Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Fun!

I love, love, love Advent. I love preparing our hearts for the coming of our King. I just want to share two books that we are using this season and maybe some of you will find them helpful.

Last year we made a Jesse Tree (I could link it, but if you google it, you'll get a lot more info) very simply. I printed some stuff off-line and we made a poster board tree and simply taped the ornaments on. This year I bought a book called, The Jesse Tree, by Geraldine McCaughrean. It's sort of a story within a story. There is a little boy that finds a grumpy old man working on a Jesse Tree in a church and day after day the boy comes back to hear more of the story and the man's heart'll have to read it to find out. I think we may make our ornaments out of clay. Only a few of them, though. I'm a big dreamer and a small doer, we'll probably color the majority of them. I thought it would be fun if every year we make a few really good ones or find some throughout the year. Anyway...I'm sure you can think of a super fun way to make yours, but I thought I'd share the book.

The other book we'll start tomorrow is called Bartholomew's Passage. The author wrote a book that we really enjoyed last year called Jotham's Journey. Mike and I agreed that it would make a great PG-13's sort of a drama with a lot of live action. Each parent must decide what is suitable, but everyone who was in our home when we were reading this demanded another chapter. We would close it and tell them they would have to come back the next night. The author warns the parent that some sections may be better explained rather than read. It's not a typical Christmas story, but it's good. The author is Arnold Ytreeide. If you have older children, they'd dig it. My kids are younger, but we dig it.

I think that's it. I've got lesson plans to write, a 3 year old in my lap that needs to go to bed...and I think I want some OREOS and milk. Busy night. I pray that this Advent Season finds you making Christ-centered traditions that will bless you and your family for generations to come!

Merry Christmas!

The Amazon link has Bartholomew's Passage and the Jesse Tree

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Enough...

I love what I'm doing. Things are messy. People are starting to raise their eyebrows when we're out. We're learning together. I'm getting FRACTIONS!!! I'm also beginning to understand WORLD HISTORY and see God's hand in it all. I'm listening to Julia read. I'm learning about the Classifications of living things and how to tell a Monocot from a Dicot. I get tired. I get frazzled. HOWEVER...I wouldn't choose anything else given the opportunity. That being said...

Last week we went to the library and then walked out to the park. A woman was there with her granddaughter and struck up a conversation with me. She asked if I was a homeschooling mother and I replied, "I am. I sure love it." She looked as if I had just admitted that I was from planet Mars and here to take over. "Really?" She responded. I told her that I felt as though I was far more efficient with a few kids than with many. She asked if I was a former teacher (she asked since I said that I had "many" and now I have a "few"). I reluctantly told her that I was. I say "reluctantly" because every time I tell someone that I taught they think that I have every right to teach my own children where someone else isn't as capable. I don't think that is true, so I try not to let people find out what I did in my past life. ANYWAY...the next thing she said was, "I think it would take a really disciplined person to do that. Are you pretty disciplined?" I'm not sure if she was just curious, or pointing out some of the "requirements." Here is what I said, "You know, I'm as disciplined as I need to be. God has continued to give me exactly what I need for the stage I am in." I shared that with a woman at the store today who is pulling her children after Christmas and she cried. It was such a relief to her that she was only required to have enough. She doesn't need the discipline required to teach a High Schooler when she has a second grader. We get scared don't we? What will we do about transcripts? What about Calculus? Latin? Parenting a teenager all day??? I'm convinced that God is not a liar. He promises to give me EVERYTHING that I need for life and godliness. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. In His own prayer He teaches us to ask for our DAILY bread. We do not yet need our rations for the years to come. Just today. Just enough.

So, wherever you your laundry plotting against you as mine is? Are your children taking longer to go down for their naps because they are munching their Halloween Candy as mine are? Is your bathroom so raunchy that you feel like "hovering?" I'll not tell you about mine. I'm going to start slow and hopefully by Friday everything will be clean. Until then I'm going to trust that God will guide me to do what is most important and that we will continue to praise Him for being enough.