Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wedding #1

Today was the first of two weddings we have been invited to attend this weekend. Monday night is the second. Elizabeth and Joe were married today. Both attended Kids Club and Preteens. I remember Joe a little, but Elizabeth was very involved in our church before she started attending college. She, Joy, and another teen girl, Sarah, were all impressed that we named our daughter "Sarah Elizabeth Joy"!! and doted on her whenever they could! Now they are getting married! Elizabeth was married today and Sarah has a date of August 2nd. Joy is still waiting for that special someone.

It was a simple ceremony and it was fun to hang out with the Darrow's and Curry's at the reception. Elizabeth looked beautiful and was so excited to get married! What was truly wonderful is her commitment to keep herself pure until marriage! Something rare among the girls in this neighborhood. God has truly blessed her decision and provided for her a loving husband who follows God. Please pray for them as they travel down to Florida on Tuesday. Joe is in the military and is stationed there. Elizabeth is transferring colleges, but will take this semester off to adjust to her new life. I forgot my camera, so as soon as I get a photo, I'll post it!

Daniel did really well sleeping in the big bed last night! He slept straight through until 7:30 am! He was so proud of himself! He came running into my room and said "I sleep in bed!!!" He is too funny! Melissa ("his lissa!" as he refers to her!) watched the kids today while we went to the wedding. He was put in the crib for a nap - which he hated! - and did not sleep the entire time he was in there. So putting him to bed was easy tonight. I only had to stay in the room for about 15 minutes. He hates it when I stay in the room. He keeps telling me to "go away!". It's funny because he keeps saying it and then it stops all of a sudden because he has fallen asleep! I think we'll take the crib down next week as this is the end - he wants absolutely NOTHING to do with it! One thing about Daniel is that when his mind is made up, it's made up and there is not deterring the child! Pray for us!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007


I LOVE the new bed rail I got for Daniel's bed - he HATES the new bed rail I got for his bed!!! Today I went in search of a bed rail that does not have bars or straps that go completely to the other side of the bed. I found the Safety 1st Bed Rail. Why I like it is that it locks onto the mattress. I am not good with descriptions, but the mesh rail part sits on the top of the mattress and the two legs slide under the mattress. You then have to push the rail down and it locks with a click. It is great!!!! No more sliding out when the child sleeps against it. Daniel cried when we put it on! "Take it off!" were his exact words! I guess he feels his new found freedom was being infringed upon!!! I was on him tonight and it only took an hour for him to settle down and go to sleep. I am hoping once the newness of the big bed wears off he will go to sleep faster.


I thought we had success in putting Daniel into a big bed - but I was proved wrong at around 4:00 am! Daniel thought it was time to get up and roam the house with his new found freedom! He turned on his bedroom light and Sarah's bedroom light. He was caught playing on Sarah's bottom bunk with her Loving Family Doll House. Matt and Sarah slept through the entire thing! They have a gift! Andy kept putting him back to bed and finally laid down with him to make him go to sleep! He awoke again at around 8:00 am. I think we should put him in a crib until he is 18!!! Matt and Sarah never did anything like this - this is so new to us! I am going out this morning to find a bed rail that will keep him in his bed. Perhaps a floor to ceiling wrought iron gate?

If anyone has any ideas - we'd love to hear how you keep your child in bed during the night.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Last night when I was putting Daniel to bed he asked to sleep in the big bed - not the crib! I thought that this was a good sign and that he would settle down and sleep - not the case! He goofed around something terrible and would not settle down. He just wasn't tired enough. After trying to work with him for about 45 minutes I picked him and told him he wasn't ready to sleep in the big bed, we would have to wait until he was ready. He was so upset and sobbed in his crib. He even got to the point where he said he was sorry and would sleep. We tried it again and again we were unsuccessful - so back in the crib where he cried for about 5 minutes and fell asleep. By this point it was close to ten - we had started at 8:00 pm!

But tonight he is asleep in the big bed!!! And it only took about 20 minutes! Why? Well, we went to the King of Prussia Mall this afternoon and he only fell asleep for about 30 minutes in the stroller. We didn't get home until about 6:oo pm and we didn't let him fall asleep until about 7:30 pm. He was exhausted. I believe I need to adjust his schedule and only allow him to take about a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap earlier in the day - maybe 12:00 to 2:00 pm. I have to work on our school schedule and work it out.
We had a fun day of shopping! We went to the King of Prussia Mall because I mistakenly got Andy the wrong thing for his Franklin Covey organizer/ calendar and we needed to exchange it so he could get his life for the next year organized! We walked around a little as we never go to this mall. I finally found an ornament for Daniel for this year - well, two! Hallmark had all their ornaments at 50% off - so I picked out Bob the Builder and Nemo - two of his favorite characters. I looked everywhere for a Backyardigans ornament but could not find one so we had to settle for his next favorite.

We also went to Target and got some things really cheap! Including Daniel and Sarah's birthday presents! Sarah really likes the "City" Lego's and they had the Fire Station. It was opened so I asked if I could get a reduction. They sent me to three different people before the manager said they usually don't but because they ran me around she would give me 10% off! I was happy because Lego's rarely go on sale, especially in June, so even 10% off was a help. We got Daniel the Fisher Price Easy Link Internet Launch Pad - it was 1/2 price! We had looked at it for Christmas, but felt he wouldn't be able to do it just yet. We think by three he will be and so 1/2 price sold us on it! This "toy" links the child to a specific web site to play educational and fun games. There are several different "keys" in the shape of the character whose web site they link to - Clifford, Arthur, Elmo, Thomas, etc. He is always wanting to go on the computer - I think he will love this!

It's been a good week just relaxing. Tomorrow we'll stay home and continue our week long effort of getting our house under control. Andy is doing incredibly well getting rid of stuff! We went through his clothing yesterday and he got rid of FIVE grocery bags of clothing. If you know Andy, you know he is hoarder, so this is a great effort on his part! We are getting there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Happenings

Wow! It's over! It's hard to believe you spend so much time getting ready and it's over in a matter of minutes! We had a great time the past two days with our family and friends. I hope you all had a wonderful day as well.

Christmas Eve was WONDERFUL! Andy and I spent the day with the kids getting things ready. We cleaned and cooked and were ready for my family (Mom, Bruce, and my sister Lisa) when they came. We had a Cook's ham and I think I have finally found a ham that I like. I am not a ham eater as I think they are all too salty - but this ham was so delicious! I hardly tasted any salt! We also had homemade macaroni and cheese, broccoli, green bean, salad, and bread. For dessert we enjoyed Mrs. Miriam's (Daniel's Sunday School teacher) incredible cookie tray! At 6:40 pm we all headed up to church for the Christmas Eve service. It was PACKED! Pastor Bill did a great job with the sermon doing a biographical comparison between Rudolph T. Reindeer and Jesus. Sounds weird, but it was really well done! I especially liked the part where Rudolph saved one Christmas, but Jesus saved the world! It was so imaginative and really got people thinking. Matt loved the sermon and didn't realize sermon's could be so interesting to listen to. The kids sang and recited a poem "What Is Christmas?" by Michelle Adams. Daniel even got up on stage, but only lasted one song before panic started to set in and he wanted DOWN! I was up there helping lead the kids so I just grabbed him before he completely lost it and held him until the song was finished. He tried!

