Tuesday, August 23, 2016

USA Roadtrip - Pennsylvania

We did finish out the Northeast last semester but I got pregnant and apparently that not only sapped all of my energy and my ability to function without nausea, it also sucked out any creativity I have! But I've got to share one more state as best as I can remember!

Pennsylvania is my favorite. It's always been a favorite. I had absolutely no idea as a kid that I would one day call it home. Now, not only does it lure me with its beauty and history, its people - my people - make me ache for it!

Pennsylvania

1. Of course I had to share some pictures from a couple of our favorite hidden gems:

Ricketts Glen -




Boulder Field -




2. We spent some time learning about the Amish. We live in Amish country right here in Indiana so it made sense to learn a little extra about their lifestyle.

We read some books...


We made quilts out of construction paper...

They were listening to Kidz Bop while making these...

We watched a barn raising on youtube...



3. The story of Milton Hershey is fascinating and inspirational. He faced many failures before finally finding success. His passion in life was serving people through providing affordable chocolate and lots of jobs. He built Hershey, PA for the purpose of serving people. A great role model for any aspiring entrepreneur! Make sure to look him up!

Visiting the Hershey Factory with the kids is definitely on the to-do list for someday. Meanwhile, we were able to get a taste (no pun intended! ha!) of the factory through some youtube videos. And of course we ate some Hershey Kisses!

4. Pennsylvania is so full of history. We spent a good amount of time learning about the Liberty Bell through various library books. One of my favorite little facts that I didn't know before was it has Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

Unfortunately that is all I have for you of this great state. What do YOU love about my beloved PA??


((Find the other states we have studied HERE))








Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our Picture Perfect Life.

Yesterday I shared this fun video full of giggles and happy faces. It was definitely the highlight of the day.
video


 Because yesterday was rough. Ugly. And as I thought about that post I felt convicted.. like I was straight out lying to the world wide web about life here at the Jacobs' home.

I don't believe in airing out dirty laundry on social media. TimeHop has done an excellent job of reminding me of those times I've done that years ago, embarrassing me to no end. Thankfully it was years ago and I have no intention of starting that back up.

What I enjoy seeing in my social media memories is shots of my now 4 year old all bundled up in his sweet tiny-ness sucking on a paci too big for his face. I love chuckling at quotes said by my mini-me when she was 3, and having to stop for a second to figure out if the pic I'm seeing is of Jack or Roger. It's uplifting to come across a post about how even tho it's been hard, God is good. And my favorite, seeing an old post from a friend that reminds me that I am loved.

After yesterday, though, I realized that in my attempt to stay positive on social media, I'm beginning to portray myself and my life as perfect, well kept, put together, admirable.

Oh boy, it's laughable just to type those things! That is not AT ALL my intention. There is airing laundry, and there is being real. I want to be real.

Because marriage, parenting, homeschooling, this thing called life is HARD. I know that I am not the only one who doesn't even sort of have it all together. The last thing I want to do is cause anyone to stumble - through jealousy or discontentment or hate - because I'm not being real.

This seems especially important right now as school has started up and parents are either facing homeschooling head on or wrestling in their spirit with the whole idea of homeschool. Let me give you some real when it comes to homeschooling around here.

I am going to prove to you that if I can do it, truly anyone can!

And we are only going to focus on yesterday...

I wasn't even all the way out of bed yet and I was already yelling at the kids. When breakfast was finally served, I locked the door to my bedroom so I could eat and vainly attempt some time with the Lord.

We managed a trip to the library which surprisingly is often a nice reprieve. Praise the Lord! But as soon as returning home, the chaos commenced. I hid in a book for as long as I could while letting the kids eat in front of the TV. Screens = sanity.

By the time I finally got up the strength to put the little two down for nap, it was pushing 2:00pm and we hadn't started school yet.

(School has been upstairs the last couple of weeks because I don't have the strength to deal with the mess...)
(Thank you, YouTube, for doing half of Kempton's schooling!)

Jack took an HOUR to read his short story. Aren't homeschool parents supposed to be all patient or something? Not this one. I might've lost it on him... twice. It's a miracle we survived.

Meanwhile, Marie keeps thinking that getting out the iPad or turning on her music or doing anything that isn't school related is acceptable. I may have lost it on her.

