Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maybe you remember awhile ago, i posted about Gage having metatarsus adductus. We've been on a waitlist to get him into a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to see if he needs any treatment for his crooked foot. We've been waiting for around 4mos & we finally got a date of Nov 12th. i'm glad we finally have a date to look forward to 'cause i recently noticed that his crooked foot seems to be quite a bit smaller than his other foot... (when i notice these things, i can't figure out how i didn't see them before...)
Anyway ~ i hope it's just smaller because it's crooked & that "all shall be well & all shall be well & all manner of things shall be well" (julian of norwich?)
p.s. i love how in every picture of me at home i'm wearing my pj's. Sheesh, i need to get presentable every once in awhile... At least you can't see the rest of me...

Friday, September 26, 2008

a dozen
the number of months in a year
of buns in a bag
of roses in a bouquet...
it's how many cookies fit on a sheet
it's the number of disciples that Jesus first picked.
the last number before you hit the ones ending in "teen"
it's being 4'7 & thinking you're grown up...
douze ~ en francais~
apparently, it's the atomic number of magnesium
the number of Jacob's sons...
How many "days of Christmas?"
It's the number of function keys i have on my keyboard
12 inches in a foot.........

& yes, the age of my eldest daughter as of 5:20am September 27th...
's not a very long time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Testimony

So, i was remembering something today & it was sticking with me & i was having trouble thinking through as a whole, the thought that i was having... so, i phoned my sister... & i thought i'd blog about it...

i remember when i found myself a pregnant, unmarried 19 year old ~ being told by a few people that i had 'ruined my testimony'... i was genuinely repentant & knew i had done wrong, but could picture God, with His blocks scattered *by me* throwing up His hands in despair because i had ruined my 'testimony'...
What is my *testimony* anyway?
i have no doubt that i damaged my reputation ~ & disappointed my parents, & let's call a spade a spade : i sinned.
But today, when i was thinking about testimony, i kept thinking that really; any and all good things that i have done or accomplished ~ are from Him. There is nothing about me that is 'boast-worthy' (gal 6:14). Jesus paid it all. My testimony ~ before my pregnancy, as well as after it, is simply this: Saved by grace.
i think i've often earmarked that era of my life... (will it make you blush if i write that *hour* of my life?) All that happened before it being, to me, tainted by what happened in that hour. All the times i had shared my faith ~ or lived out my faith ~ ruined... unusable for God. The right choices so outweighed by that moment of weakness & my inability to choose 'better'. i remember awhile ago, blogging about that professor who laid down his own life for his students during the Virginia Tech massacre & thinking, 'but i'm not made of that Good stuff... i couldn't make a choice like that on instinct... see? i have my ruined testimony to prove it...'
As i watch my girls grow, i think i'm starting to look back on the girl i was then & i find my remberings *harsh*... i remember all the negatives... i was often late, forgetful, thoughtless... & i think, 'ah, yes, but then, after i got married, *then* God began to do His work in me...' ~ but it's simply untrue. i had committed my life to Him when i was a little child. He was a faithful Father to me through all the years of my childhood... & even through the days & weeks that led up to that earmarked era of my life. He began His work far before i began to see the fruit of His labour... & now that i'm older & i think i'm starting to soften to that little hurting girl that i was... i can see that i had a heart that longed to please Him. i can see that even though i chose badly, & i ruined my reputation... i loved him, i believed in Him & i never lost what is most precious to me: the knowledge that God is Good ~ & that He loves me... very, very much. He wasn't finished yet. My testimony is incomplete ~ not ruined ~ a work in progress... Jesus saves... How can a testimony about *Him* be ruined? All of it~ the story of my life, the good, the bad... all of it can do nothing but tell the truth: There is a God & He is Good.
& then there is the verse, (rom.6:1) "What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? "
Just because God can & does work through & use our failings to bring himself Glory ~ doesn't mean that i have any desire to continue in sin. i want to show Him i love Him by living my life more like Jesus... i want to continue to grow & bear good fruit. i want to be known as a follower of Christ because i show His love...

Jesus loves me, this i know ~
for the bible tells me so ~
little ones to Him belong ~
They are weak... but He is strong.

God, continue to shape me... Make me more like you. Make it my instinct to choose Good. May my testimony bring You Glory.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

literally counting my blessings:

i'm finding that now that G is over 20lbs, he's really hard to carry around for hours at a time... i love having him close like that tho... so i think i'm just gonna grow them muscles...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Big Thing

Ever think of your life, or your year in terms of "the big thing"?
i do.
When i'm pregnant, or have a new teeny baby, *that's* the 'big thing'. If we're moving, or Neil's changing jobs, that's 'the big thing'. All else is pushed to the side & we minimize anything else & focus ourselves on it. This year, the big thing is...

