Who writes this stuff?

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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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A ticket to Outer Space

 When I "moved" up here a few weeks ago, my wonderful friend Carrie declared that we should start a co-op, similar to the one I had in S. GA, since I loved it so much. She gathered up a few of her other friends, opened up her home, and thus, a co-op was born. 
 And that is exactly how I like it. Laid back. Easy going. The absolute opposite of stressed. 
 Last week when we had our first meeting, we let each of the kids pick a favorite subject that they wanted to study. Canaan picked "Star Wars". Since we didn't think that Star Wars could really be justified as an educational experience, we talked him into studying outer space instead. 
 Space won the short straw this week, so that was our theme. 
 Here are a few pictures of our fun filled day! 

A very focused group of children, staring intently....
(minus the monkey on my back, who was not paying attention at all!)

 This is what they were studying so closely... the coolest book EVER! One Million Things. 
Thanks Ellen for buying it for me - I LOVE it!
A teachable moment...
Aren't these some beautiful, amazing Moms?

Where I live... from the galaxy, down to the street.
That was a good exercise! 

And these last two are just because they are cute...
What can I say?!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time

 I have been thinking about time lately. 

 Time is ticking away, tick, tick, ticking away. 

 There are both good things and bad things about time flying. Tonight I was at "Every Child is a Star", which is a local youth talent performance. While there, a beautiful young woman came up to my Mom and said, "Hello Nina". It took several seconds for Mom to figure out who it was. 
 It would have taken me even longer then that, if Mom hadn't turned to me and told me who it was.  This beautiful young woman, currently a senior in highschool, was someone that we use to pick up from kindergarten and babysit after school. 
 I was floored. 
 Obviously, I have seen her more recently then since she was in kindergarten. Probably even within that last 3-4 years. But in my head, I really hadn't let her age past 10 or so. 
 One of the contestants in the talent show was an amazingly talented pianist/soloist. 14 years old, drop dead gorgeous, and with lungs to die for. 
 Just a few years ago, (almost 8!!) she was a precious little flower girl, leading me down the aisle.



(Just because they were adorable too, here are my train carriers, who have also grown up way too fast!)

 Now, she is an amazing young woman of God. 

 That sort of makes me feel old. 

 But, at the same time, there are days I am so grateful that time is speeding by. Yesterday was the 1 month mark of Andy being gone. I hadn't been keeping track - trying not to torture myself that way - but Andy pointed out the date to me, and it was exciting. 
 One month down, five more to go. 
 Somehow, that makes it seem manageable. 

 Time is just, well, time. It ticks away, one second at a time. Steadily and consistently, no matter how we perceive it. 
 I have been doing a lot of waiting lately. Obviously, waiting for Andy. But also, waiting for our daughter. I want her to come home so very very badly. Her birthday is Sunday. She will be three, and she has no family to celebrate with her. 
 And my heart breaks. 
 I bought her a "Build a bear" lamb the other day. I am waiting for approval to send it to her. I just want her to know that we are waiting for her, anxiously. Eagerly. Not quite patiently.... but trying to remember these quotes. 
 
 "When God delays, He is not inactive. He is getting ready His instruments, He is ripening our powers; and at the appointed moment we shall arise equal to our task. Even Jesus of Nazareth was thirty years in privacy, growing in wisdom before He began His work." Dr. Jowett

 "God is never in a hurry, but spends years with those He expects to greatly use. He never thinks the days of preparation too long or too dull." Streams in the Desert

 I am reminding myself of that frequently lately. 
 God is still working on me, preparing me, making me into her mother. The mother that she needs. 
 I am eager for her to be here. But in the meantime, I will try to look at time as a gift. 

 Look at the amazing things that happen when time passes. Children grow up. People fall in love. Lives are created, and grow, then burst out and fill the world as more beautiful children. And the cycle begins again. 

