This is my 1500th post! HOLY COW! BUT back in the day I used to blog a lot of pictures. These days I'm not able to for some reason (maybe because I did so so much back then?). I'm determined to make this a 'good' post, not a 'pity me' one. This is gonna take some work here, so bear with me :)
Last night I had the privilege of reading Joy's blog (or maybe its her hubby's?). I really enjoyed catching up with her family :) I met Joy years ago at an Above Rubies retreat in Alabama. I admit that I don't know her too well, but with seeing her at a few retreats and with facebook we're still friends/sisters in the Lord :) I love hearing about her family and the "Rev" as she calls her hubby! Reading her blog led me to other blogs and led me to just be encouraged. Not in my present trials necessarily, but in life in general. It helped me to refocus my thinking a bit. I'm thinking I need to read some Godly blogs more often (in addition to God's Word).
Let me elaborate a bit. Most of the posts I were reading were from LARGE families showing us their homes, having an open house! How cool! I love seeing people's homes. I love large families (I desire to be one)! Well, first I saw Joy's home. It made me want to move into the country, to simplify life. I love her front porch! I could just picture her sitting there with her children as they splash in the pool or read next to her. As I gazed into others' homes I was even more encouraged, yet convicted.
It is so difficult not to get caught up in the 'things of this world'. Nice cars, new homes, big TV's, etc. Now I know I'm not as materialistic as some people out there, but at the same time I'm more than I want to be. I seem to go through these phases in my adult life, from simplifying to hoarding. From being different to being like the Jones'. From being in the world to being set apart from the world. Now, being a Christian doesn't mean we need to live in shacks and ride bicycles to work, but at the same time we should share what God has blessed us with! I often say if I have a big home one day (haha ya right) I'd love to open it up to God's people- missionaries, youth, people in need of a place to stay. I often think I could 'never' live in the 'country' away from the conveniences of fast food, Wal-Mart and the like. There are some days where I just like to get in the car and go somewhere because I need to get out (yesterday was one of those days). At the same time maybe if we had a home in the country we'd 'enjoy' it more. Maybe we'd have shade where we could be outdoors more often, enjoying God's creation. I would love for my kiddos to be outdoors more often rather than in front of the TV. I would love for myself to be outdoors more often instead of on the computer :)
Another thing I've really been encouraged in is homeschooling. I joined a homeschool co-op and got to go to the meeting the other night. It is just so encouraging to hear how others began homeschooling and to be in agreement. I just haven't been myself lately and haven't enjoyed my children and the thought of teaching them is so daunting. I've not been disciplining how I should, I've allowed too much TV, etc. It IS summer, I'm NOT me...so things just haven't been GOOD (at least in my mind). Sometimes I even feel embarrassed about taking my kids around other homeschoolers, wondering how they'll act! But to be around these women and then read homeschooling things on these blogs, that was cool. Refreshing. I always like the beginning of a new school year, there's something kinda exciting about it. I really need to get me back on track so we all can get there and learn, not only educational things but more importantly grow closer to God and as a family.
Speaking of homeschooling, I finally ordered the rest of our books for the year. I'm really excited for our history, which is funny because I never did like history in school! I kind of made up my own history for the year, which will consist of:
- The Light & The Glory for Children, which was GIVEN to me with a workbook/coloring book (thank you Cheryl)
- American Pioneers & Patriots, which we'll use for both history & reading
- A Child's Story of America
- Exploring American History, which is a 5th grade book
I like CBD's website because it allows you to look at sample pages. I'm not sure if we'll use both of the last two books or what. They both look pretty similar, but I'm assuming the 5th grade one provides more information. I would love all of us to do history together rather than separately so I need to review it all and make it all work together (like when we cover Christopher Columbus we'll use all 4 books if they apply).
I have most of our homeschooling items bought, though I'll take advantage of Staples Teacher program coming up. We also need pencils, I believe. I bought this little cabinet from a garage sale- it has 3 shelves inside with a door. Each child has one shelf with their school books on it and their school supplies. I put a childproof lock on it to keep Abby out of it, but also bought her her own crayons and pencil box to store them in, along with a notebook. That little girl loves to draw! It's fun getting ready for school but we probably won't start until after Zach leaves.
So, I hope this post made sense (and didn't bore you to death). I just really want to simplify my life and enjoy my children! Pray :)