Month: November 2012 (page 2 of 3)

Friends

I am blessed to have many friends!  I miss them LOTS these days.  I am working really hard not to be sad that I am not able to figure out this time difference enough to make phone calls at times that make sense for us and them.  (Stinking time zones!  Stinking home school!  Stinking…okay I will be more positive!)  I miss you, all of you!

My kids are missing their friends too!  It’s okay, this is normal, but it does make us sad from time to time.  We are making new friendships though!  Last Saturday, our friends Micah and Sydney got to come and play for a while.  It was fun!  Today Abigail, Caitlyn and Noah came to play.  It was fun!  We like laughter, fun, happiness!  

We miss our old friends more than anyone could ever know, yet at the same time, we are so VERY thankful for the new friendships that are being built.  We will now just have new friends to fill our hearts alongside the spaces that are filled with our friends from Texas!  I think this means that our hearts are growing bigger, right?!

Noah, Caitlyn, Grace, Abigail, and Ben
Sydney “the cat” and Grace
(Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of our friend Micah yet.)

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Dinner time around our table

I love to sit at the table as a family!  It’s a really big deal for me.  I think it stems from the fact that we always ate dinner at the table as a family when I was growing up.  I really cannot remember ever eating out, unless we were on vacation or it was a really special something.  We spent time at the table.  Our table growing up was pretty quiet.  My dad and I would usually get in trouble for being silly, but my mom and sister were always quiet!

Dinner at our house these days, is LOUD!  We are loving our times to get to sit around our table and enjoy family time.  Ben prays, Micah and Grace get silly, and I am trying to settle everyone down.  (We leave our windows open a lot here in California, and I am really worried about our new camp family wondering what on earth we are doing!)  It’s loud and it’s fun!  I need to relax a bit more, because these are memories!  As my Aunt Joyce would say, we are making a memory.  (I actually think that was from a Gloria Gaither book or something, but she loves to say it!)  I want my kids to have fun memories around the table, because I treasure my memories!

So, here’s to loud, silly, memory-makin’ dinner time around the table at The Beard House!  Come join us any time!

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Nighttime on the Mountain Road

We went to town this afternoon.  Had to visit the bank, Home Depot, and of course, the three story Target.  After our running around, we went and had dinner.  Micah asked me if I would drive home.  I have no problem driving, except for the fact that it was already dark and I have never driven the mountain road at night.  Yikes!  I said I would drive, as though it was no big deal!

Let me explain our road a bit.  It has the most sharp curves of any road I have ever seen!  I am comfortable with it during the day.  I just take it slow and easy, and have learned which curves are the sharpest.  Lance Armstrong even wrote about our Palomar Mountain Road in one of his books.  He said it is the second toughest road he has ever ridden!  Wow!

Anyway, it really has gotten to be no big deal during the day, but the nighttime is a whole other story!  When you don’t have the curves memorized, and it is pitch black, you rely on the markings on the road.  When the curves are super sharp, you can’t see much marking as you are turning.  Let me just say that we went a bit slower than usual.  It’s not that I feel like we are going to fall off of a mountain or anything like that, it is just that you feel like you are doing nothing but “leaning to the left, leaning to the right” the entire way up!

We made it fine, and I am sure that the next time (not that I am wanting to drive that road at night too much) it will be a bit easier!

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Creation reveals HIS majesty!

I am still in awe everyday here on the mountain!  I honestly think (I certainly hope) that I will be in awe forever of God’s creation.  When you look at mountains, and how beautifully sculpted they are and then look out over the valley at all of the intricate details, you really must stop and realize that Creator God is AWESOME!  Today was beautiful, and the kids and I had to go to the post office to mail a few packages.  (Our little post office is amazing, by the way.  Ms. Lori, the postmaster, knows you by name and takes good care of us!)  We stopped at one of the little lookouts on the way home so that I could snap some pictures with my phone.  Here is what I got:

I only had my phone or the pictures would have been better, and I have learned that my pictures do not yet do this mountain justice.  I think that I am going to have to start learning more about photography!  Anyway, as I stood there looking out and seeing the sun’s reflection on the ocean in the distance, the song Indescribable came to mind.  I have posted the video of Laura Story’s version of the song below.  Enjoy!

