Monday, July 25, 2011

Brain Overload

So much is running through my mind today. How am I going to process and get through everything without my brain overloading and exploding? Yikes!


Must take care of bills, must work on the budget, must must must! We have lots of plans for this next year (we hope) so we have to really go through all of our spending habits and review.

Also, this week we are completely readjusting our sleep schedule and buckling down on our chore lists in preparation for the first week of school starting on the 1st. I'm excited to get started and have everything I need and am pretty much prepared, its just like nerves going back to school I guess! I want everything to go smoothly and work out, I know it won't exactly go that way, haha, but I still hope. Today is going very well, but I know tomorrow is going to be a different story! And, just as a side note, if anyone is looking for a checklist type program to help their kids keep up with their chores, and to award them points/money and let them earn an allowance or prizes, I really recommend looking up the online website My Job Chart. We really like it, it keeps us mostly on track, and I like that I can split the kids money up into saving, spending, and giving. Plus, this way we just keep track of points/money online, they can "cash in" a prize that they have been saving for, and I'm not actually ever having to give out or have them keep track of their money. You assign the chores, the time of day to do them, how much points they are worth, etc. It really is a great free program! We have been very satisfied.

Now, on a deeper level. I've been thinking a lot lately about my faith. I know I've been going through a "luke-warm" period for a little while now, and I know that's my fault really. I can't blame other people for that and I certainly can't blame God! But I also know there are some factors that I let affect me so that I got to this point. I know a lot of it has been my depression struggle - that makes me see everything negatively. But it is also just seeing how people in the body of Christ act and behave, towards one another but sometimes more especially to those who are not Christians. I know we are all sinners, and so we are all (and I mean all, cause I suck too) are going to royally screw up all the time! Jesus was God, and yes he was perfect and we are to strive to be like Christ, but I'm pretty sure he knew we would fail at it - hence him actually having to die! If we were capable of doing it, that wouldn't have had to happen. We needed him, and we still need him, and we always will need him. I get that, I really do. And I really want to emphasize that I KNOW I fail all the time. Its just hard when you see others doing it, and sometimes even not caring that they are doing it, that hits so hard to me. Where is the love? I see people on 2 sides - either all about grace and they seem to forget about everything else mentioned in the Bible, or they are so focused on how they are living that grace seems to not even enter their minds and it becomes so works related. I'm not sure where the balance is. I'm not sure where I have been on that scale. I know lately I haven't been going towards Jesus. I know I haven't been seeking after heavenly things like I should be. But I feel so conflicted. And I am unsure what to do about it. I know every church, which is filled with sinners, is never going to be perfect. I know that every "church" really is just a part of the Lord's bigger church (for the most part, there are some groups that...well I just don't think they are Christian even though they claim to be, but that's a whole different post!). But I feel like...most people don't view it as being one church. I don't see any fellowship or unity or love, at least not from where I am. I see some individuals yes who do this, but I am talking about as a whole. Anyway, I'm just talking randomly here. This probably doesn't make any sense and is just going in circles, haha. But right now I am feeling like it is so much about the LOVE and knowing Christ and seeking after him, that I feel like between all this other stuff we talk about that is filling up space, Jesus is getting lost in the shuffle. We are so focused on grace or works that we sometimes don't include Jesus in the picture like we should. Anyway. End of rambling. haha.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Healthy Habits, and Babies

So, I have been in prayer about becoming a midwife. How should I got about it? When should I do it? Am I sure its my "calling"? I don't want to neglect my home and family in order to do this. And as I was praying about these things and why I wanted to be a midwife, I had this thought. I want to be a midwife because I believe in most cases birth can be a natural and wonderful process as God intended it to be without intervention...so why does only the birth process matter to me? I guess it stands out to me because I love babies and had bad hospital birth experiences, but really this is a bigger issue! This is about a complete lifestyle change. We should also be living day to day a natural and wonderful way that God intended for us too. So, our family has some huge changes to make. We need to change our eating habits and our lifestyle habits, and we really need to become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and how we are choosing to live and treat our bodies. This is going to be a long and hard journey for all of us, but I feel like it is a big step we are being led to that I must deal with and learn from before/as part of this midwife journey I am making. So here we go!

