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"Genesis" 101

So today we start a homeschooling science class in our home. I came up with this idea because it just seems to be one of my callings.....well not sure if it is my "official" calling from God.....but, I love kids and I love to teach them about how awesome Our Father is. I want them to learn about all the beautiful things He has created. So, I decided to put a notice in our homeschooling newsletter to see if any other families were interested in either a Bible class or a Bible based science class....I was saddened to get only one reply. I am hoping it was due to most homeschoolers already having a jammed packed schedule or that they already have it worked into their curriculum. But at the last group outing, I did get a vibe (and a few well intentioned comments) that suggested that many teach evolution based science and just were not interested.

Thankfully, many Christian homeschoolers have lots of children and hang out with the same! So the one family that contacted me has five children, of which two will be joining us. And she has another mama friend who has a little boy who is coming. She has a friend with three and a half children (pregnant with #4) and they are suppose to join us next week. Oh, and through the wonderful world of Freecycle, I met another mom whose two children are completing our little class. So we have eight (including N) 5-7 year olds in our group and I am so excited!

I spent all week, preparing our "class" which runs a couple of hours.....and it includes craft time, snack time, play time...and we'll squeeze in some learning too. My main goal and intention is to bring some extra socialization in for N.....and make it more fun to learn within a little group. If you homeschool, I am sure you know that the old stigma of "no socialization" is so far off kilter.....I look at the homeschooling calendar of our local group and other families and ask....when are you home?? LOL They have dates for board games, craft days, field trips, dancing and swimming....just to name a few. We pick and choose what we participate in.....I get overwhelmed easy with too many events.......not to mention, N and I love to stay in our jammies as much as possible. N enjoys her children's class at church for a couple hours without any issues so I am pretty sure she "plays well with others" in a structured environment. She has weekly Native American drumming sessions with her Poppy and is learning about her newly discovered Native American heritage, the Wampanoag tribe. Oh, and we just got a new shopping plaza in our town (with a Target YAY!) and there is a Michaels Crafts store, so we can sign up for the craft classes they offer too.

So yeah....I tried to put on my organized stance so I can be prepared AND entertaining. That's all I need is to have eight kids bored out of their mind or staring at me like a deer into headlights. I don't know why I am taking this to an unhealthy level with my anxiety....I have subbed in preschools for a few years, I sometimes work with the children's ministry at church....and I always have a houseful of kids here....I think I am more concerned about the parents' approval. We met a few weeks back to get to know each other better and also to find out what subjects/direction they would like to see being taught...and found out we are on the same page with many things including keeping our children surrounded by other children with the same core values. So the main goal was to have the kids have fun while learning about God......and that we didn't evolve from a bolt of lightening and a rock.

I was most pleasantly surprised to learn that they instantly felt comfortable allowing me to be a part of their child's learning journey. Of course they are welcome to stay and hang out, but I did find myself trying to suggest that it would be fine if they wanted to run any errands with their free time. I guess I am just nervous that I will crack under pressure with being "watched" by these seasoned homeschooling parents. It's like when I was a little girl, and I twirled my baton perfectly when practicing alone.....but as soon as I called my mom to watch me, I fumbled every move and toss like I had baseball gloves on. I guess I get intimidated easy and second guess myself.....but I will just have to suck it up and proceed to do what I do best. I will be in the zone of my favorite things in life: Jesus. Kids. Chaos.

So we are going to focus on The Five Senses and going with some Bob Jones Science, some Scripture, some PBS kids fun....and a little bit of what's going on in my head and heart. I'll be sure to come back today, let you know how I survived and post some pics.

be back soon enough......



I survived! I was completely prepared, including wearing "real" clothes....five minutes early! WOOT!

Well.......we ended up only having three kids today......two are only starting next week.....two were sick, and one had something come up last minute, but our "class" went great! We started with items in brown bags that the kids had to identify using only four of their five senses (onions, chocolate, peppermints)....we talked about how God gives us our senses to experience life. We also talked about how when some people do not have one of their senses, such as being blind....that their four other senses are supercharged!

We did a worksheet with cutting and pasting....

then we had a snack and some free play that N refers to as "recess".....

then we went on to using many of our senses as we made pumpkin spice playdough.

The girls had fun mixing all the ingredients, I had to snap a pic of the "tie dye" swirls.....

and within a few minutes......the playdough was ready to be experienced with four out of five senses.....(I didn't catch anyone tasting it....although it smelled good enough to eat!)

