Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas Ramblings of Insanity

Above we have Christmas at the Scoggins', and below we have Christmas at the Anderson's. Both on Christmas Eve. We had let our kids open gifts from us and from each other earlier in the week so it wouldn't be one big gift fest, and more relaxing. They all got great things and enjoyed the day with family.
Santa brought Kim a kitchen.
And Liz a baby doll and ipod.
And Emily an ipod dock and hair accessories.
And Jacob a flip video. Jordan is pictured below on the scooter that he got.
Jordan has ridden miles on this thing....literally!
So it was a great, simple Christmas surrounded by family and friends. Clay has been hunting and we have been playing. It is all good.
Routine. Schedule. These have not been known in the house for over a week. We stay up late and get up late and just do whatever. Kim puts herself to bed early, but that is it. I have hardly made breakfast and I don't think I have told anyone to brush their teeth. That can't be very good parenting. It has just been overly relaxed around here. But it is all coming to an end very soon so I am trying to get things in order for spring semester and the future. I did manage to get most of my current scrapbooking in the homschool scrapbook. Still, I have a LONG way to go, but Lord willing I will finish by August...I laugh at that, honestly. I also am on the brink of planning and purchasing for high school....REALLY??? YES! Holy Cow!!!! Am I nuts???? Probably....but I figure that if I keep praying the Lord will lead us in the right path for each child. I hope that happens soon....because I have some plans I need to have some assurance of. I am thinking of Sonlight for high school, but piecing it together instead of buying the whole shebang. I know lots of families we can borrow books from, including the library (kind of like our family...). I just pray I am going in the right direction, but then i have to step back and see the big picture. IT WILL ALL BE FINE. I know it will. But being the manager of a homeschool with five kids is hard work, busy work, neverending work. Everyone needs individal attention and individual schooling and character training and free time and life skills. And they all have interests to follow and freinds they want to hang out with, and grandparents to spend time with, and activities they love, and church activities. Balance is so hard! I can't do it all and do it well. What should I do???? I try to do the best I can, just like every other parent. But you know, some things are just weightier than others. Like training in godliness and character, and family relationships. That ranks at the top, followed by academics, and interests, and friends. And I have realized that you have to say no to some things. You have to not buy curriculum you will never have time to use (and I have lots of that on my shelves). You have to be ok with a kid who does not really want to take any classes, but just wants to live life doing things with family and friends. Life is a learning process. It's one serious teacher, but boy do you learn! Always changing. I look back at the simple days of having small kids...always changing diapers and nursing and reading books and playing in the floor and going for walks. Now we have traded that for heavier academics, outside classes, competitions, and other things. It is all good, just in different ways. It is always a juggling act and I think for a long time I teetered on the edge of depression/anxiety. Some days I think I still struggle with what life will bring next. It is SO HARD and SAD and JOYOUS to watch your children grow up. It is just very bittersweet, and tears come easily at the memories and the daily events. Tears of joy and pride and missing the past.
See...I warned you it was ramblings of insanity! So here is just a bit more.......
1. There is nothing more futile than assuming all Christians are the same in every respect. They aren't and aren't meant to be.
2. If we aren't in a position to actively help a problem, we need to walk away from potential gossip. We don't need to know everything. We don't need to hear it or weigh in on it with our opinions.
3. We need to keep our minds pure from sexual imagery. It warps our ideas of normal, and can damage the marriage relationship with a fake sense of beauty. The mind can be conditioned in good ways and bad. It can become desensitized to the sin around it.
4.If your heart is aligned with anything or anyone other than God, you will be prone to doing stupid things (and we don't say that word at our house).
5. The heart of why young people are abandoning the church is they are being largely raised in homes where the gospel is absent, though they may be going to church weekly. They are being raised by hypocrites and are rejecting that hypocrisy.
6. The bible tells us that the NT church is defined by the preaching of the Word, prayer, giving, singing, believer's baptism, and the Lord's Supper. It should never be defined by man centered creeds or models. All you need is the bible. And in the body of Christ you should and will find people at all stations in life.
7.We need God to help us raise the children He has entrusted us with. We need to be parents. When necessary homeschool them. But above all, parent them. Raise them. Disciple them.
8. When we try to conform to a particular model of education for our kids and forget to listen to the Lord's will for our children, we are heading down a dangerous path. Know your kids and seek God for what is best for each individual child.
9. The Greek education model is about getting info, and regurgitating it for a test. The Hebrew model is about understanding how truth should be lived out in daily lives. Geuss which one follows the public education model and which one follows the homeschool movement.
10. I don't think I have anything else to say....remarkable, isn't it? Oh well. It's time to make lunch anyway!

