Friday, November 20, 2009

Lessons Learned Today

Since I haven't posted all week I've got a lot to catch up on so here goes post #2 tonight!  I hope you don't mind!  :-)
This week school got done and went well Monday through Wednesday, Thursday however, was a loss as far as school was concerned (See previous post). When today rolled around we still weren't quite ready to tackle the lessons. After my quiet time I was praying and the Lord gave me an idea.  We needed to work on putting together our box for Operation Christmas Child and I have really been wanting to bake some cookies to take to the kennel that kept Heidi for us and Dr. Waite (the vet).  Today would be the day to tackle these things.

Baking the cookies with Riley went really well!  He did a great job in measuring all the ingredients and carefully pouring them into the mixing bowl.  He carefully scraped the sides of the bowl as it turned with the mixer, he helped me scoop the batter into balls on the cookie sheet and did not lick his fingers till we were done!  When I offered him one of the beaters to lick he gladly took it and sat down on his stool to enjoy the reward.  What a great cooking lesson we had today.  Riley did well!  We will deliver the cookies tomorrow with a card thanking them for their love and care of Heidi.

We then went to pick out some items for our Operation Christmas Child box.  Riley decided to purchase for a little boy his age.  He had fun picking out cars, a sock monkey (because Riley loves his so much!) and a Nerf football.  We then picked out some hard candy and some other toiletry items and drawing utensils.  We got home and he began putting the items in the box and we realized we still had room for more. So we will go tomorrow to finish up our shopping.  He decided to write a letter to the boy and request that the boy write him back.  Our prayer is the boy will be blessed by the contents of the box and that we will be a light for Jesus to the boy.  It would be an added blessing if the boy will write Riley back and tell us about himself.  Riley did a good job writing the letter and this was his handwriting project for the day. 

He later played some math games, spelling games and then played outside with his friend.  It was an easy day but good lessons were learned.  Carefulness in baking and doing a good job, a lesson in giving to someone who may not have much, and handwriting a letter.  We had a good school day today.

A Glimpse of Unconditional Love

What a week this has been!  It has been a whole week since I posted last,  but this week has been very hard.  We found out Monday that our German Shepherd Heidi had reached the end of her days.  Chris and I got Heidi about 7 months after we got married 15 years ago, she was our first "baby".  She quickly became our sweet Heidi, a friend to each of us, a protector and one of our family. She wanted to be with "her pack", her people that she loved.  Wherever we were in the house she would be there too.  As I posted earlier in my blog, she would find her spot in the middle of our school room and sleep as Riley and I did school.

As Chris and I were getting ready for bed, she would follow us around and then walk into Riley's room as if to check on him.  I remember one time several years ago before Riley was born.  Chris had drill and was gone for the weekend.  Heidi and I were there by ourselves at night.  She must have heard something because she started barking and as I walked into the kitchen she walked in front of me and parked herself there as if to stop me in my tracks.  If something or someone were outside she sensed it and was going to protect me.  I was thankful at that time that Chris was determined to have a dog that would protect us.

Whenever we left her at the kennel it was hard at first but the more she went the easier it got.  She got to know the kind people there that cared for her.  When we returned she would greet us with a kiss and seemed so happy to see "her people".  That's how she always greeted people she knew and loved, with a kiss.  One time she cornered my niece Abby and covered her face with kisses.  Abby didn't like that too much and hollered and cried.  Eventually Abby realized that was how Heidi would greet her so she got used to Heidi's kisses, especially as she got taller!  Often as Heidi would be eating her food, I might walk by or put her water bowl in the holder.  As I did she would turn and kiss my arm or leg as if to say, "Thanks mom for the food." 

