Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
I have mentioned before that we made a curriculum switch to My Father's World . Griffin begged to do school so he started Kindergarten this year. In the past we have used Saxon Math and Phonics for K and 1st grade and I'm not completely sold on MFW K and 1st but I *heart* MFW Adventures and I'm curious to see how they will all mesh together. I really think Saxon is a great program and plan to stick with their math throughout all our homeschooling days. The phonics worked really well and Madisyn has a good grasp of the "whys" behind reading which is my only fault with MFW. Since Griffin is/was studying Dinos we went on a dino hunt. The last time we went to the Pink Palace was about 2 years ago. He didn't remember anything about it and was a little concerned that the dinos might try to get him. I have never been to the actual "Pink Palace" portioned of the museum but I would love to go tour it some time. The museum part is free on Tuesday afternoons and touring it as the solo adult w/ 5 little ones (mainly 2 certain boys ;) ) is about all I can handle. :)
The triceratops in the background used to move around and growl. There is a little sign up about how he's in "retirement". I believe he's been that way for over 20 years. I do realize that their are budget cuts but I so wish the dino could be repaired or replaced so that future generations could experience a "living" dino.
I had to go up the stairs a pretty good way to get the entire woolly mammoth. I think Griffin grasped what a four year old could. His favorite part of the trip was visiting the model of the first Piggly Wiggly. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures there.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
You suck your two middle fingers often though not for long (several times a day for only a minute or two).
You have slept through the night several times but haven't done it on a consistent basis.
You sleep in the crib in Mommy and Daddy's room.
You *love* the bumbo seat. We sit you in the middle of the table while eating supper and you can see everything that is going on.
You can sit up if we hold your legs down. You have the upper body strength to hold your trunk but you fall over easily.
You weigh 16 lbs. 4 oz.
You have a definite fondness for your sister. You light up when she comes in the room.
You frequently stick your tongue out, I think a tooth is coming but it hasn't broken through yet.
You have an infectious laugh. I love to hear you chuckle.
You are a very loved and treasured little man. :)
I hope that at this very busy time of year, you stop and THANK the Lord for all he has done and continues to do in your life. If it weren't for the grace of God we would all be lost and headed for an eternity of pain in hell. Thanks be to God that he sent his only son so that we could have something to be thankful for on this glorious day.
I plan to come back tonight and blog about Henry's HALF YEAR birthday but I wanted to share a little from our Richardson family Thanksgiving a few days ago.
We decided to have a family Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday but it was proceeded by a funeral of a very dear lady from my home church. I would like to share a little of my thoughts during her funeral.
She taught Sunday School for as long as I can remember and was very involved in mission work. In fact, she was telling us about a particular missionary when I decided I needed the Lord, just like those people the missionaries were talking to. As I was sitting there listening to her pastor tell of all the wonderful things she had done and how much of herself she poured into others, I realized just how true it was. The preacher at a funeral generally tries to comfort the family and friends by expounding upon the good qualities of the deceased. If anything, he barely scratched the surface. Mrs. Georgia was a great lady and will be sorely missed. I have no doubt that she is having the best Thanksgiving Feast ever with her Heavenly Father.
Her funeral also caused me to think about the legacy we leave behind.
Will I be known as the grandmother that sat in the back with the kids and read stories just so I could be with them?
Will be remembered as the Mom that always welcomed my children's friends with open arms and an open pantry?
Will I be remembered as the wonderful lady whom on my death bed, was more concerned about others and making them comfortable than I am about my own infirmities?
It's definitely something to ponder on this holiday and every day. Our day to day actions speak much louder than what goes on during a few special days. We are remembered for the everyday - not just the 'special'.
Now back to your regularly scheduled program . . .
While Mimi, Granddaddy, Aunt Robin and I were at the funeral. Daddy and Uncle Billy stayed behind with the kids. When we returned this is what we found. The dads had no idea that the kiddos had been sneaking cookies. In fact, they didn't believe it happened at first but you can't really argue with cookies in the floor. :)
Finally, everything is ready and Uncle Justin brings on the turkey. Since it was such a nice day, we decided to dine outside. I don't believe we've ever done that before.
The hungry masses. :)
As soon as I said I wanted a picture, Griffin shoved another bite in his mouth. I included it anyway because I think it shows the 'cut-up' part of his personality.
Ty would not sit up and act right. Aunt Kristen should have bonked him over the head. ;) It was a little cool for Izzy to join us outdoors so Mimi sat inside with her.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Mr. Mark has been so wonderful to bring his guitar since our first hayride. We sing most any song, but seem to settle on more hymns than anything. We travel down the roads singing songs to the Lord, what could be better.
I think grand total we had over 40 people join us at the house and over half went on the hayride. Papaw pulled the trailer and the weather was perfect. Just cool enough to need a jacket and blanket but not so warm you sweat. Hay and sweat do not go well together. :)
My little wild man. I don't think he stopped moving the whole time. Next year he sits with Daddy. ;)
I think the only complaint this year was not enough chairs. I don't know if we had more people bring their own in years past, we've lost some or what. Nobody but me worried about it yet I think it's something we'll try to improve upon.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
When is the last time, as an adult, anyone gave any thought to your stellar ACT score, or cared that you had perfect attendance, or that your little league team won the state championship? We praise and reward children constantly and then when they become adults, no one lavishes praise and rewards. As moms (and this applies to dads as well but I'm not a dad so I won't speak for them :) ) , we often find ourselves doing the things that no one else wants to. Nobody comes along and gives me a certificate for having perfect attendance when dealing with my children. No one gives me an award for teaching my child Bible verses or even making sure they brush their teeth. What I do, is not looked favorably on by the world.
