Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Christmas poem...


We see the baby laying there a meek and humble lamb

But that baby didn’t stay there

He grew up and became a man

From the stable to the cross was the reason He came to be

Not to remain a baby 

But to set the captives free

So tiny and so helpless as he lay in his mother’s arms

That baby grew up and conquered

The enemy he disarmed

Jesus left that little stable and he walked throughout the land

With a heart full of compassion

And healing in His hands

 The stable couldn’t hold him and neither could the grave

His mission was to come

To seek out and to save

So as we celebrate Christmas may we always understand 

Jesus is no longer a baby
He grew up and became a man
                                                                       Copyright  2013 Verlyn Tarlton

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The home school dad

This post was inspired by my very good friend of over thirty years, R.D. She posted pictures of her husband doing a science lesson with their children, they home school also. So, I decided to follow in her footsteps. Since I always take pictures for record keeping purposes I decided to post some as well.

The current culture does not always paint dads in a good light, especially the media. So this post is a positive one to spread a message that there are plenty of dads doing great things!

You may recall my post about my husbands accident on the job as well as he is home in the healing process. And I mean he is home all of the time... whew! Well one of the perks of him being home is his willingness to help home school/educate the children.

Here are a few pictures of a good father in action. For this I am truly thankful.

Even though his hand is injured he is teaching his son how to hold his pencil.

Whether we educate in the morning or the evening, it's always better when dad is involved. Please hear me, both of us being home all the time does present it's own set of challenges but the good far outweighs the bad.

Kudos's to all the dads who take time for their children. Your presence means everything!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Adopt a tree project

As most of you know our family loves "projects". Homeschool means lots of them all the time. Due to the fact that my computer has been away in repair I have not been able to write about the latest ones. I am happy to be able to post this one. Adopt a tree to decorate.

We went to the library to adopt a tree to decorate. This is how this project works. First you pick up the tree and then take it home to decorate it. On the appointed date the tree will be taken back to the library and judged and whoever has the most decorative tree will win a prize. After the judging all the decorated trees will be taken to the chosen senior center and given away to the elderly who live there. This will brighten their Christmas and remind them that others are thinking about them. This fits right into the theme of compassion for others and the true meaning of Christmas.

My children did all of the decorating without any help whatsoever and they were very proud to do so. I explained what the ultimate goal was, which was to decorate trees to give away and they were happy about that. They did however pray to God that they would win the contest... Oh well!

Enjoy the pictures as we listened to Christmas music while they worked on the tree.

The end result, a beautiful Christmas tree decorated and ready to give away. I wish I could say that this was a perfect and peaceful project but it wasn't without a little conflict, after all they are still children...but they did have fun!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I'm thankful for...

Thanksgiving came and left so soon. I have lots to be thankful for this year, God has been good to us. First off, I have my computer back, even though it's on it's last leg and soon I'll have to get another but for now it works and all of my documents and pictures are saved! Yipee!

Next, the boys are doing better. They have been battling colds and pneumonia while running back and forth to the doctor's office. Thank God they are now sleeping soundly at night and so am I.

Waiting to be seen at the doctor's office...They look pretty happy don't they?

Now they are singing while we wait!!

I am also thankful that my husband still has his fingers after his accident on the table saw at work.

The boys were actually under the weather still when their birthday arrived and we had to cancel the party we set up for them but we did a little something for them at home which they enjoyed. They got to eat ice cream and cake for cool is that?

Happy Birthday boys!!

Had to party at home until they got better...

Cake and ice cream for breakfast???  Yes, it's true.

My first born had her baby shower and it was a great success. Things were lovely, the food was good and I got to see lots of old friends and church family. She was blessed with many gifts for the grandbaby. It's getting close to that time.

My first born. I love her so much! Beautiful inside and out!

What a great Thanksgiving, things may not be perfect but all in all we have lots to be thankful for. Now we must start thanks "giving" which will turn into thanks"living"... Many blessings to all as we prepare for Advent.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The man in the fight

As I sit here typing on a computer that's not my own I am also waiting on the fate of mine. My computer crashed and with that I await the verdict to see if anything can be saved. Everything that means anything to me was on that computer, all of my pictures, my writings that include devotionals, finished and unfinished books, poetry, my favorite websites and articles I saved to read in the future.

This happened along with all the other things that are going on in my life as it is being rearranged by my husbands accident. At this point everything seems to be turned upside down, my house, my home school schedule etc. It then occurred to me that sometimes life is a fight, it's not set up to be free and clear of struggles and unexpected trials.

Years ago I heard a quote "it's not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man" so I fight but this is a different kind of fight, this fight begins on my knees, this fight is fought through prayer. I pray for a solution and while I wait I pray for peace and then carry on

I was at a loss in terms of blogging because I wanted to blog on my computer and use my pictures and images. Then I realized if everything is lost on my computer I can't stop blogging, I have to carry on and take a different approach.

