Wednesday, March 25, 2015

100 Books Party!

Today was our 100 Books Party!
Yes, we celebrated 100 Days of School,
but this is different!
In September I handed out a Book Worm
Reading Log Sheet.
Honestly, I cannot remember where I found it, but
I changed it a bit by dividing the worm into 20 somewhat equal parts
and writing in the numbers for each segment of it's body.
As the mom, dad, or sibling reads a book to the child,
the student colors in the Book Worm.
When they have had one-hundred books
read to them, I throw a party to celebrate!
The children came in today
excited to show me there charts!

And with every party there must be crowns!

and cupcakes!!

Of course on this special book day,
we read from the most special book there is...the Bible!
They were given LOTS of stickers to decorate their crowns!

And what party would be complete without
a goody bag??!!!

I am so proud of all my students!

 I LOVE my students
and I LOVE blessing them with rewards
 for all their hard work!
They are the BEST!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Painting FABRIC!!!

I have this ottoman...
          it WAS yellow...
and it didn't match my furniture.
Something HAD to be done.
Reupholstering it was out of the question.
The 'Google' search began.
I found....this:
I ran out, bought it, and spray painted my ottoman!!!
 It is now chocolate brown and it is right at home in my den.
The spray paint was $12, BUT I had a 50% off coupon-
so the whole remodel was around Six Bucks!
Yes, it is an old piece of furniture, but I didn't want to get rid of it.
It was given a quick pick me up and a longer life span!

I might paint the legs cream to match the room!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hope, No Longer, Deferred

For years, and I mean years, I have had my eyes on my 'future.' I have thought about what I will day. I'll never forget the first time someone encouraged me about my future...let's just say, I became prideful and ended up in a cult. Okay, so that encouragement didn't work out so well for me, but there have been other encouraging words that really, when it comes right down to it, haven't done much for me either, except keep me discontented. Yes, these uplifting words start out as a hope, but as the Scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick,..." (Proverbs 13:12) My heart has been sick.

What kinds of encouraging words have been said? The list is long, so get ready: I was told that I would be a 'master teacher,' a children's book author and illustrator (that would bring a financial blessing to my family), the next Beth Moore, the next  Joyce Meyers, I will have a ministry to women, and I have heard many, many, many times, "God is going to use you for something BIG." This sounds all very exciting, and I am not mocking anyone who has said these words to me, BUT these words have gotten my eyes off of what God has presently and actually put before me for the day.

 I remember saying in complete frustration, after having my twin babies, having no sleep, changing about ten or more diapers a day and countless feedings, "I must have been made for more than this!" Why would I feel frustrated with an answer to prayer? I prayed and prayed to be blessed with children, God graciously gave them to me, but when I finally had them, I was frustrated. Why? Because I had my mind filled with all that I will become one day and I was 'wasting' my time just changing diapers today.

And to top it off, I had believed, after hearing all these encouraging words, that I HAD to do something, I had to do my share, my part in making all these things come to fruition in my life. I had to help God. For instance, "If I am going to be a famous children's author and illustrator than I have to start writing and illustrating books. God can't publish a book by Himself and put my name on it, right?" So, I put MORE busy into my already busy life. I thought, "Well, if God is going to use me to bless women, then I better help out in the women's ministry, right? This only added more stress to a stress-filled, stay-at-home, homeschooling, mommy life.

Truly, I think the words spoken over me were given to me from the most precious people and their heart was to encourage me, bless me, and give me hope, but an untimely word can do more damage than good.

It's been twenty years of waiting and not one of the those kind or hopeful words of being used by God in a big way has come true! So, I have surrendered it, laid it all down at Jesus' feet and walked away. I don't care anymore about my future-and I mean that sincerely. I really do not care about what my future holds. If I never do anything BIG in my families', or friend's, or world's eyes, it's okay because I have learned an important lesson.

I believe that greatest and most exciting part of my life is living in the now. I wake up every morning listening for the voice of God. Listening to what He has for me. Most of it is spoken each day in what He called me to long ago... be a Godly Wife, Mother and teacher to my children. I have the High calling of teaching and training my children in the ways of the Lord. I am called by God to be a Good Stewart of my home. That is my here and now. That is my reality. That is what God has put before me and it is BIG. It is a big deal to obey Him in all of this, each and every day. Raising six children or one child to love God and be another light in this darkened world is big stuff. I am content to be in my home, raising my children, loving my husband and when God wants to use me to bless others, well, that's great too! And I have been used to bless others, and  pray with strangers. The difference is I am not seeking anything outside my present calling to fulfill my heart. The calling on my life for this day, this year, is Big. It is fulfilling and satisfying. Why would I want anything more than what God has asked me to do today?

