Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Family Resemblance

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Eph 4:32-5:2 

I'm reading The 5 Love Languages of Children, and while looking up some verses on love, I came across these familiar verses.  I've known them for most of my life.  However, I don't think I remember ever reading that last verse of chapter 4 with the first verses of chapter 5.  (A previous pastor of ours used to say, if you see the word "therefore" you should look back and see what it is there for.)  So I went back and read the end of chapter 4.  There is the verse I quote to my boys all the time.  When there is conflict between them, I remind them of this verse.  I ask them to say the words themselves.

Reading those verses together, I was reminded of this:
Our love for others should be a sincere imitation of God's love for us.  Just like a little boy imitates his daddy, or a little girl copies her mommy's ways...because they "want to be just like them".  It's obvious who my children belong to, both in their looks and actions (for good or bad)!  Growing up I met people many times who told me that they knew I was a Johnson girl, because of the shape of my eyes.  Apparently, there was an obvious trait my 3 sisters and I shared. 

This little guy, well, he looks like  a male version of his momma (that's me at the same age, 30 years ago.).  He's a miniature of my dad.  He does have my husband's brown eyes, but when people see Carter, they immediately say he looks just like me and his Papa.  He has since he was born.  His twin brother looks very different from him, and Derek, well, he may be a mixture of family traits in his looks, but he definitely has my husband's personality.  I often tell Ben that I can understand what his mom went through raising him.  :)  The family resemblance is overwhelming!

You can see the resemblance again in my baby.  No doubt about it, these boys are mine!  :)

Is it obvious we belong to the Father because of the way we love each other?  Do my children see the love of Chist in the way that I love them? Is there a "family resemblance"?  That's a convicting thought!

Monday, May 16, 2011

You Can't Convince Me

We received Evan's CAT scores already today.  He scored better than 99% of 1st graders!  In fact, he performed as well as the average 4th grader!

Much of that is his own natural abilities, but I'm convinced he's fulfilling his full potential because of homeschooling.  I'm not a homeschooling fanatic, by any means....but I definitely do see that it has benefits and am assured we made a wise decision for this part of his education.  Even more than those great scores, I am assured by the character traits that I see growing up in him, his love for God and His Word, and his view of the world that is being shaped by his growing knowledge of God. 

Our decision to homeschool has been encouraged by some, not understood by others, and criticized by some.  And though you wish all people would see your decision favorably, we didn't make it to be popular with other people.  (In fact, I was one of those people, only a few years ago that said I will never homeschool!)  We made this decision based on what God was convincing us was best for our family at this time. 

You can't convince me that homeschooling is detrimental.  It may not be for everyone, it may not be for you.  It may not always be for us.  But, it is good.  It has been very good for my son.  I look forward to seeing what it will produce in my twin boys as they start this fall. 

If you are considering homeschooling, let this encourage you.  It is NOT detrimental, as many will try to claim.  If God is truly leading you to do it, it can be more than "not detrimental", it can be excellent. 

Evan with a science experiment, growing a sweet potato vine.

Kudos to my student for his hard work and determination.  I loved the big smile that came across his face when I showed the results to him and praised him for his good work.  Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, as to the Lord.  (Colossians 3:23)  That's my hope and prayer for Evan, wherever he is being schooled.  Not that he is always in the 99th percentile, but that he always does his best, because he's doing it for God, Who is not impressed with percentages and numbers, but Who is pleased when we do all that we do for His glory. (Colossians 3:17)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Epitaph for our Friend Nemo

We suffered a loss here in our home a few days ago.  Evan's beloved pet goldfish, Nemo, died unexpectedly.
Poor Evan cried and cried.  I knew he'd be sad, but I wasn't prepared for how hard he'd take it.
Mostly he feels bad.  He thinks he should have been better at taking care of Nemo.
And he feels guilty because as he says, "I only gave him one birthday."  :)  He forgot to throw Nemo a birthday party this March.  Yes, last year he celebrated Nemo's birthday with him!  What a sensitive soul he has.

Nemo was a good fish these last two years.  This picture was taken just after he joined the family.

