Thursday, January 31, 2008

Friday Finds

A beautiful description of one girl’s relationship with the Savior. She is now dancing in His presence. A heartbreaking, heartwarming story. It's a little long (for you impatient readers ;-), but read to the end. I promise it will be worth it! Read all the posts this week—you’ll be blessed!

A great idea for getting a point across---can’t wait to read more, Kim

One mom’s positive answers to the prying or curious--- “Are these all yours?”


The Ballroom Dancing class at Transformations Health Center (south of 33rd on Kelly in Edmond) is now offering beginning classes every Friday evening at 7:00 pm (except the 3rd Friday). $15. a couple Lots of fun! E-mail me for more details.
It’s voting day next Tuesday. We’ve been studying the Presidential election process and the boys, Dirk and I are doing research on the candidates and where they stand on the issues. Maybe I’ll post some of our findings.

Know who you’ll vote for?

Are you telling?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh, Brother!

Seeing and hearing the interaction between my two youngest sons is sometimes a nightmare, but also a blessing. They are in their teens now, Kody, 15 and Jacob, 13. Hearing them laugh about a shared experience at church, teasing one another about girls, watching them challenge each other at basketball—these are all daily experiences that either send me over the edge, or get me to laughing. These two keep me young and make me old.

I’m watching them change from boys into young men.

Yeah, they fuss. They fight. They call each other names. They are enemies and best friends—sometimes within the same minute.

They are brothers.

Do you have a sibling who is like that to you?

I think I’ll call my sister today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We Like to Read

One of the favorite things we did on our vacation was READ! I’m talking read without interruptions!! I know…a lot of you can’t even imagine. But, Dirk read two books and I got in three.

Dirk read Volunteer Revolution by Bill Hybels and Journey of Desire by John Eldredge. I read one of Angela Hunt’s novels, You Were Made for Love by Phillip Carlson, and a great novel Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

(This is me reading Peace Like a River while sitting in the ocean. I thought that was funny.)

I’ll be sharing more from You Were Made for Love soon. And I’m going to ask Dirk to tell us about Volunteer Revolution. (This book really got him pumped—and he will study Journey of Desire for some time.)

But if you like to read, I highly recommend Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger. This is a novel written by a young man who captured me with his unique writing style. Written in first person, the story is narrated by an 11-year old boy during the early 1960’s in Minnesota. It’s the story of a family’s faith in God as a provider. It’s amazing! I’m going to see if my boys will read it.
Have you read any of these books? Have any good ones to recommend?

Monday, January 28, 2008

It Was One of Those Days......#2

So, we started school work again today after returning from our vacation. The boys were left with instructions to get some work done while we were gone, and they did pretty well. But, 7:30 am came suddenly this morning. My boys were NOT very excited about math, vocabulary, or even Bible memory work…not that they ever are, really. But we trudged on, with the usual mom-rhetoric, “We all have to do things we don’t like”, “Come on,” “Get goin’!” “Pay attention”. Some attitude started showing: the slam of a book, a sigh, a groan….and then the boys started having attitudes too! :-)

So, I’m just telling you…some days are plain H-A-R-D hard.

But, guess what! Tomorrow’s a new day. I think I can have a better attitude tomorrow, and I’ll bet my boys will too.

Thank God-------

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, January 27, 2008


We just returned from eleven days of vacation, eight of which were spent on a cruise ship with 3000 people from all over the world. Three of those 3000, we’ve cruised with yearly now for 3 years. Strangers, until that first cruise, we chat on-line throughout the year, then meet for a week each year and enjoy each other’s company. This year we met two more couples. The nine of us would eat together each night and spend our time together at the ports our ship visited. We all share a common interest ---cruising.

This unique and fun relationship got me to thinking. How is it that we can spend one week a year with otherwise complete strangers, enjoying their company and seemingly, them enjoying ours? I’ve decided it comes down to commitment. We were all committed to spending a delightful week together with the common goal of having fun, rest and relaxation.

Commitment is the beginning place of getting to know the needs and desires of those around us. When we are together seeking a common goal, we will go beyond the natural tendencies of taking care of our own needs and begin seeing what we can do for those who share that commitment. With cruising, the commitment is easy. It’s all about recreation. There’s not a lot of opportunity for discord, or disagreements. And while it’s fun for a week, as cruising buddies, we only know a part of each other. Unlike a lot of you, these people don’t know and share in the disappointments, heartaches, and failures I’ve experienced as a mom and wife.

