Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seven Quick Things 1/22/11

1. We're staying busy here, pluggin' along with school and getting ready for our move in four weeks. We had our inspections this week, and I'll just say that the Lord was gracious to allow some things that were potentially very big expensive fixes to be so much less than we were thinking. We keep thanking Him for working out all those details! It's been really great to see the kids see God answering our prayers in such timely and tangible ways. Several of them have said to Kevin and me, "God really answered when we asked about _____!" I love that their faith is being strengthened as they see Him working.

2. As I'm packing, I'm trying to really weed out things that I don't love enough to move (twice). I am realizing that we have a book problem in this house. I will seriously estimate that we have over a thousand books, including all the kids' books. But...we're talking about books. Can you really have too much of a good thing? Don't answer that.

3. My house looks like a bomb went off. Partly because we are packing, partly because I've, um, relaxed since we aren't showing our house anymore. Boy is it nice!

4. Wanna know where we are going? There's a family in our church who bought a house in the country before they sold their 'in-town' house, and they haven't been able to sell it yet. So...we are going to rent from them and continue to show their house for them, and they'll be able to move to their country house. Again, God has really worked out a situation to benefit both our family and theirs. Amazing!

5. The kids have been enjoying the snow, and I have been enjoying not having to get out in it much. Noah has been calling the snow 'gold from heaven' since he's been making a bundle of money shoveling our neighbors' driveways lately. :)

6. Sam has finally taken off walking, though he's still a bit unsteady. It makes us laugh to see him upright. Poor guy! Why did I pull out a pink bib for his birthday-cake eating pictures?! Sorry, Sam.

7. Here's an excellent and challenging quote from a great book I just finished reading.

Our call is to find satisfaction in our relationships, not because people please us, but because we delight in displaying God's love to a hopeless world.
-Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, ch. 11, pg 207, emphasis mine

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Last Lord's Day, my dear hubby was honored to be ordained as a deacon in our church. It was such a special service, with excellent application about the duty of all of the members of the church to serve and encourage one another. My friend Anne's husband Matt was ordained, too, and she had the foresight to bring her camera. If you'd like to see a couple of pictures from the service, go on over to her blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amish Reformation?

Kevin and I watched this video and I absolutely loved it. It so clearly highlights the power of God's Word and the amazing, transformative work of the Lord. (Your kids will like it, too!)

Trouble in Amish Paradise from Irish Monergist on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goings On

Lots of memories here, but we know we'll make more where we settle next!

The past few days have been quite a whirlwind: we've sold our house! I am amazed and so grateful that the Lord has chosen to make the miracle of a house sale happen in this depressed market. We give all the glory to Him!

So, in between enjoying the snow and carrying on with some school, we have been packing and planning, and continuing to pray. We know that things aren't really 'done' 'till we close near the end of next month. But we know that even if things were to fall through, we are in God's hands.

We are planning on renting for a while, so we are seeking God's direction as to where the right place for us is. We have an idea, but nothing's completely settled yet. I'll keep you posted as things develop!

If you think of us, will you pray for wisdom for us and a smooth unfolding of inspections, closing, etc.? I appreciate all your prayers and comments so much!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

One Year

What a joy you are, sweet Sammy!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Homeschool Plannin'

Our school table today

I've wanted to share some homeschooling organization stuff for a while, but if you are like me, November and December are months when I don't want to think about school more than I have to. Those are the 'hanging-on' months. :) So, since it is a new year and we're all refreshed after our Christmas break (right?), here are a couple of new things I've implemented, organization-wise, in our school.

I reclaimed the bookshelf in our school room (formal dining room) for all of my stuff, which is so nice! I purchased these bins for each of the kids and so far they are working great. I try to have the kids return their books and folders to their bin at the end of the school day, or at the very least, at the end of the school week, and then take them down to the basement so we have more room. They've been very handy when a child needs to work in his/her bedroom or other room in the house. Everything's all together.

The second new tool I can't take credit for. My friend Lora showed me the planner she'd put together and I was so excited that I went home and started planning my own right away! I've always kept written records of our school days, but my problem was that I had ideas and notes here and there, curriculum plans stuffed in another folder, lists of things to order in yet another get the idea. I've looked at teacher planners over the years, but just couldn't envision how to make them work for me and meet all the requirements I had in mind. Can't believe I never thought of making my own! What can I say...I can be slow that way.

So, I used some of the ideas for section headings that Lora had used, and added some of my own. Here are the categories for the planner I made:

I typed up some encouraging verses for this section, and added blank sheets for notes and more verses.

Here I have our current chore schedule printed and lots of blank sheets for new charts in the future.

Curriculum Overview
One for each child per school year, with enough to take me through several years


Reading Logs/Booklists
This was an area where I felt very disorganized. I'd start a log for a child, then it would get buried somewhere and I'd forget to record on it. I have a log for each child as well as a book list for each grade. I have meshed some of Sonlight's book recommendations, Veritas Press lists, and others from this list.

I record special projects here.

Weekly Lesson Plans
This is really the bulk of my planner. I managed to fit the five kids who 'do' school on one sheet, using front and back of one page for one week's worth of work.

Scripture Memory
Current and completed work is recorded here.


I made several of my own forms in Word, and some I was able to take from this site. It took some time to design the forms and pull it all together, but it has been so worth it. Plus, I have all the templates saved now, so for next time most of the work is done. I took my masters to Office Depot and had them copy and bind for me, using card stock for the cover and for each section heading. I think it was about $36. It seemed a bit expensive at the time, but I expect this planner to last me about three years.

Hope things are going well at your house! Please share if you have any great homeschool organization tips! :)

Street Sweeper/Ice Cream Truck

Rowan was whisking Sam around the floor in a box this morning. He had the funniest, most bored expression on his face. *I* thought it looked fun. Maybe he was just keeping it all inside.

What's this random picture, you say? Why, these are Annesley's Zhu-zhu pet birthday cupcakes. But you could tell that already, right?

Hope you all had a terrific Christmas! We sure did, with the exception of sick children the week before and one very sad and sick boy on Christmas Day. Went to Dallas and had a great time, saw friends old and new, and was thoroughly inspired by my sister-in-law's amazingly organized house! (I've already done two junk drawers, Mandy!) Thank the Lord for another year to serve Him and grow in His grace!