Have a blessed year in 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011


This is Jordan, the only kid who doesn't take dance. Guess what he likes??? Yes! Hunting and guns and knives and the outdoors! Oh, and karate class. He starts sparring in January, and has to work on getting stripes eliminated so he can earn colored belts!
Emily at her first piano recital at the Smith's. She is in the tie dye dress. She began lessons this year and is very good. She loves to practice. Kimberly will probably take lessons one day, too.

Ellie, Kim and Ava ready in the green room. This is pre-dress rehearsal.
Emily all dressed for Waltz of the Flowers
Jacob and Dakota waiting to go into the auditorium.
Lizzy with Lily and Annalie right before going onstage.
This is Kimberly and her friend Ellie dressed and ready to watch rehearsal...and dance!
Lizzy on stage at the party scene. She is sitting on the right.
The dolls brought by Drosselmeyer.
Our horde of little mice...adorable!
The snowflakes---always sparkly and graceful!
Isaac as Nutcracker and Quanah as Clara....very well done!
Mary and Dakota dancing the spanish dance.
Mother Ginger is Allison, one of Kimberly's ballet teachers. That is such a cute dance!
Emily is on the right for Waltz of the Flowers. She was wonderful!
This is the very end with the cast doing bows. I didn't get a still of Kimberly doing her dance to Silent Night.
After the show, Bailey, Jacob, Dakota, Lizzy, Emily and Joelle were hanging out onstage. Great group of kids!!!
Jacob and his theater partner, Bailey. His friend Dakota is in the dark blue with her back to us.
502 patrons to see the show! I love that our show brings the story of Jesus as the greatest gift of all. Our primary ballet kids dance to Silent Night and O Come All Ye faithful and Do You Hear What I Hear as they dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy to tell Clara about Jesus, the greatest gift of all. At the end, Clara puts down her beloved Nutcracker to dance for Jesus and pray with the angels. SO sweet!
My kids that take dance absolutely love it. If $$ allowed we'd have more classes for them, but with 5 kids, we are just limited. They like to eat, and have a home and a van, too. But the studio is the most wonderful place. They have made some lovely friends there, and most are homeschooled. It is like family there. I can count on these folks just like our family, and curch family.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The week before the week of rehearsals...

The past week was busy, but good. A friend had her baby boy last night and he is adorable. Safe to say my kids are jealous....but that has not been in the plans for us. Much as I love babies, I had a really difficult time mentally aftet the fifth one came. Not because she was difficult, but because I needed order to the home and was dealing with learning issues with one and behavioral issues with another and health issues with the baby, and homeschooling and running the home. Some people can handle all that and more with a smile, but I had trouble with it. Anger and frustratiuon were common and so were tears, so God knew what He was doing by not sending another kiddo our way at that time. However, now I feel we are in a good place for that, but being over 40, it probably won't happen, and that is ok because we are TOTALLY enjoying these 5 blessings and watching them grow.
Jacob is a teen filmmaker and so talented, though we are missing him as he involves in more outside activities. But he is still a great kid, very kind and loves to dance. He is making lots of friends and enjoying life.
Emily is a talented crafter and dancer. it has been neat watching her become a lady. She is playing piano and learning and reading a ton and is just an all around helpful, servant of the home. Such a joy!
Elizabeth has come so far in the past year. She is a full blown reader and has more confidence than before. She loves dancing and physical activity. She is quickly becoming a little lady too! So loving.
Jordan has really changed. he is a very loving boy, and has much more self control. he is physical and loves riding bikes and the outdoors. He takes karate but it seems like a love/hate relationship sometimes. He is reading and is so so smart! Fun kid!
And then there is Kimberly. Our littlest ballerina who loves dance more than anything, except maybe puzzles and art. She is a drama queen and totally fixes her hair at least 6 times a day. what a diva! but she adores playing and singing and ballet, and she is learning to read!
They are the loves of my life. I look forward to the day they are all saved and I pray for their futures every day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Week

Last week was busy with Nutcracker rehearsals and schooling and sewing. By Friday night we were all excited to attend the yearly parade, but this year, Jacob wasn't with us. He is now a teen and all the teens from the dance studio went to a Nutcracker party for the evening. he had a blast, but so did we. It was late when we all finally were home together and we let the kids open one present from us.

