Monday, April 14, 2014

A Lesson in Faith

For the past several years, the kids at our church have been sponsoring a little boy in Haiti named, Erlin.  Our kids will occasionally earn some money to help with sponsorship and they talk about Erlin quite frequently.

Today, Chloe told me that Erlin's birthday is coming up and that no one had been remembering to give money to him lately.  She was worried that there might not be enough money for him to get a nice birthday present.

She decided she wanted to have a bake sale.
Today.
In our driveway.
With a 30 mph wind blowing.
And very few neighbors in sight.
We don't live on a busy road.  We live in a small neighborhood and I feared she would have very few customers.

Wanting to spare her feelings, I suggested that maybe she should wait until tomorrow when the neighborhood kids got off the bus.  The bus stop is in front of our house so it might get her some business.

Her face fell and she looked so disappointed that I finally said she should just go ahead and do whatever she wanted to do.

In my heart, I thought she would be fortunate to sell a few dollars worth of cookies.

She got busy and made some Easter themed sugar cookies.  By the time she was done, it was late afternoon. 

Surely, she was about to be disappointed.

I wish I could say that I prayed for her success but I was busy doing other things and not paying close attention.

About a half hour later she came running in, breathless and excited.

"Mom!  I'm almost out of cookies!  I have $8!"

I couldn't believe it!  I looked out the window and noticed that another neighbor had stopped by.  She left empty-handed but when I went outside, the little kids (who had now joined the sale) all chorused,
"She's coming back to buy some!"

Sure enough, a few minutes later she drove up.  There were only a few cookies left and I couldn't imagine what she was going to buy.  She handed them a ten dollar bill and said she only wanted two cookies, one for her and one for her husband.

After we thanked her profusely and she walked away, Jordan looked at me with huge, round eyes and said,
"She gave us TEN dollars!"
He was so amazed!

And so was I. 
And humbled.
I had tried to tell my daughter not to trust God for a simple bake sale.  God had put something on her heart and I, although well-meaning, had tried to talk her out of it.

I am so thankful that I was able to be a spectator as God chose to bless the work of a little girl and remind me what He can do with even the smallest efforts.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19
Chloe runs to show me her money!
God is faithful!
Some little kids and their mama learned a valuable lesson in faith today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why I haven't been posting on this blog....

There are a number of reasons but the main one is that we just aren't that exciting around here lately.

Our days kind of repeat and do not lend themselves to multiple blog posts.  Oh...there have been some possibilities but I often run out of steam and just mindlessly scroll through Facebook posts at night instead.

Pathetic, I know.

Homeschool has been a good year so far overall but part way through the year, we all started to get a bit bored.  Staring at computer screens daily became a bit dull for the kids, while typing schedules and grading papers turned to a bit of drudgery for me.

So I began to pray and ask around.  What were other people doing?  And what were large families doing?

A friend recommended Heart of Dakota - a curriculum that we decided to try because my friend graciously offered to loan us some of her books.

I decided to switch the four oldest kids to see if it would be a good fit for all of us next year.  Although our start was a bit rocky, we now love it!  We are spending lots of face time together and I am learning a lot of history that I never learned in school.  So fun!

The little kids are begging to switch mid-year but I'm holding them off until fall.  They see all the fun things their big sisters are doing and reading and feel left out.  Their time will come....

In the meantime, the days pass like this:

Making the breast plate of the Jewish High Priest (12 Tribes of Israel with Hebrew inscriptions).  There are cool projects to make and they are all with supplies we generally have around the house and things the kids can do on their own.  (ie:  Mom doesn't have to be an art teacher)





Jordan came up with a race track, complete with a movable arm for the guy with the flag.  He loves to create things out of paper - or whatever he can find.




SaraGrace basically photobombs her own picture.


Music class with their video.  SaraGrace often does video classes with the younger kids just for fun.  Then she pretends she is a teacher when they are playing. 

So that's it.
Our super exciting family.
We should have a reality show.
Not.

The end.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Snow day!

We finally got a decent winter storm the other day.  So fun!  It snowed all day long (as opposed to snow during the night that you don't get to watch).

Schools in the area were closed so I declared a home school snow day.  Whee!!

Jeff was out of town so we girls decided to get our pioneer spirit on and shovel the driveway.  We could have tried to figure out how to fire up the snow blower but, 
1.  I detest smelling like gas, which is unavoidable when you use one, and
2.  The teen was still sleeping in the basement and I wasn't about to do his job.  I knew we wouldn't get the entire driveway completed and he would have to finish the task.

