Friday, December 16, 2016

Agreements with the Enemy

Whether we realize it or not, we all have a daily dialogue that exists in our heads, and much of it is influenced by our enemy. We misinterpret what people say to us. "Can you please stop making so much noise?!" Turns into, "You're annoying, and I don't really want you around," in an 8-year-old's head. "Why did you forget to pick up my dry cleaning?" can become, "You never do anything right," to our fallen minds and emotions. A friend recently told me, "Satan is all too happy to filter our interpretations." These are examples of lies we believe. John Eldredge calls them agreements with Satan.

Today, my 7-year-old begged to play video games with Dad before rest time (we usually do it after). After I told him I'd have to ask Dad first, he, sensing my hesitancy, proceeded to throw a 7yo tantrum, whining annoyingly and jumping up and down. At that point, I had to stick to my guns and sent him off to his room for rest time. He broke down in tears in his room, and like his heart was broken, said, "you just don't want me to have time with family!" (He had just gotten back from a fun outing with his dad.) I didn't punish him or get angry at his attempt at manipulation because it hit me as the all too familiar battle I too face every day. I took his little face in my hands and said firmly and lovingly, "STOP telling yourself lies! You are believing a lie. If what you just said were true, of course you would be upset & crying the way you are, and rightfully so. But what you just said is not true." I didn't have to give evidence that he has plenty of family time because he knew that and immediately stopped crying; his face softened. "But I feel like it's true." "I know," I said. "I deal with the same thing every day, and so does Daddy. We have to tell ourselves to not listen to the lies but what is true." I should have gone one step further and told him whom the lies come from and that his greatest battle in life will be fighting the Enemy and his lies every day of his life, in his own mind & in those he loves. "You're God's warrior, son, and this is your battle," I should have told him. 

What lies are you believing? What agreements have you made with the devil? "Why try? It's no use." "I'll never be good enough for her." "I'll never be loved the way I want." "He just doesn't care about me when he does xyz." "I'll never need anyone again." 

"The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy..." John 10
"The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19

What have you lost that Jesus is trying to give back to you?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How to Respond to the Election

Trump will be President. I have to say I did NOT see this coming. Nothing is over. A government by the people means that the people must respond, and stay alert. 

If this is what you feared:

The election of Trump will not be the end of your life. You will not move to Canada. Your children will not be hunted down & deported in the dark of night. Stop spreading fears and exaggerations; it's not helping anyone! It's OK to be hurt and a fearful, but make sure that it's not based on bad assumptions. 

The country did not reject Hillary because it hates women. If we can't see that the rejection of one of the most corrupt politicians of our time is not a rejection of all powerful women, then we're looking through the wrong lens. 

A CNN commentator said that Trump won as a "whitelash" against Obama. Despite what you've been told by the media, people don't dislike Obama because he's black. His color was the ONLY thing we like about him, haha! People dislike him because he has no regard for the Constitution whatsoever, and has tried to bring this country "down a notch" (aka, run it into the ground) any and every way he can. Making things that are not about race about race does not help heal this country! Please stop doing it.

Trump may have racist tendencies, which is always scary, and I realize that I, as a white person, will never truly understand that fear. But people are responsible for their own actions. Trump doesn't single-handedly dictate race relations in this country. In the words of Jen Hatmaker: "No leader can make us fear or hate our neighbor. No leader can stop us from loving, defending, representing, advocating, bridge building, and gathering. No human has ever been able to staunch the power of love." I realize his words have been hurtful for sure! But his policies are nothing to incite fear of a massive racist agenda. Stop & ask yourself what you're afraid of & the real likelihood of that happening. Are you reacting against something the media has told you? There are people in this country who stand to gain much on the fear of minorities; don't let them steal your peace.

I do hope that you can see the good that America has not elected the most corrupt, most pro-abortion, most pandering nominee this country has seen!

If this is what you hoped for:

Just chill with the celebration, OK? If you're celebrating that Hillary didn't get elected, then great, but this man is not much to celebrate. We must stay vigilant against possible policies he will try to push through that are not Constitutional, just as much as we would be with a Democrat in office. 

Netanyahu just tweeted that Trump is a friend of Israel. Really? Because I'm pretty sure he's the same one who said that Israel needs to make sacrifices if they want peace with Palestine. 

Politicians have come out to say they are excited about helping Trump repealing Obamacare. Really? Because I'm pretty sure he's the same man who said he supported the individual mandate of Obamacare, so whatever he's wanting to replace it with, it will have the MOST un-Constitutional part of Obamacare in it. 

I have friends on Facebook saying that abortion has been defeated. Really? Because we've had a super majority before, and nothing happened to abortion then. I also don't trust anyone, who has in his adult life, been in favor of legalizing partial-birth abortions. He changed his view to fit the party, but I don't think it's a big issue for him.

