Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My 2 blessings

In the prayer garden at Glorieta

Oh, yeah, Family Camp!

Family camp was great! It was held, like last year, in Glorieta, New Mexico about 4-5 hours away from our house- depending on how may potty stops you make! It was good to get away and the speakers were wonderful- RC Sproul Jr , and Pat and Carrie Hurd from somewhere in Texas, the parents to 11 children. It was neat to meet Denise Sproul and her children and I loved geting to know the Hurd family and picking Mrs. Hurd's brain especially! She has so much wisdom that I desperately need. I guess the thing that I appreciated about her the most was that she's just so normal! You could never tell that she has so many children! Truth be told, now that Mom and Dad moved, I really would love to have an older woman near me. It's so encouraging to me to see grown families with children that are all polite and responsible (and potty trained!). I can't help but think that we have such a long road ahead of us- we haven't even met most of our children yet!

We love fellowshipping with our church family and so 5 days straight were just a little bit of heaven on earth for us. Relaxing is good! It makes you so thankful for your family in Christ when you realize that you get along better with them than your unbelieving biological family. Praise God for like-minded families! Our good friend Bonnie Allen helped us a ton on the last day at camp and took a family picture for us and one turned our so good that I think we will use it for our Christmas card! Yippee!

Fall is Definitely in the Air!

These pictures were taken at our church's family camp in New Mexico last week. Funny how you can pose children for hours and take pictures, but the candid ones seem to always turn out the best!

Fall is coming and school is starting! I love that sense of renewal in autumn. No leaves have changed or fallen yet, but it's unmistakable that its coming! Public schools in Colorado began last week(!- schools in De and Pa never began until after Labor day while I was growing up!) and it's good to see the yellow buses driving past our house. Makes me me want to go buy pencils or pick apples or something!

Last night I went to my first ever homeschool support meeting! My friend and neighbor Jennifer Churchill invited me although I was representing the youngest children by far. I can see how people might think that 2 1/2 years old is a little on the young side for formal schooling, but, right now, support and encouragement is great and I would call her schooling anything but formal. People at church reminded us right after Dabney was born that we are already homeschooling her and that homeschooling is more than filling little brains with facts. We're shaping her character and teaching her God's law for life. Knowledge is important, but God's wisdom is precious and it begins with teaching our children the fear of the Lord.

As for the knowledge part, we're only doing a few preschool basics, but she's been making real progress lately. For instance, just last Sunday morning, she looked on the window and said "Bzzzz! Flies! Two flies Mommy!" and that was the first time she had ever counted anything in a real life situation. We're still working on numbers and letters and colors, etc. I plan to make a flash card alphabet in the next few days so she can work on letter indentification. As for phonics, I doubt we'll start until next year at the very earliest. (I would love to buy the curriculum ASAP, however, new from the company, it's $190 for the K/1st grade combo kit but you can get it on Ebay for about $100- which is about $100 more than we've alloted for in our budget!)

As for the character shaping part, we still work pretty hard every day. Some days are difficult and some days aren't quite so difficult. Our goal has been that Dabney needs to obey when we tell her to do something. I was brought up with the adage that "Slow obedience is no obedience" and somedays that is very tiring to enforce. I think David will be an easier child on the character part. Not that he's an angel, but he doen't seem to have such a strong will. I'm thankful that he's pretty easy now, so that we can still focus in on where Dabney needs correction. We love her so much and we want her to be as beautiful on the inside as we think she is on the outside. We love that song by Judy Rogers about Isabelle the Pig, "Now pretty little girls when they cry and pout look like Izzy with a ring in her snout- all the ruffles and ribbons and buttons and lace, don't look pretty with a grumpy face". We know that God will work a mighty work in Dabney, we just need to persevere and she will be rewarded. :)

Monday, August 28, 2006

I love my library!

I miss my library! It used to be 30 seconds from our apartment last year before we moved and had David. Now its about 20 minutes away, but definitely worth the trip! Dabney and I woke up early on Saturday and had a little date morning at the library. She got a library card of her very own, and we checked out quite a few books. On our way out, we stopped by the library's used book store and found a ton of beautiful picture books (and Real + Simple magazines for Mama) for only 50 cents each! My favorite was a book called Verdi by Janelle Cannon. It's a great hardback about a yellow snake. She is also the author of Stellaluna (one of my favorites of all time) and Crickwing- a tale about a cockroach (sounds ugly, I know, but the illustrations are just charming).

I love finding books for the children- we've pretty much decided on the phonics curriculum (Veritas Press) when we begin to teach reading and so we try to find reading and picture books from the curriculum's reading list. I think I'm comfortable with Veritas because I graduated from a classical Christian school and I guess I feel I can teach what has already been taught to me. I can't wait to homeschool!

A few things about me...

We just arrived back from a family camp vacation in New Mexico and while I upload some pictures, I thought I'd write a little more about me.

Maybe it was just the tiredness in me last night, but I began pouring out my heart last night to Tim about so many things I want. Not physical things, but those things that I want to be and do, for myself and my children. I guess the #1 thing was to be a consistant Bible reader. So many days I'm caught up with the children and I feel like I don't have time to sit down and read for 10 minutes or so. The list goes on, I want a clean house- not just a picked up house- a squeaky clean house, I want to lose weight (but I seriously doubt that it will come off until I wean), I want to be able to earn money for the household, I want to scrapbook our memories more often and write down the funny things that the children do, I want Dabney to be more obedient, I want to call my grandparents more often, I want to be a more patient mama... Tim listened very well and then offered one suggestion. He said that he bets if I begin with Bible reading, everything else would fall into place. So, I read my Bible this morning, and I made it one of the first thing I did, and we'll see how much I can accomplish today, through God's grace.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Meet My Kiddos!

This was on the 4th of July this year- don't they look festive?

My First Post

Welcome to my Blog! I'm very excited to begin a little diary of my life as a wife and mama. Let's start at the beginning- I'm Mandie and Tim is my hisband and we've been married for 3 years (April 5, 2003). We had Dabney 10 months after our wedding (February 6, 2004) and David came along last Christmas Eve (December 24, 2005). So, as you can tell by now, life has beeen a whirwind since our wedding. But we are so thankful for that! We love our kids to death and we can't wait until we're ready to meet the rest of them, Lord-willing.
I'm somewhat new to all of this blog stuff, so next I will try really hard to post a picture so you can "meet" us. Thanks for reading!
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