Monday, January 21, 2008

Another Saint Goes Marchin' In

Quite often lately, I've been listening to the "When the Saints" song by Sara Groves. How prophetic were her words...for another dear friend has marched into the gates of heaven and into God's Awesome Magnificent Presence.

Our dear friend, David, left this earth to be with the Lord on Sat. night. Reid and I received the call on Sunday, and talked to the boys yesterday afternoon. Emotionally, it has been a difficult 24 hours.
This is Mason's second close friend to lose a parent within a year, and it has affected him deeply. Please pray for his fragile heart. It is hard for a 10 year old to grasp.
I have wept tears for Anita, Andrew and Allie - praying for God to sustain them all. Please pray especially for each of them. My heart is burdened for my friend awaking this morning without a husband, and two children awaking without a father. Oh, it is hard...hard...hard... But I trust that God is good, and His grace is sufficient.

Life can be so short. We are not guaranteed old age. Lord, help me not to treat my days carelessly! Help me to be intentional with every moment you choose to leave me here on earth.

I know David lived that way. He "said it like it was." He didn't complain about the road he had to travel...and he sought You...he followed hard after You in the midst of pain and suffering. I know he received a beautiful crown of jewels. Thank you for ending his long suffering and bringing him into his eternal home with You.

For those of you who check this blog and know this family - you can call CBC for service information. Please pray for our family travels for the services, for we have one child down with croup again. We need to make some arrangements. We would be grateful for your prayers for God to bring all of that together for us, and that Franklin would be made well so he could travel.
Thank you for your prayers friends. We are grateful! Please cover Anita, Andrew and Allie with your prayers to our Almighty God.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones."
Psalm 116:15

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bye Bye Christmas!

Last weekend I was a little sad. It was time to take down our Christmas decorations! We started Christmas behind b/c our decorations weren't up until mid-December and we ended Christmas behind b/c we took down our decorations in mid-January. (Who sets this timetable anyway?) However, there is something about packing everything up, carrying the tree out of the house, and disconnecting the train that makes me a little sad. I want Christmas to last all year long! However...
Once all of the decorations are packed up and put away comes one of my favorite jobs! Replacing the pictures on our refrigerator! I take down the Christmas pictures people sent last year (except for Amy's), and replace them with updated pictures of our friends and family (except for Amy's - hers doesn't need to be replaced - Ha-ha!)! Seriously, it is so much fun to fill our home with faces of those we love and those who love us.

I think it is also my own little way of trying to hang on to Christmas. Now, every time I go to the pantry I see the faces of my friends! Sometimes it brings a smile on my face, sometimes I am stirred to lift a prayer, sometimes I remember a fun memory shared, but every time I see the pictures in our kitchen I am reminded of Christmas and God's greatest gift!

Maybe taking down the decorations isn't such a sad thing after all!

Surprise Mom!

I was out late last night. I was meeting with two friends, and we kept finding things to talk about, and one of my friends had some nice clothes and some stained sheets to give away so we had to go through all of them, and then the dog ran out of the house when I opened the door to leave, and then...well, I was late getting home...but when I did, I was so sweetly surprised by my precious children!

I walked in downstairs and was greeted with a message going up the stairs, "You are the best Mom in the universe!!!" (There really were three !!!)

As I approached the top of the stairs grinning from ear to ear, another sign was staring me in the face! It said, "There is no one like you!" AND, this sign had an arrow to direct me down our hallway...
On the door at the end of the hallway...
(Okay, now this sentimental Mom is still grinning, but has tears in her eyes from this adorable expression of LOVE that has been poured out by her four boys! She also recognizes that evidently they paid close attention to the Christmas morning scavenger hunt!)

I walk into my bedroom where Reid waiting up for me...(He couldn't turn out the light or I wouldn't be able to see the HUGE arrow sign hanging on my side of the bed! The poor guy! Then he had to listen to me gush and gush and gush about our wonderful children!)

