Friday, June 24, 2016

My testimony

Last year in CBS there was an amazing assignment given where you tell your testimony to your CBS group. It helps you practice sharing God's impact on your life so you can boldly go out into the world and share how you came to Christ and preach the gospel to all creation. 


Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

Many people assume Christians put up this front of being perfect and flawless and then turn around and judge others in this perpetual cycle of hypocrisy. Well I will be the first to tell you that the idea of me being perfect or flawless on my own merits is laughable! I am a terrible sinner who really deserves wrath, death, and swift judgement from God. But He has given me his grace and mercy. Even though I am saved, I still make mistakes on a daily basis! My testimony, is a prime example of how God takes us from the depths of despair, sin, and pain and offers us unending grace and mercy.

Romans 3:20-23

 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Anyway, I've been contemplating sharing my testimony I shared at the NY CBS for a while now. My concerns being 1) that it draws attention to me and not God's redemption, 2) It causes me to dwell on some unpleasant parts of my life, 3) It may make some of my family uncomfortable or feel bad. 

I have come to the conclusion that withholding my testimony because of the discomfort it may cause me is actively hiding the light. It's allowing the devil to use guilt and shame to stop me from sharing God's word. I have attempted to edit this to avoid the 3 aforementioned concerns to the best of my ability. That said there is some lingering vagueness to my story and I am more than willing to share more details in a more private venue if it helps others who may have had similar struggles. However, I feel no need to elaborate here for the sake of the details leading to distractions or idle gossip, both tools of choice for the devil.

That said here is the testimony that I shared almost a year ago in Community Bible Study:


When I move to a place The first thing I do is find a church, find a bible study, find Christian home school support for my kids, and find a gym (that’s for stress relief.) We've moved a lot. So by the time we realized we were moving to New York I had it down. I also had this uneducated fear that all of New York would be like all those scary news stories the media constantly cycles from the scary back alleys of NYC. So I really wanted the Christian support. I emailed churches months in advance trying to select one, then asked them for advice on other supplemental groups. This is where I got referred to Community bible study (CBS). Although upstate New York is completely not scary at all and is in fact quite blessed with beautiful scenery, wildlife, and pristine lakes rivers and waterfalls, I’m still happy I have all the support here. CBS has led me into such a deeper understanding of the bible, and their non-denominational approach has really helped me see how important it is to unite with all Christians in the world and not be divided by topics that aren’t matters of saving grace. CBS has also made me more comfortable with sharing my faith and in fact assigned the speaking topic of:

If you have been a Christian since childhood, you can talk about how God has matured and changed you.


So here it goes:
According to my sister my parents were actually not church attending when we were young. My dad was raised catholic and from what I can guess about my mom she was raised either atheist or you just don’t talk about religion. (I’ve asked my grandma many times if she knows Jesus Christ and her response 100% of the time has been to simply not answer at all. I still ask her though :) ) My parents ended up renting our first house from missionaries who loved to share the gospel with us and the pastor in our tiny town actually volunteered to drive my siblings and I to VBS and bible study (where I can remember memorizing all the books of the bible at a really young age.) When I look back on it now, I can really see the providence of God in my life constantly pulling me to him. By the time my memories became consistent and reliable my parents were attending church regularly and talking about God. Also I had my sisters "guidance," my sister, who was much more morbid as a teenager than she is now, read me revelation at a very young age and she interpreted it to me as “that only 144,000 people get to heaven (probably of Jewish descent so my chances were slim)” from that night on I had nightmares of Hell. Very realistic disturbing nightmares. No matter the mechanism that started the chain reaction I am thankful for that because it led me to ask anyone I could, how I could make it to Heaven. I begged my parents to let me publicly accept Jesus Christ into my heart and be baptized. And so I was. This also led my other two siblings to be baptized at the same time. Amen! (The nightmares stopped after that if you were curious.) There were instances I had questions in middle school like “Who is the Holy Spirit” where my parents’ answers did not seem as knowledgeable and sufficient as I was yearning for i.e. “he’s kind of like your conscience.” But every time my dad tells me his parenting regrets, I try to remind him that encouraging and introducing me to the bible was all I needed and clearly what God had planned. I was given the blessed gift of being introduced to the word and God gave me the drive to learn more on my own.

