Spring Break!

In our homeschool we take many breaks throughout the year which is why we school through much of the summer.  However, this is the first year we have actually taken a scheduled spring break and we are having fun this week!  Enjoy some pictures from our visit to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  My mom took care of Katherine so we could stay a bit longer.  It’s been fun!  Stay tuned for Wednesday’s adventure!

Check out the giraffe!

Check out the giraffe!

This hippo was playing peek-a-boo in the water then suddenly got up on the rock on posed!

This hippo was playing peek-a-boo in the water then suddenly got up on the rock on posed!

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Jonathan's favorite place at the museum - Space Odyssey.

Jonathan’s favorite place at the museum – Space Odyssey.

A picture with a camel from the Silk Road exhibit.

A picture with a camel from the Silk Road exhibit.

Posing with a mythical creature exhibit.

Posing with a mythical creature exhibit.

Riding on the carousel at the zoo.

Riding on the carousel at the zoo.

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Waiting for a train that would never come.  The train did not get fixed that day!

Waiting for a train that would never come. The train did not get fixed that day!

A BIG kitty!

A BIG kitty!

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Can You Believe Katherine is 1 Year Old Today?

Yep, it’s true.  Our sweet baby turned 1 year old today; actually at 5:09 this morning.  She was my shortest labor; certainly not painless but the shortest!  She has made up for the short labor by not allowing me to get as much sleep as I did with the previous 4 children.

Katherine Anya is a very happy and playful baby and a wee bit chubby.  She wears 24 month old clothes!  But I’m sure just like the others she will slim down in the next couple of years once she gets to walking.

Follows are way too many pictures but I couldn’t resist.  Stay tuned for birthday party pictures coming next week.

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I wonder if this will be the last first birthday celebration we will have???

Valentine’s Day

I tend to make a big deal of Valentine’s Day but I like to change it to God is Love Day! I have several verses that I have printed out and laminated and I hang them up during the month of February.

This year, as I was searching for something special to make for everyone I came across a project that I desperately wanted to make for each person in my family. However, it was a sewing project and I can’t even sew on a button straight! I really wanted to make this project and I couldn’t figure out a way to make it without sewing. After chatting with Phil about it we decided to buy a very inexpensive sewing machine. I watched the short video that came with the machine and then I set to work.

Can you believe I did it? AND, I enjoyed every minute of it!!! Have I discovered a hidden talent? Well, I don’t know about that! If you look closely at what I made you can see many mistakes but it was fun nonetheless. I made chair back envelopes! I think they turned out really cute!  At night Phil or I would put a love note and a treat in their envelope for them to discover in the morning.  It was so much fun!

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My mom made her world famous fried chicken to go along with our rosemary potatoes and salad. Then Belle and I made bright pink rice krispy treats to top off the evening.

Our wall of bible verses about love.

Our wall of bible verses about love.

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I wonder what I will come up with next year???

Gaylene

Rambling Thoughts on Teenagers

Our oldest daughter is about to turn 12 years old.  She is such a blessing to our family and everyday I thank the Lord that He choose me to be her mommy.

Turning 12 means she’s not far from those ‘dreaded’ teenage years.  I say dreaded because from the world all we really hear about teenagers is all the negative stuff.  The attitude problems, the feeling of superiority, the laziness, the grumpiness, the selfishness.  I could go on and on.  If you are a parent, you’ve heard the familiar questions and/or statements….

“Oh, just wait until she’s a teenager, then you won’t be all smiles.”
“She’s cute and being a parent if fun now but in 10 years it won’t be as fun.”

Since we have 5 children we have heard people calculate how many teenagers we will have at home at any given moment and then they snicker at ‘what fun’ that will be.  Or we get asked “what are you going to do when she wants her own room?”

I wonder if parents contribute or unknowingly encourage selfishness from teenagers?  It seems we’ve accepted that the teenage years are tough so we must excuse their behavior and give in to them since they are having such a hard time dealing with their every changing emotions.  It’s like they stop being a parent until their children are past the teenage years and they hope for the best.

How about we keep the communication lines open.  We acknowledge the changes they are experiencing, we embrace the changes and our children.  As parents, we’ve been through these changes and we know and understand what they are feeling.  I want to help my children navigate these changes and look at them as an exciting time in their lives that the Lord is using to transform them into adults.