The quote "it's not the size of the man in the fight but the fight in the man" is profound and as it came to me I was beginning to feel discouraged about everything I may have lost on my computer. I began to be encouraged as I realized it is out of my hands anyway and so I pray. Sometimes a simple word can carry you through what seems to be a difficult trial.

Consider the last time you went through a trial or had to deal with an issue. Is there a quote, saying or a song that encouraged you? If so please share it. We would love to hear it... who knows it may encourage someone else today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

All hands on deck!

Happy November! We are just weeks away from Thanksgiving and there's a lot to be thankful for. For starters, the accident my husband had on his job is bringing us closer. My husband has not returned to work yet, under doctor's orders and we have been doing things differently.

It's amazing how much we take for granted, like the use of our hands. I look around the house and I think to tell my husband something needs to be fixed or moved but then I remember that right now he can't move or fix anything. So we either wait or I have to do it myself, if possible. Quite a change has taken place in our house but more good things than not! I see God in this in so many ways.

So our leaves have been piled up for a while as we have plenty of trees on our little one acre lot...not so little when you have to rake it! So today we decided not to wait any longer. We wrapped up, got our rakes and got working.

Now keep in mind that the children can stay outside bike riding and playing with friends for hours and I mean hours and never complain one bit. Today, however, after about thirty minutes of raking I heard the following: "I'm tired, some thing is in my shoe, can we stop now, I stuck myself " I could go on but you get the point.

It's amazing, they were ready to go in. I wonder why? I simply said " Oh my goodness, I didn't know you guys got so tired so fast, the next time you play outside you won't play so long". Immediately my six year old jumped up and got to work, the other two followed her. 

Afterwards I fixed everyone hot chocolate (even though it was not cold outside) and they were actually very proud of all the leaves we raked and bagged. Of course the children got the "responsibility speech" about us all having to chip in and help dad as well as showing gratitude for our home by cleaning it and taking care of it, they might as well learn it now.  

When it was all said and done we did lots of work and had lots of fun . We only did the front, we still have the driveway, the sides and the back. Better get more hot chocolate!

This was a great family experience and a first. I NEVER rake leaves, my husband is so good at it. This accident is causing us to work together more to get things done. Did I mention for five years I have been praying for a live in nanny? Well now I have one but please don't tell my husband he's it!

...everyday talk for everyday women

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

God's hands and feet

The past two weeks have been a big blur. So much has gone on since my husband's accident at work and it seems I am behind in everything in my life right now. I know eventually I'll catch up but it all seems a little over whelming. However, in all of this, God has been faithful and I have seen His love and grace demonstrated through our church family, friends and neighbors.

Even though my washing is piled up, I'm behind in my writing/blogging, I have missed classes, home school lessons are behind and I had to cancel a major field trip we are stilled very blessed. Anyone who has small children or children at all knows how much time is spent in the kitchen preparing meals and then cleaning up afterwards. Well with that said, if it were not for the love of my church family and friends our family would be eating cereal for every meal. I have not had the time nor the energy to do the usual cooking and cleaning up. 

When the word got out that my husband had an accident at work and ended up in surgery my church family and friends sprang into action! Before I knew it I had meals already prepared and coming to my door. One of my church friends who has three small children of her own showed up at my door with a veggie medley that was out of this world. Our church administrator dropped off a large package of fruit, snacks and cookies. My neighbor/friend who also attends our church prepared our favorite rice meal and sent an additional frozen dish for later. Another neighbor/friend sent food and dessert. We had our friends from a class at church drop off meals and a yummy pie. Just last night another friend from our class at church dropped off meals that were broken down for each of our children in bags for lunch and breakfast, this included at least sixteen sandwiches along with a host of other snacks and fruit. My husband and I stood there, after a full day of traveling a total of three hours seeing the doctor and doing other paper work due to his injury, we were in awe as we opened the bags of sorted goodies. We were drained when we came home but after seeing all of this we were energized with gratitude. 

During this time our friends and my mom have supported us by watching our three children so we could travel to appointments. I am doing all the driving now and all the appointments are about three hours round trip just on the road not including the stopping to pick up and drop off paper work. So  having someone to watch the children during these times are a God send for us all. 

My husband's hand is bandaged for now so just the small task of taking out the trash is now major and it began to pile up in the garage. Our neighbor helped out by driving my husband's truck to the dump and they took both our trash and the neighbor's trash as well as he had someone to help him unload it all. This too was a tremendous blessing! 

We have had calls and cards letting us know that many are praying for our family. The prayers are working as we continue to see God move daily. We are thankful for the prayers that carry us through.

I am thankful for every blessing this accident has brought. We have seen the love of God in it all. When we look at our church family and our friends as they drop off food, take our children in and tell us they are praying, we see the face of God. We are God's hands and feet and as we love other's, God's love shines through. You see God may not physically come down here but He works through us to bless others, we are His representatives here on earth.

Although my husband's hand is bandaged, God's hands are free and working through others. We thank God  so much for our friends and church family. Now as our family has been blessed by and through others we must go likewise and do the same.         