He also spoke out in favor of the bailouts & tax increases, both big government positions, not conservative positions. 

It's the false optimism that scares me most. The possibility that we'll all just sit back and let this man take us further down the road toward socialism, further away from the Constitution. I hope & pray Congress can stand up to him. I hope & pray we will elect those who will & get rid of those who don't. If he builds a wall on the southern border, that will be a step in the right direction, but that's about the only thing I think he'll do without a lot of poking & prodding.

And please please stop saying that God did this, unless you simply mean it in the sense that God is sovereign over the affairs of men (Daniel 2:21 & Ps 75:7). Trump is not God's man! He is not our Savior, even of this country. Our hope is in God despite the candidate Republicans put forward.

We must NOT fall back asleep, America! There is a response from us that is critical, and it includes a very watchful eye on the most liberal Republican that has ever been elected. Don't celebrate too much.

Friday, October 28, 2016

U is for Us!

(MFW Kinder, Unit 7)

I want to take a minute to explain our "number of the day" system. Each day, the boys circle a number on the chart (alternating boys/colors). We identify the number. One boy adds a popsicle stick, and we count those (we bind in groups of ten each time we reach a multiple of ten, then count those by tens). The other boy adds a "penny". (play felt $ from the Target $ spot) We use the fewest coins we can to get to our number and then count those. I've promised them ice cream or something special when we get to 100!

"Us" (human body) ideas...
read books about body parts, play "point to body parts" game, read books about how God made us special, smell=do a smell guessing game with a blindfold, taste=same as smell but with tasting things, hearing=make instruments (see below) or do a hearing guessing game with different sounds, touch=put random items into a long sock & have stick their hand in & guess what they are feeling, sight=put 4-6 items in front of them, name & study each one, remove one while they aren't looking & have them try to guess what's missing

Number of the Day
Cuisinaire U page

Our hands-on letter was using glitter glue
Making "us" badges
We did a smell test to study the sense of smell. Each boy's answer is listed 1st with the real answer listed 2nd.
beginning sounds sorting
For the sense of hearing, we made homemade instruments- drums & foil folded over a comb
...a "guitar" with rubber bands of various thicknesses & a shaker (water bottle with dried beans) super simple!

Life happens...
Superman jammies!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

T is for Turtle!

(MFW, Kinder, Unit 6)

Hands on letter activity ideas. Each week we try to choose one of these.
  • make the letter out of play-doh or any other modeling compound
  • make pancakes or cookies in shape of the letter
  • trace the letter in a box with salt or sand or go outside & draw it in the dirt
  • make it out of sticks (best with straight line letters)
  • make jello & use cookie cutters to make letter shapes
What we did for our turtle unit...
made turtles out of paper bowls & green foam for the legs, head, & tail; read The Tortoise & the Hare; I watched during the week to catch them using perseverance, and they did a couple of times :) ; sorted out small animal reptiles & played in water with them; talked about the characteristics of reptiles; and observed our own red-eared slider, Timmy (sorry, didn't get a pic).
all his work for the unit
Math sheet "turtle race", working on ordinal numbers (MFW)
Kumon cutting sheet was about a turtle race!

T is for tower!
reptile sensory bin
making letters out of sticks
painting turtles
the finished product

Life happens...
Kruiser at his desk, which is in the other room to avoid distractions.
This is how active boys read.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Things I'm Loving

Sitting out on the porch in the early morning (especially the few teasing days where it feels like fall in October in Texas) reading my Bible & praying on this
Best Choice Products Hanging Hammock Chair with Arc Stand.

I got mine for $170 on, but this one is now $124! Super Dad doesn't like how much room it takes up on our back porch, but he said I could do whatever I wanted with our garage sale money, so.... ;) It is amazing and so comfortable! All my friends who have seen it want one.

Pumpkin spice. Even though cold weather is nowhere to be found except on random mornings where it dips down into the 50's for a few minutes, we can still enjoy one perk from fall! Here is my iced coffee with pumpkin spice creamer (yes, it's fake, because I haven't seen that flavor in any of the healthy creamers yet) & these new bars I discovered that were on sale this week at the grocery store. The protein is grass fed whey, no fake sweeteners, added fish oil, and yes, pumpkin flavored. :)

Podcasts. While doing dishes or housework, I've been putting my ear buds in to listen to something inspiring or entertaining. Since none are ones I'd want to listen to every day, I switch around. Serial (real life crime cases), Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour (Christianity/living well), John Piper's Ask Pastor John or others (theology/Christian living), Heidi St. John (homeschooling/mothering), Chris Kresser (health/nutrition) are ones I've been enjoying lately. 