We have been blessed to see teenagers that are part of families who have effectively gone through (or are still in the midst) the teenage years.  They have raised these young adults to process the changes to their bodies and emotions with the Lord’s will in mind.  They do not spend hours alone in their room playing video games or watching terrible TV.  They spend a lot of time together with their family and they enjoy it!  Gasp!  A teenager enjoying spending time with their family?? Yes, it is possible.  They’ve been taught God’s design for family and how we were made for relationship.  They were taught to build up their siblings and to invest in each others lives.   No, they are not perfect but their parents don’t expect them to be.  As an adult I still struggle with attitude problems but I look to scripture to adjust my attitude and emotions.

We know many that have never had their own room… and they have survived!  Why the push for their own room?  From someone who had their own room growing up (for most of the time) I say it is highly overrated.  Anyway, for our almost 12 year old she knows that it’s ok to want to spend time alone and when she wants that time we’ve taught her sisters and brother to respect her desire for alone time.  It might be slightly more challenging to find some ‘space’ when you share a room but it isn’t impossible; we just get creative.

As a parent, I don’t want to succumb to the teenager years; I want to embrace them!  We are around families that have enjoyed the teenage years.  Yes, there were struggles but it doesn’t have to be as bad as the world expects.

Phil and I pray daily for our children.  Not that they will be perfect little robots but that the Lord will graciously shape them into the beautiful adults He longs for them to be.  We pray that He gives us wisdom and grace on navigating these exciting years.  What a blessing it is to be a parent.

Gaylene

Our Mission Effort

I’m married to a man with a foreign missions heart; specifically Russia.  I believe his passion for the people of Russia is from God and I want to actively support him in fulfilling his passion.   Recently, our family has been given an opportunity to do mission work in St. Petersburg and Vyborg, Russia.  We have partnered with a wonderful organization called Paideia Missions.  The Davidsons recently published this short video of why they started this ministry.  Their goal is to “take an innovative, hands-on, and family-integrated approach to equipping parents worldwide for the purpose of discipling their children through Christian home education.”

Russia is one of Phil’s many passions and homeschooling is mine.  I have seen the fruit of homeschooling through many friends and families and in my own family.  I believe it gives the parents opportunity to build Godly character into their children and develop a deeper relationship that is much harder to foster when your children are away from home 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 9 months of the year.  As for academics, I believe I can teach my children just as well, if not better, then a public school teacher.  I can give my children many hours of one-on-one time and curriculum tailored to their learning style.

I could write several posts on why I’m passionate about homeschooling but for now let’s stick to the mission trip!  We will be helping to run a 2 day homeschooling and family discipleship conference and following up with families as needed or requested.

Below is the support letter we recently sent out.  We have raised just over a 1/3 of what we need in order to serve the families in Russia.  Due to time constraints and logistics it looks like just Phil, Natasha and Mikayla will be going this spring.  We pray that all of our family would be able to go next spring to help with this conference.  Would you consider giving to our mission trip?

Hello from the Wilson family in Lakewood, Colorado!

 My family and I have some very exciting news to share and an important question to ask you.

 Many of you know that Gaylene and I have a passion for homeschooling, family discipleship, and ministering to both believers and non-believers in Russia. Ever since I returned from the Siberian mission field in 1998, God has continued to shape this vision of encouraging the Russian people, specifically through family discipleship and home education.

 For the past six years, Gaylene and I have been homeschooling our children. Many of my family’s greatest blessings are directly related to major changes in our lives that came about through homeschooling. We now have a strong desire for Russian Christian families to enjoy these same blessings, which brings me to share our exciting news.

 In May 2015, Gaylene and I, along with our two oldest children, have the opportunity to partner with Paideia Missions to serve, encourage, and teach at a home education and family discipleship conference in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Our plan is to travel to Russia a week before the start of the three-day conference to help with final preparations and then stay a week after the conference to encourage the many new homeschooling families in the Saint Petersburg area.

 The goal of this conference and Paideia Missions is to fulfill the Great Commission by promoting Christian home education and family discipleship. To learn more about Paideia Missions, please view Scott and Andie Davidson’s very informative video at http://youtu.be/KjTyvnCsCQo (copy and past the link into your browser) and visit the organization’s website at http://paideiamissions.com.

 Now, as to our important question, we are humbly seeking support to fund this short-term mission trip. As the Lord leads you, would you consider making a contribution to Paideia Missions on behalf of the Wilson family? Our family’s trip budget has not been finalized yet, but our initial estimate is $6,000. Additionally, we ask for your prayers for wisdom, serving hearts, and good health while on the trip. Thank you for prayerfully considering our need.

As always, we hold you near in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord’s blessing be upon you.

