Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodbye 2010

There is so much we can say about a year that has just past. Not all will be good, but not all will be bad. It's a good thing to look back and see the good and bad. Would you put the ordinary in the good or bad category? I suppose it would depend on your outlook on life. For some, the ordinary would be good because it would certainly be better than the bad things they have had to deal with. But some might look on the ordinary things in their lives as bad simply because they held no excitement or adventure. As you look back on your 2010, think about it.

In 2010 we have had our ups and downs. Some of the ups weren't so good! I have gained back my weight that I lost for my 25th wedding anniversary vow renewal two years before PLUS about 10 pounds more. That is depressing in and of itself. Maybe in 2011 I can lose it again. I feel like a yo-yo!

  • I began closing my very successful home daycare. That cut our yearly income in half. Our monthly bills began to get behind while I tried to find ways to make extra money to pay the bills. I went through the house and sold as much as I could, including many of my daycare things. The money went towards car repairs for hubby's car instead of paying off bills. But at least we had it. I tried to do a weekly parents night out that would bring in enough to pay the bills but people are just too busy to take that time to go out these days.
  • JC did FBCA basketball and Bible Drill during those months so we spend many hours going back and forth to the church for those activities plus the regular ones.
  • Hubby and I began a wonderful mission study called Perspectives. It opened up a whole new world for us and literally changed many of our perspectives on how missions are and should be done. At the end of that time we publicly announced God's call on our lives to do full time missions overseas. We began talking with our missions minister about what our next steps would be. We started blogging to keep people updated. 
  • In May I joined two writer's groups, the national one, American Christian Fiction Writers and a wonderful local one, DFW Ready Writers. I have learned so much from the local group because of the wonderful guest speakers we have each month at our meetings. I also started a writer's blog. I am doing book reviews on there and someday hope to have things that I have published on there, as well. If you are a published writer and would like me to review your book, just let me know. I love to read!
  • Sami turned 23, She started working for Lifetouch again through JCPenney's taking wonderful pictures.
  • JC turned 11, is in the 6th grade and has this one last year in the children's department.

  • The two younger kids and I spent the summer doing all the wonderful FBCA children's activities. We went to summer camp (that was a blast!) at Riverbend. We did VBS and VBSX (the after care program), Summer Fest (the musical), and WOW Camp. I had one of the best summers ever.
  • All the while I was putting in applications for jobs. I applied everywhere. In August I finally got a job but it was short lived.

  • My van got repossessed and I could no longer get to work. The kids and I walked many places, including church on Wednesday nights. As the weather got colder we stopped walking and started asking for rides.
  • I started subbing at the local schools that I could walk to. That was a lot of fun. I love working with the kids especially the younger ones. Fourth graders are a bit wild though. Hubby worked days for five weeks in November so I had to stop subbing.
  • Nick turned 18, got his GED.
  • Jenni turned 9 and is in the 4th grade. They are all growing up so quickly. We now have two grown children and two that are pre-teens. Life is full of adventures.
  • We started our new homeschool year with new curriculum. It is amazing! We are having so much fun with it. We are a part of a wonderful homeschool group that meets at our church every other Thursday. We also go on field trips together. As I said to them at our Christmas party, it is like these kids are all a huge group of cousins! They have become so close it is wonderful!
  • We started some NEW mission training called Panorama. That has been awesome! The kids have been doing a children's version of that program. Until now they hadn't done one for kids but it was something we felt so strongly about. We want them to be prepared and not just us for the adventures God has for us in the future.
  • We have also gotten involved with a mission ministry called Water for Christ. JC has actually gone out with his dad and worked on site to help drill practice wells. We hold monthly prayer meetings in our home for this group. We feel God is going to use us in this ministry to reach the unreached people groups of the world with the gospel of Christ. What an adventure!

  • Hubby went back on nights but still working seven days a week. The stress of that made our home life a bit difficult. He has put in for a day position that isn't management but we haven't heard anything yet. It would mean less hours for him working but it would also mean less money, a lot less money. But we know God will provide if that happens. We would rather him be home.
  • My 14 year old niece was killed in a car accident. It really makes you appreciate what you have and who you have. You need to make sure you tell those you love that you love them. Never let the sun go down on your anger. Go a step farther, never get into a big enough fight with someone that you would regret it if there was never a time to right things with them. It is OK to disagree with someone, just not to the point of anger. You also need to make a difference in others lives that you come in contact with because you just never know how much time you have on this earth to make a difference. 