When I was 16 my parents sent me to college with a job and a car and then proceeded to get separated and ultimately divorced after being apart for a lengthy amount of time on and off. Each pursued their own interests. I was the last child, so they pretty much ignored me to say the least. I would like to say here that last they checked I was on the right path. I was getting straight A’s, I played a varsity sport every season, I was involved in school plays, student government, knowledge bowl, church missions, civil air patrol…I can see how as a parent it’s tempting to think your teenager no longer needs you.

* Side note: I would like to offer this very stern advice to any parents of teenagers: No matter how well your teenager seems to be doing at this age, they need you. It’s a very critical time when there are lots of new pressures and our current society is telling them it’s okay to test uncharted waters. Stay vigilant and be attentive to your teenager, yes they will have new independence but you are still their parent and always will be. A common parental regret I hear from parents of my grown up friends who had some serious struggles is that the parent quit being so attentive to their kid at this age or got a job or pursued something else because their child was appearing to be successfully independent. If anything it’s an age where readily available temptation is lurking around every corner. And as a parent I would encourage you to check up on your teenager regularly no matter how well they look like they are tolerating life. It may look like it bugs them, but to know someone is always checking up on you and you always have someone to turn to is a wonderful gift every child loves and appreciates even if they don’t show it.

I want to be clear with my parents that there is no blame or guilt intended here. That’s just what happens when people go through a major life change, it’s hard to divide attention. And I completely understand that each of my parents were dealing with their own problems.  My mom got very flighty and ultimately moved to Portland, Or and my dad traveled for business and was never home. Needless to say I had no accountability and spiraled out of control. I’m really not blaming them, because I could have handled it differently. I had my own choices I made and I am responsible for the outcomes. I needed to realize God was there with me and I neglected to nurture that part of my life without my parents taking me to church. I should have been vigilant because I know

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

And he was!

While looking for 4 year colleges to transfer to after I graduated high school and community college at the same time, I ironically interviewed and got a partial soccer scholarship to a Christian college in California. But I did not navigate the wide world of FASFA and student finances very well and could not figure out how to fund the endeavor. Looking back now I can see that while it was a Christian college my heart heard California and would have not lived a Christian life there, providence again. My mom talked me into moving to Portland, OR with her and her new boyfriend, which was of no surprise a big stalling point in my faith. I always had a bible on my nightstand but I did not read it. My parents were pushing the idea of following happiness because that’s what they wanted to feel okay with. Needless to say I spiraled more. You know how people say you have to hit rock bottom to cry out your Father’s name? I got there. Complete hit your knees and scream His Name. Rock. Bottom. It was so bad my sister called me up and asked one day for me to just leave Oregon and move to Alabama. Without hesitation I just answered “Yes!” It was amazing how quickly and easily I answered her. Ironically, choosing to move across the country was the easiest decision of my life. (It still takes me an hour sometimes to decide what food to pick off a menu but moving across the country- Instant decision!) God had clearly moved my heart for me. I wanted someone to help me out but I didn’t know where to start. So when she asked I thought I’ll follow someone else’s ideas as they have to be better than my own. Coincidentally, God’s plan is always better than our own. Providence again. My sister, who moved away before my parents got divorced, had stayed strong in her faith. She and her husband guided me while I enrolled at a great college and started going to church with them. I started looking to God for guidance again and not long after that I met my husband at their very church. I know I have mentioned how much I appreciated his knowledge and spiritual upbringing because he is a great spiritual leader for me. I named my first child after him proudly, and in a way my second. Because although he is not perfect, I also think of my husband as my kinsman redeemer, my Boaz if you will. I feel like I was wandering lost and God had sent yet another person to save me. How much more it means that he sent his son to die for me on top of all the blessings he has bestowed.


How has God changed me?

Although since I can remember I have felt God calling me, at this point in my life I feel like The Holy Spirit has sanctified me to the point where my submission is not because I am afraid of hell now, It’s my love for God. My appreciation for all the blessings I do not deserve, including my salvation. No matter what gets taken from me no matter how hard life gets, I know God’s plan is best and I will follow him because he is my true father who loved me perfectly so I will try to reflect his love and his glory.

Matthew 22:34-40

The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.


All my love, 
from Idaho

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's almost been a year in my new hometown; here are the struggles I've had:

*More running thoughts. That picture is actually from one of my jogs. Isn't it beautiful scenery?