In His service,

 Phil Wilson (for Gaylene, and our 5 children: Natasha, Mikayla, Alexandra, Jonathan, and Katherine)

 Please note:

  • All gifts to Paideia Missions on behalf of the Wilson family are tax deductible.
  • If you are able to support this mission work, donations can be made online at http://paideiamissions.com.
  • If you prefer to write a check, please make your check payable to Paideia Missions and attach a note earmarking your donation for “Wilson Mission Trip.”
  • If you have any questions, please contact Phil at 720-252-3761 or philipcwilson@reagan.com.
  • If you prefer, you may also donate airline miles.
Taken at our church, Oct 2014

Taken at our church, Oct 2014

 

Great Food, Contagious Laughing, Encouragement… oh and Cake!

Last night we had the pleasure of having a young courting couple over for dinner.  What a wonderful evening!

Natasha and Mikayla’s piano teacher, Miss Rebecca, is engaged to a wonderful young man named Jonathan (great name huh?!)  Jonathan lives in San Diego so this has been a long distance courtship.  Jonathan’s family has known Rebecca’s family for 10+ years going back to when Rebecca and her family lived in California.

It has been such a blessing watching this relationship form and grow.  I am so grateful that our children, specifically our oldest girls, have been able to watch all of it transpire.  Our girls are able to see what God desires for relationship and marriage versus what the world dictates.  Over the last 6 months, Rebecca and Jonathan have developed a relationship built on God’s word and not their own desires.  They started this relationship with the end in mind.  Meaning, their goal from the beginning was to decide if they could create a Godly lifelong marriage.  They pray that their marriage will bring glory and honor to God, not just fulfill their own desires.  How refreshing!

We had a wonderful evening getting to know Jonathan.  He is the oldest of 6 children and his father died when he was 19.  In essence he became the dad for quite a while helping his mom raise the rest of the kids and he wanted to be sure they all had a foundation in Christ.   He is a man that seeks to honor the Lord and be the spiritual leader in his family.

We ate lots of pizza and salad.  And, since I’m doing the wedding cake, I made a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake so they could taste test and decide which they wanted for their special day.  Also, four of our kids are set to be in the wedding… amazing!  We’ll see if our Jonathan will actually walk down the isle as the ring bearer!

We are looking forward to May 16th and the celebration of a new marriage!

An Unexpected Trip to the ER

Wow, has it really been a month since I posted???  Where has the time gone and why can’t I find the time to post twice a week?

Here I am to share a silly story.  Yesterday I had chicken taco soup simmering in the crockpot all day.  After we got home from our weekly Spanish class, I fished out the chicken breasts so that I could shred them and put them back in to simmer for a bit more before dinner.  As I was putting the chicken back in I grabbed a couple of small pieces to taste.  This is where the evening plans started to change….

I was chewing the yummy chicken and I must have inhaled because the next thing I knew I had a small piece of chicken stuck in my throat.  After 10 minutes of coughing so hard I thought my head might detach from my body I was finally able to catch my breath and stand up straight.  Unfortunately, with all that coughing the chicken never came out.  After trying for 2 hours with drinking water and tea and coughing it just wouldn’t come out.  I wasn’t in pain but I was uncomfortable and I could feel this lump in my throat.

I do an internet search on partial aspiration of food and oh the things I learned… yuck.

I just wasn’t sure what to do so after discussing it with Phil and my mom it was decided we’d head to the ER.  Talk about feeling silly!!!  Oh my gosh!  There were truly sick (and 1 drunk) people in the ER and here I am with a piece of chicken stuck in my throat.

I get put in a room and after all the usual checking of oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature they handed me a can of Coke and said they’d be back to give me a shot of glucagon.  Hmmm…  I said to Phil that after paying the $100 co-pay that is an awfully expensive can of soda.

I drank the can of sugar (yuck!  it’s been 2.5 years since I’ve had soda), they gave me a shot in the arm and we waited.  The coke is supposed to break down the chicken and the glucagon is supposed to open the airways.  If that didn’t work then they would take me in for a CT scan.

We had Natasha with us and as we waited Natasha said “Mom, if you make it out of here we should celebrate tonight!”  I’m thinking, wow, it’s only a piece of chicken!  This isn’t anything like my hospital visit of 2012!  Wonder where she gets her dramatic flare from?

After about 35 minutes it worked!  The chicken disintegrated and I no longer had a lump in my throat.  I was discharged about an hour or so after arriving.

Next time, I’ll just head to the store and buy a cheap can of coke!

New Christmas Tradition

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  I realize some still celebrate Christmas through January 5th but I haven’t quite figured out what that is all about.  I typically take my Christmas decorations down the day after Christmas but as I sit here typing this post on December 28th my decorations are still up.  Although I love decorating for Christmas after about 3 or 4 weeks I’m kind of over it and just want it all put away!  Maybe tomorrow….

