Monday, January 26, 2015

Good Pictures, Bad Pictures

I am very protective mom.

I don't like to say over-protective because my thoughts are: protecting them is in my job title as a parent.

I feel like that is what I am supposed to do.

Protect them.

I am picky about songs my kids hear, shows they watch, and internet usage.

I stick to Christian music in my car. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with other stations, but for me, I want my boys flooded with truths from the Word of God constantly. I want a strong Foundation for them. I love the opportunities that gives us to talk about God. The questions that arise from what we listen to make me cry sometimes. For instance, we were listening to, "My God is a Mountain Mover" in the van the other day. Webb starts telling me how big and mighty God is and how he can move BIG mountains. Dane proceeds to tell me that God can do anything, except sin.

I want them only watching age appropriate shows. My motto is, "If Hollywood says it is for 13 and older, you can be SURE momma agrees." Let's face it, Hollywood has NO morals. I long to keep their innocence intact and what they view on TV is often what their mind feels is normal.

As for internet usage. I am NOT naive. I know how prevalent pornography is and how addictive it is. I have made it my mission to stay on top of this issue because I am raising boys. I follow blogs that candidly talk about this issue, because it is my JOB to protect my boys and their minds. I will not pretend it doesn't exist. I cannot expect them to figure it out on their own. For this reason, I was convicted to move our computer into the living room and make our office, a guest room. I want there to be no temptation. It is also for this reason my boys won't have smart phones until they NEED one. Once that time comes, I plan to institute a rule that the phones go in my room at bedtime. I don't want there to be temptation for game playing all night, phone chatting all night, pornography usage, or sexting. I want to make it difficult for them to sin in this area, not enable them.

Want a briefing on some of my research???

Whether a child becomes addicted to pornography or not, 100% of kids who view porn are negatively affected. Today's Internet pornography goes way beyond still, nude photos of men's magazines. It has metastasized into a hundred thousand variants of degrading violence, including rape, sex with children, group sex, and other horrors. Pornography is a sinister counterfeit-- it teaches kids that sex is a form of self-gratifying, and often violent, diversion instead of a way to build a loving and committed relationship with someone they trust. As a result, kids who consume porn are corrupted with unhealthy sexual attitudes and may find it difficult to develop, commit to, or even want long-term sexual relationship with a real person. Pornography rewires the brains of those who view it. It can quickly become a full blown addiction. Something they crave and turn to daily. It is like a high. A drug. They cannot wait until the minute they can turn to pornography on their computers or their phones. They become selfish and it is all about them and no longer about the couple. It takes a beautiful act that God created to bring husband and wife together and separates them. Sex is meant to make us Holy because it is God's will (in marriage), anytime we bring a 3rd person into it, it does the opposite (porn, affair, or multiple partners at once). It takes us further from Christ and further from our partner. I don't want that for my boys EVER, or for their wives.

All of my responsibility with the issue of pornography and protecting their minds, led me to research, which led me to this book:

I snagged this off Amazon and it arrived this week. I haven't read it all yet, but what I have read has me thanking God for leading me to this book.

I love the truths in here. It encourages open dialogue (something I LOVE) as we sit down and read it like a normal book. It prompts children to ask questions and even me to ask questions of my child.

At one part in the book I have to explain that there are good pictures, like you might find in a family photo album, and there are bad pictures. These pictures will have people with little or no clothes on and you might see bad pictures on TV, a phone, or a computer. I then told them that those pictures were called pornography. I asked my boys if they had ever seen that?

Dane shook his head "no" and then changed his expression as if he wasn't quite sure.

I felt my heart skip a beat and he said, "Well, on Wreck it Ralph, the mouse takes all this clothes off."

I had to keep myself from laughing and crying at the same time.

The fact that he is still innocent at 6-1/2 is HUGE.

Our pastor talks from the pulpit quite often about the statistic of porn and little boys. I can't remember the exact statistic, but I want to say it is like 50% or so of boys have their first viewing of porn by the age of 5. FIVE!!!!!

Whether by accident, a friend, an older sibling, the home computer history, etc.

FIVE years old.

Those babies are learning what they think is normal sex and it will be hard to erase those thoughts formed that early.

There is counseling sessions going on for 7 year olds right now that are full-blown porn addicts.

Does that break your heart? Oh, how it breaks mine.

