Iniatiative

"Initiative prompts you to tackle the task before you are told, before you are asked, and before the last minute!"

Ask any third or fourth grade student that I've had about the "inatiative quote" and they would be able to say it verbatim.

This was my motto at TCS and in the classroom.  One of my jobs that I took very seriously was instilling a sense of responsibility and respect of one's work in each student.

Another quote was, "School is your business, your job and your responsibility."
 As a stay at home mom and teacher to my children these same truths run true at home.  Procrastination or being lazy is simply NOT allowed.  Being on time, getting our work done first, and being cleanly over our rooms and toys shows mommy and daddy respect.  These are things we are working on with our 3 and 4 year old.  This means we are teaching them to...

*put dirty clothes in the hamper
*dirty dishes in the sink
*clean up after playtime
* shoes go in our closet
*we make our bed
*school comes before play
*a good attitude is most important
*complaining or grumbling is not tolerated

Yes, I run a pretty tight ship over here, as John says.  And sometimes it does feel like I'm running a Nascar pit stop.  But there are things to clean, places to go, and people to see.  We have so many things to achieve and learn each day and I don't want to waste one minute.  Our days are packed, but there is a rhyme and reason of why we do what we do.  And nap time is sacred, because we work and play hard and our bodies need rest.



"Initiative prompts you to tackle the task, before you are told, before you are asked and before the last minute!" 

And you'd be surprised at how quickly little ones memorize quotes!  


Blog Hop Almost 300 Followers!!!

It's Time to Mingle!

Happy Go Lucky

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is:  Motivated Mommy of Two

There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.
This week we have a special treat for you! 
Wendelyn from Peek at a Bow is hosting a giveaway!!
She is giving away THREE large single bows. 


The winner gets to choose the colors they want. 
How fabulous is that?!
 
Use Rafflecopter to enter this giveaway:
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Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.

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Peace

"Peace is the result of resting in God.  Peace comes from resting in a relationship that holds us in the midst of life's storms and in the momentary calm of their aftermath."  


I'm currently reading a book called, Naked Fruit: Getting Honest about the Fruit of the Spirit. by Elisa Morgan.

I love this quote Elisa says about peace and instantly I thought of my water birth with Marky.  Mark was born 3 years ago in May.  And I'll never forget how at peace I was about the whole birth and it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with God.  I knew God was going to be with us during the whole labor process and I knew that everything was going to be okay.  I can't explain how I knew, but I just rested in God.

When you think of peace you may think of a blank to do list, a quiet nap time, a serene beach scene.  But peace doesn't mean the outward circumstances are still or quiet.  Trust me, during my labor, there was not peace and quiet.  I felt contractions.  There was about 8 hours of labor to go through.  We arrived at the hospital around 3pm and Mark wasn't born til 10:03pm. 

There was a lot of walking, contractions, moving, sweat, heavy breathing, and hard work to do.  It wasn't about the circumstances.  But the peace came from my inner soul because I knew that God would bring this baby into the world.  I trusted Him.

Remember the scene of Jesus in the boat with his disciples during the raging storm.  Can you picture the noise, the wind, the spray of the ocean, can you see the fear on their faces?  They thought this storm would kill them all.  And what was Jesus doing?  Resting!  He was asleep at the bottom of the boat!  How could he sleep during a storm, a time like this?  The disciples thought he was nuts!  But Jesus calmed that storm in an instant.  After all he is God and He made the wind and the sea.  Just his voice could calm it.  Why was Jesus calm during the storm?  He was fully God and yet fully man.  He was calm because he knew how to rest in the palm of God's loving hand.

Many times I don't have peace because I am not resting in God.  I am trying to fix, solve, and manage without him.

John 14: 27 says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Notice Jesus doesn't promise us rose gardens and carefree days.  BUT he does promise us peace.  We can rest in Him during the trials, sickness, scary moments, storms and tragedies of life because we know we can trust His loving plan for us.

Peace.


I love that verse in Psalms that says, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me."  I don't have to fear.  I can have peace.  He is with me.  And I am walking through the valley.  I'm not staying there.

What happens after the noise, the hard work, the heavy breathing of the labor?  The birth of new life.  And then comes even more peace.  Thank you Jesus.