So, my fellow blog readers, family and friends, thank you for being committed to sticking with me the remaining 354 days of the year. I look forward to growing through the mess-ups and victories of life with the common goal of living each day and loving each other to the fullest!

Or, maybe, this makes no sense, and I just need to be institutionally committed? ;-)

PS - We had a lot of fun!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Leavin' on a Jet Plane....

Yay! Woo-hoo! Yee-haw!! Woot!! We’re gone!!

While Dirk and I are on our cruise for the next 11 days (count 'em----EE-lev-en!) check out some people on my blogroll. Some of these friends are homeschool moms, some are pastors, some of them I’ve never met face-to-face, but they all have content that will stretch your hearts and minds.

*Check out this post for a real mind-stretcher. What do you think? Leave a comment and look at the original web-site.

Also, read back over some earlier posts here. At the bottom of this page there is an index of sorts, listing past blogs.

Leave some comments, ask some questions.

What is your favorite vacation? Or what would you LIKE to do, given the opportunity?
What is your favorite academic subject to teach? Why? What's difficult for you?
What are some things you’re struggling with?
What are some things you’ve recently overcome?
What’s a great date-night idea? Plan one!! Trade babysitting with a friend. Do it!!
What teachable moment did you encounter recently? What did you teach and how did you teach it?
What are some things you’d like to see discussed on this blog?

I’ll get back with you by Monday, January 28. (...if we come back....j/k)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

You've Got the Power!

How cool is your home?

I’m not talking weather. I’m talking about the quality and level of peace in your family relationships.

I’ll admit, there were days that I’d be carrying a bag of guilt and hurt feelings from a disagreement with Dirk. Or I’d be steamed because of the attitude of one of my children. But, I learned that my attitude filtered down into the hearts and attitudes of my children. And they acted out from the mood and tone I would set for the day.

I learned that the environment of my home began with the level of peace in my heart.

God wants us to be peacemakers. We are the ones who set the thermostat of our family’s day.

What’s the temperature in your heart, in your home?

Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NAS)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Friday Finds

Check out these articles for some good reading:

Cindy Beall – good stuff on character building
Abbi Zeliff – learn a little more about “going green”
Anna Meadows – Fat or Fit –a new way of thinking
Mandy McKeown – a high school senior with some great insight on patience

Two years ago, Dirk and I took our very first week long vacation alone (after children). It was the first time we felt like we could go away and leave them that long.

Next week, we leave on our 3rd annual cruise! This time we are flying to San Diego for a couple of days before we leave for the Mexican Riviera (Acapulco, etc) for 8 glorious days! And here’s the cool thing…we’ve met some wonderful cruising friends from those past cruises! We look forward to spending time with them again this year.

If you ever get an opportunity, check out cruising for a great vacation value. It’s a blast!

BALLROOM DANCING TONIGHT! See last week's Friday Finds for details or shoot me an e-mail.
No chance to make it to church this weekend? Stay at home!!

And go to church online at : Lifechurch Internet Campus

Saturday 6:30 pm
Sunday 10:00 and 11:30 am

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Debt Free

At the library the other day, I had to return some books that were overdue.

I paid my fines, and the female computer voice responded, “All fines have been erased”.

I like that!

It reminds me of grace.

Each time we confess our sins, Jesus tells us, “All fines have been erased”. The difference is He paid them, not me.

Hard to believe, but true!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More on the Mailbox

Yesterday’s comments on The Mailbox were very kind. And you all are really very funny!

You see, there is NO difference between you and me, except:


And, my eyes didn’t stay crossed.
And, I don’t usually stutter when I’m in a conversation.
I get to take a shower by myself (unless Dirk’s in the room…..did I just say that?)
No one cries at the door while I’m in the bathroom
I can go to the grocery store, or any store, alone and sometimes I actually get home with everything on my list.
I can have quiet time (and it’s actually quiet—usually)
We can make it through most meals without a spilled drink.
I found out the clock in our living room makes noise when it ticks!

One day, you too will have similar struggles, a few disappointments, and mostly victories to share with moms who are going through the things you are experiencing right now.

And remember, I’m not finished yet. I still have two teen boys!

For now, just hang on, stay connected to Jesus, enjoy the ride, embrace your situation, and don’t worry too much about that annoying tic you’ve developed. It will go away in about 20 years!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Going to the Mailbox

“I’m going to get the mail”. This was my statement in the afternoon of any given day when we were finished with our studies.