 All things in HIS time. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homeschool alert for Georgia

 This is a copy of an E-mail my dad received today. After homeschooling all four of us, he has tried to remain involved in the politics and policies that involve homeschool families. Technically, my children are still too young to be affected, but this is my last year in that "window". 

 Please read this, consider it, and take action. Thank you!!! 


Georgia Homeschool Families,

 

Action is needed immediately. This could come up for a vote as early as Monday.

 

The following is a bill recently passed through the State Senate (SB 239), and on its way to the State House where it is currently in Rules Committee. You can find contact information for your state representative in the local paper, or at the Secretary of State website:http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/newlocator.asp (using your name, and birth date).

 

Please pass this to all homeschoolers and homeschool groups in GA !

 

 

Homeschool ALERT! 
SB 239 Could Mean Jail Time for Homeschool Parents

 

A bill that recently slipped through the Georgia State Senate would revise the states truancy code to include up to 30 days jail time for parents who violate these new laws. It further expands the reach of the local schools systems into the schedule of home and private schools.

 

Proposed as an attempt to address high truancy rates in a couple of Georgia counties, this statewide bill requires that parents must enroll their children in public school, home school or private school within 10 days of their children reaching the compulsory attendance age or moving into a school district.  It further requires that law enforcement and the school system must investigate all reports made by any person of a perceived violation of this law.

 

As a result of this law any neighbor, relative, store clerk, waitress or any person who observes a child during the school day or suspects that a parent may be in violation of this law may report the potential truancy to local law enforcement, and it must be investigated.

 

It also requires that any violation of this law must be prosecuted as a misdemeanor and the parent may be imprisoned for up to 30 days.

 

The bill, as it passed the Senate is very dangerous, as it strips away the rights of parents, especially those whose children are in private or home schools where their schedule differs from that of the local public school. Parents who aren't aware of the 10 day enrollment requirement and move into the district could be convicted of a misdemeanor with jail time simply for not reporting to the local school system within the time frame.

 

Fortunately, Representatives David Casas and Ed Setzler, both who serve on the House Education Committee realized the effect of this legislation and were able to successfully remove some of the most egregious provisions. They were successful in removing the provision allowing “any person” to report a “perceived” truancy violation to law enforcement. However, their attempts to change the 10 day enrollment requirement back to the current 30 day requirement failed and this language is still in the bill. They also failed in their attempt to remove the jail time provision, but instead the committee reduced the maximum jail time from 30 days till 10 days.

 

Although the House changed portions of the bill, it is still very dangerous to the rights of home and private school parents. These provisions could be added back in at any time during the legislative process.

 

This bill recently passed the House Education Committee and could be on the House Floor for a vote next week.

 

Please contact your State Representative and ask them to oppose SB239!

 

Click here to see a copy of this legislation 

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A first

 Today the boys and I went to visit one of my best friends from college, Amanda, and her little girl, Emily Anne. First things first...
 Isn't she ADORABLE?!?!


 Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my boys, completely and utterly. But I do enjoy a moment of girl time now and then. The frilly dresses. Playing with dolls. Dragging mommy's high heels out of the closet and prancing around in them - those are not things that I get to experience with my boys. 

 Usually, Zion and Emily Anne are the best of friends. They played nicely for the first couple of hours. But soon after the 3 hour mark of our visit, this is the picture I caught. 
 I think the arms say it all. 

 The big adventure of the day happened on the front porch. 
This seat certainly looks innocent, doesn't it?

 Let me tell you, Canaan won't be sitting there again anytime soon! 

 He started just sobbing, and I went running.
 He had a stinger sticking out of his forehead, and this creature (either a wasp or a hornet) was sitting, nice as you please, on the ground near him. 
 
 I promptly smashed it, scraped out the stinger with my fingernail, and ran inside to google "hornet sting". What did mommies do before they had the internet? I simply can't imagine life without it!
 Here is our little trooper with his baking soda paste "bandage". 