The arrow sign contained more sentiments of LOVE, and notes from the boys titling me "Teacher of the Year." (That is now a running joke in our family!) This morning the boys pointed out they made the sign in the shape of an arrow b/c of the name of our school, Arrow Academy. Too cute!

When we walked into the kitchen for breakfast, I found this note on the table. It said,

"Dear Mom, We want you to know that we did this just because we love you. We really do mean that you are a great teacher. We hope that you have no more trouble teaching us, me (Mason) and Franklin especially. That is all the time I have. Sorry. Love, Mason, Franklin, and Weston

We love you soooooo much!!!! (Yes, there are that many O's and !!!s) :)

Here are a few more signs that I found later this morning when we came downstairs to do school. Oh, I love our boys! Reid said they did all of this completely on their own! God is so good! The one in the upper left says, "I bet you make Satan cry!" Too funny, especially if he knew the conversation I was having while he was drawing the sign! I bet Satan was crying then -for sure! (Right B & J?)

These signs of encouragement will be hanging up for a while! I am so blessed! Oh, and I am so encouraged b/c evidently my students think I really deserve the "Teacher of the Year" title bequeathed on me by my wonderful hubby! Thank you, students of Arrow Academy!

Weston with a Wii Trophy

Oh, the times are a' changin'!
A few weeks ago, a friend of Reid's from his office held a fundraiser for Eskimo Escapades.
Reid's friend held a Wii Bowling Tournament and charged all of the participants a small entry fee. Yes, the fundraiser was a video-game playing tournament. I've never heard of such a thing, but I suppose that is where things are headed. So, instead of bowling in a bowling alley, the group bowled in the company meeting room!
There were 18 people competing and WESTON beat them all! He walked away with the coveted trophy! Weston got to come home and tell his brothers about "beating everyone Dad works with!" Weston really enjoyed his night out with Daddy this time!
That night at bedtime, I tucked Weston in singing...
At Wii, he's the champion, my friend
And He'll keep on bowling to the end...
Bum, Bum, Bum...
At Wii, he's the champion,
At Wii, he's the champion,
No time, but good times,
At Wii, he's the champion...of the world!
So, what has this led to in our home? (Another homeschooling opportunity!)
The boys are currently saving their money to buy a Wii Game System. They are tracking the prices of Wii systems across the nation via a website called Wii Tracker. They are trying to decide what the most important gaming additions are going to be for the Wii. They are trying to figure out ways to raise money so that they can buy more games as well, and they are motivated to MAKE SOME MONEY!
Tonight at dinner, Mason informed his brothers that they all needed to be collecting aluminum cans because "Aluminum cans are two for a nickel right now!"
Save some cans for us, would you??

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sermon To My Heart

For the last two years, I have been reading through the Bible. I've tried to follow the daily reading plan to read through the Bible in one year, but, obviously it has taken me longer than do most things!

The reason I tell you this, is not for a "pat on the back." I want you to understand that as I have worked to devour the entirety of God's Holy Word, I have realized how often I don't see the overall picture. Many times, I take verses out of context, and skew their complete meaning into one that is - at times - more desirable to hear.

This morning I was reading from Hosea and Joel. (I'm not sure I have ever read these two books in scripture until they were on this daily plan I am following! How sad!)

Right now, I have several friends who are choosing the wayward road away from Christ. They continue to make sinful choices. My heart has been heavy with burden for them. I have been praying for God to turn their eyes and hearts back to Him...good prayer - until I read the passages this morning.

The verses in Hosea that struck me were found in Hosea 6. My Bible states that "Hosea was written b/c Israel continued to play the harlot. God begged her to return to Him, yet, she would not listen. God's heart was grieved. If only Israel could understand; if only she could see what she was doing to the One who had betrothed her to himself. If only she could see what her infidelity was doing to her children! Then the word of the Lord came to Hosea with a surprising message: 'Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and have children.'"

In chapter 6, Israel once again realizes their choices have brought difficulty and hardship. Therefore, they figure a brief return to the Lord's ways will make things better for them...

“Come, let us return to the LORD.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

Now, here is God's response...

