Books

I am SO proud of the twins! With a bit of bribery on our part they have become readers over the summer. I would even say avid readers.

At the beginning of summer we told them we would pay 1 cent per each page of a book they red. It had to be appropriate to their reading level, and pages with only pictures did not count.

The library let them each get their OWN library card in Berkley! We tried to get to the library every week to renew and refresh the stock pile of options.

The big pay out came the Friday just before school started. Sophia read a grand total of 2,285 pages. This included a children’s Bible of 501 pages. Her favorite story was the birth of Jesus.

The first week of school she attempted to bring this her favorite read of the summer to school and tell her glass about it…needless to say after a conversation with her teacher she ended up choosing a Dr. Suess book. BUT I giver her full props for trying 🙂

Samuel’s reading broke the bank at 7,309 pages! The kid was motivated, he saw the end goal of cash in hand to get a large LEGO set and his work prevailed. He is now reading at a third grade level and has conquered most of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate and Junie B.Jones Books!

The first grade teachers have required that the students read for 15-20 minutes daily…this has been a very easy transition as the twins are willing to gobble the time with reading.

Toward the end of summer John would ask to have books added to his chart…with Preschool starting today I know he is going to love learning his ABC’s so he can reap the reward of our summer reading challenge!

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The Berkley Adventure

We are back in Michigan and loving the weekly visits with family! Most of the boxes in the main part of the house were unpacked with in the first week of our being moved in. Now it’s a matter of kicking around our stuff, downsizing the stuff we really don’t need and slowly unpacking the boxes that we shoved in the basement and garage.

We have taken advantage of the of the community garage sales this month to get to know our neighbors. We love that Berkley is walk-able.

Construction/remodeling is in process with the church and it will be fun to see the sanctuary being transformed with some really neat Michigan made furniture.

The peace make has turned three and is careful to remind us of this important fact often. 20160623_201052

Pacifiers

My Chumba is the baby of the family, but if you compare his height and weight to the other boys he puts them to shame. As the baby he can hold his own against the ruff housing of the bigger kids. My sleepless time searching for a lost pacifier inspired this poem.

Screams ring out through the night, there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal. I want to sleep! I want peace just quiet yourself. Says this mother of four who knows full well that the answer is not in what pacifies but in who has died. Jesus I cry, just one night. Can’t you just make it stop, just one night? As the screams ring out through the night, there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal.

I am reminded that though there is light shining bright the corners are dark. My act of love, my compassion, my attempt to encourage will not be enough until you know that the one who died did it for you. Everything that Jesus did was to show you love. You are blinded by the dark. Screams ring out through the night, there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal.

My love is exhausted and feeble, my heart wants peace. The Holy Spirit is working but we do not hear we’ve forgotten to listen. We are filtering out the voice of the ONE thinking we’ve found the answer is white noise. Screams ring out through the night, there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal.

The hurt the hate, my heart aches for quiet for peace for sleep so sweet. Just when I think it is all over sirens startle time flies by, it starts again it never seems to end. This time, my heart is filled with grace and mercy. I get it, I understand the love that was taught, maybe my light will shine reaching for the pacifier as screams ring out through the night there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal.

The voice is clear the mission is strong. Love God and one another. Jesus took it personally upon himself to teach us to show us. He died for our sin, yeah, you know the one. He took the hurt when will we believe? It becomes difficult but it’s the only way when the screams ring through the night, there isn’t a pacifier big enough when it all becomes personal.

Winding Down

Right now we are in a season of winding down.

Most evenings I just want the kids to go to bed so I can begin my wind down process of playing Carcassonne with my husband and watching our recent Netflix binge before going to bed.

I enjoy the wind down time of the day. It begins with my husband or me reading to the kids who would still rather be tickles and wrestled with. Their growing bodies snuggling close to see the pictures of Laura Ingals, Junie B. or Jack and Annie from favored chapter books. Then the battle of pjs and brushed teeth takes place over who gets to stand in front of the sink first –My reporter usually wins, though he preps the tooth paste for the little boys–he’s a big helper! The tuck-in and prayer routine, those last conversations and hopeful quiet as we descend the stairs sighing a relief that we made it one more day.

 

Our family is winding down in other ways as well…

Our time in in Illinois is moving toward a close with 23 days before the movers haul our possessions back to Michigan. Sigh, the time has gone so quickly. Noticeably I have begun my transition pull away, it is easier for me to just ride off than have to say 2,000 goodbyes to so many people I will loose contact with. Facebook helps…but distance usually wins.

My first year at seminary is coming to a close. It has been harder than I thought, but challenging in a good way. I am beginning to be filled with Joy again…some mommy’s are wired for multi-tasking work and family…and I have discovered that describes me.

The twins will be engaging in their end of the year activities at school and saying goodbye to friends they’ve called classmates. Kindergarten under their belt they graduate to being a school-ager…am I ready for this…ready or not time is winding down…

My husbands training is ending and the purpose to why we came to Illinois is beginning to take real form.

We are transitioning to new things different things.  We are ready, were nervous and excited. There is a pit in my stomach about the unknown…the things that are comfortable are calling to me and the things that are unknown are filling my dreams.

Time is winding down here and just beginning in Berkley…We are so excited for all that God has in store. No way could we have had this experience, it has been life changing.

 

Hmm…aha!

Loving the book Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake

The book has 31 chapters short enough for a busy mama to read one a day as a part of quiet time/bathroom reading. Some of the topics it covers are disobedience, strong-willed children, over-stimulation, internal triggers, stress and more! I am pretty sure there are more highlighted pages than not.

My eyes are being opened up to tangible ways I can talk calmly and be an example for my children while guiding them and building into them…Of course practice makes perfect…With the reporter last night when he was once again hogging the bathroom sink frustrating the peace maker and the prayer warrior I pulled him aside and through tears and hugs we waited our turn…The Bed Time Routine went with out a hitch through the rest of the process.

This morning when the prayer warrior stated that she wants to be president…well my attempt to encourage her turned into a catastrophe because I forget that she receives love very differently than I do…she is only six and I have time to redeem myself as a mommy through God’s grace and example we’ll get it!

I would love to do this as a lady’s study at church sometime!

And, the sugar fast I am working on is going well. I am feeling energized and encouraged. That combined with both little boys napping at the same time is like gold! God knows what’s up and what this “mommyinministry” needs 🙂

I would love to continue here but I have avoided my philosophy reading long enough and I have a couple papers to write…

Prayers for God’s unending love to pour out of my soul over flowing with joy and grace. Amen

 

Just a spoon full of sugar

Yesterday was Easter, Happy Easter by the way, and i do not typically give up anything for Lent. I am not big on fasting, I do see the benefit as it is an opportunity for you to refocus your attention on God rather than being distracted by food or stuff.  I usually try to pray more.

Now that Easter and Lent are over and the “normal” time to fast is past, I feel like fasting would be a good way to initiate a life change.

2nd Annual 40 Day Sugar Fast

I am tired of my oldest squishing my once muscular under arm flab. I am tired of the ill fitting clothes and I am tired of my bad attitude!

We have seen repeatedly how too much sugar is affecting the kiddos and frankly is all too often a go to for me as parenting is exhausting, hiding in the kitchen guilty with chocolate breath.

I am going to be held accountable beginning in April with a study group, and I have even reached out to a fitness expert…more on that latter.

https://www.facebook.com/myfitfinish/?pnref=story

I am curious how limiting and excluding sugar is going to directly change me spiritually, physically and mentally. I am sojourning with a group and look forward to the journey. I hope my family has the ability to endure the process of getting the new me.