On another note, my sister is due VERY soon with her first little baby! I am going to be going up there to help out for a weekend after the baby is born, and I'm just so excited I can hardly contain myself! That's all really, I just had to share it because I'm SO DARN EXCITED!!!! =o)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Fresh Start

Tomorrow begins a new work week for us - and we will be beginning to pull the house together, start to implement chores, and I will be encouraging a morning personal devotional for those of us who can read (I guess Will is off the hook, but rest assured I will read something with him!).

Tomorrow I will be starting my Morning Journaling - an idea I heard where when you wake up and get your cup of Joe, you sit and write out all the things that are weighing you down. As you write them out you just release them and give them over to God and His sovereignty. We will see how it goes. =o) I will always be using this 30 day devotional for depression. I am doing other things to begin treating my depression - starting a daily walking routine, being more aware of the foods I am putting into my body, taking dietary supplements, working towards getting more/better sleep, etc. I know that God has provided those suffering with depression with numerous treatments options and therapies and help, but I know ultimately all those things are tools that He uses to do the work within us, and that really all healing, no matter what form it is achieved through, is ultimately going to be through Jesus. I have had a lot of struggle lately with my faith because of the depression. I think a lot of people tend to, like me, begin to blame God or to feel separated from Him when going through a particularly hard time, but this evening as I write this I feel reassurance. I feel that I am beginning to take steps back towards Him, that he has been calling and leading and pulling me the entire time back towards him and away from the snares of this world that have been wrapping around me. I know that through Christ I will find peace and that this heavy yoke I have been carrying will be made light. I have a long way to go, and I know this process has all just begun for me, but I feel hope, which is something that I have not felt for a while now. I am in the darkness, but there is a light still there, and it is growing brighter all the time. I wish I could just reach out to all the people who have felt this same pain that I have been feeling. Especially those who don't know Christ and are going through this without Him. It is such a struggle for me, and I don't know how I would even begin to face this or find that hope without knowing that I am being held in the hands of my God and Savior.

On another note. =o) We have begun praying about a "career" for me. Now, this is nothing that would happen anytime soon, and even then it would be basically a work from home gig. I still plan to homeschool the kids through high school Lord willing, and that is not something that I am willing to sacrifice for a full-time career. However, I have always been interested in the medical field. I am one of those weird people who (when I had cable) would sit and watch Discovery Health for hours - just watching all the medical drama and intrigue unfold. I am fascinated by it all. I also am extremely passionate about the natural birthing process, and how birth in this country has become so "medical" and sterile, and just not even a natural process. Women, we were formed for this! Our bodies were made to do this, and we can. I know there are instances where intervention is CERTAINLY necessary - do not get me wrong. I feel when there is a medical intervention needed, there should be no delay in seeking out that care. But I also feel that a wonderful empowerment and a beautiful experience has been taken away from us in the way our country views birth. Lately I have been feeling called to be trained and certified as a midwife. This is something that would take years, and funding, and it is something I do not want to take lightly. There are so many things to take into consideration and to be prayerfully of before I could even consider taking this step. I need to first make sure it is a vocation the Lord is calling me to, and I also need to make sure that I am in a place where I am close to Him and am doing well with my depression. There are other little things that would also need to be handled first, but the most important thing to me right now is working on my health, and continuing to pray to see if this is what I am being called by the Lord to do. If any of you would like to keep my depression and my vocation in your prayers, it would be greatly appreciated.

Wow, that was long. Did you make it through? If you did I'm really impressed and grateful! =o)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Homeschool 2010-2011 about to begin

As I mentioned in the previous posting about chores, school is literally right around the corner for us. We are going to start on August 1. I thought I would just a little post giving a listing of our chosen curriculum and plans for this year. Usually, I have found other homeschool moms to be interested in hearing what others plan to do, haha.

