Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Journal entries by E n E

Ethan's journal entry : Jack and da' beanstalk

The Emperor's New Clothes

and The Glass Castle

Emma's journal entries: The Glass Castle

This would be Thumbelinda, and her husband ( in case you are wondering )

Good job kids.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...

Last summer I did a Bible Study with some women at our church. It was a great time of fellowship and growing. One of the lessons has really stuck out to me, and honestly, is one that pierces my heart almost every single day.

The lesson was basically a reminder that the woman of the house sets the mood for her house. If Mommy is grouchy, agitated, impatient, and sarcastic, well then she should expect little Johnny to be responsive to that, and he probably will not be the easiest child to tend to. If Mommy is frustrated at the end of the day when Daddy comes in from work, and she is short, spiteful, harsh, or has a "try to walk a mile in my shoes, buddy" attitude, then she can expect her husband to be cold, distant, or argumentative.

Basically, the old saying is right on, or it could re-read, "If Mama chooses to let her ugly flesh rule the roost instead of choosing to let God's Spirit rule her heart, then she should be prepared to bring out the worse in those she loves the most."

If my first interaction for the day with my children is calm, reassuring, and nurturing, it is amazing at how Ethan just lights up and begins to go out of his way to do things just to please me. He has a list of chores to complete before school begins, but he'll quickly do one of mine, and then just come around the corner smiling to catch my reaction. Emma will start giggling and smiling wanting my advice on what she should wear for the day, asking which shirt is my favorite to see her in.

If my first reaction to my children for the day is frustrated, hurried, or demanding, I am not amazed at how Ethan's heart is so hard that the wall he puts up between him and I can barely be penetrated for the rest of the day. No matter how many times I try to make it right, he shows me that I cannot take back how I chose to start my day with him. Emma will become very bratty. She acts as though she has no joy anywhere in her body. She is a sad sack who isn't glad she is at home with her mommy.

Now, let's talk about my Gregaroni for a minute. Gregaroni is the name I have given my man when he let's his flesh rule. In our early years of marriage, Gregaroni was in full effect on a regular basis. He knows this, admits this, and because I gave him this name, we can find humor in some of the silly things we chose to argue about back then. He is a changed man today. I can tell you that my children and I are priorities in his life like never before, and I am truly blessed to have him as my husband. Gregaroni doesn't rear his ugly head hardly at all anymore. But I have found one thing that will cause him to make an appearance, Mouth. Yes, that is the name my husband has given me. When I am giving into my flesh, you can guarantee Mouth is unleashing her wrath. Within minutes of Mouth showing up, Gregaroni is ready to come out and play. This sounds amusing, doesn't it? Mouth and Gregaroni batting back and forth over who has it worse than the other one?

Well, it isn't funny when it is sin. And that is exactly what it is. Yes, there are times when I am really frustrated, and maybe I have good reason to be. But that doesn't give me the right to forget Christ's example and to act out of the flesh.

I try to remember that how the words I use when we are running late, or the expressions on my face when I am feeling slighted, are molding the language and characteristics of those around me. More importantly, whatever thoughts are in my head, or whatever anger is in my heart, will spill out of my mouth.

Easier said than done? Yes, it is. However, the more aware I am of catching those thoughts or feelings, and replacing them with God's words, the easier it becomes to ease the tension building in my shoulders, take a deep breath, and remember that they should see Christ in me, always.

Here's to training our tongues by the renewal of our minds, and if that doesn't work out for ya, just remember that unless you like bratty kids and a mean husband, you need to learn how to behave.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Celebrating 2009!

I don't know that I have anything this year that I am making a definite resolution on. I feel like I started up so many stinkin' new things in 2009, I didn't leave much to resolute for in 2010!

Ethan played his first year of tackle football. I became a huge fan of the sport and can't wait to see him put pads back on in July of 2010! One goal for Ethan this year is to finally wrap up the rest of the 2nd grade curriculum we started in May of 2008, yes, you heard that right. Not much left, and we did start a lot of 3rd grade this year, too, but still not done with all his 2nd. We should be done with all of it by the beginning of March, when he will take his test for 3rd grade. We will then go straight to a 4th grade curriculum, and focus more on Bible and Character as we take our time with academics through the rest of 2010.

As far as my Emma, we still have the same goal academically for 2010 that we had for 2009, learning to read! She is almost there, and I am thinking by the end of May, she will be ready to start the 2010/2011 school year with a 1st grade curriculum. Emma has a curious mind and a growing interest in God and His purpose in her heart. She loves to sit and flip through the pages of her pink New Testament. She just surfs the pages looking for words she can sound out, and loves to share with me what she finds. I look forward to teaching her more about our Savior this year!

Greg and I grew so much in our marriage this year. I know this is because each of us took our relationship with Christ more serious this year. Priorities changed, and our life with Christ, and our service in His name, was taken to a whole new level. I am more in love with him today than I ever thought would be possible. I am blessed to be his helper, and look forward to celebrating 7 years of marriage to my man this April!
So, we will start out Monday with our new Workbox System, and my children and I are pumped! Here are a few of the "centers" we will be making good use of with our new system. This is Ethan's circuit board we got him for Christmas. He is amazed with electricity, and I'm hoping we will be able to incorporate more hands on learning, which works for him, with this new system.
Emma Rae definitely takes after her daddy, and mommy, when it comes to painting. She asks daily if she can paint. I plan to make her requests happen 3 to 4 days a week this year by using the Workbox System. How? She will have a box that will have all of her supplies ready for her, except of course for the water. So instead of needing me to pull out all the supplies, get everything cleared, and then find her something to do, I will be packing her box up at night and having it ready for her the next day.
I hope that you are looking back at your 2009 and finding things you want to continue, rather than just finding things you need to quit.
Let this be an encouragement to you! Find things you were able to do right in 2009. Chose to focus on repeating what worked, instead of regretting what didn't.