This playdough recipe is great.....it keeps for a long time too, if you store it in a plastic tupperware container

Nature’s Playdough Recipe

2 cups flour

2 cups water

1 cup salt

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

4 to 6 tablespoons of oil

Combine all ingredients, cook on low heat, stirring frequently until stiff like mashed potatoes. Take out of pan and put on wax paper to cool. Knead into desired consistency.

*we add food coloring and spices to make it special

suggestions for spices/scents are: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, peppermint

extract, cocoa.

Well I guess I did pretty good......no awkward silences, no-one asked when it was time to go home... actually the two hours flew by!
......oh, and their mom stayed the whole time and I enjoyed having her join us. I got to know her a little better and we planned some play dates for the girls. She had tons of great craft and activity ideas for these classes which is awesome.....especially if I am going to have these classes every week, I am sure I will start to putter out on the creative train after a while. She also told me about a local Awana chapter/group that her girls attend and I might check it out for N. I have heard about Awana, but just mentioned in conversation so I'd like to see what it is all about.

So now next week, if all goes as planned.....I should have a full house of eight children and four moms......today was a nice trial run and I think I passed with flying colors!

fall festival fun!


That was the adjective that was used by more than a few people when they visited our booth this weekend at our first fall festival....I guess the "laid back" feeling is just what people need these days. There is something about slipping on some tie dye that soothes the soul. It sends out a good vibe, you know.....the original hippie philosophy of love, peace and freedom.

It is true, that what people choose to wear reflects their approach to life. Some people are always "on"......ready for the next battle. Now don't get me wrong, being prepared is a good thing and we need some of those vigilant warriors among us. But I also believe that we all need some "chilling out" time too. Time to just relax.....seize the day......take a day "off" and enjoy the little things in life.

I mentioned that Josh works in the corporate world, wearing the dress shirt, tie and not so comfortable shoes. He looks nice, professional and all that.....(and of course, handsome)......but there is just a taut stiffness surrounding him as he walks out the door. So when he walks through that door in the afternoon, tie already off, but still in his "wound up" attire.....his first order of business is changing into some "winding down" clothes, usually one of his favorite tie dye tees. I know it sounds crazy, but you can literally see and sense the stress strip away from him.
I also mentioned that we've been referred to as "Dharma and Greg" more than a few times.....you remember that show, the lawyer married to the hippie......and I guess, we are kinda like them.

Josh is focused, sets his goals and executes them as planned....he is not a fan of change.....he is always early/on time for any event.....he is very organized, is great with directions (even when he insists that we don't need to stop for more) and constantly seeks the comfort and peace of being in a controlled environment. Although he performs well under pressure, he likes everything to go off without a hitch.

I, well........am not so much that way.......I am very unorganized......and as I type this, I just remembered I have to call the bank because I lost, er misplaced my debit card....again! I don't usually have a plan for the most part and just "go with the flow". I often am late for most events and am horrendous with directions, although I eventually make it where I need to go (hence being late most of the time). I do very well under pressure, in fact.......I am in my element when there is chaos. It must tap into the chaotic state of my brain and have a familiar feel to it.

So I guess we are a nice balance......I am there to help slow Josh down when his wheels are spinning out of control......and he is there to give me a swift (but loving) kick in the butt when I am slacking. I am working on him to not immediately put on his shoes the minute he wakes up.......he is working on getting me to use a wallet/purse to keep my money and credit cards together. He actually wore plaid pajama pants to go to the drive-thru coffee shop last weekend (not sure if he will ever admit it)...... and I started meal planning and making grocery lists. :)

But we do both have one thing in common......when it comes to our lives, including finances, health, children, future........we do trust that God is going to handle whatever comes our way, after all........He is orchestrating it all. We know we need to trust in Him. He is the ultimate physician, accountant and life skills adviser. He is the ultimate "stress reliever" ..... turn all your worries and burdens over to Him, He will grant you peace.