While I am sure there are other things that have happened during the year, I have been working on this post for too long. There are things I wish I could undo in 2010 but I am hoping that I can use what I have learned from the good and the bad to make 2011 a better year. My next post will be my goals, short term and long term for 2011. 

Until next time...blessings to you. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

School Pictures 2010

My oldest daughter took these pictures of her siblings. She is an awesome photographer!

11 1/2 years old, 6th grade

9 years old, 4th grade

That is our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've Come To Realize

I've come to realize that my body is...the temple of the Lord. I have not treated it like such in the past couple of years. I lost 26 pounds over two years ago but gained it back over the last two years from not eating what I should have. I had been eating healthy and starting to exercise. But that has fallen by the wayside. I need to get back on track and take care of my body. We are working on becoming cross cultural workers long term and we feel our bodies and health should be in better shape.

I've come to realize that my job is...being the best wife and mom I can be. I don’t have a J O B right now outside the home or inside the home anymore. I am teaching my children daily as we homeschool. I am doing my best to instill in them God’s Word and other things they need to become responsible adults who love the Lord. I am trying to be a huge support system for my darling husband who works so hard each and every day to provide for our family. I fail so often in these things but I keep trying each day to make a better effort.

I've come to realize that I need nothing more in life than...to follow the Jesus way. He is my guide. He shows me the way and promises to carry me through when I am unable to walk through them on my own.
I've come to realize that I've lost my mind...when I try to live each day without putting God first and when I try to handle things on my own and in my own way. I know that I can do nothing without Christ who gives me strength for each hurdle I must jump.

I've come to realize I hate...the feeling of depression that washes over me when I let Satan distract me from God’s purpose in my life with the things I can’t control. I seem to always wonder how I am going to get through them. When I have no answer I tend to get depressed because I can’t fix it. But it isn’t my job to fix it. I am to turn it over to Him and leave it there. I am working on that daily.
I've come to realize that money is...not supposed to be the number one priority in our lives. If our main goal in life is to make more money to buy more things then we have missed the blessings God intends for us. The world today is so about getting more stuff. Adults have as many “toys” as kids do these days. God has changed the way I think about stuff. We are trying to clear things out and stop accumulating things.
I've come to realize that certain people...just don’t get it. They don’t understand how much God loves them. They spend their lives living the lie Satan fills their hearts with. Sad day.

I've come to realize that I'll always remember...going to Burger Chef with my grandpa on Fridays when I was a child, helping my grandmother make sweet pickles, eating peanut brittle with my cousins, riding around the small city of Alice with my sweetheart in his jeep, spending summers at my aunt’s house in her pool, riding around on a golf cart every day with my grandparents, spending hours in the tree in my front yard pretending I was anywhere else in the world my mind could imagine, picking oranges and grapefruit off the trees in our yard, playing Charlies Angels in 5th grade (I was Jill, of course), the day I met John, the day we got married (27 years ago), the day we got married again (2 years ago for our 25th anniversary), the day Sami was born and I held her for the first time, my first miscarriage and the second and the third, the day I found out I was expecting Nick, the day JC wrapped his arms around me for the first time when he saw that I was sad and made my heart melt, the day Jenni was born and Sami was there to share it with us, the day each of my children accepted Jesus as their Lord and were baptized, the lessons that God has taught me through the good times and bad, the wonderful friends I have met along the path of this life, the wonderful friendship I had with my precious grandmother (I will see you again someday!), the daycare families that were a part of MTCKC for those five years, the tiny church I grew up in (West Main Baptist Church Alice, TX), the church we found when we moved to the Metroplex (MRBC, Arlington, TX), the church we are now a member of that has made us just as welcome and we have so many wonderful new brothers and sisters in Christ to add to our other two families of faith (FBC Arlington), the good times and bad that John and I have been through and grown stronger because of, and that Jesus Christ died for me and because of that I live for Him.

I've come to realize that my siblings...are still a part of me even though I didn't grow up with any of them. I missed having them in my life but pray for them daily.
I've come to realize my (adopted) mom...was one of the strongest Christian women I will ever meet. She wasn't perfect but she loved the Lord with all of her heart. She passed that along to me and I pray I am doing the same with my children. I love you, Grandmama!