Evan wrote this note today about his pet fish.  I thought it was a sweet epitaph for Nemo.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My 8th Mother's Day

Today marks the 8th year God has blessed me with the privilege of being a Mom.  I had fun making a collage of all my Mother's Days so far.  It's neat to see how God has grown my family since that first Mother's Day in 2004, when I was a mom to a 3 month old little boy.  Who, by the way is 7 years old, finishing first grade, reading books like you wouldn't believe, and losing his baby teeth....and is one awesome big brother.

Years 2005 and 2006,  I realized I didn't have a Mother's Day photo for of Evan and I.  Not sure why.  But I had Easter pictures which were very close in date to MD.  :)  As you can see in 2006 (3rd on the bottom), there were 2 other children present, just hidden.  :)  Those two boys are going to be 5 in a couple of months!
They are funny, active, sweet boys.

The 4th photo on the bottom looks like my hands were full, but so was my belly....6 months pregnant with baby #4.

Year 2007 (in the middle) was my 1st Mother's Day with all 4 of my boys.  Sweet little O-man is now almost 4, a chatterbox and a momma's boy.

Each year the boys get cuter, and I get older.  Sigh.

Thank you, God, for these precious lives you've entrusted to my hands and my heart.  May I be faithful in this task, so that one day when I see Your face, I can present them back to You with joy.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bonnie's Boston Brown Bread

Ha, look at that, I alliterated!

I made my mom-in-law's Boston Brown Bread last night for the first time.  It was so delicious.  The boys gobbled it up for breakfast this morning.  Now, if you are blessed enough to know my mom-in-law (the Bonnie in Bonnie's Boston Brown Bread), you're probably aware of what we know.  She is a GREAT cook and baker.  In fact, it was a tad bit intimidating when I married her middle son almost 14 years ago!  He's put up with his share of flops over time, but one thing I've always counted on was that if I made one of Mom's recipes, I'd be ok. 

Well, this bread is no exception.  You must give it a try.  And pick up some Breakstone's Whipped Butter to go with it.  Yum!  The bread tastes awesome warm and is just as good cooled.  It's easy and cheap.

You will need cleaned out cans to bake the bread in.  I used 29 oz sliced peaches cans.  She said that crushed tomato cans work well, too.  This will make 4-5 loaves depending on the size can you use.  (I halved the recipe because I didn't have enough cans or nuts for a full recipe, and it made 2 of the 29 oz cans.)

1 generous cup of raisins (I only had the golden ones on hand.  They worked deliciously!)
3 c hot water
2 c sugar
2 T butter
2 eggs
1 t salt
5 1/2 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
1 c walnuts, chopped (I only had chopped pecans on hand....again delicious.  Ben said he actually preferred them!)
3/4 c molasses

Simmer raisins in water for 12 minutes.
Cream sugar, butter, and eggs.
Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture alternately with hot water/raisin mixture.
Add molasses and vanilla.
Stir in nuts.
Fill greased cans 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.
Bake 1 hour at 350 degreees.  Test with toothpick to make sure they are done.
After you take them out of the oven, let them set in the can for 5 minutes to sweat before trying to tap them out.


Also good with cream cheese on top, but I love it with the whipped butter.

Excuse my awful picture.  We were in too big a hurry to eat them, that I didn't get a picture of the loaves in the cans, or before they had been partially devoured. :)  And the space monkey plate...well, they had 4 packages of those paper plates on clearance at Target for 75 cents each package!  I bought all 4.  :) Works in a house full of boys! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

For Love of Reading

This is what Evan has been doing lately. Reading while walking through the house. The Reading Bug has bit him, and he is reading up a storm.  Love it!

I started at the beginning of the school year buying Magic Tree House books for Evan. I gave the first one to him on the morning of the first day of school, as a Welcome Back to School gift.

He is enrolled in the Pizza Hut Book It program, so we have been using books in the series for his reading goals. Every time he finishes one, I have to go find him the next one.  And because his momma is sentimental we're collecting the series instead of just getting them from the library. I had a collection of Berenstein Bear books when I was little that I had saved and was hoping to give to my kids. Our dog destroyed them before my kids were born and had a chance to read them!

I found him a set of the 10 next books in the series on eBay for $7.49, which was a steal!  They arrived only a week ago, and he has them all read already! 

I love seeing him enjoy reading so much.  Makes me happy as his mom....and his teacher!

Now he is writing his own stories.  So cute!

Monday, February 7, 2011