Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thoughts on Thursday

Oh me. It's one of those days where I don't think I can homeschool one. more. day. Granted, I love homeschooling. I love being home, unrushed, teaching my boy. I love that he gets lots of outside time that he loves. I love that he gets lots of extra time with his Daddy and Grandparents because he is homeschooled. And I love most that I have taught him to read, something that will stay with him through his life. I love striving to point him to Jesus each day and teach him God's word.

But yáll. It's hard. It's hard when he is being too stubborn to understand the way I am teaching the math. When he thinks he knows a better way . It's hard when he can read a story but cannot read a list of words. I do not understand and wonder, why? It's hard when his little brother seems to not get the attention he needs and misses his brother while he is doing his work.

But God didn't say he would make things easy. He just said he would be there through it all. Why would he make it easy? Then I would be tempted to try and do this homeschooling thing in my own strength and not through his strength. Even when I surrender each day to HIS will and pray for guidance. It's hard. My flesh gets in the way. I've learned I need to depend on him even more and I know he delights in that. So even though the journey is hard, if it brings me closer to HIM, if it brings my boy closer to HIM, I must continue on because I know this is what he has called me to in this season of my life. And I must praise him through it all.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

To-Dos and The Unimaginable

Lately I have been antsy about all the things on my to-do list that seem to never get done, but yet the list grows. Today my Encouraging Word from K Love was this...

"Yes I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

In this simple verse that often times makes me think about ministry and growing God's kingdom, God reminded me that today apart from HIM I can do nothing. Accomplish nothing on my to-do list, mark not one thing off. But with HIM and through asking for his strength he can accomplish more in me than I might ever imagine. Thank you Sweet Savior for the unimaginable.

Ninja Turtle Intervention

We need a Ninja Turtle Intervention. Or an Engine Turtle Intervention as my youngest would say. We are teeter-tottering on the edge of obsession here. I blame their Daddy for this. Back last Spring he played the Cool Daddy and brought them not one, but the FOUR disc set of TMNT DVDs. We. have. not. been. the. same. since.

Ten out of twelve of their waking hours are filled with "hi-yas" and my personal favorite "boo-like-ka-shas."I thought we would be over this phase by now? I mean Spiderman only stayed around briefly. Elmo too, Elmo I could deal with. Elmo and I had a connection, I am sure of it.

Back in the Summer they changed my name. I was no longer "Mama," but now "April" and I was to constantly shout "Danger danger" and my Ninja Turtles would appear shouting things like "Where's Shredder?" and "Cow-a-bung-a Dude." I mean it was kinda cute that my boys wanted to take care of their Mama and all, but telling April you needed more milk took it a step too far.

It doesn't seem like this phase is going anywhere. We've been TMNT for Halloween, birthday partied it up Ninja Turtle style, bought the t-shirt and all. So I did what any self-respecting Mama would do. I played the Cool Mama card and made my boys a Ninja Turtle Valentine's bag for their Valentine's party at Co-op. And I even let them glue it together, because I know that's what April would do.

**Oh and I strongly felt the eyes needed a black pupil, but my Raleigh begged me not to add one, because apparently when the TMNT really get in the zone with their fighting, their eyes turn white. Who would have thunk it?

Cow-a-bung-a Dudes,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Give Me 5! It's Friday!

Well friends, it's been a long week! I am so thankful for the sunshine I saw today and am looking forward to warmer temperatures tomorrow in our neck of the woods! Here are my 5 things for this week...

1. Our week started off on a very good note with our Valentine's Party at our homeschool co-op. The boys brought Valentines for their friends (ninja turtles of course), along with some cute bags for their Valentine's from friends. I am proud to say I did not fall into the Pinterest fad of homemade valentines. They are too cute, but my boys just prefer the store bought kind. So we kept it simple, except for the fact that I waited until after 8 pm on Sunday night to fill in 50 valentines. Lovely.
We are so blessed to have such a great co-op in our area. The day included a guest speaker on gun safety, lots of crafts, pizza making in the preschool room and a scavenger hunt in the preschool room. I mainly help out with Asher's group (preschool) so I really get to see a lot of what he does each week. I teach Raleigh's group first thing in the morning, but regrettably miss out on a good portion of his class time. But I figure this is a good balance for us, being that he spends a lot of time with mama through the week and sometimes Asher misses out on "mama time" while Raleigh is doing important subjects like phonics and reading. Both boys love going to co-op, so it works for us!

