Deuteronomy 6:5-9

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

6 years ago

I can't believe it's been 6 years. December 28, 2004 my first son was born. Ethan Joel Mangum. Ethan (Strong, Firm) Joel (The LORD is God) Ethan was a super easy baby. He was never fussy, slept well, and overall happy.

They took Ethan to the nursery after I had him, because I ended up having a cesarean delivery. It was hours before I could hold him or nurse him. It was a nightmare. Because of that time, none of my babies leave me after delivery now. Martie pretty much stands his ground and does not let them take our babies. (you have that choice whether or not you know it)

When I did hold him and nurse him, it was absolutely perfect. I fell even more in love. The Lord used Ethan to grow me up in the Him. (as well as He has with each one of my children) With Ethan my view for more children changed. I never imagined us with a "large" family. I also started debating whether or not I should work outside the home. I owned my own business at the time.

So what is Ethan Joel like now?
Granny used to look at him and say he's going to be a genius. Well, I would have to agree. :) Ethan is very smart. He talked in sentences very early. He asks lots of questions. You can watch him and just see his mind going. I guess you could say he is a "thinker."

He's reading very well now. He's not that excited about it, unless it's a Star-wars book or something else he's interested in. He loves math and it comes very easy to him. I remember him adding numbers before I was even doing a "formal" math with him.

He still has beautiful blue eyes. His hair has darkened up a bit, but it's still sandy blond. Pa used to say he got his eyes from him. But, he looks a lot like my brother. Either way, Martie and I always said we would love to have a blue eye, brown hair baby. We just didn't think it was possible.

Ethan is growing into a responsible little boy. He will do his chores, and do them well. He will even go beyond his chores to clean something extra. He has a little obsessive compulsion. ;) He likes perfection. Hopefully God will use that to make Ethan more like Jesus.

He can be shy. He doesn't like the attention on him. Which can be difficult. (especially with family pictures) haha It can also be difficult if someone is trying to give him a complement.

Ethan loves his brother and sisters. Every time Taylor leaves now, he cries. He just goes to his room and lets out the softest sweetest cry. (it breaks my heart) He protects his little sisters, and entertains them for me at times. I can now trust him to keep an eye on them for me, so that I can do a chore. Andrew is his best friend. As I type this, they are playing Star-wars in their room. I hear them plotting out and giggling. (sweet sound)

Ethan loves to cuddle with me. He has always loved to crawl up in my lap with covers and just sit. He will look at me at the most random times and say, "mommy I love you."

Ethan, you are my favorite Ethan in the whole wide world!!! Happy 6th Birthday son!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Living out our faith

I hope and pray this post encourages someone to live radically for Jesus.

I am often frustrated with the lack of commitment that Christians have to corporate worship. First let me define corporate worship. This is a time where believers in Christ come together with the sole purpose of worship. (there can be a time of worship through music, prayer, preaching, communion...)

Hebrews 10:24-25 says that we should "Consider how to stimulate one another to love and goods, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

Now this is a difficult subject to speak on. Especially because I am a "pastor's wife." You may say that I don't understand. I am married to someone who's whole life is serving within the church. But please give me the opportunity to appeal to your heart as a fellow believer, who has not always been a "pastor's wife."

I remember asking my husband not too long ago, "If someone is not consistently coming to worship with the church, is that a reflection of their personal worship time with the Lord?" I also wonder if we do not make it a priority to pray with the church, do we make it a priority to have personal prayer time?

Looking at the Hebrews verse above,
we are commanded to come together with the church. I am confused at how I see in other countries Christian brothers and sisters walking miles in uncomfortable situations sometimes dangerous situations to gather with other believers. Yet, we here in America treat Sunday mornings or prayer services as something else on our schedule. We can come up with so many excuses. Yet there are people who would do or give anything to gather with other believers for the sake of worship.

It is mine and Martie's conviction to train our children to treasure that time with the church. Recently there was a big swim meet that was taking place on a Sunday morning. (what a temptation that was for Taylor and us) We had to stand firm that Sunday mornings were for worshiping the Lord with other believers. If we are out of town on a Sunday, we find a bible teaching church to attend.

I do not want you to be confused. Attending a worship service is not where your faith rests. Your faith should be in Christ alone. However I do believe that the time that you invest in serving your church body, worshiping with the church body, and encouraging the church is an outward sign of your faith.