Christmas Day the kids woke up around 7:30 am, but being the mean parents we are we tortured them until 8:00 am! Matt finally brought Daniel into our room and since he had a stinky diaper we got up and got moving! I went down to get lights on and the camera's ready while Andy took care of Daniel! We had a great time together opening gifts. Daniel was a riot with his "ooh!" and "I love it!" at the opening of each gift. Sarah and Matt were excited with their new MP3 players they received. We now all have the same Creative Lab Zen V players, which makes my life a lot easier as I have to load them up and I don't have to remember how to do three different players! I got them both off eBay as they were brand new but much cheaper than the store. I paid half price for both of them! Matt's is a 4GB and can play video. He now wants to purchase some music videos for his favorite songs. I'll have to figure that one out this week. Daniel's favorite gift was the Shake and Crash track! He climbed under the tree to unwrap it! He is so funny!That afternoon we went to my mom's house and had dinner with my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ray, cousin Lenore and her husband Mike and their three kids, Aunt Cheryl, Great-Grandmom Ruth and my sister. The kids played well together. We brought our Wii system and had a blast watching Great-Grandmom Ruth play golf! She is an avid golfer (at age 86!) and does well on the course - but the Wii was something different! She laughed and had a fun time playing with Sarah (8) and Amanda (6).

We got home late and I was exhausted and went to bed! Andy was sweet and let me sleep in today! We have absolutely NOTHING on the agenda for the next three days! I love it! I am going to take things slow, sleep, and get my bedroom under control!

I have more pictures to post but Blogger is having difficulty with their uploading. I'll post more when it's fixed!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Peaceful Sunday

Today was rather peaceful. We attended church and I taught the last chapter of the book we have been using "Every Day Deserves a Chance: Teen Edition". It was the perfect lesson for today as it talked about the gift of God's grace. My class was also well attended as three girls who hadn't been there for a while showed up! It was good.

Church was also well attended. There were several new faces present and I am hoping it is from the outreach that our church recently did. Bill asked for volunteers to hand out Christmas cards and an invitation to today and tomorrow's services. Several people handed out cards to their blocks. Over 2000 cards were handed out! Pray that many would come tomorrow to hear the message and receive the best gift of all - a personal relationship with Christ.

After church Andy and the kids helped set up the gifts for the kids who will participate in the singing part of the program. Each kid gets a ticket and then gets a chance to pick out a gift. Daniel knows the songs this year - he actually sings the words! So he will get a chance to be up on stage! This could be interesting!

When Andy came home I did a CVS run as I had Extra Care Bucks (ECB) that expired today. If you purchased $15 of Energizer batteries you received $5 ECB's. I went and purchased the following:

3 packs of Energizer batteries $15.87
1 Bausch & Lomb ReNu Solution $7.99
1 pack of 5 gum (stocking stuffer for Matt) $1.49

Each pack of batteries had a peel-off coupon for $1 off! I then had a $5 CVS coupon for the batteries, a $4 off a $20 purchase CVS coupon, a $2 off a $10 purchase CVS coupon and a $2.50 coupon for the ReNu. After using $16.50 in coupons I then used $7.99 in ECB's and paid .86 cents! I came away with $7 ECB's - almost even to what I used. I then made a second purchase:

5 30ct CVS cough drops $.99 ea
3 packs of Energizer batteries $15.87
1 pack of 5 gum (stocking stuffer for Sarah) $1.49

I again used the peel-off coupons, a $2 off $10 purchase CVS coupon, and a $5 CVS battery coupon. I also used the rest of my ECB's that were to expire today which totaled $9.78 so I ended up paying $2.53. I could have done without the gum but if I got one for Matt Sarah would have been upset. I walked away with $9.95 in ECB's. So, between Thursday and today I now have $37.45 ECB's! I was pleased because everything I bought I use. I really needed the cough drops as I have developed a terrible cough since yesterday. I feel terrible. Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve already! This year has really flown by! I will be making dinner, but unfortunately, Andy's folks won't be able to join us as Lois has to work. They will be able to make it down for the service to see the kids sing. We will, hopefully, be seeing them next weekend for a few days. If I don't write again before Christmas I hope and pray everyone has a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Busy Days

Wednesday Night Prayer Pals

Sunday Night Prayer Pals

It's been a few days since I have had a chance to blog. Life has been busy! Wednesday evening was the Prayer Pal Christmas Party. It was great to see the kids open the gifts they received from their loving pals. The kids were thrilled beyond belief to see first hand how much their pals think of them and love them. Each pal took special time to pick out the perfect gifts for their kid. Many received much needed clothing, jackets, and blankets as well as fun things like games, body lotions, and books. It was a great evening!

Thursday evening Andy, Matt, Sarah and I went to the Quakertown High School Planetarium. My sister and Sam invited us to attend a special show. We had no idea what the show was about - except that we knew it was going to about stars (obviously!) It was great and Matt LOVED it! It talked about the Star of Bethlehem and the different theories of what "the bright star" could have been. It was fun because Matt was asking that same question just a few days before. What was even greater was how Christian the presentation was - shocking for a public school when you can't even call the days off from school a Christmas Break but a Holiday Break! While we were at the show my Mom watch Daniel and he had a BLAST eating cookies!

Friday was our 90th day of school!!! We are officially half way through the school year! YEAH!!! As a treat we went to the movies to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets. It was great! The kids loved it and there was a lot of history in it - just like the first one. I counted it as our 90th day because I figured many other schools were having Christmas parties and counting that as their last day of the year. That was our Christmas party! Movies can be expensive, but AMC Theater has a deal where Friday and Saturday's before noon all movies are $5 - much cheaper than normal prices! Our AMC also has a deal on Tuesday's where movies are $5 all day and you get a free popcorn! We can only go on Tuesday's when we don't have clubs so I am glad they have the Friday/ Saturday deal.

Friday night we went to my Mom's to exchange our gifts. My Mom started this new tradition last year where we meet the Friday before Christmas to give each other our gifts. It just makes it less crazy on Christmas Day when there are other family members around and we are ALL getting and giving gifts. The kids were thrilled with all that they received - especially Matt and Sarah with their new Nintendo DS hand held. They love the different features that they come with including "pictochat". It is kind of like messaging but you have to be in close proximity to do it. One kid can be in the basement while the other is up in their bedroom and they can write each other and send it. It is kid of fun! This morning we told the kids that they couldn't get our of their rooms before 8:00 am - instead I hear the bells of messages being sent back and forth from room to room! This could be a good thing and get them talking to each other more! Daniel's favorite gift was a Backyardigans "radio" with a microphone attached. He LOVES singing and dancing to it - he is obsessed with the Backyardigans!Today was a day of rest!! Well, sort of! We have been cleaning and fixing and getting our house ready for our family on Christmas Eve. Our parents come and join us for dinner and then we all go to our Christmas Eve service. It's a tradition that Andy and I started when we bought our house and found out we were expecting Matt. It was 11 Christmas Eve's ago that we announced to the grands that Matt was coming! We announced Daniel's coming 3 Christmas Eve's ago! Sarah we announced during Thanksgiving. There are NO announcements this year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

No Success

Tonight I tried to put Daniel in a bed. I am afraid I have waited far too long to do this and now fear it will be many months before he will get into a bed! He started to drift off, until the kids and Andy came home from Christmas Caroling, then he was wired! I really need to work on his schedule as I believe he is just not tired enough when he goes to bed. It is 10:00 pm and he is in his crib jumping up and down! He has been like this for the last few nights. I even woke him up from his nap early! I will have to try hard all next week to get him into a bed. It is definitely time for him to move and I am ready to do it. It will be a battle, but as with everything else, he will learn.

