Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Evaluation

Spiritual
  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! God is still giving me a passion to devour the Word!
  • Memorize verses with the kids - We are through Psalm 1 in school. Starting on more verses.
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I have made Proverbs 31:10-31 part of Lillian's school curriculum for this year and have  most of it memorized generally still need to get it in solidly. Sort of looked at Ephesians 1
Marriage
  • Go out for a date once a month- Still going on 1 a week and I think this is our new goal
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes, went overnight to Lexington for our 10th anniversary
  • Read 3 books together this year- We have been reading lots of stuff for school of missions, but have not completed another book together yet
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Still improving, but mostly
Kids
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- Some, but not a lot. Right now Jim and I are working on making our marriage 1st priority, so this will come later
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Yes
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- We did this in St. Louis this month
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Got behind on this this month, but will be writing in most of them this week
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Did nothing with this during Auust, not sure this one will happen, currently not at the top of the priority list, though I hope to get it accomplished sooner rather than later
Homemaking
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- We have cleaned but not keeping a schedule yet, hoping to get a chore chart going soon
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this. God has been really working on me and helping me to do better in this area
Ministry
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- This may have been too, lofty of a goal. As of right now I might get 1 more in this year
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blogYes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
Personal
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- I'm reading a lot between reading with Jim, school with the kids and by myself, so we finished some books with school, but I personally have not completed any this month
  • Journal 5 days a week- The past 2 weeks I did not write as often as I should have. By God's grace I will get back into this next month
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Did not get any writing done
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Did a little editing one day
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- I don't think I will be doing this. There is just too much going on.
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Had a good meeting for editing!
  • Blog 3 days a week- I actually averaged this early in the month. Surprised by that!
Health
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Still not getting this in. Would love to, but still working on family priorities
  • Maintain weight until birth
  • Lose weight after giving birth- I joined Weight Watchers and I am down almost 10 lbs! 
Where did September go? It was such a busy month for us. We are really working on our family and seeking God's priorities for our life. This month Jim and I spent a lot of time together as well as with our kids. We've started School of Missions, we went on vacation to St. Louis, had school for both Jim and the kids, I really would like to redo my goals at this point, but with only 3 months left in the year I will keep what I have and work on them as God allows. I'm thankful for a year where many of my goals are falling through so that I can experience God's grace and learn more about Him and what He has for me. God is good!

How was your September?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

St. Louis

Last week our family was able to take a few days and go to St. Louis, MO for a short vacation. It has been years since I have been there, but it was the first trip for everyone else. Jim has been wanting to go since we moved to Louisville, especially to see the baseball stadium. (Baseball is his favorite sport, in case you wanted to know.) We got up early on Monday and drove west.

Our first stop, the Gateway Arch. It was overcast when we arrived and cool. Perfect weather for looking around outside. As soon as we went into the museum, the sky fell and it poured rain! Getting in was a mess as we had to have everything examined including taking everyone and everything out of the stroller. It was packed full. The kids enjoyed looking at all of the things set up in the museum that showed the westward expansion of our country. Once we knew we could check into the hotel, we left to get everyone settled. We stayed in O'Fallon, IL and the hotel was nice for the right price. :)

In the evening Jim and I went out for our weekly date. We tried a local Mexican restaurant, then took the public transportation to an interesting area of the city. I really liked their public system and it worked well. We walked around this area of St. Louis and got some ice cream. We met a guy who is working on a comic book and shared some of his work with us. We had a good small conversation and got a drawing of his villain for a couple of dollars. The guy was a really good artist and I hope that God will bless his efforts to publish his comic book. As a writer I could identify with him and the struggle to get it done.

On the ride back to the hotel I examined the picture of the villain and really appreciated it. Why? First of all it was intricate and well done. But more than that, I appreciated how the villain was portrayed. Upon first glance there was nothing about this character that screamed villain. And is that not how Satan is? He parades as an angel of light and makes evil look good. Let me know if you want to see the drawing!

Tuesday was full! In the morning we went to the Science Center and Planetarium. It free to go in and look around! There was so much to see in this there and it was very interactive. The Jim, Becca and the kids had fun building 2 different arches. They had a dinosaur lab with figures and a small "dig site". There were also 2 very large animatronic dinosaurs that scared the little ones. My favorite was a game that explained genetics. It was so good for kids of all ages.

We all took a much needed rest in the afternoon! In the evening Jim, Mom, Jamey, Lillian and me prepared for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. (No we have not become Cardinals fans. We will be die hard Braves fans until the day we die. :) Jim wanted to see the stadium.) We took the public transportation to the game, which was fun for the kids. They really enjoyed riding on the train. It was a good game. We met some interesting people. We enjoyed stadium food and some Dippin' Dots. (I love Dippin' Dots!) Lillian was getting into the game and cheering when everyone else did. Best of all, it was perfect weather for a baseball game. It was a very enjoyable evening.


