Monday, May 30, 2011

This Summer's Curriculum

My kids are lucky...or at least they may think so for the next few years...in having a mother who is a certified teacher. My love for teaching and my need for structure during the summers has lead me for the past two summers to create some sort of curriculum for them. My oldest child was nearing school age, and I wanted him exposed to the alphabet, the world, and what he can offer before he ever got to school. I can truly say that my kids are stinkin' smart! J picked up on his letters incredibly well and did fabulously during this year's kindergarten. He has really proven himself. And Jed, as crazy and mindless he seems to be some times, has really picked up on his letters this year while I've been at home. He has even gone as far as doing some very, very simple reading! He starts kindergarten in the fall, which will leave me at home for the next 3 years with Abigail. So I have my work cut out for me!

For the past two summers I created my own curriculum for those weeks during the summer. We did what I called "Alphabet Days". In the summer of 2009, I took each day (Monday-Friday, starting the first week of July) and we did something that had to do with the letter. For example, "A" day we made "A"pple sauce, looked at "A"nts, and talked about the "A"quarium. I really tried to connect each day with some place in the community. I tried to not always go some place where it cost money, but made the most of what we had at our disposal.

The summer of 2010 was a little different. It was my first summer where I was not going back to work in August. This meant I did not have meetings in the summer, classes I had to take, and lesson plans and units to prepare (no matter what you think, teachers don't really get summers off). I also was taking care of two other children, which meant I had five in all, ages ranging 9 months to 5 years. I did not want to take out that group of kids around town 3 days a week, so I had to make adjustments at home. We still did the "Alphabet Days", but instead we did art, cooking, and activities at home. For example, for "P" day, we made pancakes with pineapples, made personal pizzas, and played with homemade play dough.

This summer, though, I decided to use a curriculum that I moved to once school started this year (Hubbard's Cupboard: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/weeks_1-4.html). I have used the 2 and 3 year old curriculum, but since I have a rising 1st grader and a rising kindergartener, I wanted to used something that would be easy to adjust based off of skill level. What is really great about this summer's curriculum is that it also has a weekly character trait. If you follow me on facebook, you know the past three months I have done a "31 Days of Praying for Your ______" (husband, pastor, children). I am going to now 1) write a post at the end of each week explaining what we did and 2) use the character traits as a reminder of how we can pray for our children and families.

I look forward for the next few weeks to share with you what I do at home. Remember, as I have said before, I am not a home schooling mom, and most likely will never be, but it is the responsibility of the parents to supplement at home. When you continue to educate your children in daily activities, it only enhances the hard work the teachers do at school....and this is coming from a mama who used to teach. :)

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Making Fudge

So I haven't really put anything on here yet that I've made. I've been working on a few things to share. Some of them need adjusting before I share with you, but today I'm working on Fudge and Challah. I'm going to share with you the fudge first.

I found this recipe on the Weight Watchers website. This fudge is very good and incredibly easy to make. You are supposed to put in an 8 x 8 pan, but I put the fudge to set in muffin pans. I'm including the recipe below, but the pictures I'm showing are slightly different than the recipe, and it has changed the texture just a bit. It calls for semisweet chocolate, but because I was short on it, I did half semisweet and half unsweetened. It turned out yummy, but a little more "brownie mix" type of fudge than the hard fudge you can get at The Fudgery or something. Anyway, it's delicious, easy to make, and you should have plenty to share.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

1 spray(s) cooking spray   
1 2/3 cup(s) sugar
2/3 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk
2 Tbsp reduced calorie margarine, or light butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
14 large marshmallow(s)

  • Coat an 8- X 8-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, evaporated milk and margarine (or butter); bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in chocolate and marshmallows; remove pan from heat and stir until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into thirty-six 1 1/3-inch squares and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Here's this month's batch: (I poured it in a Williams Sonoma flower muffin pan)

Weight Note: I do not eat one entire fudged cupcake. I cut into 1/8 pieces. If you do that, it's about 3 points for WW (PP). It's very good and perfect for that chocolate craving. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh The Places You Will....well, you know

Twenty-six years ago I stepped up to the front of my classroom, accepted my "diploma", and had no clue what the next years would bring. At my kindergarten graduation, I expect my teachers, Mrs. Moultrie and Mrs. Register, wondered what kind of woman I would grow to be. I was a spunky child with a ton of energy and more imagination than should be allowed in a 5 year old's head. I was gearing up for the next part of my life: first grade.   

