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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Senior Night 2007

This evening was Senior Night. Lots of pictures, awards, various talents displayed and school spirit. I hope Jared remembers this night for a long time. We love you, son, and are so proud of you!!



Class Banner

Jared and his friend, Ben; they have known each other since kindergarten!

Beginning of Senior Night slideshow

My Mother's Day Gift

Thanks, Michael!

Prom

The evening of May 19th was Jared's Senior Prom. Here are some pictures of getting ready to go and some with him and his date, Molly. Their whole theme this year is "007" since they are the class of '07. The prom was held at The Science Museum and the afterprom was at the school. They both had a wonderful time!










Here at Home

I have a big update with lots of pictures but I'll do several posts to make it easier to read..

On May 19th, our family and another family from church went on the Buckingham Branch Railroad for a train ride to the James River and back. We had a wonderful time and the scenery was nice. We're thinking of going again during the fall when the scenery will be even better!








We will definitely make this trip again. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning with family and friends.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Little Things Matter

One of the most precious things to me about the Lord is that He cares about the little things in our lives. He answers our prayers about little things also!

This morning I went to our local homeschool group's annual used curriculum/book sale. I was looking for two items that would wrap up everything I needed for next school year. I found them both! God is so good. I prayed before I went in that if it was His will, I would be able to find them both at a good price. I did! The first was an Apologia General Science textbook, which many ladies had for sale so I was able to find one at a good price. The next thing I needed was Key to Fractions. I wasn't sure if I would find the set because they are consumable workbooks. One lady had the set for sale and it was missing the first workbook. I know I can purchase it separately so I bought the set for a lot less than new, even when I order the missing workbook. Isn't that neat how God answered my prayer? I am so thankful for His care and provision for me.

I also found two books to add to my library: The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges and With Christ in The School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. I'm looking forward to reading these this summer. I'm working on compiling my summer reading list in the next week or two. So many books, so little time!

I am so thankful I have a heavenly Father who cares about every area of my life and delights in doing so!

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

Friday, May 25, 2007

POTC

I won't spoil the movie for those who have not seen it yet but just wanted to say that it was very good! Lots of action, romance, many questions answered and, of course, Jack Sparrow. Be sure to stay until the credits are over; as in the other movies, there's more at the very end.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tomorrow night at 8:00! Why isn't there a midnight showing? Those are so much fun. I love to see people dress in character and it's neat to wait in line anticipating the movie and sharing that with others. 8:00 is so.........boring! But, we will be there nonetheless!!

Morning Prayer

Compassionate Lord,
Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day,
Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
ripen for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully.
Through grace let my will respond to thee,
Knowing that power to obey is not in me, but
that thy free love alone enables me to serve thee.
Here then is my empty heart,
overflow it with thy choices gifts;
Here is my blind understanding,
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day;
Without thy restraining rod I err and stray;
Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure,
and drink its poisonous streams;
Direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares,
nor fall into his hidden traps.
Defend me from assailing foes,
from evil circumstances,
from myself.
My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature;
They cling to me as my very skin;
I cannot escape their contact.
In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me;
They entice with constant baits;
My enemy is within the citadel;
Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierece him to death,
and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.

(Valley of Vision)

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Chickadee and The Feast

"The Chickadee and the Feast" by Traci Weldie of Wauwatosa, WI

It has been a long, cold winter in Wisconsin this year, especially for a family coming off 6 years of living in California! A few weeks ago, we had a terrible cold spell that found a significant part of the country suffering in sub-zero temperatures for days upon end. Some days, it was difficult just to get the door open.

It was on one of these very cold days that I noticed a house that I often drive by. This house has seven birdfeeders lined up in its front yard. I chuckled to myself, thinking there must be some serious bird lovers living there. I also wondered why all the bird feeders in the middle of winter? Don't most birds migrate south during this time of year?