My goal in life is to raise men that love, fear, and serve the Lord. Part of that, for me, means raising men that know how to filter, on their own, what is of the Lord and not. Fact is, I can control all of that right now. There will come a day though that they are on their own and faced with real temptations. I want to know I did everything in my power to train them on how to deal with that. I want them to understand the seriousness of porn (and other sin). I don't want my boys to think porn is what every man does or acceptable in any way. That is my job as their mommy.

What better time to start now? What better thing to do than tell them, "If you accidentally see it, it is ok. Just either turn it off or come get me. But always come and tell me. You will never be in trouble."

Yesterday, I found myself praising God that I was the one to teach my children about pornography. They learned about it from me and in a biblical way. They had never even heard the word and I have the opportunity to warn them about it instead of discovering a viewing and or addiction years from now.

I am praising God for that opportunity!!!

This is a resource I highly recommend to any and all parents out there, with boys or girls!

This is a very real epidemic in our  world and it is time parents step up and start taking preventative steps.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Update on Classical Conversations

I had intended to do a better job of recording our journey of CC.

Truthfully, life has been so busy and I don't think I have posted any of our school year since I said we were starting CC.

For those that cared, my bad.

Do we like it?

Yes, we LOVE it.

We are currently on a break until the new year and I  really like that. It is giving us an opportunity to focus on family, holiday preparations, AND review what we have learned this far (12 weeks of IMMENSE info) .

I am continually amazed in how little I must do in order for so much to stick in Dane (and Webb's) brain.

I also love that it takes the burden of "what shall we do today?" or "what curriculum should we use this year?" away from me.

What a normal week looks like for us is this:

The kids get up whenever they want unless we have somewhere to be (Tuesday mornings-Thursday morning). When they get up, for the most part, they get to chill and watch a couple of cartoons. Then it is on to morning chores. On Monday, it is all about school. On Tuesday, we go to co-op and that is our school; I sometimes tag a reading lesson in there before the day is over. On Wednesday, we go to Bible Study. Most weeks, I say that is school for that day, but other weeks, we come home and do roughly 45min of school. Thursdays, I am out of town working and they do school with my parents when I remember to print off the work. Fridays is a school day at home.

What does a school day look like at home:

We do CC memory work. I try to make it fun and we will listen to it and I will try pausing the song at a different spot each time through. Then, I will try to get them to say it back to me. I help them with what they don't remember.

I have a small, handheld, dry erase board from the Dollar Tree we do math memory work on. It helps when Dane can see the number on there. Then each time, I will erase a different number until no numbers are left. He can then sing it all the way through with no help. He has learned his times tables through 15 and has learned squares, cubes, and measurements.

We do our Timeline cards for the week. Each week, we have 7 new ones. Up to this point, we have learned 84 different timeline events. On the front is a picture and the event and on the back is info if your kids are age appropriate for listening and comprehending.

We have the timeline song in its entirety, so lots of weeks, we review all that we have learned to this point (and maybe what next week will be).

We have a set of all the info for each week in these little cards.

I will offer a marshmellow, chocolate chip, or some other small bribe incentive for giving me the answer to what I am asking. We will work back from where we are currently are and review all the weeks we have completed. That is a great way for us to review and make sure this info is sticking.

Dane has learned all 50 states and their capitals as well. He is also supposed to know their location. He has this map that he LOVES to outline and trace each individual state. That is good because at some point in CC, he will be drawing the entire thing from memory!!!

He is currently learning mountains

I bought this little sticker pad at Hobby Lobby this weekend, Dane found it, and I have a great plan for it during our break from CC.

I'm planning to have him take each state and flag and stick it on cardstock. Then we will google the state together and pick something he finds interesting. He will then write that out on the piece of paper.

For Science, we just focus on CC memory work. They just finished studying the human body and organs and we have this little gem hanging in our house now!

During our break, I plan to take these little nuggets and review each week to where we are.

There is all the information from each week on this. So it is a week at a glance and an easy review tool.

We have also memorized John 1:1-7 and are working on learning it in sign language AND Latin.

We do our reading lesson, writing lesson, and math workbook on our own. I am also branching out and getting Dane to read to me! LOL. n

At home, on average we spend about 2-3 hours on school. Dane could finish his assignments in less than an hour, but so it goes, we spend quite a bit of time getting sidetracked and whining that he would rather be playing.