Soooooooooo, getting back to the festival......it was a great success! I actually did better than I expected and cannot wait to jump on traveling festival bandwagon.....I met so many people, and felt happy when people smiled as they walked into our tent. Some people couldn't wait and put their tees on right away (I swore I saw one less frown line on this lady's forehead immediately, *wink)

It's not a new medical breakthrough to know that stress is one of the number one killers......so I'd like to think that one of my tie dye shirts might help........ a teeny tiny bit........ by adding a few more days to someone's life. :)

Here are a few pics from this weekend, and thanks to all our friends and family who came by to visit us too! Excuse the cluttered look....it wasn't entirely my fault.....God spared us the rain, but the wind was brutal and everyone's items were blowing everywhere.....so I had to buckle down the hatches and pile up my tees/items to keep them from tumbling everywhere.

My sweet god-daughter and N

and here I am.....completely sleep deprived...
but in my own little hippie haven. Thanks E for snapping this pic :)

Peace, love and stay barefoot~


.....hey, just thinking out loud after I typed the title, I wonder how long our country will "tolerate" using the term TGIF, after all.....it does have God in it and we have to be politically correct....(ok, that would be a whole nother post).

So yes.....it's Friday. I am pretty spent. I am wrapping up the last of tie dyeing for my first fall festival. I actually am excited and nervous at the same time. You know, we all want to be "liked" in a new crowd....it's all part of our inner need for acceptance. So I have dreams of grandeur for tomorrow's event *insert dream like music*.... My booth will be the "hot spot". It will be most colorful tent of all, like a rainbow.....we will have music playing but only if I can find a battery operated boom box....and btw, apparently asking my kids to help me find a "boom box" was like asking to locate a vintage crank phonograph by the way they scrunched up their faces.
OK, back to my dream......We will be swamped with shoppers......long lines....I will have to post "SoRrY, SoLD OuT" signs to the disappointed folks who missed out. *dream music fades out*
WOW, I have set the expectation bar pretty high, huh? Actually....in all honesty.....I really just hope that God blesses us with no rain. That's all. I just think it will be fun to do.....and if all goes well, I can start participating in all the outdoor festivals next summer. The ultimate will be saving up enough money to finally get my dream car.....a VW bus! How cool would *that* be!?! All decked out with bead curtains.....I am thinking orange would be the best color for me....whoops, I ventured back into dream state.....

OK, so back to reality......if I can remember to bring my camera and fresh batteries, I'll post some pics of our tent/booth. :) Remember, teeny prayers for no rain!

Fridays are often times for most people to wind down.....for us, it starts winding back up. My older boys go to our church's youth night, Ground Zero. We live about 40 minutes away from our church, so it's a little bit of a hike. GZ usually is from 7-9:30ish, so we are really only getting back home well after 10, which is clearly past my bedtime. I can remember when I wouldn't even be caught dead being seen at a nightclub before 11pm, and now if someone invites us to go out, I think that after 8 is outrageous.

So back to GZ and being in the taxi cab mode of motherhood. Sometimes I moan and groan about gas prices and/or how the traveling back and forth is taking away from any little "me" time....I know that sounds selfish, but this is my blog and I am trying to be as honest with myself as I can. Some Friday nights, I just want to stay in my jammies.....rent a good flick.....and snuggle in bed early.....but I have this little voice inside that talks to me and reminds me of a few things. You all know that voice.....some call it your conscience, some call it intuition.....I call it God's soft whisper (even though sometimes it feels like a poking, nagging jab in my ribs.....you see, I am being honest) He reminds me that although it is sometimes a drag to be driving them back and forth.....I could be driving them back and forth to a drug rehab facility, a hospital for chemo treatments, picking them up from a police station, etc. I am reminded on how I am so lucky to have teens who are on fire for God and want to be surrounded by other youth who feel the same. I am reminded of when I was 15 and almost 17.....and I certainly was no where near God or any place close to learning about Him.

Now don't get me wrong, I am totally aware that part of the whole GZ deal is the social aspect......let's be real, yk? Sometimes I am laying on the car horn in the driveway.....waiting impatiently for H to flat iron his hair or G to make sure he sprays his final blast of his cologne.....but the bottom line, is that they want to be where God is. And the ministry at our church knows how to relate to these kids with their preaching and the music. They address real-life issues that our youth is faced with and they connect....The youth pastors/leaders are "youth" themselves.....they in their twenties and know all about iPods, Facebook and texting.......they certainly don't use "boom-boxes" at their events.