Looking back this week over our life with Heidi we have realized her unconditional love she showed us allowed Chris, Riley and I a small glimpse of that unconditional love Christ has for us.  Christ is always willing and ready to forgive us when we make a mistake, as long as we seek forgiveness and repent from our sin.  Every time we come to him he greets us with open arms and a loving smile.  Just knowing that alone should give us the joy beyond comparison!  Maybe the reason why God allows us to have dogs is so we can have a glimpse of the unconditional love Christ has for us?  I really don't know, only God knows the answer to that one.  God used Heidi as a reminder to Chris and I this week that we can have joy and be a light for Christ, even in our darkest times because Christ has already won the victory and paid the ultimate price because He loves us so.  Our joy can be full in Him!  Amen!  Thank you God for giving us Heidi and the joy she brought us.  But thank You more that You gave Your only Son to die on Calvary's Cross for not only me but the whole world!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you ever have those days when you wonder if your child is learning what you are trying to teach him or her?  I know I do.  So I am always thankful for those little moments of confirmation that Riley is learning and grasping a concept or something important.

This image above is one of those moments of confirmation for me. This fall, my heart has been impressed to teach Riley the importance of Thankfulness and the meaning behind Thanksgiving.  Of course the holiday has not yet arrived and I'm not sure that he has quite learned the importance of being Thankful (time will tell...).   I was rewarded yesterday a little glimmer that  Riley has learned a little bit of what I was teaching him.  We had checked out several books from the library on the pilgrims as well as studied some on the Separatists in our American History sections over the last couple of weeks.  Yesterday he had a Math paper from his Abeka Math that had a poem to read on the Pilgrims and a picture of a ship to color.  I really didn't supervise him too much while he colored this and he usually is not too big on coloring but he let his imagination go on this one!  When he was done and held it up for me to see, I was so blessed to see his mind working on its own. If you double click on the image you can see he added people with voice bubbles on the ship as if they were the Pilgrims traveling on the Mayflower.  He wrote "Nobody can tell us what to do!" (Referring to King James I who wanted them to worship according to the church of England), "Land HO!"  "We found a home!"  "Yaa!"  I was so excited!  Not only did he learn but he used his own initiative and imagination.  I was one happy momma yesterday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Top 15 Favorite Books

Words cannot express how thankful I am that our son Riley has learned how to read!  Thankfully he has shown some desire to read on his own accord.  I don't have to push too hard to get him to read during the day, although, if I don't monitor his choices in books, he would choose a Star Wars book every time.  A typical choice for a 7 year old boy!

I am quite the book worm!  In fact, reading can be quite a stumbling block for me because there are times that I cannot put the book down to get done what I need to do!  That nagging feeling that I know I need to be doing the dishes, cooking dinner, or getting school started gets pushed back in the corner of my mind till I get to "a good stopping point". 

Between my husband Chris, Riley and myself we have quite a wide variety of subject matter that we like to read.  With Christmas coming up soon, you may have someone on your list that loves to read like we do.  So we thought we would each pick 5 of our Top 15 favorite books we like to read and share them with you.  If you see one on our list that may be a possible gift for someone, click the book title and it will take you to where you can check the amount and availability.  You can even purchase it if you are ready!

Lyn's List:

1)   The Bible  by God

2).  Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

3).  The Left Behind Series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins

      or the Left Behind Set

4).  The Red River of the North Series by Lauraine Snelling

5).  The Mega-Millennium Series by Paul Meier and Robert Wise

Riley's List:

6).  The Magic School Bus: The Truth about Bats by Joanna Cole

7).  Star Wars Epic Battles by Simon Beecroft

8).  Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

9).  Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

10).  How to be a Pirate in 7 Days or Less by Lesley Rees

Chris' List:

11).  The Bible by God

12). The Way Things Ought to Be by Rush Limbaugh

13). See I Told You So by Rush Limbaugh

14). His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley Jr.

15). The Fight of Every Believer by Terry Law

Monday, November 2, 2009

FREE Holiday Digital Supplement

2009 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

The Old Schoolhouse has sent out their TOS Holiday Digital Supplement !  It is Wonderful and it is FREE!  And I'm all about anything that is free! If you are looking for something to jump start your holiday planning and ideas this will definitely do it. 

The  TOS supplement is not your typical E-book.  It is created in the same format as the TOS Digital version of their magazine.  You can turn the full color pages and then click on a page to enlarge a section.  There is so much in this awesome supplement, there are articles on both Christmas and Thanksgiving, great craft ideas, and tons of recipes to try.  I have already bookmarked several recipes that I am looking forward to trying out. 

Click on the link above or the picture and download your FREE copy of the TOS Holiday Digital Supplement and enjoy!