Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Watching God at Work (1000 blessings)

27. healing and restoration
28. little boy giggles and hugs
29. a bird's song
30. the silence and peacefulness of early morning
30. planning a gettaway with my sweet husband
31. watching a good Hallmark movie on tv
32. dreams coming true
33. so much to be thankful for!
34. hard work
35. listening when God speaks
36. help when weary
37. books that make you think and fill you with inspiration
39. hearing "thank you mommy" from a kid who I wondered would ever talk?!
40. thunderstorms

Linked to Holy Experience

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creating Curb Appeal

This weekend we spent all day Sunday outside working in the garden. We pulled weeds, added bushes, flowers, and mulch. It was a gorgeous day.  This is what our house looked like last summer when we decided to try selling it, then took it off the market after a few weeks because I was very overwhelmed with keeping it clean with 3 boys, plus keeping two extra boys for the summer.

It really doesn't look THAT much different, but I've been wanting to add to the flower bed and a new bench.

So, here is the flower bed with some new bushes, mulch, and some flowers.

Notice the snail climbing up the wall? Oh and I have GOT to fix those shutters...
There he is.
And here is our littlest man talking to the snail. He killed a baby one earlier that morning by just stomping on it with his foot. Right in front of Tibby (his big brother) and it DEVASTATED Tibby. Poor snail.
Here is a close up of my potted geraniums. I added the iron stakes (well my boys did) I saw someone in blogworld do that and I can't find the blog now. But I got the idea from her. We got the stakes at Hobby Lobby.

Oh and look at my green bench! I just adore it! My sweet man got ot for me for my birthday, even though it's next week. We found it and the cushion at TJMaxx and it was love at first sight.
Then I added this wreath to my front door. It was about $3 to make and so lovely!
I'm linking up to:
Anti Procrastination Tuesdays at New Nostalgia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reading List for me and the Boys

I love reading. It is my favorite thing to do. Usually by this time of year, I would've already read a ton of books. This year, I'm not too sure what my problem is. Maybe, it's that my whole schedule changed to home schooling the boys full time that has me really behind on my reading. Here are the books I am currently reading, some I'm about to start reading, and some that I want to read.

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
Revolution in World Missions K.P. Yohannan
The Mission Minded Family: Releasing Your Family to God's Destiny by Ann Dunagan
Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love by Danial O.S.B. Homan
A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother by Jean Fleming
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today by Elaine Cooper
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer review here
For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer

For the boys: (beginning readers to level 1)
The Grand Canyon (Ready-to-Read. Level 1) by Marion Dane Bauer
Billy And Blaze: A Boy And His Horse by C.W. Anderson
Little Bear Boxed Set: Little Bear, Father Bear Comes Home, and Little Bear's Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik
Good Night, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas
Harry the Dirty Dog series by Gene Zion
Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew

Family Chapter Books:
26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie Depaola
The School Mouse by Dick King Smith
Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Stuart Little  by E.B. White

Spring/Summer Reads Just for Fun:
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen also, A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow
Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton
When Lightning Comes in a Jar by Ernest L. Polacco
The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Now, I'm off to read!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I've been thinking of things to get my mama and my hubby's mom for Mother's Day and I thought I'd share some of the items on my list that I love.

May is a great month for me because it's my birthday and Mother's day, AND my anniversary!

Ok, on to the great gifts.
$50 and under

I LOVE this handcreme from Lollia and it comes in such a beautiful package, you woudn't even need to wrap it.

This apron along with pretty much everything else at The Pleated Poppy Shop is just lovely.

My favorite candle ever is this beauty from Anthropologie. Everyone that walks in our house goes on and on about how good it smells when I light this candle and it is really beautiful!

This rustic jewelry box from Sundance would be a great home to any mom's jewelry collection, even if she's like me and only has a few loved pieces.

These sweet Welcome Mats from Garnet Hill are a great addition and would brighten up any doorstep.

All of these items are just items I happen to love and think would make great gifts. Of course you could never go wrong with a wonderful homemade dessert or an arrangement of handpicked flowers from your garden. It all sounds amanzingly lovely!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Learning Through Teaching :Autism

I am obviously still learning so much about my son since we started home schooling. It has been so much fun to see things he knows that I didn't even realize he knew. At the same time, it has been a bit of a  struggle when I come up with something "simple" for him to do to keep him engaged and his mind working while I work with Tibby on something else.