*drum roll*

The Bow Valley Fiddlers.
i know... i know... what are the Bow Valley Fiddlers??!!
i mentioned in passing in my homeschool post about Cai auditioning & getting in... but i think every day, i'm realizing what a big committment we've made; financial, time, driving, practicing... i don't know that our 'big thing' has ever been something that *one child* is passionate about. i know, they all play fiddle, but this will be all about Cai & her giftings. She'll have weekly practices at Mount Royal, & bi-weekly "coaching sessions", plus she's expected to "continue" (read: start) taking private lessons in classical. She auditioned, so they know how little training she has, but i think with a lot of hard work, she'll catch up to the other kids. (i was told the other kids are playing at a grade 4-6 level).
So, there goes all my homeschool funding for this year... and my Wednesday nights, Tuesday afternoons, and any spare practice time we can find...
i'm hoping we're doing the right thing...
& it hasn't even started yet.
My mom & sisters are encouraging me to *dive into* a year of fiddle. ~ Really commit & make the most of this little opportunity that has presented itself. That's what i'm gonna try to do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Have i even posted about starting *school*??!!
We "officially" started last week & it was wonderful. This has to be one of my best starts ever, where there is just this peace that we're doing what is right for our family. Maybe it's partly 'cause little Chewie is home too, starting grade 1. He was at public school for K ~ just like all the other kiddies did too, but it's so good to have him home.
i'll give a little run down for posterity of how i think this year will look, starting with the oldest & working my way down the line.
Chrysalis Academy ~ 2008-2009
Cai ~ grade 7
Cai's continuing with Saxon Math this year (8/7 pre-algebra)
She's also working through Science Focus 7 & loving picking out projects for herself to do (take a look at her cute blog to see the science quiz she made up).
Her language arts has a few different angles. i got her this cute book called Language Lessons for the Secondary Child by Sandi Queen. She loves it so far & i think it's gonna be a good fit. Along with that, she'll continue with Easy Grammar Plus & her Spelling Power that she's been working on since last year. Her language arts will also cross over with history. We're going to give our first go at Canadian History this year (as a big group) ~ after we read aloud together (we're starting out using The Story of Canada as our text & then after we read, they might have a writing assignment (1 sentence /grade) or the older ones might have to write a story about something that piqued their interest. (Cai wrote a story about the mutiny aboard Henry Hudson's ship ~ so good!). We're also continuing adding entries in our Sonlight Book of Time (a huge spiral bound timeline with empty pages to fill in as we see fit... very cool... i bought it my first year homeschooling & we've been adding to it ever since ~ it's getting nice and rounded out by now!) i decided to do a group bible lesson in the morning & our read aloud in the afternoon. For bible, i'm using a children's bible story book (Molls is involved in this too) as i didn't think my little ones know enough of those amazing bible stories well enough. This will be a good review for everyone i think. We're also having a 'sharing' & prayer time in the mornings. Our first read aloud is Little Pilgrim's Progress ~ this is tradition ~ every time a new student begins grade one at Chrysalis Academy (hehe!) we read this book. It's a favourite for our family & i've never read it without crying... i want to start (didn't this week) working again on our latin/greek flashcards. Cai would love a french program, but we haven't started anything yet & i can't see it happening this fall... :( We're also going to try to be a little more diligent with fiddling in the afternoons too. i've been so bad with this in the past couple of years. i'd love to get better at 'making it happen'.
Lifeskills are a focus this year too. Cai's main special chore is to gather up all laundry (including the dirty diapers) & get 1 load of laundry started in the morning. Doing 1 load a day seems to be perfect for our family. They're not huge loads, but we're always on top of it.
On top of these activities, Cai has a list of "options" in her book to choose from if she's got the time, incling, or desire :) These include:
memorization, handwriting, bible reading (she's 3/4 of the way done her bible), fun reading (Sloan never has her nose OUT of a book), exercise, baking (both Sloan & Cai bake our bread), art, gardening (herbs etc... indoors for winter), sewing, knitting, journaling, blogging, emails, awana, & fiddling (did i mention Cai got in after auditioning for the Bow Valley Fiddlers??!! Exciting times!!)
Sloanie ~ grade 5
Sloanie's continuing with Saxon Math (6/5)
Her science this year is a continuation of a book she started last year with Peyton, they do it together, it's called Science Made Easy & it's recommended for grades 3-4 & seems to work for mostly independent study. Her language arts *for now* is Englishsmart. i've got a book on order from Cher written by Emma Serl that i think will be a better fit, but LA is a strength for Sloan, so it doesn't seem to matter what i use ~ she enjoys it. She's also continuing with Spelling Power. For history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Sloanie's special chore is emptying the dishwasher every time it's done ~ (with Peyton) ~ seems to be a frequent chore at our house!
Peyton ~ grade 3
Sweet Peyton! Peyton is using Mathsmart for grade 3. She's also using this website to work on math drills as she'll be writing the provincial achievement tests at the end of this year. i really believe in speed drills anyway & i think it's a great skill to master. For science, she's working with Sloan on Science Made Easy. Peyton's using Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl for LA (p-erfect fit) & is continuing with Spelling Power. She still needs to read aloud to me & for that, we're using a Spectrum book of Little Critter stories. For history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Peyton's special chore is emptying the dishwasher with Sloan.
Charter ~ grade 1
Charter's using Mathsmart for grade 1. i'm pretty sure that very soon, i'm going to start him with some simple drills too (he already likes the flashmaster, so i might just use that). For LA, Charter uses Englishsmart & i've got him using a Handwriting Without Tears writing program. He's reading to me using the 'I Can Read It' readers & he's already on the second one. ~ Later on in the year, i might get him started on science, but for now, he's not doing any. For, history, bible, fiddle & options, see Cai's list above. Charter's special chore is taking out the recycling to the garage & gathering up all the garbage's to take out.
Mollen ~ preschool
Molls is using scissors, crayons, pencils, paper & having fun. She's interested in her letters & numbers & likes to listen in on some lessons & stories. i like it when she does, but no pressure. Mollen's special chore is switching the laundry into the dryer (sometimes) :) She's learning...
Gage ~ baby
Gage is learning to be cute (perfect marks). Gage's special job is to remind us that *people* are most important... sometimes he derails things, but sweet boy is worth every distraction & delay he causes.