We also had some peppermint topped cookies.
these are the reason we opened a gift. The forecast called for a cold night and we wanted Emily to have these boots for the parade so we had promised the gifts. Then the weather changed and was quite warm but we had already made the promise. She loves the boots, by the way. The other girls got ballet bags, and the boys got a pc game and a mega bloks set.

So that wrapped up last week in a nutshell.

This week it is super cold for Texas, and we are schooling and rehearsing and just living life. Emily will have her first piano recital this week, and Jordan is working toward getting his first stripe removed from his karate belt. Hope you have a blessed week!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spiritual Thinking

Well, I would normally be giving the Thanksgiving holiday photos and events, but I didn't load my photos, and sadly I only took photos at my house. We had lots of illness last week and a little school, and tons of good food, and some holiday decorating. That is all I have to say about it until later.
But I had a lovely talk ,with a couple I greatly admire at church, last night, as I was sharing a book called Heaven is for Real with them. And I suppose that is what is sparking this post. I attend the specific congregation I attend because as far as I can tell, they organize and conduct worship biblically according to what was occurring in the first century churches (and for that reason I wouldn't attend a different congregation). However that does not mean i hold to all the varying beliefs about our spirituality and traditions (churches of Christ). They are about as varied as the sand of the sea. Nor does that mean I believe everyone at my congregation is going to make it to heaven , or conversely that people in other congregations or even denominations won't make it to heaven---I know that may shock some people. But believe it or not, the churches of Christ don't have all the answers, and most likely neither do other religious groups, though I suspect many, if not all, who call themselves Christian are doing something right, and I am pretty sure we are all doing some things wrong whether we realize it or not. One thing that greatly disturbs me is the notion that our personal/individual brand of religious legalism is the only way. I think when we come to Christ it has to be according to what is required of us in scripture (not necessarily an "Americanized" version of religion), but I also strongly believe that those who are seeking diligently to obey and become more like Christ are heard by Him, too, and blessed by Him. I also believe (hold onto your hats for this one) that God cares about the specifics of our daily lives and works in them in ways we don't understand, due to prayers we or others offer to Him, and that angels are working in this world and helping people, and that some who are on the verge of death have seen Jesus and God and maybe even Heaven, and lived to tell about it. There is a whole realm of the spiritual world that has not been revealed to us and that is beyond our explanation or understanding. That is why we are required to have faith and to pray and trust in God. And I do strongly believe that God changes the course of human history based on prayers made to Him. You may not believe all this like I do, but that is ok. I am not your judge. I am here to walk in His ways as best I can and grow daily, just like you. And I firmly believe there is no other way to God's kingdom that through being washed in the saving blood of Jesus. Remember what Jesus said...the greatest commandments are totally loving God and loving others as yourself. Love flowing from a desire to be like Christ is the essence of life. It is what we are here for and made for. And there are many ways to show it. It isn't just looking nice, being nice, and attending church. I don't know that that will really get you anywhere. I think a tribal person in the jungle in his loincloth who is seeking to be more Christlike after a missionary comes and brings the news of Jesus to him in terms of his own culture is probably just as saved as those in my congregation. Granted, he isn't wearing Amercianized clothes or meeting in a chruch or sponsoring missionaries, but in his own way if he is seeking and serving and living for Jesus with all his heart in order to please God, well, you see where this is going.
Some would call me super liberal (though i see myself as conservative) and some would just plain call me wrong, but I am truly, daily seeking God's will for my life and for the children He has blessed me with, and I do it all according to His word and with his love as my motivator. I am sure I am getting things wrong daily. In fact, I know I am, but His grace covers me on my walk. And praises to God for His grace because I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, and it is because of Him. And I will be constantly changing every day of my life, trying to be more like Him and failing daily, until i can rest in Heaven with Him.
So I just had to say that.
I totally believe in Jesus and God and their saving power, and I believe prayer is our strongest power this side of heaven, and I plan to tap into it daily. I also pray that daily I can be an encouragement and an example of godliness, with love, toward those I come in contact with.
I apologize for my times when I am judgmental of others and their ways. That is not my place unless they are a brother or sister in Christ (not just in the churches of Christ), and are scripturally, specifically sinning, and putting their soul in jeopardy. Otherwise I will diligently try to show LOVE. May God bless all who diligently seek HIM.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving...

