About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Four-Year-Old Speak

Natalie continues to crack us up with the sweet and funny things she says. Here are a few recent ones:

Natalie: "Mommy, I'm going to make up my own verse. Micah 40:5. The Lord God made, holy and wise, some people were sinners, and they couldn't go to heaven." She has since added this part "Until they were not sinners and asked Jesus to be their Savior"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

N: "Today is Mofvers Day" (Hands me a bunch of lilacs she picked at grandma's)

Me: Well, it's not really Mother's Day, but we can celebrate it if you want. What is Mother's Day?

N: It's a day we give our mofvers things.

Me: Why?

N: To say "thank you" for loving us and taking care of us. I love you Mommy!

Me: (melting heart, couldn't say anything!)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

N: This horse is old. See it's face looks old. It's the grandma horse.

Tim: Are all grandmas old?

N: Yes, but not Grandma Jan and Grandma Harms.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We were watching Cinderella III that we got from the library. She did really well, only asking a few questions through it. The questions were appropriate too. She seemed to catch the character lesson. At the end when the Prince and Cinderella were about to kiss, she got all giggly and said, "They're gonna kiss. It's the best part!" Such a girly girl!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a funny from Megan. Last night we were at some friends' house and the kids were all playing in another room. Megan came out to me patting her head, which she usually does when she hits her head on something. I was dishing out the sympathy and hugs, when my friend's husband came into the room laughing. "She just whacked everyone on the head with that golf club!" Apparently Megan is going to tattle on herself! She whacked all her friends with a toy stick then came out to tell me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm Not Ready!

We just enrolled Natalie in preschool.

I’m very happy with the school we chose. It is about five minutes from our house, uses the curriculum I would use if I had to choose, and I know one of the k4 teachers from my time teaching. It’s a newer school so it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of unnecessary rules from 30 years ago that are still in the handbook. It’s also quite affordable as Christian schools go.

But I feel funny about it.

Oh, preschool is going to be fine. It’s only half days, three days a week. And Kindergarten will probably be fine too. Those are only half days.

But when my kiddos are in school from 8 until 3, I’m going to feel like I hardly ever see them.

Yes, most moms feel this way, I know that.

But.

I’m a certified teacher.

I have all of the qualifications necessary to teach my children at home, and to feel somewhat confident in my ability to do so.

I have smart kids too – Natalie is already picking words and telling me what they start with. She can get just about any consonant right. I haven’t even tried to work on that with her. She just figured it out on her own. If I sat down and tried I could probably teach her to read. What if they get “held back” by being in a traditional school? What about the “mean kids” that will hurt their spirits? I was a victim of those “mean kids,” and my Natalie is so sensitive. I’m not ready to see her heart broken. I’m scared for her.

I have always said I have no desire to home school. I want the school experience for my kids. Also, this mommy may not have the patience to be a homeschooling mommy. I know that.

But I’m going to miss them.

And sometimes I have doubts that we are doing the right thing.

I like the flexibility we have now with no one in school. We can make the last-minute decision to go to the children’s museum or park and no one cares.

The logistics of homeschooling seem impossible. I must work, and when would I work if I also had to cram schooling into my day? As it is I cannot accomplish everything I should be accomplishing (housework, grocery shopping, cooking, working, mothering, wife-ing, laundry, laundry, laundry.) Oh and we want to have more children. How do you homeschool and run a home-based business with the demands of a nursing infant while keeping up with your home? I don’t think I can realistically do a good job of homeschooling AND continue my work.

So in September Natalie will go to preschool. She will love it. I will miss her.

Anyone else have these feelings?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review: Sammy and His Shepherd

Recently Ligonier Publishing gave me the opportunity to review another book. This time I chose Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt. I was thrilled with this book.

Sammy and His Shepherd uses the 23rd psalm to draw a redemption parallel. The story follows Sammy, a sheep with a loving shepherd, as he meets and befriends Precious, a sheep in the neighboring field whose shepherd is less than loving. Each chapter takes a phrase from Psalm 23 and expounds on it. For instance, chapter 1 is “The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want.”

In the course of the story, Sammy meets a sick, skinny sheep through the fence. The sheep does not have a name, and she does not have a shepherd who takes care of her. Eventually, the sheep’s shepherd indicates he thinks she is worthless, and Sammy’s shepherd offers to buy her. He buys her for much more than she is worth. The mean shepherd laughs at the loving shepherd, but the loving shepherd does not care, because he loves the sheep even though, as she is, she is worthless.

As the story progresses, Sammy helps his new friend, who the shepherd names “Precious,” learn to trust her new shepherd. She has a lot of questions, and sometimes Sammy gets tired of answering them, but he remembers how some of the older, wiser sheep answered his questions when he was young, so he tries to be patient. Here is an example:



As the flock continued its climb to the high places, Precious began to worry
again. Troubled thoughts were running around wildlyu in her head. She was quite
startled when Sammy waddled up alongside her and said, “Good morning, Precious.”

Precious was so flustered that her words tumbled out on top of each other.
“Is it good? Maybe I should never have come. Do I really belong here? What if
the other sheep don’t like me? Will I like the high places? What if I get lost?
What if something attacks me? What if I fall over a cliff”

“Precious, Calm down. Look at our shepherd.”

They both looked ahead and saw their shepherd standing on a rock, watching over his sheep. “Can you see what he is holding?” Sammy asked.

Precious was perturbed that Sammy asked her such a simple question when she had such a serious problem. “He’s holding his shepherd equipment: his rod and his staff,” she answered.

