Monday, February 28, 2011

Spending Less Time On the Internet...

hasn't made me a better blogger, but it has made me a better mother.

I haven't written much, but I have baked more cookies,

read more books,

and caught up on the laundry in a way that might be called semi-permanent.

I've snuggled more, taught more, and argued less.

I'm thinking more clearly, and struggling less with the details of life.

It hasn't been easy, and there have been some days that I have failed. It's not as though I haven't had anything to write about...

...but other things have become more important. I certainly don't think I'm done writing, but I think I'm at a point of "less writing" until I can get some other areas of life into focus.

When I can write, I will. When I can't, I won't...and I won't hold it against myself. Perhaps, in this way, my writing will be more Spirit-led.

I'd love to share some of the things that God has been teaching me during this time, but it will have to wait.

It will have to wait.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Valentine

Acacia received a Valentine from Grandma this week.


She read every word of it...


At least a dozen times...


She counted how many pretty flowers there were, and told me how the little girl in the picture looked "just like her"...except for the short hair...



Oh, that I might treasure God's love letter to me as dearly!!!

"Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is ever with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.

I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.

I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way."

Psalm 119:97-104
Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Stricter Judgement

Every once in a while, I read an online article about homeschooling that annoys me.

Because articles like this one pop up every couple of months or so, (and frankly, because I doubt that they are written by anyone who is actually qualified to talk), I'm not going to do any linking, quoting or copying. However, allow me to attempt to paraphrase the thesis statement:

"Homeschooling your children is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. It is a lot of work, and it will completely change your lifestyle. Not everyone is cut out to homeschool, but if you are one of those amazing parents who 'has what it takes', congratulations to you and good luck!"

Why does this annoy me, you ask? Shouldn't parents "count to cost" before they build?

Of course, educating our children at home requires some forethought and planning. I won't dispute that. However, I think for a lot of people, there is a "mystique" about teaching that makes them believe that education is something that is best left to the "trained professionals".


"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers,
for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
James 3:1

I've heard Christians use this passage to argue that not everyone is equipped to be a teacher, and that some people just don't belong doing it.

Maybe so, but there's one small problem with this line of thinking...

If you are a parent, you are already called to be a teacher, whether you like it or not.

Ouch.

"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

You. That means parents.

Notice that Moses didn't give the people the option of sending their children off to a trained Rabbi if they didn't have the "gift of teaching". Nowhere does God institute a school system where the Hebrew children can get together for grade level instruction in the Book of the Law.

It was the parents' job. Period.

It's a lot like the professional ball player a few years back who told us all that he didn't think he was a role model and didn't want to be a role model.

Sorry. Too bad. You already are a role model...now, what are you going to do about it?


What am I going to do about it? Well, the only thing I know to do about it is to homeschool my kids, endeavoring to give them as close to a biblical education as possible.

But, maybe that's just me.
Saturday, February 5, 2011

How to Tear Down Your Own House...


"The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
Proverbs 14:1
Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Thief

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
John 10:10

There is a thief in my house...

A thief that robs me of my time...

It promises me peace, and happiness, and fulfillment...for a price.

It wants "just a minute...maybe 2...or 10,"
and then, the afternoon is gone.

Yes, there is a thief in my house.

It steals my energy and my joy, and leaves me with disconnected relationships and chaos.

It says to my precious children, "Not right now, sweetie, Mom's busy,"


It says of the housework, "That can wait,"

And it says to my dear, hard-working husband, "I'm afraid dinner will be late,"
and "Don't worry, I'll hand deliver that bill tomorrow,"
and, "I'm sorry...I forgot."


There's a thief in my house, and I've let it in.


That thief is the internet.


There, I said it.

But, here's the thing...


It doesn't have to be a thief.


If I can tame it...control it...master it rather than allowing it to have mastery over me,
it can be a very useful tool.


"'All things are lawful for me,' 
but not all things are helpful.
'All things are lawful for me,'
but I will not be enslaved by anything."
1 Corinthians 6:12

So, what's a mama to do?

If I'm going to be obedient to God in my responsibilities to Him, my family, and my home, while also continuing in this ministry I have of writing online, something has to change.