4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
For your loyalty is like a morning cloud
And like the dew which goes away early.
6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

God then says,
7:14 And they do not cry to Me from their heart
When they wail on their beds;
For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves,
They turn away from Me.

God allows punishment on his wayward people...while restraining his anger to the point of wrath. He continues to beckon His people back into relationship with Him. He continually reminds the Israelites of His faithfulness from the time of their birth. He continues to allure them with all that He offers. However, the people continue to forget and choose the path of destruction...

13:5-6 I cared for you in the wilderness,
In the land of drought.
As they had their pasture,
they became satisfied,
And being satisfied,
their heart became proud;
Therefore they forgot Me.

In the final chapter of Hosea, God issues yet another call into His grace. He reminds his people again that He is the one who answers them...He is the provider...

14 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,

For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

2 Take words with you and return to the LORD.

Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity

And receive us graciously,

That we may present the fruit of our lips."

God answers,

4 I will heal their apostasy,

I will love them freely,

For My anger has turned away from them.

5 I will be like the dew to Israel;

He will blossom like the lily,

And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon.

6 His shoots will sprout,

And his beauty will be like the olive tree

And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.

7 Those who live in his shadow

Will again raise grain,

And they will blossom like the vine.

His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?

It is I who answer and look after you.

I am like a luxuriant cypress;

From Me comes your fruit.

9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;

Whoever is discerning, let him know them.

For the ways of the LORD are right,

And the righteous will walk in them,

But transgressors will stumble in them.

As my reading progressed into the book of Joel, I found the same story. God trying to call his people to repentance. A present day plague of locusts is used as to describe what is happening to their souls as they continue to turn their hearts away from God.

Here is the Introduction in the Book of Joel:

2 Hear this, you elders;
listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
or in the days of your forefathers?
3 Tell it to your children,
and let your children tell it to their children,
and their children to the next generation.
4 What the locust swarm has left
the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left
the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left
other locusts have eaten.

Even after continued sin, and a complete lack of repentance, God says in Joel 2:

12 "Even now," declares the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning."
13 Rend your heart

and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.

25 Then I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the LORD your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

As I am reading these passages, and allowing God to speak to my heart several things greatly convict me!

1.) I am guilty of a judgemental heart! I look down my self-righteous nose at my sinful friends... My thoughts are something like...Oh, I would never do what he/she is doing. They are so guilty! While it is true that my friends continue to make sinful choices, and they are wrong in the eyes of God - have I been so focused on the sins of others that I do not see my own?!? Oh, wretched sinner am I!

My sins are not the same as my friends'. And, my sins are the same. Mine are not as blatant to the naked eye. Does that mean they are not as bad? No. Absolutely not. I am still committing sin before a holy and righteous God. My actions are still sinful.

2.) I am guilty of "crying out from my bed" not crying out from my heart. I want the "grain and new wine." And, I want it to come easily to me without having to do anything...

For example, I say "I want to have more time with the Lord." Then, I continue to add more to my already full calendar instead of carving out time to be in communion with Him! What my actions say is - God, give me what I need, but don't inconvenience me or my schedule to do it. If fail to be in relationship with Him continually throughout my day.

3.) As I condemn my friends for consistently choosing to participate in sinful behavior...I realize that I continue, over and over, to struggle with the same sin! Over and over. Even if my sins my not manifest themselves through my actions, they are sinful thoughts!

For me, recently, I have struggled with the sin of discontentment. Here is a snapshot of my thoughts...

"Oh, if only we had a larger house...If only I could keep this house clean, it's just too big... If only I had more time for myself...If only I had more time with Reid...If only I had more time with my children...If only I had more time with God...If only I had more time... If only Reid made more money...If only we could afford to do such-and-such...If only we were better stewards of what God has given us... If only I could cook better meals for my family... If only we could afford to go out to eat more often... If only Reid would... If only my children would... If only my friends would... If only my family would... and, so petty as, If only our shutters were painted black, and If only we had nicer silverware... If only..."