Now here I am 26 years later. I have a child who is now graduating from kindergarten and another about to enter kindergarten. Where did the time go? As a mother I am now in the same position as my formers teachers and my parents in asking myself what is going to become of my children? What will they be? Right now my oldest wants to be a sheriff...in Texas...because apparently, the only place that has sheriffs are in Texas. My middle child wants to be a farmer....again in Texas...because farmers only live in Texas. And my youngest child, my daughter, is developing her own personality. (Yes, mom, I DID get a child just like me...and she sure doesn't march to the beat of MY drum, much like I didn't for you). Right now she wants to be a dancer. Yes, my 2 year old has told me she wants to be a dancer. Ambition seems to have a hold of all of my children, and it almost breaks my heart. Gone are the days when I make the decisions for them. 

So, I turn them over to God. I love the verse in Proverbs 22:6: "Point your kids in the right direction; when they're old they won't be lost." My husband and I have discussed so many times how to approach our children with God's Word. I have seen parents force it on their children to the point that the kids reject the teachings as soon "as they are free". I have seen others not really even supplement at home what the children learn from Sunday School and Wednesday night services. Some times those kids continue to grow in the Lord, other times the kids fall away from the Word because they never knew the importance of being FED all the time, not just Sundays and Wednesdays. What we've decided is to lead by example. Having a relationship with God is not just going to church, it is actually having a relationship with God! You can't have a good relationship with someone if you just barely speak to them once or twice a week. It involves daily conversations, questions, seeking, singing, giving praises (You know that God rejoices with us?! How awesome is that?!!), and having quiet moments. Some times a good relationship is just enjoying each other's company and comfort. Joe and I want to teach this to our kids. 

I found a great verse this morning in 2 Timothy 3: 14-17: "Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother's milk! There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." 

So what are the tasks God has for my children? I'm not quite sure, and I may never know, but I pray that God will reign in their decisions. I know they will make mistakes, we all do, but the Lord has plans for my children that will help them to grow into incredible adults, and hopefully they will find the joy of sharing the Lord with their children. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My shameful addictions...the confessions of an indulgent

This morning as I was preparing for the day, my daughter comes into the bathroom. She immediately cozies up on the toilet (lid down, of course) and watches as I go through my morning routine of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. She picked up a make up brush and began immediately "applying makeup" they way she sees me do on so many mornings such as this. I froze. My mind did one of those things you see on TV where I suddenly saw my daughter at 12 going to school with GOBS of ridiculous make-up. She has a pretty face without it! Why ruin it with paint?! I realized at that moment that I was teaching my daughter, who is 2, to apply make up to a face that is stunning without it. I went for a loooong time without any make up. It's only been recently that I started to do the whole foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, masacara, lipstick, lip gloss stuff. It had become an addiction of mine. And then I realized that I have a lot of addictions that aren't exactly good. Not all of them are bad, and some are good in small amounts, but I have them...just like so many of us. So, here's my list of shameful addictions. I will be tempted to make excuses for them. But since that's what most addicts do, I will not make excuses.

1. Chocolate.
2. Make up
3. Dark chocolate
4. Reading
5. Chocolate ice cream
6. Glee...well, really, tv past 8 pm
7. Lindt chocolate
9. M&Ms
10. Being right
11. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
12. cold weather
13. chocolate Easter bunnies
14. refusing Barbie in my home
15. Chocolate covered-cream filled Krispy Cream donuts
16. Caffeine (tea, coke, and coffee...not any really over the other)
17. Big words that I really don't know what they mean
18. Fudge
19. The Tudors
20. ::sigh:: chocolate.

Good! Now that I got that out, I'm going to work on moderating and/or eliminating many of those things on the list. Some of them I have been aware of for a while and have started backing off. Many of them I remembered as I was making the list...and I know I have a TON more I didn't think of.

Any of you have any shameful addictions you wish to share?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lessons at home, May 9-13

As many of you know, I have one child in kindergarten and two at home. I use the website, Hubbard's Cupboard to prepare and reinforce my children's education at home and to also keep me sane. The section I use is geared for the 3 year olds (half way between my two at home), and it generally follows the regular school year. That means last week and this week (May 16-20) are the last two lessons. Most of what we do is review of letters, nursery rhymes, Bible stories, and songs. If I had started this blog earlier, I would have tracked for yall what we have done. But since I didn't, I'll just have to show you what we did last week. The theme? Butterflies!! Here's what we did:

