Fountains of Blessings

I love the book My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  If you haven’t read this book you should!  It has short daily devotionals for every day of the year.  Today’s devotional focused on John 4:14 The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.  This is the story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well and Him revealing to her who He really is and that He can offer everlasting water.  By springing up I believe Jesus is talking about abundant life.

That’s the life I want.  Not abundant in material things or money but abundant in being a blessing to others, serving others, praying for others.  As a sinful human I can so easily get caught up in what I want, what I desire, what I need (or think I need) and yet no where in the Bible does Jesus say to focus on what I want.

In his book Oswald says “We are to be fountains through which Jesus can flow as ‘rivers of living water’ in blessing to everyone.”  He compares that to people who are like the Dead Sea… always receiving and never giving because their relationship is not right with the Lord.  My favorite quote from today’s devotion is “Stay at the Source, closely guarding your faith in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow into the lives of others with no dryness or deadness whatsoever.”  So incredibly powerful!

I see so many people get hung up on different things of the Bible and I just don’t understand.  There are many things in the Bible that are beyond my comprehension… and I’m ok with that!  I have a finite mind, not God’s mind so not understanding everything in the Bible every time I read it is not a problem for me.  I choose to believe the ENTIRE Bible and trust God with my life.  I’m certainly not perfect at it but I don’t want to be a luke warm Christian and only read my Bible on Sunday or go to church when it’s convenient or a major holiday.  He calls us to be in His word EVERY DAY, to worship, pray and serve others.  Satan loves nothing more then someone who calls herself a Christian yet does not live a Christian life.

Romans 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

Walk worthy in the Light of Christ!  If you call yourself a Christian, understand that everything you say and do is a reflection or a witness of Christ to those around you.

10 Things I Learned About Tongue and Lip Tie

  1. A frenectomy is a procedure done to correct tongue and lip tie.
  2. A frenectomy is easier (on the kid and the parent) to do when they are a baby as opposed to a 2.5 year old.
  3. A frenectomy can be done with a laser which is supposed to reduce pain and healing time.
  4. Both a tongue and a lip tie cause problems with nursing.
  5. Both a tongue and a lip tie cause problems with speech.
  6. Correcting a tongue and lip tie does not end once the frenectomy is complete.
  7. Stretching exercises must be done several times a day for 3-4 weeks after the frenectomy.
  8. The stretching exercises are not fun for either the child or the parent.
  9. If the stretching exercises are not done the tongue and lip can reattach.
  10. Valium does not always work on a 2.5 year old… even a full dose!

So, you might be wondering how I gained all that helpful knowledge about tongue and lip tie.  We have been concerned about Katherine’s speech for a couple of months.  I had been assuming she wasn’t talking much because she has 4 older siblings who do the talking for her.  But, after being around other 2 year olds who were talking up a storm I figured maybe we better get her checked out.   I was referred to a specialist named Sandra Coulson.  I have 2 dear friends who have used Sandra’s practice for various speech, dental and breathing problems with their children.  Sandra has a different protocol when it comes to correcting speech issues but after much prayer and research we decided to take Katherine to see her.

As many of you know, Katherine is shy and doesn’t really warm up to new people so I figured this visit was probably not going to be very pleasant for anyone!  Yes, Katherine was shy but by the end of the hour she let Sandra put her fingers in her mouth, do measurements and mouth exercises.  After examining her mouth, Sandra discovered that Katherine had a tongue tie and quite possibly a lip tie.  She referred me to a dentist who specializes in correcting this condition.

We headed to the dentist Wednesday afternoon in hopes of getting it taken care of that day with a little laughing gas.  Well, Katherine would have none of that!  Dr. Witkoff suggested a prescription for Valium to give her the night before and the morning of her procedure which was scheduled for Thursday morning.  I gave her 1/2 a dose of Valium before bedtime Wednesday night and a full dose an hour before the procedure Thursday morning.  Let’s just say that, apparently, Valium doesn’t work on everyone!  I figured my little 31 pound 2.5 year old would be completely loopy and relaxed for the procedure… NOPE!  She was still raring to go when we got there at 11am.  After trying to convince Katherine to put on the elephant mask to breath in the laughing gas it came down to holding her down to get the mask on her and about 12 minutes of her screaming at the top of her lungs.  Finally the laughing gas kicked in and she just sobbed for the last 15 seconds.  The procedure itself is fairly quick – 3-5 minutes.  Now, we are just working on the stretching exercises to avoid reattachment.  We will be heading back to Sandra’s office next week to continue with her program.