Do you see the point? I live in abundance with a warm home, and every comfort I need - yet, I continually choose to be dissatisfied. God has graciously chosen to pour out his blessings in my life. His goodness overflows! And, here I go down the same sinful path...

I have more materially than most of the world - billions of people, and yet I allow myself to think that it is not good enough. What an ungrateful heart! I have forgotten God's gracious provision in my time of drought. Has my heart become so proud that even in God's provision, I say His manna is not good enough? Oh, wretched sinner am I! It seems I would fit right with the Israelites!

4.) These passages also made me realize that I tend to "rend my garments" and not "my whole heart." I go through the motions of having a consistent quiet time, going to church on Sunday, serving the body, trying to "be a good wife and mother," etc... But, there are times that my heart is not "in it." I find myself just "going through the motions."

Much like my friend who can sit in church on Sunday while continuing in sinful behavior, I continue to "perform" without taking time to truly examine my heart... my motives... my thoughts...

As I was reminded Friday night, God must be primary in my life - not a priority. I must have Him before me in everything I do. For He is in all things, and all things are His. My every thought must be for Him - only! My pursuit in life should be to Glorify God and ENJOY HIM FOREVER! I can not look at others "unholiness" with a critical spirit, but with a compassionate, and grieving spirit. I must continue moving toward my own sanctification! Oh, to be more like Christ! (Whew! It is a refining process!)

5.) I must truly REPENT of my sinful behaviors, choices, and thoughts! REPENT! I must completely turn away from these debilitating habitual choices. I must make the choice to say -

"Never ever again! Lord, I am sorry I have grieved you with my sinful ways, and I seek your gracious forgiveness. Lord, I yield every thought, word, and action to your Glory. Oh, I pray you will turn more and more of me into more and more of you! You are the Holy One - the Gracious One - the Perfect One. It is you that I long to reflect to others. Help my thoughts, opinions, and decisions in every moment reflect Your presence. Thank you for your goodness and your gracious mercy that You continue to pour over me. I love you, Lord. I desire to live for You ALONE."

So, that is my prayer today. To yield, to seek, to honor the One True God. May I choose to delight in Him and may my loyalty be always at His feet.

I pray I never stop climbing the mountain. I pray God will continue to burn away the dross in my life as He reveals himself to me through His Word. May I never reach a place where I think I have "made it" spiritually, but continue to grow and mature in God's Holy Grace.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When the Saints...

I heard a song recently on the radio, and it moved me. Chill bumps... Feeling excitement and a challenge deep in my soul... When I heard it, I thought, "Yes, that is it!"

The song is called "When the Saints" by Sara Groves. Below, I have the link and the lyrics, but first I'd like you to read what she said about writing the song:

"’When the Saints’ was inspired by the work of The International Justice Mission. Their work made me think about the people I have admired in history and made their kind of action seem more accessible. I used to read about amazing heroes like Harriet Tubman who secured her own freedom from slavery and then helped rescue many others through the Underground Railroad. I have always wondered how I would have responded in different times in history. Would I have opened my home to the Underground Railroad or given Anne Frank refuge? We think those stories are removed from us, but right now there are millions of slaves, millions of people hiding from their oppressors. I realized not too long ago, that I have not been the Good Samaritan. I have been the other guys, who walk on the far side of the road. It is my heart’s desire to change that, and ‘When the Saints’ is a celebration of people who were placed by God for certain times and events, and a prayer that I will have the strength to show up for my time. "

The song should bring our thoughts back to the faithful who have gone before us. This song should also bring us into the present! How quickly we forget... We should be compelled to be rescuers to the oppressed, servants to the needy, and share the hope of Christ with every soul we encounter! I am convicted! Whoa!

