January 7, 2015

Sixteen And A New Year~

It's January.  Rather chilly here and yet my heart is warm because our sons have gotten a job at Taco Bell.
This comes on the heels of momma's prayers and dad working two jobs! Time to do a little more activity...and make some cash!
So, today we watched Dave Ramsey's video on investing and I am so excited for what I LEARNED!  I've always wondered what stocks and bonds were!  NOW I KNOW!  Sad, but true.  NO shame for this gal that wants to continue to invest in eternal truths.

I suppose photos will be coming!  In the meantime, I'm rejoicing in God's provision.  A dear friend dropped by and gave me $50 for things to help with the boys needing to have black socks, shoes, pants, and a belt so they can start!
So thankful.
God is our provider...

November 5, 2014

We're Already Through The First Quarter

...and my favorite subject has been Critical Thinking!  Whether or not they see the value of this course is yet to be determined, but I have to confess that I am learning things I wish I'd have learned when I was their age! The greatest benefit from mom taking the course along with them is that I get to apply it to them and discuss, very often, how they aren't thinking critically about a certain issue or when their emotions have washed over their thinking and they only want to see things one way.

The Easy Peasy courses they're taking have, at times, been very dry, but I've reminded them to 'just jump through the hoops!'

But the greatest lessons learned have been those involving laying down their lives for others, particularly the family staying with us as well as little Josh.  It's been a challenging lesson for all of us.

Having Joshie with us has been fantastic.  He has to be the easiest baby ever.  He adores both boys and absolutely loves the attention they give him, plus they enjoy getting away from their computer to sit on the swing together or take him for a stroll down the block.

Life is great with twinners.

September 5, 2014

We're moving forward...

As things do go, our educational endeavors have been good this week...

We completed the first week and I have to say how thankful I am to have found 'Easy Peasy' because the online Anatomy and Physiology and English courses (that are free!) are perfect.  They're interesting, not bogged down in accumulating facts or boring.  Yay!!!

All this 'learning' amidst taking care of little Josh who had  a double ear infection...he's looking much better today!

Life is good.

August 30, 2014

Can it be so?

Is it really possible that one can blink and sixteen years become history?  Gone are the days of wiping their nose, lathering up little pudgy fingers before dinner and saying bedtime prayers.  No more cuddling up with the same book in bed together night after night, playing with flashlights in the dark, giggling and tickling, singing 'Silly songs with Larry' or spraying them with the hose while they jumped on the trampoline or jumped out of the tree onto the trampoline, all the while holding my breath.

Can it be so that I've reached the final stretch of my parenting years and I battle not having done it 'perfectly'?  I do regret not being more patient or patient at all sometimes, not listening when they rattled on and on about what seemed insignificant to me and yet was so important to them at that moment that they just HAD to share it with me.  And they did.  And I listened, half-heartedly.  And I can't go back.

But I can go forward.

They celebrated their sixteenth with their old school buddies on a Saturday.  It was a bittersweet time because we aren't going back to that co-op this year.  That was a tough decision to make, but it was the wisest.
So, they asked if they could invite their school friends to a skate rink and that's just what we did.

But, the greatest gift they received was having their brother, Daniel, surprise them by driving here from Tampa and put himself in a box.  Isaac almost punched Dan in the head as he punched the top of the box!   They were so happy to see him.  It was the first time they'd seen him since he left on their fifteenth birthday and that made this one even more sweet!


Hubby and I have 'joined forces' to work together this year...hey, so what if there's only two years left?  Working as a team is so exciting to me.  He's teaching Economics, Bible (a study he's doing with a few guys and the boys!), and also History.

We'll still be keeping Joshua and that interaction is so refreshing to them...they love him so much.

March 13, 2014

When it would be easier to just give up...

As the clock ticked away, they grew, changed and got taller.  I stayed the same size (at least in height!)  They've become much more opinionated about things that back when I last wrote, didn't matter:  music, hairstyles, the economy, our president, showering!

We're in the final eight weeks of their second year of high school.  This week is Spring Break and boy, have they had a break.  Overnight at friends, friends here overnight, hanging out with youth, air soft battles in the yard, complete with the garb!

Seeing them in their 'uniforms', shooting each other and Isaac wearing his gas mask serves to remind me of the war that they're in daily. 

One morning, when they were about six years old, maybe younger, God showed me how they were warriors.  His warriors.  The swords made from paper towel holders, the guns they'd shoot made from ANYTHING THEY HAD IN THEIR HANDS was preparation.


As their mom, I can encourage (which means to PUT courage in) them to fight the good fight of faith or I can very easily draw my weapons and become the enemy.  With words.  With my attitude...demanding them to perform quicker, "NOW", "BECAUSE I SAID SO", with no regard to the real war that is waging on the inside of them, the struggles they're battling, giving no thought about the enemy of their soul, bent on destroying our relationship.