Translated, it meant to my children, “Mom is going to the end of our long driveway to get the mail”.

But, I knew the real meaning of that simple statement. It often meant, “I’m going to the mailbox, but I’m really thinking about walking past it, on down the road, and not coming back!”


Many times it was because I was feeling so overwhelmed, my kids were more than I could (or wanted to) handle, and I wanted to run away. But, other times, it was because I thought my family would be better off without me. Really.

I was so disappointed in my thoughts and attitudes. I just knew I was ruining my kids’ lives. I thought my husband could surely find someone who could love him and my children more than I. Ever thought that?

Somewhere between wallowing in the lies and self-pity and now, I began letting go of those thoughts. Maybe it was because my children were growing and maturing along with me. Or, maybe it was because I began applying God’s grace to me. Whatever the reason, I no longer have those thoughts. I’m glad God gave me what he did---and that he gave me more than I could handle.

And now when I say I’m going to the mailbox, it only means, “I’ll be back with the mail!”

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Dirk and I had a wonderful motorcycle ride today. It was so beautiful out. When you are on a motorcycle, the world is open wide. Everything around you is alive with sounds, aromas, and sights. Nature is up-close and God’s beauty is everywhere.

There were many other riders out today, and plenty of traffic. I began to consider my significance in the world and decided I really wasn’t very significant. I thought, I am significantly insignificant. Then I thought, “No, that’s not right, because in Christ, we all have significance. So now I’ve decided I’m insignificantly significant!

Hope that makes sense to you----it does to me!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Friday Finds

Check out Blake Bergstrom’s blog. A great analogy on trusting God

Another one on “Work” – Anna talks to us about turning our jobs into joys.

And I can’t resist….Christians with Big Butts. Scott Williams' humor makes a good point.

Treat yourself to a low-cal, low-fat (0 point) really good soup while your kids are chomping down their mac and cheese. Progresso Light Soups! At 60 calories per serving, you can eat the whole can for a whopping 120 calories. My favorite: Southwestern-Style Vegetable.

Come join Dirk and I for Ballroom Dancing classes! We meet with a diverse group of ages the 2nd Friday of each month (Friday, January 11 for the next class). The cost is $15 a couple from 7:00 – 9:00 at Transformation Fitness Center, south of 33rd at 14701 North Kelly in Edmond. (Enter from the back door.) This is a beginning class and we learn a new dance or two each class. We laugh a lot and learn a little. Get a sitter and come try something new. Let me know if you need more information. It’s a blast!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Simple Definitions


Several years ago, we used a program called Konos to teach godly character qualities to our children. From that program, we developed some simple definitions of words so we could easily remember them. Some of them were Konos’ definitions, for some we chose our own. My youngest children could say the definitions in their sweetest, most childish voices.

"Patience is waiting without complaining".

This one has stuck all these years. Ask my oldest kids what patience is. They’ll still answer you, “waiting without complaining”. They may also sing you a song, “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry….” Bet some of you know that one too!

Do you have a good, simple definition for patience?

Back to School

We started back with our academics today. Before we began, we averaged the math scores from last semester. This is necessary for Kody, since he is a 9th grader this year and we need to begin keeping a transcript. Math is the one thing that actually has a score for us. The other subjects are, well, subjective. I grade according to effort more than an actual testing score, for now. This seems to motivate my boys into trying a little harder. By next year I will begin to give more tests and keep scores, preparing them for college classes. (Jacob is a 7th grader)

Today I assigned a report, due next week, on the Electoral College. This election season will be a great time to learn all we can about the election process and our American Government. I’ve done this in previous election years with my older kids. I’ll share more on what we cover later.

We also started studying I Corinthians 13 going word by word (ex: Love is patient). We’ll discuss patience for a few days until we move on to “kind”. We used specific relational examples to help remind us when we might be a little more patient.

What about you? Are you re-gearing to start the next session of schooling?

Eight in '08

Eight things you may not know about me

1. I was born and raised in New Mexico
2. Dirk and I each have one sibling
3. I am at least a fourth generation Christ follower—in both my parents’ families!
4. 5 of my children were born at home-2 at a birth center
5. I was a piano and vocal major in college
6. I’d rather read a good book than watch a movie
7. I really enjoy being outdoors and gardening
8. Dirk and I leave for our 3rd annual cruise in 13 days!

What are your eight?