Lift Your Hands

I love Francesca Battistelli’s song, Time In Between. It speaks straight to my soul each and every time I listen to it.
My favorite lines go like this:
It don’t take much for this crazy world to rob me of my peace. And the enemy of my soul says you’re holding out on me. So, I stand here lifting empty hands for you to fill me up again…
The enemy of my soul is an emptier.
Have you ever emptied a glass ketchup bottle? You turn it sideways, upside down, shake it, pound it, run a butter knife up in there, bang it on the side of the table… Making sure you get every last, little bit you can.
That is what the emptier does. He turns us upside down and inside out. He shakes and pounds, hammers and raps.
He steals joy.
He steals peace.
He steals love, patience, and charity.
He steals hope.
He steals confidence.
He steals praise.
But my Jesus, The Messiah, The Christ, The Risen Lord, The Day Star who arises in our hearts, He is a filler!
He fills every longing in our soul!
We can go to Him empty, empty handed and empty hearted, lift our empty hands and our empty hearts, and he will fill us back up with all that we are lacking. I can’t live a day without Jesus. I don’t even want to try. That’s all. Goodnight πŸ™‚

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

I remember chanting this to other children as a child. Never have I heard a more false statement! Words are powerful things! Words are more powerful than the speaker comprehends them to be. I recently had an experience with hateful words and they crushed my spirit! I lay awake well into the morning hours and struggled for days with my mind re-playing the words in my head! It made me want to be more careful with MY words and to teach my children to be more careful with theirs…

So, the girls and I did a devotion on the power of words. I had them each write “My Words” on a small piece of notebook paper. Then I told them to crumple their paper up into a ball. Next, they were to straighten it out so it would be as it was before they crumpled it. Morgan, in all her 7 year old wisdom, blurted out, “That’s not possible!”
How right she was!!!
When our words leave our mouths, it is not possible to reach out and grab them, stuff them back in. Saying sorry for words spoken is like trying to straighten out the paper, it may no longer be crumpled into a wad, but it will never be the same. The crinkles and scars will always remain.

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“Words” by: Hawk Nelson
Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts
Or put it out
Let my words be light
Let my words be truth
I don’t want to say a word
Unless it points the world
Back to YOU

Proverbs 18:21 KJV
[21] Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Proverbs 25:11 KJV
[11] A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

We read several scriptures and discussed times that others’ words had hurt them, but also times when they had received encouraging words and how those words made them feel. We talked about the importance of thinking before we speak and not speaking in anger. As a mother, I want to teach my children to control their tongues and speak kind words. I have been praying that God would help me to do this by example. Sometimes, I speak to my precious little ones in frustration and I know it wounds their little hearts. I want my words to build them up. I never want to break them down!
Proverbs 14:1 KJV
[1] Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

I make no false boasts to having arrived as a “Proverbs 31 Woman” but she is my goal!
Proverbs 31:26 KJV
[26] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Loads of Joy. And Laundry.

Wow. My poor, little newborn blog has been totally neglected over the holidays! But I’ve been busy. Doing laundry. πŸ‘•πŸ‘”πŸ‘šπŸŽ½πŸ‘–πŸ‘˜πŸ‘™πŸ˜³
Seriously, I have been busy!
I am only just now feeling like I have recovered from the hustling, bustling, traveling, cooking, and laundry, the holidays brought. Oh yes, and revival. A week long revival. Following VERY closely behind Christmas and New Year. Revival was wonderful, much needed, and we won’t even discuss how much laundry it produced. 😳
I’m getting to the point; I promise.
A few days ago, feeling quite overwhelmed with my loads of, you guessed it, laundry, I began to think. I thought of how my laundry piles had grown over the years, 13.4 years to be exact. I used to be able to have a “laundry day” once per week and wash, dry, hang, fold, put away, ALL of the laundry. My laundry hamper would be wonderfully empty at the end of the day. No, really, it happened. It would be EMPTY!!!!
It seems like a distant, utopian dream. An empty laundry hamper.
13.4 years, and 4 kiddos later, if the couch and bassinet are laundry free I’m ecstatic! (Yes, I use the bassinet as a laundry basket. I have to justify the purchase somehow.)
BUT, wait for it, my laundry brings me joy. Say, wha?!?!
Yes, joy. With each passing year, and each additional little one, my laundry has grown but so has my joy. It really took me a long time to realize this. I’m a slow learner. I used to enjoy doing laundry (I’m weird like that) until it grew beyond my neat, precise, little laundry day. Then it became a drudgery.
No longer though! I have been reformed. I will no longer view my laundry as a curse but as a blessing. You see, I have dirty baby clothes, because I have the sweetest, prettiest, rolly-polly, 4 month old you’ve ever seen! There are various little girl’s clothes to wash, sizes 5/6, 7/8, and 10/12, because I have a 6 year old cowgirl, an eight year old comedian, and a 10 year old book worm. We have chore clothes, because we’re blessed with farm animals. We have work clothes, because we are blessed with jobs. We have play clothes, because we’re healthy. We have dish rags, because we have food to eat. We have towels, because we have water to bathe in. We have church clothes, because we have freedom to worship. I’ll stop; you get the point.
So, from now on, my laundry will be more than work. It will be a sign of all God’s blessings, and I will do it gladly.

