Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christian Schools

One of the great misconceptions about Christian schools that I have encountered is that people have an impression that the schools are filled with families trying to shelter their kids from a sin filled world. I was often engaged in this conversation with my son’s ex-girlfriend who was from a strong Christian family but attended the local high school. She, along with others that I have talked to, felt like many parents obliviously send their kids to Christian schools thinking that only Christian kids will surround them and that these “oblivious” families do not realize that kids at Christian schools get into trouble, may party, and some kids may not even act like Christians. My response remains that we send our boys to the school for the teachers and staff, not the kids. We want our boys to have a Biblical worldview. We know the kids at MVCA are not perfect. There will be wild and rebellious teens in every class, but I know that at MVCA there are Christian leaders who will guide them during these years. I know my boys will have to figure out their own beliefs, but I am hoping that while they explore, they will have the reinforcement of teachers that are steering them toward Christ. I know that at MVCA when a child engages in inappropriate behavior, the staff will use Biblical reasons to show why it is inappropriate. As a parent, I want to know that I did all I can to encourage my boys to have a strong foundation before they leave our house. If my kids turn their back once they leave home, I know that they have, without a doubt, heard the Truth, and in time, they will return to it

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I really don't like to decorate country style-except for this shelf my grandpa made..somehow it makes it feel like we are out on a ranch, not in the middle of a suburb!

Every year I am so excited about summer and warm weather but by the end of July I anxiously await fall. I love the colors, the cool nights, the smell of the falling leaves, and wearing sweaters, jeans, and heels. I love decorating the house for fall!

Sorry the rest of the room is looking a little blah-my younger son and I have been under the weather for a week now.

This year I got busy and made a new wreath for the fireplace

I made a new arrangement for the entry out of a pumpkin basket on clearance at Michaels, some feathers, and dried leaves and flowers

And one last arrangement for the first floor bathroom

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Schedule II

I have found that the schedule carries over to other areas of life, too. How did Maxine have this figured out? Recently, my husband was complaining about headaches, stomachaches, etc. Well, one of the many majors I studied in college was nursing. I pulled out my old texts and found his symptoms all fell under anxiety and stress. Not surprising when he works in the financial industry. With the chaos of the markets, he has had one heck of a stressful year. Throw in a teenager beginning to date and drive and a younger son wanting his dad to coach every sport he participates in. So, I used Maxine's schedule on him to work some physical and mental stress relieving activities into his busy week. It makes sense. God divided time into days, days into weeks. Schools are set on schedules. My husbands workplace runs on a schedule. Every Monday morning he has a 7 am meeting. This doesn't change week to week. When I ran in a marathon, the only way I was able to build up to 26 miles, was by following a schedule. A certain number of miles on certain days, strength training on certain days, etc. My husband may have thought I was a bit of an optomist about this solving everything, but I think it is working.

Monday: 9:00 devotions and prayer
Tuesday: 6:00 weights 9:00 devotions and prayer
Wednesday: 9:00 devotions and prayer
Thursday: 6:00 weights 9:00 devotions and prayer
Friday: 9:00 devotions and prayer
Saturday: am run 2 miles


One of the most important things I learned from Maxine is keeping a schedule. It still is amazing to me that she taught herself everything about housekeeping. Unfortunately, her mother didn't keep house very well. Grandma talks about her with love, but says she feels something was going on with her mother that she never knew about.

As I spent some time talking with her about how overwhelmed I get keeping house, she shared this secret with me. "I had certain days that I did everything on. On Mondays I would clean all the pictures and woodwork..." She would say that it is just "common sense" to do it that way-but if so, she has a lot more sense than I do.

So, I wrote down all the things I need to do to keep the house clean. I then split it up into the 5 days of the work week, putting laundry and vacuuming down several days and included weight lifting. I came up with the following:

Monday: laundry, weights, clean* the upstairs and change sheets, brush dogs
Tuesday: volunteer at school, clean baseboards, vacuum
Wednesday: weights, clean* basement and first floor, clean blinds in one room
Thursday: Laundry, volunteer, clean windows and appliances, vacuum
Friday: weights, organize one room, yard work

* includes dusting, straightening, and cleaning bathrooms

It is amazing! It may sound like a lot, but when it is broken down like this it is not. Each week got easier, too , because there was less dust and mess. The bathrooms didn't require as much scrubbing either ( I have 4 to clean) Laundry didn't pile up.

Doing this also revealed another little secret that Maxine has...Now I know why women in the early half of the 20th century didn't gain so much weight! You burn calories doing all this and you don't have time to snack. My arms were sore and it wasn't from the weights!

The nice thing about this was that I had it all done by the time the boys were home from school. My husband doesn't expect a perfectly clean house and never complains when it looks like a tornado went through, but he admitted that it was really nice to come home to a clean house.

The Things I Learned From Maxine

I recently had the privilege of spending quite a bit of time with my grandmother, Maxine . Of course, every girl thinks their grandmother is the most wonderful person, and at 34, I still think that Maxine is the most wonderful, amazing woman alive. Everyone needs a Maxine. In this crazy world, where I am always trying to find myself and where I fit in, my grandmother has always had a way of reminding me who I am and what is important. I have decided to spend a few postings sharing this lady.

My grandmother is well in her 80's. She grew up in the depression and tells me stories from it so detailed that I feel as though I experienced it right along with her. She wore flour sack dresses and hand-me-down shoes that blistered her feet to school. Yet, to see her today, she is one of the classiest ladies I have ever met. She is the meaning of survivor.

