Monday, May 30, 2011

They Make Their Own Fun

It's really no secret that my boys come up with some
crazy fun ideas.
So when they realized that they could
ride down the slope of the yard 
in their dump trucks on this piece of steel
it came as no surprise.

Linnea joined in, too!

"Racing" to see who reaches the bottom first.

Christopher was the first to discover that if you 
keep going off the grass and onto the driveway,
it's a pretty good jump.
Also not surprising.

Elijah zooming away!

Back to the top--

aaaaaaaaand down again!
and again, and again, and again...

Ivy was kept at a safe distance,
and not because she wanted to be safe.
She obeyed against her will.


and then they gave her a ride. :)
(Ruby has since decided to be very brave and
drive down the hill, too;
I just don't have a picture of it.
I looked away one afternoon
and was surprised to look back and see 
her zooming down the hill! 
She thought it was great--and even
remembered to use her feet to put on the "brakes"!)

Boys...
boys...
boys.
Living on a farm can be a pretty good deal.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

AWANA Award's Night--a little late...

The younger children participate in 
a Scripture memory program.

They LOVE it, and so do I.

A few weeks ago they had their 
end of the year award's night.

Here are a few pictures from that night.
The "Cubbies" (4 &5 year olds)
singing one of their songs.  
(Christopher's on the far right and 
you can't see Elijah--he's crouched behind someone, I guess.)

Christopher getting his certificate.

and Elijah getting his, along with a Cubbie Bear to 
sew onto his vest.
He was SO excited to get that!
He had wondered if he would, and I had answered
that I was pretty sure, but didn't know for sure.
When he got back to me in the pew, 
he "whispered" in a big stage whisper,
"Mom!  I DID get a Cubbie Bear!!  I was RIGHT!!"

Andrew is in the Sparks group.
He is the second kid from the left.

His award for finishing two books this year!
(That's my dad and my grandpa behind Andrew in our pew.
Oh--and our friend Isaac in the pew behind us!)

Linnea was the "last girl standing" in her 
T&T group.  (T&T stands for Truth and Training.)
Linnea finished THREE books this year--and then did the third book again
and they still had to find other things for her to do!
She really likes AWANA--if her over-achieving is any indication.
However, the Word of God is being written on her heart
through this program
and of that, we are so happy.
She became dear friends with one of her leaders, Tammy.

And now, a picture that falls into my
"Favorite Pictures of Elijah" file:
You can probably guess why that would be.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Who's Idea Was THAT

Who in the WORLD 

thought we should 

give the baby 

her own pudding cup?

Oh yeah.
That would be me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Case You Wonder

In case you wonder
what makes me smile in the mornings,
this would be one of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If You're Ready to Read, I'm Ready to Write

To say it's been awhile since I posted would be putting it mildly.
Other ways of explaining my absence could include:
*I pretty much crawled under a rock.
*I've been thinking {and thinking and thinking and thinking}about a few {million}things.

I needed to evaluate the reasons why I blog.
Here is some of what I came up with:

I blog as a way of journaling our life.
Like a "virtual scrapbook" of our normal, crazy, mixed up, fun, hills-and-valleys LIFE.
From time to time, I will even go back and re-read my posts;
I've already forgotten so much of our life!
I laugh.  I'm going to be just fine when I'm old--senility suits me.

I blog to share pictures of the children.
While this began as a way for my extended family to "keep up" with my family,
I've learned that many others (friends, neighbors, and people I don't even know) enjoy the pictures, too.

I blog to share lessons I've learned.
Many times, these are lessons learned the hard way.
Lessons learned being a wife...a mother...
Lessons learned on our journey to and on the home education path.
Lessons learned since becoming a Christian.

I blog to share funny stories.
If you know me in real life, you know I like to make people laugh.
If you don't know me in real life, I hope that some of what I've written has given you a smile or a laugh from time to time.
One of the things I've enjoyed since starting this blog
is the ability to share the funny or crazy things that happen.
I'm not much for talking on the phone, and even if I was,
I wouldn't call up my mom, my aunts and uncles, my siblings,
my friends, my husband, my neighbors,
and tell them ALL
"You'll never guess what happened today..."
This is a way for me to share some of our stories with the people I love
and that know me/us.


My aunt once told me,
"Since I read your blog every day, 
I feel like I get to have a conversation with you every day!"
I love that.

Many times,
stories or pictures from my blog have been great conversation starters--
at church, at grandma's house, in the grocery store.
It has given some common ground for some adults to speak to my kids,
such as in this post {"That was a funny trick you played on your mommy, Christopher!"}
and in this post {"WOW, that must have been so much fun!"}
(The second one I mentioned also brought my dad some fun attention.)

