Monday, July 30, 2012

Our First Home School Books Are Here

Home school books for 2012-2013 school year.

I ordered our first year's home school books last week and everything arrived today.  Dasia will be starting kindergarten this fall.  I am planning on using the books above.  But, I bought first grade materials.  So, if any of it seems too hard, we may step back and purchase kindergarten books.  Dylan will be using those in a couple years anyway.  We will be using Saxon Math, A Reason for Science and A Reason for Handwriting.  I also purchased a used Hooked on Phonics for First Grade, but I think we need the kindergarten level for phonics.  Dasia is doing really well reading Bob Books.  We have Sight Words for Kindergarten and Set 2 Advancing Beginners.  However, the Hooked on Phonics set came with a list of words the child should be able to read easily before starting the program and she can't read all of those words easily yet. 

I'm also going to work with Dylan, who just turned 3.  I will be using the preschool books from Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, etc.  I'll also use online printables for him.  We are going to take it very slow for him.  He does well with about 10 minutes and then is ready to do something else. 

I'm starting to get excited about our new stage in life!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tip for Organizing a Boy's Bedroom

My favorite part of Dylan's room
After a couple Christmas's and birthdays, organizing toys for my little boy, who just turned 3, quickly became a necessity.  I'm not a fan of toy boxes unless we can keep the toys separated by type.  We do have 3 round, blue tubs from Wal-Mart that we use in place of a toy box.  Two tubs are full of cars/trucks/tractors and one tub contains costumes (swords, masks, etc.).

Storage area for his larger vehicles
My favorite storage area in Dylan's room is the one we created out of crates sold during the back to school sale at Wal-Mart.  I bought six crates last year once the prices were marked down.  I just bought three more this week at normal price, which was under $4 each.  Dylan got a few more large vehicles for his birthday so we needed some extra space.  My husband zip tied (if that's a word, ha) the crates together, horizontally and vertically.  The crates fit perfectly in Dylan's room in the small area next to his door. 
Letters we painted ourselves and signs that were bought as decorations for his birthday party
 Last year, we bought and painted the wooden letters above from Hobby Lobby.  However, the wall looked really plain.  This summer for Dylan's birthday party, I ordered the signs in the picture with his other party supplies.  The signs are a very thin plastic.  After using them for the party, I found that they looked great under his name. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dasia is 5!

Dasia and her cake on her official birthday.
 My little princess turned 5 on Tuesday.  She is such a blessing!  I'm amazed (as all moms are) how quickly time passes and little ones grow up.  We've enjoyed celebrating Dasia and Dylan's birthdays this month.  This is my last birthday post!  It feels like we celebrate the whole month of July.

Her favorite present!   
This year instead of giving the children presents on their actual birthdays and presents at the big party, we just gave them presents from us on their birthdays.  Dasia showed the most excitement over the Pac Man PS2 games pictured above.  She doesn't play the games, but she sits next to Daddy and coaches him through it.  They could play for hours!

I'm thankful for the two wonderful children that God blessed us with.  We enjoy them so much.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birthday Party Time!

Dasia with her cousin at her 5th birthday party.
Yesterday, we celebrated Dasia and Dylan's birthdays at our house.  Their birthdays are about two weeks apart, so we just have one party complete with family and friends.  We had a great time!

Dylan taking a swing at his pinata.
Each year, getting ready for the party seems to be a big ordeal.  It was a lot of work this year too, but we seemed to be a lot more peaceful and we were ready on time.

Picking out candy from the Ariel pinata.
At first I thought maybe it was just a lot easier since the kids were a little older, but then God reminded me of our prayers.  In the evenings leading up to the party, as we prayed as a family we asked God to show us what things we needed to do before the party and keep us from overwhelming ourselves with things that weren't important.  We also prayed that everyone who came would be blessed.

Getting ready to bust balloons and see who wins.
Well, God answered our prayers!  The party was fun and I felt overwhelmed with blessings afterwards.  Dale cooked BBQ and it was great!  I was a little nervous about it because normally we just do burgers and hot dogs.  He said he could do it and he was right!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weighed Down!

Last night I was thinking about my children's well checkups that were today and was excited to find out how much they weigh.  I held a sleeping Dylan for quite a while at church and boy is he heavy!  Anyway, my mind wandered and I remembered Dale mentioning that he would like to know every so often how much his children weigh, but we don't have a bathroom scale.