I am trying to start a HS Co-op to study...Guess what? Missionaries... I want our children to know the sacrifices that have been paid, the lives that have been offered, the blessings that have come because men and women of faith heeded the call to serve a lost and hurting world. This song signifies the message that will be interwoven in the Co-op. "Yes, let's remember the faithful, and let's be faithful!" I'm so excited about studying Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, David Livingston, Gladys Aylward, etc... These are people that I admire and respect because of the lives they led here on earth! I'm also excited about linking arms with others to live with a "mission mindset!" My hope is that as we study these servants who have "paved the way" we will learn from the lives they offered and choose to live with the same focus. Jesus - ONLY!

Enough rambling...back to the song. Here are the lyrics and at the bottom is the link to listen. I pray it will move you - as it has me - out of complacency!

WHEN THE SAINTS by Sara Groves

Lord I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
and I cannot let it go

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

And when the Saints
go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord it's all that I can't carry
and cannot leave behind
but your word has compelled me
when I think of all who've gone before me
and lived the faithful life

And when I'm weary and overwrought
with so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

I see the shepherd Moses in the Pharaohs court
I hear his call of freedom for the people of the Lord

And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them
And when the Saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

I see the long quiet walk along the Underground Railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul

I see the young missionary and the end of the spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear

I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sisters standing by the lepers side

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come and kicking down the door

I see the man of sorrows and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load


Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Scavenger Hunt on Christmas Morning

Evidently, I am a little "over the top" with the number of pictures I took on Christmas morning. This is my seventh (I think) BLOG about Christmas morning! Unbelievable! I guess there is something in me that hopes you really enjoy seeing all these pictures of our adorable family!

I think I am also borderline OCD b/c I really like to keep all my BLOGs in chronological order - why is that? It's January 8th, I really should be blogging about my New Year's Resolutions...but I am still blogging about Christmas morning. Oh, well! Enjoy this Christmas Blog #7!

One of our Christmas morning traditions is a Scavenger Hunt for each of the boys. They receive three gifts from Mom and Dad - like the wise men brought to Jesus. Two are under the tree and the last one is found after all the other gifts have been opened. We usually tuck their first clue into the toe of their stocking. The boys open the stockings from youngest to oldest and we stop between each stocking for the "hunt!" Each boy receives the same number of clues as their age in years. Therefore, Mason was hunting for quite a while! Reid did a great job with the clues this year!!
Weston found his first clue in the toe of his stocking! He searched the bathroom, the garage, outside, and finally found his K'nex. He loves to play with these and was very excited to find them after searching through his many clues!

Braden received lots of help from his older brothers for his scavenger hunt. He hunted upstairs and downstairs and finally found his new Spiderman bike. (My sister found it at a Yard Sale for $20 - Thank you Kelly!) Braden was so excited about his new bike that he immediately put on his "riding clothes" and headed out for a ride! Doesn't he look cool?

Franklin had to search the pantry and the mailbox to find his clues. He finally got to tear open his gift after lots of searching! He finally found his Cardworks game. He was excited about being able to build structures out of cards! He loves to build with them!

Mason hunted high and hunted low - inside and outside - and down the hall! However, he finally found his special gift...for the second time if you read my earlier BLOG. Seriously, he found his Baltimore puzzle framed and ready to hang! He was so excited!

Mathiang's hunt was the last one. (We make the boys go in the order of ages.) Mathiang was so excited! He hunted from clue to clue - even the ones hidden outside. Finally, he found his new Christmas tree for his apartment and his special book! It was a book I made on Snapfish of the pictures of him from Christmas' he has spent with us.
He was thrilled to see his picture in a real book! It was a great gift, and such a great way to end our special morning together.

Monday, January 7, 2008

More Homemade Heartfelt Happiness

The only tears that were shed this Christmas sprang forth from the precious words Mathiang wrote to Mom and Dad in their card. He always writes from his heart, and his words are filled with love and passion. Mom and Dad were both deeply touched by his heartfelt words. They were both teary-eyed.

