Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Bitter Sweet Goodbye

Our family has had the joy of watching a litter of baby kitties grow up. Our cat, Luv, delivered them in our attic garage where they lived until they were several weeks old. She did not want us bringing them down. We would try and she would pick them up and start putting them back. She was not a happy Mama when we moved her kitties.
Then the day came when we tried again and she was o.k. with it. She just wanted us to keep them in the garage, but they did not have to be hidden in the attic. The fun really began at this point when we all started spending lots of time watching them move around and get more and more adventurous and playful.
Eventually Luv decided that we could carry them out of the garage as long as they stayed close by. Also, I have noticed that she has spent less and less time hovering over them. As a mother it has been interesting to see her gradually release her hold on these little kitties. It made me think about parenting and how I am in the process of training my children and very gradually loosening my hold on them. The goal is to launch them out one day to do great things for God's kingdom. It has been interesting to see how that our cat has had this instinct to discern when the right timing is for releasing her kitties. I have to admit that I do not trust my own instincts about when to let go of my children. In fact I know I would like to hold onto them forever. I am thankful, however, that I do not have to rely on my own instincts, because I know I could be wrong. I am thankful for God's Holy Spirit and that I can boldly come to the throne of grace and find mercy in time of need. When I do not know what to do in parenting, which is most of the time, I can ask my Father in heaven and He will guide me each step of the way.
Well, today is a bitter sweet day for us. The children and I have been praying every morning for good homes for these kitties. We are thankful that the Lord has heard our prayer and that some of them are going to be picked up by some friends in our church later this evening. We have decided to keep the light colored one and are naming her Peaches and Cream. It will be sad to see this precious little family split apart, but we are very thankful that some of them are now going to have a good home. God answers prayer.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Growing Chickens

One of my young man's evening chores is to feed and water the chickens. As stated in an earlier post we originally had four baby chicks, but two of them became dinner for our cat. Since that time our Daddy replaced the two we lost thus we have a size difference between our four chickens. The original two are getting really big, and the newer two are growing fast. We will be glad when they can permanently live in the chicken pen and not in the garage anymore. We will be really glad when we start getting farm fresh eggs. :)

A Confession

My confession is this, "I Love the Goodwill Store." I am stunned at the deals I am finding there. Last weekend I found this smocked dress for Abbie Joy. I think I paid 2.99. Another great find was this Talbots shirt for Gabriel. It had tags on it indicating that it may have never been worn. Actually I have found several things that are brand new or in like new condition. Lilly Faith's christmas dress last year was 2.99 and looked brand new. It feels like a treasure hunt when I go in. Sometimes I come out with one thing while another time I will come out with bags full. It is just so fun to save money.

A Homeschooling Moment

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise; homeschooling is HARD work. It has to be the most difficult job I've ever had but also incredibly rewarding. The Lord is gracious to give moments of joy when I see glimpses of fruit from what I am laboring to do day in and day out. My goals in homeschooling are far more than academic goals. I see being at home with my children and teaching them God's Word as my mission field. It is the place of ministry where the Lord has put me. Most moments call for faithfulness in my calling and are not warm and fuzzy. However, the Lord is good to give me encouragement and joy as I stay on the path of His calling for me. I will share that the longer I journey this path the more I am totally convinced I would have it no other way. I do love the privilege of spending time with my children and seeing the ordinary through their eyes day in and day out. I am learning so much through them. My character is being pruned and shaped, and I think it is often more for my sanctification than anything. Well, here is one of those ahh moments when the children were all lined up totally engrossed in a lesson with NO fighting or squabbling and no bad attitudes. You would think they were perfect little scholars. ;) I had them watching an art lesson on drawing dinosaurs. Look at the smile on Lauren's face.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

More on Chore Packs

As I shared in the last post we are busily working on training the children to do daily responsibilities. We are using the chore pack system as explained in the book, "Managers of Their Chores." The chore packs are filled with sequenced task cards that direct the children to do everything from getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc. to household chores. This last week Lauren learned to clean out and organize our fridge. It was wonderful to see her training Abbie Joy to work beside her. She had her little sister carrying things to the counter as she emptied the fridge. I was also encouraged to see Lauren's good sense in how she organized our food categories. After the girls finished the fridge they all found their places on the floor to work puzzles. I love sister pictures where all four girls are together. Lest all of this look too simple let me assure you that we are working VERY hard at this system. I am having to encourage the children along and show/inspect them in how chores are done properly. Honestly it is sometimes easier to do things myself, but I'm thinking about the long road ahead and how great it will be to have children who know how to work hard!!! This will pay off when they are older and have families of their own. We are laboring hard through this process, but I think it is worth the effort.

Working on our Chores

Our family has been working on implementing a new chore system. It is from the book "Managers of Their Chores."
The book shows you how to set up individual chore packs for each child to help them move through their daily responsibilities. This past week was our first week with our new chore packs, and I know it will be an ongoing process of training the children and tweaking things as we go. It helps us, however, to have some kind of a plan in place. It is good for the children to learn to be more self sufficient in moving through their day. It has also been encouraging to see Annagrace and Lauren helping Abbie Joy learn to use her chore pack. Here are pictures of the children with their packs and learning to do some household responsibilities.

Our First Easter in our Home

Here are a few more pics showing our egg hunt on our property. I'm sure this will be a yearly event our children will want us to hide eggs on our property. We enjoyed having my parents, brother, sister in law and little niece over.

Some Favorite Shots from Easter 2011

Here are some of my favorite shots from Easter, and isn't that a short post? :)