Going Through The Motions

Today I am over at Becoming Titus 2 Women writing about going through the motions. A lot of times, as Christians, we are told we should be on-fire with zeal and passion non-stop. I don’t think that is true though and doing so can lead to burn out. Sometimes, obedience even if your heart isn’t in is the best thing. Just doing the next thing is enough. I think this poem, oft quoted by Elisabeth Elliot, sums these premise up well:

Do The Next Thing
From an old English parsonage,

Down by the sea,

There came in the twilight,
A message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend,
Deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me,
Teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours
The quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration-
Do the next thing.

Many a questioning, many a fear,

Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment,
Let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity,
Guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King, 
Trust them with Jesus,
Do the next thing. 

Do it immediately;

Do it with prayer;

Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with 
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,
Do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,

(Working or suffering)

Be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence,
The rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance
Be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness,
Praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee,
Do the next thing. 

-Author unknown


School Plans 2014-15: Morning Circle Time

Scripture to Memorize:
Romans 12:2

  • My Beloved chooses the Scripture we memorize for the most part. Our memory muscles are quite weak so, we are starting very small. We will probably work on one or two short verses a month and see how we do.

Poems to Memorize
Singing Time Rose Flyeman
Whole Duty of Children Robert Louis Stevenson
My Gift Christina Rossetti 
The Arrow and the Song Longfellow
Let Dogs Delight To Bark And Bite Isaac Watts
Little Things Ebenezer Cobham Brewer.
Love Between Brothers and Sisters Isaac Watts  

  • I am pretty sure we won’t get to all these. Memory work is a new thing for us. I have put it on our lists before but it was always neglected. Therefore, I plan to focus a lot on it this year. Whatever we don’t get to will move to next term.

Holy, Holy, Holy
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty 

  •  Josh also chooses our hymns. We try to memorize one each month. Over Christmas break I think we will memorize All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent.

Folk Songs:

All The Pretty Little Horses
Billy Boy

  • As you can see, I am not following AO’s schedule here. I always look over their choices and usually end up picking one or two for our list. Rylee is always begging Josh to sing Dixie so I thought it would be a fun one for us to memorize. Emma is a horse lover so I think she’ll enjoy learning All The Pretty Little Horses.

Loop Schedule:
We will be looping through this each day we meet for Circle Time. It is pretty straight forward. I will be following AO’s selections for Plutarch, Shakespeare, and (most likely) Picture Study. I added on the Peace Maker book for kids this year. I’m thinking we’ll use these (free) lesson plans to go with the book. Once we complete the book I will put Polished Cornerstones in this slot on the Loop. Also on the Loop is Current Event. Josh and I will take turns finding articles on current happenings to discuss with the girls.

That about sums up our morning Circle Time. Next time, I will share about our evening Circle Time.

School Plans 2014-15: A Schedule

I spent this week completely re-writing our Term 1 schedule for the upcoming year. After watching this planning video from A Sabbath Mood Home-school blog (at least three times) and listening to a talk from Andrew Pudewa on the importance of reading aloud, even to older children, I determined to combine as many subjects and forms as possible. This resulted in nearly all subjects being combined.

Rylee should technically be in AO year two, but I still have to read all her books to her. Emma is going to be in AO year five. Emma is an avid reader, but she tends to just swallow books whole (reading as many as she can in the shortest amount of time possible). So, I figured it would be beneficial to everyone if we did mostly reading aloud this year. This will be easier to manage with Titus, who is two, and Zoe, who is still pretty new, as well. Our schedule above reflects these new changes. Hopefully my voice will hold up. I may have Emma do some of the reading at times too.

I am still toying around with what books to put in what time slots. I think I want to put An Island Story in one of the history time slots. I’m still unsure about geography too. It is a weak area for us. Right now my plan is for us to read and map the Holing C. Holing books. We will alternate that with map drill every other day.

This is our first year doing Latin. At the recommendation of a friend, we will be starting Emma with Visual Latin. Another addition this year is singing. We’re going to learn Sight Singing via this online program. It is really affordable at $28 a year. We can’t afford any other music lessons at this time, so I was really thankful to find out about this.