You see, I take some of the littlest things for granted thinking J can do it and just plopping it down in front of him and verbally or even physically showing him how to complete the task, to come back a minute later to realize he is completely off task and is having nothing to do with what is in front of him.

This happend the other day as I placed a bowl full of noodles in front of him with a few small items hidden in the bowl for him to find. I showed him what I wanted to do and left it at that....and so did he. WHAT?! I wasn't sure how much simpler I could make it, but he deserves for me to figure it out.

I've heard that kids with autism need a purpose to do something. Really if they don't see a purpose, they don't see any sense in doing it. His teachers had started seeing great progress in him when they offered him a reward of something he loves. It just so happens that the stuff he loves are tv and candy. Two things I just don't allow much of in our home.

I went ahead with rewarding him with these things, but something happens after a while of doing things this way. He starts to depend on the reward and needs one every task he completes, and since we have to break even the simplest tasks down to a bunch of different tasks...well, thats a LOT of rewarding!

He also, got VERY dependent on the tv. It was enough to absolutely drive me up the wall! So, now I've started looking at things a little bit differently. I started asking myself what the purpose of the activity was to see if I can show him a different reason for working. So, taking the bowl of noodles, I got two of each object, hid one of each in the bowl and placed the other one on a piece of paper. I told him that there are two and he needs to find the matching one in the noodles and place them together.

He Got It!

He did it right the first time and every time after that! It gave me time to spend with the other boys, and his mind was working the whole time! No stimming, just doing AND completing the task at hand.

Its so funny to me that that seemed a little bit more complicated then just finding hidden objects in the noodles. This young man is forcing me to see things differently and is keeping MY brain challenged! It's just amazing to see how his mind works, and to know that it does work, just differently, and that's OK!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Choosing Life Days 3 and 4

Ok, well yesterday I was running on lack of sleep, but not as bad as the night before. Our poor little man was still running fever off and on, but was in a fairly good mood and playing. We don't get sick often, I mean our youngest two have never been to the doctor (this was the first time he had tylonal/motrin for fever) I was praying for wisdom to know when/if we should take him to the doctor.

I was a tad grumpy yesterday, but I prayed along through the day and got quite a bit of cleaning and even cleaned out the freezer (it was on my list for spring cleaning). We even ended the day with a slumber party in my room since hubby was still working. I fought the the deepest urge to just tell them to go to their own beds so I could maybe get a few hours of sleep. It was fun and well worth it. The boys slept the right way in the bed and I (needing a little bit more space) stretched out across the end of our king size bed. It worked out really well.

Now, through the night my little man was still running fever and then started coughing and throwing up. POOR guy! We took him in to the Urgant Care Center this morning and he has double pneumonia! They said he was ok, and put him on antibiotics. VERY thankful we got him in on time. This is the first time he has been on an antibiotic, so I am working and praying for ways to build his immune system back up. We have probiotics and usually eat very healthy foods, so hopefully that is enough to get him back on track.

I have to say, this weekend, as far as my attitude goes, it has been better than it usually is. I can feel God working in me. It's very hard to be "worked on" but I feel it will be just like our little sleepover....worth it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

1000 blessings

13. rainy days
14. a loving mother willing to get up in the middle of the night and drive across town to help
15. the theraputic power of writing
16. people across the world praying for my dear friend
17. how well they're doing
19. family movie night...and the fact that a FAMILY movie is airing on NBC tonight!
20. a call from one of my best friends saying she is here for me and will come any time I need
21. that same dear friend asking me for help on her really sick kids and me praying and giving her what God has given us and they haven't been sick in over a month!

22. that SAME lady being a part of our family!
23. having so much family time this week
24. a long relaxing bubble bath
25. learning and loving what God is teaching me
26. Grace.

Choosing Life Day 2


Okay, so whenever I actually START something, it never seems to fail that something totallly messes up my intentions. The difference this time? My attitude. I didn't let it get to me (definately with the grace of God).

I had prepared to get up and going this morning at 6:30 am, do my devotional, go for a run, and shower along with some cleaning for later on in the day. Well, at 9:00 lastnight our 2 year old started running fever and crying. It lasted on and off all night long. I got no sleep, and my mom came over with medicine and Whataburger at 2:00 AM and watched The Blind Side with us until 5:00. My sweet husband was at work.