We’re getting close to it being almost a year since we moved to Idaho, because of this I’ve been deeply reflecting on everything that has happened since we decided to move here. My “deep thoughts” that I have had along the way include thoughts like “holy crap, holy crap, holy crap” “What the F?!?” and “Oh thank God!” (that last one I always mean in the literal sense, in that God should indeed be thanked.) In addition, I think the state of Idaho and the town of Saint Maries deserve a great bit of my gratitude and appreciation as well. No doubt I will explain why in my hot mess ramblings to follow.

My trip to Idaho involved me, my hubs, and my four children, including one very fresh newborn, packing up and moving across the country. Kent pretty much worked right up until we left and planning on my part was not as graceful as I would have hoped for. We had only visited Saint Maries the one time and I couldn’t even remember what the house we bought looked like or the town that we were going to be living in. My husband started working pretty quickly since we were in between jobs and thus paychecks. My husband’s career is not one in which he gets to be home a lot. I was fat and exhausted all the time. I felt like I was that mom on Malcom in the Middle that is always yelling at her kids “BOYS!” Does anyone else remember that show? Anyway, I sounded exactly like her all the time and I just hated it. As we went into the winter it got really dark. Literally. It gets freaking dark up here. This is prime vampire real estate if they really existed. Anyway The winter here was the hardest time for me in my life. That’s really saying something because I’ve had some crazy rough experiences in my past but for some reason emotionally speaking, the move, the four kids, and the new baby was the hardest. So why was it the hardest over all the other chaos in my past?

 I think of it this way, (and theologians feel free to correct me as I know my theology much like mankind, will be imperfect and in need of correction at times.) My year in New York was a time of peace and awesome fellowship with encouraging members of the body of Christ. I was in Community Bible Study and studying God’s word every day. I was being fortified and strengthened by God. But the devil does not relent when you get a little fortified people. I mean, look at Jesus Christ, he was as spiritually strong as possible and did the devil give up and say “Ohp, he’s got a good relationship with God, I better just give up!”? No. He upped the ante. Desert, starvation, thirsting, he got him to a complete state of hangry and exhaustion beyond what any other human will ever know and then tried to play mind games with him by tempting him with everything he could possibly think of. The more fortified you get, the harder satan has got to try and he will most certainly try new things too because the old things did not work.

1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Obviously my trials and tribulations are so much less severe than what was put on Jesus Christ. It’s almost laughable that moving to a great state, in a great town, to a new job, and a new house we bought was actually the hardest time mentally for me in my life. What a wuss I am! But none the less it really was the hardest time for me mentally & emotionally. I don’t know if it’s the age I’m at, or the burden of responsibility I feel, past things that got dredged up, or all the news constantly streaming sad horrible stories and terrible politicians, I feel so cynical and so angry, and so tired with this world. Well the devil pounced all over that. What a stinker.


This winter was also figuratively dark. Yes, I probably should have gone and talked to someone but guess how many psychiatrists Saint Maries, ID has. Zero. Guess how much time a mom of 4 tiny kids with a husband who always works has. Negative time. Yep. I’m saying there can be negative time for moms. The rules of time and space are bent when you’re a mom. I owed time to my uncompleted tasks. “talking to someone” is always easier said than done, if it was easy, I would have done it immediately!


Post-partum depression is very real.. My thoughts were not like thoughts I have ever had before. I was vulnerable and Satan saw an excellent angle of attack. I had to constantly decide to reject thoughts that were so negative and so despairing it was mentally exhausting. I don’t want to get all Strong Sad here though.  I’ve got it all sorted out and I cannot stress enough that my intent is that sharing this may help out anyone who has felt this way or feels this way currently. It's only for a season and there is hope. Providentially, about four years ago when I was trying to fortify myself, I read Guarding Your Child’s Heart by Dr. Gary Smalley. He stated “Most people have twenty thousand to sixty thousand thoughts per day. And as Americans, over half those thoughts are negativeEvery thought reinforces already created negative or positive beliefs in the heart of each person. Our beliefs are the main controllers of our thoughts, words, and actions. And those three form our emotions. So the key to a high quality life is to create beliefs within your heart that control your behavior. We can think whatever thoughts we want, but what would happen if we mainly thought about the words Jesus told us about over 2,000 years ago?” So for every sad thought I had, I tried to replace it with something to be thankful for and that usually included something from God’s word. I worked so hard to retrain my thoughts which altered my beliefs and therefore my behavior. It wasn’t just me, or sheer will power, or the vitamin D or happy light that I self-medicated with. It was God. In addition to everything else I was working on God sent some amazing Idaho people into my life. This is the first time I have ever mentioned all this so they did not even know the struggles that I was going through but their encouragement and support helped me in ways they cannot even imagine. All the sweet people from church who would constantly ask me how I was doing and would genuinely care, the sweet mothers from Classical Conversations who offered me so much grace when I showed up late with children screaming, the godly women and MOPs moms who did not pretend everything is perfect and I was a failure for not having it all figured out. People who did not sugar coat things were perhaps the most helpful actually; one person I was venting to about how marriage is really hard and they said very nonchalantly, “Yeah, and few marriages survive.” Immediately I thought “Oh $#@%! She’s right! I have to work hard to keep it!” 
( There’s a sad light bulb, that was the realization I needed to work to keep a good marriage.) People just have different realizations at different points in life. I’m so grateful for the people who are patient with me. Life is hard. It doesn’t get easier. We have work hard at it. God is with us and he gives us what we need.