She shows me that no matter what your situation, pull yourself together and put on a smile, and go on. She said "just because we were poor didn't mean we had to act poor".

She grew up with little money, married very young, had 4 children, her husband became sick with Hodgkins when the youngest was around 7 she spent the next 7 or so years driving him to another state for treatment, raising the kids, and taking over her ailing husbands job managing a store. He passed away, leaving her with 2 children at home. She made it without any government assistance or help from her family. She found a way to pay the doctor bills, the house, the car, and provide food and clothing for her kids. She remarried several years later and helped her new husband run his business while forming a new blended family with his 4 children.

She has shared so much wisdom about life. I often wonder what the world would be like if every woman had a Maxine for a grandmother. That sounds like a silly thing to write, but I am being honest. I know that some women have to work...obviously, my grandmother had to work at times,too. But, what if women didn't feel the need to have a sucessful career outside the home to feel important? What if every woman found some pride in keeping a house clean and comforting, was fulfilled preparing a healthy meal for their family and making sure sheets and clothes smelled nice and fresh. My boys love it and that makes me happy! But even more so, I love it and that is rewarding. How is it that in today's world, being a housewife has become thought of as "simple" and not as important as working outside the home. Why is it that some women consider it insulting? My grandmother may not have been able to get a great education, but she has more wisdom than many "educated" women. I think that today's world values knowledge more than wisdom. If we take a look at proverbs, God seems to find high value in wisdom.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Pathetic Blogger

Wow-it has been a long time since I last posted! I am going to spend no more than 10 minutes on this because there are a lot of things to do around the house. So I am getting to the point!

If you are reading this, I want to encourage you to wake up and be alive in Christ! I know for me it is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of the world and problems and slowly lose my pizazz for Jesus. I am determined to do something for Him. I don't know what but I want to have my mind renewed and my focus on Him so that I can be a vessel He can use to reach others.

I encourage you to read Proverbs 31, in fact, read all of Proverbs! Start by reading a chapter a day. Pray the verses. Ask God to renew your mind and heart toward Him. Get a Bible Study going at your church or with a group of friends or join one that is already meeting.

It is only through God that we can find permanent peace. Trust Him. If you are reading this and you are discouraged...PRAY. He tells us to turn to Him with our problems and worries. Believe His Word. Put a smile on your face, walk in confidence knowing how much you are loved by the Lord. That is how we can reach others. When they see the peace, love, and faith we have in God and the contentment we have because of it-they will want to know Him, too! That is how we are witnesses. So I pray that God will guard my tongue and guide my steps so that I can be salt and light to the earth.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keep Me Humble

One of the prayers that I always pray is that God will keep me humble. There is so much in the Bible about remaining humble that I feel it is quite important to God. However, I must admit that the humbling experience isn't always so enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I was reading in I Peter 3 about how beauty is in the heart and how we shouldn't be so concerned with being beautiful by our clothing, hair,etc. This really hit me b/c I had been feeling not so good about myself (aging) and tried to solve the problem by a new haircut, some new clothes, and purchasing some pricey cosmetics. Hate to admit it, but I was feeling so much better and thinking that I had achieved my goal of looking "prettier". My hair looked great, I had my new sweater and shoes on. My new makeup evened out my skin tone so wondrously. (I have been cursed with sensitive skin and will break out in a rash to perfumes, detergents, soaps, lotions, you name it). Wow life was looking up! For some unknown reason, in the midst of this euphoric time, I decided to cut my dogs toenails. Needless to say, within 5 minutes I had a HUGE bloody gash across my face. From a distance it looks like a mass of pimples on top of a wrinkle. Nice. Keep me humble, Lord? It brought back to mind some other times throughout the years that similar things have happened. I remember in college I was going through a stage where I was quite toned and felt the need to show it off. I wore a miniskirt that was way to short to be worn in public. I was walking across the parking lot after class ever so confidently (passing a group of guys) when all of a sudden I was flat on the ground. There was nothing to stumble over, I still have no idea what happened-it was like I blacked out. I just remember a guy running over to me and asking if I was okay. During this same time period, I worked at a department store. I recall walking out of the bathroom after primping away, confident in my new "beautiful" designer outfit. I strolled through the break room and was just 2 steps out the door into the store when a girl came running up to me to let me know that my skirt was tucked into the back of my pantyhose-revealing my entire behind. He didn't stop with those days. There have been many vacations when just about the time I start to think a little too much of myself with my nice tan and pampering sessions, the sun and citrus flare up huge sores on my lips.

Could hardly smile or talk in Texas-you can hardly see but in the pic below I have a huge painful blister on the middle of my lower lip. It was so grotesque that my boys had to take a snapshot of it.

Just about a year ago, I started thinking that I was happier with my looks than I ever had felt (not better than others, just the best hairstyle, skin, weight,etc I had in comparison to previous years). I started having some jaw/teeth issues. I went to the dentist and orthodontist, thinking maybe invisalign- ended up needing braces. And, the ceramic/clear would not work (with my severe grinding/clenching issues)-I needed full metal braces for 18 months to correct the issue at hand. Braces. And with the braces came the mouth sores. Half the time I can hardly smile b/c of a sore somewhere on my lip or mouth from the brackets. And a few months ago, I had to start wearing rubber bands.

Atleast my metal mouth matches my jewelry

Thank God that beauty is to be found in the heart. Now, if only I could work on and regard as highly the inside as much as I do the outside.