I have each continued on our journey of growing in Christ. We would talk on the phone after church to compare notes and gleam knowledge from each other's  preacher. We strengthened each other and edified each other. I love to hear her testimony about being taught her entire life completely unbiblical teachings from the catholic church and the way that God brought her to the truth. I was almost jealous of her testimony because I felt that I didn't really have one. I mean I always believed in God, got saved when I was young and just didn't live for Him until recently. It was the topic of many discussions that we had. I didn't even really remember when I got saved so I didn't have a story to tell. Amy encouraged me to pray about it and so I did. Slowly God started to bring that time back to my memory. I remembered going to the alter and then going into another room with my youth directer and another man from our church. We talked, I came out saved and got baptised shortly after. The fact that God brought that back to me satisfied me for a long time. I did my best to obey the Lord. My kids and I started going to church faithfully, I talked different, dressed different, listened to different music. I started homeschooling (as I believe as mandated by the Bible) and even was able to lead Keslee to the Lord. In 2007 my husband got saved and started changing with me. I started teaching children's church and teaching others about the Lord. Amy and I still talk a few times a week and the thought that I just didn't have much of a testimony came up a few more times. No matter how much I prayed I could not remember anything else about the time I got saved. I know Scott (my youth director) had his Bible and I am sure he went over the scriptures with me but I just could not remember. I assume I prayed to ask Jesus to save me but I don't remember doing it. I know I got baptised but I have no recollection of a discussion about what that meant or even why I decided to do it. Monty and I started going to discipleship classes at church and it was then that I saw in the scripture that baptism is the first step in obedience after salvation. Now that I knew that I thought-well good, done that so I am good. In the last few years I have seen a few of, what I thought were, the most faithful dedicated Christians come forward and get saved after years of serving God. Each time it brought back my own questions. I knew that the Lord Jesus Christ had saved me. I had no doubt about that. I knew that He had changed my life and that I was not the same person I was before. A few weeks before Christmas Amy and I ended up having another discussion about my testimony. I decided I had to get this all worked out so one quiet night as I was doing the paper route I just prayed and prayed for the Lord to answer my questions and He delivered. It was an almost audible answer when the Lord assured me that I was saved but it was not when I was 13. I was saved that day in 2005 that I heard Brother Baldwin preach. The day my life changed forever. The day I remember sooooo much about. That was the day that the old things passed away and I became a new creature. The day that all Jesus did and all Jesus is became more that just a story and He became my King of Glory. I was so relieved but immediately realized what that meant. It meant that I have been in disobedience since that time. It meant that when I was in the 8th grade all I did was get wet. Baptism must come after salvation and I had not done that. That Sunday during church I made my way to the front and let my preacher know that I needed to be scripturally baptised and last Sunday that is just what I did. 
sorry it is so dark. Keslee took the picture of me
 I am so excited to finally be able to have a testimony to share. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me now. I know that there are some areas in my life that, no matter how hard I have tried, I have not been able to make much progress. I have often felt like my Christian growth has stalled. I also know that God can not do all He has planned for me as long as I am in direct disobedience to Him. Now that I have finally rectified that I can't wait to learn of His plan. I know this is going to be a huge turning point for me and I can honestly say there is Joy in obedience.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

When I got wet... part 1

First I have to say that my God is an Awesome God!! I am so thankful that He doesn't give up on us.
When I was a child my parents took us to church. We all went for a few years and then my parents stopped. My sister, brothers and I still rode the church bus and went often but it didn't last. After a few years not being in church regularly, I became friends with a girl named Anita in Jr. high. She went to church with her mother every week and I started attending with her all through high school. In 8th grade I got saved and baptised. Although I went to church, participated in youth activities, went on the ski trips and even sang in the choir, as soon as I went to college I was able to put it all aside and live it up college style. I still believed in God. I still said my prayers at night. I even read in my Bible sometimes. I considered myself a Christian even though my behavior was far from Christ like. In college I met my bestest friend on earth, Amy. We had lots of talks about God (she was catholic at the time) and she could sway me just as easily as I could sway her. About 10 years ago Amy got married and started attending an Independent Baptist church with her husband. I visited my mom's church occasionally and often sent my young son with grandma because I knew church would be good for him. In 2005 I decided to attend a revival with my mother to hear Brother Kenny Baldwin preach. It was at that revival that my eyes were totally opened. All of a sudden the weight of my sin was more than I could bear. The gravity of what Jesus actually did to save me became real. My Lord and Savior became more than just a story. I made my way to the alter and begged for forgiveness. My life completely changed that day. I gave myself to God and started doing my best to live for Him. A few months later I joined the church and continued to grow. It was about the same time that Amy got saved and her life was changing just as quickly as mine. We were on an awesome journey together; her just being saved and I-saved at 13-but now both of us obeying the Lord...Or at least that is what I thought until just a few weeks ago.

tune in for Part 2 tomorrow:)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Homemade presents

