Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Boy has earned his stripe!!!

I'm one proud mom tonight!  My boy T had his Karate stripe testing tonight.  I was so nervous for him because well for one, we forgot to practice his kata with him and two well I just wanted him to do well.  I think he was a bit nervous as well but he promised to do his best and ran off to get into line.  I really wish that I had taken my camera but I forgot.  bah!  I settled down on the floor with my book but found I couldn't keep my eyes off T.

First they started with their low block.  T did excellent! Then with kicks and advancements and blocks and more kicks and then the Kata.  I knew that the Kata would be his weak point.  In previous classes, he got confused on a couple of the moves and hasn't quite got them memorized.  He surprised me.  He did an amazing job.  He was so focused.  He did stumble in the parts that I knew that he would but he did a really good job recovering himself.

Then it came time for everyone to sit and wait for the Sensei to call them up to the front.  T was in the back row so it was going to take a bit to get to him.  As the Sensei called each name I started to get excited because he seemed to be calling every one up.  I thought T would for sure get one.  Then he skipped over a couple kids and I started to get worried.  My anxiety increased as it got closer and closer to T's turn... and then it happened.  Sensei called his name.  The look on his face and the proud walk to the front nearly made be burst into tears.  My boy had passed his test.

In the car on the way home I told him how proud I was of him and how he did his very best and he said to me.  "how did you read my mind?"  I asked him what he meant and he said as he was watching everyone get their belts striped he was thinking how he was going to get one because he tried his very best.

I'm so proud.  I love that boy so much.  Here's some pictures!  Hey if you read this, it would be great if you could leave a comment congratulating him.  I bet it would mean so much to him!

My proud boy with his stripe

Doing a high block

And kick!

A close up of the stripe and the cuteness that is him.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am an ordinary parent.

I used to think that teaching a child how to read would be pretty easy... until it came time to teach J.  At first, it was easy... until we got to words that were more than three letters. Then we struggled.  I started teaching J to read when she was 5, she only just started reading well last year at age 8.  Even now she doesn`t really enjoy reading.  That makes me sad because I really wanted her to have a love for reading.

 So when it came time for T to learn to read, I decided to look for something else to help me teach him.    I saw a glowing review for a book by Jessie Wise and  Sara Buffington called "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading"  I decided to order it thinking it was a book to read for me to help me understand how to teach.  When it arrived, I was surprised to find that it had actual lessons in it.  We started it with T this fall and actually stopped the rest of his work to spend more time on learning to read for a month before christmas.  I can't express how much this book has helped me and him.  He is progressing so well and his having a foundation in reading is helping with his other schoolwork.  I actually wish that I had started this book earlier for him. 

The book has 230 lessons.  Each lesson takes at most 10 minutes to complete.  Depending of course on the mood that he is in that day.  The lessons are short and to the point.  It quickly reviews the last few things that were taught and then moves on to new material.  I've learned things from this book that I don't remember learning!

"I" is 4.  He's been working on a preschool book this year.  He now knows all his letters and most of the sound that go with those letters.  He finishes his book this week and I have decided to start his kindergarten year early.  I'm going to teach him to read this year so that when he gets to grade one, he won't have any trouble.  I am so thankful for this book and glad I found it.  If you homeschool or if you just want your child to have a good foundation in reading before heading off to school then I would highly recommend trying this book.

Click here to order 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Life

Yesterday I got to experience a miracle.  My wonderful sister brought a new baby boy into the world and I got to be a part of the special day.  It's an amazing experience to be on the other side of the birthing room instead of giving birth myself. I'm so proud of my sister for how strong she was even when she didn't want to be.  One of the highlights of yesterday was that this baby boy was born on my dad's birthday.  How special!  Anyway.. I'm very excited to be an auntie!  Welcome to the world Griffin.  We love you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Yesterday was Valentine's day.  The day of Love.  For us, it was spent visiting friends, running around, doing normal day to day stuff.  We don't make a big deal of the day because really why do we need a specific day to tell us to let our family and friends know that we love them.

However, I have a nine year old daughter.  If you have ever met a nine year old girl, you would know that they are suckers for the fairy tale love stuff.  So with the help of Miss J, I threw together a romantic candle lit dinner for my hubby to surprise him. J was so excited.  She offered to watch the kids in the bedroom and even made a paper flower centerpiece.  She kept throwing out statements like "so romantic" even though I can't be quite sure she knows what romantic means.  I love when she gets excited about something.  She just comes alive!

She's such a thoughtful girl.  And though I love to surprise my husband, I mainly did this supper for her benefit.  It's so good for her and the other kids to see their parents go out of their way to show each other love.  Real Love.  It's an example we set.  I want it to be a good one.  After almost 13 years of marriage, I can honestly say that I love that man more than the day we married.  Even though, I thought of this meal as a benefit to my kids, to have 45 minutes of uninterrupted time with my husband was the most memorable moment of my week.

Oops, I've gone all sentimental on you.  Didn't mean to do that. hehe.  In midst of all my thinking about Love and what it means, today I started thinking of another kind of love.  As I watched my husband snuggle his little girl, with her little face tucked in under his chin, I thought, wouldn't it be great to just snuggle up into someone's arms and just rest there.  And I realized, that's exactly what heaven looks like for me right now.  Snuggled up in my father's arms.  Not a worry in the world, letting Love surround me.  Sounds heavenly doesn't it?