Anyhow, I started a new family tradition this Christmas season.  The goal was to acquire 24 (or 23 if you want to ready the birth story straight from the Bible) Christmas or other special story books, wrap them and label them with a number; day 1, day 2, etc.  However, in keeping with our tight budget I was unable to acquire 24 books but I did manage to get 7 books that the kids had never read before.  I wrapped each book in pretty Christmas wrapping and labeled each book.  Then I put them in a basket under the tree.  Each evening, starting on December 18th the kids took turns unwrapping the appropriate labeled books and we read them together.  The kids really enjoyed this daily activity so I’m hoping next year I will be able to add a few more and start the tradition a little sooner in December.   I saved the story of the birth of Jesus to read on Christmas Eve.  I will be putting these books away with our Christmas decorations tomorrow so that they will be ready to go for next Christmas.  Want to know what books we read?  Here is our list:

Day 1 – A Charlie Brown Christmas!  I got this book from Amazon and it’s a VERY small book but it is such a fun story.  I imagine most of us grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Day 2 – The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell.  This was about a little angel who didn’t quite fit in with the other angels in heaven.  In the end, he fits in better then he realizes.

Day 3 – The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado.  We all really loved this book.  It’s not really about the birth of our Savior but it is a book about being the ‘tree’ that God made us to be.

Day 4 – Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My kids love reading Little House on the Prairie books so this one fit right in.

Day 5 – Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift by Max Lucado.  Another great story by Max Lucado.  This book is about celebrating Maker Day and giving our best to God.  Wonderful story!

Day 6 – The Fourth King by Ted Sieger.  This was an excellent book as well.  As we know, there were more then 3 wise men and this is a story of the 4th wise man who was desperately trying to meet up with the original 3 wise men to see baby Jesus.  Various events came up along the way and this wise man kept putting off his trip to see Jesus to help those he met along the way.  The last family he helped had a baby and they were escaping the King’s order of killing the young children.  This forth wise man helped this family escape with their precious baby.  Can you guess who that baby was?  Such a wonderful book!

Day 7 – The Christmas Story for Children – by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee and Karen Davis Hill.  A very good telling of the glorious birth of Jesus.

I can’t wait to see what I am able to add to next year’s reading!

God Bless,
Gaylene

Intolerance

As my tag line says I can blog about anything that fits my fancy and today my frustration lies in the word intolerance.

I’ll start by saying I believe the Bible is the word of God from the front cover to the back cover.  I believe every single word in the Bible is truth.  I’m not someone who thinks this set of chapters or this or that book is truth or just stories.  Either it’s ALL the word of God and therefore truth or none of it is.  I believe the Bible is crystal clear on marriage and what God intended for marriage: one man and one woman.  PERIOD.

I get so tired being labeled as intolerant, homophobe, hateful, mean or any other label the LGBT community comes up with.  I believe our Lord designed marriage between one man and one woman and I will stand up for that truth.  I will teach my children what the Bible says on this topic.  HOWEVER, this does not mean I hate gay people, nor will I teach my children to hate gay people.

According to the Webster dictionary the definition of phobia is: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.

I am not scared of nor have a fear of gay people.  I am not a homophobe.  When I worked outside the home I worked with many gay people and I guarantee if you asked any of them how I treated them they would answer the same as I treat anyone.  And, I would never teach my children to treat gay people with hate.

Test:  which of the following sentences are hate speech?

A) Your lifestyle is gross, disgusting and completely unnatural and I hope you burn in hell because of your sin.  All the gay people should be tortured and killed.

B) I believe the Bible is clear on marriage and God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman.  I believe the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin.

Hmm… I would say A is hate speech and I have NEVER, let me repeat, NEVER said that to someone.  And, of all the Christians in our lives none of them have said hateful things either.  Are there those that treat people this way?  Of course, we are sinners.  People treat other people terribly for all kinds of reasons.

Why is it the left and the LGBT demand I be tolerant (not just tolerant but it’s rammed down our throats in so many aspects of life) of their belief yet they do not have to be tolerant of my belief?  Why is it when I stand up for what I believe is truth I get labeled a hater or a bigot yet those in support of homosexuals can say whatever they want and I have to keep my mouth shut.

We live in such a messed up world and I pray daily for our Lord’s return. In the mean time, I will stand up for truth and I will teach my children to stand up for truth.  We will do it in love but we will not waiver.

Gaylene