I fell asleep at 6:30 and woke up at 10:00 feeling somewhat refreshed and ready for the day. I prayed and took my time to be thankful for having a mess to clean up in our cozy home, and spent 30 minutes cleaning it up. Then, I cooked Pasta Primavera for lunch. I didn't get a lot done, but I got something done.

I am learning that God didn't call me to be perfect (pefection is why this sort of thing would've usually overwhelmed me for "ruining"  my plans.) He just calls me to be thanful and faithful.

So as for today: something that could've totally ruined my day and my mood, didn't at all. Today has been pleasent, relaxed, and very rainy...just the sort of day to hang out with our sick little man and watch movies, and that's just what we did!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Choosing Life, Day 1

I tend to go through these "cycles" that really bring me down. It seems to always happen the same way. Two weeks I'm very motivated to get stuff done and I'm feeling great. The next two weeks I'm not so motivated and down right lazy.  And the following two weeks J seems to have the hardest weeks and autism butts in our lives like a raging bull. Then perhaps I become the raging bull.

At the end of the cycle I feel completely defeated and lost. Then, we start all over again. Its been happening for years, and every time I tell myself to focus and pray hard to steer clear of the "cycle" next time it attacks. But, it sneaks up on me like a snake ready to strike when I least expect it. (Even though I know it comes around obviously, it still shocks me that it's still a part of my life....I guess I was thinking I defeated it without actually fighting in the battle)

I do notice however, that in my highs I am extremely dedicated and faithful to my relationship with God. This week as I'm feeling at my weakest, God has whispered to me to stay faithful to Him always. Maybe I have such great weeks with God that after a few weeks I think that I can now handle it now by myself.  Maybe when I  take the reins in my own hands, I become the unmotivated lazy woman which means our routine changes and our poor son who can't adjust well to routine changes is overwhelmed, confused, and doesn't know what to do.

To say the least, this week, God has gotten my attention. As I tried to come up with every reason in the book as to why this tends to happen until I heard His voice clear as glass. "Stay faithful to me." So here we are. I am asking for His strength to get through and break free from this cycle.

Today is day 1. I am blogging about it so that I am accountable and maybe someone else can benefit from this journey.

My first three goals:
* To stay and be dedicated to God daily, hourly, every single second. Praying for a faithful heart.
*To bless my family with a mommy who stays on a good (flexible) routine. Praying for a sevant's heart.
*To make each day intentional in every way, especially with J. To work on keeping him engaged. To include others in this so I don't get run down.  Add to our day time for Tibby to play, include, and encourage J. A time for them to bond.  Praying for consistancy and compassion.

This is not only for me, this will change our little boys' lives! So here we go, day 1 of ending a cycle and choosing LIFE!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter: Such a Sweet Season

We had just got home from church and were ready to hunt some eggs!

The hunt was on! They all did really great and had a lot of fun. I didn't buy many eggs at all (I think we had 16) That was enough, they didn't even notice that there wasn't that many. They were just happy to be hunting. I know I said we didn't need candy, but I'm learning moderation.

My favorite picture of the day. He has been such a happy, smiley little man these days. It reminds me of when he was little.

Here we are. One happy couple! I love this man with all of my heart. It would be nice if we could get one picture without me squinting my eyes or my hair blowing in the 50 mph wind we seem to have every single day....but its a lovely picture regardless. After the hunt we headed back to church to put together sack lunches and deliver them to the homeless. Yes, our kids come with us, this needs to be a part of their lives, so we go 2-3 Sundays a month.

We also had a fabulous feast of lamb, asparagus, new potatoes, and haroset for Passover. It was one of the best nights we've had just worshiping our King and Savior. We also washed each others' feet as an act of love, just like Jesus did.

It really has been the most amazing season in our lives filled with Jesus, joy, and peace.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Bubble fun

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Mantel

Spring to me is a refreshing start. It is new and simply delightful! God is so faithful to give us a sunrise each morning and Spring reperesenting new life every single year.

This year as I decorated our mantel, I wanted to go for that refreshing newness spring seems to bring. A softness and an elegance of color that breathes life.  

Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 
Lamentations 3:23                

[Home The Perfect Nest]


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