2. We had an ice storm in South Carolina this week. Never have I seen so much ice in my life! We lost power around 10:30 am on Wednesday and it was restored at 8:15 on Thursday night. Thankfully, we were blessed to be able to stay with my husband's parents who had a generator. So the farm boys got lots of good family time and playtime with their cousin. The ice storm caused a lot of damage. Our driveway was blocked with huge tree branches, and branches (not limbs, big, heavy branches) were also scattered everywhere throughout my yard. There are still many families without power and there are many hard-working men out and about working to repair the damage. My prayers are with them all!

3. The ice storm meant a lot of work for my farmer and the farmers in my family. We have three greenhouses that have been seeded (planted) with tobacco seeds to make tobacco plants to be transplanted this Spring. These greenhouses needed power to stay warm. So the men had to keep generators going no matter the weather. Also no electricity can mean trouble for cattle. Electricity ensures the cows receive water and are kept in their pens safe and sound. For some reason cows like to roam on occasion, especially when they are not supposed to. Thankfully the cows received the hay and water they needed and were safely guided back to their pens if needed. The ice storm caused a great deal of branches and limbs to fall on the cow pens that needed repair and some they will continue to need repair. Nonetheless we had some tired farmers!

4. With the ice storm taking up a great portion of our week, I didn't do anything fun with my boys for Valentine's Day. That makes me a little sad, but we were all just too tired, and many things needed to be done today. I did spice up lunch with a Valentine's heart brownie, courtesy of my girl Little Debbie. :) I do have them some Valentine goodies for tonight. There's not much cupid action going on with the farmer and I either. I did get a text this morning (after we had talked twice) "Oh yea Happy Valentine's Day." I know he had way too much on his mind and I also know he is extremely last minute. So with the only Dollar General in our community (no we don't even qualify as a town) still waiting on power, there was no hope for even a card and candy. It's all good through. I'll still keep him!

5. I almost forgot I got to read an entire book on Sunday! That hasn't happened in a long time for me and it definitely has to be a good read to keep my attention for that long. After loving Melanie Shankle's first book Sparkly Green Earrings I knew I would want to read her second The Antelope in the Living Room. So when my Raleigh wasn't feeling well and had a fever, I decided to stay home from church with him. I downloaded her new book on my Kindle and it did not disappoint. A fun read for sure!

So that's the highlights and lowlights of our week. We are thankful. blessed. and warm. I hope you are too friends! Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This boy is four years old. This boy has stolen my heart. He is rough and tough, and sweet and gentle. He is so funny and loves to sing. He freely gives his mama kisses and seems to know just when I need a hug. He gives the best bear hugs! He thinks his big brother hung the moon. He talks non-stop! He loves dogs, they love him back. He has the sweetest smile and a contagious laugh. He always wants to pray, and prays the sweetest prayers. This boy is four years old and I am humbled that he is mine.

"He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
Psalms 91:4

Keeping things rolling...

What is "The Wheel" you may ask? The Wheel is my farmer, my better half. He got this name from an old man that we do not know. The old man was traveling and stopped to talk with him as he was baling pine straw beside the highway. Interested in his work, he asked a few questions, and then was on his way. As he was leaving he said "You're the Wheel, aren't you? You're the one who keeps things rolling." That old man hit the nail on the head! He is the one who keeps things rolling on the farm, always a step ahead in his mind, with his boots not far behind. He's not afraid of hard work and he's not afraid to joke around either. If you know him well, you know he always has something up his sleeve. He definitely keeps me on my toes! He has had other nicknames, but this one just kind of stuck for me. In my mind he'll always be The Wheel.

The Wheel has had many hobbies in his day. He's hunted deer, ducks, rabbits, even briefly, coyotes. He's road miles looking for the best hunting dog. He's spent hours in Bass Pro checking out shrimping, flounder gigging, and every other kind of fishing gear. His latest hobby is making videos of the farm. Turns out he's pretty good. This is his latest video and it's one of the best. Enjoy!

Give Me Five! It's Friday! Oh's Saturday!

Alright, so I have seen these 5 posts on other blogs and think they are cute! I figured this would help inspire me to post because they are simple enough! I worked on this yesterday, got tired and never posted. Regardless, here are the highlights from our week...