Last night was the God's Girls Christmas Party at Carisa's house. There were 20 girls! It was a lot of fun to see them giggle and enjoy each others company. They played "steal-the-present" and enjoyed stealing the hot gifts - a princess crown (which came with a special gift to the girl that wore it until the end of the evening) and a slipper/ body wash gift set. I had forgotten that preteen girls are so into lotions and body washes, etc. I will have to remember for next year! I really love these girls and am excited that many of them will be moving up into my Sunday School in the coming months.Tonight, Andy, Matt and Sarah went Christmas Caroling with about 40 other people from our church. They had a great time and the people that they ministered to this evening really enjoyed their singing. We are now officially done with all the seasonal responsibilities! YEAH! Andy will be home evenings and we can settle down a bit. We only have to do some small things for the Christmas Eve service as that is Bill and Joe's main responsibility. I think we really need this break. We have one week left of vacation left and we are thinking of just staying home and not answering our phone! We have so much we would like to do to our house - tile the kitchen and clear stuff out of the basement. It will take a week just to do those things!

No Jury Duty!!!

God is SO good! I waited until 11:45 pm (you have until Midnight) to call to see whether or not I had to report for jury duty and I didn't!!! YEAH! I am so glad as trying to juggle homeschooling and caroling tonight would have been a challenge for Andy. Thanks for praying!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Tree is UP!!

The tree was put up today! We will decorate it tomorrow. When Daniel woke up from his nap and saw the tree he said "It's beautiful! I like it!" He is so funny! He really likes Christmas and it is so much fun to really understand it all!

Christmas Lights

Last night we went to the Children's Garden in Camden, NJ to see their Holiday Lights display. We met up with the Hinson family and had a great time walking around in the cold! The kids didn't seem to mind! I love the cold and didn't mind it so much either, except I was so concerned about getting the kids all bundled up I forgot gloves and a hat for myself! Oh well! It wasn't really THAT cold!

Daniel was funny as he LOVES lights! He was all smiles until..... we met Santa! He refused to sit on his lap. When we first went into "Santa's Lodge" he was talking and looking at Santa, but as we got closer he started to cry and yell NO! We managed to sit with Santa as a family and Carisa took this great picture!We came home and Andy and I just relaxed. Now today is a big cleaning day to get our tree up! It MUST get up tonight! I am ashamed it is not up already! Especially since Daniel will LOVE all the lights we put up around the house. Next year I will be more on top of things, right???

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Life Keeps Going

I really can't believe that Christmas is only 12 days away! We still don't have our tree up! Life has just been moving along and things will hopefully start settling down in the next few days. Andy's last Teen Club of the year was tonight. He has Christmas Caroling with the Teens Monday evening and then his evening responsibilities are done for the year! YEAH!! He will be home at night for a few weeks before things start up again. My only responsibilities this coming week are teaching Sunday School, a God's Girl's Christmas Party Sunday evening and the Prayer Pals Christmas party Wednesday night. I also have Jury Duty Monday!!! Hopefully, I won't get picked. There is far too much to do before the 25th! I guess we'll see.

Matt started the day with a poor attitude which earned him a trip to church with Daddy to do school. We have decided, for now, this is what is going to happen. He did remarkably well in completing his work while there. He came home and we did Science and Art. He then only had to finish two assignments, Math and English, which should have taken him a total of 60 minutes. Instead, he drug it out for almost three hours!!!! I still don't understand his thinking. I am hoping one day he will get the picture that if he just sits and does the work he can then have fun! One day!

Daniel's vocabulary continues to grow by leaps and bounds! He is speaking so clearly. Everyone is amazed. I am so thankful as he is tongue tied. His frenulum is attached to the tip of his tongue which can cause problems with speech. He has been like this since birth and the doctors that I go to said they don't do anything about it anymore. I am just to keep an ear out and make sure he isn't having any speech issues. So far, so good! I think he is going to be like his sister and talk non-stop! They should be good company for one another!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Preteen Christmas Party

Last night was the preteen Christmas party. It was so much fun! There were 52 preteens in attendance! Two churches, Trinity United Methodist from NJ and Central Baptist Church of Bucks County, did an incredible job running the program and providing both gifts and snacks. There were crafts to do, sweets to eat, a puppet show to watch, gifts to receive, and school supplies to restock on. The kids also received much needed hats and gloves thanks to Bethel Chapel of Huntingdon Valley. The kids were busy! The groups that came down really interacted well with the preteens and the preteens were shown God's love in action! I always find it amazing that people give to children they do not know. They give because they know the God that loves these kids and are being His hands and feet. I really love this group of preteens! They are fun loving and many of them have a deep desire to have a personal relationship with Christ. I am sad as many of them will be moving up in the next few months. But Andy will be able to keep tabs on them as they start attending God Squad and Teen Club. What will be more interesting is the group of ten year-olds moving up in the next six months! We have a herd of ten year old staff kids! Matt, Eliza, Josh, Morgan, and Eleanna will be moving up! HELP!!! I am so not ready for this group! They are an interesting bunch that, if they put their collective will together, will do a mighty work for God in this neighborhood! Please pray for us (and them) as we guide them in the truth and that they will take on the faith as their own.
Here are several pictures to show you the fun the kids had last night!

This is the long sleeve t-shirt that each preteen received. On the front upper left corner is our church name and then a message on the back: He died for me, I live for Him. It is fun to hear teacher comments when the kids all wear their shirts to school the next day! I only hope the kids behavior matches their testimony on the shirt! Pray for the kids as we will not have Kids' Club again until January 29th.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


This weekend has been a whirlwind of activity! I don't think I have ever been so tired! In fact, last night (Saturday) I was in bed by 7:30pm! My wonderful husband bathed and put all the kids to bed so I could go to bed! He's so great! I slept from 7:30 pm till 8:15 am! It felt sooooo good! So what has made me so tired? Friday night was our yearly Cornerstone Adult Christmas Party. There were about 100 people there! It has been getting really big the past few years! It seems to be the highlight of the holidays. We had fun playing games and eating dinner with April and her niece Desiree, who had just had a baby the week before! April's testimony is amazing and her walk with the Lord is such a great example to the people of our neighborhood. I really enjoy spending time with her.

