Best part of the day

I am so thankful I get to witness these moments!

We’re reading “Missy Piggle Wiggle and the Won’t Walk the Dog Cure”.

It’s book 2 in the series and tonight’s section has Joanna giggling quite frequently.

All 3 of us look forward to getting to read Missy each night, and it’s disappointing when we run out of time and don’t get to read it.

It’s pretty cool to see how much Joanna remembers from the previous reading. There are times she knows more than I do about what has already happened to the characters 🙂

Advertisements

A new chapter

IMG_20171227_163108.jpg

This “back room” of our house has been many things in our time here. It started as a guest room, then became storage, then became an office when Morgan had a remote job and needed a place to work, then housed 2 exchange students, then storage, then storage and a place for family to sleep (on their own air mattresses), and now…a classroom!

Yes, classroom. For many reasons we’ve decided to switch things up and focus on home education instead of public school starting next month (which is really next week)!

Yes, we’re excited! Yes, we (at the least the adults) are a little scared. And, yes, we believe this is the absolute right choice for us for right now.

Doing homeschool is not something I ever imagined I’d be doing. But, for us, for right now, it is the obvious right choice. While we’re still figuring out some of the components we’re pretty excited about “Five in a Row”, a highly recommended curriculum.

Joanna wants to share that “this is a great place to be and I love homeschooling even though we didn’t even start it  yet.” And she’s kinda enjoying calling me “Miss Teacher” when she wants to do school.

So, if you’ve been on this journey before and have any experiences you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them. What worked well for you? What would you absolutely do again? What would you leave out? Just anything that you think would be helpful to someone starting this path.

Helping clean!

Nana and Papa are on the way here!!

So, J is helping get the house ready for them to visit. She’s loving getting to clean her bathroom.

“This should be my job Mama” she just told me.

That works for me.

Supply List

Our kiddo wants to make a space ship.

She created this supply list for me, complete with illustrations so that I can get her materials ready.

Marker box, big box, tape, scissors, pillows, long yarn.

It makes me wish she was still home all day so we’d have time to make it.

Some thoughts about a friend

Crenshaw info

Today being a Labor Day and also being part of the week that we celebrate and mourn together the life of Brother Crenshaw made me think about his love for his labor.

Many of us enjoy our labor. But fewer of us are lucky enough to have a job that we truly love. I think that Brother Crenshaw not only enjoyed his work, but he loved his labor. He saw the importance of following God and teaching others to do the same and he had the great honor of doing that for many, many years.

Evangelist just isn’t a big enough title for the work that he did. Preacher, pastor, friend, leader, teacher, motivator, encourager, patriarch, father, husband, uncle, pawpaw, and so many more are the titles that were used for him.

I think it’s pretty normal to think about the past times we’ve had with someone when they pass away. That’s what I’ve been doing over the last week since I received the news that his time here on earth had finished.

First I knew him through his daughter. We met during our college years and became friends and roommates.  I may not have known it at the time but I think much of her excellent work ethic was inspired by him. In the same way he tirelessly studied the Bible before sharing it with us, she focused on her studies and learned the material well. Whatever she was tasked with doing, not only did she do, but she did it well. I’m thinking much of that persistence came from observing him as she grew up.

Next I met him a handful of times as he visited her in California and then at her wedding. Though those times passed very quickly there was no mistaking his love for family. I could easily see it.

Then I moved to Oklahoma as a newlywed and worshipped with him at the Northeast Church of Christ. His passion for God’s Word was undeniable. Not only did he know it well, he also explained it well. The energy and passion he shared as he preached was engaging. At times it seemed he had most of the Bible memorized. Yes, he was holding one in his hand, but he sure seemed to just be quoting most of the time. I was encouraged by his obvious love for not only his church, but also for the surrounding area. He was passionate about finding ways to improved the daily lives of people, and he looked for practical ways to help do that.

While in Oklahoma I had the privilege of meeting more of his family. What a blessing! I could see his love of God had permeated his loved ones. The welcoming spirit that Brother Crenshaw shared with so many around the country had been passed on to his loved ones. They too were welcoming, focused on knowing God, and serving Him. It was cool to see his leadership in action both at church and in his family.

Then I had the privilege of reconnection last year after quite awhile apart. The peace that washed over me as I said hello and was welcomed with open arms was a true testament to the power of Christ in him. He lived out the sermons he’d preached about reconciliation, and I and my family benefitted from that living sermon.