James 2:14-17 "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."

Today was the first time in 3 weeks that I was in the service. (I had to teach one Sunday, Carissa was sick the 2nd, and I filled in for someone the 3rd) I cannot begin to tell you how I was encouraged, challenged, and refreshed to sit under the preaching and teaching of God's Word. I am reminded of my greatest purpose here on earth. Loving God with everything in me, and sharing Him with everyone else.

When I miss the service, I will listen to the sermons online. I need that instruction and training in God's word. If I want to live for Him, if I want to be faithful to Him, then I NEED that. I am a sinner, and I struggle constantly with sin. I need God and His word. I don't care HOW tired I may be, I don't care what the week looked like, I don't care what things try to distract me I NEED to gather with the church.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 reminds me "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; SO THAT the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." I thank God that I have a pastor who loves the Lord more than anything, and who loves the church, who wants to reach the nations for Jesus, and who wants to see the people of God become radical followers of Christ.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here are a few of the pictures that I talked about in my last post. :) Enjoy! (Can you guess which one of my "blessings" did NOT want to get their picture taken?)

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am writing this blog and sharing my thoughts only with the hopes that it might help someone else.

I am an imperfect wife.
I am an imperfect mother.
I am an imperfect daughter.
I am an imperfect friend.
I am an imperfect teacher.
I am an imperfect cook.
I am an imperfect couponer.
I am an imperfect blogger.
I am an imperfect house-cleaner.

I procrastinate.
I am inconsistent.
I have an imperfect tongue.

I am an imperfect follower of Christ.

(that was the first thing that came to my mind when I had all those thoughts)

Ephesians 2:4-9- "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

That's it, I'm imperfect, but HE is perfect. He loves me and died for me and my imperfections. I like to appear perfect, you know, like I have is ALL together. I like to pretend, I even teach my children how to pretend.

Let's take today for a good example. We've been planning on getting our family pictures taken. Well anyone with a large family knows how difficult that can be. I have literally been praying about it for days. My mother in-law made the girls dresses, I made Tabitha a pretty bow to match, and I even got a haircut. I wanted this picture to be perfect. That's not too much to ask is it? I worked so hard to make us all look perfect, I waited until the last minute to put the picture clothes on.

Well we got ready to take our pictures and guess what, one of our "little blessings" didn't want to take his picture. Remember, all I want is ONE good picture with everyone looking and smiling. (it would also be great if we were standing straight, our clothes were not bunched up, and my hair wasn't in my face) That's not TOO much to ask is it??? I want to appear perfect.

Well the reality is, I'm not perfect. Neither is my husband and neither are my children. So for us to take a "perfect" picture is IMPOSSIBLE. That is just something I am going to have to live with. But how did I react to the imperfections? That's the real question.

I would like to tell you that I didn't let the picture fee bother me, or the nice couple that took the time to take our picture, or our extended family that was being so patient. I would like to tell you that I excused myself and my "little blessing" and addressed his heart. I would like to tell you how I reminded my "little blessing" that we are to be a blessing. I would like to tell you that I didn't get so frustrated that I could hardly smile myself.

BUT, I would be lying. I got frustrated, I spoke unkindly, I was impatient. I was so consumed with the "perfect picture", that I ignored sin. See, the root of my sin is selfishness. This day was all about me and what I wanted. When one imperfect person let me down, I reacted. Now that I have taken a step back, I am repenting. I can't wait to show you all my imperfect pictures. (hahaha)

Today, I was so concerned with a picture, that I allowed sin to enter in and take over. Not only did I allow sin to take over, I didn't see what damage I was doing to my witness. (to my children and others) Today I wanted to "play God." Well, God reminded me tonight that HE is God, and that He is working. I need to get my armor on and stop letting sin entangle me.

Ephesians 2 reminds me of who I am and my job here on this earth. Ephesians 6 reminds me that we are at war. I forget that, I avoid thinking about that. It scares me!

BUT GOD.....

1 Corinthians 1:26-31-"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29so that no man may boast before God. 30But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

Here I am Lord, broken. But trusting in You for everything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Learning the history behind Thanksgiving...

I took the children to the Eno today to do some "school" outside. My dad lives right near there, so we were blessed to have him join us. This morning I started reading Pilgrim Voices. We did geography at home. We looked at several maps and traced out the path the pilgrims traveled.

