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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween

Happy Halloween!
We had a really great time walking around the neighborhood, talking to other people out with their kids, and getting tons of candy. Canaan changed his mind at the last minute and decided to be spiderman, instead of a pirate. He was a pirate last weekend when we were in Rome, so I guess he was tired of it. I was slightly sad, because his spiderman costume is well loved, and quite worn out, but he was adamant... besides, what do I care if he looks like a ragamuggin. It is Halloween, he is supposed to be what he wants to be, right? Zion was adorable as Peter Pan. I'll post pics eventually.
Canaan knew what to expect, and was totally prepared for this day. He has talked about nothing else for several days, and he was READY. Zion had no idea what was going on, but caught on really quickly. I don't think he even knows what candy is. He has had very very little of it, especially the kind of candy you get when you are trick-or-treating. However, even though he didn't really understand what was going on, he really got into it. He loved walking around, holding his little treat bag, and saying "tank tu" at every house. I was so proud of him. I managed to talk him into skipping a few houses, but only about two or three. Canaan and his friends would be done with a house before Zion even made it to the end of the driveway, but he usually insisted on walking up to the door himself. We only did our street and the two that run behind it, so not very far at all, but both my boys had full bags. Our neighborhood went all out I guess!
As anyone who knows me may guess, I boycotted candy at my own house. We had bubbles, and stickers, and pencils, and playdough, and erasers, and really cool bug rings and giant plastic roaches. And just in case, little bags of pretzels. My sister's comment was "at least you didn't give out organic health snacks". I don't think she was impressed with our variety, but I think the went over pretty well. Besides our house, only one other house had anything except candy - they had temporary tattoos. I guess I am the only uncool person in my neighborhood! Oh well. We have very little left over, mostly pretzels. Fortunately for me, those are Zion's favorite. I let him pick out one treat when we got home, and he got a sucker. He ate about half of it, then put it down and reached for the pretzels instead. I love that kid!!!!
Anyway.... it was a good day. Now I just have to find something to do with all this candy!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Success!!! (kind of)

Canaan read his first story yesterday. It was very basic, and only consisted of 4 words, in various orders, but he read it! It was so exciting, and he read it again to his Daddy when he got home. I am so proud. However, today when we sat down to learn the next lesson, his interest was just about zero. So, as he wiggled and squirmed, and dawdled I realized that it was all about me. If he wants to read, then great, I will help him. But if he does not want to read, I really don't think I should force him. Eventually, (and for the rest of his life) he is going to have to do things just because they NEED to be done. Right now, at 4 years old, I don't think it is a good idea for me to push that on him. He already has to go to bed, eat his vegetables, use good manners, etc. That is enough for now. I want him to be able to do, as much as possible, what he wants to do right now. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to let my kid be a bully, or eat icecream every day, or stay up until midnight watching cartoons. But if he wants to spend his time screwing pieces of cardboard together, "building" a house: so be it. If he would prefer to spend an hour with watercolors, creating Halloween cards for his friends: wonderful. If he is craving time outside, riding his bike in circles or digging in the sand: that is what I want for him. I think Andy is stressed about our children learning responsibility. Andy was raised in public school, his mother is not very fond of the idea of us homeschooling, and most of the people he works with have had very little positive exposure to homeschooling. I guess it makes sense that he is nervous. I have allowed his nerves to stress me out, and make me feel like I have to "succeed", have to accomplish something, have to prove that what I am trying to do is right. And that completely sums up what is wrong. I have spent 48 hours being stressed, and when it all boils down, I was stressed about nothing.
Canaan is bright, talented, interested in a multitude of things, and a very normal four year old boy. There is absolutely no need to pressure him to "learn". He is learning every minute of every day. As long as I remember that, focus on that, take advantage of that, then I am doing my job. For crying in the mud, he is FOUR!
It is about more than learning how to read: my children have to learn how to want to know things, want to learn, desire knowledge. If I can give then the desire to learn, then I will have succeeded. No matter what any future tests, or grades, successes or failures try to tell me, I will know I have given them the best thing there is - the desire to learn.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Language