I blog to let you know you are not alone.
We've all done it--we assume everyone ELSE has it all together.
The truth is, no one does. 
As a dear friend reminded me, one of Satan's tools is isolation.
This mortal enemy of our souls wants you and me to feel like we are the only one who has dealt
or is dealing with a particular issue,
and he uses guilt and shame to do so.

I would never, never, NEVER want to give the impression
that because I have sin in my life that it's ok for you to have sin in yours.
I don't write about my/our struggles so that we can all have a good laugh
at my/our sinful behavior.
As in, "Oh, look.  Ha, ha.  She does the same thing!  It must be ok."

However, someone who read
said I could just as well have typed their names in instead of the He and Me.
As she read it, she saw that they sometimes end up doing the same thing
and she realized, "Boy, that is stupid!"
Hopefully, now there will be more than one set of married people
who will think twice before
engaging in such a manner of speaking to one another.
Lesson learned?  I hope so.

Of course, I don't share EVerything.
There are things I'd like to talk about, but can't.
There are things I'd like to say, but I won't.
I seriously consider each post before it comes out.
Why?
Because although I don't know everyone who reads my blog,
I do know 
our kids do,
my husband does,
my mom does,
my aunts and uncles,
our siblings and their spouses,
 our nephews,
friends from church,
my homeschooling mom friends,
our pastor,
people in our community.
I've run into people when I'm out and about 
who mention reading my blog and I had NO idea they did.
That is SO FUN for me.

I think about the "audience" very much
and I know it influences what I write and the way I write.

I won't share every blessed detail of our life.
(I don't remember many of them anyway by the time I'd get to a computer.)
But I will always be honest.

So, I've picked myself up off the floor,
dusted myself off,
and am ready to write again.

I need to say a BIG thank you to YOU,
the readers of this lil' ol' bloggity,
for all your kind, kind words.
You lifted me up when I was really down,
you encouraged me to keep going when I didn't know if I could,
and you came alongside me.

Your comments, emails, phone calls,
and facebook messages have meant so much.

Your words changed me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Third Post

A couple things that I want to address is that we love our pastors and appreciate that they invest in our family, they are a blessing to us.  It is good to have others who can be accountability partners, prayer warriors, and true friends. We do not want to take credibility away from them by any means and we know that they do have our best interests at heart.
We belong to a church that believes that the Bible is 100 percent inerrant, and that we can have eternal life through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
I needed to say this because it seemed like some of the comments were heading in a direction that did not fit how we feel about our pastors.
My goal for writing my response on Monday was to show Melissa that I do not want her to be so discouraged that she quits blogging, and I believe I accomplished that; it was not meant to take issue with our pastor.

Dennis

Monday, May 9, 2011

Where Has She Gone

Perhaps some of you avid followers of my wife's blog have been wondering why she has not posted for a while, perhaps not; regardless, I am going to write this post on my opinion of some issues that have come up in the last couple of weeks.
Melissa and I have been married for fifteen years. Fifteen years--that alone says a lot.  We have many struggles in our relationships that I am sure many of you also have.  One thing that may be different is that we share our struggles with others.  Melissa through her blog and me by the way of cell phone calls with friends.
Some of the posts that come out have made me wonder if she shares too much and so we talked about it and decided months ago to talk about things before she publishes them. But when her post came out titled "He Says, She Says", our pastor approached me and asked me if I had approved of that post.  Without thinking I instinctively said no, but then remembered that we had talked about it but I had not actually read it before she posted it.  Our pastor was concerned that she was sharing too much about our struggles but I told him that that specific post did not really bother me. From there I told him there were other posts that had and we talked about being careful of respect.
I could go on and on but I want to get to my point.  My wife is a talented writer; she does not know how I appreciate her love for our family and her desire to share it with others.  We struggle in our relationship with each other and others.  I believe that we share our struggles not only to help us but also to show others that we are real.  We are very transparent and sometimes I think that people discredit us because we are transparent but I think about all the people who struggle with the same issues who are not at the point of dealing with them yet.  In doing so we wonder if I should be a leader in a church because we are not perfect, should I be helping people achieve financial freedom even though we are not there, should we be offering advice on raising kids since we have many areas to improve on ourselves, this list could go on and on.  My point is there is only one perfect person, Jesus, and we can only strive to become more like him, we choose to ask for help from other believers who also want to be like him.
The last couple of weeks has had her second guessing whether she should be writing or not and I want to show her my support for her to keep going.


Thanks for reading my second ever post

Dennis
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