So big thanks to all the Idahoians and Saint Mariesians who offered me grace, love, and advice during struggles they did not even know I was having. It was a good humbling reminder that you do not know what everyone is going through and sometimes just a single nice and encouraging word, phrase, or action can change someone’s train of thought into something more hopeful that glorifies God. What a beautiful gift to give someone.
 Did you happen to read the context around 1 peter 5:8?
 (*Fun advice from Kent: Always read the context when people give you bible quotes ;) his favorite example of this is using Proverbs 9:17 "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!" just going off of that, once could argue the bible advocates stealing wine and food. Context. Context. Context. Always read the context.)

 Anyway:

1 Peter 5: 6-10
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
From my personal experience, if you do not humble yourself, God will do it for you. Either way get yourself under God’s mighty Hand “that he may lift you up in due time..”
And Here is another favorite words of encouragement that helped me:

1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

So that's my introspection from the past year. I have faith and hope that every day is going to be another adventure lived that will glorify God. Not easy, but adventurous nonetheless. Thanks to everyone for all the help along the way. I pray God will use me to help others along as well.


All my love and gratitude from Idaho 


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Meet Idaho

Well,

It has been a long time since I started this blog and I have changed so much. I meant to do a whole "Meet New York" segment and I just got busy. And by busy I mean I got pregnant again and had a baby. I'll probably retroactively blog on that birth experience but in the mean time I'll at least try to blog on current events to keep up with my own life and sanity. Since I have like 2 followers this is gonna pretty much just been a chronicling of my life for me; I'll share it with whoever can relate or just randomly wants insight into my life.

Here's what has happened with me since I last posted: Kent signed a contract with a hospital in Idaho and we now live in a sweet little town off the St. Joe River. I love it. It's like the 1950s doctoring Kent hoped for and has the the small town, outdoorsy, ruralness I like with some laid back west coast casualness, but the state itself is pretty conservative leaning libertarian more than anything. It is perfect for our geographically eclectic family. We have found quite a few families here like us who moved here for the same reason. They all like to have fun, have some neat skill or education, and mind their own business. It's peaceful. There does seem to be a mass Exodus out of California into Idaho and Montana which was worrisome at first but most seem to be people fed up with the pooh California is spewing. There's a few scattered liberals who destroyed their state and are trying to work on Idaho but at least it's better than Washington or New York (both places I've lived and did not appreciate the politics.) I'm sure that I sound crazy right about now but I assure you I am not a super survivalist or prepper (notice I didn't deny the crazy part), just logical, I like to mind my own business and I don't like people telling me what to do. If Ron Swanson's character off of Parks and Rec was an actual person, I would vote for him as president. In the mean time I think Rand Paul, a real person, would be great too.



I've gotten off on a tangent. I normally  like to keep things light-hearted and fun but I'm really hangry right now from training for a marathon. Sorry. When I get hangry I get cynical. For example, I just thought "Training for a marathon! I'm glad my $40,000 exercise physiology degree is finally paying off!" That decision making was pure awesomeness on 20 year old Brooke's part. What a dumb blonde she was. although I do enjoy reminiscing on drinking coffees all day long, reading books for school, and falsely thinking "oh my life is so busy!" I'd love to read a book right now. Any book. Physics, history, even my grandmas creepy pornographic looking romance novel, whatever. But as soon as I pick up the book four (yes four now!) little critters, cute but mischievous, would get poop somewhere or pee somewhere or pull a lighter out of who knows where and leave a path of mass destruction. I am sure of it. I have been trained to expect this by life.