Why don't we have a scale?  Well, actually, we do, but the battery went dead and we did not replace it because it was just too much of a temptation for me.  But for many years before that, we went without one.  Why, because I simply could not deal with it.  At some point in high school, I discovered the scale, calories, fat, measuring tapes, dieting and the stress that comes along with all of that.  This battle continued throughout college and into my early married years.  In college I was on the cheerleading team and powerlifting team.  Both of these activities just contributed to the torment I dealt with concerning my weight.  I remember one day after Dale and I had married that my dad knocked on my door.  Mom had sent him to get my scale and my measuring tape (one of those soft ones used for sewing).  I needed those items gone to help me be free.

Praise God that he kept me from being anorexic or bulimic, but I definitely suffered with a "disease" that controlled much of my thought life.  I was constantly on a diet of some kind, always thinking about what I ate, how much I weighed, how many inches my waist measured, and comparing myself to everyone around me.  (Well, not everyone, just those that I felt looked better than I did.  This is a terrible thing to do.)

In the midst of this battle, God spoke to me and said that if I would give this to Him, He would take care of my weight.  And, praise Him, He did!  It wasn't as simple as me simply admitting I had a problem and asking God to deliver me.  God gave me some instructions.  I had to....

1) Get rid of my bathroom scale and measuring tape.
2) Not go on any diets.
3) Not look at the nutrition labels on the food.

As I did these things, my weight stayed very consistent and that's even after two babies.  However, these guidelines (except number 3) are still things that I feel God wants me to continue in my life.  It has been several years since God set me free, but this is a weak area of mine.  I dieted for so many years and was so tormented.  There are days that I "feel fat", but it's nothing compared to how I used to be.  I have a particular pair of dress pants that God lets me use to "measure" myself.  If these pants seem a little tighter than they should be, then I stop snacking at night and maybe reduce my food intake a little to slowly lose the extra weight. 

God cares so much for each one of us.  Many probably struggle in this area as I did.  I know that He would love for you to be free too!  Don't be afraid to ask God for help!  He even cares about how much you weigh and doesn't want it to be a burden to you. 

But, when you give a burden to God, make sure that you listen to hear what He would have you do.  I strongly believe that the only reason that I was set free was that I did what He asked me to do.  It was a strong conviction to do the three things I listed above. 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  James 1:22

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shoe Centerpiece

Table decoration made by my little girl.

After picking tomatoes (and flowers -see above) at our neighbor's house this evening, I noticed several table decorations in our house.  There were three of these centerpieces in my kitchen.  What a creative girl!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting Ready for the School Year

Our Homeschool Area
As the days of summer are quickly passing by, I still have to decide what home school resources we are going to use for Dasia, who will be starting Kindergarten.  I have a few things in mind, but haven't purchased anything yet. 

However, I do have our "school space" set up and ready.  I bought a 4 ft table from Wal-Mart which adjusts in height.  It's perfect for both of my children to use.  There's just enough room for them to do their school work at the same time and room for me to squeeze in between them.  I also bought a few posters at the Dollar Tree for decoration and to help Dylan with letters and numbers.  I moved a large dry erase board from our kitchen to the area near the kids' table.  They enjoy drawing and writing on the board with dry erase crayons. 

The kids and I made a trip to Staples this past week to take advantage of the beginning of the school supply sales.  I purchased a few things for us to use and some items to use to fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I love this time of year for picking up school items to give away!  The prices are great! 

Other than buying our curriculum, I think we are ready for our first home school year to begin. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Giveaway Ends July 31st, Enter Soon!

If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, there is still time.  Click here for details on how to enter.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Faith Without Works

I had the privilege of attending a church that we have recently starting visiting on Wednesday nights.  The sermon was about "faith without works".  As I sat on the edge of my seat, diligently trying to soak in what that pastor was saying, I realized that I couldn't remember ever hearing this preached and truly explained. 

What are "works"?  This is something that I've given little thought.  So, if someone had asked me what works were before this service, I probably would have said serving in the church or leading someone to Christ.  But have you considered that works are "doing" the Word?  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22  As I dwelled on this, here are a few things that came to mind....

Tithing - A work.  The Word says to bring our tithes to the storehouse. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.(Malachi 3:10) You can believe it.  Or you can do it (tithe = a work).

Praying for the Sick or Asking for Prayer - A Work.  Pray, therefore doing the Word and ask for prayer, therefore doing the Word.  Is one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  James 5:14

Live Your Life by Faith - A Work.  It's one thing to say that you live by faith, and another to actually do it.  We live by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Take a few minutes to think through the concept of "works".  Are you a doer of the Word, or a hearer?  Did you notice that James 1:22 says that you would be deceived if you merely listen to the Word but do not take action. 

