Friday, March 23, 2012

The Christian Philosophy of Food Giveaway on In a Shoe


I have not read The Christian Philosophy of Food by Peter Bringe, but I would like to.  I'm trying to win it over at In a Shoe and you can enter to win, too.  Just go to In a Shoe and follow the rules to enter for a chance to win this interesting sounding book.

You know I've been on a food book binge of late and I think this would be the perfect addition to my food library!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monk's standardized testing results

I don't know about you, but one of my biggest fears as a homeschooling mom is whether my kids are on grade level for each subject.  I guess the fear isn't THAT great since I never give them standardized tests, but it has been a concern.  Monk is going to a private school for 8th grade next year and they gave him a standardized test Tuesday to make sure he's on grade level.  I was surprised by the results.  Here are some interesting facts I learned.

1.  Monk is slow.  I guess I knew that since he's often still finishing school at 5 pm or later.  He's very bright, but takes his time.  He needs to work on his speed before taking the SAT in a few years.

2.  I thought Monk was a math genius since he's 2-3 grades ahead in math.  He did score one year ahead on the math exam, but the test didn't cover anything beyond arithmetic so the grade level was based on percent accuracy, I suppose.  Still, I was happy that his score put him on 9th grade level (he's finishing 7th now).  He'll take the Algebra I and II finals before starting next year since he'll be skipping those classes.  His grade on each final will go on his transcript as his grade for the respective class.  This way he'll be able to skip to Geometry.  I'm a little nervous about these exams so we'll be preparing for those in future weeks.

3.  Monk and I were both worried about the language arts portion of the exam, mainly because I HATE teaching grammar and have largely neglected it.  He did fine, scoring right at 8th grade level.

4.  Sonlight has lived up to its promise of making Monk an avid reader.  His reading comprehension score was at 12th grade level.  They were blown away by this.

This school is happy to have our Monk for next year and I'm so relieved that I didn't mess him up for life by homeschooling him for the last 6 years!  I know that homeschooling isn't about academics.  I know that our first priorities for homeschooling have to do with wanting to be with our kids, instilling character, fostering close family ties, etc.  But I have always been afraid that I was doing them a disservice academically and it feels really good to know they're on track.

Do you test your kids to see if they're on grade level?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The spiritual death, burial, and resurrection of Saul

The conversion of Saul is spectacular, to be sure.  We all know the story of his being blinded by God on the road to Damascus.  My conversion was nothing like his, it's quite boring in comparison.  I was struck today with how symbolic his conversion is of what happens with all of us when we experience spiritual rebirth.

"Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing.  So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus."  Acts 8:8

This is a fulfillment of what God spoke through the prophets and Jesus reiterated.

"Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!  Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send?  Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the Lord?  He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear."  Isaiah 42:18-20

"Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.  Do you not fear me? declares the Lord.  Do you not tremble before me?" Jeremiah 5:21 & 22a

Jesus speaking to His disciples:  "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that, 'they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.'"  Mark 4:12

As a pharisee and zealous persecutor of the church, Saul was one of many who were blind to God.  But God had promised that it would not always be that way.  There would come a day when God in His grace would give sight to the blind.

"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;"  Isaiah 35:5

While Saul became physically blinded on the road to Damascus, his eyes were figuratively opened by God to the truth of the gospel.  He "saw Christ" for the first time, but could see nothing else.

What happens next is equally interesting.

"And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank."  Acts 8:9 (emphasis mine)

Jesus was in the grave for 3 days.  Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days.

In fact, Jesus tells the scribes and pharisees that they are evil in seeking signs from Him and that no sign will be given them, except the sign of Jonah.  "For just as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."  Mathew 12:40  This shows that Jonah being in the belly of the fish three days, though literal, was also a type of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

Interestingly, when God tells Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to Him on Mount Moriah, it's on the third day that Abraham arrives there and that the Lord provides the ram caught in the thicket. (Genesis 22:4)  It was also on the third day after Joseph put his brothers in custody that he gave his brothers back their lives (Genesis 42:18).

The third day was also significant when God met with His people to give them the law.

 "On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.  Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain."  Exodus 19:16-17

After God commissioned Joshua, it was on the third day that He led them into the Promised Land.  "Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess."  Joshua 1:11

And when Hezekiah lay on his deathbed and prayed to God for healing, it was on the third day that God healed him.  "Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father:  I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears.  Behold, I will heal you.  On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life.  I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake."  2 Kings 20:5-6

And I love this passage in Hosea.  "Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him."  Hosea 6:1-2

As a brief recap- Isaac, the son of promise, is granted life on the third day; Joseph gives his brothers, and essentially the future nation of Israel, freedom on the third day; God meets with His people at Mt Moriah on the third day; God delivers His people out of the wilderness and miraculously across the Jordan into the Promised Land on the third day; Jonah is freed from the belly of the great fish on the third day;  Hezekiah is healed and Jerusalem saved from Assyria on the third day; and in Hosea God's people will be raised up on the third day.

So it seems that the third day is a salvation motif used over and over again in the Scriptures.  I believe that in the Old Testament this is to point us to Christ's ultimate act of salvation when He conquered sin and death in His resurrection on the third day.  In the New Testament, like with Saul's conversion, I believe it points back to and serves as a beautiful reminder of the salvation Christ granted for His people on the third day.