From the outside, you might see this group as a bunch of radical kids with their blue hair, piercings and tattoos......but these kids have such a vibrant passion for God and I am so thankful that my kids are part of it all. I am not naive to think that my kids are going to be like Wally and Beaver Cleaver in life just because they attend a Friday night event.....but what I can find peace with, is that I am doing my best to make sure they are surrounded by kids who are more of a positive influence. Being within a circle of friends who might help my kids second guess their actions and decisions and/or know that they are going to be held accountable for making poor choices. It's tough enough growing up in this day, but having a strong group of Christ-following peers can surely help when they are faced with the "not so Beaver Cleaver" world.

I was watching one of my favorite preachers, Ed Young. He was talking about how when Joshua (in the Bible, Joshua.....not my Joshua, lol)....brought his people into the promised land of Canaan. They reaped all the blessings for themselves, but they didn't invest in the future generation with teaching the Word. (Judges 2:6-10) The story tells about a generation that did not know God and who were chasing other gods. That is what I believe is happening now.....our society is really wrapped up chasing other gods such as money, materialism, etc. We are in "Generation Me"...... Of course I am not saying that we should not aspire to have success with a nice home and belongings, but we shouldn't be chasing it and/or making it our sole goal. We should make our main focus serving (chasing) God and the blessings will come. Anyway, I don't want to go off tangent, I just feel, that now that I have children.....I am realizing that it is our duty to raise up this next generation knowing God. These are our future leaders, teachers, and CEOs and it can't be all about "us"......it's about them.

So with that said.....I have a busy day.....I need to finish up this last pile of tie dye (and again being honest)....I can say that I do not want to see tie dye for a while. My hands and fingernails need to get back to somewhat of a normal human color..... and I will be able to relax and know that I don't need to freak out when one of the kids is drinking a Mason jar of Crystal Light, and not mistaking it for fuchsia dye. I can go over my list for tomorrow and check it twice. I will go out and gas up the van for tonight, and look forward to browsing mindlessly through Target for a couple of hours in between drop off/pick up.

So yes....I do thank God for Fridays....and Saturdays.....and every other day He gives me. :)


.....why butterflies?

So I have been trying to think about what my first "real" entry would be......and my mind went blank.....for once.

I guess I can start by why I am fascinated with butterflies.......as it kinda sums up how I feel about who I am and the amazing grace of God.

So I take a look at the life cycle of a butterfly.....particularly the Swallowtail butterfly. When the Swallowtail is born in the caterpillar stage....it is hideous. It's not even a cute fluffy caterpillar like the wooly bear or even the brilliantly patterned monarch.....no, it looks like a slimy ugly slug. So I guess I relate to my life before Christ as ugly....I wasn't a bad person actually......I believe I was a good person for the most part......but made my share of bad choices, that now looking back......made me ugly. Not necessarily ugly in the natural (hopefully not sounding conceited, lol)......but ugly in the spiritual. I made choices that I am sure where hurtful to God and to others,......and myself. But as God keeps that ugly slug caterpillar safe from hungry birds and frogs and also sheltered from the elements which could easily end his journey early......He protected me and kept me safe during some reckless times.....all without me even knowing it. That is how awesome Our Father is.

The next part of the caterpillar's journey brings him to his chrysalis where he is transformed. I believe that God can bring transformation into your life in many ways......some people are faced with a life changing event (hence the name.....life changing) such as death of a loved one, news of a terminal illness or being spared from death. Others can witness God's love in a positive scenario and feel and embrace the transformation ever so gently.

My transformation came about through an angel here on earth named Lili. We became friends through our husbands who were 80's rock and roll guys. Her husband was in a Christian rock band and my husband, who also was a spandex wearing, AquaNet using rocker.... ran sound for their band when he wasn't on stage himself. There is a special warmth when you are around Lili and we quickly became friends. Her laughter is contagious and she radiates love from within. She doesn't need to wear any t-shirt or piece of jewelry......she walks the walk of Jesus.

So fast forward to her asking Josh and I to be her son Kelub's godparents.....I look back and wonder why she would consider me,......again, I wasn't a bad person....but felt that surely she must have known someone more "godly" to take on the role of a "godparent" in her circle of friends. She must have gotten the memo from God as He didn't see who I "was"........He knew who I could (and was supposed to) "be".