Kate wanted a turn with one of our three available shovels.

Zoey was a trooper.  Unfortunately, she and Jake fight over the shovels until I am nearly driven mad.

La, La, La....Fun to be out in the snow storm getting some exercise.  No, really.  It was fun!

There was also time for sledding.

Jillian spent hours building a house.

The others spent hours building snowmen.

An army of busy workers.

Molly...."Stand by your (snow)man."  Lame joke, I know. 

SaraGrace flashes a smile in the midst of her frustration at not getting her snowman to cooperate.

"Oh yeah...Mom, I've got this all under control!"

Jake wandered around helping various siblings, but I'm not sure he ever completed anything.  He decided to be king of the hill instead.

The kids made this huge snowball until they couldn't move it another inch.  Alas, they had to abandon it in the middle of the sidewalk.

SaraGrace's snowman (snow woman?) has a shopping bag and a fistful of money (green leaves).  Where does she come up with this stuff?  

Wiped out after all day in the snow.  Cuddled up by the fire watching an educational movie (since they didn't have school, ya know).












Friday, January 17, 2014

Jake's New Way to Earn Money

Jake lost another tooth earlier this week and was QUITE happy that the Tooth Fairy actually remembered to put a dollar under his pillow.

He carried the dollar around constantly, sometimes just getting it out of his pocket to look at it.  Clearly, he enjoyed having it.

It was Kate's birthday yesterday and as Jake watched her open presents, he suddenly pulled the dollar from his pocket and handed it to her saying, "I want to give you this for your birthday present."

Awwww....  I was very surprised since Jake REALLY loved having that dollar. 

The kids went to bed and about an hour later, Jake came walking downstairs holding a wad of tissue up to his mouth.

Apparently, he had worked on his {slightly} loose upper tooth to make it come out so that he could once again be the proud owner of a dollar bill.

His tooth was barely loose when he went to bed and judging from all the blood on the tissue, he worked pretty hard to get it out.  But at the end of the day, he still ended up with a dollar in his pocket.

And all was right with his world.

I'm still cracking up every time I think about it!

{Sorry for the crummy iphone picture.}

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snowball Fight!

My dad called a week or so before Christmas to tell me that he had ordered a fun present for the kids.  It was a snowball and brick maker!  It arrived before Christmas but by then, our snow had melted.  Today....finally....there was snow and it was warm enough for it to be awesome packing snow.

I thought it would be fun for them to have a big snowball fight so Jeff and I instructed them on how to build a snow brick wall for each team. 

Jake was much more interested in making snowballs than building a wall. 






And of course, if you are making snowballs, you get to throw some.




As they were building, there was a sudden ambush from the direction of the garage.  Fire was quickly returned in a volley of snowballs from the kids.




Yeah....'take THAT, Dad!'




And THAT!




Back to work, team.  We've got a wall to build.




The snowball maker worked amazingly well.  




Brick maker wasn't too shabby either.




This team struggled a bit because they had smaller brick molds.







Let's give mom a cheesy smile.

Molly launches a test shot.






Their wall was coming along nicely.




Not to be outdone, the other team continues to build.




Jake...hard at work on his snowball arsenal.

"Looking good, guys!"







Kate brings shovel loads of snow to help make bricks.

 



I'm pretty sure that Jake licked every.single.snowball he made.  The girls were so disgusted.




Is it me, or does this look like a wall of toilet paper rolls?




Nice pile, Jake!  The snow was so sticky I think he could have built this straight up for quite a ways.  However...he kept getting distracted...
This team had one less child, so dad stepped in to help.







"Ready or not...."

"Ready, schmeddy.  Show us what you can do."




Pelting the opposition...




Which is quickly answered...




Alas...there is a breach in the wall!  Jordan shores it up as fast as he can.




Chloe was a formidable foe.  Notice the pink saucer full of snowballs behind her wall. 

Molly was originally just going to help build the wall but quickly got caught up in the fun of pelting her siblings.

I wish I could say that they had a marvelous time but I think that boys are better than girls at having snowball fights.  Girls take them a bit too personally and there were eventually hurt feelings and tears. 

Oh well....

It was a good way to get exercise this afternoon.  Next time they can build a fort instead!