The Tee Pee was the first stop. Andrew has been begging to go. Our family loves hiking at the Eno. We then searched the area for sticks. We made a toy that children in the 17th century used to play with. Then we made a bow and arrow for Taylor, Ethan, and Andrew. They also enjoyed walking on the logs, digging up a brick, and they spotted two deer.

Then we set off for the "real" hike. Ethan was so awesome protected his mommy and sisters. He used his bow to hold back the vines for us. We stopped a couple of times and I read some more from Pilgrim Voices. I will continue to read this all week. Science was done by discussing which trees were Deciduous trees and which were Coniferous trees.

We hiked some pretty tough trails, and the kids all did wonderful. It was so beautiful. Fall is becoming my favorite season. I love all the beautiful colors of the leaves. Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Just looking at His creation gives me reason to worship.

We got to the end of the trail which lead back to where we started. My dad knows these trails forwards and backwards. (it's one of his favorite places) As many times as my most "graceful" child (Tabitha) fell, she didn't bleed until the very end. She tripped over a little rock and skinned up her elbow. :( I cleaned her up, put on a band-aid, and she was off again.

We had a little time left, so I had the boys collect some leaves and we did a little math. :) I was able to squeeze in all subjects and have so much fun doing so. The kids all slept well in the car on the way to the Y. Long day but so worth it. I am so thankful we were able to spend this day outside, with beautiful weather, and with my dad.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy 13th birthday Taylor!

Wow! 13 years old! Really??? Yeap, it was exactly 13 years ago today that I had my first baby girl Taylor Alise. I was only 20 years old and totally clueless. I think that's why God granted me the most perfect labor and delivery. I remember waking up around 5-6 in the morning because my water broke. I got to the hospital and began laboring. I had a completely natural labor and she was out by 3 that afternoon. It was truly a "perfect" labor!

I checked out of the hospital the next day, right around 3. I remember being showered and packed sitting on the bed ready to go home. The nurse kept telling me, "We have to wait for the 24 hour mark." Oh wow, how things have changed for me.

The next several days/weeks were another story. Remember, I said that I didn't have a clue. I tried to nurse. But after being up almost all of one night, I cried, and asked for a bottle. Thank God I was living with my dad at the time. I remember him asking, "Did you sterilize bottles?" (Ummmm, no)

I eventually went back to school and back to work. Having Taylor, was a real wake up call. At one point I was working 3 jobs and going to hair school. It makes me so sad that I wasn't at home with her all the time. But at that time I had to do what I had to do, to support me and Taylor. I knew that I wanted to do things "right" for her, but I was still clueless. I did start taking her to church on Sundays. I remember praying earnestly in that church that God would save me, that He would change me, and that He would give me a husband.

Taylor was a huge part of my testimony. God used her to save me, I am sure of it! There is so much more I could share to prove that. I met Martie in 1999. Taylor had just turned 2. He was not "walking" with the Lord. (but he was perfect to me in every other way) I remember asking him to go to church with me. He went, reluctantly. I asked if he had a "problem" with God, and he told me no he just didn't like my church. (huge relief)

We started the search for a church together. That's how we ended up at Cresset. It was "perfect" for us. I liked the music, he liked the preaching, I felt accepted in this church. (which unfortunately was difficult as a single mom) They had a outreach thing one night and Martie and I both rededicated our lives to the Lord. We met with the pastor to marry us. During that time of appropriate "courtship," Martie read the bible and prayed like never before. God grew both of us in a major way.

We were married July 2002. Martie was an answer to a prayer. Taylor was in our wedding and even had special vows with Martie in the ceremony.

It is amazing to see all that Taylor and I went through, to where we are now. God has been so
gracious to us. I often feel so sad for Taylor because she has experienced so much change in her life. I know that God will use her testimony one day. She has grown to become a beautiful young lady. She is so caring and giving. She is not the world's typical "teenager." She is different! Praise God!

To Taylor: I love you baby girl. I learned so much from you. I continue to stand in awe of you and your walk with the Lord. I pray that He continues to mold you and shape you into the image of Christ. I pray that everything you do will be for His glory. He is using you and is going to use you in the lives of many. You are such a great sister and daughter. We are so proud of you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

failed blogger and a paper by Taylor

Once again, I have failed at updating the blog. Truth is, I am too busy. I would love to update you all with the fabulous details of our everyday life. I have thoughts of blogging about our trips to the YMCA, what the children are learning with their lessons, my new sewing projects, my friends kidney transplant... There are so many things to blog about, there are just not enough hours in the day. One day, oh one day, I may blog more consistently, I may finish my children's scrapbooks, I may actually blow dry my hair again... But until then I press on with life. My priorities right now are quiet time with Jesus, teaching my children, housework, being a helper to my hubby.