The other thing that made me so tired was the fact that I was up until the wee hours of the morning everyday last week (about 1-2 am) baking cookies for our big cookie day yesterday! We had 47 different kinds of cookies! I ended up making nine cookies/ goodies, many of them double batches. Here is a picture of the setup.
We had to move into my mom's living room this year because we had so many! Here is a picture of my completed pile. I made plates/ tins for all our staff and some neighbors.
Sarah joined us this year and did a great job as a "runner". She ran the plates to MomMom, who wrapped them in cello-wrap and tied beautiful ribbons around them. Sarah also ran the plates to their designated area and put tags on each of them. She was one hoppin' little girl!
After cookie day we went to "The Spotted Hog" at Peddler's Village for lunch. It was so crowded! We got in right away to each lunch and walked around the different stores. I found a great new pair of flannel pj's for $20. I LOVE them! But I'll have to hem the pants as they are WAY TOO LONG! I think they were made for a giant!

We had church this morning and I taught Sunday School as December is my month. We then stayed after church to have our photos taken for our new prayer card. Here is a preview of the one I am thinking we should use:
Ha! Ha! Just kidding!!!! But I thought it was so funny!!!! (You have to look at Daniel)

Andy and the kids stayed after for a bit longer to help with the setup of the 7-10 year old Christmas Party for tomorrow night. The Preteen one is being held Tuesday night and 5&6's is being held Wednesday night. Please be in prayer for all three parties. That there would be sufficient help, enough gifts, and a great message being shared at each party. Also, be in prayer for the kids who were not invited and the parents who get upset over this fact. There are specific guidelines in each club for those who get invited. There has to be as we can't afford to invite everyone. It is mainly based on attendance. 110 kids have been invited to the 7-10 year old party, 50 to the preteen and 50 to 5&6's. That's a lot of kids! But so many more have come maybe 1 or 2 times and then think they should be invited to the party. It's hard to turn them away, but what else can we do?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Guardian Angels

Daniel continues to test the strength and power of his guardian angels. Tonight he decided to "look" in the fish tank and pulled it down. He has never attempted to do this before. He was scared - as was I when I heard the crash and piercing scream. Fortunately he only came away with two small scratches near his chin. There was 20 gallons of water all over the floor, but that was easily vacuumed. There were no fish in the tank as the last one died a few weeks ago. I just hadn't gotten around to cleaning out the tank and putting it away until one of the kids was old enough to take care of the pets themselves. I guess Daniel helped along in that project!

School continues to be tough. Yesterday, Matt went to work with Andy and did school with him all day. He was gone from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm. Almost like he would be if he went to school! We are considering several options in how to handle Matt's schooling. Please pray for us as we make decisions. One of the options we are considering is putting him in a public school in the neighborhood. We know the principal as we went to college with him. He also told us that several of the teachers there are Christians. It is a tough decision because 1) we don't want Matt's heart getting any harder than it is towards authority and the school is a tough one, 2) the school curriculum would be a breeze for Matt to handle and he would get very lazy, and 3) how would this effect his character? Please pray we make the BEST decision for Matt and our family.

We did art today and the kids painted (again!). That's twice this week! We are discussing the primary colors (red, blue, yellow). They had to choose a painting challenge and paint with only those three colors. Matt chose to paint a boat on the water with a man fishing and Sarah chose to paint a picture of a child pulling a wagon. I think they did a great job!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Miserable Monday followed by Terrible Tuesday

The kids were miserable yesterday and today has been no improvement. They are complaining about every assignment, fussing about doing jobs around the house and are just at each other all the time. It has been a tough two days of getting school done as well as getting the house in order. What I don't understand is that we have been doing school at home for SEVEN YEARS and I still get grief about doing it! You would think that they would get the idea that this is what we do and just do it. I know my kids are not easy kids. They are strong-willed, stubborn, and independent. They are the kids God gave me - I often wonder why. I know I was also stubborn, strong-willed and independent as a child, but I did my work because I knew that was what was expected of me. Andy and I are baffled by their defiance when told to do their school work. I often hear from other homeschooling mom's how their children get their assignment sheets and go off and do their work. I am extremely jealous of these mothers! At this point Matt and Sarah are already two days behind on several of their assignments. It looks as if they may be doing school on Saturday.

I, however, am going to go to "Cookie day" with my mom and sister on Saturday. That is the day we get together and exchange all the cookies we have made and give out to friends and family. It is a fun day and I really enjoy putting the tins and plates together. This year I am making: Butterscotch Haystacks, Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Haystacks, Peanut Blossoms, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Brittle, Oatmeal Toffee Cookies, Farmhouse Chocolate Mint Cookies, and Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow). If I get time I also want to make Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers, Toffee Grahams, and Carmel Candy Bars. We'll see what time allows.

Today for Physics we discussed protons, neutrons, and electrons. We then discussed how scientists use models to represent things we cannot see with our eyes. Today we made the Lithium atom. They had fun painting (see Carisa! I let them paint!) and putting it together. I have to do more things like this. It is the only time today the two of them cooperated. They are making another one on Thursday.

The yellow balls are neutrons, the blue are protons, and the red are electrons. I LOVE science!

Please pray that the kids and I would get back into a flowing routine and that we would all be patient and kind towards one another. Please pray for our attitudes to be adjusted!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where's Your Favorite Place?

Matt and Sarah often like to quiz Daniel with different questions to see what his response will be. They so enjoy the fact that he is now a thinking, talking person - well most of the time they enjoy that - except when he is thinking to freely with their things and tells them about it! Today's question was "Daniel, where's your favorite place to go?" They were trying to get him to say Target or Toys R Us, but without blinking an eye he said "PopPop's!" I am amazed that he remembers things like this. We haven't been able to get up to PopPop and Grammy's very often this fall - maybe only twice since September - but he knows he likes it there! I am so glad that our kids have the blessing of grandparents that really love them and pray for them. I am extremely thankful they have a place to go that they love and can build fond memories of - even at the age of two!

Our weekend is packed again as we have a family birthday party to attend tomorrow. Someday I will get the tree up and decorated. I had really hoped to have it up by now, but it just hasn't worked out. Hopefully by Sunday afternoon our house will start looking like Christmas. New neighbor's three houses down got brave enough to put up a huge inflatable snowman with candy cane lights encircling it in their front yard (a postage stamp sized lawn). I am amazed someone hasn't popped it yet! We'll see how long it stands! Maybe our neighborhood is getting better. I have always thought it would be nice to put up some decorations in the yard, but haven't for fear they would be destroyed. I'll wait and see what happens to my neighbors.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sweet Daniel

My poor baby has a cold! He has been the healthiest baby I have ever had. I believe this is only his second cold in 2+ years of life! He is miserable, but so cuddly! All he wanted to do while I was teaching Sarah math was sit on my lap. I really wonder how much he is learning just from sitting on my lap! He is really good at recognizing his colors, counts "1,2,3,4" and "7,8,9!" (hasn't figured 5,6 yet!), and is really great at singing songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "Itsy, Bitsy Spider". His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. The teens at church are always laughing at the words that come out of his mouth. They're always saying "Wow! He's talking!" He is really funny! What a blessing he is to our family. Pray that he would get over his cold quickly.