 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17

Monday, July 9, 2012

When Life Seems to Rush By

Fourth of July Parade
The past month has flown by for me.  In fact, I've been so "busy" that my walk with God seems to have been a little stagnant.  Do you ever feel that way?  I've noticed that my blog posts have been fewer and not as many discussing the things that God is teaching me.  Red flag!

I've known for years that the thing that takes me away from God is simply being caught up in life, whatever that may be for the season that I am in.  It's frustrating to me that the very thing that God has given us (time, family, life to enjoy) is what keeps us from Him. 

I just finished reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.  I was very influenced by the chapters on "lukewarm" Christians.  We all display characteristics of "lukewarm" at times in our lives, but I don't want that!  My heart cries out to live for God!  I want my family to be used by God to point others to Jesus. 

So, what to do when life seems to take over?  Take a deep breath, acknowledge that I have let life get in the way of my relationship with God and realize what is important.  My purpose on this earth is to glorify God and lead others to Jesus that they may have eternal life and an abundant life here on earth. 

As we watched the July 4th Parade (pictured above) this year, my mom commented that we were so busy picking up candy that we missed a lot of the parade.  So true!  I saw very little of it.  I was trying to get enough candy to fill two birthday pinatas for the kids' party in a couple weeks (which we did!).  As I thought about what she said, I realized that this is how we often approach life.  I was so "busy" picking up candy that life just passed me by.  We can become so focused on the things we are doing that the main purpose of our existence gets overlooked.   

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Dylan's Construction Cake

Today, my little boy turned 3 years old!  I'm so thankful that God blessed us with such a sweet child.  Numerous times a day, he says, "I love you Mommy."  What a joy to hear those words and watch him grow.  I feel like he has changed so much in the past couple of weeks.  I pray that God shows Dale and I how to be the parents that Dylan and Dasia need.  That He guides our every move and molds Dylan and Dasia into the adults He has called them to be.

Happy boy!
 I love this picture!  Dylan was very excited to celebrate his birthday.  Today, it was just a celebration for the four of us.  We will have a bigger party in two weeks to celebrate Dylan and Dasia's birthdays.  His birthday is the 7th and hers is the 24th so we find that it works well to have one big party.

Opening presents with a little help from his big sister.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Flying

My dad took this picture of Dylan a few days ago.  Dylan and Dasia jumped a lot and grandpa took a lot of pictures.  I think my dad enjoyed it as much as the kids.  He jumped up and shouted when he took this picture.

What I'm Reading - July

I love posts about what others are reading.  It's a great way to find out about books that I might be interested in reading too.  So, here's an update on my current books. 

SearchByVerse Daily Bible in One Year (KJV) by Charles Spurgeon - I'm reading this on my Kindle.  It's just a daily Bible reading plan that takes you through the Bible in one year.  I won't finish in one year, but I love that I will know at some point that I read through the Bible.  I'm on Day 24 currently. 

Crazy Love by Francis Chan - This is an eye opening book!  I'm about half way through.

Learning by Karen Kingsbury - Karen Kingsbury is my favorite Christian fiction author.  When I have one of her books that I haven't finished, I have difficulty reading anything else.  This is why I'm not finished with Crazy Love.  I think it's best that I just finish this one up so I can get back to the other one.

Read and Share Devotional by Gwen Ellis - This is the current children's Bible we are reading every evening before bed. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Love a Good Deal

Although I no longer consider myself much of a couponer, I still love a good deal!  I scored three Physicians Formula makeup products at CVS today for $7.60 after taxes.  When I started using coupons a couple years ago, I discovered Physicians Formula makeup and the good deals that were sometimes available at CVS on these and other makup products.  Through Wednesday of this week, all Physicians Formula products priced at $7 and above are $7 off. 

So, I purchased a mascara, eyeshadow and powder.  I then used 3 $1 off Physicians Formula comestics.  Total saved was $24!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Celebrating Independence in the United States

Last night, we celebrated the 4th of July by watching fireworks.  Where we live, we have been in a drought.  Most of the firework shows were cancelled.  So, having a chance this year to actually see fireworks was a blessing. 

My husband parked us on the side of the road next to the lake where the fireworks were being set off.  The view was great!  Nothing like watching fireworks over a lake with your family sitting in lawn chairs in the back of a pickup while eating popcorn and drinking Diet Coke!

Not only is July 4th a time to celebrate our country, but it’s also the anniversary of our first date in 2001.  It was an impromptu date.  I was living in an apartment in the basement of my aunt’s house.  Dale (who was my aunt’s nephew on her husband’s side) drove up and she assumed he was there to see her.  But he wasn’t, and here we are 11 years later!  Praise God!