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let's play!

My how times have changed. It seems that playing outside is a lost art. I notice that most children have some form of electronic now and would rather stay indoors and play with it and not go outside to get fresh air. I have actually seen children go outside, play for all of two minutes, get tired and retreat indoors. Better yet I have seen children sitting outside playing with an electronic device instead of running around and enjoying the outdoors. Is this a good trend? You be the judge.

Am I against electronics and technology? Of course not, however, there ought to be a balance between technology and good old fashioned physical playing. It seems that technology and electronic devices are taking over our children. They have become substitutes for people and play.

I remember growing up and being so excited about going out to play with my neighborhood friends, especially since I am an only child. During the school year I would have to do my homework and then I was able to go outside and during the summer I had chores to do before going outside. Getting outside to run and play was the ultimate goal.

Play is not just play it is also a child's life line. During play time children learn the fundamentals of sharing, communication, conflict resolution, relationship building and many other concepts. Moreover, they learn how to connect with others. These types of life building skills can't be learned via electronic device. The truth is some things are taught while other things are caught.

Playing is important to the growth and development of healthy children both inside and out. There is no greater joy to be seen on a child's face than when they play with others while the sun shines on them and their faces beam with joy and delight.


What fond memories do you have of playing outside? Please post and share your comments, we would love to hear them. A part two of this post may be in the making, stay tuned.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A very thankful Sunday...

This Sunday I am very thankful for God's faithfulness. My husband had an accident on his job this week that required him to have surgery. He was using a circular saw and cut through his fingers but God is faithful and his fingers were not lost. As a matter of fact it was the hand he does not write with.

While we know that accidents happen, we're never really prepared for them. But some how, in a way I was prepared and did not even know it. You see the night before right in the dining room we were watching videos on youtube. It started out with veggie tales and then I switched gears and found my favorite artist and favorite song. "When I Call on Jesus" by Nicole C. Mullen. I played it over and over, even my four year old wanted to hear it multiple times.

Little did I know I would need the strength of this song to carry me through my ordeal the next day. My husband needed surgery and so I ended up staying at the hospital until late that night. The children were at a friends house and I needed to get home as it was approaching ten p.m.. I found my way to the hospital but did not know how to get back home and home was an hour and a half away, I had a long ride a head of me, it was raining hard and my gas tank was on empty. Need I mention I was exhausted mentally and physically? 

I started to wonder how I was going to get back home alone but I had to stay and make sure my husband was stabilized and they thought he might be able to go home that night. Some how in my heart I know it would be ok because I was praying for God to help me find my way to the gas station and then home in the dark and in the rain and stay up for that long ride. 

Earlier that evening our pastor showed up unexpectedly, after all we were a long way away from home. I figured he was leaving soon as it was getting late. As it turned out he stayed with me until my husband woke up from surgery. He made sure I got to my van, showed me the way to the gas station and then led me on to the place where I was familiar. My prayers had been answered and God rescued me that night.  

After I got to where I could find my way home I began to cry as I realized God had taken care of me that night. He sent an angel via my pastor. I cried tears of joy as I worshipped God for hearing my cry and I was safely home with my children close to midnight that night.

If ever there is a song or scripture on your heart pay attention and take it all in. You never know whether or not it's your strength or prayer for the coming day or event. God could be preparing you for something to come. When I was singing about calling on Jesus I had no idea the next day I would really be calling on Him, that song strengthened my faith and prepared my heart.

Please click on the link below and enjoy the song which is my testimony for that night.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Painting sunflowers

It seems like a lifetime since my last post. My life appears to be inundated with classes to teach, classes to attend, must read books for these classes, homeschooling and just life in general. We have been to the county and state fair this month as well as a variety of other field trips. Time is passing by faster than I can keep up with.

So now finally I'm taking the time to write again. Sure feels great! So what's going on in our house now?

Like most children my children love to paint and create. Did I mention get messy? Back to my point. Sometimes they paint freely choosing whatever they want while other times I try to cultivate the skill of painting different strokes and I pick something for them to focus on to paint. We used sunflowers as an object, see the results below. They enjoyed this art lesson. Hope you do too!

Observation time

Using the sense of smell

Looking very carefully

How does the water feel?

Getting started

Just for the record I did not sit the flowers out and then tell the children to paint them. There is a process we use before we paint any object. First we talked about the sunflowers, the colors, the parts including the seeds, this is observation, where we mix science and art. We revisited the time when we planted them in our yard last spring. We then take the time to feel and smell the flowers. Some parts are soft and others are course. I let them explore and then when they were ready they painted the sunflowers.

I showed them how to make the seeds with the bristles of the brush, the type of strokes to create the petals and how to paint the stem of the flower with smooth strokes. I'm not an artist, just using some deductive reasoning.... maybe?  Not sure how much they actually picked up but they tried!

When it was all said and done, they were pleased with their pictures and so was I...