Pray for Andy. Last night he was working on our prayer letter and the computer flashed an error and shut down the program he was working in. He had saved the letter, but the computer lost it. It is somewhere, he just couldn't find it. He had to start all over. He was very frustrated! He has so much on his plate right now. Computers are wonderful things, but they sure can be a thorn! His computer has been doing crazy things as of late. We had a friend come and work on it a little, but I think it still needs more work. Hopefully, during the break we can get the thing straightened out and working properly. We are all looking forward to the break to regroup. I really enjoy the winter break as there is not so much going on like the spring/summer breaks (missions trip, vacation, camping with kids, etc.). Though Andy told me today he has dates for me to mark off - maybe it won't be as calm as I thought it would be. I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


That is the number of preteens we had out tonight! 62 eleven and twelve year old kids! It was INSANE!!!! We were also short two leaders so we had to handle 62 kids with three adult leaders and three teen guys. Praise God for the teen guys! They really stepped up to the plate tonight and helped out. Without them we would have never made it through the night! I have no idea what brought out all the kids - but it was great to see them all. I only hope that they really listened to the lesson of thankfulness. It was our last preteens of the year. Next week is Family Night and then the 11th of December is our preteen Christmas party. Please be in prayer as we prepare for the party. 50 kids were invited so we will need at least 60+ gifts (to give the kids choices) and shirts. Andy ordered the decals, now to the task of getting them on the shirts. We do have two churches that are coming down to help out with the program. Be in prayer for them, Trinity United Methodist and Calvary Chapel of Central Bucks, as they prepare as well.

Matt continues to have a great attitude with school. He is really trying and it is really showing. I am really proud of him and the effort he is putting forth. Even when things seemed to get difficult today he kept his cool and pushed forward. He is really maturing. Sarah also had a great day. She enjoyed math as it was a very hands-on lesson. We discussed measuring and had to use measuring cups and spoons. She loved that! A funny thing - tonight I put them to bed and about 45 minutes later went up to check on them. I caught her READING!!!! "I really wanted to finish the book!" she said. I had to laugh as I painfully took the book away. I can completely relate!!!! She is so much like me in that area! And this is the child I was sure would NEVER read because she couldn't sit down long enough to learn her sounds and letters! They have both been really into reading. One reason is I am trying to be more consistent with silent reading time during school. Daniel helps in this area as everyday he asks if I will lay down with him. I have found that the 15 minutes I lay down while waiting for him to fall asleep really helps me for the afternoon. During that time the kids read. They read for 30 minutes so the other 15 minutes I use to get ready for the things I'll be teaching in the afternoon. It really has helped their attitudes as well! We all win!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where Does Time Go?

I can't believe we had a week off. My house certainly doesn't look better - at least where I wanted it to be at this point. Matt and Sarah's rooms look great - so fresh and clean! They were both cleaned from ceiling to floor with a fresh coat of paint. Sarah even got new bedding. She has been dying to put some "girl" colors in her room. When we were expecting her we didn't know if she was going to be a girl or boy, so we sponge painted the lower wall denim blue thinking a girl could go into a blue room but a boy could not go into a pink room and we both hated yellow. I found a quilt at Target that has the same blue with purple in it as well. She loves it! Now we are looking for pillows and curtains. She also moved to the top bunk. We only have one mattress on her bunk as she used the top as a play area (doll house). She really wanted to move to the top so now we use the bottom part as a play area. We are going to get a curtain and make it into a little hide-a-way. So girly! I'll have to take pictures and post them later on.

School went pretty well today. Matt had a great attitude and completed most of his work. Sarah was a bit difficult as she was not ready to do math. It is not one of her favorite subjects. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Matt had fun tonight as he decided to turn in some of his Gameboy SP games to Game Stop. He was excited as he came out with $11.40! If he had taken the store credit he would have gotten over $18. But he wants some Cd's. He is getting to that preteen age. I am having a hard time adjusting to him growing up. Why can't they just stay sweet and little? I guess I would get tired of that!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday!

Yes, I was nuts! I couldn't sleep and was up at 5:oo am anyway - so I headed out to Target. Andy really wanted an external hard drive (his parent had given him money LAST YEAR for Christmas to get one of these!) and they had one on sale for $87. I was successful in getting him one and now he is a happy little owner! I also picked up a couple of things for the kids. One gift is for Andy and I - it's a splurge, but we received money for our anniversary in October that we were saving for a camera, but bought a 19" HDTV, DVD, Monitor, instead. We thought it would be fun to have it up in the school room - WEBKINZ on BIG SCREEN! The kids will flip! So thank you Mom and Dad and Aunt Louise for the great gift! We will all enjoy it!

I then came home, unloaded the stuff, and went back out to CVS where my beginning total was $63.81 and I paid $17.77 for a ton of stuff! I came out with like $36 EBC's for future purchases. I came home again and gathered the crew for a trip out to SEARS. Andy spent all his gift card money he had been saving for the year. We also bought a couple of gifts. Overall, I think we did well not overspending. Sometimes it can get crazy when you see all the deals and don't plan ahead. I really stuck to my list and determined NOT to overspend!

We got our car back today. It was the anti-theft system gone bad. We had to have a computer something or other replaced which came to the tune of over $800.00. Imagine our car thinking WE were the thieves! (I really think it's the car that is the thief - stealing $800!!!) That is why it wouldn't start. God is good as we have the money needed to make the repair and can now drive it again.

We are now painting Matt's room. I think we'll get to Sarah's room tomorrow. We will then proceed to move Daniel into the boys' room. That could be fun!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


There are so many things for which I am thankful for, the usual - a great husband, healthy kids, wonderful parents and in-laws, a warm home, and all the other blessings God has bestowed upon my life. One thing I am extremely grateful for are tremendous prayer partners and supporters in the ministry to which God has called our family. Without them we would in no way be able to do what we do - especially without the prayers! Our God continues to protect and care for us in tremendous ways due to the faithful prayers of his children. Thank you!!

Today was a great day. We enjoyed eating out with Andy's parents, Aunt Louise, Aunt Barb and Cousin Nate. We went to the Boyertown Cafe' and they had a great buffet. I was so glad I was able to eat after being so sick Tuesday night into Wednesday (terrible chills, nausea, fever, etc.). Thankfully it was just a 24 hour bug. It was great to eat and enjoy the food without being all stressed out about things. Later in the afternoon we went to my Aunt Bonnie's and enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the fixings. It was fun to see my cousin Lenore and her husband Mike and their three kids, my sister Lisa and nephew Sam, my grandmother Ruth, my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ray, and my parents. It was really funny to see seven kids ranging in age of 18 months to 10 years old! I don't think that house ever saw seven kids at once! They all played great together and hardly heard a peep from any of them - except from Daniel who was particularly emotional tonight. If anyone told him no he burst into tears! I think he was extremely tired. He didn't sleep well last night (was up from 1:00 am - 2:30 am) was up early and his nap was cut short to get from one family to another. Hopefully people won't think this is his normal personality! He really is a pleasant little guy!