1. We've been trying really hard to get back in the groove of life and homeschooling this week after the fun snow of last week and with the Farmer and I being gone to the SC Young Farmer's and Ranchers Farm Bureau Conference. This is our fourth year attending and we learn so much every year and love being able to network with farmers throughout the state. It's just so good to sit down and chat with good óle farm people yáll! Nothing against you non-farmers, but a farmer's wife can just RELATE to another farmer's wife! Can I get an A-to-the-men? This year we were asked to serve on the YF & R Committee, which means we will help to plan the conference for the next two years and help out with the Farm Bureau State Conference in December. We were really reluctant about being on the committee because of time restraints (we are busy, busy, as is), but after praying about it, decided to give-it-a-go! God has already blessed us through it though because we are on the committee with some really great couples. I so enjoyed getting to know them this weekend and was super excited to have a fellow homeschooler in the mix.

2. My farm boys got to take a fun field trip this week with their Daddy and Uncle. They went to the Farm Show in Raleigh, North Carolina. My oldest has been before, but this was definitely a "big boy" step for my youngest, with the long drive, lots of walking, and all. The farmer said they did great and they were so excited and tired when they got home! Thus I had some time to do some "mama stuff," which included not enough cleaning, a long chat with an old friend, and my number 3 for today.

3. Blog Make-over!! I just love it! Jen at LittleSunshineShoppe on Etsy helped me out with this. I simply gave her my vision and she rocked it out! I loved some of the blogs she had already designed and was impressed at the thorough questions she asked about my blog up-front. She was so good to work with and literally had most of the work done by the time I woke up the next morning. Plus, I asked many, many questions that I am sure would qualify as "dumb," but she graciously answered each one and encouraged me to ask more if needed. Yáll should really go right now and like her shop so you can keep up with the cute things she has for sale. Like right now. Also if you need blog design, she's your gal!

4. Thursday was a busy day for us. Two appointments in two different directions an hour away from home, plus a sick one, but we managed! Raleigh had a check-up with his orthopedic doctor to x-ray his arm. Even though he wasn't feeling great, it was important, and off we went. I am so happy to say that his arm looks great. The doctor is so impressed with how it has healed. Praise the Lord!!

5. Thursday night I made it to our Ladies Meeting at Church. I say "made it" because I have missed the last couple of months for various reasons. I am so glad I went, as I am each time.
A friend spoke and she played "A Love Letter from God." It was my second time hearing it, I think the first time I heard it I sobbed nearly every second of it. This time I tried to really take in each word. If you have never heard it, I encourage you to get alone and watch/listen. Plus if you can find the words ready to print out, add a copy to your Bible to reread when you need to be reminded.

That's all! Thanks a bushel for reading!

Friday, February 7, 2014

the junk drawer

The Junk Drawer
My husband kept asking when I was going to post again on my blog. I sighed (he hates it when I sigh) and said  "I don't know." After wanting to start a blog for some time, nothing was flowing. Scratch that. A little was flowing from my heart to the keyboard, I was just scared silly. So I asked God when was I going to post again? My next immediate thought was the junk drawer. The junk drawer? I thought... where did that come from? Okay. Yeah the junk drawer hasn't been cleaned out in a while, I'll get to it sometime another. Then I completely forgot about blogging altogether.

Until I was writing in my prayer journal one morning. My last line was "Thank you for loving me through my mess." And then, as if a drum roll went off in my head, dum, dum, dum... - the junk drawer.

I took a peek in my junk drawer - I tip-toed, of course (no need to wake up those rascals yet). I saw things out of place, things that need to be dealt with, unused items, and oh the surprise - a few neat nearly untouched items. Then I thought about the mess of my heart that my Sweet Savior loves.

The things out of place - worldly desires - pottery barn styled homes, magazine worthy skin and hair, etc. etc... You know the stuff we think we want, we need.
God says - "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world you do not have the love of the Father in you....And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave."1 John 2:15- 17

Then I thought of the things that need to be dealt with - past hurt, feelings of inadequacy, fears. God says - "...Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Next came the unused things - the gifts God has given me that I haven't dared to unwrap or experience. God says - "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:13

Finally, the neat, nearly untouched items - my pride and the desire for everything to look just peachy on the outside. Even when things are far from it. God says - "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world." James 4: 7-8

I'm slowly working on my junk drawer heart. Honestly, I have been for a while. I'll keep working and thanking God for loving me through my mess. Maybe you will too? Much love. Thanks for reading.