Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My little girl is 5!

I don't think it's really hit me yet that Autumn is 5 today. She still seems so little to me, but I know she's getting older! It's so hard to believe.

I took the kids out to lunch because the weather is a little bad and I didn't want to try and brave the evening cold. They were really good. All of them. I have to remember that when I get upset. They have their struggles, but they're doing well =) It is such a blessing. Well, I need to run and get working on their birthday party for Saturday. I hope it will go well!

Help For the Harried Homeschooler

Isn't that a perfect title? =) I picked up this book by Christine Field. It has a lot of things I know already, but also a lot of good reminders and tips. One succinct phrase about discipline is "The more you yell, the more you yell."

It's easy to fall into the trap of yelling. I want to put a stop to it. I know it can be done. I was encouraged to talk to a friend last night who is a veteran homeschooler and is still homeschooling two of her children. She shared with me that when her oldest two were young, she yelled for a time. But, she got through it and she isn't that way anymore. Sometimes I wonder if I can change and get out of this rut. It was encouraging to hear that I can and will. =)

The rest of the book is about balancing life with homeschooling on so many levels and making choices. It's a keeper!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A great little book!

Yesterday, I went to a homeschool book store and I found a great little book. It is titled Prayer: Learning to Talk to God. It is by Jeanette L. Groth and illustrated by Jan Brett. It is a great book! It is perfect for explaining and discussing prayer with 4 and 5 year olds. The wording of the book is simple and Biblical. The author talks about each of the different things we talk to God about: Praise, Needs/Wants, Other People, Guidance, etc. For each explanation, there is an excellent illustration of a situation showing a child who would want/need to talk to God about that thing. Let me explain... On the page addressing Praise, there is a young girl standing at the beach looking up at the sky with a smile on her face. On the page explaining that we pray for Guidance, there is a young girl taking care of her garden (her chores, I assume) who is being asked by friends to go fishing. The illustrations are great for starting discussions with our children. I love this little book and I just wanted to let you know about it. I had never heard of it--I just happened to find it on the shelf amidst a bunch of other books =)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taking Care of Myself

One of the hardest things for me about having 3 little kids is finding time to take care of the things that I need. I know it's important to take care of me, but somehow taking care of things for myself always gets put off. Sometimes it's hard for me to know what to do. But, God reminded me several times this weekend that he will take care of me and help me find ways to do the things I need to do =)

At times, I've tried to go to stores to shop for certain things and it just doesn't go well =( So, anyways, there's a few things that I've needed and God has provided for me and I am so humbled. Last week, I bought some clothes at a garage sale for $6 so they're new to me and most of them fit. I saved a sleep set for my mom and gave a pair of jeans to some neighbor girls, but the rest fit =) 2 pairs of jeans, a skirt, and 2 pairs of pants. The clothes were a blessing to me. With every child I've had, my jeans seem to fit a little different even though I get back to the same size, so I've needed to get rid of some clothes and find a few new ones each time.

This summer when we went to Dutch Wonderland, I had to take my old swimsuit from 10 years ago. I haven't bought a new one since I've been married and since I've had 3 kids! It looked horrible and I felt so horrible in it. I've been trying to find a swimuit I've liked for a few years.

This story jumps around a little, sorry...So, last night, Chris and I went on a date with Eli. I wore some jeans I found at a garage sale a month ago, shoes I found while with my mom in June, a shirt I already had, and a jacket I bought at a garage sale 2 months ago. It felt good to feel nice in what I was wearing. We went to the Bonefish Grill and it was wonderful--I had a coupon that made it more affordable. Eli was great and it was refreshing to get to enjoy such a nice meal with my husband! Afterwards, we went into Sears. There were some Land's End swimsuit pieces on a rack. There was only 1 bottom in my size and 2 top pieces. I've really wanted a tankini. I tried them on and they fit! A little snug in my chest area, but it'll fit better next summer. They were $12 for each piece so we bought all three. It made me smile because I have felt yucky about the swimsuit thing and I actually even got rid of it so I didn't have one at all. And it is just so hard to try things on with the girls! But, yay, I have a swimsuit now that was 75% off!