So for now I leave you with a paper Taylor just recently wrote for her school work. This is a creative writing piece. She simply read the scriptures and gave her input on what she read. I thought she did a great job. More importantly I'm thankful for her ability to read and understand the scriptures.

Jesus Lives

The death of Jesus Christ was not the end, in fact there is much more to His wonderful and heroic life. One of the greatest things Jesus did was raise up on the third day so everyone could see how utterly mighty, undeniably powerful, and thoroughly pure He truly was. Sadly and helplessly there were some who did not believe until they saw Him with their own eyes, such as Thomas, who was one of the disciples. Jesus also went out to the shore where he saw other disciples. He helped them and then calmly and enjoyably feasted, which all happened before departing the earth and ascending into heaven.

After the terrible and wretched death of Jesus Christ, which many witnessed, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James went and visited His tomb. They were startled and scared when they found no body, only an empty tomb. Weeping and screaming they looked up and saw an angel of the Lord who asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” “Go for He has risen!” The women joyfully jumped, literally leaped, and suddenly shouted out with excitement for their Savior was alive! They quickly and frantically ran back to visit the disciples and told them what had happened! Although most did not have faith, Peter believed and he ran to see for himself. Because the Lord was no longer in the tomb, Peter worshipped wholeheartedly.

Soon after, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Pleased and excited they had now seen God, all believed except for one person, who went by the name Thomas. Thomas did not have faith and was stubborn. It did not matter how much the disciples tried to convince and scold him. “I will not truly repent, assuredly admit, or properly proclaim until I have put my hands in His side and fingers in the holes,” responded Thomas. Suddenly and surprisingly Jesus appeared before them and allowed the doubter to touch His body. From that day forward Thomas believed. Jesus, who had appeared, then announced, “Blessed are those who trust in me and have not yet seen!”

Now for the third time righteous and marvelous Jesus, who loved, appeared before the disciples. Because they were at sea, they did not know it was Him. Jesus called and asked out to them, “Have you anything to eat?” Their response was, “no.” So the Lord loudly commanded, cleverly advised, and knowingly cautioned them to throw their nets on the right side of the boat. They willingly and immediately obeyed. The believers who were astonished caught 153 fish and the net had not one rip. The followers came to shore, saw Jesus and were stunned. When God appeared to these disciples, they obeyed, so together they feasted on the fish!

Jesus who rose on the third day, died to set sinners free. He also majestically and joyfully departed the grave and ascended into heaven. Christ gave great and strong faith to those who were faithless such as Thomas. He also generously gave, diligently directed, and thoughtfully shared fish with his disciples when they were not able to catch any. The death of Jesus Christ, wonderful and heroic, was not the end. Jesus was, and is, and is to come!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 1 in PA:

We made it to PA!!! We dropped Martie of in DC around 1:30 and we made it here around 8:30. I had to make 3 stops! That was a little frustrating. I like to get in the car and get to my destination, but when your driving it by yourself with 5 little blessings it takes a little longer.

The children were so excited to get here. The boys ran around the house until we finally made them stop. They woke up this morning around 6:40 am. The girls are all still sleeping. I did hear some funny conversations as the boys woke up. They're all camping on the floor in sleeping bags in one room. Here are the couple of things I thought were funny.

Ethan to Bill and Josiah (who both have nice new haircuts): "When was the last time your mom cut your hair? Cause' you should come to my house on Sunday and my mom can cut it very well." (by the way I never got around to cutting my own boys hair) :)

Bill: I can't wait to show you our apple tree.
Andrew: Are they ready to eat yet, I can't wait. Cause' I love them.

Now they're all sitting in the "class room", and Bill is "teaching" them. hahaha I'm sure we're going to make plenty of fun memories. They're already asking to go outside and it's only 7:30 am and they're still in their pajamas.

