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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Homeschool Glimpse

A glimpse into our day. Right now it is 27 degrees outside.

Peyton is working on an online Spanish program -Duolingo. It is a fun game like approach to learning Spanish. Lexi and I also have accounts and use it.

Peyton us also enjoying a course in computer programming.
He has now decided to become a computer programmer instead if a comedian and a rapper.

Lexi is working on language arts, spelling, history and math.  she also does a daily practice for test prep.

We will do science together later this morning, when we do devotions.

Me, I'm finishing up my first cup of coffee making my to do list For the day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Precious is Our Time?

I saw a facebook post recently from a mom. It said, " 312 more Saturdays." I realized what she meant. Saturdays-they are the prize for most Americans today. She calculated how many Saturdays she had left with her son. He was 12, he would be with them for approximately 6 more years-until he graduates. Then he would be gone off on his own.

With so many families having 2 parents who work and choose a career path.  Their children attend school from 8-4 every day. The parents work 8-5. After school the children come home, most have homework and some extra curricular school club or sport to attend. They grab a quick dinner, baths, hit the bed, and begin it all again the next day. So, Saturday can sometimes be a day that families get to be together to enjoy each other. Of course, now many sports programs, etc. now require time on Saturday mornings for this. Sundays could be considered a family day, but truthfully in today's church. We walk in the door and don't see each other until lunch time. Then it is time for lunch, cleaning the kitchen and many times more household chores to prepare for the upcoming week. Some grab a little leisure time here.

Really I was sad when I read I her post. I realized how little time she had. How little time she would have to influence her son. How little time she would have to really get to know her son during his teenage years. She won't really know the man he is becoming. She will have brief moments to enjoy over the next few years. He will go on to finish school, then most likely college, and he will obtain a career or a job, and then comes marriage, etc.

Years ago, when I had my son-I foresaw this. I saw this lifestyle in so many people I know. They seem to be okay with this lifestyle. To them-It is how it is done. They really like this fast paced life. (Or maybe they just never slow down enough to think about the course they are really on, and if it really matters.) They really don't want it different. If they do want it different, they change it. That is okay for them, I am not here to judge what is right for another family. I can only judge what is right for mine.

So my husband and I talked about it, and we made a choice.We wanted a different type of family. We wanted to do things "on purpose". I didn't want to live the rat race. We certainly could have lived the fast paced lifestyle-going 90 miles an hour, with a few precious memories here and there. But I chose something better, in my opinion. We decided I would lay down my career. (Well I have to admit, I had really laid it down years before and decided to enter the mission field.) Money became a lower priority in my life. Living life out loud with passion and purpose became primary. 

When I got pregnant with my son, we decided I would stay home. We lived on one income. We decided to live on "less" money to have more "time with our son." In fact when he was born we lived in a town house that we rented. We did this, because we could afford the rent. We wanted to purchase a home, but in order to do that. I would have to go to work, and pay for day care, etc. So if we lived on less -it really depended upon how you looked at it. I gave up an extra income. I gave up 199 cable channels and opted for the basic package. We had the cheap phone plan. We had affordable vehicles-not Mercedes, or BMW's. I gave up highlighted hair- done professionally. I gave up designer clothes, handbags, shoes etc. I opted instead for at home diy hair color, and thrift store finds. I gave up some vacations in Cancun, and more exotic places. We vacationed at the park in the afternoons, and snuggled in our jammies in the mornings. We took walks by the lake, and skated, and went on field trips, picnics and play dates. We stopped to smell the roses, and observe people and other things around us.

What I gained was far greater than what I gave up, because what I gained was "time". Time with a wonderful son, 18 months later a lovely daughter. It has been incredible. It has been time well spent, that I can never get back. I have memories, and scrapbooks full of pictures to show for it.  I had moments that I could never have had-had I taken the fast paced road. I saw their first steps, heard their first words, saw their first smile. Helped them learn to read their first book, and saw the look when they finally got the math problem. I have been able to be their teacher, and mother, and mentor, their cheerleader, and friend.

 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As we continued to live on less and within our means, God continued to bless us. We eventually purchased a home, and began to pay off debt. God opened doors for us with a better opportunity for income. He blessed us financially, but he also blessed me-to see what truly matters in life. That happiness doesn't come from the size of my home, the type of clothes I wear, the color of my hair or the type of car I drive. Happiness comes in leaning to be content with what you have. It comes from becoming content with who you are becoming. As I strive to become more like Christ.

One thing I know is that there will always be people that will have more money and stuff than I do. Many of then are not happier because of it. Some are, some aren't. But money doesn't buy you happiness. It really just reveals who you really are.  I also know that there will always be those with much less. I have met many of them on the mission field in the past and they were happier and more content than I ever was when I was chasing "the world".

One thing I know for certain today. I have No Regrets! I have never wished I would have chosen the other road-The road of busy-ness, the road of trying to acquiring "stuff", that is here today and gone tomorrow. If we want to invest our time in something let it be people, let it be in relationships. Let's start with those most important to us first.