The other thing God blessed me with yesterday was with my flu shot. I needed to get it from the County Health Department, because they are the only ones in the area that will give it to adults without the Thimerosol. The rest of my family had already gotten theirs, but I wasn't sure when I would be able to. But, the kids and I went to a festival with my friend. The Health Dept was there and there was no line! I got it done lickety split!

So, at the end of the day, I am amazed and humbled by how God has been so kind to me in my struggles of wanting to feel selfish and feeling yucky by not having clothes and things that I needed. But, he provided even more than I imagined--he blessed me with a wonderful date with my husband, a wonderful meal which we enjoyed together, a new swimsuit that fits, and clothes that fit, too! And I didn't have to drag the kids to a store =) to do it =)

As a little added note that's in the same vein, I did go garage saling yesterday--the end of the season. I only found a few things, but at one I found two fancy dresses. A 4 and a 5. The 5 is actually more like a size 3. Autumn and Sami were going to have to wear dresses they already had for their birthday costume party in 2 weeks. I felt a little bad for that, but didn't want to spend $40-60 on costumes this year. I picked up these dresses and didn't think they were that pretty, but offered the lady $1 for each and she said that would be fine. I brought them home and put them on the girls. They were beautiful!! Such fancy, princess dresses! Autumn's is purple and Sami's has a light blue skirt and black top. It made me smile to realize that God knew how much they would like those dresses--not only does he love me so well, He loves my girls so very much!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Leatherheads--full of fun laughs =)

So, there are definitely good movies in the world and bad movies in the world. It's so frustrating to sit through 2 hours of a movie that you keep hoping is going to get better. I think to myself, "It has an amazing cast. It has to get better!" But, then it doesn't. That was the case on Saturday night for us. We watched the Towering Inferno with Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, and Steve McQueen among many others in it. It wasn't just cheesy. It was a bad script and just plain bad as a movie.

On Sunday night, I cajoled Chris into watching Leatherheads with me. Granted it is a football movie and he isn't the biggest fan. I'm the football fan in our family =) But, from the opening scene with a cow, you could tell this movie would just be full of fun laughs. It reminds me of Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? and John Cleese movies. Both movies star George Clooney and in both he just makes me laugh. Honestly, I like Leatherheads better than O, Brother Where Art Thou? Even if you don't like football, I think you'd like this movie. It's not really about football. There's less than 10 words of bad language probably and there's no sex in the movie. So, if you're looking for something to watch for fun--look up Leatherheads. And let me know if you like it! Hopefully, I'm making a good recommendation. =)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Men and their Stereos

So, a fun little thing... My husband is very musical and really, truly enjoys music. Five years ago we bought our stereo, a component system. It's worked well, except that our remote broke and we never were able to fix it. We've now lived in this house for almost 3 years and periodically Chris talks about wanting a speaker system and receiver for our television. The funny part is that he hates the television, but he does enjoy watching movies sometimes. But, he struggles with the sound from our television, hence the desire for speakers. We've never bought anything for the tv because a speaker/receiver system would cost between $300 and $500.

The past two weeks we've been talking a lot about how much is enough and making the most of what we have rather than feeling like we have to buy something new if we have something we can alter to make it work. So, this week I cut and hemmed a set of sheets a friend had given me to make a sheet for Sami's toddler bed instead of paying $30 for a set of toddler sheets. I bought a $3 table for our fish tank and put new knobs on it ($8) instead of buying a fish tank stand ($150!). And we love it =) So, this idea has been coming up a lot for us. Today, I went garage saling and I bought a Sony receiver for $5 and a pair of JBL bookshelf speakers for $3. I didn't realize how old the receiver was at the time (10-15 years old). I knew I was taking a chance and I wasn't sure what Chris would think, but I brought them home.

A month ago, I know Chris would have been very skeptical about the receiver and speakers but his mind really has changed after our recent conversations (and I understand this because I know he values good tone quality so much). The huge blessing is that the receiver and speakers do work well! He is enjoying them! Yahoo! What a blessing they are. The speakers really do make a difference and now my husband can really enjoy the sound when we watch Indiana Jones when it comes out soon on DVD! And now I can too, because I haven't gotten to go to the movie theater with my husband in 4 years. I know it's just one of those things that happens when kids come along =) It sounds like such a silly little thing, but I really think that God knows how much Chris enjoys the music and sound from movies and provided this receiver and speakers so that we can enjoy them together =)

Thanks God!