I've come to realize my (adopted) dad...was a strong silent man. He loved greatly even though he didn't do a lot of talking about it. He was brilliant when it came to fixing cars and playing golf. I love you, Grandpa!
I've come to realize my cell phone...is GREAT! I love my iPhone for many reasons. I have Kindle on it and can read anywhere. The kids can play games in the backseat while I drive and that makes it easier! I didn't have a cell phone until I was in my 30’s. I see all these kids with phones and think, really?
I've come to realize when I woke up this morning...I have another chance to make this day great and live it for the Lord.

I've come to realize last night...was the last night of the summer Bible study on Revelation. I am sad that it is over but enjoyed it greatly! The last two chapters were encouraging and glorious! Praise God!

I've come to realize right now I'm thinking about...my husband at a job interview for hours we really don’t want. It would get in the way of our commitment to mission training. Praying that something else might come from this interview like a job with different hours and great pay.

I've come to realize today...can be great or terrible, depending on how I react to things. I am praying God will help me stay positive and happy as well as get many things done around the house.

I've come to realize tonight...I won’t be going to church like I have the last four nights.

I've come to realize tomorrow...is family night. We will spent time together as a family, possibly go to the homeschool ice cream business meeting and then come home and watch a movie together.
I've come to realize I really want to...change my eating and exercise habits so I can be healthy again. I need to get this weight off and keep it off this time.
I've come to realize my children...are gifts from God, each and every one of them. And I know that He is in control and will watch over them when I can’t. They belong to Him and He loves them even more than I do. He has wonderful plans for their lives and I can’t wait to see how He works in and through them.

I've come to realize this weekend...we aren't going to be able to find places for the kids to be so we can have alone time. But we will do our best to talk about the things we need to anyway.

I've come to realize the best music to listen to when I'm upset...is praise and worship music. When I am singing to the Lord it fills me with strength and hope.
I've come to realize that my friends...are the best! I have met many wonderful friends throughout my almost 45 years and God has placed them in my life at just the right time. I continue to make more friends and that is one of my favorite things to do.

I've come to realize that this year...is half over. We filled the first part with Perspectives, the summer with fun kid’s church activities and this fall will be filled with even more mission training. Time does indeed fly!
I've come to realize my husband...is my best friend and the one who was created just to complete me. We were meant to go through this life on earth in ministry alongside each other and when we are the world seems right. He desires to be the godly leader of our home and leads us with a loving heart. He loves the Lord with a mighty love. He desires to reach the lost and I can’t wait to work alongside him long term full time in whatever country God sends us to.

I've come to realize maybe I should...get off my behind and workout each day. That might actually help the weight come off, do ya think?

I've come to realize I really don't understand...why I have to struggle with so many things. I don’t understand why some people have illnesses and mental issues that make their lives harder to live. I don’t understand how some people turn their backs on the God who created them and loves them so much.

I've come to realize my past...is not perfect but it is the past. I have made so many mistakes and continue to mess up. I have to stop beating myself up for everything that I wish I hadn’t done or that I wish I had done a different way. I am forgiven and Christ has covered my wrongs with His blood. It is wrong of me to keep digging up the past. I need to leave it in the past and look forward to the bright future God has for me, here and in Heaven.

I've come to realize parties...are fun! I love being with people and talking to my friends and making new ones.

I've come to realize my life...is a precious gift from God. And that I am to live for Him in all I do. I have been commissioned to reach those who have not heard in places people do not want to go. My love for Him is greater than my love for even my own life. My life is eternally in Heaven with Him.

Until next time...blessings to you. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First Week of School 2010

Our first day of school was Monday. 8-9-10. The kids got a big kick out of that. They figured it out when they wrote the date on their first page. We have had a great first three days of school. Some new things we are doing have made it so great. We are using the same Math-U-See, which we LOVE. We are doing the Paths for Exploration for our main curriculum. For our Bible curriculum the Paths of Exploration has a Bible supplement that we do daily called Light for the Trail.

We also have Precept Ministries Discovery 4 Yourself Kids Monday, Wednesday and Friday's. We are doing the Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends on Tuesday and Thursdays. We start our days with our Bible time. In the Light for the Trail the kids work on memory verses and how they relate to our lives and what needs to change in our lives to line up with God's Word. They have a Bible notebook that they write in each day. And a memory project they work on every three weeks that is a longer amount of verses.

Then we either do math or start on our Paths of Exploration. After we finish that up we have lunch. The kids have an hour or so reading time. They have chosen a novel from the list I have put together. The two novels they are reading are The Lightning Thief and Ella Enchanted. (Ella Enchanted was her sisters book!)