1. We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2. We watched a video of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly (love that YouTube, sometimes)
3. They made their first butterfly (steps shown below)

a. materials                                          b. draw an outline of a butterfly

c. Cut out butterfly                                  d. peel half of butterfly and tape to the table (see tape?)

e. cut out squares in tissue paper and have them attach to one side of the butterfly

f. Fold top half of butterfly over to seal the colors (I added pipe cleaners and eyes)

 4. Symmetrical Butterflies (it didn't work as well for me because the painted dried too quickly but they got the point) 


5. Butterfly clothes pin alphabet



They had a ball this week! We talked about how the stages of a butterfly reflect our relationship with God. I LOVE this website and look forward to doing it in more depth with Abigail next year! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye...or until next time

Like most people, saying goodbye to someone is extremely hard for me to do. From a young age, I was quickly accustomed to pain of someone leaving the every day business of my life. Some of them I was prepared for them to go before the time came, others it came so quickly that there was no time to give that final hug, to say those final words you hope they would take with them. I learned early, early on how to handle someone possibly (or definitely, as in some cases) never being in my life again.

Some people take it decently well. They have the right words to say, and when the time comes, they are ::sigh:: ready. Others are extremely dramatic. Tears, pleadings, etc. I handle goodbyes by just cutting myself off. I almost compartmentalize their leaving. "Okay. They are leaving. ::out box::" I am a quiet goodbyer. As a student, on the last day of school I used to walk the hall ways and let the memories flow of the previous year, or years if it was a school I was leaving. I always wanted to be the last person a teacher saw on the last day of school. When I left for college, I was a little more prepared to say goodbye, but I felt that most things wouldn't change. I would still have my best friends. As I left college, though, I knew better. Relationships were never going to be the same. We all were closing those chapters. So I developed my soft way of saying goodbye. I would just say my peace and then back off to deal with it on my own. And it isn't always the best way to handle things.

Just recently a very, very good friend of mine moved. I have had other friends move away, but when K announced she was leaving, my heart broke. I'm a quirky girl (mostly at heart now), and she is one of the few people in this world who not only accepts that I'm not girly, girly, but she encourages my creativity and loves me for what I try to offer the world. She is one of the few people who doesn't take offense to what I say, and I think it's because she knows that I tend to have foot-in-mouth disease, and I don't ever really mean to hurt someone. K was and is one of those few friends who come in my life that really just makes me feel like I can be me. And then she moved.

After two years of really developing such a great friendship with this young lady, in her final days here in Charleston, I mucked things up by pushing her away. I said my bit in my own way, cried silently as I wrote a goodbye card, cried all over her shoulder Sunday morning as the church prayed for their moving, and then backed off. I had an opportunity to say a personal goodbye to her and her lovely boys and didn't take the chance. I just knew that I couldn't get through it without crying again. And I'm an ugly crier.

So with that all being said, K, I will miss you. I will miss your friendship, your creativity, your encouragement (where were you tonight at Waist Up/Waist Down class?! She about killed me!!), and your gentle way of telling me I am in the wrong. Don't think you are getting rid of me. I am already planning a trip this summer to see you. And I don't like Florida. Or the heat. But I love you. :) So I will see you then!

And for the rest of you who I have ever said goodbye to, please know that I'm not trying to be a jerk when I don't say goodbye. I just really stink at them.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: A Virtuous Woman

Going from a very structured lifestyle of teaching, to staying at home has brought so many challenges. I've mentioned before how the first few months of staying at home were tough. I just couldn't figure out how to handle my household and how, exactly, I was going to organize my  home. For years I had promised Joe that when I stayed at home I would make sure the house stayed clean, and we would eat out less. When I was blessed enough to actually stay home, I found it was harder than I thought to keep my promise. I had observed other SAHMs and how they reacted towards their husbands. Some of them took complete advantage of being able to stay at home and were lazy and spent all of their husbands' money. Others were uber-submissive to their husbands. Very little decisions were made without approval of the husband. I knew I didn't want to be the first type, and being the second type didn't work for JOE (and honestly, I'm a pretty smart woman. I wanted my husband to trust my decisions). One woman I have always admired was the Proverbs 31 wife and mother. I always wanted to have my children and husband one day say such wonderful things about me. Not only did she take care of her home, she also took care of others, and still kept her independence. She was a working woman whom her children adored and her husband respected. I wanted to be her!

So I started to google websites that had Bible studies on the Proverbs 31 wife. When I did, I stumbled upon probably one of the best resources a SAHM could use: avirtuouswoman.org. There is really too much for me to elaborate on everything, so I am going to focus on a few of the things from this website I found truly beneficial.