We slept in today, which was very nice. However, no matter how late you sleep, you never want to be awakened with the words "Mom, wake up. Zion has poop on his fingers". I'm just saying, 8:30 is a beautiful time of day, and I adore my children for letting me sleep until then, but really... poop? I will tell you that there is very little that will wake you up so completely and utterly as the above mentioned sentence. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as my first fears... nothing pretty, but nothing too tragic either. Looking back on it now, from the safety of 11pm, it is really quite humorous.
After my last post my friend Michelle asked about Zion's language progression. I decided to make a list of his words. I had started one about 3 weeks ago (actually, when I was home for the pumpkin patch) and I added to it over the last few days. I was happy to note that there were three new "words" since then. I think that is good. The thing is, many of his words aren't real words. The mean something to him, and I know what they mean, because he uses them on a regular basis, but they sound nothing like they are "supposed" to. For instance - juice and shoes sound exactly alike. I can only tell which one he wants by his motions. Also, boo boo, choo choo (train) and doo doo are very hard to tell apart. Also, where in the world does doo doo come from? No one in this house says doo doo. We say potty, or possibly poo poo, but never doo doo. Why does he say that? Does he think he is saying poo poo? Can he not hear the difference? Little things like that are starting to worry me. His newest word is please. He has been signing it (or at least, his version of it) for several months now, but he "says" it now too. But it sounds nothing like please. It sounds like Thhhh thhhh.
My favorite of his new words is EWWWW. He says that when he needs his nose wiped, because that is what I say every time I wipe his nose. It is not even really a word, but because that is what I say, that is what he associates with wiping his nose and now it has meaning.
So, he has 22 words, is you count all of them, even the ones that aren't really words. Actually, 23, because Thank and You are two seperate words. Even if they sound like "tank too". So, does anyone out there think I need to be concerned? He is 22 months old now.
One more thing... he still does not have a name for his brother. If I point to myself and say "who am I" he will say Momma. If I point to Andy and ask, he will say either Dada or Momma, depending on his mood, and if I point to Canaan he will say Momma every time. Canaan hates it!!!
I feel better now that I have vented. Feel free to comment, but also feel free to completely ignore the worries of a Mommy.

The pumpkin patch trip

I never did get around to writing about our trip to the pumpkin patch. It was a huge success. Canaan was looking forward to it this year, for the first time. (he has never remembered it before this year, even though he has gone every single year of his life!) We love the petting zoo, the maze, the great swings, and of course, the hay ride. I have more pictures, which I will put on snapfish eventually, but I wanted to get a few out there while I was thinking about it. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My cup runneth over

I bought the new Caedmon's Call CD last week, and finally got around to opening it today. I like to savor the anticipation, "save" the moment I guess, so I was trying to keep it new as long as possible. I do that with everything, and I don't really know why, but thats just how I am. I am glad I didn't wait too long for this one. I have loved Caedmon's Call for about 8 years now, since 40 acres, and thier tour came to Rome GA, where I was attending Shorter College. I have always liked that they write a lot of their own music, and that they seem to sing about things that mean something. It seems that they are often in the same place in their life that I am in mine. We are about the same age, so life hits us at the same time. The new CD, "Overdressed" is fabulous. Their is a song called "Sacred" that I absolutely love - it is a mother's song, about how life just gets crazy sometimes, and she stops and realizes that "everything is sacred". Laundry, the messes the children make, life as it is, that is sacred. She sings "my cup runneth over, and I worry about the stain". I feel that way sometimes. I get so busy just doing, living, breathing, that I forget to stop and drink from that overflowing cup. Jesus will fill me constantly if I let him. I just forget to allow it. Wonderful song, wonderful CD.

In other news, Zion has gone potty in the toilet 5 times in the last three days!!! (three of those times today) I am super excited. I am not going to get my hopes too high, since he isn't even 2 yet, but I am certainly going to encourage him while he is interested. He is still so far "behind" in his vocabulary, and I spend too much time worrying about that. It is nice to have something positive to focus on. He wants to be able to do everything Canaan can do, and going potty is something he is perfectly capable of, so yeah!!