To help the children know what to do next, the 4 biggest have daytimers. In the front is taped their 'list' of things to do. If it has * after it, that means 'i need mom to do this', if there is no *, then they know they can do it on their own. Charter can only do handwriting on his own, but that's ok!! After they finish a subject, they write it down on that date in their daytimer. At lunch, we take a look at their daytimer & set goals for the afternoon (i write them in), "if you could finish up this & this, then that would be great" ~ gives them something to work towards... & if not, they can start with that the next day. This is something i'm including in their homeschool this year & it's called *time management* :) They kind of like feeling like they're in charge of their lives & education.
k, this is long & boring to probably everyone but ME!! hehehehehehe...
i'll have to make my housecleaning ideas & schedule a different post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In case you didn't know this about me, i'm one of those moms who speaks in a high soft voice to babies. i tickle them gently with my fingertips & all the smiles i get are the soft spreading variety. Yeah, sometimes we get playing & things get a little rougher as i work for that little chesty giggle, but for the most part, i'm pretty girly. My sister Jess, on the other hand does the most outrageous things with my babies & has always been the first person to get them to laugh or smile.... She "rough-houses" the little ones till they're belly laughing & kicking their little legs for more. When she first gets going with my kids, they'll give her a look like she's an alien... but persistent she is, & in no time, they're laughing and squirming & having the time of their lives.
So, last night, Neil was out & all the other littles were in bed, 'cept me & little mr. entertainment. i had him sitting on my lap, playing with a roll of toilet paper that was still in the plastic. i pulled the toilet paper out & tapped his chest. *little giggle*... i pulled it out farther & made a little sound, 'boom' as i hit his chest... *double the reward*. Pretty soon, i was laughing harder than he was & the toilet paper would come zooming in & i'd hold him as he fell backwards on my bed screaming laughing...
babies are fun.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 2008
For Hope.

One chubby cherub ~ seven months old ~
starfish hands ~ reaching, pulling
drooly chin ~ round dimpled cheeks...
bright eyes, sweet grin spreads as his eyes meet mine.

Where is my one year old?
Taking first trembling steps ~
Calling me, 'mamama'...
& feeding himself with dextrous paws...

One is as solid as the pen & paper i hold in my hands
The other ~ but a dream, a shadow, imaginings...

Softly his drumlike chest rises & falls as he rests in dreamland.
My seven month old son slumbers.

Softly... one by one... my fingers clenched 'round the memory of my child who should be one~ are released ~
What should be your first birthday passes ~ quietly...
There will be no cake
no song
no presents with bright coloured ribbons...

Sweet baby ~ the best gift i can offer you is that i carry you with me still. In the deepest parts of me, i still miss you & love you & long for the day we will make our home with the Father *who gave us to each other* & loves us so.

Happy Birthday baby Hope.


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