1. "From Chaos to Calm" Bible study. This Monday-Friday, 15 week Bible study focused on helping wives and mothers really take care of being at home. Each day would focus on how to support your husband, how to love your children, how to take care of yourself, how to clean your house, how to prepare yourself and your family for worshiping the Lord, and so much more. It starts off with giving a brief overview, and then gets into details about each part. As part of the study, you are required to keep a notebook and a journal. This in itself has been such a big help. I really feel like I'm doing a job that I love and my relationship with God is so much better than it has ever been. I cannot tell you how many times I would open the Bible study for the day to find words perfect for what I needed that day. I cannot say enough good things about this Bible study.

2. Recipes: This website has provided me with some very good recipes. The creator of the website is dedicated to making sure she provides nutritional meals for her family, and she shares them with others. She shares her personal recipes and ones she has come across. This is where I got the recipe for the Challah I made for Passover week (which, by the way, was SO GOOD!!) This is also where I was encouraged to start Meatless Mondays with my family. Although we are still working out the kinks on this one, she offers so many resources to help plan your menu.

3. Forums: This website provides forums for just about anything a SAHM could need (or really any wife or mother). For example, I am part of the following groups: A Woman After God's Heart, Nature's Natural Remedies, Let's Get Crafty, SAHMs, and Devotionals and Reflections. Every day I get useful tips, prayer requests, or ideas emailed to me from hundreds of other moms using the same site. It is great!!

There is really so much more I could say about A Virtuous Woman. It has really helped me get my feet on the ground, and I'm not sure I would have been able to get this organized on my own. Even if you are a working mom, I would recommend this website to you. Why not get blessed as well?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Daily lessons with the kids at home

Since I reviewed Hubbards Cupboard last week, I wanted to give an example of what we have done this week through this resource. This week's theme is "Zero Means None At All". We use Psalm 51 (yet ANOTHER incredible Psalm!!) as a base for what we are covering this week. Yesterday we read Psalm 51 and memorized (with homemade hand motions) John 3:16. We talked about how Jesus wipes away ALL our sins. Today, we worked on the letter "Z" and then made a craft to reflect how Jesus blocks all of our sins. Tomorrow we will review and then do a few activities involving zippers and zig-zags.

Here is one of the crafts:
Step 1: Make our own water color paint

 Step 2: While making the paint, have them color inside a circle. Mine didn't do that great of a job, but you get the point.
Step 3: Have them paint over their paper with black (our sins) and red (Jesus's blood). The crayon will resist the paint (or it should, I think my recipe was a bit strong or they just didn't color well enough) 

Step 4: While the papers are drying, have them work on identifying words based on what letter they begin with. If it starts with a "Z" it goes on the left, otherwise, the picture goes on the right. 

Step 5: Display artwork (this is perfect for us to review with Daddy during dinner time)

 Here is an up close picture of the final product.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NOT A REVIEW...just talking about food

With three kids, I am bound to have at least one who is a picky eater. My kids, though, seem to rotate when they want to picky and when they don't. Some days it's all I can do to give them enough fruits and vegetables. Other days all they insist on eating is pizza. And then there are the days when I just can't seem to get it right; Nothing I fix is good enough. It makes menu planning difficult. I never know when any or all of them will be agreeable.

Joe and I decided early, early on that they will eat what we fix, or they don't eat. We just don't have the money, and I just don't have the patience to be a short order cook. I do, though, try to instill in my children a desire to eat healthy. I make most of my meals with fresh ingredients, as I do my best at perimeter shopping (making most of my groceries come from the perimeter of the store...fruits, veggies, dairy, fresh meat, fresh breads, and frozen foods). I have decided to leave a basket of fresh fruit on the table at all times. They are welcome to eat from that at any point during the day when they feel hungry. It works well, and I am constantly having to replenish the basket full of oranges and apples (that's the fruit of the day right now).

When I was learning to cook, my dad passed down a piece of advice that his grandmother passed down to him: your plate should be colorful. Funny how that simple phrase is becoming the new food fad today (heard it on Dr.Oz just last week). So as I was developing my craft of cooking for those at home, I always try to have some yellows, greens, and oranges on my plate. Not only does it make it visually appealing, but it is much better for you. God has provided such a rainbow of food for us for a reason. We should be making our plates an edible artwork. Now that I have random picky eaters, I have tried to not only incorporate the colors and fresh food, but I'm trying to make it fun. I found a plate today (I've seen them before, but seeing it today reminding me of how it is a great idea) that had a face on it. The purpose is to encourage the children to use their food to decorate the face, and then eat it. I am either going to make some plates for my family (using my incredibly talented husband to make faces that look like my kids) or I'm going to buy some plates. I'm looking forward to trying this new thing for our house.

