Thursday, June 16, 2011
1. Fabric paper dolls. This has been the biggest hit for all ages (3,6,9). I have a huge bag of old clothes that they can cut up into fabric scraps. I then print off black and white copies of free printable paper dolls (available all over the internet). The girls spend at least an hour cutting up fabrics and creating different outfits for there girls. When they create that perfect outfit (and accessories) they glue it on and we hang them up. When friends come over, this has been very popular too!
2. Read alouds. There are many benefits to reading aloud to your children and not just when they are young. My 2 oldest daughters can read, but when I grab a classic and we all huddle together and I read aloud to them, there is something magical as well as educational. Currently our read aloud is, The little house in the big woods. I love the this time!
3. Summer Binders. I opted to cretate my own summer program this summer than to choose a workbook to keep the girls current with their math, writing and reading. Each girl has a binder. In that binder is a pencil and dry erase marker. I then filled each binder with plastic page covers. In the plastic page covers I put specific skill worksheets for each child. For example, my 6 year old daughter's binder has worksheets on addition and subtraction facts, handwriting practice, phonics worksheets, bible verses, some fun mazes and printouts. Everything can be filled in using the dry erase marker and then wiped off and used again. I also have a blank page for tic tac toe or hangman! They do these everyday, usually they do them when they are bored and I don't have to remind them! They can easily be taken in the car and on vacation as well!
4. Our own library. We have reading time, where the big girls read on their own and I read to my 3 year old. I make sure we have tons of books constantly available to them. We have bookshelves filled with approriate reading levels all around the house and compfy chairs that invite you to sit and read and enjoy books. I love to create our own library and Goodwill has been amazing at helping grow our library.
5. Creating plays. The girls have been creating plays and then performing them for me. I remember doing this when I was young. I just love sitting on the couch and watching them perform. Sometimes we record them on the i pod or someone will be the director and record.
6. For my oldest. My oldest is 9 and I can see that this year she needs more planned activities than previous years. I make sure we play with friends about 3 times a week and we have found some special things that she enjoys. She has a journal that she keeps with her throughout the day and writes about things she does, feels, sees, thinks, etc. She is really enjoying this right now. And she really likes making her own friendship bracelets with embroidering floss. This is a fantastic boredom buster and creative outlet. And she is thinking of others and making them for others.
7. Family serving project. I am really trying to think how we can serve Chirst as a family and teach my kids now that showing love to anyone in need is a mission trip. I would love to go over seas and help and serve, but a mission trip can happen anywhere we show Christ's love to someone in need and I know there are people in need all around us.
8. Playdates. Playing with our friends and spending time enjoying our days with friends is what makes summer special for my girls so I plan playdates a few times a week. Usually, the parks, the beaches, summer movies, skating, or just playing at each other houses. Since I have all girls, sleepovers are a big request here!
Between all of the above fun and excitement we will also have a 2 week vacation to New York and a couple of VBS. Summer sure does go fast, but it so sweet!
Monday, June 13, 2011
Every Monday, Ann at aholyexperience.com counts her blessings. I continue to follow her and find joy in this world by finding and naming the beauty around me. As a mom of three girls, 3,6,9, I am teaching them how to find the beauty everyday, everywhere and count their blessings. I love to sing my girls to sleep by singing them the song, Count Your Blessings. My favorite version is from Bing Crosby in White Christmas. Enjoy and I hope you fall asleep tonight, counting your blessings!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
linking up with
Monday, May 23, 2011
We decided we could handle the light rain that now fell and we walked down to the shore. The sand was packed tightly from the rain and no one was on the beach. We started collecting our shells with our bare feet digging into the wet sand and before we knew it, the early evening sunset was beautifully brilliant right in front of us. The clouds had slowly and slyly moved on and been replaced with the most amazing sunset God could of painted. I looked up and infront of me was the surprise from the storm, a rainbow. A reminder that the storms don't last forever. The rain will pour down and turn into the biggest storm, but eventually, the storm stops, the rain lets up, and the surpise rainbow appears before you. Wait out your storms and look for the rainbows.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Here's all you and need and what to do!
canvas or thick cardboard piece at least the size of a sheet of paper or larger.
