Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Reflections

Easter has been on my mind for weeks now.  Since we are observing Lent for the first time this year, we have really spent so much more time reflecting on the true meaning of Easter. It's funny to me how many people find it weird that we do this since no one we know hardly does, but it has turned to be one of the biggest blessings in my life and I find myself already anxious and excited about next year!

  I'm having the hardest time this year finding a balance, but all I know is the TRUE meaning of Easter will be observed in our home MORE than the world's celebrations.

I have been amazed and in awe of Ann and her family over at Holy Experience. It's my absolute favorite blog,  just filled with the Holy Spirit! We have started some/most of the traditions they do in their home....I'll give you a little peek. WARNING: it WILL inspire you. Turn up your speakers too, the music is wonderful.

First of all, we have observed lent this year and we are also reading Devotions on this season. These devotionas and more were recommended by Ann, so we picked up two and have turned out to be some of our favorite reads. Devotions for Lent is a small easy to read daily devotional leading through the weeks of Lent. Reliving The Passion wow, honestly one of my favorite reads. I started it late, then my hubby stole it ;) so I will finish it after Easter, but that is ok. Its a wonderful daily devotion that I know I will be coming back to year after year! Next year I plan to read these aloud as a family.

We also started a Box of Repentences. We have a box with  a lid with paper and a pencil. When we need to ask for forgiveness and repent we go to the box write it down and pray. We put it in the box and on Easter we will burn  or throw it away symbolizing that Jesus has cast away our sins.

We are also using the menu she shares for our Messianic Seder Dinner

The boys and I started a journey this Easter to capture the story right out of the Bible, but to keep it where they would grasp all that was going on we used The Resurrection and we have ALL learned so much. Tibby remembers what we talked about and what has happed thus far in the story. I can see him really getting into it and asking tons of questions. This has been a really great experience for us.

We aren't putting a ton of effort in the other traditions out there as far as the Easter Bunny and eggs and candy go, but we are doing a few things like: dying eggs....the natural way. I thought this would be a fun experiment for the boys. (Down at the end of the post)

We are also going to make a cake with GIANT sprinkles in pastel colors I found at TJMaxx.

We aren't going to get anything really for the boys. We usually put a bunch of goodies in their Easter baskets. Candy, books, cds etc. This year I feel :

1. we don't need candy (the cake is fun and plenty)
2. we don't need stuff

Just that simple. We are on a journy to simplifying our lives and getting back to the basics. I mean it. Last week we filled 3 bags with toys to give away. We put a shelf in the boys' closet and put the remaining toys in baskets on the shelf. We made the old playroom a homeschool room. Filled with books, games, and soon arts and crafts. We are going to work on organizing our garage with bikes, balls, and outside toys. You know what? Our boys haven't missed them at all. They have a few toys (cars, blocks. and trains) that they love and bring out into the living room and put away when they're finished. The rest of our time is spent coloring, painting, outside, reading, and playing ball. We have also set a NO tv rule during the week (except on Friday movie night) and some on the weekend. We are really enjoying eachother so much. This season in our lives has been truly touched by the hand of God!

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Thankful Heart

I am starting a journey to take note and be still in gratitude. Listing 1000 things I'm greatful for. Finding God in everything! . I will start today.

1. the two times the phone rang today and it was my husband just saying hi

2. getting to spend my days and my life with our children

3. The Cross, for without it there would be no hope

4. the smell of freshly baked bread lingering in our home

5. waking up to a promised sunrise

6. a little boy with harldy any words, asking to play outside and to read him a book.

7. a book called My Brother Charlie, that will show my children that others have brothers just like theirs and that we "Love him strong, and watch him with the might of angels"

8. the nameless woman who annointed our Savior's head before He was crucified

9. our 5 yr old eagerly coming up with ways to encourage and show his brothers he loves them....and watching him do it

10. the way the words "fix those eyebrows" can turn a frown upside down in a two yr old boy

11. an afternoon with my family working in the yard. taking care of all He has given us

12. making a glass of tea for my hard working man

holy experience

Friday, March 26, 2010

Compassion and Love- Great Reads

Grab a box of tissue and be ready for a change. This is where I have spent the past few weeks, weaping and prayerfully seeking an answer as to what He is leading my family to do. Its a big reminder that we aren't the only ones here in this world, in America, or in our own little neck of the woods. God has called us to love and have compassion.  "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these bothers of mine, you did for me." - Mathew 25:40

Kristen over at We are That Family shares her amazing experience she had in Africa a few weeks ago.