So we went to her church for the ceremony.......and that is where I was drawn to my chrysalis.....I walked into the building, pretty much expecting an event consisting of rituals, kneeling and quiet repentance/prayer.......can you tell how I was raised? Instead......it was a sanctuary of life and love! A contemporary band was playing, people were dancing and singing in the aisles......it was pure joy. I felt a peace come over me......and although I was in a place I have never been before, I felt such a sense of familiarity and comfort..... I know it was God and the angels embracing me and singing "Welcome Home". A whirlwind of emotions came over me......I was smiling and within minutes, I was crying......it was a happy kind of cry......and I really didn't even understand why I was filled with such overwhelming emotion.

So just as the chrysalis stage is a process, so was my transformation into becoming a Christ follower. It wasn't something that just hit me like a bolt of lightening at that church ceremony ......it was more like I yearned to be in that comforting place again. And I found that the more I searched to learn more about God.....the more comfort/peace I was blessed with. The more I dove into searching for Him, the more humbled I felt as I realizes how much He has done already in my life and it was only then, that I gave Him ALL the glory. I gave him all the glory for bring Josh into my life, blessing me with four healthy children, just everything that we sometimes take for granted.

Accepting God fully into your life can bring such joy and happiness....but it also came with the process of change...and change can be very uncomfortable. We, as humans.....are creatures of habit, so change isn't always easy. My ways and my thoughts were not going to be magically converted. No, although God can make it easy to "do the right thing"......it was something that I had to make a conscious effort.....and I do know that at times, it was painful to reflect on my past sins and ask God for forgiveness. I also had to (and still do) ask God for guidance and wisdom every day.

When metamorphosis has taken place, the next step is emerging into it's "new life"........the process can be painful and scary.....but when we witness the awesome life that awaits us.....it is worth all the struggles we must endure. As a butterfly, the ugly caterpillar is born again and has the chance to represent it's Creator, with all His beautiful glory. Just as people marvel at the beauty of a butterfly's wings......we should display God's beauty in our actions and day to day living. I don't think Lili realizes how she represents God's glory with her beauty, inside and out......and I hope I can do the same and bless others. I hope that someday I can help bring others to their own chrysalis/transformation and welcome Christ into their lives.

So, yeah....that not so short story, is how I look at my "new" life as God's child.......He has given me a chance to experience a new life in Him.....and made me beautiful in His image, just like the beautiful wings of a butterfly.

How amazing Our Creator is that He can turn this

...............into this

WOW, this turned into a long story......I guess when I am talking about subjects that I am so passionate about, I lose track of time......so if you are still reading this......thank you for my first therapy session.
Peace and love~

Tip toe-ing into the world of blogging.....

OK, so here I am.....a brand new blogger. I figured it was time to finally get in the year 2008 and do the blog thing. I usually have alot going on in my head......sometimes very interesting....sometimes, downright weird. I think I am going to enjoy being able to move some of the thoughts out of my head and into this blog to clear out some room. It can get very hectic in my head sometimes.......kinda like a pinball machine. I think it's a combination of un-medicated ADD, my artsy fartsy imagination and the constant wonder and amazement of this life that God has given me.

Oh, so a little bit about me......hmmmmm, I guess a good way to sum up what I am is a modern day hippie Jesus freak mom. So that tells you that I just love the freedom of hippi-ness (is that a word?).....I love love love my husband Joshua and my children........and most of all, I LOVE JESUS!!! It is because of Him, that I have been blessed with such an awesome life.

So I live in a quiet little area of New England with my husband who my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Joshua. We have been together for over 18 years......We have been blessed with four awesome children......G who is 16, H just turned 15 last week.......E is 10 and N is six. Right now, I am homeschooling N and I am pretty sure E will be coming back to homeschooling next year (fingers crossed).....I have two online businesses that promote Christian natural parenting. Josh works in the "corporate world" during the day.....but then comes home to slip on his favorite tie dye shirt and cargos at night. I guess I am wearing off on him. We've been referred to as "Dharma and Greg" more than a few times.

Another thing about me, is that I love to laugh....what a wonderful gift God has given us. I always tell my children that when they are ready to get married, to make sure that they find someone who loves God and who loves to laugh....and the rest will all fall into place. :)

So I am sure I will be sharing so much more about me and my family soon enough......you will notice (and have to decifer) the way I write. I write as I am thinking.......so there are alot of "......." and "so" and "hmmmmmm" and "OK"s and alot of "!!!"......to filter through.
OK, now I am going to poke around at this blog thing and see all that it has to offer......I can't wait to make it all groovy!

Peace and love~

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