2. Cover the canvas with coordinating or similiar fabric as the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cover.
3. Using free hand I drew the tree trunk on brown felt and drew each palm branch and extra grass on the green felt. I then cut the pieces out and hot glued them on to the canvas.
4. Lastly, I found letter stickers I already had in my crafting kit and covered them in contact paper and cut them out. Stick a piece of velcro on to the back of each one so they can stick to the coconut tree.
5. Let your child stick on the letters as you read! You could also lay the letters out flat and work on phonemic awareness skills with your preschooler. Phonemic awareness skills are the most important skill we can give to our preschooler before they enter school and need to be in place for before reading can occur. As the letters are infront of your preschooler, make a letter sound and have your preschooler add the correct letter to the tree. Another variation as your preschooler becomes more proficient is to say, "add the letter that makes the sound that begins the word cat" or " what letter makes the sound that ends the word man". There are so many hands on learning activities to do with this easy, peasy Chicka Chicka Felt Board! Enjoy!
linking up with
Monday, April 25, 2011
As part of my continual gratitude, I continue to count my blessings:
-amazing family to share Easter with
-beautiful mom who shines with joy and hope
-a run with my 6 year old
-watching my dad be a role model to the men in our family
-creative thoughts that keep me excited to create
-spring break with my girls
-tennis with my husband
-finding joy in the everyday
-seeing grace in shattered lives
-keeping track of blessings to remind me of the beauty of the everyday and every life
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Love is the answer. Love is the way. Love is God showing through us. All I can do is love her and pray she sees Him through my love.
As I continue to count my blessings on Mondays....
little kids laughing and giggling
watching preschool class learning to sound out words
the right words, when I need them
running and time alone to listen
warm touch of my husband
a warm home with lots of life (and noise )
a journal waitning to be written in
watching my oldest daughter read to her youngest sisters
more good than bad
Monday, April 4, 2011
Last night I watched the Secret Millionaire on television with my 9 year old daughter. It was really quite a good show to watch together. It takes millionaires and puts them into areas of peverty in the country and without anyone knowing who they are, they volunteer and live in the destitute area. After meeting the people, seeing the faces, seeing those trying to make changes in the area, the millionaires reveal who they are and write checks to people and agencies that they learned about.
It gave my daughter a great understanding of poverty in America and also it showed different non profit agencies in that city that are trying to help these areas. The programs they showed were non profits that had no federal funding and were started and maintained by people who were truly doing what they loved, helping those who need it. This reality tv show was truly reality tv.
As I watched this with my daughter I got an idea. Why not do a monthly, family, research project about a local community agency. Find out what their mission is, who they help, who created it, how it is funded and any other important or interesting information. After we research it together as a family, we go to the agency and present them with a check from our family. Each month we will pick a different agency and give. My goal is to teach my daughters how to meet the needs of others, how to do the research , how to give, how to love, how to solve problems, and share the information with others around us.
I am hoping this turns into something we can continually do together as a family. What about you, how do you teach your kids about helping others and showing them how to serve?
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
As I sit and listen to this song I wonder, when did I stop dreaming? As a little girl I had such amazing hopes and dreams. The smallest of details would be thought of. I could daydream for hours about what I wanted my life to be like and look like. Everything around me was beautiful, at least thats how I perceived it. I kind of thought of myself like Peter Pan, and I would never grow up, always have the lovely, sweet thoughts. But I did grow up and somewhere between some unexected deaths, some dissapointments and too much responsibility, I stopped dreaming. I don't remember where or when it happened , but it did happen. So as I listen, I have an ache to recapture my dreams. The things and thoughts that make me smile inside, I want to think of these things. I want to see the beauty in things around me through the eyes of the little girl I once was, who trusted God so easily.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
So as I began my homework for the course , the first few pages completely stopped me in my tracks. God has a way of doing that to me. As a writer and lover of books, the printed word has always been the way God has talked to me and gotten my full attention and he had done it again through Priscilla Shrirer's penmanship. The words read, "Interruptions only become positive when we consider the person or the circumstance interrupting to be more significant than that which currently occupies our attention", (Jonah, pg 13).