Weston worked so hard on this ornament for Mathiang. This year, we gave Mathiang a few ornaments b/c we also gave him pre-lit Christmas tree for his apartment. I'm sure he was wondering about all of his ornaments...we didn't let him know about the tree until his scavenger hunt for the last gift! He also received a homemade ornament from me..."Mom"

Mom and Dad were excited to open their handmade ornament I made for the family. It has EVERYONE'S name on it - including Mathiang. There are twenty people in our family!
Mom and Dad were also thrilled with the scrapbook I made of our Trail West trip. I've decided that is something I can do quickly and easily on Snapfish! It was so much fun putting it together, and it was fun for me to remember all of the fun we had this summer in Colorado!

Mason waited with great anticipation for Reid to open the special gift he had done for Reid! Mason painted a REAL nutcracker! Mason even took cotton balls to make hair and eyebrows! Very cute! Reid also received some pecans "in the shell" so he could try it out!

Franklin worked so hard on this beautiful Nutcracker for Mathiang. It was a Christmas gift from Aunt Kaye that he immediately started on, so he could give it at Christmas! It was so sweet that he wanted to give something so special to Mathiang.
Mason burned a special verse for Mathiang, "I thank God upon every remembrance of you." Philippians 1:3. Very special!
Franklin painted something for his Grandmama as well. Can you tell Franklin loves to paint? He worked hard to give away some very special gifts this year! There is nothing better than a homemade present under the tree!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Heartfelt Homemade Gifts for Mom

On Christmas morning I opened a precious coffee mug from my sweet sister-in-law, Collins. It was hand painted and around the top it has the verse, "Her children arise and call her blessed."
After all of the incredibly special homemade gifts I received Christmas morning, I truly do feel blessed! My love language is gifts, but the way to my heart is a homemade gift! My boys do love me so well!
Franklin painted an adorable Christmas box. He painted a snowman scene, and some Christmas trees around the side. Inside the box, he painted three big letters...M-O-M. He worked on it privately without my knowledge, and I was so surprised when I opened it! It was so sweet! I love it!

This year Franklin painted an amazing sunset in his watercolor class. He (and Reid) framed it and gave it to me! It will be hanging up the next time you come visit! Franklin is very gifted artistically. I love to be surrounded by my children's artwork! What a great gift!
This gift from Mason was precious as well. He used his wood burner and burned a verse onto a piece of wood for me. One of the verses I memorized this fall was 2 Corinthians 5:9 - it's a verse I am trying to live by daily. The verse reads, "Therefore, we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him." This hand-burned verse now sits on our mantle and reminds me of my greatest ambition, and it also reminds me that I have a very sweet son who knows what I would LOVE!

A few days before Christmas, Weston was running around the house hiding index cards everywhere. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied, "I'm making a scavenger hunt for you and Daddy. It's for your Christmas present."

"My Christmas present? Well, what is it?" I asked.

Weston sweetly responded, "I can't tell you what it is, but I can tell you that you will probably cry when you find it."

Christmas afternoon, Weston gave me the gift! He had taped a quarter, and three dimes to an index card. He gave me $.55 of his own money. Yes, I did tear up because he was giving something to me that was truly special to him. Later that morning when I was alone, I did cry in thanksgiving that our boys have such giving hearts! What a praise to God!

I will keep my "taped-up" index card forever. Weston wrote "I love you, Mom. Merry Christmas!" So precious!

Wondering what my oldest boy gave me? This year Reid was VERY, VERY CREATIVE! When we lived in NC, we named our home school, Arrow Academy. The name is based on the verse about "sons being sharp arrows in the hands of a warrior." Upon returning to homeschooling, we continued with the school name.

This year for Christmas, Reid made me a special shirt. He designed a logo for our school; it's an "A" with four arrows going through it for our four boys. Above the logo the shirt reads, "Teacher of the Year - Arrow Academy!"

Hey, I know I have joked about being teacher of the Year on my BLOG, but this gift meant so much to me. Not only because the principal of the school chose me to be the recipient (ha-ha), but because Reid was affirming and validating what I am pouring my life into right now. It really was very meaningful to open this FUN gift! I am so blessed! God has been so good to me!

A big "thumbs up" for ALL of my gifts! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!