 He swelled up a little, but tylenol seemed to wipe out the pain and he has been fine the rest of the day. 
 And I, the obsessed blogger mom that I am, left him nicely dosed on tylenol and baking soda, and went back outside to take a picture of the "scene of the crime", as well as the nicely smashed criminal! 
 
Hopefully tomorrow will be a slightly less adventure filled day! 

A prayer request

 I am a reader - pretty much anything, anytime. I read it all - you all know that.
 One of the blogs that I stop in at on occasion is "My Charming Kids". Right now, that family could really use our prayers. Their youngest baby, Stellan, is in the hospital with a highly elevated heart rate. 
 He was already healed from a heart problem, before he was ever born. But now he is sick again. 
 You can read updates, and history on her blog. There is a lot that I don't pretend to understand, medically speaking.
 Or spiritually speaking for that matter either. 
 But understanding is not required. What is required?
 
 Faith, Hope and Love. These three. 
 
 So, have faith for the healing of this child. Have hope in our Savior's knowledge to do exactly what is right. (no matter what - and that is what impresses me about this momma so much - she knows that God's will is RIGHT, no matter what) And please, give some love to this family. Because that is what prayer is, love in it's purest form. 
 Faith, Hope and Love. 

 Let's live our faith, my friends. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Wonders of Atlanta

 We went down to the Civic Center on Sat. There was an exhibit featuring King Tut's tomb, and all the wonders it contained. And of course, once you get even just two of us sisters together, there are bound to be pictures. Add a third sister, and modeling will follow soon after. 

It seems that my boys have already learned how to get into the groove too. They easily joined into the "posing"!  


 There is a back story to this picture. When I left for college, my sisters took tons of pictures of just "the three of them". Then, when I would come home, and we would all be together, they would often insist on taking a picture of just "the three of them" still - deliberately leaving me out. I think it was the younger sisters way of paying me back for growing up, and leaving them. I use to "whine" about it a bit. Then, as they started to grow up and leave also, it has become a family joke. So, in fond memory of the years of being teased about it... look Kelsey, what is this picture of?! Just "the three of us". We were laughing, and thinking of you when we took it!


These are my children's names in hieroglyphics. Cool, huh?!
Next on our tour of the wonders of Atlanta was The Varsity. 

 This was Canaan and Zion's first time-
and Canaan was very excited to be there!

 I just love my Dad!

This is my brother-in-law, Kevin. 
Look at that face... he loves our whole crazy crew. He can't help himself! 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shameless self-promotion

 I have been trying to get people I actually KNOW to read and comment on my blog for well over a year now. Since I average about 3 comments per posting... I think I have failed. So, I am going out into the wide world of the web, and joining the Five Minutes for Mom Blog Party.


 The idea is that other people will do the same thing, leave comments on each other's pages, and get to know each other. It is like networking for bloggers. It is a fabulous idea, and I am excited. Slightly intimidated, because I don't usually like to beg for attention, but none the less, I am excited. 
 One of the requirements is that you write a slight "introduction" post. So, here is a little about me...
 I was born in May, 1979 to ex-hippie turned Jesus freak parents who love Jesus with their whole hearts, and introduced me to HIM very young. 

 My dad has been a "Jack of all trades" within the world of Christian ministry, including preacher, chaplain, missionary, and computer programmer. My Mom gave me three little sisters, who are some of my best friends in the whole world, and homeschooled all four of us while we moved all over the country, and occasionally the world. 


This is my family in Norway, circa 1995


This is my family last May, when my third sister got married

 After a homeschool graduation, I attended college and majored in Psychology, with a focus on child development. Although in all reality, I was honestly just waiting. Waiting for God to give me a husband. I loved school - learning comes fairly easily to me, although NOT science! I enjoyed school, and the friends, and the interaction with professors, but my life goal was to be a wife and a mommy. 
 I was starting to get stressed when I made it to my senior year (one of the joys of being a homeschooler – already use to working alone, college is not much of a transition, so I skipped a year and graduated at age 20)  and there were no prospects in sight. And honestly, when I met my Andy, I was still slightly stressed. God and I had some serious conversations. He was younger then me (10 whole months - gasp!) and an art major (not what I had envisioned supporting me and the future youngins I hoped to birth - gasp!) but I loved him almost immediately. So I waited for him.
 About two years after we met, he was still undecided as to what exactly he wanted to do with his life – but he did know he wanted to spend it with me. So, quite happily I must say, we got married. 