I would not consider any of the above interruptions if I "considered the person or the circumstance interrupting to be more significant than that which currently occupies my attention". This is not the life and legacy I want to leave behind. My children's littlest needs, the friend who calls mid day, God calling me to sleep and rest, the growing chores, they are not interruptions, I am just not considering them significant tasks at the moment and thinking of them as interruptions. What would happen to my day if I considered the interruptions to be opportunities to serve God?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I have a found that she is constantly in thought about the world around her and sometimes she waits to ask me a question because she doesn't know how to bring it up to me. In my own life I have found that writing to someone is easier than saying it to them (the writer in me). So I came up with an idea to create a communication journal between me and my oldest girl blessing!
The journal is a special place for my daughter and I to write back and fourth to each other about topics that might be to hard to discuss face to face, at first. Its a conversation starter and then find time to be alone and talk longer and more in depth. These could include her thoughts about her body, her self image, sex, fears, a new poem she wrote, anything. The point is to tell her this is a place for us to communicate about anything back and fourth. This journal is in no way suppose to take the place of face to face talking time but just another creative way to keep encouraging a strong relationship.
You could have a secret place to put the journal, so if she wants to initiate a conversation about something a friend said to her that made her sad, she can write that in her journal and leave it under your pillow. You could then write back with what you want to share with her and return it under her pillow. Get creatvie and make it personal to your unique child and your unique relationship. This is your opportunity to guide your girl through her struggles and thoughts in this world, not anyone else.
1. Use any notebook, I love the black and white composition notebooks
2. Sit down and introduce the concept of the communication journal and "alter" you journal together with special papers, stickers, etc.
3. Use paperclip to divide the journal into 6 sections or so and add paper tabs to label each section accordingly (ex. friends, family, fears, body, prayers, helpful scriptures, whatever is relevant to your daughter)
4. Cut a piece of pretty ribbon and use it to place as a page holder
Enjoy leading and guiding your daughter through this exceptional age and growing closer to each other during this time!
Friday, March 11, 2011
I shared in a previous post my desire to write deep within me when I was young and finally pursuing it the past few years. I feel pulled to write about what I am passionate about and that is living a joyful life! For me, my joy comes from my hope in the Lord and sharing a bit of the joy I see in the world. I believe I should reflect God's goodness and grace and contagious joy! I want The Inspired Page to be a little bit of sunshine in this often dark world!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I take a deep breath, open my door to get out and slide open the van door. There, face to face with a determined, six year old. Her little lip is pounted out, her eyes small , her face frowning. We have a stare down for a moment, she doesn't give, still stone cold and grumpy. Finally, unexpectedly I say, "spit out the grumpies", and I cup my hand under her mouth as to catch the grumpies. She stares at me, but she is now biting her lip from smiling. "Come on, spit them out, give them to me", I tease and tickle until she laughs and pretends to spit them out. I take the handful of grumpies and throw them across the grocery parking lot. "I hope some other kid doesn't find those grumpies. Lets go get some dinner", I extend my hand and get her down and grab my other children and she skips inside!
Through my 9 years and 3 chirldren of experience I have learned that this trick almost always works when attitudes are poor. As moms, it is so important to know some tricks that will adjust thier /our grumpy attitudes and go about our day instead of staying in those poor attitudes all day! So whats your trick to beat a bad attitude?
Monday, March 7, 2011
Counting More Blessings....