Plans for the day:
  1. The children will do their lessons.
  2. Amish Country. (my idea, of course.)
  3. The camp where they used to live.
  4. Maybe some shopping, I still have to find Taylor some jeans.
I'll continue to update the blog about our visit and with pictures!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What we're learning

I have taken lot's of pictures with the hopes of updating my blog. Well, the important thing is we've been busy and I have the pictures to prove it. The bad thing is I haven't had the time to update the blog. So I figured I would just share some pictures.

The boys made shields last week after we read "The Sword in the Tree." It was very good! We were also learning about the start of feudalism. Tabitha just painted a pretty picture.

We also made butter. Andrew has been working on the 'B' sound. So I let everyone join in on his activity.

Tabitha is doing really well with her alphabet sounds and counting. She's also joining Andrew for Math. Ethan is excelling in reading, math, geography, and his memory work. He loves tracing the world everyday. Andrew has been the biggest surprise. He is doing so great! He loves his phonics worksheets, his memory work, and geography. I am seeing some big changes with his attention span.

Taylor is continuing to do great with her 7th grade studies. She's gaining great knowledge with her Bible-based writing, latin, geography, and science. I think she's actually enjoying math a little this year. hehehehe

The boys our at catechism #33. We are stopping there for now and continuing to drill for about another week. We're also memorizing Eph. 6.

That's an update from "Immersed in Truth Academy." :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

My date with Andrew

I had a "little" date with my sweet Andrew last week. He had a 4 yr. old check up, so that's how we started our time together. He did so great! He obeyed the nurse. She checked his hearing, eyesight, weight... He even got his flu mist and 2 shots.

After we left the doctors office we went to Micheals. I let him pick out a treat. Wouldn't you know he really wanted to get something for everyone else. He did end up getting a marker that was $.49, a coloring bk. that was $1, and a candy bar. He was so cute eating that big candy bar. He had it all over his face by the time we got home.

The best part of the day was just sitting and talking to my sweet boy. I love spending individual time with each of my children. Andrew is so loving and really loves to put his brother and sisters before himself. I loved sitting with him at the doctor's office reading to him and discussing the pictures, walking around at the store and listening to him talk. He makes me smile. I thank God for those precious moments.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Future PA trip...

We are planning another little get away. Martie is going to the "Weekender" at the church that Mark Dever preaches in Washington DC. I really wanted to take the children so we could do some museum hopping. I just love DC! However, Martie is going to be gone from early morning to late at night so he didn't want me out by myself with the children. :( (especially in DC)

I really didn't want to stay home for 5 days without him. I know I'm a wimp, but I will admit I'm a lonely wimp. hahaha So, we convinced him to let us go visit our good friends the Trunicks in PA. We will leave early on a Thursday morning and take him to DC, and the children and I will then drive to PA. We will stay with them Thursday night through Monday morning. We will then drive back to DC to pick Martie up and drive home.

I am so excited. The Trunicks moved to NC several years ago and eventually moved back up north. When we met we just connected on so many levels. Our families are very like minded and our husbands could talk for hours. They have visited us several times, but now it's time for us to see where they live, meet their friends, visit their church... Did I mention they have 4 boys and she is expecting her 5th baby. Our boys have the best time together.

Anyway, just a quick blog to share my excitement!!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Busy days....

I haven't blogged because things at the Mangum's house have been a little crazy. We started officially teaching the children their formal lessons. We also implemented our new chore system. The morning chores are working out great, I may have to do something different for our afternoon and evening chores. Sometimes we're still doing lessons in the afternoon. (mainly Taylor)

Taylor is in Challenge A at Classical Conversations this year. This would be their 7th grade program. We are loving the curriculum. It's a lot more work, but Taylor is mastering everything so far. She is very dedicated and determined. I'm so proud of her.

The boys and I start Foundations next week. So we will all be together at CC on Thursdays. This will be great! I'm very excited about adding our memory work into the boys lessons. I love Classical Conversation's curriculum. It has worked so well for our family. I've organized all our readers and supplemental resources for the year.

Ethan is reading well. He only has 4 more books until his promised reward! I'm not big into rewarding the children with things they have to do, but for Ethan's reading I felt it was okay. He is great at reading, but it's more "work" for him. He would rather count, organize patterns, add crazy numbers... So we can already tell he's going to be our math boy. He loves to be read to, but is a little lazy when it comes to doing it on his own.