Abby's School Work - 3rd Grade
Math - Math Mammoth (I had wanted to use Teaching Textbooks, but it is just out of my price range)
Science - Apologia Astronomy (Fall) / Apologia Zoology 1 (Spring)
History - Mystery of History Vol. 1 - Creation to the Resurrection
Language Arts - Switched on Schoolhouse L.A. (includes grammar, spelling, reading, etc.), also Literature Reading using BeyondFIAR lists and Ambleside lists
Foreign Language - Song School Latin
Music - Rod and Staff Music
P.E./Health - Gymnastics, daily stretching/alternating strength/cardio activities, Rod and Staff Health
Penmanship - Rod and Staff Penmanship
Bible - Foundations Book 1

Will's School Work - Preschool
Phonics - Hooked on Phonics Pre-K Level 1
All Other Subjects - Before Five In a Row
I wasn't actually planning on doing any type of school for Will this year, other than just whatever came about naturally, but he has been asking to do school like Abby, and since he has already shown he knows all colors, all shapes (you know, the "main ones" haha), all his Upper and Lower case alphabets, recognizing numbers, and starting to be able to do one to one number correspondence up to 6, I decided it was time for him to move to a *bit* more formal school work. He is my reader. Abby always hated reading, and still has to be forced to do so, but Will drags books out everyday and begs to be read to, so I'm really excited about getting to use B4FIAR with him!

Chores!!!

With school coming up, we have been spending a lot of time getting ready for that. But I also have been working on chore lists for everyone in the house. Hopefully we can get some good habits established, and keep the house from being destroyed this year once school starts - yes, its a crazy dream, but its my crazy dream.

Here is what I have worked out for the kids so far - too much? Not enough? I don't know. I'd love your input. And just so you know, Fridays we don't do school. We will be doing school with Abby 4 days a week, and on those days we will just do "maintenance" around the house. On Fridays it will be much more intensive cleaning, so that on the weekend we can get to experience a nice time to relax, do the minimum, and spend time focusing on family and faith. So, please keep that in mind when suddenly you see below that on Fridays I am torturing my eldest child, haha. Will however, is going to do school work 5 days a week and his same chores 5 days a week (since his chores only consist of pick up your toys basically....haha). His school is basically 15 minutes, so I think while Abby and I focus on our work, we can manage to do 15 minutes of school with him on Friday. =o)

Will - Age 2

Morning Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Bible Reading/Prayer






Dressed






Hair






Teeth






Dirty Clothes Away














Afternoon Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Pick Up Toys














Evening Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Pick Up Toys






Bath/Shower






Dressed






Hair






Teeth






Dirty Clothes Away






Bible Reading/Prayer







Abby - Age 7

Morning Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Afternoon Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Bible Reading/Prayer







Pick Up Bedroom






Dressed







Set Table






Hair







Pour Drinks






Teeth







Clear Table






Dirty Clothes Away







Clean Table/Chairs






Water Dog







Fold Laundry






Pick Up Bathroom







Put Away Own Laundry






Empty Bathroom Trash







Dog Potty






Make Bed (help Will)















Empty Bedroom Trash







Evening Chores M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Set Table







Pick Up Bedroom






Pour Drinks







Feed Dog






Clear Table







Set Table






Clean Table/Chairs







Pour Drinks






Change Dish Towels







Clear Table






Dog Potty







Clean Table/Chairs






Change Bath Towels
X X X
X X
Water Dog






Change Handtowels
X X X
X X
Dog Potty















Bath/Shower















Dressed















Hair















Teeth






Friday Chores F






Dirty Clothes Away






Clean Bedroom Mirror







Bible Reading/Prayer






Sweep Porch















Clean Door Knobs















Clean Light Switches















Mop Kitchen















Mop Bathroom















Wash Sheets/Bedding















Organize Toys















Clean up desk















Clean up Shelves















Fix DVD's/Games