“That’s right,” Sammy said. “When I become afraid or agitated, I remember that our shepherd always has his rod and his staff.”


Sammy goes on to explain how the shepherd uses those to protect the sheep.

Eventually, Precious becomes a fat, beautiful sheep and learns to trust her shepherd. Both Sammy and Precious learn a lesson. Sammy learns that helping a weaker friend is noble and pleases the shepherd. Precious learns that her shepherd loves her just the way she is and is always ready to care for her. She also learns that he can be trusted at all times.

Not only do I love the story here, but I also love the illustrations. Lovely illustrations depict Sammy, Precious and the Shepherd. I like that the shepherd is shown as a young boy. I think that will help kids relate.

The transformation of Precious is quite noticeable. I think the redemption story – the fact that our “Shepherd” buys us when we are worthless with something precious, his blood, and brings us into His flock to learn of Him and tell others of Him – comes through beautifully. Precious sometimes disobeys her shepherd, so sin is not left out of the equation.

This is simply a beautiful book, wonderfully illustrated and masterfully written. I recommend it to anyone who wants a children’s book that skillfully shows salvation without being overly “preachy.”

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write the review of this book, and it is an honest review of my opinions. However, in return for the review, I will be offered a free copy of the book for our family’s bookshelf.

I am also linking up to Feed Me Books Friday as part of this review.



Photobucket

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Case You Missed My FB Post . . .

For the past two months I've been writing for the USA Today website! Here's a link to one of my articles: Travel Tips for Yosemite National Park. I use my maiden name for that particular company but it is me. Check out my bio at the bottom!!! I am so excited about this - it's going to look great on my resume!!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

No More Complaining (Otherwise Titled Top Ten Reasons I'm Thankful I'm a WAHM)

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to be melancholy and dwell on the negative. While I love my children dearly, I find that their personality traits that rub me the wrong way get my focus often. I was inspired by this post from my friend Michelle that my complaining spirit is something they see and learn from. Also, others who may not have it as good as I do may look at me and wonder why they would want to stay home, be moms, be Christians, etc. So, on that note, I decided to focus on the positives.

One of my biggest blessings and challenges is being a work-from-home-mom. My job as a freelance writer lets me stay home with the kids, which I wouldn’t financially be able to do otherwise, but working from home is far more challenging than I ever thought it would be. The housework is always pressing while the paying work is also always there. I never leave my “office” and it is hard to turn off “work mode.” I am glued to the computer not just for entertainment, but also for income generating opportunities. So, because it is one of my biggest challenges, I decided to write the Top Ten Reasons I am Thankful to Be a WAHM. (This is by no means intended to be an in-your-face to others who have a different situation, but rather a way for me to focus on my blessings.)

1. When my children are hurt or sick, I can be here for them. I’m the one they run to when they scrape their knees.

2. I have the unique opportunity to teach them about time management (although I am not doing so hot with that at the moment.)

3. Working gives me something that requires slightly more intellectual work to do during the day.

4. Working allows me to contribute to the family’s income, which makes me feel more confident about our financial situation and stability.

5. We can go to playdates, visit the museum, go to the park and even head to Madison or the Chicago suburbs for a morning if we want.

6. I can attend lady’s Bible study.

7. We save money because I don’t have to buy a working wardrobe.

8. I can really delve into my children’s personalities and learn more about who God created them to be.

9. I can take doctor’s appointments the same day if needed without worrying about my boss or work schedule.

10. When Natalie has a question about God, I can be the one to answer it.

I am sure there are more blessings to being a WAHM, but these are the ones on my mind today. Regardless of your situation, whether you stay home and don’t work, work from home, or work outside of the home, I want to challenge you to think about the positives. We all can find plenty to complain about, but we have so many blessings too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Easter Read!

I'm finally back at Feed Me Books Friday. If you are not familiar with it head over to my friend Janna's blog and check it out. If you love to read with your kids, it's a great way to learn about more books.

Photobucket


Natalie and I are almost finished reading Benjamin's Box. I ordered this book from Paperback Swap.com, because I wanted something that would teach the real story of Easter. This book is excellent! Last year I ordered some from Scholastic that I was severely disappointed in. They treated Jesus like a fairy tale, saying he was a "great teacher" and that "some people believe he lived." That is not what I want to fill my child's heart with!



Benjamin's Box takes the idea of the Resurrection Eggs and puts them in the context of Jesus' last week of life. It follows a young boy, Benjamin, who has a treasure box. As Benjamin follows Jesus from the Triumphal Entry to the Crucifixion and Resurrection, he collects small objects to put in his treasure box.

We have read one or two pages of this book every day this week and will finish it tomorrow. When we read about the crucifixion, here are the questions I received form my four-year-old:

Mommy, but why did Jesus have to die?

After I explained about sin and heaven and Jesus' blood, her response was: Why would he want to do that?

I love it! Her mind and heart are beginning to understand the true depth of God's love for her! The book is incredibly Biblically accurate, yet tasteful. While it talks about Jesus being beaten with a whip, it does not show too much blood to be in poor taste for a small child. I have been incredibly thrilled with this book, and Natalie already has asked if we will read it again next year for Easter. If you are a Christian with a young elementary or preschool child and wish to teach them the real story of Easter, this would be an excellent resource. Keep in mind I will receive slight compensation for the links posted above from Amazon, or you can go on Paperback Swap using the button below and order one for yourself.


PaperBackSwap.com - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.