My question was soon answered during a local news report. The anchor was talking about chickadees and how they don't migrate south. He proceeded to tell the audience that on these very cold days, a typical chickadee needs three times the amount of birdseed than he normally needs just to make it through the day. While this little news story was probably meant to fill some time on a light news days, God used this image to teach me about feasting with Him.

You see, as I struggle to figure out what this Christian walk is all about, I often find myself in cold, hard places, times when nothing seems to be going the way I had planned, or times when I wish I were doing something else. There are those days where the laundry is piled up past my waist, the kitchen floor has gunk all over it, I find a day-old banana stuck to the carpet in the basement, and my husband just called and said he won't be home for dinner for the third night in a row. Those are the days that I think I don't want to be a Christian - I want to yell and scream, I want to escape my responsibilities, and I want to just think about ME! Those are my cold, hard days.

But, in those times there is a refuge, a place where I can go to be filled. There is a source of nutrition that will sustain me and give me the strength to go on: God's Word! The problem is that I am not like that chickadee in the freezing temperatures - I am not diligently "eating" three times the amount of food I normally need to get through a day.

Isaiah 55:10-11 says, "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Just like rain (and even snow) waters the earth that leads to seeds, which in turn give bread, so it is that God's Word feeds our souls and does a work in our lives. God's Word is something that I can feast upon - it is what will get me through those days.

Psalm 119:103 says, "How sweet are thy words to my taste yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

I have to admit that for most of my life I just didn't "get" passages like this - I couldn't see how the Bible was sweeter than honey. I realized that I didn't get it because I wasn't reading it! When I actually started taking God's words into my soul, He started working in my life - and it is sweet! God's Word is also everything we need. Matthew 4 is the account of Jesus being tempted in the desert.

The Message puts Jesus' response to Satan's challenge to turn stones into bread: "Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: 'It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth.' "

Some days, I am not taking in a steady stream of God's words. I find so many ways to fill my time, and by the end of the day I feel like I have failed in so many ways; I have been an impatient mom, I have been an uncaring friend, I have not been a willing wife, and I have not even been able to get done what needed to be done that day. The contrast to the days in which I quietly taste the sweet words of my savior is amazing: my temper doesn't flare up quite as easily, I find time to get all my work done, I willingly give of myself to my husband, and I rest easily at night. I have to ask myself why, then, do I not do this every day? Why are there days when I still choose to put something else before spending time in God's Word? If I am being totally honest, I would chalk it up to two things: laziness and selfishness.

So, then, there are the days that are extra cold and extra hard. The lesson I learned from those little chickadees is that I need to be like them - take in three times the amount of God's words I do on the good days. Think of those seven birdfeeders planted in the front yard - it is an overabundance of food for the chickadee. That is how available God's Word is to us! We are so fortunate to live in a place where we can pick up a Bible at the local store or turn on the radio to hear a preacher. Not only do I have a Bible, but I have five different translations and even one with a pretty cover. I have no excuse to neglect feeding on God's words daily.

When I find myself turning to the Bible, I am no longer just feeding, but I am enjoying the finest feast with a Lord who promises that His Word will accomplish what He desires! So instead of shivering in the cold, will you join in the feast?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gases Prices!!!!!

As I was driving home from karate tonight, I noticed that most of the gas stations had raised their prices to over $3.00 a gallon. Yikes! I told Julianne I might have to get a part time job to pay for gas in the car.

Here's some things I've done to help with gas consumption since Hurrican Katrina when our prices starting going up (and haven't stopped).

1. Carefully coordinate errands so I can go several places during one trip. If I'm going to the library, for instance, I make sure I go to the bank or post office branch that is the closest. I also try to schedule my errands on one day. I try not to run out of things like stamps. I make sure I have enough until the next time I need to go out so I don't have to make a special trip.

2. I try to take advantage of my husband! What I mean is I will get him to pick up something from the store for me if I need it. I didn't use to like to do that but he really doesn't mind and I only do it infequently.

3. My best tip of all: stay home! We do have to go out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights but other than that, I am usually home. I find that I get so much more accomplished if I spend many days in a row at home. And more learning happens if we have uninterrupted days at home.