I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. Now onto Black Friday! I may get brave and venture out for a while. I only have a few more things to get for Christmas - no outrageous purchases! Sometimes it's just fun to get out there with the crazy people! My mom, sister and I used to go to the WalMart in Quakertown, before I had Daniel. We would get there at about 4:30 am and laugh with all the other people that were there. I haven't ever done it in Philly as people aren't as jovial and can get a bit rough. We'll see how I feel in the morning!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 2 of No School!

Well, today didn't go as well as yesterday. Today I focused on Sarah's room. Her room is smaller than Matt's so I thought it would be a breeze - but she has so much stuff in her room! We went through EVERYTHING!!! I have always thought she had too much stuff, but today really emphasized it. I laid down the law and told her we HAD to get rid of some things. She had seven categories of toys: 1) Sweet Streets, 2) Cabbage Patch Doll & Stuff, 3) Groovy Girl Dolls & Stuff, 4) American Girl Doll & Stuff, 5) Hopscotch Girl Dolls & Stuff, 6) Stuffed Animals, and 7) Littlest Pet Shop Stuff. If it were just a doll it would be okay, but all of these categories have TONS of little things that go with them! It drives me CRAZY when they are all over the place. So, after many tears and agonizing hours, she decided to get rid of several stuffed animals, 1/2 her Sweet Streets, and her Cabbage Patch Doll. Most of it will go to our churches thrift shop - Nifty Thrifty. She wants to try to sell the Sweet Streets on eBay as there were quite a few going for some pretty pennies. She is trying to save up for an American Girl Doll as we refuse to buy them or let anyone else buy them for her. They are pricey and she needs to really earn the money to know the value of these dolls.

Now I am off to finish her room. I stayed home from Kids Club because I am not feeling all that well (headache, tired, etc.). I need to go to bed early tonight. I think it may be too many late nights catching up with me!

Monday, November 19, 2007

No School!!

Wow - I can't believe I haven't blogged in three days! Life has been CRAZY! Friday night Andy held his yearly All-Nighter for the Teens. After a day at the dentist and then time visiting with his parents he headed off around 10:00 pm. He went to bed at 6:39 am. The kids and I headed out of the house at 8:15 am. We ran to the King of Prussia Mall to get Andy's Christmas present. He needed a new Franklin Covey binder and the only Franklin Covey store in the area is at K of P. There used to be one in center city, but it closed. We also walked around to look at the different stores. The kids were so good and really cooperated. They had never been to that mall before and enjoyed window shopping. We returned four hours later in time for Sarah to attend her friends surprise birthday party. Sunday was our Thanksgiving Dinner outreach. We had a ton of people attend and three different churches helping out. It was great! It really went smoothly. I ended Sunday at Prayer Pals where we had a bunch of kids attend - it was wonderful!

Now it is Monday - the day I usually dread! Not today! Today was our first day off from school and I am thrilled with all that we got accomplished! Matt and I cleaned his room from ceiling to floor! We pulled out all the furniture, vacuumed and wiped down the walls, chair rails and baseboards. Matt wondered why we had to wipe down the walls - until he saw the water afterwards! He couldn't believe that much grim was on his walls! Everything is clean! Now we will paint the wall above the chair rail and ceiling on Friday. When he was going to bed he commented how he loves a clean room. He even said he didn't need all the stuff that had been taken out of his room (see post "Back to Reality" in September). I am so glad he is starting to realize he doesn't need "things". I think not having his stuff for almost two months has really helped. I also thoroughly cleaned two bathrooms and did a few loads of laundry! I love days when I get a lot accomplished!

I also hit CVS tonight. With kids in tow, we made through without much incident. Tonight I purchased:

1 crest Toothpaste (6.4 oz) $2.49
2 Olay Ultra Moisturizer Body Wash $10.58
1 Olay Ribbons Body Wash $4.99
1 St. Ives Vitamin E Lotion $5.29
1 St. Ives Facial Scrub $5.49
1 Keri Lotion $8.49
1 Gallon 1% Milk $4.09

The total was $43.68. I used $7.00 manufacture coupons and then my ECB's from last week, $25.00, and then another $5.00 CVS coupon when you spent $30. I ended up paying $4.42 and came home with $15 ECB's! Now, what will I do with all that body wash and lotion? Some I will keep - I LOVE St. Ives products. Some are Christmas presents. I am also putting some things aside for our annual Cornerstone Adult Christmas Party. We all are supposed to bring a gift for your gender - I have decided to make a basket of lotions, body washes, etc. A lot of the women in our neighborhood don't splurged on things like this. They will love it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tired Daddy!

Does something look off about this photo?My poor husband put two different sneakers on Daniel today and I didn't even notice until we were in the car. In his defense, Daniel brought him the sneakers, he just didn't look to see if they were the same. At least Daniel brought the left and right shoes!

This is Andy's thinking as of late. Between the car not working, preparing lessons for the different clubs, getting ready for All-Night Bowling tomorrow and getting ready for the different Christmas events (Kids Club, Teen Club, God Squad parties, gifts, ordering decals and shirts, etc) for the clubs - he is beyond busy! He gets focused on something and then finds it hard to redirect his focus. Please pray for him as he winds down this semester of clubs. Please also pray that the gifts and funds needed to provide shirts for the kids comes in in time. Our parties are scheduled for the week of December 10th.

With the van in the shop my parents offered to let us borrow their car. So ran up this morning to get it since Andy had Teen Club tonight. It threw school off a bit, but Matt and Sarah handled it pretty well. We didn't get everything done for the week (we worked until 5:30 pm) so we will have to do some work tomorrow and Saturday. The kids don't seem to mind as we are taking all next week off. We are planning on painting the kids rooms and doing some deep cleaning. The kids will receive cleaning lists each morning and when they are completed properly they will have free time. They aren't terribly excited, but I need the help and they are quite old enough to start chipping in.

Daniel has been a riot as usual. Tonight he opened the refrigerator and was checking things out on the door. He pulled out a jar of chow-chow and looked at me and said "Disgusting!" Where on earth did he learn that word!!!! I am constantly amazed that he not only says these words, but that he uses them correctly!!! Today he insisted on having his picture taken with his sheep.

He is so different than the other two were/ are! It is going to be an interesting life with Daniel! I am so thankful!