Wednesday was also very full! We went to the St. Louis Zoo, which was also free! It was huge and full of lots of fun animals. The kids loved looking at them and watching the animals play. There were many animals that we had studied in science or other reading books that Jamey would identify and talk about. It was so neat watching Reuben and Gabriel get into the animals this time. Gabriel loved walking around like a big boy.
In the morning it was raining, so we spent a lot of time running from one shelter to another, but that gave us the opportunity to look longer at the information and for the kids to learn more. They had a really cool bug house with lots of creepy crawlies. All of the kids liked this. I personally liked the butterfly house. Apparently the average lifespan of a butterfly is 2 weeks! That's crazy. The kids really liked looking for different kinds of butterflies and comparing them to the chart the zoo provided. It was such a fun day.

We took the kids back to the hotel while my parents and sister went to the free art museum. It was nice to just sit back and relax for a little bit. Jim and I talked while the kids watched a movie. We ate Subway in the room then Jim and I ran to a scrapbook store that was just down the road. That place was sweet! They had so many papers and stickers and lots of unique things for making books. I also learned about using binders for scrapbooking and decided to get one to give it a try. It was nice to have someone explain it to me.

After the kids went to sleep, Jim and I got to go play in the pool for a little bit. It was so weird to be able to walk across the whole pool. We had fun racing and just goofing off in the water. We also got to sit in the hot tub. So nice after 2 days of walking!

Thursday we packed up, but went to the City Museum before hitting the road. That place was really cool! It's $12 a person, but worth every penny. Everything there is made from something else and it is really just a big indoor playground in a warehouse. The kids loved it. Jim went up in the playground with them. It was a lot of fun. They have a kids train, which the 3 older ones really liked. Sam and I got to go down a couple of slides. I hope we will be able to go back there one day. We should have scheduled a whole day for it. At lunch time we had to head back. We ate lunch in the car and headed on.
We really enjoyed St. Louis and hope to go back one day. All of the fun free stuff to do helps so much. It is such a family friendly city. I was also impressed that every place had a nursing room where I could pump! That made the trip so much better for me. :) If you are looking for a great city for a family vacation that is reasonably priced, St. Louis is that city.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Don't Be A Haman

I can hear you now, "What do you mean don't be a Haman? I don't hate the Jews or any group and want to see them all killed." I'm not saying you do. But, today as I was reading Esther 5 I noticed the downfall of Haman that led him to this extreme desire to kill a whole people group.

"Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai. Haman controlled himself, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman also said, 'Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king. Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.'" ~Esther 5:9-13 

Do you see it? Haman tells his wife and friends about all that he has been blessed with but then turns around and says, "all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate." Haman was wealthy, had the best position in the land aside from the king, many sons and had been invited to a banquet with the king and queen only. He was living the "good life" but was not satisfied because Mordecai did not fear him and would not bow before him. Seriously, 1 man caused him that much distress!

But really, isn't this all of us? We can show and tell all of the many blessings we have been given and yet get focused on that one thing we want and cannot have.

We all have our Mordecai, whether it be money, having a spouse or kids, a house, clothes, etc. We are always wanting for more when we seek things. Only in Christ can we have everything we could ever need or want. So instead of focusing on what we do not have, let's focus on what we do have, the gift of salvation and life because of Jesus death.

What is your Mordecai? Let's keep each other accountable to focus on Jesus and not our Mordecais.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Charlotte's Web

This is one of the read alouds we read to the kids during the first month of school. It was a cute story of friendship, help and sacrifice. Generally speaking it is not a bad book. Personally, I did not like the writing style of the book. My kids really seemed to enjoy it, though, and I would be glad to read it to my kids again in the future. The vocabulary in it is incredible and great for Jamey who loves to read and learn new words. I also appreciated the ending because I like realistic stories that have sad endings.

I would give the book 3 stars, though I think my kids might give it 4 or 5. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Medicate on God's Law

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2

We have been memorizing Psalm 1 again as a family with our homeschool curriculum. Our precious daughter, when saying verse 2 says, "and on His law he medicates day and night." After hearing her say this, I realized it is very accurate. The righteous person meditates on God's law and it is a medication to the soul. Why? Because the law shows us our sin, leading us to Christ and repentance bringing life to our souls. When we are at a loss, the law points us to the Truth. God's law is perfect and it shows us the way to life. Medication is made to heal. God's law heals as it points us to Christ. Medicate on God's law. It is the best thing you can do.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Archaeologists Dig For Clues

This book is interesting in that it describes how archaeologists work. Overall it is not a bad basic information book. I personally do not agree with the dating, but this would not keep me from using this book again. It's a fun beginning kids book. I would give this book 3 stars.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reuben's 3rd Birthday


It's hard to believe our middle child is 3 years old today! Time keeps on flying by as we go through life. We have been so blessed by our sweet Reuben as his rough and tumble play meets sweet snuggler. He reminds me so much of Jim in his personality and look. I love the way he is himself. He is beginning to try to do what the older 2 kids are doing, but at the same time content to be who he is.
This year, especially the last few months, Reuben has really blossomed. He is communicating more, answering questions and really desiring to learn. We officially started pre-school with him during our homeschool time and he is loving it. He is quickly picking up letter sounds, numbers and colors as well as growing his vocabulary. It is so fun to watch him grow. He loves to be outside and play. This is probably his favorite thing to do. He also loves to swing when we are at the playground. Reuben is an observer. He pays attention to everything and takes it all in. That is also fun to see. Really, he is just a fun kid. I love this little boy and I am so thankful that God gave Reuben to our family.

Happy Birthday, Reuben! You are so loved!