And boy has it been a week of eventfulness. Above are the holiday decorations Emily and I have been making.
And here is EMily teaching Kimberly some piano skills.
And this is the stash of fabric that I cut for Christmas projects...well, most of it. Some has already been sewn. this is all that is left to do. I got quite a bit sewed on Sunday since we missed church due to illness.
This is the cabin we stayed at Friday night at a local state park. We debated not going since Jordan had been sick with a stomach virus, but he seemed better Friday morning so we headed out, only to have Kimberly fall ill that night. We came home early Saturday and Clay and jacob were ill by Sunday. Today is Monday and Kim is better and so is Jacob, but Lizzie is beginning to feel a bit bad, and Clay says he is not quite over it.
This is Jordan and Kimberly working on some schoolwork together.
And Jacob and Elizabeth doing their reading one afternoon.
So that is what has been happening. Last week we got our bulk/co-op order and that was fabulous! I have been baking bread and using the apples all week. Today i set out our turkey to thaw. It is going to be big! But it will be good. We made a run to Hobby Lobby for lots of goodies last week, too, and have been crafting a lot. School is going just fine. I really don't worry about being behind at all, not that we are really behind. I have learned to just relax and take life as it comes. If we are diligently working toward the goals it will all be fine. The kids are all doing well and progressing at their pace, and the character is coming along well.....most days. The kids still want us to look into a used travel trailer, but I am just not sure we'd have the time to justify it...and finding one in decent shape for the price we'd be willing to pay is tricky. Then there is the matter of storage...and stocking it. And the upcoming expense of auto work and braces and LTC, and church camp and dance recitals. Maybe when the time is right, the Lord will set it before us. And if not, that is fine too. Honestly I do not like to travel much. I definitely don't like sleeping away from home. I just really want a simple life at home with the family. If i never travel it won't matter to me, because in the grand scheme it just isn't of any real importance to me. Now, if the kids all move off in different places not close to here, I will travel to see them as often as possible. Maybe that is when I need to look at travel trailers...hmmm. That will be worthwhile travel for me. That is what i want my later years to be about anyway--family, not adventure. Though to tell the truth, this family brings plenty of adventure in its own way. But an adventurous roaming spirit, I do not possess.
Ok, so that was a bit of digression. The week was good and we are looking forward to thanksgiving this week. There is truly MUCH to be thankful for!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am not a very good blogger. Just not terribly interesting to read about for the average person, i guess. But here goes another week of our life!
The monster party was fun. I enjoyed cleaning the kitchen, as strange as that sounds! It was relaxing while all the kids played. We also had a nice visit with my parents that evening. But alas, the stomach bug reared its ugly anuseating head and by bedtime i felt positively ILL. But I went to church Sunday anyway, just didn't say much or eat much all day. It has kinda passed thru the house. Just a bunch of upset tummies. Schoolwork has gone exceptionally well. The kids are reading lots of neat thing for discussion and we are entering Medieval history which is fascinating! We have read and discussed the bible, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Fire Cat, Little Women, My Name is Not Angelica, and Stories from Grandma's Attic this addition to several readings of Bill and Pete/ Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. Been teaching one to sew and one has been crocheting more and sewed a piano bag. One is learning to read and loving every second of it. One prefers to read his bible over all other books. Singing has been lovely this week and song book use has been coming along well for the younger ones as they figure out those large numbers. We love the weather changes for fall and all the rehearsals for Nutcracker. That is about to get intense. Karate seems to be going well, too. We joined a bulk/organic food co-op this week and are looking forward to picking up our order. Also snagged the Thanksgiving turkey for $13 (23 pounder). This was our final week of homeschool co-op classes and all went well. We already have some great class selections for spring. And we attended a harvest carnival with another homeschool group. That was pretty fun, too. Oh, and I cut about 3-4 inches off my hair...well, Renee did. The time change has been nice because we get up and going earlier, but not liking the dark evenings so much. But we play lots of games and hang out together so it is good. So that about sums it up. Tomorrow is full already with fun stuff with church friends, so here's hoping Sunday is relaxing.
Hope your week has been blessed, because ours has.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Long Wait for a New Post