For now though, I  continue to strive to continuously love.  Not only my own family and friends but the unloveable as well.  It's a hard task and I'm certain I will fail more than once but that's why I'll continue to try.

I leave you now with some pictures.  Enjoy!

Me and My Love

Our yummy dinner.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Yesterday we woke up to a winter wonderland.  Besides the fun snow hills to play on, a winter wonderland also comes lots of shoveling.  I generally like to shovel actually.  I will sometimes volunteer to go out and shovel and let Hubby stay in with the little's.  Yesterday though, (and here comes a confession) I was feeling awfully judgmental.  You see, here I was trying to shovel Hubby's car out of a snow bank and the guy across the street had a nice tractor with a blower attached to it.  He was done of his driveway in maybe 10 minutes and I couldn't help feeling bitter about it.   But then I realized something.  I wasn't really all that tired.  I still had energy left to do even more shoveling.  Instead of judging those around me, I should have been soo thankful.  I had a wonderful father who came with his truck earlier and pushed most of the snow out of the end of the driveway.  So thankful.   I had the strength and health to actually go out and shovel.  So thankful.  I had wonderful kids who in the midst of playing, stopped to help shovel.  So thankful.

That was my lesson yesterday.  Colossians 3:15  says, " And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful."

I'm going to make more of an effort to be thankful ALWAYS.  No matter what.  Because really... I've got it so good....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Walk the talk

           Hi all, as usual I have neglected the blog.  When life gets crazy, there is only so much one mom can do. With four kid, life is crazy 90% of the time.

     But lately I've been doing a lot of thinking and actually my girl J has inspired me.  You see, back in october/november, J decided that she wanted to raise money for kids in Africa.  She decided that she was going to sell her drawings by the road side for 50 cents a piece.  I confess.. i'm a selfish person... I considered telling her no she couldn't do that because that meant that I would have to go out there in the cold (believe me it was cold) and sit with her (there was no way I'd let her sit at the end of the driveway by herself) But I felt a tug in my spirit to give in to her.  So we made a sign that said "Pictures for sale!  For kids in Africa"  We got a table and set up at the end of the driveway.  I sat in the car so I could let her do her own thing but still keep a watchful eye on her.

       She sat there and sat there even when no one stopped. What I saw for the next little while amazed me.  Our neighbor girl came out to see what she was doing.  Then her brothers came out.  Then the other neighbor boy came out.  After a while, we had a group of kids inspired by my girl to do some good in the world.   Next a group of teenage boys came walking down the street.  One boy crossed the street to see what they were selling.  He started to say that he didn't have any money until he saw what the cause was.  Then he yelled over to his friends for them to give him some money.  "These kids are selling pictures for kids in Africa! Anyone got any money?" he said.  Quarters started flying across the street as the other boys dug into their pockets for change.  Neighbors came out and donated money.  Someone even drove by, then turned around to stop and donate money.  At the end of her fundraising, she had raised 55 dollars.  Which she promptly gave to our missions pastor at our church.  He set that money aside for a special treat for the children in the orphanage in Mozambique that we support as a church.

      Since then, J has helped raise money for school desks for that orphanage and is helping to support a mission trip this november.

     It may seem like I"m bragging on her and yes I am so proud of her.  I am also completely convicted and inspired.  If one 9 year old girl can make more of a difference in the lives of others than I have in 32 years, then well I have completely failed my life.   It's not too late though.  I can start now to live the life that God has intended for me.

     For starters, I signed up to go to Mozambique in november with our church mission team.  I am nervous, excited, worried and terrified.  I am beginning to see past myself and see others in need.  I have lead such a self centered life, always worried about what I have or what I need, when really I am RICH.

     I've just finished a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.   One thing in his book really resonated in my heart.   He said  "If 100 people represented the world's population, fifty-three of those would live on less than $2 a day... Which is more messed up --that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves "broke" or "poor"? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich."   

      It is so true, if we would take money that we spend on eating out or going to the movies and send it to someone in need, WE may be able to make a difference in the world.   There really isn't any need for poverty when we in North America, have more than enough to provide food, and medical supplies to those who need it.

     Matthew 5:16 says "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."

     THIS is our purpose.  We as Christians need to ask ourselves Is this the most loving way to do life?   Try for a whole day to be conscious of how God intended you to live your life.  I guarantee your life and your way of thinking will change.  Back to J... Our children will inherit this earth just as we inherited it from our parents.  If we start now, inspiring kids to change their world now as a child, how much more will they make their world for the better.  I just read a news story about a boy who made it his mission to take on an annual community project.  This year, he raised 10,000 dollars to save his grandmother's house from foreclosure.  What this one boy did made it into the news.  He is amazing.  We need more amazing children like this. 

      I was thinking the other day..  There are so many self help books out there.. Instead of trying to better ourselves, what if we try bettering the world and in the process maybe we will become better people.   I don't know if any of this post makes any sense.. I just needed to get all my thoughts out.  Hopefully someone will read this and take the challenge.  In the words of Francis Chan, "I urge you to consider and live as though each person you come into contact with is Christ"

     I know that God has more in store for me than I could ever imagine.  I'm going to make it a purpose in my life to walk the talk.  Will you?