Our Journey Home

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"It's on the inside."

Today, the Lord gave me a little idea for an activity to do with our children. It was really simple but our girls enjoyed it! Here is what we did:
First, I took a small glass jar, scribbled on the inside with a black Sharpie marker, and then closed the lid. Next, I got out several cleaning products and I put them out on the kitchen counter. (Windex, dishsoap, Goo Gone, baby wipes, paper towels, and a wet cloth) I called the children into the kitchen and I told them that I needed help cleaning my dirty jar. Both girls were eager to help me find a way to wash away the 'scribble-scrabbles'. wink.They examined their cleaning product choices. First up, Wubs decides the Windex would do the trick! (Plus, I think she really wanted to squirt the paper towels! ha ha!) No luck. The scribble-scrabbles didn't budge.Bella's turn. She decided that soap would make my jar clean. She scrubbed and scrubbed... but you guessed it- nothing happened! (This picture of JJ makes me smile! I love those big blue eyes- he looks just like his daddy!) Wubs closely examined the little jar. She giggled, "Mama! We can't clean this jar!! The scribbles are on the INSIDE!!" (I knew that sooner or later, one of the girls would figure this out.)
"Baby, you're right. The dirty part is on the inside! You know what, this little jar reminds me of our sin. It's on the inside, too! Just like you and Bella worked so hard to clean this jar, we could try and try and try but there is nothing we can do to clean our sin. Do you know the only One who can wash away our dirty sin?"
"JESUS!"-Bella exclaimed. She's done enough activities with mommy to know that Jesus is always the answer! wink!
"Yep! That's right! Jesus is the only One who can wash away our sin. That's why He died on the cross for us. Jesus knew that we could never get to be with Him in heaven because of our yucky sin. So, since we cannot clean away our sins by ourselves, Jesus did it for us! "
"Mama, we already know that."- Emma Grace said in a matter of fact way. "We all have sin. Except for Jesus. He's the only One without the sinning."
Praise God that our children understand they are sinners. They both truly seem to understand that Jesus died for their sins, and they both understand that Jesus is God's Son. We are praying and praying for their salvation. What a blessed day it will be when our children ask Jesus into their heart!
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."- Acts 4:12

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Rollin',rollin', rollin'...

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"- Isaiah 6:8

Monday, September 26, 2011

a sheepish grin

Tonight after dinner, I loaded up our children for a trip to return our library books. We don't typically go to the library in the evening but our books were due and it gave daddy a little time to study in a quiet house. wink.

It was a beautiful evening and we rolled down the windows to enjoy the breeze during our brief trip. As we were approaching a stoplight, Bella must have spotted a woman who was out jogging. The light turned red and we stopped. The woman jogged in place while she waited for cars to pass. She was wearing a sports bra and lycra capris. Bella said, "Mommy! That woman is wunnin' with no clothes on!!" The. car. windows. were. open.


The woman looked at me. My face turned bright red. I gave her a little sheepish grin. I am guessing that woman does not have children, because she did not appear to be amused.

The light changed to green, and we continued to drive. I knew I needed to explain to Bella about that woman's attire.

"Honey, that woman did have on clothes-but I think those were her exercise clothes. She was running to get some exercise."

"But- I could see a lot of her body. That's not modents."

"You're right, it's not modest to wear clothes that show our tummies. But maybe that woman doesn't know what God says about being modest and covering up our bodies, or, she might not even know who Jesus is. Would you like to pray for her?"


David and I work really hard to teach our children Truth and at the same time, protect them from the temptation to judge others. Because the bottom line is this... we are ALL sinners. It is only by God's never-ending love, unbelievable mercy, and abounding grace that we have been saved. I have no idea if that jogging woman was a believer or not- that's between her and the Lord. I want to be certain that our children understand that just because daddy and mommy have Jesus in our hearts, we-are-not-perfect. We mess up. We drop the ball. We blow it. But... we are forgiven.

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."- 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Teachable Moments

If I had to pick my favorite part of homeschool, it would definately be all the teachable moments we get to share! While I love our curriculum, our read alouds, and our projects, it is teachable moments- those unexpected and unprepared events- that seem to always help our children to learn in ways that I could have never planned. God really blesses us with these opportunities and it is so fun to watch Him at work! Not only does God know when these little 'teachable moments' are going to take place- He designed them!
Last week, we needed to go to the grocery store to pick up about a dozen items. At the last minute I decided to teach the girls about grocery shopping. It was the perfect opportunity to take an every day task and make it a learning experience. I made little lists for each of them (I doodled little pictures of the items for Bella since she can't read) so they could be my helpers. They were THRILLED with this idea, to say the least! wink! I had some cash so I was able to show them our budget for our groceries. The girls each carried a basket and they found the items on their lists. I modeled how to look at the prices of the various items so we could get the best deals. We even had a few dollars left over for some candy corn. Our shopping trip took about an extra fifteen minutes but it was well worth it!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"-2 Corinthians 6:17

Thursday, September 22, 2011


As a special surprise, the girls enjoyed an ice-cream treat this afternoon. We were driving home from running a few errands, and since Wubs and Bella were such good helpers today, we got ice-cream. I was listening to our favorite radio station, humming along, and smiling at the sounds of sweet giggles from the backseat. I love to hear our children enjoying one another. Those little giggles got bigger and bigger until I heard some all out belly laughter. I started to laugh myself even though I had no idea why were all being so silly! wink! We were just about to pull into our neighborhood when I asked, "What is so funny?" Bella laughed and laughed before she finally said, "Mommy, I shared with son!" (The girls both call JJ by the nickname 'son'. Isn't that cute?) We pulled into our diveway and this is what I found: I don't know who had more fun with this ice-cream adventure- the girls or JJ! Yep, this little man is definately our third child. My first reaction wasn't "Oh no! He's only 4 months old, he shouldn't eat ice-cream!". Instead, it was "Oh my goodness- where is the camera?? This will make a great story for Bella and JJ one day!"
Have a wonderful weekend!
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."- John 17:3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Fall is here!