I'm reading The Core, by Leigh Bortins right now. She is the founder of CC. I am really enjoying how she breaks down each "subject," and explains how we should teach it classically. I can really say that I'm growing in my understanding of classical education and teaching the trivium. I also started a sewing class. It is every Thursday evening for 8 weeks. I'm so excited to learn how to sew. It started with a frustration in buying clothes for our daughters. I've already bought one pattern, the fabric, and everything else needed to make this adorable dress. I can't wait to start making our daughters cute, appropriate, and trendy dresses!

Martie has been busy with ministry stuff. Lot's of meetings. He's counseling a beautiful couple that is getting married this January. He's also working on a new Constitution for the church. He is preaching a series on the Gospel. He just finished 1 Tim. He's now trying to teach the church how to share the gospel. (I don't mean the "Faith method", the "Way of the Master", or any of those other methods) He's just teaching the bible, hopefully we will out of love for our Savior go out and preach the gospel to the dying world around us.

Martie is also going out of town for five days. I'm very excited for him. He's going to Washington, DC for a "Weekender" at Mark Dever's church. (Nine Marks Ministry) He has read almost all the books offered by this ministry. I'm a little nervous about being home alone with the children that long. I just love having him around, I will miss "adult conversation." We'll see how that goes. :)

That's about all that's going on at the Mangum's house. Thanks for listening to my wild rambling.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


We are going from this:

To this:

This first picture is a picture of these charts that I designed a long time ago. It has worked well for a season. Ethan has done great with it, Andrew well... Andrew continues to be Andrew. Anyway it was time to add Tabitha onto the chore chart system. I have been wanting to read "Managers of their Chores", but to be honest was intimidated. I was afraid of investing the time and money and then not implementing. See I have a sin issue called inconsistency. I am a chart and list kind of gal, but I don't always implement all my lists and charts.

Well I must say after reading the book and taking all the time into making these chore packs (that the children wear), we have been implementing them. So far so good! We are still in the early stages of training. The real test will be next week when we start back teaching the children their lessons full time. I am in hopes that it will make my life easier and I will have a cleaner house.

The book is wonderfully written and really lines up with our beliefs and goals for our family. One of the selling points for me was when Terri Maxwell said that she always found herself doing one thing really well, while the other things weren't getting done. That is where I am. With a large family and children at various ages I'm finding it more difficult to keep up with all the housework, teaching them their formal lessons, planning meal, clipping coupons....

Below are some pictures I snapped of the children doing some of their chores:

Ethan and Andrew helped eachother make their beds. (even when they didn't have to)

Boys beds are made, and I DIDN'T DO IT! :)

Tabitha and Ethan having their "quiet time with Jesus."

...and one last side note, Andrew is still being Andrew. He will be the one that has a more difficult time focusing on the task at hand. So just because you see this fancy system, don't think it's all fun and freeing. I still have my work cut out for me. ;)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tests results

The doctor called yesterday afternoon. Both of Carissa's tests came back normal! We are so thankful to the Lord. We can now stop the antibiotics. The picture was taken right before we left for the hospital.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Carissa update

We got to Duke at 1:00 this afternoon. The receptionist then informed us that Carissa had two different appointments. (I didn't know this or expect this) Of course with me already being nervous, my eyes filled with tears. But then my sweet husband reminded me that God is Sovereign and He is GOOD! So we calmly sat down and waited.

We did not have to wait long. They called us right back. We got her undressed and then they started working with her. This was probably the hardest part. She's screaming and I can't hold her. However, praise the Lord we were able to stay with her the whole time. The test took about 10 mins. and we were done there. The doctor said there was no sign of kidney reflux! Praise the Lord.

We then went to wait for the ultrasound. (which was supposed to be at 3:30) They were able to take us back early. We only had one patient in front of us. There was about 30 mins. and a perfect time to nurse my sweet baby. By the time we went back for the ultrasound Carissa was fast asleep. (a very hard sleep) I was able to lay down and hold her the whole time. She stayed asleep. PERFECT! We don't know anything from that test. We should know by Thursday.