Each week we have a game that we play every day. We have a container with slips of paper that have games on them. We pick a game out of the container and that is our game for that week. This weeks is Canasta. We are keeping our score from each day and adding on to it. A lot of the games we are learning how to play together and some of them are games I played as a child and youth. Canasta is one I played when I was young. I wanted to pass it on to them.

We will add PE to the mix next week. They do play outside each day with friends and this week have played in the gym at church each night. Our days are so full that may be the majority of what they do until there is FBCA basketball in the spring.

We have our nightly Bible time with dad. Right now we are studying angels. We are learning so much about them. We are hearing things about angels in our lessons at church and during the sermons that we pull out because we are studying them. We share them in our nightly Bible time when we learn something about angels outside of that. The kids each look up verses during that time. They are getting very good at finding any book in the Bible. They will both be doing Bible Drill with the church after the first of the year. We are so blessed to have the head of our household leading us each day to search God's Word and learn His truths.

That is the basics of our school days. I will do my best to add pictures when I can. I will take the kids to the park soon and take school pictures of them. I am sure they have changed so much since last years pictures!

That is our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Schooling Outdoors

This school year has been so busy we have failed to take pictures and write about it. I will try to do better next school year! A few days ago we had a GREAT time. We found a nice spot in the middle the Highlands! Isn't that funny? Right in the middle of a shopping center. They have the landscape done so nicely with a "brook" running through it. We brought our lunch, math books and towels to sit on and had a fine picnic. We went into Borders afterwards to read a bit.

I am not sure what all we will find today at the book fair. We have talked about doing history and science during the summer months on our off weeks from summer activities. I think it will be much easier to do science when Dad isn't working the LONG hours he is now. Hoping that happens very soon. We are almost done with this years work. Soon I will have a 4th and 6th grader! yay! They are totally excited!

That is our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Day

Today it snowed for more than 12 hours straight! The flakes were huge! Texas got more snow fall today than it has since 1978. I think it may have beat that record, but I am not sure. The kids had a great time but it took some thawing out afterwards! It was so beautiful, all the trees covered in white fluffy snow!

We enjoyed the snow but are praying for safe driving for "dad" as he drives to work tonight and home tomorrow morning. Sometimes snow and wet and cold are NOT good things. But we trust God to watch over him. Hope everyone enjoyed the wonderful day!

Until next time...blessings to you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

At Year's End 2009

November was filled with lots to be thankful for, including a wonderful Thanksgiving day with all of my kids here, even if it was only half the day. That is such a blessing, to have us together for the holidays. I intended to make a list of what I was thankful for, but time got away from me. The kids did do some nice things for a few of our neighbors as a "Thanksgiving" gift. They raked and bagged their leaves for free. The ladies were so grateful and tried to pay them but they told them it was a gift to them. I am a proud mom!

December was filled with lots of "Christmas" happenings. It snowed three times and stuck twice!!!! YES, in Texas! Hard to believe, I know. But God blessed us with a white Christmas in Texas! We spent December baking goodies for others instead of buying things. We also had a "small" material Christmas. I had told the kids last year that this Christmas would be much smaller in that sense than all the other ones they had ever known. I am a huge over spender when it comes to gifts because I just want my kids to have it all! They DON'T NEED it all! After being a mom for almost 23 years I finally get it! Each child (plus each parent, yes it included us) got one gift around $50. They also got one gift from their older sister and then one from the two siblings they live with. So three gifts per person. (Plus, we put some small stuff in the stockings. My kids know the stockings are from us but we still like to pretend). I also got several movies sets for very low price to put in a box for everyone to open. We don't have cable or even TV without the use of a DVD or the Wii hooked up. And believe it or not, it was one of the very best Christmas' that we have ever had. I am so glad that I allowed the Spirit to guide me in this direction. We focused more on giving and more on Christ than ourselves, as it should be.

The year was filled with so many blessings that I am not sure I could even count them. God has been so good to us. Even through all the little things that didn't seem so good He brought good out of them.

I have many changes going on for 2010. I will go into that in another post. But just know they are major changes and it is quite a shock to a certain extent. But I am hanging on tight to HIM and waiting to see where He takes me on this journey in 2010! What an adventure life is with Him. May you all have a wonderful 2010. May you grow closer to Christ daily. 

Until next time...blessings to you.