Just like so many other mothers, I want my children to eat, and eat well. Hopefully they will learn that trying new things is fun, and hopefully they will develop healthy eating habits that will keep them healthy and to teach their children to be healthy as well.

Here was my attempt at today's creation (apple pieces with 2 tsp of caramel dip, carrot slices with 2 tsp of ranch dressing, a turkey corndog with all natural ketchup):

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Being a SAHM v. Being a Teacher, part 2

As stated last week, this review is a two-parter. I wanted to make a post about both of the jobs I have had, since I believe they both deserve their own space. Both of them  will focus on the job itself, comment on how it has affected my relationships, and comment on my role as mother during both jobs.

Growing up I was taught that a woman can do anything, doesn't need a man to make it in this world, and that getting an education was number ONE priority. I was very independent, very determined, and very goal-oriented. The Jana of 15 years ago would NEVER have been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). I was smart, creative, and fun! Why not share those gifts with the world?! And I did. I used that drive and all those qualities in my profession of teaching, and then I had kids.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had fleeting thoughts of being a SAHM. I didn't want other people raising my child. But he came, and I signed my contract to teach another year. One more year, I thought. Then we'll work on saving so I can stay at home. Eight weeks after my first child was born, we found out we were pregnant with our second child. Hospital bills from the first pregnancy were still looming over us, and we were faced with trying to pay for it all once again. My son got sick, and we had to hospitalize him. It was a crazy year of having two babies and racking up our debt where there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. We just couldn't afford for me to stay at home. There was no way.

So after I had my third child, and we were finally getting ourselves back on our feet, the opportunity had come up for me to stay at home. Once I had started having kids, our goal was for me to work until J, our oldest, went to school. It seemed far-fetched at the beginning, but suddenly a reality when the time came upon us. God worked in so many ways to open doors for me to stay at home. I was getting burned out at school, my husband was getting a new job, and we were FINALLY getting in to our own home (long story for another time). It just worked. And now I am officially a SAHM. Will I ever go back to teaching? I do know. I really don't. The original plan was for me to stay at home until Abigail, our third child, started 2nd grade. That would put my oldest in middle school. The more I read about how important it is to have an adult home for the kids to see when they get off the bus, and to have an adult present at all events, the more I realize that I may never go back to working in the professional world. At this point, I still don't know.

Let me say this first, just because I am a SAHM and have a teaching degree does not mean I am homeschooling my children. I cannot tell you how many times people just assumed. I do not want to home school my kids. This subject is for another post, but I wanted to make it clear that I am not doing all the educating myself here. I am supplementing.

The job of a SAHM:
Being a SAHM ranks right up there with teaching as being one of the hardest jobs I've ever done. I did not want to be one of those moms that watched tv all day, or slept all day, or spent my husband's money all day. I wanted to be frugal, responsible, busy, and educational. The first few months were tough. I struggled with finding my purpose and a schedule at home. I found myself getting into the habit of just turning on the tv and then sort of piddling around the house. God placed on my heart a desire to really take responsibility for my new job. I decided that being a SAHM was a job. The last thing I wanted was for my husband to come home and see that he is working to keep me fat and happy all day. I wanted him to know I was working just as hard to make sure the house was clean, the food was made, the children were nurtured, and I was determined to be a great HOUSE MANAGER. I even created an evaluation form for him to fill out on me once every 3 months. After research, I found some incredible websites that helped me get organized. One, http://avirtuouswoman.org, helped me to create schedules, menu plans, chore charts, etc. I will be reviewing this website in the next few days. Another being the Hubbard's Cupboard that I reviewed last week. Both of those websites helped me to organize my home, be a better mother and wife, and to help prepare the little ones I have at home for school. I really do have a busy, busy schedule!