My heart is no longer sick. It is not waiting and pining over the 'when' will I be used by God- I am being used by God every time I obey what He has set before me today. And I think we don't realize how very Big that is, but it is big. I tell my children all the time, "If you cannot obey me-someone who you can see and hear, how will you obey God, when you cannot see Him or hear His voice audibly?" To obey God delights Him. He is delighted in our obedience and my heart is full knowing that I have made my Daddy proud-today.

If you were blessed by this article, you may want to read:
Success or Failure?
Praying for a Baby
Praying for Someone I Didn't Even Know

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Put the Ga-bage in the Ga-bage!

"Put the ga-bage in the ga-bage," or as non-New Yorkers might say, "Please, put your garbage in the garbage." Anyway, now that we understand each other, this phrase is one that I came up with and use with my kids (Original, isn't it?). I find that children naturally think the floor, table, or couch, is a garbage can. They open up a lollipop, a piece of candy, a granola bar, or whatever, and simply drop the packaging on the floor. So, I have found myself saying, "Put your ga-bage in the ga-bage" and to my surprise, it works! My children and the other children, who have come to spend time with us, quickly learn that trash actually goes into the garbage can.

Well, I heard myself say that again today, to one of my own, and thought how this saying applies to us spiritually as well. So many times I hold on to the "garbage" in my life when I should really just let it go and throw it out. I pine over an offense, think on a hurt from waaaay too long ago, shame, guilt, even things I've said where I embarrassed myself in public and I'll have it replay in my mind. These things will come up, I'll put the DVD in, (if you will), and watch it replay over and over and over again.

And I'll tell you, some times I've actually gone and thrown out some of this junk, a hurt or offense in my heart, but then, someone will hurt me and I'll find myself going through the 'ga-bage' and pulling it out once again! It's horrible. I'll start talking to my husband about the rotten refuse I found in the trash, I know it stinks, and yet I'll look at it and examine it, as if it's going to help me forgive or move on. I should throw this stuff out and not go back and dig it out once it's in the trash.

There is a  scripture that says 'take every thought captive.' "We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ- now that is amazing! It's saying, every time you have a thought that is negative, thoughts that tell you, you're a fool, you're not forgiven, they've hurt you and they'll hurt you again, no one likes me, I'm all alone, I'm a failure--you need to STOP, hold those words up to the Word of God, which is the truth--I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), I am forgiven (John 3:16), I am an adopted son/daughter of God (Ephesians 1:5) and believe it. Basically, it's saying, "Through the ga-bage in the ga-bage!" Throw the lies out, and take in the truth!

Corrie ten Boom once said, "


I LOVE Corrie ten Boom and cannot believe how much we think a like! She is saying that God throws our sins into the deepest ocean and remembers them no more AND we shouldn't either. I say, throw the ga-bage in the ga-bage! Same meaning!

(I am not claiming to be like Corrie ten Boom in any way, I just thought that was pretty cool!)

God doesn't want us spending our day going through the garbage or the ocean, and pulling out our sin or offenses. He wants us to know and believe that the greatest sacrifice- the forgiveness of sin, has been taken care of and we do not need to worry about it. He's taken the garbage of our lives and has washed us clean- that is, if we let Him. Allow God to cleanse your mind. Cleanse your heart. Cleanse your body. Let Him make you clean by the miracle working power of His Son, Jesus Christ. Live today being set free from the sin, or hurt that weighs you down. Allow Him to help you put the ga-bage in the ga-bage and keep it there!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Snow Day Books and Craft!

How can you have a snow day and not read?!
I have a collection of books
on snow for the cold days of winter
so we can sit back, with hot cocoa in hand,
and read!

We also MUST make a craft!
I found a bunch of different ideas on 'Pinterest,'
put them together and had the children each make
their very own!
 It reads:
"Its' 'SNOW' secret
that we love JESUS!"
 I prepared the craft for these little guys!
I made the snow globes for them.
This is my Joy School class! 
 Each child had a little cup of white paint and a
Q-Tip to paint with.
 I find, in using a Q-Tip, they were able to make
drops of 'snow' with the paint easier than
using a paint brush.

I LOVE it!
We had a great time reading books on snowy days
and then painting!

If you are interested in being a part
of Joy School,
check out my blog!
Joy School- Pre-School!