I don't know how high the price will get before I have to decide it's too high. This coming September Julianne is taking two classes at a local homeschool co-op. The school is about 25 minutes away and she would go two days a week. I hope the price of gas doesn't go up too high by the time she starts. The church where the co-op is held is out in the country so if I wanted to do errands I'd have to go back to town and then drive back to pick her up. I do know several other families that are going so perhaps if gas gets too high, maybe we can arrange a car pool.

Do you have any tips? Please share!!

Summer Reading


Monday, May 14, 2007

No News is Good News

Not much has been happening in our lives of late and I suppose that is a good thing! We are about our daily duties these last few days and the Lord has been good, as always.

Right now I am looking across the street at my neighbor's yard where "tree murderers" (as I call them) are taking down three very large and old trees. I can hardly bear to watch it. I love trees and unless there's a legimate reason to take them down, I say keep them! So, I am sad. I'm not a tree hugger or anything but I just hate to see them cut down. Trees are so beautiful!!


Trees
(For Mrs. Henry Mills Alden)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
- Joyce Kilmer

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here at Home

It's almost been a week since I've updated. While I was babysitting, I let a few things "go" around here and I've been trying to get my house in order. Last weekend I made my spring cleaning list and it's quite long. A few have a deadline when they must be finished but most of them I'll just work through each room when I have time and check off that item. Here's the list:

Master Bedroom and Closet:
~go through clothes for Goodwill
~organize sheets and blankets
~buy new rod for large window
~declutter bookcase

School Room:
~clean doors
~wash dog blankets
~go through books for used curriculum sale
~dust all plants and top of bookcases
~purge files
~organize closet (again)

Dining Room:
~organize paintings (Julianne takes a monthly painting class and the canvases have accumulated)
~clean fan; wash globes
~wash window
~take down heavy curtain

Living Room and powder room:
~clean vent
~change filter
~wash window
~organize hall closet
~organize p.r. cabinet

Family Room:
~go through books for used curriculum sale
~clean game corner and dresser (full of games)
~organize sewing and crafts
~wash patio doors

Kitchen:
~buy new curtains
~organize utility closet
~organize laundry shelf
~buy new mop

Hall Bath and Closet:
~wash floor
~organize linen closet
~purge shampoos, cleansers, etc.
~change pictures in bath
~clean vent

Hopefully it won't take me too long to do all that. Of course, that's in addition to school and homemaking duties.
*~*~~*~*~*~*~
Jared is having Senior Night at the end of the month and the school is putting together a slide show of pictures of the students. I went up today and brought the teacher in charge some pictures of Jared when he was younger. I even found one of him and another boy when they graduated kindergarten from Christian School. He doesn't know it yet so he'll be surprised when he sees it.

I rec'd his graduation announcements and have been addressing those to send out. We only have ten tickets and that includes our family so there's not many we can invite. Michael's family already told us they aren't coming down and I don't think mine is either. :-(
*~*~*~*~
I spent some time outside today weeding. I have let me take over and now I'm paying for it. I just have a hard time keeping the inside and the outside of my house looking nice!! I'd like to get some flowers this weekend and plant them out front. I'd also like to get some hanging baskets. They always look so pretty!
*~*~*~*~*~*~*
What is going on in your home?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spiderman 3


Tonight--at the midnight showing. Whoo Hoo!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dinner Last Night

Julianne is coming along in her cooking skills. This is something she loves to do and I'm happy to let her do it!

Last night she made Beef Taco Skillet and it was very good. This was the first meal that she has done completely on her own. I didn't even stay in the kitchen to supervise. She did it all herself. Here's the recipe:

Beef Taco Skillet

1 lb. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup water
6 flour tortillas (6"), cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Cook beef in 10" skillet until well browned, stirring to break up meat. Pour off fat.
2. Stir in soup, salsa, water, tortillas. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Stir. Top with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

She doubled the recipe but only put it 5 tortillas. It was very delicious and we all enjoyed it!