Baby brother married
Dressed up and feeling the stares of my husband
Watching my little girls walk down the aisle and throw flowers
Seeing my parents dance the night away, still so very much in love
Feeling God through the love a family
My family singing the night away
Knowing how Amazing my mother is
Watching my husband be humbled by his giggly girls
Dancing through the night with my little girls
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I sit here this afternoon feeling rather joyfull. I have just had a day with my husband and three giggly girls playing outside in this amazing weather. I have a moment to myself to take a deep breath and write and I just feel content and happy for no particular reason, I am joyful. So it made me wonder what makes me happy?
One of the things I notice is that when I am able to be myself and not care about the role I should be playing is when I am most fufilled and happy. The activities that when I am doing them make me feel more like my true self than any other time are not particulary special events or the things I thought they would be. When I am just being the me God wants me to be, I feel unstopable. When I am playing a role I feel others think I should be fufilling, I am left empty and not particularly joyful.
Being a "good girl" , a girl who pleases everyone else's expectations definitely is not a role that I should ever try to fill or even want to fill. , but it has happened over the years. So what activities are there that make me feel more like my true self? Honestly, it is taking time to experiment and allow myself to leave these roles that I have created and find where God is truly leading me. It's kind of funny, these roles have made it difficult to recognize my self, yet I created them.
These days I just want to see my own soul shining through and to know the smile on myself is there because I am truly seeking things that make me a little more like me and today I found that in just playing and laughing and relaxing with the most amazing family God could share with me! What makes you a little more like the real you?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
What is a hybrid School? A hybrid school is a bricks and mortar school that my girls attend on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then on Tuesday and Thursday they are homeschooled by me using the lesson plan their teacher has created. There are many benefits for me to this model and it has worked beautifully for our family. Some of the benefits include:
- Complete Curriculum and lesson plans, no planning
- Grade level friends and participation in social events with like minded families
- Families that share the same values
- small class size
- Classical and christian education with a high value on moral training
- Still being the main teacher/guidance in my child's life
- electives including violin/art/choir/latin/PE/archery/golf/guitar/keyboard
- Even though they homeschooled 2 times a week they are considered by the stat to be in a fulltime, private school.
- Being accountable to finish the work on time ( I need this, LOL)
- More time to play with siblings rather than just friends, promoting their sibling relationship
What I love about this school is that it is just another amazing option to school our children. We do not have to accept the options that are offered to us as parents. We can choose the training of our children and grow our families the way we wish and feel lead. Right now this hybrid shcool is working so well for our family and our children are blooming. At each season of my life I will reevaluate what will work best for my family and make the best decision I can at that time.
Monday, February 14, 2011
This is my command: Love Each Other -John15:17
My love language is not gifts, it is time and words of affirmation. To me the best valentine gifts from my husband are not things but a handwritten love letter. My husband and I have been together since we were 12 and our love has grown so much over the years. Perhaps the most noticable change has been in my husband, who did not know the Lord when we first met. Infact, my husband has just begun to grow in his relationship with Christ in the last 5 years. It is truly amazing what God can do to a man. As strong as he is, his gentleness is stronger. Here is the love letter he wrote me for valentines day today:
To my Precious Love,
When I am with you the world seems miles away,
I get lost in your smile, those sweet shimmering lips,
When I gaze into your eyes, I see a soul full of light,
When we embrace, I feel your love pouring into my heart,
We have a bond that I could never find with anyone but you,
There is no corner, no dark place in me that your love cannot fill,
Your tenderness encourages me to be a better man,
I feel unworthy of a love so pure, a woman as stunning and incredible as you,
I thank God for you everyday, and pray to be the husband my beauty deserves,
When I am with you forever is where I want to stay.