Though struggling with significant health issues he built a relationship with my kiddo and loved on both of us. One example of his generosity and love in action: at Charlestons he had ordered salmon and broccoli. When my 4 year old said that she liked salmon, he immediately handed over a piece for her to sample. When she followed that up with “I like broccoli too” another forkful of food came her way. Yes, he shared right off his plate.

So, as I join many who are preparing to attend a wake and funeral services this week, I am thankful to have benefitted so much from this humble servant. I’m thankful for the way he labored and loved.

 

Time well spent

We’d only stopped 3 times so we went ahead and stopped in St. Louis. We were thinking about taking the tram up the arch but decided that would take too long and would be better to do when we have more time available.

Instead we checked out the old courthouse and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It was pretty cool.

There wasn’t an admission fee, and the ranger told us about the junior ranger program. Joanna was really excited to work through some of the activities and earn her junior ranger badge.

In addition to checking out the neat paintings and architecture we also watched part of a movie about the Dredd Scott trial. That was a sobering moment in the journey.

We all learned a bit working through the activities. There was even a pledge for her when she earned her badge. So cool!

I love our family trips and taking time to enjoy the traveling journey together!

We love these pens!

(Joanna wanted to make sure that you know her picture isn’t finished yet, it’s the one with the candle. Mine isn’t done yet, either)

We bought some gel pens to take to our FriendsCamp in Natal, Brazil and we’re testing them out to make sure they work. These pens are AWESOME!

There are 108 different ones. Some even have glitter in them -glitter that makes your coloring shiny but doesn’t get all over the place. Amazing! And, the neon ones are super bright, like catch your eye across the room bright. We are really enjoying working with them.

I think we’re about to buy another set so that we have one for us to keep. Or, I may just wait till Joanna’s birthday. But, that’s a couple months away yet so we’ll see 🙂

Here’s a picture of the pens in case you want some too (or in case you want to send Joanna a set).

If you click on the picture it will take you to the Amazon link so you can take a look for yourself.

 

Excited about growth


See all that green? Good things seem to be happening out here!

We have had varying levels of “success” each summer with our garden. So far this year is looking good. There are even lots of green beans on that plant (hmm, that made me realize I don’t know how to know when they’re ready to pick – guess it’s time for some research)

In addition to enjoying the yummy food, I love that the garden is a family project. My dad helped shop and plant the plants, Joanna got to plant a few things and she prayed over it all, asking God to bless us with lots of good stuff to share. Morgan gets to help with the watering. And we all enjoy the produce!

Here’s hoping the weather and pests cooperate and the plants yield lots of good stuff to share. 

Thankful!

It’s so cool to see our kiddo excited about breakfast. These are the 2 eggs she picked this morning. 

She loves looking at all the choices and then telling me why she picked the one she did. 

Today it was all about the beauty. She selected these “because they were beautiful!”

I’m so thankful for our friends that share these eggs. We really appreciate it. Thank you!!

They’re yummy too 😋

Prayers of a 5 year old

Today in Bible class the preschoolers had a lesson about prayer based on a book called Praying in Color.

As you’d imagine, some of the kids were more into the activity than others. The idea was that instead of talking out loud to God they can doodle. As they create a shape and decorate it they’re thinking about the person they write in the middle and those thoughts become the prayers as their pencil does the drawing.

IMG_20170212_111952.jpg

It was so cool to see Joanna share her prayer with Morgan tonight before bed. She worked on it the whole time she was at the table. First she asked how to spell Kelly, as we went to her funeral last week so Joanna wanted to pray for her and those who are missing her. Then she asked how to spell Uncle Ben, I just gave her the letters for Ben and that was good enough. She prayed that he’ll quit smoking and make good choices. The blue letters going up on the right spell Grandpa -she’s praying that he’s healthy because he had a fever today. Next she moved on to people she’s thankful for and did Mom and Dad all on her own on the bottom. She finished it up with the blue and orange, spelling Uncle Tom. She has lots of aunts and uncles but he was on her mind today.

While the kids worked on their own pages I did one too. It was a surprisingly good experience for me. I’m thinking that today’s lesson may inspire on a new habit for me and Joanna. We could spend some time together working on our own booklet of prayers, taking a bit of time each day to doodle and pray. I love that it’s something that we can do individually and together at the same time.