Thursday, January 17, 2013

General update

This afternoon Micah saw me with my camera and said, "mom!  quick!  get a picture of me cuddling with Samuel!"  It was super cute.  Samuel wasn't real excited about the whole thing though.  Can't keep a good boy down, right?  Before he could squeeze out it became the pile'o boys.  God has such a good sense of humor to give me all these boys....or rather, I remember something about him picking the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...and something about in our weakness his strength is made perfect.  Thank goodness!

Shortly after Sam squeezed  himself down and out of the pile o'boys, he got up on the bench and puffed out his chest.  Not sure what this is supposed to mean?  He's apparently part puffer fish.  Go figure!

Allright, on to a bit of school updates.  To the left you will see two fine water color paintings.  The top one is by artist Micah, 9 years old.  It is a picture of our hero of the week, Harriet Tubman, and in the picture she is seven years old and sitting on the floor holding a baby that she had to take care of, day and night.  In the bottom picture, painted by artist Andrew, is an older Harriet working in the fields.  She was mighty strong, both in physical form and in spirit.  We're studying the 1800's in history, focusing often on particular people's lives.  We just finished a biography of Frederick Douglas as well.  I really really like him.  

After making a variety of different chore packs, lists, charts, etc., here is our current one.  I think this is simple and I think the effort ends here.  The boys have got to be responsible to check their lists and keep up with what they need to be doing.  I may add some incentives.  They really like to play electronic games, which I try to keep as minimal as possible, so what I may do is make it earned time.  So for each check mark, they get one or two minutes of game time.  So we'll see....

I finally got organized with Calculadder, a system that helps kids learn their math facts.  The boys do these worksheets each morning.  It only takes 2 minutes so it's really easy.  

Being in the 1800's, we have to read the Little House series.  We all really enjoy it!  I read it each day during lunch.  Benjamin doesn't just ask to see the pictures, he asked today to see the "words".

While I was going on around the house taking pictures of things for this post I heard Micah say, "Samuel is running around outside!"  Apparently Benjamin had opened the window that connects to the front porch and they had "snuck out".  The little stinkers.

Their victory dances...

He's fascinated by the American flag which was flapping in the strong winds.  

I apparently, was fascinated by the "photographic" moment!

Okay, back inside. is getting cold out there!  So here we are with my music which I love and hate.  Piano is a LOT harder then I thought it would be.  I got several pages of this song down, and played it for my piano teacher this past Monday.  Boy were there issues with how I play it!  Left hand played too strongly, rhythm was off, and I'm still not at ease playing it in general.  And I worked on just a few pages for weeks.  I have thoughts every week of quitting, but I don't think I will.  I want to give it at least a year or two.  The boys recorded me playing.  I have a bit of stage fright, I even get nervous to play for my piano teacher, so I'm playing even worse than normal.  :)

How did this happen?  Having a 3 year old on wheels in the house can get a big crazy.

Several visits to Progressive Medical Center resulted in more then several bottles of capsules for me to take each day.  Also an extensive list of foods I can and cannot eat.  I'm really glad I don't have parasites.  Yikes!  Hopefully my joint pain and digestive issues will ease up in a few months.   

God's been showing me that he's a whole lot greater then the things in my life that I'm holding onto with a death grip.  There are some things that I really love, that I've been holding onto really tightly, that God is asking me to let go of.  These things are somewhat ambiguous and I'm not sure that I will necessarily lose them, but in my heart I must, completely surrender them, being willing to do whatever, whatever God wants.  Sadly, I often need to be reminded that I'm God's servant, he's not mine.  Spending sometime in Proverbs and specifically on the verses that talk about God's total and complete Sovereignty, proved to be really helpful after crying for a while and just being honest with God about the struggles in my heart, my fears, etc.  He knows anyway, so why not talk to him about it?  

I recently revamped my planner.  It's just a three ring binder.  It used to be a binder with two cute little kittens on it, that I just recently switched to a standard white binder.  I decided, since I carry it around with me often, I didn't need to add to the fact that I don't look old enough to be my children's mother with a binder that looks like it would belong to an 8 year old girl!  I have tabs for a calendar that I print out from the Intentional Planner website, and then a "to do" tab that is sub-catagorized with daily, weekly and monthly things I need to get accomplished.  There's a tab for meal planning that contains my master grocery list, my basic weekly meal plan, etc.  There's tabs for vacation planning, the boys' schooling, even hospitality---I've yet to use this tab but my goal is to keep a list of the people we want to have over.  There is also a tab for gift giving.  My plan this year is to make a list of all the people I buy for throughout the year and Christmas, and shop all throughout the year.  My anxiety over buying things made overseas, is growing larger so this is going to totally change the way I shop.  It's probably going to be more homemade things as well as online shopping from reputable/fair trade companies.  I just figure that if there was  sweat shop down the street, and around the corner was the store (target) that sold what was made in the sweat shop, I certainly wouldn't shop there (target/wal-mart/etc.)  This realization is so overwhelming!  It seems my whole life is caught up in a way of living that relies on the labor of poor people in other countries!  I'd rather wear a tunic that I sew myself than a fancy outfit that some suffered for me to wear.  

My scroll saw is a lot of fun.  We are memorizing Luke chapter 15 which is the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Woman who Lost her Coin, and the Prodigal Son and I cut out the figures when we start the next story.  So far, we have the first two parables memorized and next week we will start the Prodigal Son.  This way, my boys can act the stories out as they memorize/tell them!

This cd set from Vision Forum, really convicted me the other night!  I haven't listened to it in a long time, but grabbed it before driving to the farmer's market recently, so I wouldn't feel like I was wasting a lot of time in the car that I could be learning, and sure enough, the message I heard was timely.  God is so good to teach me in a variety of ways, all the time.  

1 comment:

Cynthia DeWitt said...

Abby, Your post is wonderful and real and well written.

The Benjamin escapade is hilarious and I have no doubts that he will provide you with many more of these.

The piano playing, though I thought pretty good, made me think of two things, actually three.

1. All of your life, you have been willing to do what it takes to learn something. Pride doesn't keep you from waiting to show others until your form is perfect. Instead, you are a perfect inspiration to others who are afraid to try as you shout with your hands, "Look at this new thing God is teaching me!"

2. Had I forgotten what beautiful fingers you have? I loved watching you play the piano and remembering those fingers when they were much shorter...when they loved the feel of butter squished between them.

3. Just can't get the picture out of my head of you and my mother sitting side by side on that needlepoint piano stool at her Steinway Grand. Heaven will be so rich for us... I love you, Mom