Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Behold He comes riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet call; lift your voice, it's the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion's hill salvation comes!!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Home. :-)

If you remember THIS link, then you know that this weekend was the "night away" my family gifted to me. :-) I was so excited, and looked forward to getting away.

A couple of obstacles ALMOST ruined it for me, but it worked out after all. First, "Little Mark" got the flu. It was bad. He ended up in the ER and was dehydrated. They prescribed Tamiflu. I don't know if you have ever had to take Tamiflu, but apparently it causes HALF of it's users to vomit. (That is what doctor #2 told me when I took him BACK to the ER the next morning.) So, she prescribed a med for the nausea and we discontinued the Tamiflu. It worked.

By Friday "Little Mark" was feeling much better and had been fever free for over 48 hours. So, I was back on. Or was I?

Thursday afternoon/evening brought East Texas something we don't see very often, snow flurries. Then, Friday morning we awoke to this:

I was stoked. :-) I haven't seen this much snow in over 10 years. Dallas got anywhere from 9"-14". We got around 6". We loved it, it was amazing. :-) Our street, however, looked like this.

Hmmm... I don't drive in snow. I didn't plan to leave until the early afternoon, so I was praying it would melt before then. The highways were pretty clear to drive on, so I loaded the car with my suitcase, plugged in my music, prayed and gave God the wheel. I was on my way.

I made one stop along the way and purchased a SMALL box of these.

My Valentine's gift to myself. :-) 4 little pieces of chocolate, and I was going to savor every bite.

All along the way I just was in awe of how beautiful the snow was. I lost count of how many snowmen I passed. I saw the tall pine trees I pass at least once a week, covered in white. I watched as the melting snow fell off the trees, revealing the green needles once again. I passed large fields that were still perfect, untouched by human feet or cattle. A Christmas song came up on the mp3 player, and for a moment I felt I was in another time and place, and I didn't want it to end.

I made it to my destination, entered a Mexican restaurant and requested a table in the corner. I wanted to read and people watch. It was a great way to spend and hour. :-) I checked into my hotel, purchased a coke from the vending machine and filled my ice bucket. I then settled into my room, unpacked and did my Bible Study homework for this weeks Bible Study.

My room came with a jacuzzi. NOT a jacuzzi tub. An actual jacuzzi. I had never used a jacuzzi before, but I was looking forward to using it. It should have come with instructions, because before I ever got in I was wiping down walls, floors, lamps, and the chair in the room. I did this TWICE before I figured out I had to get the water level above the jets before I could turn it on. :-) Once I figured that out though, it was all good. :-) I hopped out, showered, put on PJs and settled in for the night. It was about 5:30 pm. LOL... ;-)

I ordered dinner in, watched TV, listened to music, read, and then enjoyed my four little pieces of chocolate I treated myself to earlier. Best 99 cents I've spent in awhile. :-) The bed was very comfortable, and I was surprised at how well I slept considering I don't like to be in the house alone, much less a strange room.

I woke this morning, dressed and went to the breakfast room. I took my Bible Study with me to do a little more reading over breakfast, but I have to admit I "people watched" most of the time. :-)

I went back to the room, packed, watched a little TV, checked out and headed out for my day. Did a little shopping; bought 2 lip glosses, eye shadow, and some cake decorating stuff. I've been considering buying a new Bible for awhile, so I spent about an hour in LifeWay looking at different ones. I finally found one I really liked AND it was 50% off. :-) I also picked up this book:

I know I recommended the one for Children in my last post, but I thought maybe I should read this one as well. :-)

I also went to the local Art Museum. I hadn't been there since I took "Little Mark" to see the visiting Norman Rockwell exhibit. That's been about 8 years. I was able to take my time, read the information, sit and look at the paintings and photos. And I came to a conclusion; there are just some "artists" I'm never going to get. I think they were doing drugs when they came up with those paintings. I'm just sayin'.