As stressful as a day or week can be, I am continually thankful that God laid it upon our hearts to homeschool. Having my boys home with me each day is such a blessing and full of rewards. I love being able to pour into them lessons that go far beyond a school book or memory work. Lessons that REALLY matter. Life lessons. Faith lessons. Attitude lessons. Gratitude lessons. The ability to encourage, build up, and love on my kids is priceless. Watching them get something for the first time is such an ecstatic feeling. Being able to stay at home with my sweet, precious boys, that I only have for a very short time, is such a luxury. I try to not take that for granted.

I am completely satisfied with CC and plan on continuing this through highschool. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone interested and love that Jesus is at the center of it all.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving week!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bedroom Furniture Makeover

I have never really like our bedroom furniture, but it was my hubby's and therefore, it saved us money and I'm not terribly picky.

I had seen somewhere ages ago a way to refinish my bedroom furniture and save major $. I knew that I wanted to do that, I just had to wait for a good time. My plan was for this Fall because of the nice weather.

Well, looking at my birth schedule, I realized that I had better get started on the big project in the beginning of October because after that, I have a zillion births and I would hate to be in the middle of this and be too sleep deprived to finish it.

I had researched kind of what I was looking for and so the boys and I headed to Home Depot one Friday with $50 from my Home Update envelope (Dave Ramsey-- Financial Peace).

I bought all my supplies for $50. You cannot beat that for a new look with old furniture.

I knew I wanted white, but not white white. I picked an antique white and I love it because it is just a shade above white.

Home Depot only had Mocha glaze the day I was in there and that is the color I glazed my kitchen cabinets and table (I need help!). I was wanting black to be different and go for a look I don't have yet.

The lady helping me told me I could just use black paint in place of the glaze and use it the same way I would glaze. That was good to know because she sold me a little sample thing of black paint for $3.

I started with the Clorox wipes and wiped everything down really good.

Wow!! I thought I did a good job dusting the crevices on my furniture.

Turns out, I don't!

After that, I sanded it with 100 grit sandpaper. Just a fine sanding, nothing to much. This is actual wood, so it wasn't totally necessary like if it had been particleboard, but I knew it wouldn't hurt.

After I sanded, I wiped it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off.

And then, I wiped it down with a dry cloth and let it sit for a bit.

From there, I applied a coat of white paint.

Once the first coat dried, I lightly sanded again, and wiped all the dust off.

I ended up having to do 3-4 coats to get it covered good.

Once all the coats were on

I applied the black paint with a foam brush. I had a damp rag with me. The trick with using paint is wiping it off quickly. So, I would get the paint in all the corners, holes, etc. really good and then wipe.

I LOVE to glaze because you get to make it your own and no two areas are the same.

When I glazed my nightstand the first time, I loved it! I had wanted to do more glaze, but as I worked, I wiped off more and just went with it.

When I finished the chest of drawers though, I had used more glaze and I found that I liked that look better, so I reglazed my nightstand.

It actually ended up with more glaze than the chest of drawers, but I don't mind. I think that is what gives it all character... not being uniform and all.

I went back and bought new handles and spent $30 on six. When I got them home, I really didn't like them. I realized I was going to be spending about $100+ on new hardware. Mom told me to just spray paint the ones I had.


I went back to Home Depot and returned the handles and bought spray paint.

I LOVED the finished product. I decided since I only had 6 knobs and about a gazillion handles, that I would buy some unique knobs.

Color before
Spray painted. They sort of glitter and I LOVE glitter.

They are pretty girly, but my house needs the girly touch now and then.

I spent $25 on special knobs.

 So, all in all, my project cost me about $80 total! For a brand new bedroom look!!

I still have the dresser to do. Life is crazy in my world. I was trying to get up around 5am and get a coat on it OR stay up late and get a coat on it. Funny, because when I started this project, mom knew how crazy my schedule was. She said, "When are you going to do this? In your sleep?" I would laugh every time I was working on it and think, "No! When I should be sleeping!" Oh well. It got it finished and I am pleased. I found this to be therapeutic. A time to pray and just be. It was actually nice.

I think I am going to take a mirror that was always in Pappy's house (I got it when he passed away because I had always loved it), spray paint it, distress it and replace the mirror the dresser has, with that one. I will have to post pictures of that when it is complete. That is my project for next week.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Boys Letters

I sometimes post letters here that I write to the boys. I pray that one day, the letters will be some of their deeply cherished items. I try to do 1-2 letters a year and always after a birthday.