My love and I at our wedding - June, 2001
 I taught school. He quit college (for the second time) worked odd jobs and created beautiful art. Less then three months later was Sept. 11th. The Sept. 11th that changed the world.
 My love immediately joined the Air Force, and we have never looked back. Strangely enough, my dreams have all come true. I have given birth to two amazing sons, whom I now get to teach at home. Our paperwork for adopting our daughter from Benin, a small country on the cape of Africa, is currently in the works.
 My Savior has blessed me more then I can express. My love is faithful and responsible, conscientious and charming, artistic and sexy, loves Jesus with all his heart, will be a college graduate in just a few weeks, and the man can COOK. 
 I have beautiful, talented, healthy sons who are learning to be more like Jesus every day, and still love to cuddle.

Family photo - Jan. 2009
 Right before Andy deployed to Afghanistan
 And soon, I will have a daughter who will laugh with me at the crazy males in our life, and enjoy a little “fluff” now and then.
 Life is good. 
 Now, please leave a comment to introduce yourself, and I will come by and meet you too! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My night of dorkdom

 I have been a really bad blogger lately. However, I do not take any blame for not blogging last night. I sat here at this computer and tried valiantly to blog - the ISP simply would not comply. Now I am waiting for some more pictures to go with our activities during the last two day. And trust me, they have been doozies. 
 But right now, I am going to take a minute and reveal my complete and utter "book nerd" status. Tonight, I spent almost 5 hours at a party talking about books, and a movie made from those books, and the pros and cons - and several rabbit trails about other books and movies. 
 But mostly, we talked about .....


 Here is where I must state emphatically that I am not a "movie person". Not at all. I am very much a "book person".  Tonight we watched Twilight, and it was my first time to see it. There have been very few movies made from books that have pleased me. 
 This was not one of them. 
 I didn't hate it, or anything that extreme. But it really couldn't compete with this... 


 I think I will read the whole series again. I have only read it once, and it has been at least six months. 
 Does that make me a nerd? 
 Probably.
 Is that a surprise?
 Absolutely not! 

 I had a wonderful time at a party, met new ladies (who were at least as nerdy as me, and I mean that totally as a complement, if any of you are reading this!) and I got to gawk as some really hot young actors in a trendy movie. 
 They did not fulfill my imagination of what the characters looked like, or should act like, and none of them were as handsome as my gorgeous, talented and romantic husband (who occasionally stops by to read my blog) but it was a fun night. 

 I'm so glad the written language was invented... and the printing press... and the handy dandy personal computer. 
 I love words! 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tools

I originally wrote this late last night, but the pictures would not load. So, here it is now instead. 
 
 On Monday I renewed the tags for our vehicles for another year - pay the taxes, get the sticker - you know the drill. 
 But on Monday, it was pouring down rain, ALL DAY LONG. 
 So I simply stuck the renewal stickers in my purse and forgot about them. 
 Yesterday, out of the clear blue (and under a clear blue sky, I might add) I remembered them. It had only been two days, but they had been a very full two days, which had included a dreadful cold, two sleepless nights, and a diagnosis of an ear infection in the redhead. (who, thankfully, finally, slept all night long last night).  
 Back to the original story.... 
 I was slightly afraid that the stickers were lost, which would be a $300 mistake... luckily, I found them, safe and sound exactly where I had left them. Still in my purse. Surprise, surprise! 
 Next: apply them to the vehicles. Now, I like tools. Especially when they come in little "sets", neatly stored in containers with everything nicely organized and labeled. I am fairly sure I have admitted before that I am slightly OCD. This tool set fits me to a T. 