Having a time based schedule (instead of page numbers) is also new to us. I think this will relax our learning more and increase our joy in learning. I started reading Charlotte Mason’s Home Education this summer and the idea of shorter lessons resonated with me. I have put it into practice a bit this summer and it works well for us.

What isn’t shown on the above schedule is an evening Circle Time. During dinner we are going to attempt a second Circle Time. It will be shorter and involve singing, memory review, and family worship. Evenings have always been a struggle for us. Trying to fit family worship, bedtime stories, baths, dinner, clean up, and more into the four hours of time my Beloved is with us always seemed impossible. We are really hoping a dinner Circle Time will help with that.

Lastly, I attempted to think a little out of the home-school “everything done before lunch” mentality. This was hard to do because I am not comfortable schooling in the afternoons. I really prefer that to stay open for outside time/free play. I decided to utilize the bedtime story slot to read a scheduled book for both girls. I’m really not sure Age of Fable is a good choice for bedtime though. I may change that. I also used Sunday evening family read aloud time for a scheduled read as well.

Hopefully I’ll be back in a few days to write about our Circle Time Plans.

June Daybook

Outside My Window … 
The shed and chicken coop are finished. My mom and Emma built them together. We have new chickens, including a hen that is already laying (just not for us yet)! Meet Rose:

Giving Thanks:
For so much! Watching Titus with Zoe is a blessing. He loves to tuck her in at night and then tuck himself in right beside her. He always tries to soothe her when she cries too. It is adorable.

In The School Room: 
We are enjoying a light Summer Circle Time. This includes Hymns, Bible, Read Aloud and Memorization. Right now we are all enjoying the story of Prince Darling in the Blue Fairy Book.

From the Kitchen:

We are working on a simple menu plan and embracing buying in bulk. Simplified Dinners has really helped me to streamline and simplify my menu plans. Now dinner isn’t my least favorite part of the day.  It is easy and stress-free! A definite must for this season of my life.

I am reading: 
I have quite a few things going. I am trying to do pre-reading for all of Ambleside’s Year five books. I am currently reading: George Washington Carver: Man’s Slave Becomes God’s Scientist, Charlotte Mason’s Home Education in Modern English, Death By Living by ND Wilson, and Profiting From The Word by A.W. Pink.

I am listening: 

  • Table Grace – talks from the ladies over at Femina all about food, hospitality, and lots of grace. Excellent! 

I’ve also profited from some really great Dividing Line episodes lately:

And good thoughts from the Circe Institute in this podcast:

*This post contains affiliate links

Zoe’s Birth

I am finding words quite inadequate to share about my home-birth. The entire process, from entering the care of Doran at Blessing God’s Way to the actual birth, was a beautiful outpouring of God’s grace in our lives. 

Through out my pregnancy I felt safe and secure in the care of Doran. This was partially because of my trust in the Lord. Knowing He alone numbers the days of His creation gave me great comfort. But, the care I received also played a role in the security and safety I felt. I knew that my midwife loved me and my pre-born daughter. We were more than just another patient. That is what makes the midwifery model of care drastically different than the OB model of care that I have received.

During the actual birth, I was pretty relaxed the whole time (especially in comparison to other births). I stayed in my room and was literally surrounded by whispers of prayers and encouragement from my husband, Doran (midwife), Kim (other midwife), Jodi (student midwife), and Melissa (my doula). The entire time we had soft worship music playing and while I didn’t always hear it when I did focus in on it I always heard the most encouraging lines. I was never told that I couldn’t do something or that my body was broken but instead was encouraged and empowered by my birth team continually. Those words don’t make it sound as amazing as it was, truly. Being in a comforting, familiar environment made a world of difference in my birthing experiences. 

I can’t say Zoe’s birth wasn’t hard or painful because it was. What made her birth different was my response to the pain. I wasn’t dealing with the pain from a viewpoint of fear and helplessness. Eliminating fear from birth allowed me to cope with the pain of birth. As I said above, I don’t know what the words are to describe the difference this made. I can only say it was a huge difference and a wonderful one. 

The hardest part of birth for me was not the pain. Yes, it was painful but my biggest issue was exhaustion. I lacked endurance. I know I could have been stronger and in a better position for birth if I had made better decisions through out the whole birth. I wish I would have been in Doran’s care from the start instead of from 28 weeks onward. I am now really motivated to make better decisions with my eating habits and regular exercise now so I will be better prepared if I am blessed with another pregnancy in the future. 