And so, I have new rules:

1. I will not turn on my computer in the morning before I have read my Bible.

2. I will do a general email check only twice per day--once in the morning, once at night. 15 minutes each. If a more lengthy response is needed to any messages, I will make a hand written note of it, and tend to it during afternoon rest time.

3. I will not go on Facebook unless the children are in their beds.

4. If I need to use the computer during the day (for example, to print out copywork or look at my checking account balance), I will do so without looking at other websites and will limit myself to 5 minutes. I will set my timer.

5. I will compose all blog posts on paper first, so I can be more involved with my children as I write. I will type out my blog posts during afternoon rest time, after bedtime, or first thing in the morning, before the children wake up.

6. Once rest time is over, I will shut down my computer until after the children are in bed for the night. (*Note: My husband leaves for work insanely early in the morning, and therefore, is usually in bed before the children. If he happens to be awake, this time belongs to him.)

7. Whenever possible, I will call a "real life" Titus 2 friend when I have a question before posting on a message board. I will think three times before entering online conversations. "Be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger." James 1:19

8. When I am overwhelmed, I will take a deep breath, take my supplements, and take my anxieties to the LORD. I will replace "escaping to the internet" with "prayer without ceasing".

OUCH. That was hard.

So, what does this mean to you?

Well, for one thing, it means you won't hear as much from me on Facebook. That's probably a good thing.

Hopefully it means I will actually be a better blogger. Writing things out longhand, combined with limiting my time "in front of the box", might mean that I'll write more and better content. So often, I sit down at the computer to write and end up spending an hour doing anything but writing.

So that's where I'm at. 

These rules may need some tweaking over the next few weeks, as I bring this area of my life into obedience to Christ, but it's a beginning.

By His Grace,

Tiana

P.S.--Do you have any internet "rules" for yourself? If so, what are they? I'd love to hear about them.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowed In!!--Molasses on Snow Candy

We're snowed in, and if the weatherman is right, we'll be snowed in for the next few days.

Little ones can get pretty stir crazy if they are cooped up indoors, so I've been busy coming up with ways to keep them busy...

 Today, we made Molasses on Snow Candy. You can find the recipe on page 192 of The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker. We decided to make a half-batch because we didn't have enough molasses in the house to make more.


Step one: Asher measured 1/2 cup dark molasses (i.e. all the molasses we had left in the house) into a liquid measuring cup.


Step two: We combined the molasses with 1/4 dark brown sugar in a 2 quart saucepan. (Don't use a smaller pan, the mixture needs room to boil). Stir the molasses and sugar together over medium heat, until it comes to a boil.


Continue to cook and stir the bubbly mixture for 5 minutes. Mixture is ready when a small amount dropped in a glass of cold water turns solid, like this:


This picture didn't turn out the greatest, but you get the idea...


Meanwhile, fill several cake pans with fresh, clean snow. This was Asher's favorite part!


You can store the pans outside until you're ready to poor the candy. Bring the pans inside--being careful not to dump snow all over the kitchen floor!--and set them on the table. We chose to cover the table with an old towel to catch any melting snow.


Drizzle the mixture into the snow, making whatever shapes you'd like!


We learned that you need to do this part rather quickly. If the molasses mixture cools, it becomes hard and stringy, and difficult to pour. When it hits the snow, the molasses will harden almost instantly, and become candy! We enjoyed some of it right away, and put the rest in the fridge to save for when daddy gets home.


Be sure to keep a wet washcloth handy, for all those little, sticky fingers...

HAVE FUN!!

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

My Writing Elsewhere...

Fixing Your Heart on Titus 2

Did you pray for your
husband today?
Monday--His Work
Tuesday--His Integrity
Wednesday--His Mind
Thursday--His Purpose
Friday--His Health
Saturday--His Protection
Sunday--His Faith

Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling
Features God Made, Home Grown

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

2009 Nominee!

2010 Nominee!

My Wired Style

My Wired Style
Success is not learned. It is discovered and nurtured. What was your child born to do?

Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

Disciple Like Jesus

Disciple Like Jesus

Raising Homemakers

Raising Homemakers

Quiverfull Family

The Modest Mom

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