Youth, whether twins or not, are engaged in a very real war.  They may not know it; I'm certain they don't.

Each day they're bombarded with ideas, screaming voices of their flesh, the devil and the world. 

What is my response to this onslaught?  Will I battle my own demons and conquer by His Word or will I succumb to the lie that it would be so much easier to just give up and live my own life?

Today was no exception. 

My heart's cry is to KNOW how to 'stir them up to love and good deeds' and not to constantly correct them.  So I cry out.  And cry more, sometimes with tears, sometimes in desperation, for answers. 

Because of a bad choice last week, they'd both been given a 'sentence' of dishes for two weeks: morning, noon and night.
I find it's so easy to nag, remind and get frustrated by their inconsistencies.  So, my prayer has been more for me and WHY I feel the need to be a 'dripping' reminder.

This morning, there were dishes in the sink.  The room was a mess and there was laundry that had been left dirty in the laundry room.  AND HE ASKED TO USE MY PHONE...

But rather than go on a rant about it, I spoke kindly, 'No, I can't do that,' and explained why.

I WAS KIND.  (Doesn't the Proverbs say something about kindness being able to break bones?  Proverbs 25:15...)

Perhaps I need to remind myself of this truth:  kindness and patience go hand in hand.

Over and over the Scriptures speak to this... 

"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."  Col. 3:12
 "We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love."  2 Cor. 6:6
 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23

The days when the 'rubbing' has worn my soul thin and I think that if they don't do what they're 'supposed to' on my terms and within such and such a time, those are the days when I know  I'm deep in the trenches and He wants ME to take back ground, aim bullets at the right target. 

But way too often, I take aim at them, there below the collar bone, that place where trust and distrust hang in the balance. 



It's what awaits me each morning where sleep and awake collide.  I decide even before my eyes open whether I'll embrace the Truth, cling to what I KNOW IS TRUE, and fight the good fight of faith for myself.  Equip myself to engage in the battle, wearing each piece of armor, fitted just for me.

Young men in war need their mom's encouragement, cheering and most of all: her patience and kindness.

For tonight, they're decapitating zombies.  Tomorrow, by faith, they'll be destroying their enemy's fortresses, ever mindful that He has won every battle by the blood of His Son.

Never give up, mom.

May 7, 2013

We did it!

In two days, the boys will have completed ninth grade!  I couldn't be more grateful.  The co-op was just what the Father ordered.

Finally, after the first of this year, they decided to embrace their education because momma wasn't budging.  WE all needed the accountability, especially me.

I couldn't be more grateful for the wonderful teachers they had...moms whose kids were also in the co-op and were determined to give each child their best. 

God knew what was ahead for them.  He knew my mom would pass away on March 21st and that school would be a place of support, encouragement, and a place to go when it was just too difficult to be at home.

He knew my dad would move back to Buffalo, NY, and the house would be much quieter.

I never would have dreamed that they would LOVE Spanish, when, at the beginning of the year, they hated it!  But God!  He knew. 

He knew Caleb would decide to love English grammar and vocabulary...I didn't! 

I am so thrilled the year has come to an end...well, the co-op has, but Math, reading and typing hasn't!

This momma is excited to begin preparing to be the P.E. teacher for the entire school.  To teach photography again is sharpening my skills, as well.

Biology Fruit dissection

Flower dissection

Happy Tails brought some pretty cool animals one day...

Overall, it's been a fabulous year.  Lots of growing, stretching, crying, laughing, and a bunch of learning!

Life is good.

April 11, 2013

Sometimes life gets in the way of writing...

Who said twin little boys had the right to grow up, speak in deep voices and begin to tower over me? 

This school/life year has been an incredible journey.

The co-op we're a part of has stretched all of us and yet there's so much growing up to do.

We've had biology classes, debates, public speaking speeches to memorize and give before a bunch of adults in December and days of reading books that this mom has thoroughly enjoyed!

Together, we read:

C.S. Lewis' book, "Mere Christianity"
"The Deadliest Monster" by J.F. Baldwin
"Know Why You Believe" by Paul Little
"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
"Know What You Believe"
"Assumptions" by Christian Overman
...and now we're waiting for "Never Before in History" by Gary Amos to arrive in the mail.  Thought I bought it, but must not have...

We only have four more weeks left!  It's hard to believe we (I) didn't give up.  I felt more stretched as I kept plugging away at encouraging, reminding, and occasionally threatening them to "complete your sheets of the week's work so I can sign them!"
I thought we'd drop out this coming year, but I am absolutely certain that they, as well as I, need the discipline, structure and accountability.  I am looking forward to next year already!
Praise God for moms that are committed to teaching their, as well as other's kids!  I have loved this year. 
I asked Caleb what one overall thing he learned this year.  His response:
"Life is hard, but school is harder."
One day, they will get it.  I am certain.