Colossians 3:23 KJV
[23] And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
[18] In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

What is Thanksgiving REALLY about?

Whew! What a busy weekend! Thanksgiving + Black Friday + Colds All Around + Sunday School = One Beat Mommy!

This Thanksgiving was a very unique one for us. We had no extended family over, nor did we travel to them. It was just my husband and I and our four little kiddos in our little house, all alone, celebrating Thanksgiving. And to be honest, I was REALLY bummed about it!

Thanksgiving morning, I, in my bummed out state, sat on my couch to drink my coffee and browse Facebook before I started cooking dinner. Cooking all alone, might I add (everyone feel sorry for Kendra)!!! And what do you know, the very first post I read gave me a swift, hard, back-hand of reality right upside the head! You see, some friends of mine were asking for prayer for their little girl (same age as my Ireland). She had been in a bad accident and was in critical condition, being prepped for surgery. And here I sat pouting about being “alone” on Thanksgiving! I wasn’t “alone”, I had my hunk of a husband, my four HEALTHY girls, and we were all snug, warm, and safe in our little house. We weren’t on our knees at some cold hospital praying for a miracle!

SHAME ON ME!!!

Even more shameful I had been in that momma’s shoes not very many years ago with my Morgan. How easily we humans forget! Well, this forgetful human promptly took my hide to the bedroom, knelt and thanked God for all his blessings on me and mine, while praying for my friends in need. Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning after that little reminder from above. I feel like I truly celebrated Thanksgiving this year. I didn’t just pig out and visit with lots of family, but I was truly THANKFUL!

Our Thanksgiving Company
Our Thanksgiving Company

We did actually have company! These are “pilgrim” Barbies that Morgan dressed for the occasion, along with their horses, and a blonde haired “Indian Ken”. (I’m sure William Bradford would roll over in his grave at the sight of these girls’ dresses)

Happy "Thankgiving"
Happy “Thankgiving”

My little sign maker (Rylie) made this festive little sign and I just didn’t have the heart to tell her she had left out the “s”.

Did someone say hot rolls?
Did someone say hot rolls?

Rolls give you rolls, but they are one of my fav things about the Thanksgiving feast!

Even Steven and Odd Todd

My sweet little Morgan is learning about even and odd numbers in math this week. A couple weeks ago, as I was helping her with math, I realized she would be learning this concept. Since it is an abstract concept and since Abeka is, well umm, boring (there I said it); I decided to spice things up a little bit.
Of course I looked on Pinterest for ideas (this IS 2014). I found this pinΒ from First Grade Parade and I loved it!
I had been introduced to the book while in college but,quite frankly, had forgotten about it. I’m so glad I found it again 😊
I ordered the book, Even Steven and Odd Todd, by Kathryn Cristaldi. The first day I read the book to Morgan. We both enjoyed reading about “Even Steven” who is just what his name implies, a straight-laced, no nonsense fellow who likes everything neat, in order, and of course evenly numbered. Much to his dismay, he is visited by his tricycle riding, gummy worm pizza eating cousin, “Odd Todd”. Odd Todd lives life casually and never has his things evenly numbered! I won’t spoil the book… You can find it here.
After reading the book we “did a craft”. Morgan was sooo excited about a craft (who isn’t?)! She cut out a few things including Odd Todd’s hair then she was in charge of the glue 😳😳😳

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The next day (after ALL the glue dried😳) I got out the candy AKA math manipulatives and we got busy playing! I mean, learning! I mean, learning is so much more meaningful when you’re playing! Anyway, I digress. I had Morgan use the candies to demonstrate the concept of even and odd numbers by dividing a certain amount of candies between the two hands. I showed her how to alternate hands as she counted the candies out. We then discussed the fact that even amounts had the same in both hands but odd amounts did not. After a few rounds of this I promoted her to start predicting whether an amount would be even or odd and pointed out the pattern. We then started at 1 and Morgan “tested” each amount and then wrote that number at the bottom of the correct character.

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We had so much fun with this activity! Morgan was enthusiastic throughout the entire lesson. She interacted so well with the manipulatives declaring that the candies looked like “rings” on the fingers, giving life the numbers by talking to them… “Mr. 7” “Hello 10!” I want my kiddos to love learning therefore I love making learning fun! Do you have any cool math ideas you want to share? Leave me a comment πŸ™‚

 

 

A Formal Introduction

My name is Kendra and I live in a little house. Β It’s all good though, because love grows in little houses. In my very first little house, I had a sign hanging in the living room with this quote painted on it, “Love grows in little houses.” As some of you may know, this is an excerpt from an old song by Doug Stone which says, “Love grows best in little houses, with few walls to separate….”Β I started this blog to share with you some of the grace, love, home school activities, and craziness that happens in my little house. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I am going to enjoy writing it!