"Busyness kills our hearts.  Rest restores our souls."
God is teaching me that I need Him and His peace daily.  I don't need time fillers and busyness.  I need Him.  I need His peace.  Which means I need to take time to be in a right relationship with Him spending time with Him and getting to know about this peace He offers.

"You are not alone.  God is with you.  Rest in your relationship with him...remember that peace is the result of resting in a relationship with a real God who is really there."








Making Memories

"Please excuse the mess, my children are making memories."

All too often I am so stuck on my to-do list and my cleaning up that I forget the importance of making those fun memories with my kids.  This weekend my husband played and played and played with the kids every chance he got and every time they asked.  Julia is 4 years old and pretend play is so fun for her right now.  In this picture they were "driving in the car" together and Daddy was using a plate as a steering wheel.  He was making loud turns and going way too fast, Julia had to stop him and say "Daddy please slow down this is too fast and too loud!"  (Oh, my goodness did she sound like me!)  John said sadly, "OK..." and they did another pretend quick turn and had her laughing.

The things they will remember are not Mommy kept a clean house or had squeaky clean floors, but that mom and dad always took the time to make us feel special and pretended with us.  Oh, Lord, help me to take the time to do that today.




Summer time fun

Reading Kick off Program

Saturdays are generally very busy days for us and the kids.  We have taekwondo in the morning and then we always like to do something fun with the kids since Daddy is home.

So after we eat breakfast, shower, dress, and do a few quick chores like straightening up and some laundry we are out of the door!

This particular weekend we went to our library to enroll the kids in the summer reading program--us and practically 200+ other parents and kids.  As an educator seeing that many people in the library made me SO happy.  It's wonderful to see parents get involved with their kids learning.  We saw our friends there, John got to sit with Marky and see some cool super hero books Mark loves, and Mark fell in love with a Bee Magazine (which we found out later we could not borrow from the library, I never saw Mark cry so hard at the check out line...we will definitely be ordering this Kids magazine on bugs...he LOVES Science stuff).

And for me to see my kids so excited to stay and read, and color and be in the library on a Saturday is just awesome!

It never fails, when we go to the children's section Julia's first order of business is to choose a picture to color and get right to business.

Mark was so excited to show Daddy his special "super hero" spot where all his fun books are.

Daddy and Mark reading all about BEES!

Julia's friend Scarlett and a new buddy she met that day.

After we ate some bagels and coffee we headed to the park to play!

My brave and super handsome boy.

After nap time we went to Whole Foods to get some healthy grub and John made us an Asian soup and California Rolls...and I made fresh salad from our very own garden!

Life is Good!

It was a great weekend and we are ready to read the summer away and earn some fun prizes along the way!


Joy

Having Confidence in God

Happiness is getting what you want in life and everything going as planned...joy is basically getting nothing you want or planned for...but it's a great opportunity to rest and trust in God's plan for you.

I don't know about you but I like being able to plan for things to be able to expect things.  Like when we finally got pregnant with Julia after trying for months and months and I took that pregnancy test at home and saw I was pregnant...first I was shocked and then I was so HAPPY...I couldn't wipe the grin off my face.  I was now able to plan for the next 9 months for her to get here.  I knew what to expect.  I was prepared.  Here in this picture you can see the Happiness on our faces.

The month of Sept/October of that same year...Julia was only about 9 or 10 months old...I got a wonderful surprise...I found out I was pregnant...AGAIN...my Julia wasn't 2 or 3 like most moms who plan out their pregnancies ever so carefully....I got a bonus baby.  Now, I had a choice.  I could sulk because I got something I didn't expect or I could be joyful and trust God for what was to come...thankfully, and this was only because of God's wonderfully grace, I was extremely JOYFUL.  



Julia was such an easy baby, happy go lucky, never ever cried (people teased me at church and said, does your baby ever cry?) she slept through the night early on, nursed and ate like a champ, I couldn't wait for another baby!   Even John, our financial planner and analytical thinker never once worried or acted nervous about this bonus baby, as we like to call our bubba.  People were critical and asked us stuff like, "What were you thinking?"  "It's going to be so hard with two babies!"  etc, etc, etc...and you know what, none of that ever worried me.  I surrounded myself with professional moms who had 3, 4, 5 kids and were doing wonderful, I learned from them, took notes from them, read books, and trusted that God would give me the strength, energy, and creativity to raise two babies close together.