Things I want to remember about Zoe’s birth: 

~Josh was able to catch Zoe (with the assistance of Doran). 

~Minutes after Zoe was born Josh was able to read part of Proverbs 31 to her. It was really important to us that some of the very first words she heard (outside of the womb) were God’s Word. 
~After she was born we got to hold her and snuggle until the cord stopped pulsing. Then we cut the cord. The assessments of her were done on my bed right in front of me. 
~After she was assessed Doran helped me into the shower and into clean clothes. 
~The entire birth team worked together to clean our home while we bonded with little Zoe. They made sure everything was back in place, laundry started, clean sheets on the bed, etc. Aside from the new baby it was hard to tell a home-birth even took place. 
~Emma was amazing. This experience really bonded us closer. I’m so glad she saw that birth is hard but amazing. She was really impressed! She helped so much with making food for everyone and just doing whatever was needed of her. 

In close, I love homebirth. I especially love my mid-wife. You couldn’t pay me to have a hospital birth now (unless it was medically needed of course). I am forever thankful to our Lord for bringing me an amazing God-fearing midwife. I pray that if I am blessed with more children all of them can be grown and born in the care of Blessing God’s Way

Thankful Thursday – She’s Here!

 On Saturday, May 17th, Zoe came into the outside world. God blessed me so tremendously not only during this labor and delivery but through out the entire pregnancy. The pregnancy and especially the birth has bonded our family in an indescribable way. I am so thankful for my amazing birth team and the wonderful opportunity to birth in my home — what a blessing.  I hope to share more of my home-birth experience soon but, for now, pictures.

A few moments after her birth Josh was able to read Proverbs 31 to her. Some of the first words she heard (out of the womb) were God’s Words. 

Daddy weighing his newest daughter. 

Emma bonding with her newest little sister.
Part of my amazing, awesome birth-team. Missing is my doula, Melissa, who was incredibly supportive and helpful. I don’t think I could have done it without her! From left to right: my midwife, me, Josh, and my midwife’s student.
The people on the birth team that live with me! 🙂 

Our sweet little Zoe Idelette

Titus meeting his little sister for the first time.

Life Updates

~ This past weekend we went to a local chicken swap. The chickens are Emma’s project so she was in charge of handling how things went at the swap (for the most part). She went with the intention of selling three of her birds. Two she thought were roosters and we only need/want one rooster for our flock. The other one was an Easter Egger hen but she is terribly flighty. So Emma wanted to let her go.

Our young chicken farmer

Not only did Em get rid of her three birds, she came home with eight new chicks! A friend aptly described this as, “chicken math.” All the chicks she got for free, so it all worked out. Some of the new chicks have feathers on their feet, so I have lovingly dubbed them our “hobbit chickens.” They are so cute!

Meeting the new chickies! 

~Last night we had fun with some friends by having a Mary Kay facial night at the house. Make up is just something that doesn’t happen around here so it was a super special and fun treat! We let the girls get in on the fun and I’m so glad we did. They had a blast. We kept the look very natural and clean. The whole thing made me realize how much I miss wearing a little bit of make up. I think I will start again. It is just so fun. The girls with their make up on:

~Rylee captured a baby Killdeer recently. It wouldn’t eat anything she gave it so this led to an impromptu nature study (the best kind in my opinion!). We learned that Killdeer build their nests on the ground and when the babies hatch they can already run, have their eyes open and are furry. Killdeer stay in their eggs twice as long as tree-birds. Once they are hatched they imprint on their parents immediately. The little ones learn to survive by watching their parents. If separated from their parents they will die because they won’t know what to eat without the example from their parents. Once we learned all this we promptly returned to the spot Ry found the baby and prayed it’s Mama would return. She did almost instantly! We quickly set the baby down and the Mama was very happy to see him. They reconnected and he began trailing along behind her shortly afterwards. Don’t ya love happy endings?

~ I will be 39 weeks later this week! Pretty amazing, isn’t it? The Lord is so good and gracious! He has sustained little Zoe and me this whole pregnancy. I can’t believe we could meet her any day now. Very exciting times.

38 weeks 2 days here.

“For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know all the birds of the mountains,

And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.”

–Psalm 50:10-11