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School Days, School Days

It is our second week of school, and I am so glad that we are close to a holiday.  Not because we will get time off, but because it has made my lesson planning a bit easier.  It is easy to make learning fun when it is centered around a holiday!
Here are some things we did today:
K-W-L chart about the history of Thanksgiving.  The orange and yellow pieces of paper are from our “Did you know?” basket.  This was fun!
Our “Did you know?” basket.  I found facts about Thanksgiving and wrote them on pieces of paper.  I had the kids draw out two facts each and we then decided if it was something we already knew, something we wanted to know, or something we had just learned from the book we read.  They loved this!  It’s amazing what the element of surprise will do for an activity!
We made turkeys!  Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of Ben and Grace’s before we took them to hang in Micah’s office.  This one is mine.  (Don’t be too impressed!  Ha! Ha!)
Some of the books we will read.  (Can you tell I was a Kindergarten teacher?)
I also found the Plymouth Plantation website.  It has some really great resources and two virtual field trips.  Really great site for those of you that may need it.  Check it out at:  www.plimoth.org
I am still learning quite a bit about this home schooling thing, but I can definitely see the potential.  Please continue to pray for us (the kids and I) as we learn how to work together each day.  I worry most about Grace and her socialization.  I want her to have friends to do things with, and not regret that we have made this major change.  Pray that I will do all I can to foster her love for learning and meet her needs adequately without placing unrealistic expectations on her.  Pray that Ben will continue to learn the routine with each day, and that his reading ability would flourish in the coming months.  This is our big push with him right now!  Most of all, please pray that our hearts will continue to be filled with the peace and joy that only God can give!  

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Church Visitors and Sunday Naps

It’s been a LONG time since I was a church visitor.  Even when we have “visited” churches, it is because we know someone there or something about the church.  These days, we are trusting websites to tell us about churches and trusting the Lord to lead us to our new church family.  (We should really rely more heavily on the latter, don’t you think?)

Last week, we dropped Micah’s mom off and just literally found a close church with a time that would work into our schedule.  It was good, but not where we would call home.

This week, I searched many websites and came to Micah with three choices.  We ended up in Temecula, CA (one hour away, which is how far everything is) at Sunridge Community Church.  We took full advantage of the visitor parking spaces right in front!  (I told Micah that we would take advantage of those until we joined someplace!)  We chose this church based on the information we saw about their children’s ministry.  You know, it’s totally different looking for a church when your children are in 4th and 2nd grade!  You expect A LOT!  We want them in a place where they hear the word of God and learn how to apply that to their lives.  We want them to grow spiritually each time they are there, not just “have fun.”  (Fun is important, and it would be awesome to find a place with both.)  Anyway, Grace went to “Block 45” and Ben went to “2nd level”.  Cute names, right?!

Micah and I went to service, and the pastor started with “If you are a visitor today, this is not a NORMAL service for us.”  That is not what a visitor wants to hear.  It’s almost like, “Man, we need to run to another church that is having a normal service so that we can really get good information to make our decision.”  They were basically introducing each and every ministry/minister at their church, talking about what God had done this year, and what their plans are for the future.  It was actually good for us to hear all of that, because now we have an idea of what they are about.  We did not meet anyone, and no one really even commented about being a visitor when we dropped the kids off.  Everyone seemed nice enough and we will probably visit again at some point.  Visiting is hard, especially when you have expectations.  The Lord will guide us, we know that without a doubt!

I have loved this verse since my sophmore year, when we were encouraged to memorize it at Lake Tomahawk youth camp.  It’s one that is used LOTS, but it really is a promise that God gives to us and that we should treasure.  I rest in this promise daily and as we search for a new church home.
Jeremiah 29:11-13:  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


On another note, I had a “Sunday nap” today.  When I was growing up in a Pastor’s home, Sunday was a very busy day, as you can well imagine.  Somehow, my mom made Sundays really special.  Lunch was ready when we walked in the door from church (usually a roast or chicken and rice).  My sister and I would run and change our clothes, then go to the kitchen to set the table and fill the glasses while Mom finished lunch.  By the time the table was ready, Dad would walk through the door and take off his coat.  He would sit down and we would have lunch.  After lunch, my sister and I would clear the table while mom cleaned everything else (yes, we were spoiled).  After the kitchen was clean, it was time for sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper, watching football, doing homework, and DEFINITELY NAPPING!!!!!  Those were the best naps ever!  Mom would often have to wake me up for evening church.

Today, we got home around 1:45.  I took one of those lovely, peaceful, uninterrupted naps!!!! Micah was awesome because he napped on the couch so that he could attend to any needs that the children had.  They are getting pretty good at chilling with a movie these days though, so he got some good rest too.  It was great!  This helps us prepare for the week ahead.  I am so thankful for rest!

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Never a dull moment!