Hey, what I did was no big deal...think about moms who have 3 or 4 kids under the age of 5 years old!!!! Think of Michele Duggar who has 19 kids!!! They are my hero!  


The book I'm reading right now on the Fruit of the Spirit called "Naked Fruit: Getting honest about the fruit of the spririt" by Elisa Morgan says:
 "Joy is confidence in God's grace, despite circumstances--despite what happens.  Joy is the ability to hold up because we know we are being held up.  Joy is the conviction that God is in control of every detail of our lives even when those details appear to be out of control."
 I love that quote...joy has NOTHING to do with us and EVERYTHING to do with God.  Now, you may say, Kristi, your situation was easy, it's easy to be joyful about a new baby...that's true.  What about death?  What about losing someone you love to death?

 Last night my dear friend from ladies bible study told me her mother lost her battle to breast cancer that day.  Thankfully she was not in pain and passed away in her sleep and she knew the Lord as her Savior.  But still, how can you be joyful in death?  How?  Putting on a fake smile does not mean you are joyful or happy that someone you loved died.  But knowing in your heart of hearts that your mom is now in the presence of Jesus and is no longer in any pain and has a new body that is cancer free, that can bring you joy.  Remember it's knowing that God will hold us up and allowing him to be our strength and our comforter...that can bring us joy.


"Joy is knowing our days are numbered...our loved ones will walk where we cannot go, but wherever they go God is already present."

 Here's another tough one.  The holidays spent with people you don't necessarily like.  You have a choice.  You can be miserable on the inside and put on a fake smile, or you can remember the reason for the season and put your confidence in the Lord that he will get you through the day with grace and dignity.  It's all about how we embrace our situations.

"Joy welcomes the "whatever" of any situation."

"Joy is confidence in God no matter what happens."

 Life throws us curve balls all the time.  We sometimes have to handle things we never thought we could.  

"Life is unpredictable and contains many unpleasant moments that happen.  And when they do, joy is the experience of holding on because we know that we are being held."

I think what I took away from this chapter was that God doesn't want me to ever give up on life or situations no matter how sad or challenging.  He gives me hope for the days ahead.  He is my strength always.  He holds me in the palm of his hands and I am safe.

Praise Him for that.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds."

James 1:2


Blog HOP 290 Followers

 It's Time to Mingle!

Happy Go Lucky

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is: Miki's Scrapbook
miki's
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.


Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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People Like Me Like to...

Fearfully and Wonderfully made...

 You know that wonderful Bible verse that says that God has made each of us unique and fearfully and wonderfully...ok so you promise not to laugh about how crazy and wacky I am?  Ok, you can laugh...

People like me like to match or coordinate with their kids.

People like me brush their child's hair at least twice, sometimes three times a day. Not Mark's, but definitely Julia's; it is getting so long now and she takes a nap and after nap it is crazy!

People like me NEVER sit still...not ever...ok, maybe to nurse a baby (those days are over for now), or watch a movie, but even then my mind is going a mile a minute.



People like me ALWAYS have a plan...and if their is no plan then people like me get very cranky because to get two little people to cooperate without a schedule is not fun at all.

People like me really enjoy Quality Time with others.  Long talks on the phone, going to the movies, having tea together, enjoying a meal, watching a show, anything that involves talking and laughing and bonding.  It just makes me feel closer to the person.

People like me need ORGANIZATION and cleanliness.  My students used to always tease me because I would arrive to school so early to disinfect the tops of their desks with hand wipes and I loved "putting the room back to order."  Germs and a mess are the enemy!  I'm one of those weird people that cannot cook a meal without clean counters and a clean sink, it just doesn't work.  I need a clean palate! So to speak.



People like me MUST look presentable when stepping out of the home.  That means combed hair, clean clothes, brushed teeth, and an accessory or two!  Hence why my daughter wears bows and leaves them in and my son loves hats, they really don't remember life without them.

People like me LOVE to laugh.  About anything and everything.  Because life is too short to be so serious.

People like me LOVE to take pictures, pose for pictures, scrapbook pictures, blog with pictures, get the pattern?  I love looking back on all the memories.

People like me ADORE babies...lots of them...all of them...I love their smiles, their wobbly walk, their chubby legs, their sweet smelling skin, their chubby cheeks.  And people like me wouldn't mind a houseful of babies...