So, there you have it… what I have learned about tongue/lip tie and frenectomy in the last 5 days.  The 3 pictures below were taken after the procedure.  Now she looks a little loopy!

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

Now she sleeps!

Now she sleeps!

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

After her Frenectomy and popsicle treat.

A New School Year Begins

It’s that time of year already!  But really, doesn’t learning take place all the time?  For homeschoolers, we consider most of our day as school time.  Whether it’s book learning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, diaper changing, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves or serving others, it’s all learning.

Our oldest, Natasha is starting 8th grade.  WOW!  It’s hard to believe we’ve been homeschooling her for 7 years.  I have learned so much about being a mom from being her mommy.  We love her dearly.  She’ll be busy with math, science, Spanish, geography, Bible Road Trip, spelling and history with added reading assignments throughout the year.  She is about 75% independent and is taking charge of her own schedule for her day to day lessons.  She has really taken a liking to baking and can be found in the kitchen often making her daddy’s favorite gluten free chocolate chip cookie.

N 8th Grade

Next up is our sweet Belle.  As a 6th grader she will be studying similar subjects as Natasha.  Belle’s reading ability has really taken off in the past year and she has 1 more level to complete with our All About Reading curriculum.  She continues to expand her knowledge and expertise in crafts and loves to show others how to make something.  She has such an amazing imagination and loves to share her creations with others.  She too, enjoys learning how to cook and often asks to help me with meals.

Belle 6th Grade

Next is our Alex.  Alex is starting the 2nd grade and is VERY excited to finally learn cursive.  Can you believe many public schools don’t even teach cursive any longer?  Anyway, she’s excited to learn to do something her two older sisters can do.  She’ll also be studying math, science, Spanish, geography, spelling & reading, history and Bible Road Trip.  Although she really only likes to help in the kitchen with daddy’s pizza or cookies, she loves to WATCH in the kitchen.  One of these days I would imagine her cooking skills will take off!

Alex 2nd Grade

Finally, Jonathan gets to start Kindergarten.  He has been quiet eager to start more school to be like sisters.  We will be focused on reading and math mainly.  He’ll be learning other subjects as well but not on a rigid schedule.  It’s fun to have a kindergartner again!

J K 2016

As for Katherine…. well enjoy the pictures!

Mischief!

Mischief!

Katherine's first ride in the bike trailer.

Katherine’s first ride in the bike trailer.

Sleeping angel!

Sleeping angel!

We Have An 8 Year Old Again!

We celebrated Alex’s 8th birthday this month with lots of food, family and friends.  For her birthday party dinner Alex requested chicken cordon blue, butter noodles with garlic and parmesan and salad… well Grandma Joanne added the salad!  Thanks Grandma! It was such a fun day.

Alex is a smart, funny and beautiful girl.  We love having her as part of our family!  She’s really enjoying American Heritage Girls (more on that later!) and having lots of fun this summer.  She choose The Rock again for her birthday dinner; I think it’s the 3rd year in a row!  For her cake she said I could surprise her with any cake I wanted so after doing lots of research I settled on an Elsa and Anna birthday cake.  Below are just a few pictures.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Mommy and Alex at her birthday dinner.

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Elsa and Anna doll cake

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Daddy and Alex on her birthday dinner.

Book Study – God Up Close Chapter 2

What do you think of when you hear the word meditation?  According to the Webster Dictionary meditation is discourse intended to express its author’s reflections or to guide others in contemplation.  I don’t know about you but that definition is not very helpful.  Often in today’s world when you hear the word meditation you think of a new age type focus or eastern meditation.  However, I believe meditation started WAY before any new age movement.

Psalm 64:1  Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

Psalm 64 is a psalm about being oppressed by the wicked but still rejoicing in the Lord.  In verse 1 David talks about meditating on God and calling on God to hear his voice.

Psalm 119:48  My hands also I will lift up to your commandments, which I love, and I meditate on your statutes.

Here is a table that contrasts between Biblical Meditation and Eastern Meditation.

Eastern Meditation                              Biblical Meditation

Mental Focus                      Empties the mind.                                 Fills the mind with God’s Word.

Content Focus                    Asks participants to repeat                  Asks participants to focus on vital
a single word – a mantra.                      content – God’s Word.

Goal                                     Aids in self-fulfillment.                         Aids in honoring God.

Method                               Visualizes what you desire.                  Prays to God, who controls the universe.

Resources                           The ultimate resources is                     The ultimate resource and power is God.
within the person.