Well, I haven't updated in about two weeks. Life got a little bit busy...but it was all fun! The costumes finally got completed, and Emily decided to plan a costume party the Saturday before Halloween, at our house. i provided cookies and kool-aid, and she ran the show. The kids all had a blast and the above photo is most of the attendees, minus David and Josie who came later.
Right before Halloween weekend we took a trip to the zoo in Tyler. It was quite chilly that day, but the kids had a great time. They are posing for me above. We had all school completed early that week so we could take the day off, and there were no co-op classes.
This is Kimberly and Rocket sitting on Clay.This happens almost nightly. That dog loves Clay, and so does Kimberly!
Here are the kids gazing at the giraffes and elephants. We really had a fun day. Also stopped by the Brooksire's World of Wildlife museum. Free and fun. My kind of trip!
With the cooler temps, the kids get outside a lot. They also haul our blankets into the yard every day to make playhouses and other such things. I think there are many adventures taking place outside!
But our poor new little dog has short hair and very little body fat so the cooler weather was harder on him. We decided he needed a coat. Have you seen the outrageous prices on dog sweaters and costumes??? They are nuts! i googled "dog coat pattern" and found one by Martha Stewart, and enlarged it manually to my dog's measurements. Then i drove to Walmart and found some sherpa and velcro, came home, cut it out, sewed on the velcro, and VOILA'....a warm doggy coat! He is much warmer now! And all for under $7.

So that is the news here. School is going quite well and we are enjoying piano lessons (mainly because we get to hang out with the Smith's every other week!), and dance classes and karate. It is almost time for Nutcracker rehearsals to begin and that will be crazy! There are so many more kids this year I shudder to think how crowded the green room is going to be! And locating all my kids after the show...well, I shudder at that too! Gotta devise a plan for keeping up with them...4 kids in the show this time, two with two parts each!

Anyway, today is my nephew's 5th birthday, so we are going to have a monster party this afternoon, and I need to get myself ready! Hope your life has been blessed!

Monday, October 17, 2011

In the past week...

This is Emily's costume, complete with apron, which i modified quite a I need to do Elizabeth's apron and all will be completed.
This is my great Aunt, a family friend, my maternal grandma, and my dad at the birthday party last weekend. My dad was 65! It was a fun day.
These are the kiddos about to leave for Sunday worship.
Here are two prairie girls in my yard. Cute!!
here they are again......
This is called homeschooling...sibling teaching sibling reading skills.
And this is homeschool science...physical science.
Morrow family reunion...Jordan getting a coveted soda.
Kim with a monarch we found in the woods.
Chow table.
Kid social club..
hanging out with family
It has been a great week. Lots of school was done, character was learned and applied, sewing happened, we hung with both sides of the family and ate great food (too much great food). And we began looking at getting a camper for trips. Not that we travel much, but large families DO NOT fit in hotels. We have to camp or rent homes, and both have advantages, and while I totally prefer renting homes, the camping option is far more cost effective, except that my husband is the only one who really likes to camp (in a tent). So a pop up camper would be great. Actually a 20-22 ft pull behind would be greater, but that is NOT cost effective for us, so it will have to be a pop up camper. It is not my favorite option, but it beats a tent any day of the week. So maybe if we find one our trips can be less costly and possibly more frequent. That would be cool--depending on where we ended up! Sorry, but I am not into heights or dangerous adventures...but a tour up the east coast to see all the colonial sites would really be neat! So would a mid-America trip to see the Little House sites and other stuff...even makes a trip to the beach better! So anyway, life here is good and rolling along nicely.