I love making homemade presents. Not only because it is a great money saver (although that is a huge plus☺) but I really love being able to make things for the people I love. This years Christmas budget was almost not existent and I was afraid I would not be able to get anything for my 6 nieces and 2 nephews. About 2 weeks before Christmas it finally came to me-the perfect gift for 6 girls ages 4-14 that I could do quickly and without spending tons of money. I ran to the dollar store and bought up a bunch of bandannas. I didn't use any pattern but instead just started putting them together and making skirts with elastic waist bands. This is what I came up with-with my own girls as models so they don't all fit them.
                                       Red, White and Blue
                                             Black with red sides
                 Points all around and then points just in front and back.
The same point in front and back and another style with points all around. I didn't get a photo of the smallest skirt because it was the last one I finished and would have been too small for my models.
I didn't get to see my side of the family this Christmas so mom delivered these for me. I guess they all liked them because I have now heard there are plans for all the girls to wear them to the 89er parade (Which has a western theme anyway) in April with a white shirt and pair of cowgirl boots. I will definitely have to get a picture then. I also have to get skirts made for my own girls so they can match with their cousins☺.
I didn't think I could make the boys matching shirts without a pattern or at least having them present to measure so I did have to buy them each something. I may try to tackle bandanna shirts before April-how cute would that be☺!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where your treasure is

I have heard several things from other parents as of late about how their young children (like 6-10) have discovered the different "high dollar" clothing labels and now will only wear soandso. These poor parents then fret over "Oh, how will we ever make it through the teen years when it is so expensive to have little kids."  These parents have created their own monster and will pay dearly for it later. I have tried very hard to not allow my children to be overly picky and I sure don't want them to be materialistic. The Bible tells us to lay our treasures up in heaven and where our treasure is there will our heart be also. When our treasures consist only of the latest styles, the best car, the biggest house, and ALL the latest gadgets there is no room left for God. Of course I want to be able to give my children some of the things that they want but I also want them to be appreciative of what they have. On Christmas the Lord gave me the opportunity to see first hand that the efforts I have put into my children have not been in vain. The kids know full well that this year has not been a great year financially and I honestly think they expected little to nothing in the way of presents. They never saw me bring anything home from a shopping trip (I'm very sneaky!) so they had no evidence that there would be presents at all. That did not seem to bother them in the least. The excitement was still there and we had lots and lots of discussions about what Christmas is REALLY about. They enjoyed seeing the decorations around town and even wanted to stop and explain to people why the nativity scene in their yard was not correct. They were excited to get to see their Nana, to spend a night away from home, and just have a few days of family time. On Christmas morning they woke up to one present apiece in the living room and they were so grateful. They were happy with what they got even though none of the 3 presents were even new! I was given a 10 speed bike the week before Christmas and Kenyon just happened to need a new bike. It was in perfect condition but the chain was rusted. I asked Kenyon what he thought about it and he just said "just what I wanted, all I need now is can of wd40!" I assured him I would be buying a new chain but just did not have time before Christmas to get one after I got the bike. The girls each got a Baby Alive doll that I had found on Craigslist and of course they each loved them. We then got ready for church and headed out the door. I already had the car packed with clothes, pillows and blankets for a trip to Nana's house. Church that morning was great and the kids were happy to share what they had gotten with all their friends. There was not a hint of disappointment from any of them. After church we loaded up and headed to Monty's mom's house. When we arrived, she took all three kids to her room to show them the stockings stuffed full of goodies she had prepared for them. When they came out of her room to share this unexpected treat they saw this......
 There was nothing under that tree when we walked in. It took only a few moments for them to notice that THEIR stockings were under that tree! They were in a total state of unbelief. They had no idea how their stockings made it to Nana's house. They started asking if I had mailed them or something and even "made their brain hurt" trying to figure it out.  (did I forget to mention that the pillows and blankets in the back of the SUV were not just for a overnight trip but also to cover a load of presents and stockings☺told ya I was sneaky!) They still never figured out how their stockings got to Nana's house but were pleasantly surprised that the gifts also had their names on them.
After I had been sufficiently assured that tons of gifts really was NOT the main thing about Christmas in my children's hearts, we let them open their new presents.
 Keslee really has a desire to learn to knit, crochet and sew. She got a knitting machine, a weaving loom and a friendship bracelet kit. She has plenty of projects to work on now.
 "Oh Bother." I just love Eeyore and so does Kalysa. Keslee got the matching Pooh Bear.
 Look at that smile☺ She got exactly what she has been wanting for the past year....
 Her own MP3 player loaded with her favorite songs by great singers like Brother Jayson, Kaylie, Sarah, Jessica, Hannah, and the Petricks-all of which she enjoys seeing live on any given Sunday. Kenyon and Keslee both got one last year and Kalysa has waited patiently all year to be able to enjoy her music without having to ask her sister.
 Monty got just what he wanted as well, a Dallas Cowboy trash can to go in his Dallas bathroom.
 After presents there was plenty of family time. Time to try to explain your games to Nana.
 Time to put together your new Build-a-bear.
 Even time to start on some of your crafts-like making your own head bands.
and of course............
                                         TIME TO EAT!!!
 We had a great time on Christmas day and a beautiful day the next day. Just sunny and warm enough for Kenyon to try out his new football with his dad.
Of course, no day that daddy does not have to go to work would be complete without an impromptu wrestling match!
All in all, we had a great Christmas with Monty's mom. And I got just what I wanted-a day full of surprises and smiles, and lots of family time without greed and selfishness. There is my treasure-sitting on the couch with their Nana!
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