I made a couple of more stops and decided at the last minute to ditch my plans to go see a movie and head on home. The Evergreens that had been covered with white just 24 before were now green again. Some remnants of the snow still lay on the ground where the shade protected it from the sun. I made it home, got some Chinese Food and finished my night watching a DVD; bringing an end to my "Me Time" away. I could not have asked for a better gift, and the fact that my family gave it to me without me ever saying anything about it let's me know they really are "looking out for me" and know what I need. :-)

It was so amazing, relaxing, and refreshing. I don't think a word exists to describe so I'm going to stop trying and just say, "THANK YOU, FAMILY!!"

Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Five Love Languages of Children.

I believe I have mentioned this book, written by Gary Chapman, before. It is a wonderful book, and I intend to read it again. :-)

Today Homeschool View had a wonderful article about "How to Speak Your Homeschooler's Love Language." I have copied it here. If you homeschool but do not subscribe to Homeschool View's blog, I highly recommend heading over and signing up for it. It is through Alpha Omega, so you might need to register there first. I'm not sure about that part.

Do your children feel loved? Do they sense your unconditional affection and support as they homeschool? Although we may think we're showing love to our children during the day, many times our homeschoolers fail to feel loved because we use the wrong love language. According to The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, children sense love in five basic ways: words of affirmation, gift giving, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. Do you know which of these love languages speaks loudest to your child's heart?

Determining your child's love language will enable you to achieve family closeness and provide a solid emotional foundation for your child while homeschooling with your curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications®. One simple test you can use to find your child's love language is to ask your child this question:

"If I was gone on vacation for several weeks, what would you like me to do when I returned home?"

• Tell you how much I missed you. (words of affirmation)
• Bring a gift back for you. (gift giving)
• Spend the day playing together. (quality time)
• Make your favorite meal for supper. (acts of service)
• Give you a big hug and kiss. (physical touch)

Although your child may say he would like you to do all of these, ask him to pick out the one action he thinks is most important. This will allow you to pinpoint his particular love language and enable you to communicate your love to him more effectively.

So, what are some practical ways of meeting your homeschooled child's need for love? Depending on your child's particular love language you might do the following:

Words of Affirmation - Mean what you say. No flattery allowed.
• Write encouraging comments like "great job" on daily papers.
• Offer sincere compliments when he demonstrates positive character qualities with siblings.
• Be polite and use "please" and "thank you" liberally.
• Praise him verbally as often as you can for both his efforts and successes in school.
• Pray aloud with him daily and ask for God's blessing on his life.

Gift Giving - It doesn't need to be expensive, just thoughtful and age appropriate.
• Purchase items (favorite candy bar, coloring book, etc.) from dollar-value stores to use as daily rewards on schoolwork.
• Choose a gift or plan an activity he has been wanting and give it as a reward for a successful school year.
• Create a surprise love bucket. Each week, fill the bucket with educational items like art supplies, an educational computer game, a new reference book, a new notebook, or other study items.
• Make homemade gifts. These gifts may even spark an interest in carpentry, sewing, photography, gardening, and other life skills.

Quality Time - Undivided attention required. No multi-tasking allowed.
• Cherish learning together. Don't hurry through school lessons.
• Take all the time necessary to work through questions he doesn't understand.
• Plan an individual homeschool field trip covering one of his subjects.
• Skip school and plan a regular date once a month to do something fun.
• Watch a movie, play a board game, or read a book together.
• Play a seasonal sport activity together for physical education class.
• Work together on a hobby he enjoys.

Acts of Service - Be creative. Go beyond the normal duties.
• Help him paint and redecorate his room.
• Plan a special party or activity for his homeschool friends.
• Wash and wax his car.
• Volunteer to help in his Sunday school class or youth group at church.

Physical Touch - Warning! This love language is not for young children only!
• Give kisses and hugs without measure!
• Cuddle in a chair while you share a book.
• Give a back rub while he is studying at the computer or the table.
• Give a pedicure or manicure as you study lessons on health.

Most importantly, don't assume you are communicating love effectively simply because you homeschool. Just as children learn academics in a variety of ways, they also feel love from their parents differently. If you want your children to remember their homeschooling days as ones filled with love, monitor their hearts through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, apply large amounts of God's agape love, and communicate in the love language they understand best!

Wendy Darling