Kristi wrote What Creeps Around about human trafficking and how it creeps around in America. Hard to read, but something we all need to read and pray about.

Ways to Sponsor a child (3 of my favorites) Compassion , Christian Relief Fund and World Vision

Making a Difference a few articles over at incourage that are wonderful and inspirational. They also have a link to Rapha House (program to give love to girls rescued out of slavery and sexual explotation)

Be blessed!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Day in Our Shoes

Oh wow, I'm so thrilled that spring has made its arrival! It seems like a new season brings on and new breath of air around here. I start feeling inspired and motivated all over again! We have been doing some really neat things in preperation for Easter (I am planning a whole post on that this week) I've never felt so amzingly grateful for Easter and its true meaning in my life, and its all thanks to a few things we've overlooked in the past, but are now including in our preperation for Easter.  Can't wait to share!

On a little bit different note, we have been busy and productive today. I am still winging the homeschool lessons a bit until we get a set curriculum and idea of exactly we want to do with each child. I have researched and looked at reviews of so much and think I've narrowed it down to some great material!

For right now, I am sorta making my own lesson plans and we're going with the flow (which is nice too)

Our day:

*I got up and did Jillian Michael's 30 day shred. Wow. Great workout!
*Took a shower (so nice since i got up way before the kiddos did and had time to shower!)
*Made bed, cleaned bathroom, started laundry
*Made oatmeal with cinnamon in it for the boys *while they made beds and unloaded the dishwasher
*Cleaned up and helped get eveyone dressed (J put on his own shirt with little assistance)
*We did our Bible lesson and memeory verses (Tibby wrote one of the verses for practice in writing)
*Worked with J on gripping his pencil to write his name (we did hand strengthening exercises and an ABA therapy type exercise to help him write)
*Tibby wrote in his gratitude journal
*Tibby and I did a reading lesson and he read on his own for 15 min
* We all reviewed J's sight words together (he got all of them right!! There are about 15 words he knows Tibby got them too!)
* We worked on the letter A (he knows them ok, but I want to make sure he recognizes them...Tibby likes all the stuff with this so he joins in)
*Had lunch and cleaned up
*We went outside for an hour and made a graph of sounds we heard, how many bugs, flowers, and birds we saw. We also collected fun stuff to look at and learn about.
*We came in and watched an episode of PBS' From the Top at Carnegie Hall
* We are getting dinner ready and baths before we read a chapter out of Charlotte's Web for the night.

This has really been a fantastic day! I am lovong this so much more than I ever thought I would! God knows what He is doing!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rainbow fun

This is so simple and the boys really enjoyed it. We had a leftover box of Noodles left over from a gift from one of the boys' birthdays.
We decided with Spring approaching that we would make a rainbow. So we learned what the colors of the rainbow are with THIS simple little worksheet over at Let's Explore.

[my 5 yr old came up with the purple salad lettuse leaves...what a smarty!]

So after we learned the colors of the rainbow, we grabbed our noodles and headed to a window. You simpley get them a little bit wet with water and stick them on. We had all the colors but purple. It doesn't last long, but the boys enjoyed doing it!

Hopefully everyone is having a warm and blessed day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some pictures from the past week

Beautiful sunset looking out our front door

Our Hotel in OKC at night

Makes me smile

The warm sun peeking out from behind the clouds

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oraganizing Craft Closet

Ok, I REALLY don't want to show you how bad I let it get, but I will. I really have no excuse, I just didn't take the time to get to it before it got out of hand.  I also got it all organized with stuff I have at home. If I waited until I had all the supplies to organize it, who knows when it would ever get done! No need to buy anything, it feels good to be resourceful and get something done without spending money.  I don't have a label maker, so I just used a piece of paper and a works just fine =]

Here you go...

And After:

It feels so good to know where everything is and really great to know where to put everything back! Now we can really get down to business!!


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