I got off on a tangent again. My writing style- Tangential. Is that a thing? I'm claiming it if it's not. Just googled it. It's a thing. Well crap. Back to having nothing new to give to society today. Wow. That was super hangry commentary. Sorry about that. *Random Thought (as if the others aren't!): Can you be committed to a mental institution with your blog posts as evidence? Someone please let me know if that is the case. although. I kind of dream of sitting quietly in a clean soft white room in silence with nothing to do. Scratch that. Commit me. Just make sure it's a calm clean mental institution like where famous people rehab or something. *Sigh.* I do love momming but it is seriously really hard. Like really really hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I'm not even counting the four times I had natural childbirth part. That was the easy part!!! I have so much more respect for my mom and my grandmas now. I got tipsy one night Kent was watching the kids and I texted my mom this:

Wow. Tipsy at 4:44 PM super mom award right there. Since I tandem nurse it takes me like 1/2 a glass of wine to start sending out the crazy texts. But the sentiment is legit.
*If you're wondering she never responded to that text. She likes to avoid awkward moments. Good luck with avoiding the awkward moment storm that is your daughter mom. Bahahaha!

Anyway, I'm not even sure where I am in this blog post. The hangryness is taking me over. My 2 year old daughter just woke up in her urine because she had an accident potty training, and she is now nursing on me. I guess I better go deal with mom life. I will try to include more gaiety in my future posts or just eat a snack before I start a post. Maybe I should just finish this post with my new "hot mess" shirt I bought that pretty much describes my perfectly imperfect life. And apparently my writing style. Wait! Is that a thing? I claim it!




All my love from Idaho! <3

Monday, September 1, 2014

Adventures in Homeschooling Part 1

This is by far not a "how to" home school post. In fact I am just starting, so it's more a captains log of my adventures in homeschooling. I am more than grateful for any helpful tips. For those who are wondering what us odd balls do all day, here it goes:

I wake up at 7 am ( or earlier depending on when my children arise) Honestly, I know I need to get up earlier to get in more cleaning and my yoga time but I'm just not there yet. I cook breakfast for the fam. It's usually bacon and eggs. By 8 am we are all fed and cleaned up so i let the children run around like crazy while I do the dishes and laundry. This is also when i do my morning routine like oil pulling, brush teeth, brush hair ( with a different brush of course ). By 9-9:30ish Britta Marie gets cranky so i put her down for her nap. Then I find something for Boaz to do in the living room, then I set up with Julian in "our classroom."

This year I am pulling from a lot of different resources but classical conversations has really given me most of the structure we do. We aren't going to the group meetings this year to take some of the pressure off and work with nap times, but the foundations manual, website (https://www.classicalconversations.com/) , and you tube clips seem like enough now anyway. So we start with our timeline song. Each week has like 7 timeline events so each day Julian draws one, two, or three depending on how focused he is. It starts small but adds up quickly. I always find some short stories on the timeline subjects he drawing so he can listen to them and decide what to draw. For the bible stories there's a cute little app I like that has a game as it tells the stories and quizzes him. It's called "Bible for Kids" and especially during the first few weeks it's been corresponding very well. We lay our pictures on the ground and put on this you tube video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QZH-VEnyALY to sing along with and do the motions, so far this is Julian's favorite part. Then we take 5 and do jumping jacks or something to get the wiggles out.





*** Tiny Rant: I'll go ahead and put here that we are also working on reading through the bible which depending how quickly you do this, it kind of coordinates with the bible stories at the start. we are using "Investigating God's Word...at Home Volume 1 genesis-Job" by One Story Ministries. So far I love it. I was having trouble finding Children's bibles that covered everything like Cain and Able and things you don't normally find in children's books. This study guide covers it ALL word for word but is set up so the kids enjoy it. I think it's very important not to sugarcoat the bible and pedal the knock off comfortable version society today is pushing. In order to understand what Jesus did for us we have to understand how depraved everyone is. In order to understand God's love for us, we need to recognize our sinful heart's capabilities. In order for our children to recognize their heart issues it's very important they get the whole bible. They need strong roots and the armor of God so that they can defend their beliefs when questioned by peers, public school teachers (if they ever went!) , and future hippy college professors. If you only give them the Disney version of God's word their ideology will be shattered when they meet reality some day. You can't cut out the parts you don't want to talk about. Trust God and his word and read them the WHOLE bible, he is not going to give you something they can't handle. After all Ephesians 6:10-17 says: 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   
*** mmmmmk???..Rant over (for now)