While my conversion experience pales in comparison to Saul's, I was blind to Christ until the Father opened my eyes and I was dead in my sins until God made me alive to Him.  By grace through faith via a work of the Spirit, all believers share in the resurrection of Christ (Philippians 3:10).  Saul's conversion is reminiscent of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and at the same time is a picture of the miraculous conversion of every believer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Bikers

I think both Measle and Twinkle Toes learned to ride bikes over Spring Break, so we're continuing with an established tradition this year.  Prince learned to ride without training wheels in about 5 minutes- a new family record!  He will be 6 next month, so maybe we're teaching them later and later!

Lucie has been wanting a bike for a while and we couldn't find the starter bike her sisters used.  I finally broke down a bought her a new one this morning.  Actually, she picked it out- another first.  Usually kids get bikes for birthdays, which means they're a surprise.  Lucie had a great time picking out her pink princess bike.  She's riding like a champ!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Progress for Calvin

Calvin will be 17 months on Saturday and no, he still isn't walking or talking, at least he isn't saying anything we recognize, yet.  But, Calvin is making progress.  He's finally getting into everything.  He's been fascinated with doors for a long time, but now he's able to open all the cabinet doors and take everything out.  Sometimes he even goes in.

I have now seen Calvin pull up to his feet once.  Only once.  He pulls up to his knees lots and is so proud that he can see over the top of his crib.  Can you see the pride?


He even gets his foot in there, but won't pull all the way up.  He's starting to babble more and more, which is good.    He just laughs at me when I say, "Mama".  Sometimes he says, "Da da da da da".  And sometimes even, "Bu bu bu bu".  I think he's toying with me.  He tries to wave now by sticking his arm straight out.  Hey, it's progress.  Calvin is operating on his own timetable.  I'm just going to enjoy each accomplishment.  He does.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On turning 39, mid-life crises, and being thankful

I turned 39 last week.  I'm not okay with that, but what are my options, right?  I don't feel 39.  In fact, I feel better than I did in high school and college (now I only swim 2,000 yards a day which is much easier on the shoulders : ).  I had my vision checked last summer and it was better than 20/20.  I didn't even know that was possible!  Unfortunately, that means I can clearly see all the grey hairs coming in.  And then there are the wrinkles.  Who came up with "laugh lines"?  That's a euphemism if ever I heard one!  I promised my husband when we were newly married and 15 years seemed like an eternity that I would start wearing make-up when I turned 40.  Now I only have one more year until I have to start wearing make-up unless I can find a loop-hole in our contract.  Why didn't I make the deal that I'd start wearing make-up if he took up running or something like that?  Then I'd be safe for life!  Hindsight.

Anyway, I told my husband that I'm going to have a mid-life crisis.  Why should men get to have all the fun?  He said I might as well make it a big one, then.  I'm thinking.  Seriously, I have nothing.  Any suggestions?

Then my friend Roan at Joyful Always, Insanity graduate who runs marathons, is a conscientious cook, and has nursed 5 children, found out she has breast cancer and is having a double mastectomy today.  Maybe I don't need a mid-life crisis, after all.  Maybe I should just be thankful that 39 has only brought me a few wrinkles and grey hairs.  Ok, I know I should just be thankful.  Please join me in praying for Roan as she has her surgery today.

On homeschool sabbaticals, being home, and keeping busy

When I asked my husband 4 years ago if I could quit my job and stay home to homeschool our kids, he basically said, "Sure, do what you want."  I thought he would respond in a similar manner when I asked him recently if I could take a homeschool sabbatical next year and send the kids to school.  I have several reasons I'm wanting to do this, but mainly it has to do with my little ones.  When my big kids were little we went to the park and worked puzzles and went to the library and read books.  Now that I'm homeschooling the big kids, my little kids have to entertain themselves a lot, and get shushed all day, and don't have nearly as many books read to them (seeing as how I read to the big kids an hour and a half each day!).  Calvin is developmentally delayed and I wanted more time to spend with him.  I'm painfully aware that these are probably my last children and I want to savor their little years.  Anyway, my husband did not respond the way I thought he would.  He asked if I was going back to work full-time.  I was really surprised by that since we have a 3 and 1 year old.  We had a big fight, which we never do, and I wrote him a lengthy email on my value as a mother in addition to the homeschooling bit.  You know, paying bills, grocery shopping, and all that other glamorous stuff.

The Littles- Lucie 3 and Calvin 1

So this week I'm home alone with my three youngest children, ages 5, 3, and 1.  My parents have taken my big kids skiing and my husband is gone all week, too.  We've been to the doctor's office and had two run-ins with the police (Prince Charming dialed 911 and hung-up while I was napping with the sick kids and the next day a neighbor called them to report my parents' garage door had been up for two days!)  Yes, we've taken walks and read books, which has been fun.  The house is immaculate (I now have proof that it's the big kids who trash the place, not the little ones who usually end up getting blamed for it.)  I've also cleaned out my closet, all my bathroom drawers, the kitchen drawers, and now on day three I think I'm ready to go back to work.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  In fact, I now remember that I went back to school/work when my two oldest were 3 and 1.  Hmmm.   Funny how I'd managed to forget that little bit of information.

Maybe my husband knows me better than I thought.  Maybe he wasn't saying I'm lazy, but that I'm just the opposite.  Maybe he knew that I'd go stir crazy without more to keep me occupied at home.  We have some decisions to make for next year.  It's looking like we may send our two oldest to a local private school and homeschool our soon-to-be 1st and 4th graders.  While I do have the itch to go back to school again, that will probably pass.  And I definitely don't want to go back to work full-time, yet.  I've been there and done that and know the stress.  So for now the sabbatical's off and homeschooling is on.  What do you do when you get the itch for a change?  


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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.