God was so gracious to us. Here are just a few things we are praising Him for:
  • The radiologist took us right back. (no wait)
  • They were able to move the ultrasound appt. up.
  • We had a 30 min. break in between appointments so Carissa was able to nurse during that time.
  • She slept soundly through the ultrasound appt.
  • There were no signs of kidney reflux.
  • The other 4 children were able to spend the day with Grandma and their cousins. :)
God is so good! I pray that we were a testimony to that goodness today! We will update you all as we know more. Thanks for coming along side us and petitioning our Great Lord on behalf of baby Carissa.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carissa's tests

We have to be at Duke tomorrow at 1:00 pm. Please be praying for Martie and I. We are so nervous. We know and trust the Lord for whatever the outcome. It is still difficult handing our baby over to complete strangers while they poke at her. Thank you for praying, I will update as we know more.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nursing Bib and Hair bows

I just finished making my first nursing bib. Now to pick out some pretty fabric! I'm so excited. Next I'm making the girls hair bows.Update: I just made 4 hair bows for the girls. I'm so glad I figured out how to make these. Bows are so expensive and we loose them often.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Titus Tea Party

Taylor and I hosted a tea party last Friday night. We have been reading through Raising Maidens of Virtue together and got the idea. This also goes along with my Titus 2 focus. I host a woman's bible study once a month, and my goal is to teach and encourage other women as the Titus 2 woman. Often we hold a woman's bible study and don't include the younger women. How are our girls going to know how to study the bible if we don't include them? How are they going to know how to pray if we don't show them? So we combined my Titus 2 vision and our tea party.

We had about 20 ladies and young ladies. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, encouragement, and teaching. We each made a recipe book for our family. What I will be doing with my books is making one for each of my children. In their recipe book I will include some of their favorite recipes as well as short notes and scripture. For my boys I will give this to their wives when they get married.

We can't wait to host the next tea party! Below are just a few pictures from the night.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scare with Carissa

Carissa update:

We were finally able to get her 2 month check up. Poor girl has had a rough month. A week or so ago I took her to the doctor because she had a fever that spiked up to 103. She had a fever for about a week. It was low grade and not very consistent. When I took her to the doctor, I was told that under 3 months babies are not supposed to have a fever at all. Needless to say I felt like the world's worst mommy.

After giving her an exam and everything checking out the doctor decided to check her urine (which means she had to have a catheter), and do some blood tests. They checked her urine there and then sent us to the other office for blood work. The other office wasn't able to draw the blood, they couldn't find her vein, so they did a heel stick and were able to get a blood count.

Her blood count was elevated, and the doctor sent us to Duke for more blood work. This "doctor's visit" was turning into a nightmare. Somewhere in between all this I picked Martie up so he could be with me. (as I was very nervous at this point) It was so difficult watching my almost 2 month old endure all this.

They could not find anything at Duke. They sent us home saying it was a virus. Really! All this and it was a virus! We praised God that we were going home and for keeping Carissa safe. We got a phone call from the doctor the next morning. The urine culture came back positive, so she called in antibiotics.

The doctor called again on Tuesday to let us know that the bacteria was E-coli, which comes from stool. We went back to the doctor yesterday so that she could finally get her vaccinations. They have scheduled a test a Duke to check for kidney reflux. We have to be there at 1:00 on Tues., Aug. 3. So we should know more then. Until then she is on strong antibiotics until tomorrow. (Fri.) Then she will be on Amoxicillin until the test. We have to stop those antibiotics for 3 days, and then start them back up after the test. She will be on the antibiotics just to prevent another infection.

So, we are praying that everything comes back fine from the tests. Maybe this is just a random infection from stool getting inside her. I know she is tired of taking these medicines, and I don't like giving them all to her. We are very particular about what we give our children, so this is big for us.

I will update you all as we know more. Thanks for praying with us!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Free Chicken!

The day started out well. We had a playdate with some of our "CC" friends at a nearby park, that had water spritzers. We were very excited to get out especially since it's been so hot. The playdate ended up being very scary.

One of the little girls fell in the equipment and cut her head. There was a lot of blood and it wouldn't stop. One of our mom's is an ER nurse and she said to call 911. Another mom and I came up with a plan to get the mom's car to her at the ER. We had some confusion with the hospital information, but eventually found them.

Our children were all very patient after being in the car for about 2 1/2 hours. :( The little girl is okay, she did get 4 internal stitches and 14 external.By the time we got home, I was exhausted. I was not planning on going to Chick-fil-a at this point. My sister stopped by and convinced me to go get free food. I did like the idea of free food and not having to cook. :) So none the less we threw together our outfits. (literally put some stuff together quickly) Martie came home and said, "I knew you would give in." hahaha

I love Carissa's little cow sleeper.

Our spots wore off on Martie. :)

Tabitha really liked being a cow!