My son's favorite verse: Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I know many people think they are going to enter heaven one day and get rewarded with a big mansion for all the good they did on earth. Maybe they will, I really don't know.  But Truthfully, I think the treasures in heaven are the lives we effect here. Every life that we help lead into the kingdom of God. Those are the treasures in heaven, they are people, they are the relationships. I mean really, who needs gold in heaven? I know for sure what I want in heaven. Those that I love most! They are my treasure! I know my time investing in them will pay off for eternity!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Banana crepes

This is a delicious recipe that a friend recently shared!
 
Stir up 2 eggs.
 
Mash up one very ripe banana.
 
 
Mix banana and egg together.
 
Heat small pan with 1-2 T coconut oil.
Then add 1/2 the mixture. Stir up for the first 30 seconds, and then let it set.
I usually pull up the edges a little and let the uncooked part flow under.
Like you would with an omelet.
 
It makes thin crepes. I turn it over and cook for another minute.
Here is the finished crepe covered with blackberry syrup.
They are great plain or with a little agave too.
 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Shopping Cart Incident-Perspective and Vision

 

A couple weeks ago, bad weather was forecast to set in. We had just returned from a trip from Texas, in which we arrived home about 1:30 AM. Before we left I made sure we tried to eat up as much of the food in the house as possible, especially all perishables. So when we returned a trip to WalMart was on my errand list for that following day.

I had a few other errands to run first, and finally at about 4:15 I headed into my local Walmart. It was fairly busy, with many people trying to get some last minute items, before the snow flakes began to fall and the big freeze set in.

Now I am very much a task oriented individual, and I was on task that day. My task to get in, get what I absolutely had to have, and get out and get into my warm house. So, I walked into the grocery entrance of Walmart, I quickly noticed that there were no shopping carts at that entrance. So I assessed the situation. I noticed the Walmart employee (greeter), who was doing nothing about this situation, and had no help to offer me. (Which again, was not an unusual thing to me.)  I also noticed another lady who had a cart-it looked to me like she had just taken the last available cart at this end. Through my peripheral vision I saw another lady-who I wasn’t really sure what she was doing. She was sort of standing beside the lady with the cart. (So I wasn’t sure if she was with that lady, or what.) It really didn’t matter to me, because it had nothing to do with me and I was on task.

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Now I am not one to sit around and wait, for someone else to do anything about a situation like this. Also, this wasn’t my first time experiencing this “no shopping cart” situation. In fact on several occasions I have walked into Walmart and have been faced with the issue of having to go find a cart. Many times it requiring much more patience and persistence on my part-than it did on this particular day. So, anyway, I turned toward the other entrance-my plan –to go get a cart at the other end of the store. As I walked down about 3 registers toward the other end, I noticed a person that had just finished checking out. So I asked him, if he was still in need of the cart. He said no, and was happy to give it to me. So I took the cart, turned around back toward the entrance I had come into –since I had come for food. As I rounded the corner, the lady (who had been in my peripheral vision earlier), said rather loudly-making sure I heard her, “Well I guess I will just stand here in line and wait for the next cart, like a good customer does.” At this point, I realize that that this woman-obviously believes that cart should have been hers, she believes that I have taken the only available cart and she was in line for it. She has some imaginary “WalMart shopping cart rules” in her mind, and an expectation for how each person should see this particular situation, and that somehow, I missed that I should have been behind her in this imaginary line of waiting   I was sort of stunned, and shocked that this is how this lady perceived this situation, but not wanting to offend the woman I said, “Well here, take my cart.” She said “Oh no, that is okay,” (I guess she was trying to smooth over her unruly outburst, so she didn’t come off as being so rude.) Nevertheless, I insisted, “No really, take it, it’s no big deal. I will just walk to the other end and get another cart.” She asked me if I was sure. And I assured her it was fine. So she agreed, and thanked me. I continued to the other end of the store-where there were 50 other carts available.

I was a little puzzled over the incident, but quickly put it out of my mind, and got back on my task of getting the food for my family and getting out of the store before the weather worsened.

When I got the groceries loaded up, and began to drive home, I began to consider the incident further. Funny, how God seems to speak to me in situations like this.

I thought about the woman-and the first thought that came to my mind, was her “Entitlement mentality”. There seems to be a lot of it going around these days. She obviously felt entitled to the cart. She obviously saw the situation as her being a “victim” of a bad situation. The Walmart employee was of no help, what was she to do. I really don’t know why she didn’t just walk to the other end of the store. So I pondered it. The first thought can be to judge the woman, but then I began to wonder, why she saw the situation the way she did. Perhaps she had never encountered that problem before. Perhaps she didn’t shop at Walmart often. Perhaps, she didn’t realize that other carts were readily available. Perhaps she couldn’t see that far down to the other end-and lacked vision. Perhaps, she was too tired to walk to the other end of the store. I really don’t know. I hope that our encounter that day-freed her up. I hope that through this experience, she can see a solution for the next time she encounters this problem. I hope she also saw that someone else was willing to give up something for her-to help her get what she needed.