 I felt empowered yesterday afternoon. It really is quite easy to unscrew a license plate cover, put a renewal sticker on, and screw it back on - but normally, that would be an "Andy job". Andy is not available, so I did that easy job by myself. And it felt good. 

 (in case you can't tell, the cover says, "POW's, you are not forgotten")
 I "fixed" my car, and the truck. The boys got out their "vehicles and toolboxes" too, and played in the driveway for a while. It even got hot enough for them to feel the need to take off their shirts.  They make me laugh. My little hillbillies...



Ya'll come back now, ya here!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our new co-op

 We started a new Homeschool Co-op today. My computer is totally not uploading pictures tonight, and the blog I have written needs pictures... 
 So, for now, just go check out Carrie's posting about our new co-op. 
 It was a small group, laid back and lots of fun. I'm excited for my boys to have some friends up "north", since we will be here for six months. So - Bring it on! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 Today was my true love's birthday. 

And he was deployed, on his birthday, yet again. We have been married for seven years, and in those seven years, I have only seen him on his birthday 2 times. TWO times in seven years. Personally, I think that is a little ridiculous. 
 I know, I know - we signed up. We knew what we were doing. We make our own choices, while trying to follow the will of God in our life, and in all honesty, I can say I don't think we are on the wrong path for our lives. 

 But today was rough for me. I have a cold, and I am losing my voice, and coughing up a storm - when I talk it sounds like a garbage disposal - Skype kept acting up and dropping our call when Andy got to call this afternoon - Plus, I stayed up until 1:30 this morning reading a mystery novel... partly to find out "who done it", but partly just because I couldn't stand my empty bed. 

 But

 When I think back on my day, here is where God steps in and gives me a gift. The ability to find the happy moments - At 7am this morning, my little red head came and crawled in bed with me. His feet had gotten cold so he woke up, but he wasn't ready to get up yet - he just wanted to snuggle. What a perfect way to start the day, especially when that bed had been feeling so empty and lonely. 
 Around 9, while at water aerobics with Mom and her wonderful crew of exercising women (and one lone man - brave soul!), I could breathe! Something about that salt water pool and the exercise cleared my lungs for an entire hour. It was fabulous. 
 On the way home from Aerobics, Mom and I stopped by the costume closet, and I happened to find this hat, which use to belong to my love. 
I do believe his wonderful mother made it for him when he was a crazy teenager who wore things like this - just because - I wore it today because I missed him, and it was St. Patty's Day, after all! 
 In the middle of my fight with Skype, and the frustration it was causing, Canaan, completely on his own, without prompting from anyone burst into the "Happy Birthday" song for his daddy. And the internet chose to work for those few minutes. My five year old got to sing Happy Birthday to his Daddy, who is thousands of miles away - and I cried. 
 But they were happy tears, so it's okay. 

 And, at 7:30 pm, when my kids were nicely fed and bathed my Dad said, "Bethany, if you want to go on to the grocery, I can put the kids to bed for you." And I fled the house at full throttle. 
 I got to go to the grocery, ALONE~ I know that every mother loves that, but for me, that is absolutely heaven. People always joke about "retail therapy". Usually that means buying things like new shoes, or clothes, or jewelry. 
 Not for me. 
 
 The grocery is totally retail therapy for me. I love the thrill of the hunt - The hope to find a good deal. What is on sale? Do they have anything healthy? Can I use a manufacturers coupon and a store one? And to do it right, you really can't have kids with you. I am use to the Commissary, which is it's own little world. So tonight was my readjustment period - back into the "real world". I went to Kroger, spent nearly two hours there, came out with organic milk and yogurt, and saved...
mfg coupons - 22.10
bonus coupons - 2.09  
str cpns and KRO plus - 47.62
Total savings - 71.81

Total spent - 106.99

I feel so very very good. Amazing what buying some food can do for a girl! Of course, that food did include Breyers Icecream... which I have since consumed. Perhaps that helped too?