 Then we do geography. Julian loves this too. For week 1 it's the continents so we sing this song https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KxQ0WLlDxvU . Then I believe Oceans are the same week and there was a similar you tube song of the oceans but I forgot to bookmark it and I cant find it again so I'll just post Julian singing it on my Instagram. I can't figure out how to get the videos in here with the sound on and continuous loop off so I'll post them on my Instagram for now. Look me up! my user name is brookelynne313 (I'll be the one with all the #homeschool hash tags.) Also I also ordered an inflatable globe for like $3 off amazon to explain that the Pacific Ocean is not 2 separate oceans as it looks on the map. I also wanted him to be able to understand the map and globe relationship and be able to recognize everything on each. As adults we forget that we actually had to learn this stuff but you have to explain that the earth is round and a map is a flat version that is supposed to loop back to the other side. It took Julian a while to be able to find everything on the globe where he already knew where it was on the map.


Next we do math. I have a kindergarten math book Julian is flying through so i have him do a couple pages in that each day. Then we also do the CC memory math. Right now it's mostly counting by certain numbers so for the first week we had our 24 erasable colored pencils we counted by 1, then we grouped them into 2s so he could understand, and we counted them by 2s. Math goes by quick for now! When we got to higher numbers i started using this write on Melissa and Doug mat that I bought at the grocery store for like $3. I had him count like 5 numbers then write the 5th one so he could recognize the patterns (also because the pencils weren't going high enough any more.)



Next we do Latin, Julian gets a kick out of this. The first few weeks are the same so he has it down. We watched this video for the explanation https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0f74YpsjfNU



Next is history and we kind of just do that like we do the timeline where i tell him the story that goes along with it, we read the memory sentence and he memorizes it, then he draws it. He gets wiggly here so then we do some situps or something.

English is a quick little memory thing that you just have to force feed, but as it builds week by week they pick up on the connections.

For art we have lots of fun. First week was basic shapes so I just had him draw them. second week was mirror images so we folded stuff in 1/2 and cut it.

For science the first week we sang the 7 biomes song to the tune of frere jacques. Then we watched some short youtubes on each and labeled where some our on our dry erase maps and drew some of the animals with them.

Julian will be starting violin lessons so i am skipping the tin whistle stuff because it would wake Britta up and attract Boaz as well.

By the time we get done is usually 12 or 1 and Britta Marie wakes up. We all have lunch and then get our shoes on and go to the YMCA for "recess" for the kids (and mommy). But that's another blog for my exercise schedule I guess...Anyway I know there are places that I can improve upon but for all those moms out there who are to intimidated to home school. Don't be. You can do it and now is the time! I feel like I am even getting smarter from the program so I'm sure Julian is!

***Side notes: I am buying an egg timer to set for Julian to make sure we stay on task with each subject. Honestly I should have bought one a long time ago anyway. I also hope to find some more games to get the wiggles out in between subjects as I have a feeling jumping jacks are going to get boring quickly. My sticky wall maps were off amazon and were super cheap. Because we have to move in a year I did not want to poke any holes in our wall. Also the dry erase feature is very helpful.I also bought some chalkboard stickies for memory verses and a calendar for us. I'm sure they could look prettier but for the price these will work. Everything I'm doing I know I can easily implement with Boaz next year, but this year the boy just does not have the attention span. We are also signed up for a community bible study for interaction with other people and someday we will join a home school group but this year I think we have enough on our plate. Let me know what you think! :)



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crazy or a Survivalist? or Both..



It wasn’t until recently after taking an anxiety test online and being declared by all the wisdom and authority that a 45 question online test can have, that I supposedly have severe anxiety. This was much to my surprise so I used my Instagram account (@brookelynne313) to poll my friends to validate my unbelief. They did no such thing. In fact, my sister commented that the emergency stash of food in my car and life jackets for the whole family under the seats my in fact point to the fact that I may be a smidgen anxious. Well… I did the tactful thing and made fun of her aversion to aluminum products (especially tin foil), although I’m sure that will save her kids’ lives in an emergency far more than life jackets under the seat may save mine. :) 