Ben woke up at 5:00 am this morning.  I think that he came and “dug” his way into our bed around 5:30 am.  He was pulling at the front of his hair, and Micah asked him what was wrong.  He said, “I put it in my hair.”  (This is never a good statement!)  Micah says, “What did you put in your hair?”  At this point, all I am thinking is that everyone needs to go back to sleep!  It is, after all, Saturday morning, super cold, cloudy…all the perfect conditions for SLEEPING IN!!!!!  This was just not going to happen, so I rolled over and felt of Ben’s head.

Wait for it…wait for it…Okay, it was modeling clay!  Yep, blue modeling clay.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, where on earth did he get modeling clay at 5:00 am?  Some of you (because I know who is reading this) are probably even thinking there should not have been modeling clay anywhere in his vicinity!

Well, last week we visited a church.  He and Grace came out of their classes with all sorts of goodies.  One of which was a huge ball of blue modeling clay!  I thought that I had confiscated all of it, and thrown it away, but, ALAS, that there was a piece that I missed.  So, modeling clay made its way to Ben’s hair.

I have learned that olive oil is great for getting things out of hair.  I am certain that it is great for moisturizing the locks as well!

Ben is now “clay free” and knows that he should never wake his mommy up on a cold, dreary Saturday for such nonsense ever again.  Never a dull moment!

OH…we did not get snow!  Another reason I should have been sleeping in!

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Preparing for the snow!

I heard a few mentions at the beginning of this week, that we may get snow on the mountain soon.  I did not think much of it.  Then, yesterday Micah came home and told me it was 100% chance of snow Friday and Saturday, and that it could be up to 7-8 inches.  Okay, this is when I began to visualize my children’s wardrobes.  I am not sure, but I am thinking that Crocs are probably not the best for snow!  I mean, I know that they make cold weather Crocs, but the kind that we have are full of holes.  Anyway, we made another trip to town today.

Weatherproof (and cute) boots…check!
(Micah has boots, but he has them on because he is working.)
Warm, cozy coats…check!
(Micah also has a coat.  Guess where it is?!)
Making sure the fireplace works…check!  (We didn’t buy this in town! LOL!)
Okay, we have hats, mittens, scarves, thermals, boots, coats!  We are ready!  Here’s hoping we actually wake up to snow, or I am going to have some very sad children.  (Micah and I would be a bit disappointed too!)

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Can’t see the forest for the trees!

We made trees today!
  
Grace and Ben putting their trees together!
Our first sign of growth.  Can you see it?
Grace is writing about what she is observing!  (Ben was supposed to be writing, but I am pretty sure he was having a meltdown at this point.  “No more writing, Mom!  I don’t like writing!”)
Three hours later!  Wow!
Four hours later!
Grace’s Tree (She was more excited than she looks.)
Ben’s Tree!  He liked his tree!
I have learned in just a few days that I must add FUN to our school work.  I need that element more than the kids!  
On a completely different note, we have been told many times that October and November are the worst months for forest fires due to the high winds on the mountain.  Here is what I saw from town yesterday.
Needless to say,  I called Micah immediately and asked if everything was okay.  (This was on the backside of our mountain.)  He said they were fine.  It was a “controlled burn” by the fire department.  I’m not sure I understand “controlled burn” during the most at-risk time of the year, but hey!  This is something I will need to learn about.

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Adjustments

I took the kids to town today.  It took exactly one hour for us to reach our first destination.  We left our house at 9:00 a.m. and returned home this evening at 5:00 p.m.  Yep, it’s true!  I actually do not mind the drive down, but we are all going to have to adjust to needing to make LOTS of stops when we “go down the mountain.”  It’s a good thing that the iPAD was charged!  Ben does NOT like to shop.  We even went to the three story Target just to make it fun.   Oh well, we will adjust in time.

We are adjusting, and I often (like at least once every minute) forget that we have only been here for 2 1/2 weeks.  Adjusting takes time, and I am not being patient.  I am an instant gratification kind of girl!  I need to relax a bit more and realize that it is all going to take some time to learn our new world.  I kind of feel like if I don’t adjust super fast, then that must mean that I don’t like it here.  That’s not the case at all, but for some reason that is what I am feeling.

I want it all to be perfect so that Grace does not have to be sad about missing her sweet friends.  I can’t fix that.  I just need to love and support her while she adjusts.  (Yep, just thinking out loud here.)

I told Micah, as we walked down to dinner tonight while looking at the AMAZING sunset, that I think I am really confused with my feelings.  I love it here, I mean, really LOVE it!  It’s beautiful, the people are loving and kind, and our house is great.  I get to stay home and do school everyday with the kids.  These are all really great things, so it makes me really mad that I get sad sometimes!  Adjusting!  Not always so much fun!

Here is what I know:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, HE RESTORES MY SOUL.     Psalm 23:1-3

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