I wanted to encourage other mom's and dad's to do the same thing. Sometimes, I go ahead and read them to each boy and they just light up. I know it makes them feel special to have an entire "story" about them.

I'm pretty certain that most people won't find this post very interesting, but I like to have some of these recorded here and it also is a chance to read some of our funny and intimate times together.

                                June 10, 2014
My sweet Dane,
You are 6 years old. You counted down to your birthday for months it seemed and eagerly awaited officially being 6. I loved your excitement. I love you.
You are such a joy to me; such a gift. About a week before you turned 6, on May 25, you asked Jesus in your heart. If you ever read over these letters I’ve written to you through the years or read my prayer journals, you will soon find out that was my heart’s desire and my earnest prayer for you since you were conceived. I longed to see you accept Jesus as your personal Savior and what an honor it was to pray with you as you asked Him to be Lord of your life. That is a day, a moment, I will never forget. My prayer is that as you grow through the years, your love for Him deepens. I pray that you have a true relationship with Him, worship only Him, fear Him, and serve Him. He is all that matters in this life. He loves you so very much, Dane and He has a very special plan for your life.
You continue to be a bike-riding-maniac. You are always out in the driveway cruising around. You have dirt hills in the backyard now that you “jump”. We went over to the dump and there is a walking track around it. While I walked next to Webb, you rode around the entire thing by yourself and lapped us probably 4x. So many little boys your age and older can’t ride without training wheels and you are just a pro.
We are officially starting Kindergarten this year and you are so excited to begin the Classical Conversations class. I am excited about that too and all that you will be learning through this program. You seem to just learn so rapidly and we have started reading lessons. I waited until you seemed interested and ready to begin and that was clearly a key. You love to learn and it is so exciting as your mom to see you “get it” and love it at the same time. I hope you always enjoy reading.
Some funny things about you: your phrase is, “I got this” and you generally do! You are so independent and so helpful. You started taking your own showers when you turned 6 and last night you washed Webb for us too while we cooked. You sweep the floors, vacuum, fold clothes, put yours away, and so much more! I am so thankful for all your help. Always remember that helping out is important and be willing to give a helping hand to everyone you meet.
You have been asking for twin sisters. I’m telling you, if that really happens your daddy is likely to kill you. LOL. You remain adamant though that that is what you want and I find it so cute! I just love that you want 2 sisters so badly. Secretly, I’m with you on this one!
We went fishing with Daddy and Papa and daddy taught you how to bait your own hook. Next thing we know, we look over and you are fishing on your own and baiting your own hook. Yes, clearly, “you have this”.
I’m pretty sure your love language is physical touch which is also strange because at the same time, you hate it. LOL. You always want love and snuggles (on your terms), but you stick a pillow between you and Webb at bedtime! One day you told me I never tell you, “I love you” and I said, “Dane, I say that all day!” and you said, “But you don’t hug me all day.” That day crushed me because I felt I must not hug and physically touch you enough and you must not be feeling loved. It could be a close tie between quality time too because you also LOVE that. I look forward to seeing more and more of your personality as you grow and learning you better. Just know, I do love you. SOOOOO much!
One funny story too: you got mad at me recently and said, “I wish you were a worm so I could smash you and you’d be dead”. Yes, it was ugly and yes I had to go in another room to laugh. Where you came up with that is beyond me, but it cracked me up!
I love you so much sweet, Dane! It is truly an honor and privilege to raise you and be your mom. I do not take the responsibility lightly and just know I’m always trying my best. You are a handful and sometimes you leave me at my whits end. At the same time, you teach me daily and force me to constantly better myself, stay at the foot of the cross, and practice virtues I haven’t yet learned myself. You were so good for me when I had you 6 years ago. God truly used you to change my life and He continues to do that to make me into the woman I am supposed to be.
Never think you are an accident. God planned you and He knew you would be before the foundations of this world. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image and for a purpose. I look forward to seeing what all that entails as you grow. I shore do love you, Dane (you whispered that in my ear one morning long ago while you thought I was still sleeping).

Love always!