People like me love husbands who are really involved with their kids, and love to be silly and are simply hands on and wonderful when they are home! 

People like me get a KICK out of the grandparents with the kids.  I mean did my mom ever sit on the floor and play with me this much, did she laugh and smile and act silly?  I love it!  I love the joy on their faces and the kisses the kids give.  I love grandparents and one day I can't wait to be one.

People like me love the beach, and vacations, and walks with the kids and holding hands.


90 Degrees

Hot Weather...ways to keep cool

Here in the North East it is common for there to be at least 15 days of 90 degree weather during the summer time.  This week for the next 3 days it will be above 90 degrees!  

So this playdate coordinator, stay-at-home mama is planning ways to keep us all cool!!!

Today we were scheduled to visit the farm, but I cancelled that trip when I heard how hot it was gonna be!  I decided to see how many moms wanted to follow us to the Dorbrook Sprayground water park.  So far it looks like there is going to be a bunch of us keeping cool there today!  So donned with our sunblock, sun visors, and swim suits we will be keeping cool at the water park.

Tomorrow I was thinking of heading to the beach, I just have to recruit some friends to tag along!  We also have a lake near our house at Cheesequake park if all else fails.  

And since I have two fair children I was thinking that Friday we could stay indoors and see the new movie BRAVE with the adorable female hero with gorgeous red hair.  It's a new movie for kids coming out this weekend.  At the Disney store they have been advertising this movie for months now!  John and I saw coming attractions recently and the movie looks sooooo goooood!!!

What do you do to keep cool??? 


Love

Julia,4 and Mark,3...can you feel the love???

Click here for worksheets for pre-K

Galatians 5: 22, 23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I'm reading a book right now called, "Naked Fruit: Getting honest about the fruit of the spirit," by Elisa Morgan.  It's a great Christian book that is helping me get into the "right mind set" as I teach my little ones all about the fruit of the spirit.  We can sing songs, make crafts, and memorize a verse or two, but if never learn anything or don't allow God to change our hearts, than why even bother, right?

I think about the year we were engaged and the 4 years after how in love and ecstatic we felt.  I mean we were all smiles and couldn't wait to spend every waking minute together!  Just hearing John's voice, or getting a phone call or text from him made me feel all cozy inside.  So IN LOVE.  The roses, the dates, the diamond ring, the vows, the wedding gown, the Rolls Royce...our honeymoon, vacations, buying our first home...God is so good to us, I kept saying over and over to my self.

Then finding out we were pregnant!!! Choosing names, hearing her heartbeat, picking out toys, books, and fixing her room...so exciting!  So many firsts, feeling her move, kick, hiccup even before she was born!  So IN LOVE.  Then meeting her, holding her, nursing her, changing her, showing her off to anyone and everyone at the hospital...

"Among all the qualities, love seems the most natural, second nature, and easiest to both offer and receive."

Until...

Daddy comes home late for the third night in a row...or
Baby won't sleep through the night...or
A comment hurts our pride/feelings...or
You are so sore from nursing you just want to give up! or...
All you want to do is sleep but everyone needs you...or

"Love is there...in all things.  Except when love is hard.  And it can be hard, can't it?"
I can remember clearly hearing Pastor Joe mentor us during premarital counseling saying that "Love is a choice...and we wouldn't always feel loving or in love, but that we choose to love our spouse no matter what."  I can also remember thinking, "I'll always feel this in love all the time, no matter what!"  But in those moments of disappointment, or frustration, or lack of good communication, or let's face it, just being over tired, I can really see what our pastor meant.  And it's comforting to know that God loves us with a perfect love, when we are so not worthy and so not perfect.

I also thank God for laughter.  Because in these years of rearing young ones, thank goodness John and I have a sense of humor, because sometimes laughter can cover up the worst moments, and heal a multitude of wounds.  (I feel like I've heard that somewhere...)

So, lets be real about love...it can be really hard to love people.  I find it easy to love the "blanket" people (you know, the people who make you feel comfortable)  in my life but the "sand paper people" (you know the people who are always rubbing you the wrong way) are not easy AT ALL.  Pastor Steve, our former associate pastor came up with this analogy and I've always referred to it because it is so true.  He also said that the sand paper people are put in our life for a reason...to change us, to smooth our rough edges (because we are not perfect and we need smoothing too and just think you may be sand paper to someone else!) and that loving others is the most important thing we can do to show others the love of Christ.

