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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Annoyed with Myself

Do you ever get annoyed with yourself? I do. I've been feeling that way a lot lately. The past several months have been a very interesting overhaul in my life. God has been really opening my eyes to some things and forcing me to make some changes.

The main thing that I find annoying about myself is the fact that I get caught up in so much frivolity. Don't get me wrong, here. Joking around and being sarcastic are likely permanent parts of my character, and I do love Facebook for blowing off steam, being silly, and having a laugh. I also love it for developing relationships with people outside of my "bubble" (meaning, nonChristians, nonHomeschoolers, nonStayatHomeMoms, nonFillintheBlank).... but I hate Facebook (and really, myself) for bickering, quarreling, frustration, annoyance, politics (ugly politics, not intelligent debate), degrees of legalism (holidays, diet, worship styles, ministry decisions), and all the rampant disunity we Christians put all over the web. I'm totally a part of  the problem. I am a crazy person, and for some reason, people vent to me. When it comes to lots of issues, this is totally great. I love being able to be a sounding board for someone else, hear them out, pray for them, do whatever I can. In other instances, especially if it happens to be an issue with which I also struggle, it is just fuel to my fire. I turn into the Avenger if I think another person has been hurt or wronged. It is SO hard for me to sit on something like that without being compelled to fight their battles and right all the wrongs of the world. It's usually not my place to do so, though, and I know there are times I just make things worse. I am totally a button pusher, and I know exactly what I'm doing.... and I am SO annoyed with myself!

On Mondays, we spend the afternoon at 2nd Mile in Brentwood, and I feel like this is a beautiful, wonderful, God-ordained, priority-check for my week. God reminds me every week, "THIS is what matters. There are real people who need to know about Me, real people who need help and love and hope. They aren't all across the world. They are in your own city. You are wasting your time fighting battles other than this one!" SO true. I just don't think it's God's heart. I think a whole lot of the stuff that I spend huge portions of my time doing, thinking about, and being frustrated about are well-meaning detours off the path of what really matters. I've eliminated some things from my life and made some kind of difficult choices to help get back on the path of what really matters. I'm trying really hard to keep the main thing the main thing, so that I don't have to be quite so annoyed with myself.

And, although I'm annoyed with myself, I'm really excited about the new season of life that God is setting before us. He has a plan for our hope and future!

Back to School - Week 23! (POLICE WEEK)

Last week, we learned about the fiery furnace, and about fire fighters and fire safety.

This week, the Bible lesson is about Daniel in the Lion's Den, and though I know we should learn about lions, I'm taking the kid's lead and learning about police. It was the natural progression from firefighters. :)

HERE is this week's lesson plan.

I also thought I'd explain a little more about how we use manipulatives. It is very, very simple. Basically, I take a group of the items and another group of the items and give him a visual math problem. So, I would say, "If I have 4 police cars and add 3 more police cars, how many do I have all together?" He'll count them and tell me the correct answer. Sometimes, I will also write out the problem so he can understand what this looks like visually, 4 + 3 = _____. Subtraction, obviously would be to do the opposite. "If I have 4 police cars and take away 3 of them, how many do I have left?" 4 - 3 = _____. It's very simple, but you'd be surprised how quickly their math skills improve using manipulatives!

Thank you, police officers, for keeping us safe... and a huge thank you to the families of the officers recently lost in the line of duty. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed! We are praying for you.

Oh and PS - This is sort of random, but something I'm really glad I've done with Ephraim his entire life. He reminds me if I forget. ;) Whenever we see a police car, ambulance, or fire truck, we pray for them. It's a good practice in being others-minded and grateful for the service people who help to make our world a better place.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great Park Adventure - Patton Park

Today, we took the Great Park Adventure down Hodges Boulevard, to try out Patton Park! There is a small playground and walking path in the front of the park. Further back, there is a really nice football field, and about a thousand soccer fields. This park is VERY clean, quiet, and loads of fun! Tip:  They have branches that look like claws.









Bathrooms!




Covered pavilion with picnic table







Local police station









Lunch!





Nature!








Awwwww....




Love.



If a tree falls in the woods.... this is what it looks like.


Soccer fields galore!





Here is the park's website, and its amenities are listed below.


Park Amenities

AmenityCount
Benches15
Bleachers5
Car Parking524
Concession Stand1
Drinking Fountain
Football2
Perimeter Site Fencing
Picnic shelters3
Picnic Tables6
Playground Equipment1
Restrooms9
Security Lighting
Soccer12

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Back to School - Week 22! (FIRE WEEK)

This week, the Bible story is in Daniel, about the Fiery Furnace. I figured it would be a good time to balance it out with some FIRE SAFETY.

So, HERE is the lesson plan!

Thank you, fire fighters, for keeping us safe!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back to School - Week 21! (BOAT WEEK)

Wow, we have been SOOOO sick. It was like the Bubonic Plague up in here. I probably should've taken the teachable moment and scarred my children with information on the Black Death, huh?. Nah.

We're back in action, though!

This week is BOAT week. We'll be playin' in the water a lot this week, and LOVING IT.

HERE is the lesson plan.

Make a splash!