I studied this table for a long while because I see such truth in it.  Truth not just in meditation but truth in the sins of this fallen world!  The world tries to empty the mind rather then deal with stress, job problems, money problems, marriage problems, parent-child relationship problems.  We are taught by our secular society that we are the resource to fix everything.  It’s all within us which is absolutely absurd!  Think of the disappointment when you visualize yourself in that new position at work.  And you visualize and visualize and visualize yet it doesn’t happen.  You become bitter, resentful.  The goals in the table really struck me…. I don’t want to aid myself in self-fulfillment.  My fulfillment comes from the Lord, not my husband (although I have to say my husband ROCKS!  Thank you Lord!), not my children (I’m blessed here too!), not my job, not even my church.  My GOD is what fulfills me!  The goal of biblical meditation is to help me to honor God.

I’m loving this study.  I’m seeing the importance of getting in the Word EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Not just on Sundays.  God’s word is our armor in such a fallen land.  Ephesians 6:1  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

If the Word is not influencing you SOMETHING is – I promise!

God Bless!

 

 

Just Pictures

I just wanted to share some fun pictures!

Katherine after a bath.  June 2016

Katherine after a bath. June 2016

Katherine playing with the hose and getting soaking wet. June 2016

Katherine playing with the hose and getting soaking wet. June 2016

Jonathan while on a mommy son date at the park. June 2016

Jonathan while on a mommy son date at the park. June 2016

Phil and kids when they went to see Eric Metaxes. May 2016

Phil and kids when they went to see Eric Metaxes. May 2016

Katherine SLEEPING while being half way out of her bed!  Sound asleep!  June 2016

Katherine SLEEPING while being half way out of her bed! Sound asleep! June 2016

Kids at park June 2016

Kids at park June 2016

What Does BBC Stand For?

Psalm 33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.

We have had an incredibly busy couple of weeks but especially the last 7 days.  We always attend the annual homeschool conference put on by Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC).  We look forward to this 3 day event in June every single year and this year marked our 7th year in a row attending.  Truly it is more then a homeschool conference as they have sessions on everything from homeschooling to math is a language to the father’s role in the leading his family to family discipleship.  It truly is like a weekend getaway for us…. except we come home every evening!

The conference is also host to an extremely large vendor hall with dozens upon dozens of companies set up to demonstrate, ask questions and sell every curriculum you could think of .  I could spend hours in the vendor hall alone!  They also have a youth vendor section and this year our two oldest girls really wanted to have a booth.  After Phil and I prayed and discussed we decided to let them have a booth.  So, we had to come up with a product.  After much discussion and research we settled on homemade lotions, soaps. bath bombs and lip balm.   For weeks we’ve been making (after lots of experimenting) lots of fun stuff to sell.  Not being an entrepreneur type I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing but I truly did not want to squash their desire to run their own booth.

We settled on a business name of Busy Bee’s Creations, created a logo and started printing labels, business cards (the girls wanted the verse at the top of the post on their business cards) and product tags.  It was a TON of work but I have learned so much in the process!  The girls are already planning for next year’s booth!  We did better then I expected we would and it was such a wonderful opportunity for us.  CHEC requires their youth vendors to submit a business plan and take 2 hours of training during the conference.  At the end, they award the top 3 business plans with gifts.  The first place winner won a tablet and the 2nd and 3rd place winners won what they call vendor bucks.  Money that can be spent on any vendor in the hall.  The girls were really hoping to win but they did not…. considering I’m the one that submitted the business plan late (really late!) one night I figured it wasn’t going to be good enough to win!

On Friday, as we were setting up our booth I noticed that we did not have a table cloth or something to cover the table.  I assumed they would be provided and as I looked around the room I realized we were the ONLY youth vendor table to not have it beautifully decorated.  However, my dear husband, after reading my slightly stressed text, left work and bought us a cheap tablecloth from the store and brought it to us!  What an amazing blessing and our table looked much better with a cover.  We sold out of all of our bath bombs on Friday so when we got home from the conference that evening we set to work to make 30 more thinking Saturday would be much busier.  Saturday was not as busy as we expected but we still did well.  With an hour left of the conference we decided to do a half price sale to reduce our inventory.  We still brought home product but now I have some really great lotion and soaps to use!  I’ve made the lip balm before and I use it all the time.  I love it!

Overall, the conference was a blessing (have any of you heard Todd Friel speak?  Oh my goodness… you must!) and the booth experience was enjoyable and an amazing learning experience.  I too have plans of what can we do better next year!

The girls at their booth.

The girls at their booth.

One of our homemade soaps.

One of our homemade soaps.