Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Story of the Fall

We covered the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit and all the awfulness that came out of that adventure in disobedience.  We took a lot of time and drug this one out because I think this is a story I always felt like I knew, but I have read so much more about it and developed more understanding that's made this story more meaningful to me in the last couple of years.  It's also made it so much sadder, so much more devastating.  I want the kids to understand the enormity of this, the pivotal change, the before when God was hanging out in the garden with the people He loves and the after where we long for His presence.  Then the biggie: that He came back for us.

Bible Story:  Read about the fall in The Action Bible.

Verse:  Psalm 51:4 Against You, God, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.
We chose this one because it was from Wren's Awana's book covering this story.

Art Activity: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/206602701631022404/

We did our own version of the above and wrote "the devil lies" on the back of our tree trunk.
We also collected items that might be in the Garden of Eden and put them in a shoe box.  We're assembling Little People figures so the kids can perform "The Fall" using their tree and box. 

What we emphasized:

Misinterpreting or misrepresenting facts is not good
 Adam told Eve they couldn't even touch the tree, which wasn't exactly true.  Adam told Eve they couldn't touch it instead of what God said, which was don't eat from it.  The devil used the misinterpretation to his advantage when deceiving Eve.

The devil lies
Sin does equal earthly death for all of us.  Satan is a deceiver. 

I wish I didn't know sin
When I was younger I wondered what in the world could be so wrong about that tree.  Who wouldn't want to have knowledge?  However, if I could save my kids from the knowledge of bad things, I would.  I would not know evil.  I didn't need that knowledge and I don't feel lucky to have it.

The heartbreak of God
Donald Miller's book Searching For God Knows What does an excellent job when discussing the heartbreak God must have felt at this betrayal and how awful it must have been when He knew He couldn't, in His perfection, be in the garden with these people He loved anymore.  Miller really brings out the relational betrayal, makes you feel it.  I think I cried reading it.

The heartbreak of humans and that desire to be near Him
About once a month Wren goes to bed crying because she wants to see God.  See Him, for real, right now.  She knows she has a relationship with Christ and He is always with her, but sometimes the desire to be with Him overwhelms her, and it's at least a half hour conversation to calm her down.  For me, the story of the fall helps explain this.  Of course we want to be with God all the time; that was the original plan.  Until we get to Heaven, it makes sense that we would desire His presence.  I think Wren's desire for that presence is stronger than anyone I have ever met.

He sent His son to fix our mistake
After such a betrayal, it's even more amazing He would send His son to save us, but God wanted us back that bad.  That's the silver lining to this one. 

We didn't sing a song this week.  I'm sure I could have found one on YouTube, but it didn't feel like a sing-a-song-about-sin-entering-the-world kind of week.  This particular story was a bit heavy. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What It’s All About

Anyone who has seen my Facebook posts this week is probably curious about why I would want to host a trunk party for Noonday Collection when the only thing I’m usually accessorized with are children and left over breakfast food.  I put on a pair of earrings the other day and Sammy said, “Wow, mommy, you look like a princess.  Now go put on pretty shoes and brush your hair.”  I’m the antithesis of the accessory crazy girly-girl. 

Also, I have no interest in becoming a Noonday Ambassador, though it’s probably a cool venture if you are interested in that sort of thing.  I am bowing out of my part-time job at a library that I have enjoyed for almost three years because my full focus needs to be on D and the kiddies.  I plan on writing, trying to carve out a niche freelancing if that work outs, but I don’t plan on taking on another form of employment in the near future if possible.  It’s hard to commit to be anywhere but managing Ramirez, Inc. right now.

So, why would a non-girly girl not seeking a financial incentive who also can occasionally be an anti-social introvert want a bunch of people in her messy house looking at jewelry and purses?

I like Noonday, and I don’t find a ton of companies these days doing things I like.

I want to be a part of helping marginalized people work using their gifts and talents.  I would rather send my dollars their way than up the chain of corruption most places offer.

I want to set an example for my kids that it makes a difference where I spend the money God gave me and that seemingly little things matter.

I want to feel like even in this stage of life where I don’t feel as “out there” participating because I am home educating and playing and keeping fingers out of electrical sockets that what I do can still make a difference. 

Also, this would be an excuse to get together with friends I have put on hold because they haven’t been right in front of my face every day and four other tiny people always needing food have.

Even as a non-girly girl, I can get excited about pretty stuff, and if I’m going to spend money on anything, I’d like to know where the money is going and that it is meaningful.  Plus, I have a couple of birthdays and white elephant Christmas gifts coming up.  Instead of pacing through Target a week before the events panicked, frustrated, muttering, “Where do you go to learn to shop?”  I will have items I love already wrapped and ready, and I know the people receiving them will love them.  (Ladies in the family, get ready to THROW DOWN over the white elephant gift I will be bringing!)

So, I hope that clears up any confusion.  I knew when Wren saw me in a nightgown and thought I was wearing a dress and ready for an evening on the town that further explanation must be provided.  I’m low maintenance maybe to the point of being borderline sloth-like about appearance, but perhaps after spending dough on precious, meaningful items that directly help others live dignified lives, someone can teach me how to accessorize.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How You Know You or Someone You Love Has Celiac

Somehow Celiac Awareness Month scooted by in May, and I didn't post anything Celiac related.  That's a good thing; Celiac doesn't dominate our lives the way it did right after D and Wren were diagnosed.  Of course, we still have to be just as diligent, but that diligence is now second nature, habit.  It feels less like a nuisance and more like just living our lives.