Matt has been busy building with Lego's. With no TV they are starting to get a lot more creative with the use of their time. Matt built a science lab:

Sarah is busy building a store with all the different things for sale - I'll post the picture when she is done.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


As a wife, mother and missionary one of my main goals is to keep this family afloat on as little as possible. I clip coupons, buy only sale items (the kids hate this when they want a specific thing!), and do my best at sticking to the budget. My friend Carisa is also a thrifty shopper and told me one day about CVS and their "Extra Bucks" rewards program. Shortly after she told me about it it was featured on the CBS 11 o'clock news. I rarely shop at CVS because I can usually find the item I want much cheaper elsewhere. Not so anymore! Tonight I made my first CVS run - this could prove to be addicting! It is a game of finding the right coupons to match the right products to get the most rewards dollars! It is interesting and confusing, but so well worth the effort! For example this is what I got tonight:

Hershey Kisses (9.2 oz) 2/$5
Dimetapp Cough & Cold 2/$9.98
Children's Motrin (4 oz) $6.99
Motrin IB Tablets (100+50 bonus) $9.69
Head & Sholders Shampoo (23.7 oz) $7.39
Garnier Nutritioniste Lotion $12.99
Garnier Facial Cleanser $5.99

The total before using their card was $62.99
After card $59.01
Coupons used (- $22.50) $36.51

I paid $36.51 out of pocket, but I received $25 in Extra Bucks that I can apply to my future purchases (by 12/14/07)! How cool is that! I am in no way an expert in the area of math, but I love trying to figure out the best deals. The cool thing is that the Internet has the ad for next week up already and I can try and figure out what to get and where to find the coupons!

One reason to save money is for our car. As I was about to head out tonight for CVS the car refused to start! I was so bummed! Thankfully, Carisa graciously offered to take me to CVS. Andy believes it is the fuel pump. We hope to get it fixed this week. Please pray with us that this car would last at least another year - if not two or three! Or that God would place a better car within our price range in our midst. He has always proven faithful - we have never lacked for any need. He knows what we need and when we need it. There is always a reason for everything - tonight I got the blessing of spending a few minutes with a good friend! A good trade I'd say!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, Monday

Monday's - I don't really care for them. Our weekends are often so busy that I don't get done nearly what I need to and then Monday hits you - BAM! - and we are back into school mode! This weekend proved to busy extremely busy. Andy had an all day Urban Youth Conference in which several of the youth leaders attended. He left at 8:00 am and didn't get home until 4:00 pm. The kids and I hit the grocery store and then headed home to get to work. I cleaned the kitchen and the school room. Why does it take twice as long to get things clean than it does to make them dirty?? I also did several more loads of laundry - we have far too many clothes!

Sunday proved to be busy as well. We had church and then soccer at 2:00 pm. I laid Daniel down for a nap, worked at school for the week and then woke Daniel up early from his nap so I could go see the kids play at least one game. With Daniel's nap I haven't been able to see them play. They are getting pretty good - but with a coach like Daddy - how could they not! There were a bunch of kids this year. It was great! Unfortunately this may be the last year we can have soccer as the city is planning on taking the only green space in our area to build a new school. Building is scheduled to start sometime in the spring. I ended my Sunday with Prayer Pals. We had several kids out this week. We had been low for a few months. Hopefully we are picking up again.School went okay. Matt didn't finish everything which always puts a bit of a strain on the week. It's not that he couldn't get the work done - he just goofed around too much. This is a potential battle ground. He knows he needs to finish school in order to go to Kids Club and with the work he has to do for tomorrow plus his work from today - well it can get touchy. But we have been through this enough times that he knows the drill - no school work - no club. He will learn eventually.

We did do something interesting today. At one of the homeschool conferences there were several seminars about lap booking. I went as I thought it would be fun to try to incorporate this into my teaching - but it is a lot of work. My friend Donna has done several of them with her kids and now my friend Carisa is doing them with her son. Carisa has been "encouraging" me to try it. So, instead of doing our "normal" history I decided to take this week and focus on Thanksgiving - pilgrims, Indians, Mayflower, etc. It will count toward our American History that I am required to teach every year. We are going to attempt to make a lap book. Today we read about the trip over on the Mayflower and then the kids had to pretend they were one of the passengers and write a journal entry about a day on the Mayflower. They had to incorporate several things they learned like the food they ate, events that occurred (ex: the birth of Oceanus, storms), the conditions, etc. They did a great job. I think Matt even enjoyed it a little bit! I'll have to put it in pictures when I am done so you can see what they are like.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I LOVE Friday's! Especially today! Andy gave me two hours "off" from school and was my substitute teacher! I went off and donated blood!!! I know - there were probably better things I could have done, but I used to be an avid donor and have gotten away from it. I really want to start doing it again. Besides, it's nice to lie down - even if it's only for about fifteen minutes (I'm a fast bleeder - red head!). The kids were impressed because I came home with a t-shirt that says "Superhero". Now they want to donate blood! I told them when they were 17 I'd take them. Of course, Sarah would have to gain some serious weight!

The rest of school went pretty smoothly. We were finished our work by 4:00 pm and then we headed out to Toys R Us. They were having a big sale and I had a coupon that I wanted to use before it expired. I finished Christmas shopping for Daniel and my nephew Sam. I am almost done! I hope to be done by Thanksgiving. My goal is to have a peaceful December - no too much running around. We'll see how it all turns out.

We are off to clean! Andy has been tackling the basement and I am getting ready to put a bunch of stuff on ebay - cross-stitch stuff, stamping stuff - stuff I don't have time for at the moment, but don't want to hang onto until I do! We need the room more than I need the stuff! I did a test run on ebay this past week and sold two pairs of shoes Daniel had outgrown. He has a wide foot and wide shoes can be expensive, so I figured other mom's might need shoes for their kids fat feet. I was right! One pair sold for $5.50 and the other sold for $11.00! We are saving the money towards either a new car or new computer - which ever dies first!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Growing Pains

Matt and I are very much alike. We both like the same games, book themes, movies, and Lego's! We also are both competitive and have a temper. Tonight I realized just how much alike we are - it both saddens me and encourages me. Saddens me because I know he has a rough road ahead of him. Encourages me because I know he will learn and grow stronger in his relationship with God through this rough road. He will one day be an incredible servant for God.

Tonight was tough. Matt had decided he wasn't going to do something I had asked him to do and he lost it. Really lost it. Unfortunately, I lost it too. We both said things we didn't mean. I left him in his room while I got Sarah and Daniel ready for bed. After they were in bed I went back to his room. We had both calmed down and were able to talk. We had a really good talk. I apologized and then continued to tell him how I thought he felt and to let me know if I was wrong. I think I shocked him with how well I knew him! I told him I knew him because his fears were the same as mine when I was his age. He was definitely shocked at that! Sometimes I think we present ourselves in a light that doesn't depict what we were or are. Matt sees me as his mom, someone who isn't afraid and knows what is going on (far from it!). He didn't realize that I have had the fears he has now. In opening up to Matt we grew in our relationship with one another. He felt he was alone in his fears, but now realizes he is not. Growing up is hard; I think just as hard for the parent as it is for the kid! I really hate the fact that he is growing up so fast! I pray everyday that God would give me the wisdom to handle this parenting thing! Pray for Matt. He is a very serious child and takes everything to heart. His one prayer request right now is that he would find one good friend he can really connect with. We talked about how that may not happen right away, but God would answer in His time. Pray that Andy and I would be sensitive to Matt's needs and encourage him in his walk with the Lord. On a lighter note Andy and the kids had a great time yesterday playing with the Hinson boys at his parent's house. They raked leaves, played on the swing set, and jumped on the trampoline. I also had a great time. I didn't get done nearly what I wanted to, but I got a good start. I did get Daniel's clothes switched over, washed several loads of laundry and started cleaning the basement. I am looking forward to Saturday when I will have the help of three kids to finish the basement. Daniel is a great picker upper!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Night School