How it has affected my relationships:
Switching roles to be a SAHM has really affected all of my relationships. First, my husband: Joe and my relationship has grown so much over this first year of me being at home. We are praying for each other on a much more regular basis than before. I really, really want to make my husband happy. And when he is happy, so am I! If you ever read The Love Dare or The Five Love Languages, both of those books talk about if you want your spouse to love you, you must show you love him/her first! It was so hard for me to do that when I was teaching. We were both whirlwinds passing each other. Now, I am able to talk to my husband during the day, sometimes meet him for lunch, plan menus together, and create family time together. I am so happy! Second, my children: when I was teaching, I was not the best mom. I was the best working mom I could be, but it just wasn't enough. I wanted to go to my kids' first days of school, volunteer at their schools, nurture them, and supplement their education by providing educational activities at home. My fuse was SO short, and my spiritual life was not visible to them. I have bonded with my children so much better than I ever thought I would now that I am home. God is still working on me as a mom, but is this job ever complete? One of the great things I love to do with my children that I just didn't have the time for before was talking about God. My oldest son and I pray every morning. He has become SUCH a great prayer warrior! Just this morning, we talked about how I  was confessing my sins to God. He got real silent, and tears began to flow. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, "Mom, I was silently talking to God and asking him to forgive me for misbehaving yesterday." I know without a doubt that I would have missed out on this if I was teaching! Third, it has affected my friendships. It has affected my friendship in two ways. Before I had decent relationships with all of my friends. I felt closer to my working, professional friends because they understood what it was to be a working mom. And although I still keep up with my working mom friends, there are times I feel they are pulling away from me. It's natural for someone to slowly exclude you from the group because you aren't there to see what is going on anymore. It makes me sad, and it is encouraging me to really focus on continuing my friendship with those ladies. They are special to me, and hopefully I can be someone they feel they can still talk to. On the other hand, it has helped me increase my relationship with other SAHMs. This is something I want to work on more as well. I have over-scheduled myself to the point of having to "pencil-in" times to be with these ladies. I do, though, appreciate these friendships on another level that I didn't experience before.

One final thing about being a SAHM: I know that being a SAHM is not meant for everyone. Not everyone can afford it. Some moms need that working environment and still manage to be incredible moms at home. When I was teaching, I felt looked down upon by so many SAHMs. They may not have intended it, but there were times were I felt pressured to quit working. I will never, ever do that.

With that being said, I will recommend this profession. For those working moms who just can't fathom being at home all day, worried that it might be boring, or there might not be enough to do, being a SAHM is really, really a busy job. A mom can make it boring by sitting at home watching Soaps all day, but if you look at it like a job, you will see there is just never enough hours in a day to get stuff done. My tv is rarely on, and I stay busy. If you can make it happen, do it! God made you a mother for a reason; He knows you can handle the responsibility. Whether you make the choice to continue to work or to take some time off to be with your kids, know that I understand both sides and support you. :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Conflicted News

I will never, NEVER forget that early morning on September 11, 2001. I will never forget the faces of my future students when they heard the news, as they silently watched the tvs in each classroom, as I saw tears streaming down their faces, as I saw frantic military parents signing out their children because they were connected, somehow, to the Twin Towers falling. I will never forget how Americans bonded together in that moment. I will never forget how it has affected my friends who have husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, daughters, wives, mothers  who have been fighting to make sure this doesn't happen again. Hearing about Osama Bin Laden's death, though, gave me conflicted feelings. I am, without a doubt, relieved to hear the man who has orchestrated so much destruction and pain will no longer be able to do so. I am proud of the continuing effort the American soldiers and their Allies have worked to establish peace and a new order overseas. 

What I can't do, though, is celebrate the death of someone who may, at this moment, be suffering in Hell. Last night I saw in to the hearts of so many people who call themselves Christians. It is human nature to rejoice in the pain of someone who has caused you pain, but it is not Christian nature. I could not get over how many people said they were GLAD Osama was burning in Hell. Wow. And no wonder those who aren't Christians don't want to seek Jesus. When the people who call themselves after His name rejoice at the downfall of another person, how does that make them any more different than the rest of the world? I am reminded of the scripture in Proverbs 24: 17-18, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him." After much reflection, I decided my stance on this, if I even have a right to have a stance, is to pray for those who are affected by Osama's death. Pray that Christians will continue to seek God and His purpose; Pray that the followers of Osama do not seek revenge and, in fact, find Jesus; Pray that civilians in America continue to stay watchful; Pray that civilians in the Middle East also continue to stay watchful; Pray that the world leaders will continue to seek peace; and Pray for our soldiers who fight every day so we can have peace. 

I do not want to be like the world, for this is not my home. I know that God has a purpose for my life, and I know that when my time comes, there will be rejoicing in my death. For I will finally be at peace with my Father and in the presence of the Almighty. 

Only then is it acceptable for Christians to rejoice in another's death.