"And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."- Acts 17:25

Monday, September 19, 2011

I don't want to forget

Sometimes, I am awfully forgetful. My forgetfulness has gotten worse over the years, especially after having children. wink. Sometimes I forget little things, like to pull the clothes out of the dryer before they get all wrinkly, and other times I forget bigger things- such as my debit card pin number. (Sidenote: It is the same pin number that I've had for eight years. Then, one day- poof- I totally forgot it! )
Today was a day that I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget that today, for the first time ever, Emma Grace prayed outloud with me. (She often times goes off by herself to pray, or she'll ask me to pray for us. But not today. Totally unprompted. She held my hand and prayed with me for our day.WOW!) It melted my heart to hear her precious conversation with the Lord. I gave her the biggest hug and I'm hopeful that tomorrow, she'll pray with me again. What a treat!
Here are a few pictures of our baking lesson! We made cookies- which isn't anything unusual- except for today, the girls measured out all the ingredients. We also took a little extra time so
I could explain what the recipe instructions really mean. (I taught the girls what to do when the recipe says "cream together the butter and sugar", "gradually add the flour mixture",etc.) After we made our cookies, we needed to clean up and wash our dishes. Wubs LOVED doing the dishes and begged me to let her wash dishes again! "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,"- Philemon 1 :4

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fun (and free!) ideas for a rainy day

Today was a rainy fall day. We had plans to participate in a walk/run event in Raleigh with some of our dear friends, but due to the weather, our plans were cancelled. The girls were really excited about the 'race' and I knew we would need a pretty special Plan B for our Saturday! wink! Here is what we did instead...
First stop- PetSmart! The girls squealed with delight when I told them we were going to go to the pet store. We got to look at fish, birds, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters... all kinds of fun animals! In the back of the store, you can even watch dogs getting groomed. Next stop- Target's Fall/ Halloween aisle! It was really fun to take the girls to look at all the decorations. They enjoyed pushing buttons, trying on costumes, and laughing- a lot! Our rainy day wasn't over yet! The girls also enjoyed coloring, taking dinosaurs into the bathtub, playing Pet Shops, watching a movie on the laptop (in their room- very fun!) and stomping in the puddles in our cul-de-sac. It was a great day!
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."- Matthew 5:14-16

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Every other week, we make a special craft in homeschool to decorate our refridgerator. The girls love, love, love to work on their art projects to display in our classroom (kitchen). wink! This week, we have been talking about the many blessings that God has given to us. He loves us so much and He has been so generous and merciful with our family! On Monday, we made Baskets of Blessings for our artwork. Our craft included cutting, weaving with construction paper, gluing, and handwriting. The girls made paper baskets and filled them with apples. Each apple had one blessing from the Lord written on it. I teared up as I helped the girls write on their apples (Wubs wrote on her apples but I helped with the spelling) because their responses were so precious. I asked the girls to think about what God has given to them- the blessings that He has shared with each of them. Here are their responses:
Emma Grace-
1. Family
3.Died on the cross
5.my body

1.my food
2.heart and love
3.baby Jesus
4. God 'sended' Jesus
5.our house

Oh, how I love being a mommy!
And another fun thing we did this week... we put JJ in the Johnny Jumper! He thought it was lots of fun! He didn't really jump but he enjoyed spinning himself around and standing up. JJ also sampled his first bites of oatmeal. ( Poor third child, though- I totally forgot to take pictures! Ooops!) He made the sweetest little 'mmm, mmmm' sounds the entire time! I have a feeling he's going to be a really good eater as he grows up. Don't you want to kiss those sweet little cheeks? I could gobble him up! "From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people."- Psalm 3:8

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My itty bitty voice

I have a little voice (literally); that's just how God made me. wink. Even tonight, when I answered our phone, the caller asked to speak to my mother. I giggled, explained that I am the mother and politely excused myself from his sales pitch. *click* In the last four months since JJ has arrived, my voice has gotten even smaller (figuratively). I have plenty I need to be saying to train our children, but for some reason, I have neglected doing so. Slowly, my little voice has gotten quieter and quieter, and the boundaries we set for our children have gotten pusher farther and farther. Our middle child in particular has really been testing the limits.
The Holy Spirit convicted my heart. Training and disciplining our children only 'sometimes' just isn't good enough. Our children are our first ministry, and we need to be lovingly pouring Truth into them. And so, starting today, my itty bitty voice has been boldly sharing Truth with our children and training them in the ways they should go. Over and over again. It has been taking extra time, extra patience, and often times it has required the assistance of our Sad Spoon. wink. But it's worth it. It has eternal value. And tomorrow, I will repeat it all over again.

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."- Proverbs 13:24

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."- Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Photojournal- Double Date Night

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."- Acts 20:24

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Favorite snapshots of the week

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love."- 1 Corinthians 16:13-14