Still, there are moments when you know what you're experiencing is Celiac specific.  I'd like to share a few:

You Know You or Someone You Love Has Celiac When:

1.  You are hungry for toast, but by the time you defrost your bread, broil it so it's not soggy and let it cool so you don't burn your tongue, you don't remember why the bread sounded good in the first place.

2.  You dread people cooking food and bringing it to your house because you have to politely smile and then find another family without 26 food allergies or sensitivies to eat it.

3.  Your grocery budget rivals your mortgage payment.

4.  No matter where you go, you bring your own cooler.

5.  When someone says "animal crackers" or "goldfish crackers", you immediately go on alert as if someone screamed "shark" or "zombie attack."

6.  Your pantry is full of essential oils, homeopathic remedies and vitamins because if the person with Celiac gets sick and needs an antibiotic, that means you have to call the companies who make antibiotics and experience red rage because they have no idea what is in their products.

7.  Everyone in your house is way too comfortable talking about farts.

8.  The people at the very few restaurants you can eat at scream, "Celiac on the floor" and start changing gloves before you even put in your order.

9.  Most restaurant managers in the area hate you because of all the questions you call and ask before you eat at their place.  They really hate that you call back four times using different accents to make sure you get the same answers from each person who touches the food.

10.  When someone who has just had their hands on Wonder Bread attempts to touch your gluten-free food, you slap them, explain basic food manners, then explain Celiac food etiquette including the words, "Your crumbs kill people." 

Happy Celiac Awareness month two months late!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homeschool Bible Time

We finished reading the Action Bible to the kids on Sunday!  Now that we're done, we are starting over, going through each Bible story and taking time to break it down, learn more songs, memorize more verses, and do more activites related to each one.  I'm going to try to post what we are doing on the blog so I will have it as each little one comes up and we repeat all this.  If it helps anyone, YAY! 
Full disclaimer:  I am not reinventing the wheel, so I'm basically using great resources I find and plugging them in. 
Here's is what we've been up to this week in regards to Bible Study.
> We've been reading the first pages of the Action Bible that cover Creation. We read about days 1-3 one day and days 4-6 on the next day.
> We then did the activity from this Pinterest site. I just created my own based on her picture.

We discovered the Creation Song and have been singing it all day!
Creation Song:
Tomorrow we are going to go through why God rested and what it means to have a day of rest and what we think God wants our day of rest and worship to look like.
Probably Thursday I am going to read a paragraph from the attachment below. We are teaching a Creationist/young Earth perspective, so we want the kids to know that they may come across people who question how the Earth was created, but it's fine to believe it was created exactly the way God said it was.
I'm just using the paragraph from Day 1 for now.

Verse to remember:  Genesis 1:1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth (or the "erff" if Sammy is saying it.)

Again, I'm going to attempt to keep up with posting everything as we go through the Bible again.  I will probably get behind because that's what I do, but maybe not!  If you find anything awesome you think we'd enjoy, please comment.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

One Year, Four Kids

The twins turned one on June 19th. I really imagined on that day I would cry and reflect and just be overwhelmed by my youngest kids turning one. It’s true that the days are long but the years are short, and this year flew by. However, I was saved weeping for 24 hours by hand, foot, and mouth disease. Actually, I still wept but it was delayed for five days and then mainly because I hadn’t slept in a week, couldn’t remember the last time I showered, and felt like the personal Jersey cow for two breastmilk-crazed zombie babies. And I had watched my sweet girls suffer for days. That was the worst.

Here are some tidbits I want to remember about the first year now that I have time to remember:

Asher and Eowyn are both standing on their own. Neither is walking yet (update:  Asher took her first steps on June 27th.) They just like to balance on their chubby little legs and prepare to lung. I’m not sure if they are preparing to walk or fly.

Both say “da-da” and “mama” and Asher says her own name. Eowyn says “hi there.”

They weigh 16 pounds each, which puts them both in the less than 1 percentile for weight. Whatever. That’s 32 pounds worth of baby for me to carry, so I think God knew what he was doing when he made them tiny. They are healthy!

What We’ve Learned During the First Year of Twins

Eowyn, Mommy, and Asher

People think we are super parents because we have twins and a large family. We're not. On a daily basis D and I have a lot more opportunities to do it right or screw it up, and having tons of people in close proximity all the time teaches the true definition of grace.

They can fight, which I've read is good because it means they aren't too dependent on each other and see themselves as worthy individuals. They also are okay with being together or in different rooms.

They can love. They still cuddle and hold hands. They twin chatter every morning. They crack each other up.

They are hugely attached to me. I know, aren't all kids attached to mom? But I do have to admit that when I was pregnant, I wondered if they would need me as much or attach to me as thoroughly as Wren and Sam did because they have each other. They attached. They are securely attached!

They are very identical and very much their own people. It's weird because they are generally described as "the most identical twins" anyone has ever seen. Appearance aside, they have some commonalities, some differences, and I view them as distinctly themselves, even though it's hard to tell them apart.

Wren and Sammy were born to be older siblings. I'm not exaggerating when I say I do not know how I would have survived without the older two through this transition. They've retrieved diapers, entertained babies so I could shower, made me laugh when I was sleep deprived, and taken care of each other. Daily I wonder if I'm homeschooling them or if they are schooling me. I think I'm probably learning more, healthier habits from them.

People are still fascinated with twins/big families. I think after this year, I know what it must be like to be tailed by paparazzi. We can't go many places that people don't comment on the size of our family and that we have twins. Most comments are very kind. Some folks take offense to us trying to be fruitful.  But seriously, when you look at all this preciousness, how can you not understand why we have a herd?
Asher, Eowyn, Wren, and Sammy