Forever your lover,
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I want to be brave enought to not care what I look like , what someone else thinks, what someone else wants me to do. I want to be brave enough to not care about the car I drive, the house I live in, the hair dresser I use. I want to be brave enough to say, "these things don't matter". I want to be brave to live the life I was meant to have, brave enough to follow my soul when it calls to me with the things it craves.
I want to be brave and show my three girls how to be humble. Humility is where I realize how lucky I am to be so blessed but question how I am able to do nothing of the two thirds of the world that has none of the luxuries I take for granted. I want to be brave enough to challenge my comfort, my friends comfort, my families comfort. I want to be brave enough to write in the pages of this blog these things that were planted in my heart.
Brave enough to follow God, no matter what. I want to be brave enough to give to anyone who needs it and not get a callused heart and decide who I believe deserves help. I want to be brave enough to not judge those around me by my own standards. I want to be brave enough to remind my church friends that Jesus came for the sick. I want to be brave enough that when my pride in my children, home, education, blog post, raise, begin to swell, that I am umong the sick that need Jesus.
I want to be brave, what do you want to be brave enough to do?
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Wives submit to your husband; husbands ought to love their wives-Eph 5:22,28
I have to admit that for a long time in my marriage and while I dated my husband, I thought the word submit was an offensive word. The word, at the time, meant weak, less than, not in control of my life, giving up my dreams. I had a very negative connotation associated with that word. So when I chose to live my life for Christ and start living more biblically, one of the hardest areas for me to deal with was this idea of "submission".
Today, as I am enjoying my marriage more than ever, I have to admit, that it is because I have learned, no, I am learning to submit to my husband. However, the word no longer has the negative connotation that it use to carry with me. Now the word connotates trust, love, encouragement, and being part of the awesomeness that God had intended for marriages.
As old fashion as it sounds,submission is the biblical call for our marriages and it is the key to our marriages happiness and growth. Submission is a beautiful word if you understand that the outcome is more trust, more love, more encouragement, more respect, and more joy. There is so much joy extended to us in our obedience. It is what we are all looking for, as a women, I just want to be loved, really loved. And, as a husband (my husband tell me), they just want us to be submissive, or respected. I often wonder why it took me so long to accept.
I will write more on this topic and what submission looks like in my marriage today why I am always smiling....
I am linked up with http://www.aholyexperience.com , but couldn't get the button to share, so please click on the link to go there.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Do you soul journal?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
My husband is my best friend. We were high school sweathearts at the age of 12 and have been together ever since. We have grown together in every way and it has been an amazing journey of love and faith-BUT-this is the man I do everyday life with and busy schedules, the demands of work, bills, school, dissapointments, expectations, health, all those issues we have to deal with together sometimes take over my love feelings toward my husband and I will admit I am not as joyful towards him as I want to be.
I say want to be, because in my heart I wish I was more expressively joyful, I love and care for this man more than I could express, but yet, my expressions that come out are often frustration from a day and not joy from an overflowing heart of love. Why is that? Why of all people around me, does he not get the most joyful reactions from me? I want to be more gentle with my words and make sure my husband could easily reply, "Yes, my wife is a joy".
Over at the woman Living Well blog, there is a marriage challenge I am excited to begin about loving and encouraging our husbands. I pray that my mouth may encourage my husband and be gentle in its response to him no matter how crazy my day. He is not my dumping ground after a hard day but a safe place to enjoy and fall into.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I started running almost 2 years ago after my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was heading back up to NY and I was unable to be with him and my mom. I felt helpless and my body was unable to sit still and I got up and went to the gym, got on the treadmill and started to run. At the time I was about 50 pounds overweight, but I NEEDED to move, I was actually trying to run away from all the mess in my head and heart, but God, in his amazing ways, turned it into me running right towards Him.
