Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Caleb's 2!

This month has flown by! It's been quite busy with homeschooling, playing the piano for church, and grading SATs. And...birthday celebrations, first Caleb's, then Will's. Caleb's favorite gift was his fishing rod. Will loved his homemade sour cream pound cake the best, I think. :-)

Caleb has added 2 words to his vocabulary, "probably" and "actually" and uses them correctly. "Actually, we don't eat sand. We eat snacks." Or "Probably, Daddy can fix it." Yes, son, he probably can. Oh, and he often calls Ella, "young lady." And not in such a nice tone. Hmm, wonder where he learned that? Just the other day, I heard him squeal, "That's mine, young lady!"

Ella's doing great in school. I decided to go through 100 Easy Lessons again and this time I'm more consistent-we do a lesson every day instead of one every week (like we did when she was 4). She's currently on lesson 48-woohoo! We stopped at 50 last time, so I'm excited about passing that milestone soon. Her prize for finishing 1/3 of the lessons was an afternoon at the park with a friend and Chick-Fil-A for lunch. For her next milestone-Lesson 66-she'll get a picnic w/me and Caleb at a local *free* petting zoo. She can't wait! And she's loving Math-U-See! So glad I got this. And I must say I understand math-especially place value-better by teaching her with this method. She's been building and reading 3-digit numbers and Caleb enjoys building w/her manipulatives and putting them in between his toes!

Miss Ella is getting plenty of social interaction with her homeschooling club day classes in town. She's taking an arts/crafts and tea party Bible study class. She also takes ballet and tap on another day. But her most valuable social interaction is precious time with her baby brother. Just the other day, while I was chopping veggies for lentil soup, I observed them out the window. Hand in hand, splashing in a mud puddle and both of them under her princess umbrella. Priceless. She would have so much less time and memories with Caleb were she in traditional school all day long.

And we're all loving our baskets of yummy fruit and veggies since we joined our local CSA. For a while there, I must admit, I was growing weary of eggplants; however, we just cooked some delicious mustard greens and broccoli (no cheese added!) that both children gobbled down. Awesome!

And I've been reading Crazy Love. Wow. Definitely not a book you can read quickly. In fact, I finished a little over half and had to return it to the library, so will have to check it back out again soon to finish it. It has really got me thinking about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It really is all about loving God and serving others. That's it but yet those two commandments are the hardest for me to follow. Why is that? Do I really love Him most? More than anyone else, including my own children? Do I long for His coming? Really and truly long for Him? Am I doing the will of my Father by serving "the least of these"? Do I delight in serving others? Do I see them as God does-treasures created in His own image- or as an annoyance that I must try to fit into my schedule? Truly God has been revealing my selfishness. My heart needs to be cleaned out, renewed, restored. I've been praying Psalm 51 a lot lately, crying out to Him for He alone can rescue.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Been Way Too Long!

I guess it's finally time for an update. My little man will be 2 soon-how crazy is that?!
He's been going to the potty consistently since 18 months, but still has a dipe on for nap and nighttime. He's diaper-free around the house-still working on him wearing underwear b/c he can't seem to get them down by himself yet. And he talks all the time; his vocabulary amazes me- I guess having a big sister helps in that area. Of course, that also means he learned the word "Mine!" super early and also the exclamation "Don't do that!" They definitely have their squabbles but when they're playing sweetly together (see pic above), I think what a joy siblings are and wish for more. The other 90% of the time, I'm pulling my hair out and swearing off any more children for good.

God has been dealing with me about the tongue. The law of kindness is usually not found on mine. Rather it's an ugly tone...often yelling, "ELLA! What did you do to your brother?" So, I've been memorizing verses in James. James 1:19-Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." And James 1:26, "Anyone who considers himself to be religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, deceives himself, and his religion is worthless." I'm often coming to Ella, many times during the day, asking her forgiveness for getting angry and yelling at her when I should have dealt with her transgression in a kind, calm manner. I don't want my tongue to permanently damage my children-you know it's full of deadly poison, set on fire from Hell, impossible to tame. And the worst part is Ella is imitating me in her dealings w/Caleb. That's the worst...when you finally get to hear what you sound like. I just tend to lose it when I hear Caleb screaming or crying. And why is it that I always rush to his defense and assume she is to blame? He's the baby...she must be to blame. But, of course, that's not always true. Often she just wants him to do what she wants him to do, whether he wants to or not. Instead of yelling at her, it goes much further when I calmly sit her down and explain that it's okay for Caleb to do his own thing-they can still be in the same room with each other. And we can't always get what we want (yes, I'm singing it now!), and we have to treat others how we would want to be treated. Basically it's easier to yell out in frustruation than it is to train over and over again. How sinful I am! Training in righteousness takes such work. Parenting is hard...period. So, my friends, that is what I'm struggling with now...and have been for sometime. I covet your prayers. I do love my children...I just need God every minute of every day to put a watch over my tongue. To cry out to Him before I bellow out to my children. Because they are, after all, children. They must be taught. Just like I am God's child and still am being taught. "But you're 34, Mommy!" Yes, Ella and I'm still learning to have the law of kindness on my tongue. To speak blessings and not cursings. There's a huge difference in saying, "Ella! I can't believe you did that! What were you thinking? You're a very bad girl!" And, "Sweetie, please come here. We need to talk about what you just did. That hurt your brother and God wants us to love one another, not hurt each other."
Oh, for the grace to always do the latter.