Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Restoring Joy

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“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”
Psalm 51:12

It has been such a long month. We've had some many wonderful things happen, but they have left me quite exhausted! We've had such a fun summer of traveling and changes that it has been really hard for me to get back into a routine with the kids. Plus we've only had 1 car so I've been home bound for the month of August - which is good since I can't spend money if I'm not out! However, I've really been struggling with the normal everyday details of life - being exhausted and very sick certainly doesn't help my predicament. Just today I've been struggling with having a good attitude and asked the Lord for patience. I really wish I hadn't asked, just a few hours later some braxton hicks contractions began and they haven't stopped all evening. That is not the best sign for my weak pregnant self. So, I'll have to call the doc tomorrow and see if we can speed up the progesterone injections by a few weeks. Please pray they work! If they don't we're looking at bed rest, a surclauge, possible hospitalization and the list goes on. Since I'm only at 16 weeks I'm a little nervous - that is really early in the pregnancy for things to head south!

So, in the midst of my anxiety I've just been meditating on all the great gifts I have in my life. I am so lucky to be at home with the boys all day, the mundane keeps me on my toes, entices my imagination and inspires me to spend more time investing in the lives of those God has placed in my care. I truly am lucky, just lacking in joy today! I've been meditating on Psalms 51:12 - restore to me the JOY of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. My focus tomorrow will me on "Willing" and doing all the Lord asks of me.

On a new note, we had some great things happen this summer. For starters John accepted an aid position (middle school) with FW ISD and started Monday. He loves his job and the teacher he assists. The kids are wonderful and he is excited for what the Lord will do in the situation. He said last night that God has him there for a reason, he just really hopes and prays it is for doors to open so he can teach his own class. I reminded him that patience seems to be a very consistent theme in our lives so I'm sure we're just suppose to press on and enjoy this ride - - patiently! John is also an assistant football coach - he is in for some long days! The boys and I might venture to the field on Thursday's to watch the team play! It doesn't sound very exciting since I'm not a huge sports fan, but who knows it could be really fun!

Drew has been learning his phonics and writing- I implemented a more formal structured schooling method this August in hopes of seeing if it took off. I've been researching Charlotte Mason and her teaching philosophy's for years and have tried in the past to work on a few methods with little success. Finally Drew is ready! We've just implemented living books and copy work this year. The link above will fill you in on those techniques and others that help direct and focus a child on hands on learning. Drew's favorite book right now is Ping - probably because it reminds him of his Grandma Patti since the story takes place in China on the Yang Sing River. Drew and I just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods and just tonight started Little House on the Prairie. Drew's imagination has exploded! He can recognize 10 of his letters now and knows what most of the letter sounds say. That is a huge accomplishment for Drew - just a few months ago he had no interest in letters or sounds and couldn't recognize a single one let alone know what sound they make. We've adopted 15 minutes of focused training on various habits, so Drew's actual has sit down learning time for only 30 minutes each morning. That consists of 15 minutes of copy work and 15 minutes of phonics. His attention spam seems to flow in short bursts in the morning so this setup has worked wonders! Plus he gets to watch a Super Y episode if he maintains attention on the task and doesn't let his mind wander. The rest of the day Drew just spends following me around, reading, listening to books on tape, using his leap frog pad, asking questions, building train sets, playing Lego's, digging in the sand, and coloring - though coloring for him is more like a chore than a fun way to spend an afternoon. We've also been brushing up on his Catechism's and memory verses though not as formally. He also loves to bake with me and is excited to start learning his months of the year.

Gabe has been spending a lot of time listening to books, playing with Drew's train tracks, swimming, and practicing his shapes. He still mumbles a lot and only uses words when absolutely necessary! He is fascinated with his nose and just a few days ago stuck beans up his nose for attention. Gabe watches everything we do and follows me around copying and imitating. Its very cute! Gabe uses sign language much more than Drew ever did, his new favorite sign is "all done!" Gabe loves to tease his brother and is forceful enough to get most things from his brother Drew - sometimes it involves hitting or grabbing. He has mastered temper tantrums but thankfully only practices them once or so a week. Gabe is learning a lot about sharing, kindness and consequences. Gabe has a very long attention span and can sit for up to 30 minutes performing a task. He has even enjoyed sitting for "Little House in the Big Woods" in the evenings. Gabe loves to wrestle and play games -his favorite books are Goodnight Moon and A book on trains. He also loves to clap when the story's are over.

Well there is our update, its been a crazy summer and we're excited for Preschool to begin next Tuesday!

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