Tonight the kids and I did night school! It is the first time I have been able to convince them that this could be a good thing. I think it helped that they can't watch any TV and were getting a little bored! So we came up to the schoolroom and tried to get some of their school work for tomorrow completed. Another motivator to getting tomorrow's work finished is that Andy is running up to his parents tomorrow afternoon to pick up some chairs that a church is giving us. They want to go - I want them to go!!! I need a few hours alone to get a number of things done - like change poor Daniel's clothes from summer to winter, clean the basement, clean my bedroom and finish laundry! I am looking forward to my few hours of straight work. It's hard to get things done when Daniel is napping in my room, homeschooling until about 4pm each day and then cooking dinner and getting kids off to bed. I am making my list of things to accomplish. The exciting thing is is that I will have some time on Saturday to finish some of the things I don't get done tomorrow. The kids and I have no plans for Saturday. They are as excited as I am! A whole day at home! WOOHOO!!! I think it is the first one in about four weeks. Pray that I would use my time wisely tomorrow and Saturday and get a number of things that are on my list accomplished so I don't feel them weighing me down!

Monday, November 5, 2007


So, I have this love-hate relationship with the TV. I can easily plant myself in front of it for hours on end - I know, it's terrible. I enjoy watching various TV shows and love movies! But I also know it eats up so much of my time, time away from God and time away from getting things done that need to be done. In my effort to cut back I have gone cold turkey - NO TV! It is hard as one show I enjoy watching is on right now as I type. I am in the school room, so that I will not be tempted to just turn it on. The kids are not thrilled with this event! But I can already see it is good. There is a bit more peace and the kids were more ready for bed tonight than they have been in a long time. It would be easier to just get rid of them, but I need to learn self control in this area of life. I am hoping one day to be able to just watch one show, without it turning into three!

One saving grace has been a new CD I just received. I LOVE Michael W. Smith's music. Have since I was a kid. He just came out with a new CD "It's a Wonderful Christmas". It is absolutely beautiful! He is so incredibly gifted in music! It has a lot of instrumental, which I am very into right now. So, as I grade papers and clean, my MP3 player has been tagging along so I can listen to the beautiful strains of symphony. MP3 players are really an amazing invention! I really wish they would have been around when I was a kid!
Andy has been incredibly busy these days. Saturday and Sunday nights he spoke at a church in DE. Today he left before 9:00 am today to go to Philadelphia Biblical University for their Freshman Student Ministry Day. Tonight he is at God Squad. He has Family Night at Kids Club tomorrow night, Teen Club Thursday Night and Saturday he is going to an all day inner-city youth seminar. In between all those events he has food bank runs to collect the food needed for the big Thanksgiving food give-away this coming Monday, November 12th. Thankfully, we see him at dinner. We'll also have family fun night this Friday. We all look forward to seeing him on Friday nights! Me, because he'll put the kids to bed - the kids because he'll play games with them.

Today was an okay day. Matt still continues to struggle on Monday's. It's a funny story - it had been a hard morning and while I was making lunch I was praying that God would give me some answers on how to handle homeschooling Matt and Sarah. I was even thinking along the line that maybe we needed a change in scenery (read: to move!). Maybe Philly wasn't where we were to raise Matt. Maybe we needed to move back out to the country - away from city life. Move to a place where Matt could run, get energy released, join a sports team, go to a Christian School that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, work outside on a farm, etc. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers were everywhere. Before I was even done praying the phone rang. It was a supporter calling out of the blue to say how much she and her family appreciated the sacrifices we make by living here. She continued to say how much the church appreciated us and the work we continued to do and how they loved reading Andy's prayer letters and prayed for us continually. I was blown away as you can imagine. God is so good to give us the answers we need when we need them. I have to trust that this is the place where Matt is suppose to be. I have to trust that until we get confirmation otherwise, I am to homeschool Matt. I believe Matt and I are learning some important lessons in this journey. It is not easy and at times brings us both to tears, but God is good and will continue to grow us through this experience. Please continue to pray for us as we homeschool our kids and struggle to be the parents God wants us to be.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Our group of 30!

WOW! This weekend has been incredible! And LOUD!!!! I am amazed my ears can still hear with all the abuse they took this weekend! They are still ringing! But despite the loudness, God's truth was spoken, hearts were enlightened and the girls had an incredible time! The speakers included Jenna and Max Lucado (Max by video), Natalie Grant, Chad Eastham and Rachel Hockett. All were fabulous and really spoke to the issues that the girls are facing at this time in their lives. Of all the speakers I really enjoyed Chad Eastham. He set the girls straight on guys, their thinking, and the whole relationship thing. I really hope the girls were listening to him and take to heart his words. He was also very funny!

The singing artists included KJ-52, Natalie Grant, Ayiesha Woods and Hawk Nelson. KJ-52 is Hip-Hop, so I really didn't understand a word he was singing! I am old! It concerned me a bit during his concert because he seemed to be placing glory upon himself. Since I couldn't understand the words he was rapping, I couldn't hear anything about Jesus and God. I did, however, hear his name in songs. It troubled me that the girls would love listening to someone without a strong Christian testimony. But my fears were aleeved when they had a Q & A session at the end of the conference. One young insightful girl asked him how he felt when many were glorifying him instead of God. He gave a very good response, including a bit of his testimony. I only wish they would present more of their testimony so the girls can see their faith and not just their music. I really enjoyed Natalie Grant and Ayiesha Woods - both very solid testimonies during their performances. Hawk Nelson was interesting. I was glad I got to see him as he is currently one of Matt's favorite artists. I could at least hear and understand his words, though the music was so loud my rib cage vibrated! Matt would have loved it! He, too, had a good testimony, though a bit of an odd personality! Some of our girls actually went down to the stage area and got up close to him. He came down into the crowd and the girls went crazy. It is my hope that the girls would hear the message and not only see the messenger.
Hawk Nelson

Overall the weekend went really well. The girls had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. The girls in my group were Tina, Destiny, Judy and Ruthanne. Ruthanne is a real sweetheart with a tenderness that I pray stays about her while growing up here in Philly. Tina is a strong leader though quiet. The girls really seem to look up to her. I had a lot of fun and am looking forward to next year when Revolve returns to Philly.
Diamond and Ruthanne

On a family note, as I was brushing Daniel's teeth tonight I noticed two of his two-year-old molars (top right and bottom left) have FINALLY popped through! I am praying that this is what is causing his lack of sleep. We have decided to let him cry it out a bit. Tonight has gone better, he only cried a little and is up there calling for Matt or Mommy to sleep with him. Sarah is at MomMom's house, so he is missing his roommate! He's not yelling just talking. He is definitely going to be a people person - someone that loves to be with people, not alone! Just like his sister! Maybe the end of this phase is in sight and we can get back to a normal sleep routine.