Yoga. I've been doing some free videos off of, the ones that look void of prayer stones, relics, chants, or saluting the sun. I just want to do the bodily positions. I have already noticed a difference in my posture & the way I carry myself. My back & core are in desperate need of this! There is Christian Yoga out there, but I couldn't find enough free videos on it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

N is for Nest!

(MFW, Kinder, Unit 5) 

This week, I wanted to write a little about how we simplify MFW Kinder for the Pre-K level. First off, we do a theme for 4 days instead of 6. We only do school with Skipper 3 days a week, so it takes longer than a week, but we just do whatever day is next in the plan. Here's what we do for the language arts part each day.
Day 1- introduce letter & flashcard, trace letter with finger, we sing the Leap Frog letter sound song for that letter. "The A says /a/, the A says /a/, every letter makes a sounds, the A says /a/," to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell. Then we sing the MFW song for all the letters. We also do the cut apart page. (This is Day 1:1-4 on their Teacher's Guide.)

Day 2: We do a hands-on letter activity (see next week), sing a song about the vowel sounds, do a handwriting sheet- we use this book instead of the sheets MFW has, but some PreK-ers would be able to do those. (Day 1:5 & Day 2:1-2 in TG)
Day 3: a review game w/ MFW stuff, sound discrimination sheet, & blend ladder (see pic below) (Day 2:3-4 & Day 3:3 in the TG)

Day 4: play a review game where I put 6 letters out- we review all of them, and then I say a word & he points to the letter that begins that word, another phonics worksheet- whatever I can find, & then we play a phonics review game- again, whatever I feel like that day. (Day 3:2, 5 & Day 4:5 in the TG)

Nest ideas...
make nests out of straw & mud or play-doh, observe nests outside, match animals to their homes (there are lots of worksheets online), play with or learn about birds or eggs

Skipper loves our hammer pictures as much as Kruiser did. I don't think they sell this set anymore, but it's similar to this.

Math game from K4 Letter of Week. You circle the numbers you roll, and whoever circles all theirs first wins.

playing an animal/home matching game

Life Happens...
I put Skipper in the front of the cart after he begged to ride. We quickly realized he was too big! :( So I documented his last ride in a shopping cart, haha. It's the little things. He had to bring his bear along for the ride.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ways you are Ruining Facebook for Everyone

  1. Posting only about one thing. We understand your passion, but try to vary your posts as much as possible to appeal to a wider audience.
  2. Using your personal site as primarily a business account. For business, create a page, not a profile. If you're posting more than 25% about your business on your personal site, you'll lose friends or followers because of it.
  3. Unfriending people over differences. If someone is being outright rude or abusive, I block them (I think that's happened once... I have great friends!!). I only unfriend if someone's being creepy or scary, and that's never happened, because I only friend people I know in real life (with a very few exceptions of people I've known online for some time, and then only females of course!) I realize people have facebook accounts for different reasons. If you only want family on your account, or only close friends, that's completely fine. However, unfriending or blocking someone because you don't agree with everything they say is immature. Don't be afraid to let your views be stretched.
  4. Being offended over every little thing. So your friend called formula feeders lazy. Speak up if you want; she may not have thought about all the reasons someone may need to formula feed. That will help her think more thoroughly & accurately about her future posts, but try not to take it personally. If you know laziness wasn't your motivation, just move on. There's a joke meme about candy giving you diabetes. This is different, because it's a joke. The vast majority of us know this would only be talking about Type 2 Diabetes, and while it's also true that not all of those cases are caused by lifestyle, it's a joke. We're all offended at times, and it's easy to think of things that don't offend you as no big deal, but I also think we could all benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt. Their motives for posting were to advocate for breastfeeding and to make people laugh, both noble motives, right?
  5. Posting controversial things and being shocked when people offer a rebuttal. Did you think everyone would automatically agree with you? If it's controversial, it's going to be controversial. If you don't have an intelligent answer back, maybe you need to revisit your belief.
  6. Complaining about "all the negative posts". There are those who want FB to be only a happy place, full of funny memes & baby pics. That's fine, but like your mama taught you, you can only control yourself. Post only that stuff if it makes you happy. Some personality types like to battle ideas; some like to post areas where they're struggling to build rapport with other strugglers or ask for prayer. Let others have their thing. Allow them to be different.
  7. Posting about your absolutely perfect life ONLY. Really guys, no one's buying it. 
  8. Being rude. Seriously just don't. Respect others enough to be tactful. When you start insulting, you've lost your argument, and intelligent people know this. 
  9. And finally... (and yes, this one's for the Baby Boomers), posting "forwards" you haven't yet verified. ;)