September 20, 2014
My precious Webb,
You are four years old now. FOUR!! My baby isn’t a baby anymore and that makes me feel sad inside. You are so much fun. We spend most of our time being humored by you and I just love the laughter and joy you bring to our family Webb. You are super loving and tenderhearted and I adore seeing those character traits come out in you. Never forget that real men show their emotions. It is ok to be moved with compassion.
Your curly hair turns so many heads. Random people walk by and refer to you as “Curly”. You scrunch up your face and snarl your nose in their direction. Oh, sweet boy! How I long to see you appreciate those curls the Lord blessed you with. You get upset that Dane has an angel kiss on his shoulder and you don’t. I tried telling you that your curls were where the angels all took turns kissing you before you came to earth. I just knew you would love them then. NOPE! You told me, “Well dem should hab tissed my sho-dair wike dey did Dane.” You told me that when you turned four, “I not hab dees turls anymoe.” Thankfully, you were wrong about that one. One day your Great-Gran was leaving and she said, “Bye, Curly!” Without missing a beat you said, “Bye you Old Butt-hole!” It was totally inappropriate and you had better just thank-your-lucky-stars she laughed, but so did I. It still makes me laugh.
That is what you love to do. Make us laugh.
You are a bike riding crazy man! You have been able to ride with no training wheels since you turned 3. You didn’t always feel confident on there, so you didn’t officially ride full-time with no training wheels until about 6 months before you turned 4. You do “bike stunts” where you ride with one hand and other shenanigans. Your brother had this bike ramp set up and you would ride as hard as you could up it and then stop at the top. We laughed ourselves silly watching you fall face first, bike and all, off the top of that to the ground. You would just pick your bike up and go again. Tough guy!!
You are tough, but oh so tender! You will randomly walk up and hug me and say, “I ludge you, momma.” Sweet angel, I ludge you too. More than you could ever know. You are my ray of sunshine and you bring out the soft side in all of us. I watch your daddy just melt with you. You are quick to forgive and quick to obey. Getting in trouble really bothers you and you aim to please. You haven’t required many spankings. Although, you are a total MESS!
I was sick recently, on your actual birthday. You were so wild that day. I found you butt-naked in your bathroom sink. Water was EVERYWHERE as was soap. I walked in and you were laughing so hard you couldn’t breathe. I said, “What are you doing?” You said, “Washing my nuts. Now you not hab to!!” Oh boy. You are just too much some days. That same day, you nursed me back to health. You would wake me up with my water and a straw to my lips. You would rub my face and move hair off it and bring me the thermometer to take my temp. You reminded me to apply oils and take my Silver. My tender boy.
A few months back I was making a slideshow for Granddaddy’s 60th birthday. While watching old pictures from when I was little flash up, you looked up at me with big tears in your eyes and said, “Mommy, I feen-ch dis is doe-ing to make to try.”
We just love the way you talk!!!! So do so many other people. I need to do a better job of recording your sweet accent and syllables. I know I will miss it when you talk plain. You asked me awhile back, “Mommy, what wed-air do Den-Daddy (Granddaddy) tart width?” I said, “G” and you said, “What do G sound why-ch?” I told you, “ggg” and you said, “Rah Rah, Den Daddy.” I couldn’t hold in my laughs. You are so cute.
For awhile you would make lists in your mind and “check” it off out loud. “Dot hour bye-ch, chech, hemets, chech, and wad-air, chech. We weady to doe on hour bye-che wide.” (you add that “ch” sound to so many words, or “dge”. Truck is tru-ch, dog is dodge, bike is bye-ch, water is wad-air, this is thi-ch”.)
These three years have been FUN. I look forward to continuing to watch you grow and thrive.
God sent you to us as a surprise. I still remember my shock when I saw the positive pregnancy test. Nothing could have prepared me for loving 2 children. I didn’t think it would be possible to love another child as deeply as I did your brother. How amazing that God created our hearts to hold endless amounts of love. I love you with the same intense, unconditional love that I love Dane. You are not an accident. You forced my heart to grow in order to hold that kind of love. You have made me into a better person and mom. Webb, you force me to the foot of the cross each day and to become the best possible me. You have stretched me in ways I never thought possible and you have challenged me to live what I say. I am so thankful that God trusted us enough to raise you. You are ultimately His. He has loaned you to us and I am eternally grateful. I do not take the responsibility lightly. My prayer is that you seek Him and that you find Him. He longs to have a relationship with you and to see you surrender your life to Him. God has a big plan for you and I am so excited to see what that is. Always look to Jesus. He is the answer. Life can be crazy, hard, and heartbreaking. Run to your Abba, Father. And know your mommy is praying for you continuously. I am always here for you.
I love you, sweet boy.