At some point it's time to get dinner ready and we are still knee deep in school. I realize that the little boys have been playing in their room instead of napping for the last two hours.

I definitely lost it on them.

Derek calls. I'm pretty sure I motivated him not to rush home from work, although he'd never admit to that. He does return home, though, and saves the day.

It's somewhere between 6 and 7pm and we finally finish the last of school (which I posted on instagram - the happiest part of the day).

And the things I'm not telling you? ...
... I don't plan ahead. I figure out what we're doing next as the kids work on the previous thing.
... crafts stress me out so I avoid them at all costs.
... I do a little school with Kempton maybe twice a week and only manage to do that because he loves it.
... I let Roger color and essentially destroy Jack's math pages after he works forever on them.
... I'm convinced I'm ruining my kids at least once a day.


I am the mom who should not be homeschooling and yet I am because God called me to it and is miraculously bringing us all through it.

Most days do not involved quite as much pregnancy hormones as yesterday, but it's far from picturesque ever. We struggle. We survive. We hate it. But we mostly LOVE it.

I am sorry for portraying our homeschool life as beautiful when it is mostly a, well, mess. But I want to close out this laundry airing realness with the whole point in sharing it all:

Homeschooling (marriage, parenting, life in general) is HARD but oh so worth it. Even after snapping at a struggling reader, my heart (eventually) overflows with joy when I get to experience the light in their eyes when it finally clicks; the giggles still readily available after a long, hard, ugly day; the knowledge that even though their momma can throw tantrums just as well as they can, their day is still infused with Jesus. It has been the most fulfilling calling of my life.

I will continue to post sweet pictures of focused, hard-working, and giggly babies because let's be honest, that's what I want to remember. But if anyone ever tells you that they could never do the homeschooling thing, refer them to this post. And maybe when you're thinking about throwing in the towel, remember you're not alone and HIS mercies are new every morning!!


If I can do it, truly anyone can!

Happy New School Year!





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

91% of Parents Ignore This Warning

A Daddy Draft

(For those of you intrigued with the title of this post, please understand that 87% of all statistics are made up, and such is the case with my title.)


Time and time again people look at my kids and tell me, "They grow up so fast!" I think the reason people say that may be because they realized it too late. It's almost like a warning to parents everywhere saying,
"Pay attention!"
"You're kids will be gone before you realize it!" 

"Don't waste a moment!"
"Be intentional with the time you have with them!"


Intentional...how can you be intentional as a parent? How can you be intentional when you have four little ones wreaking havoc on the house and wearing your pregnant wife down to exhaustion and all you want is to get them to bed so you can have a moment of peace and quiet? Lindsay and I have fought very hard to be intentional with our kids, always asking, "Why and How?" we do what we do. It was out of one of these many conversations that God gave me a fun idea that helps us be intentional at twenty different times in our kids lives.

"Daddy, my tooth is loose!" my daughter joyfully announced to me one day. My first thought was, "Are we going to talk about the tooth fairy in our family?" While I would say there's nothing wrong with pretending there's a tooth fairy, we decided in our family we are going to do something different.

When our kids lose a tooth, it is a reminder from Jesus that I need to be intentional with my kids. When one of my kids loses a tooth, I set aside time to sit down and talk to them about how our spiritual life is similar to our teeth. You see, we will lose all twenty of our baby teeth to make room for our new grown up teeth. In the same way, we are commanded in scripture to put off our sinful nature and put on our new nature (Col. 3:5-15). So, when Marie lost her first tooth, we sat down and talked about kindness and I gave her a pair of work gloves to remind her to be kind to others and serve them. I've also talked to her about love, joy, peace, and patience as she continues to lose teeth.

Jack just lost his first two teeth, almost within the same twenty-four hour period. For his first "Tooth Ceremony" I put all the kids to bed, made a fire outside, made milkshakes for him and me, and then went and got him out of bed to sit around the fire and chat. I spoke to him about being a leader and being a warrior. Jack was on cloud nine as he got to stay up late and have a milkshake when none of his other brothers or sister were allowed to. It was such a powerful moment to hear him take to heart the principles I was teaching him as I asked him to reiterate what I was talking to him about to see how much he was understanding. One of my key messages to him was that good leaders are not to be selfish, but to consider others above themselves (Phil. 2:3-8). When I went to put him back to bed that night, his younger brother had crawled into Jack's bed and was sleeping on Jack's pillow and had Jack's blanket. I told Jack just to sleep in his brother's bed and he said, "But I want my pillow and blanket." To which I responded, "Good leaders give up what they want so that others can have what they need."