So, I guess my word of encouragement for the day is, enjoy your overflowing cup. I prayed for this life, have dreamed of this life, since I was 5 years old. A mommy was the only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up. Now is the time to celebrate my dreams come true, every moment.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New friends

I met people today. Nice people, and we all had something in common. We are all Air Force Wives. I have been an AF wife for almost six years now, and have never been involved in a group before. I am super excited to give this a try. I met one woman at story hour at the library last week and she invited me to come to the meeting with her. So, I left my comfort zone and tried to branch out, and I am so glad I did. We come from all different family backgrounds, areas of the country, religious and political persuasions, and quite an age range, but we have enough in common, just because of our husbands.
I made some great connections for other areas of life too. Let me back up for a minute and say, "We seriously considered adopting a sibling group this week." (and it is only Tuesday, if that tells you what an emotional roller coaster my week has been!) Someone my parent's work with was telling them about a distant relative that was having lots of problems in their life, and had decided to put their kids up for adoption. A boy, 2 and a girl, 7 months. Did you know that it is possible to completly fall in love and lose your heart to someone you have never seen, and don't even know their name? I told God Sunday at church that I was scared, because I didn't want to love someone when I was pretty sure I couldn't have them. But, God told me to love them anyway. So I allowed myself to love, and I am glad I did. Skip the middle of the story.... the kids live in CA, and by the time my parents told me the story, they had already been put into foster care. By the time I talked to Andy (who was all for it, by the way) and began to persue the idea, they had already been placed in a home that wanted to keep them permenantly, and would keep them together. So, it was over before it ever began. But I opened my heart, and it hurt a little bit, but it was a good pain. I am so happy that they found a home, together, and hopefully forever. And now I know that I am ready to open my heart again, and that pain won't kill me. I also know that I have to start somewhere..... so maybe I will take the foster/adopt orientation next week. If it can happen in CA, it can happen in GA, and I have to let someone know that I am willing to be available. It can't hurt to at least go to the orientation class, right?
This is a scary place to be, and I have to talk to Andy a good bit more, but I want to be open. Several of the ladies at the meeting tonight have friends in the process of adoption, one is taking the foster/adopt class next week, and they were all very encouraging.
On a side note, I met two other women who had a miscarriage in the last 6 months. I had no idea how common that was. I think that as a society we tend to push it to the side. Miscarriage happens a lot, but so many people don't realize, because we just try to "get over it" as quickly as we can. Not that it is wrong to "get over it". You have to heal, and move on, and keep moving forward with life, but I think it might be helpful for women to be more open about it. Talk to each other. Share their feelings. Until I had a miscarriage I knew of a few people who had lost a baby, but not really that many. Now I feel like I meet a new one every time I go out. It is so sad, yet strangely comforting to know that I am not alone.

Anyway.... I am excited. I have met women, discovered that I may have a ready made Bible Study group available, and definitely have people who are interested in adoption, child rearing, Jesus, and the AF life. Good things are ready to happen.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Inspirational people

"I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy, in whatever situation I may be: for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." Martha Dandridge Custis Washington

When the wife of our first president wrote this in a letter to a friend, she had already survived being widowed at 26, with two small children to care for, had lost two other children, and had married a wonderful man who risked his life daily leading our country in the battle for it's independence. I think she may have been thinking of one of my favorite verses.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I had written a little intro to this thought, about how cool Martha Washington was, as well as our other "First Ladies", but I lost it. Now I don't have time to re-write it. I just wanted to say that I am reading a really cool book about the first ladies, and they were fascinating people. Andy says first of all that I am nerd for reading something "boring" when I don't have to, and secondly that he thinks it is silly to read about people who were famous only by default, not because of their own actions. But I disagree with both of his thoughts. I love history, so it isn't boring. And the wives of our Presidents, especially the early ones, played a huge part in the development of our country. They may not have chosen fame for themselves, but they lived up to it with grace an honor, and left a legacy. They should be famous on their own accord, because they accomplished amazing things.

I am headed to Adairsville, so I have to close. It is time to hit the road. I'll post pictures of our trip to the Pumpkin patch sometime later.