Life is not about fun and games. That may sound harsh but it's the truth. When fun and games and the rewards that come from them become the focus, most children can't function when those "treats" are removed. It's seems our culture is obsessed with letting "children be children" but the Bible says "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Proverbs 22:15
Our goal as parents should not be to let children be children. Our goal should be to raise Godly adults. Childhood is fleeting, even with eternity aside, we will spend much more of our lives as adults then as children. Doesn't it make sense to prepare more for the longer journey?
I Corinthians 13: 11 says "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Here Paul doesn't say, I'm so glad that I spent my whole childhood getting on the honor roll or running track. He says that he put those things away. It's important to keep those things in constant check to make sure that we are working towards the final goal and not loosing the forest for the tress.
Are we preparing our children to put away childish things or crave them?
Now that I've written a novel ;) I hope you'll read the article below and glean something from it.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I Don't Want to Raise Successful Children
I don't want to raise successful children. That's a shocking thing to read, and a shocking thing for a mother to type. So, let me clarify.
I used to define success according to my child's report card. Good grades and academic achievement would surely equal a good child with great potential in this world. But then several of my children wound up being average students with average grades. Though we carted them off to tutors and spent many a late night at the kitchen table helping them, they remained average. And I remained concerned and frustrated.
One report card day I found myself facedown in the fibers of my carpet crying and wondering, "Where have I gone wrong as a mom?"
I dug into Scriptures. I begged God for wisdom and discernment. I prayed for God's perspective with each of my kids. Finally, one day it dawned on me - what if I simply chose to embrace the natural bent of each of my kids as God's way to protect them and keep them on the path toward His best plans for their lives?
What if my A student needs academic success to prepare her for God's plans while my average to below-average student needs to be steered away from a more academic future? What if my sports star kid needs that athletic excellence for his future assignments by God, but my benchwarmer kid is being protected from getting off course by her lack in this area?
And that's when it finally dawned on me. My job isn't to push success for my kids. My job as a parent is to recognize the unique way God created each child and point them to Jesus at every turn along their journey toward adulthood. Yes, I want my kids to learn and thrive and grow up educated, but it's not a flaw in me or them if they don't have straight A report cards and trophy cases full of sports medals.
Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (NIV).
I am challenged to ponder these words, "… in the way he should go." Are we training our kids that the "way he should go" is to chase worldly achievement or to chase God? Whatever they learn to chase as a child, they will chase as adults. Therefore, we must be challenged to honestly assess the way we are pointing them to go.
My daughter, Hope, is one of my average students. She has also warmed many a bench in the sports she's tried, and can always be found hiding on the back row of the stage during school concerts. Using the world's benchmarks for achievement, Hope wouldn't be seen as a child positioned for success. But God…
This past January, my 15 year old Hope, shocked me when she announced she wanted to go to Ethiopia with some missionary friends of ours and live in the remote African bush for the summer. Yes, she may not have trophies and straight A report cards but she does have a heart of gold. And because she's not entrenched in sports and academic pursuits that could have created obligations for her summer, she was free to go to Africa. Free to chase God in a really big way.
One of the first e-mails she sent me from Ethiopia read, "Mom, I've fallen in love with the AIDS orphanage children. They rushed at me when I held my arms out and I tried with all my might to hold all 30 of them at once. I love it here."
Now, don't get me wrong. I do expect Hope to return to her studies this fall, give 100% effort, and finish her high school career having done her very best. She will most likely then go to college. But she probably won't be delivering the valedictorian address or wearing the honors cords and medals. She'll be the one with a vision of a dying AIDS orphan pressing against her heart ready to chase God's plans to the ends of the earth.
So back to my original statement, I don't want to raise successful children. It's true, I don't. Though Hope's sister coming behind her is an A student and can always be found on the front row of school performances - we don't chase after success for her either. I trust God that she needs those things in her life for the plans He's unfolding in her life. We train with that bent in mind. But, we don't chase it. Just like Hope, we point her in the direction of God at every turn and pray like crazy.
I stand by what I said and I'll say it again, I don't want to raise successful children. Because--- raising God-honoring adults who will set the world on fire for Christ is just so much more rewarding.
As you can see, we had a few people that weighed around 105 lbs participate and I'm happy to report the sacks held up just fine. :D
Uncle Kirk almost lost it here, however he was proclaimed the victor.
Next was the egg toss. I'm happy to say that no *real* eggs were harmed in the process. We have laying hens and the eggs we get from them are *real*. I'm not sure what that makes the ones at WalMart but I've learned the lingo around here.
Again, Kirk and Scott were great participants. We even pitted MIL against DIL and they won! Mrs. Janet and Mrs. Hannah's egg never broke. They made a great team. We're really enjoying getting to know Hannah.
The kids need a little more practice as eggs were often hurling through the air and the receiver had no clue. LOL It's a very good thing the ground was so soft. Most of the time the eggs bounced.
The no hands concept was a little hard for some of the kids to grasp (ok all the kids that struggled last names started with a Witcher) but I think the general idea caught on by the end.