"Love is not about being nice for the sake of niceness; it's about being like Jesus."
"Love is a committed choice to be there...in everything."  The good.  The bad.   The ugly.  For better or for worse.

Motherhood is a commitment to love no matter what...during stomach bugs, teething babies, cranky kids, long car rides, noise, noise, and louder noise, no sleep, broken sleep, no matter what.

I can remember each time I brought Mark to the ER for some boo boo he did to himself...and not once was I ever mad at him...I just wanted to fix it and make my little guy better.  And I can remember the car rides home watching him sleep or eat a donut or comforting him.  There would be so much LOVE in that car I wouldn't even want to roll the windows down to ruin the moment.  And that love doesn't come from deep within me...that love comes from my Father.  My heavenly Father who loves me and who is teaching me how to love.  No matter what.

"In the everything moments love is a choice.  God chose to love us.  He didn't have to.  He wanted to love us so he chose to love us.  We choose to love others.  Sometimes it doesn't seem like a choice, like when we fall in love with our baby or our husband or even a best friend.  That's more of a can't help but feel it emotion, isn't it?  But later when the newness of love wears off and we're caught in a relationship, it is the choice of love that continues."
So basically, love is the fruit of the spirit that gets past the fake "being nice" stuff...and offering the real love when it's hard to love those sand paper people!

Dear Lord,


Thanks for this lesson today.  Help me to be real and sincere and truly love people the way you do.  Help me to want to bless and serve others when it is not convenient for me. 








Chinese School Enrollment

Julia's Fall Enrollment at Monmouth Chinese School

Click here

Julia has been officially enrolled next year for Chinese School on Saturdays.  It's a fun 3 hour program for 4-5 year olds with games, snacks, and a language program. 

John took Chinese at Pace University and since he is quite the linguist he picked it up quite well.  He was even able to use it on our mission trip to China in 2005.  We took classes in China that month as well.  John has been teaching the kids Mandarin for the past year and a half, I wish you could hear their accent and enunciation.  It's amazing how quick kids pick things up.  We bought a Rosetta Homeschool Chinese program for kids as well that he uses.

It's just another great way for the kids to learn more about other cultures and other languages and add to their resume one day.  I'm so excited for Julia.  She is going to be so happy to go come September!

Thanks Daddy!


USA themed Field Day

Field Day 2012

We are so excited for our first Field Day with our CCOB Homeschool Group.  I volunteered to be a Team Leader and will have 10-3,4 year olds to bring to ten USA themed events!  There will be relay races, hula hooping, water buckets, and lots more!  Each event pertains to one of the 50 United States.  Our team is yellow.  We even have T shirts for the event!  The coordinators did a fabulous job and we can't wait to go to the park and meet all 150+ of the participants.

We are praying for great weather, safety and lots of fun!  I'll try to take pics and post them next week!

Homeschooling Rocks!!!

***Happy Birthday to my dearest Christy Weaver!  I love you sweet sister of the heart!  You are such an inspiration, encouragement, and blessing to me.  So glad you were born!




My Daddy Is....

This was one of our Father's Day Crafts:

 The kids had to answer the questions in their own words (and this is what makes it so funny!)  P.S. my husband wants everyone to know that he is NOT 44!  In ten years he will be but until then, no more jokes!!! LOL

My Dad is ____44______ years old.
His hair is _____brown__ and his eyes are __blue__.
My Dad likes to wear _________his uniform______.
He loves to eat ____________sushi____________.
He is smart because he knows ___us______ . 
My Dad works hard at _____work_____________.
Daddy always tells me ________to go to bed______.
It makes my Dad happy when ____he's home_______.
If he could go on a trip, he would go _____to the beach___ and he would take ______all of us_________.
I really love when my Dad ____goes outside with us.__.
If I could give my Daddy anything it would be __a toy___.
My favorite thing about my Daddy is  _____to play with him____.


Love, Julia (4) and Mark (3)


Honey, we are so blessed with such smart and beautiful kids!!!



Blog Hop 285 Followers! Yipee

 It's Time to Mingle!

Happy Go Lucky

Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is:  Live, Laugh, Love, Teach
live, laugh, love, teach
There are no rules to this blog hop. Just link up your blog's main page. Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends. We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.


Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.
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