2 years later, I am still running and meeting with my creator every time my feet meet the pavement. I walk outside to start to run and it still isn't easy even though I run 4 days a week. Everytime I begin it still seems impossible until I have finished. One of the lessons God has taught me through running is to just surrender to him. We hear this all the time, to surrender to God, but what does it mean, what does it look like? As I run, I figure this statement out. I am unable to keep up the run until I settle into the run and stop fighting myself. I have to tell myself that I can breathe and stop fighting for breath, I have to tell myself that my legs are fine, keep moving. My body needs to stop fighting against itself and settle in or I would stop every few minutes for breath.
This is the same thing with God. We need to surrender to him, stop fighting him to make the long run, if not we are going to stop during every change of circumstance, not sure if we can make it. But when I just surrender to him, settle into the run and know I can do this, believe God is strong enough , my body can do this, then I can finish the race before me. Infact, when I do settle in and stop fighting it, I can feel as though I can run longer,its amazing. Same in life, when I stop fighting God because I don't understand, because I don't want to, because its uncompfortable, when I just surrender, I have strength to keep going! Surrendering sounds passive, but I am given so much strength in this vulneralbility, more strength than I could of ever had on my own.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I have been reading A Holy Experience For Years. She has helped me on my own Joy Pilgrimage over the years, helping me understand that true, simple joy starts with gratitude. She numbers her gifts in a day and I have also done the same. Here is my start at The Inspired Page at counting and sharing my blessings:
- a three year old little girl that still lets me hold her on my hip-not ready to be without a child on my hip
- an almost 9 year old blessing that made eggs for her sisters
- a blank page in my journal , ready to be filled
- Blooms new book club choice
- begining my writings of joy at The Inspired Page-fear will not stop me
- Amazing Daily Grace
- French Vanilla cream and the first cup of coffee in the morning
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Part of the process to heal me was to just focus on God and trust that He was strong enough to take all of my worry. I HAD to give God the messes in my head that I was trying to control. This mess was worry and control and I was worshiping it. One of the many ways I learned to truly give it to God, was to journal. I have always been a writer and journaled, but I began to write in a way that I never had before. The blank pages before me were hopeful and inspiring. It was on the inspired page where I would talk to God and he would talk to me.
I began to anticipate my time with God and sometimes I was awed at what I would write. I was awed at the honesty of what I would write The joy of being honest with my fears, my desires on paper perpetuated my growth and controlled my anxiety. My prayer was on paper and the journal was one of the ways I worshiped Him. Through journaling I found peace and trust and a real relationship with my maker. Through journaling I found JOY and understand how God calls me.
How does God call you?
Friday, January 14, 2011
As I got my three giggly blessings ready for school this morning, I grabbed their socks from the dryer and told them to put them on and they would make them warm. After putting them on, my oldest blessing dissapointedly said, "they only stay warm for a minute and then you have to warm them up again". Isn't it funny that our joy works the same way. We might have real joy for a minute, but unless you keep warming it up, it will cool off. We need to choose joy everyday, every hour, every minute to keep our joy bubbling over into our soul, spilling over into our bodies and forcing our lips to smile!
I have personally struggled with depression and anxiety and know what it feel like to loose your joy, and on the other side of that, I know what it looks like to choose joy and keep it warm! The bible really does tell us how to do this, its not a secret saved for saints or biblical scholars, its their for all of us to read and apply anytime we choose.
- Simply think joyful thoughts. "Whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things" -Philippians 4:8 . Every moment control what you think about and what you let yourself meditate on.
- Believe that God is strong enough. True joy springs up from the faith we have in Him, knowing He can handle anything we have, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, wheter well fed or hungry, whether living with plenty or in want. I can do everthing through him who gives me strength" -Philippians 4: 12
- Get some grattitude. Reshape the way you think. Find thanksgiving in everymoment. Seeing God alive in your everyday and seeking the grattitude of simple momements will create joy in your daily living. "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstance" -1 Thessalonians 5:16
- Journal it. Journal your your worries, your desires, your hopes, the things you are grateful for, favorite scriptures, favorite quotes, just journal it and watch how joy grows in your life as your reread the pages.