              Where am I going with this? You mean other than accidentally convincing the small following I have that I am indeed bat guano crazy? Well I assure you I’m going somewhere with this… Today at the mall, after riding the carousel, after story time, after walking around the whole mall, I ventured to make one last stop in the food court for lunch right before heading out to the car to go home. The impending doom of nap time was upon me and my three kids. They are 4,3, and 1 mind you. I sat the 4 and 3 year old at a booth as I ordered and my son proceeded to fill his trusty dump truck up with a load of salt behind my back and my daughter pulled my hair so it stuck straight up; this also escaped my notice. The cashier asked “would you like that for here or to go?”
Now remember, I had crazy eyes from it being nap time, my hair was now sticking straight up in all directions, and the kink in my neck from sleeping entangled with 3 children who crawled in my bed this morning was causing an awful head twitch just in time for this opportune moment. Without thinking I said “we’ll stay and eat here but put it in a to go box please just in case we need to bug out.”  The cashier gave me quite the look. I dare not tell her us hill billys just made our way up here to New York from Alabama. “thanks ya’all” I said  after I paid. Whoops! I might have just validated their war of Northern Aggression with my stereotypical ways. (I’m so just kidding here). Well on the way home, of course all three kids fell asleep in the car and I was left with my thoughts. A dangerous time for me indeed. Here is what I have come up with:
People are confusing my totally functional organization for travel with 3 babes as an anxiety ridden survivalist mentality. The fact that I consider myself a libertarian probably throws some grenades onto the fire too. (Pun intended.) Now, let me assure you guys I am no Ron Swanson. Honestly! Now there is nothing wrong with him, and in fact he is pretty awesome in my opinion. I wish I had some bars of gold buried on my property but unfortunately I am just trying to survive day by day not decade by decade.
Now this is a hard thing for people with no kids, people with just 1 kid, or even just kids spaced further apart to understand. Read this carefully so you get it.  WITH MULTIPLE YOUNG CHILDREN, IF YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO GET SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DRAG ALL THE SCREAMING CHILDREN WITH YOU, NOT JUST YOURSELF AND NOT JUST ONE. ALL! OF! THEM! And when you have more kids than hands this gets even more complicated. Hence the mommy survivalist kit in the car. Food, drinks, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, change of clothes, coats for everyone, baby carrier (for if I have to start strapping kids to me top make my escape), solar charger (for the imminent call I have to make in an emergency when my phone will be undoubtedly dead from distraction overuse (a sad sacrifice that poor platoon mate always makes in the line of fire)………………
…….You know what? Fine. Just call me a survivalist. I am a survivor. I walk into that mall, dodge the landmine toy stores, make a b-line for the accomplishment of our mission- Story time, when my troops get so tired they defecate on themselves I throw myself into the line of fire and I save their behinds (quite literally), I keep morale high by singing marching songs from my prepared repertoire. We get deep inside the fortress of Pottery barn Kids with landmine toys everywhere just waiting to set one of my kids off, in fact the new fall rocket McKenzie backpack draws me in, it would be so perfect for future missions….. but I resist! We make it to The cleverly disguised intel. that is way in the back across from the raging sea of summer clearance items. Yes, even my young troops have learned to recognize what those red flags mean. But we get in and get out without losing any troops to meltdowns.
Now Fast-forward back to the food court where we replenish our supplies and rest a while. After leaving the cashier a hefty tip (in hopes she will be confused by the gesture and now consider me eccentric instead of insane,) we have appeased the natives and are heading for a rendezvous at twelve hundred hours. Just when we thought we were safe, an explosion of salt goes off when Bravo-Alpha-Papa detonates it. “Bug out!” I yell! I collect all the troops and our new “bug out bag” of leftovers and we retreat. Screams echo in the food court.
See now the bug out bag makes sense…right??? I told you I was going somewhere with this. Mental “quirks” if you will, (I prefer to think of mine as an enhancement), don’t become a disorder until they cause an impaired ability to function in everyday life. So far my mommy survivalist ways have enhanced my ability to brave the battlefields of malls, amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, restaurants, and national monuments all over this great Country and parts of Canada. My platoon and I have traveled all up the west coast, crossed the country, and drove up the East coast. We have ventured on planes, trains, boats, and automobiles. We have crossed the Erie canal and hiked Niagara Falls. So maybe, just maybe, I am not anxious at all. I am so “enhanced” in tactical warfare that I am cleverly and specifically equipped to handle my mission at hand. Severely anxious! SMH!

Transmission Ended. From New York.