Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Little By Little

 "Little By Little" is my theme for the next 18 weeks!  I have been trying to get something done every week for Baby!  Today we were able to get the crib, sheets, bumpers, and even a tiny pillow! We still don't know yet if the Lord will be blessing us with another boy or another girl.
Being rather non-traditional, this crib set caught my eye the other day….I love the farm!  Some of you will shake your heads in amazement at me, but I've never been a real fan of the traditional "everything pink for girls and everything blue for boys"!  Please understand, I WANT Martha and Ian to be as girlish and boyish as God made them to be!  And naturally I want Baby to be all that God has planned as well!
I had so much fun putting the crib together this morning!  Yes, I was very careful, and the kids helped me!  They were excited to have a part in putting the bed together - their part was handing me the bolts that hold it all together!  It will take some time to get used to seeing a crib in Martha's room!  Lord willing, we will get to find out next week if Martha gets to stay and share a room with Baby or we have to swap rooms and Ian will be sharing a room!  Seeing the crib is funny to me, because we never had a crib for Martha or Ian.  We were on deputation with both of them, and they got to enjoy the fun of a Pack and Play!  With Martha, we had a "Jungle Animal" theme, and with Ian, we had a "Camouflage, Hunting, Fishing" theme.
I really wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go in for Baby, but when I saw this crib set (at the same store where we bought the crib), I knew I had my answer!  I grew up in the country, and if the Lord had never called me to be a Missionary (which I am extremely happy in doing and being), I would have been happy having my own farm!  Martha and Ian are both so excited about Baby coming!  They are so full of wonderful plans that it seems at times as if they are going to burst!  I showed them a newborn diaper today to help them have some idea of just how tiny Baby will be when Baby arrives!  It was so funny to see their faces - I should have had the camera at THAT moment - as their little minds tried to absorb the tininess of Baby!  Almost every day Martha will ask me when Baby is coming - April is Sooooo far away when you are 4 years old!  She and Ian both love to give Baby hugs and kisses - several times a day, and always at night before bed!
 So here is my farm….I have a garden on my front porch for my field of crops, but the most important crop I am cultivating at this point in my life is not my plants on the porch….it is the two "tender plants" (Isaiah 53:2a) God has already given me and the one that is coming in April!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lessons in Parenting (or Who is teaching Who?)

As a Mommy, one of the greatest joys (and yes, sometimes one of the greatest heartaches!) is teaching and training my children to serve the Lord.  As I write to you this afternoon, Ian is in his bed.  It is rest time, but it doesn't sound like much resting is getting done at the moment.  From the sounds of it, Ian is passing on his small store of knowledge and wisdom.  And to whom might he be passing such a treasure trove?  His "creatures" - Monkey, Bear, Dog Pillow, Rhino, and Uff (the stuffed doggie)!  I can hear him imparting the "wisdom of the ages" on to them all.  You know, the important things in life like…"You need to say 'Yes, Ma'am'"….."You need to obey."  You know, all those things his Mommy and Daddy are constantly telling him?
As a parent, I have learned to be very specific with what I say or ask.  I walked into his room recently and caught him jumping on the bed.  We have a "No Jumping on the Bed" policy.  When I asked him what he was doing wrong, he admitted to jumping on the bed.  I went on to explain that it doesn't please Jesus when we don't obey Mommy and Daddy.  I asked him if he remembered what the Bible said in Ephesians 6:1 about what he had done wrong.  This was his reply, "Ephesians 6:1…Children don't jump on the bed in the Lord, for this is right." !!!!!!!!!  That wasn't the exact answer I was looking for, but I had to give him credit!  It served me right for asking that question the way I did!
I really do love to hear Martha playing with her dollies.  Occasionally, she will come to me and explain that "Dolly did _________ (whatever the current offense might be)."  Then she will tell me that Dolly must be disciplined.  In our little family, we make it a point to pray with our children after a time of discipline.  I always remind Martha to pray with Dolly after the discipline.  I usually hear something like this, "Dear Jesus, please help Dolly to obey.  In Jesus name, Amen."  
It is always a fresh reminder that even in play, my children are learning, preparing, and setting the foundation for their entire life.  How many habits do we grown-ups have that can be traced back to some childhood play or habit?  And my children aren't the only ones who are learning - I am learning too - if I'll just pay attention!
It was a joy and blessing today to see Martha at the sink washing dishes.  She didn't get very many washed before I came to take over, but she was making an effort!  Normally she is the official "Dish Dryer," but today she was promoted to "Dish Washer"!  It makes me laugh every time I think of those two words, "Dish Washer"!  As a young person, I used to beg and tease my parents for a dishwasher (you know - the machine).  Inevitably my Daddy would grin and say, "We already have one……YOU!"  This was never the answer I wanted to hear - especially since I am an only child!  Now I can pass those words of wisdom on to my own daughter - Hee!  Hee!  Hee!  Thank you, Daddy!  They rank right up there with, "Not everybody's doing that, because you're not!"  (I've already had the privilege of using that one with my own children - in case you were wondering!) 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Homeschooling Fun

I have been busy the last couple of weeks.  And what have I been up to this time?  Making a workable homeschool schedule!
Martha and Ian are both doing really well - I praise the Lord for their eagerness when it comes to school!  Martha is starting to read and Ian is rapidly following in her footsteps!  He isn't reading yet, but we've been working on his letters and numbers, and I am always surprised when I realize how many he already knows!
I have found some websites just for Homeschoolers!  They are a Homeschooling Mom's dream!  One of those websites is saved as a "Favorite"!  I have found and downloaded many things that I am using right now - mostly with Ian, but some with Martha also.  I found them from "Confessions of a Homeschooler"  http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com  I have found so many wonderful ideas - and they are fun!  Yes, I want my children to learn; but I have discovered that children learn best when they are having fun!  I have also learned that when the students are having fun, the teacher has fun too!  I know, I know….there must be serious moments - not just fun!  Believe me, we have plenty of serious moments!

I found the clock on a different website
Ian is learning his ABC's, so the chart is great for practicing!  Because the kids (Martha especially) are so excited about Baby coming, we are working on calendars - which naturally leads to time and seasons!  We have had a bit of confusion with the seasons….since we live below the Equator, our seasons are opposite of North America!  I guess I'll have to make another Season chart - one for Peru and one for the U.S.!  In the next picture, you will see a model of the solar system.  No, we aren't exactly studying Science full-time just yet!  Here's what happened…I decided to start teaching Martha and Ian the songs from the hymnal.  I have my Mom's hymnal.  I was praying about which song to start with, and the Lord led me to "This is my Father's World."  "The music of the spheres" is a phrase that comes up in the first verse.  Martha wanted to know what "spheres" were.  I simply explained that it is all the planets in the universe that God created.  I explained that the planets are "spheres" or "circles."  This naturally led to a little lesson on the planets and the model.  So, not only have the kids learned the first verse of the song, but they can also tell you there are 9 planets!  That's what I call fun learning!

These are the numbers that I downloaded - aren't' they fun?
I add new letters as Ian learns them!
Ian chose to stand under the "F"
Martha chose the "B" 
All too soon they will be 5 and 6 years old!
In the desks the Lord provided!
So, we are getting settled into a routine.  The routine still needs tweaking, but we'll get it all worked out…then our routine will change because Baby will be here (in 21 weeks for those of you who are wondering…)!