With pride in his eyes Jack simply said, "Ok" and crawled into his brothers bed. It was an amazing time of speaking truth into Jack's life and being intentional with him.


"They grow up so fast!" I've never doubted this statement, but I feel an urgency in my soul to be intentional with my kids. I know my time with them is slipping away and I don't want to miss those important moments to speak truth into their lives. 

Parents, heed this warning: don't allow business to steal away these precious moments of intentionality with your kids. Have a plan, because without one you cannot be intentional. Every time you hear someone say, "They grow up so fast!" may it be an alarm ringing in your soul that forces you to ask yourself, "How have I been intentional with my kids lately?" Children are a blessing from the Lord; may we all cherish that blessing and not waste it. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

mlkh

That title is no typo.

"mlkh" is the Hebrew word for "work."

Work is really important in our family.

Derek's motto is "work first, play later." I'll be honest, I'm not real good at that. I'm especially not good at making the kids live by that. But I'm working on it!


Jack has said for the last couple of years that he wants to be a "worker" when he grows up, just like his daddy. It's interesting given the fact that Jack is... well... not the worker in the family. He can always find something to distract himself with when he's supposed to be working. Doodling snails on his math pages. Picking his nails. Observing and crushing every bug he comes in contact with in the garden. Staring at the wall has been more entertaining for him than doing his schoolwork! "Worker" is not how I would describe him. But because he wants to be one, we keep pushing him, encouraging him, reminding him of his dream of being like daddy.


I know he'll get there. Because work is actually a blessing. As much as we would like to believe it, it is NOT a result of Adam's sin. It is a purpose to our existence.
The Lord God placed man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. Genesis 2:15
 This is why I love gardening so much. It's the original work. It brings me back to the basics. It connects me with my Creator in a way I don't experience otherwise. And it's an excellent way to challenge my kids to do hard work, wait patiently, and reap delicious rewards.


But it's not just gardening that I'm referring to. It is whatever work God has called you to.
"Work was never designed to be a curse. It was designed to be an invitation by God to participate in His creative nature." -Hugh Johnson (yup, my dad!)
((Trust me, I believe in rest! But that's a whole different post.))

 Now I'm off to become even more connected to my Creator by cleaning the bathroom........




*THANK YOU to my Dadda from whom most of the above wisdom came from. Love you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We are a family of 7!


We just returned from getting to see our newest little wiggly in an ultrasound today! Beautiful, strong heartbeat and super active - praise Jesus!

Here's the answers to all your questions:

Due Date? December 13

Was this planned? Yep. Well sorta. We'd been trying for 7 months so it certainly wasn't a surprise!

How am I feeling? The feeling like death is slowly passing. The debilitating fatigue is beginning to have its manageable moments. Truly praising the Lord for those things because I really wasn't sure I'd make it there for awhile. I'm also feeling LARGE as my food aversions have been intense (oh you know, things like vegetables and meat) while my food cravings have also been stronger than ever (pizza, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes...) Looking forward to being a WHALE in a couple of months.

What are you hoping for? A girl. Of course. We've had a girl name picked out for 6 years now and we really feel like she belongs in our family. We believe God will bless us with our Amber. But we won't have any trouble loving another toe-headed mister. But that will probably be his name... Toe-Headed Mister. 

Is this the last babe? That is the plan.

Will you have another csection? Yes. Can I just tell you, while I'm typically a more natural, organic momma, I am so grateful for csections. I've come to terms with the fact that this is what God has called me to, and without the surgeries we would not have all of our sweet babes.

Are the kids excited? Very! Kempton has declared the baby a girl from day one. Roger is a little bit of a different story. He was already giving the baby the stink eye on the ultrasound.

Feel free to ask any other questions! We are so very grateful. Children are a gift... a sweet sweet reward. We are so thankful that we get to be entrusted with the care and raising of another gift!


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