So the situation made me ponder perspective. When I walked in-and encountered the exact same “no cart” situation, I responded with a victors mentality. “I will find a cart, I will get this shopping done, I will return home.” One thing I knew is that I could not return home without food. I could not walk in and tell my children, “ I didn’t get the food, there were no carts.”  However, another person responded with a different perspective. The one of a victim, the situation is bad, I don’t know how to overcome it. A situation where they look to others to solve the problem.

But that isn’t really the issue. It is a deeper issue of why do we see what we see. We all come from different perspectives. Everyone doesn’t see the situation the way I see it. Mostly I think people see a situation through the lens of past experiences. As I mentioned, I have become pretty good at overcoming the obstacle of “no shopping cart.” Even though the lady in the store had not. Keeping an open mind helps me to consider, and not be so quick to judge others-when they respond differently. They may just have a different lens that they are looking through.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 A Year of Grace, Growth and Generosity

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A Year of Grace -The first day of 2014 we spent traveling home from Texas. We were in the Dallas area, when Gary noticed a cop car pulling him over. The officer informed him that he was speeding. The speed limit was 65 and he was doing 75. The officer issued a “Warning”. I have to say we were pretty blown away over that. He could have issued us a ticket, but he extended grace to us. We were so thankful. I believe that GRACE is a word God has given us for this year. This will be a year of favor, of God’s unmerited favor over our lives. The more grace we are given, the more we in turn learn to extend it. So I also hope to become a grace giver.

A Year of Growth-I expect it to be a year of personal and spiritual growth. The first bible study I will be part of this year is “Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted.” I expect God to reveal many things to me this year, and also pray to become changed in my attitudes. There are several areas here that I want to work on, or should I say I want God to help me work on. These are just a few things, but really the top things I want to focus on.

  • Relationships- I want to relationships to become a bigger priority to me this year. Maintaining them and making new ones. I really think that my time on facebook limits this some. I believe that facebook can “fake us out”, into thinking we are maintaining a relationship that we are actually neglecting. One thing I didn’t do this year, was stop to have people over for dinner, games, etc. This year I want to make sure I don’t get to busy to invite friends over, pick up the phone from time to time and also to send out some personal notes.
  • To Become more Graceful-and in the process to extend grace. . I want to become less judgemental, and I think extending grace can help in this endeavor. I need to look beyond a person’s actions, and the motives I think may move them, and see the best in people. I want to believe in people. I have to say that over the past several years I have really lost my faith in people in general. So many people have used me, they have told me they would do something, and not done it. So I just stopped trusting people.
  • To Listen and Observe better- I want to learn to listen better and become more observant of those around me.

A year of  Generosity- I want this year to be a generous year. I believe the Lord has been generous to us, and will be even more generous this year, and so I want to also become more generous. Giving of my time, my energy and my resources to advance the kingdom of God.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Highlights

 

This past year went by quickly. The kids are growing fast. God has been good to us. Here are some highlights of our year.

January-the kids playing in the snow.

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In March, Lexi and I went to Missouri for my niece, Brittany’s wedding. We really enjoyed our time there and even got to go together to the American Girl Store in St. Louis and have lunch at the Bistro. Lexi got her dolls hair done.

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My mom and brother at Brittany’s wedding.

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April –Peyton turns 13, I now have a teenager in the house.

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April-Pioneer Days.

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A little blurry! Lexi’s first piano recital. 2013-04-26 06.32.44

Lexi at Dance competition in Knoxville.2013-04-27 22.38.18

Fun with friends at the lake.

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May-Lexi’s Dance Recital with Turning Pointe

Jazz

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Ballet

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and tap.

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Peyton doing some fishing with dad.

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Summer 2013

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A weekend retreat with our church for Lexi and her friends.

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August-visiting with Jessica, Kyle and Kylan

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Peyton and I riding a camel at Circle G Ranch.IMG_2543IMG_2429

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September

Petyon begins 8th grade, Lexi begins 6th. 1st day of Co-Op.

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Peyton went hunting.

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October

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A family day trip up to NewFoundland Gap.mountaintopfam

November Began the month with a van trip to Texas. Great people and a great company!

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Lexi turns 12

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Visiting with family in Texas at Thanksgiving1474590_3642967048920_193105141_ncardstexasvisit

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December –shopping day out with friends.

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After Christmas we returned to Texas. We got to spend an evening with Gary’s mom, and take her out to eat. It was great having the time. I learned so much about why she named her kids-what she did. (But that is another story!)

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We spent the last 4 days of the year at Moon River Ranch. This was a leadership retreat for Genesis Pure. We were humbled and honored to be invited to attend it. Our family had a great time. We learned a lot, and we met some great people!

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Lexi quickly made friends with another girl around her age. lexifriendsit

Enjoying the PaddleBoatpaddleboat

Peyton with Conner and Pearsonpeircepeyton

We rang in the New Year with a Hawaiin Theme.

Gary and I with Jeremy and Candice. New Years Eve. jercandaceusdadlexikidsance

Peyton with his new friend, Luke.lukepeyton

Happy New Year! Looking forward to a great 2014!

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