Friday, January 7, 2011

am i growing?

Might sound like a crazy question - am I growing? Well I am not getting any taller that is for sure:) I am gaining a few pounds but am I really growing where it matters and how would I know.

I know I am gaining or losing pounds because I get on a scale - the same scale - and I keep track of where I was, where I am and where I want to go. This is so simple it is almost like "um yea of course"

Lately I have learned that I want my kids to see how they have grown - not just physically but intellectually, emotionally and spiritually as well. The school they are attending now is really big on measuring student growth. I never understood how important this was until Noah was in first grade. We started to realize that school came easy for him - really easy for him. So he would go every morning and come home every evening for 180 days - and it felt like he did not leave with much more that he started with. Being as anylytical as I am I wanted data - yes data - show me he was growing - not just that he was doing fine.

Of course there are Istep tests - which show he is doing great - but is he growing?? Where is that information? (from what I understand we will start getting that information this year)

So this year they entered a new school and they use a MAP test from the NWEA -- it is reading and math taken 3 times a year on the computer - the test is individualized for each student - questions get harder as they get them right and easier as they get them wrong - until it sifts out right where they are at. Amazing - no longer is it about - "well yes he can accomplish the grade level skills" -- its about where is he now and where is he going - really!!

It blew me away - both kids have taken the test 2x now - they know their scores - and how much they should grow with each testing - they each have a data binder at school to see a measure of their growth. The school is taking responsibility to provide an environment for every child to grow - my kids are getting it - they like knowing where they are at and where they used to be -- they are learning that just because they are doing well they aren't expected to stop growing. (Noah still does not like school - but he is being challenged:)

We also found out that school is just as easy academically for Nina - and she loves having a tangible number to show her growth - she is getting it - just like she does when we measure her height and she grew 1/4 inch - she's excited. But most of all she realizes it would be much easier to just hang out and coast along - but that being challenged is the way to grow:)

ALL this to say - seriously I feel like I need data in or of my life to measure growth - It feels like I wake up every morning and go to bed every night and 365 days later - where am I ??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I thought it would be easier to share everything that has gone on - backwards - from where we are today and then fill in all the crazy details:):)

Today my hubby is gonna get up at 6am -- crazy since he has awakened at 345 am for the past 14 years. He gets to be here as the kids get ready for school and then he has the privilege of driving them to school before he heads to work. He is now the director of creative arts and community for the Elkhart campus of Granger Community Church. Most days he gets to pick them up at school and bring them home. He has already created an awesome experience for them by storytelling on every trip. It is one long story that he keeps adding to - they beg him to continue when they get home but he saves it for the ride:)

Today my kids are gonna get up at 615 and have breakfast and devotions with me then they are gonna hit the road at 7am to drive to school and arrive about 735 am. They are new students at Horizon Elementary School in the PHM district. It is 12 minutes from Don's work:) Today they will be reminded that school is to learn new things - not to do things you already know how. They will have the opportunity to be challenged and pushed to a level they still are not sure they are capable of - they will be told by teachers and us, as parents, that they are smart! They will need to work hard to activate the intellectual potential God has gifted them with for His purpose.

Do they get all this - do they like it or think it is fun - not yet! However God has guided us in this decision and we trust that he will give us what is necessary to assist them with this transition.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Did I really take all of 2010 off from blogging? I think about it all the time and just never do it. I am a little afraid I wont be able to put words to all that is going through my head.

So lets just say over the next few weeks I will try to get through some of the stuff that has been percolating in my head as well as in my family. So many changes have taken place in the past 3 - 6 months, mostly choices we have made but all requiring us to lean into God a little harder to know what direction to go. We have realized lately that people don't always get it when you obey God and make a choice they dont understand.

I am looking forward to reviewing some of the books I have read, sharing some of the major decisions we have made, and where we are right now in the middle of it all!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 family goals

We decided over lunch today that we would have some family goals for the year - figured "goals" was a kid friendly term. We discussed how they needed to be achievable but still challenging. It was a great conversation.

We started with one for each of us and then 3 family ones. So.....

  • Mine is to try to read through the bible this year:):)
  • Don's - to try to read through his bible this year
  • Noah's - to not judge food by the way it looks
  • Nina's - to try each food on her plate

Family goals:

  • to play 1 family game per week
  • to try to pray and read the bible before bed each night
  • to work on using kind words and not interrupting and correcting each other

We want the kids to enjoy the beginning of a new year and realize they have choices and responsibilities in their lives. We are looking forward to what 2010 has to offer us and where we will be on December 31 as a family.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

not a cheery post

So do you ever think about death? not really dying but just not living? I know it is not really a cheery after holidays topic but......

Yesterday I went to my husband's Aunts funeral she was in her 80's. It seems whenever I go to funerals I end up with all these pictures in my head from my mom and dad -- what they were wearing at the viewing, how their hands looked, the makeup they were wearing and so on and so takes days for me not to see them constantly and then there is another funeral for them to all come back. Easy to say I have been to 3 funerals since my dad died 18 months ago - the pictures in my head seem pretty constant.

So the pictures lead to thoughts - not about when I am going to die or how really - more about the fact that I wont be here - here on this earth - I wont exist in the physical - wont chat with my kids or my husband - wont wake up every morning and on and on......

I think I can honestly say that I think about all this often - like 3-4 times a week at least. Sometimes it starts from a conversation with someone, or something on the news or facebook, sometimes a tv show or book, almost anything can lead my thinking this direction.

Sometimes I even think about whether my family will know all the things that are in my head -- about my great aunts desk in the guest bedroom or her wedding and engagement rings in my drawer - what about Don's grandpas desk -- will they know that story, should I write them all down? Most of this comes from cleaning out my parents house after my dad died. There were so many pictures, furniture and memories -- some we knew and some we had no idea.

It is strange to think I may only be half way through my life - yet this half has gone so fast.

Alright I am not looking for answers just sharing where I am at or where I have been at for awhile now.

I think losing your parents takes you to someplace different, unexplainable, and permanent.

Friday, August 28, 2009

God's timing

Have you ever wondered where you were going or maybe how soon you were going to get there? What kind of driver and direction follower are you? I like to see the end before I begin. I read through all the directions and look at the map from here to there -- visualize it and usually that is enough to commit it to memory. Then while driving I just occasionally look at my road map for reassurance as I journey along to my destination. Don on the other hand prints out the directions and just looks at the first one or two - while driving he just stays one step ahead of where he is - "give me just the next turn please" is a familiar phrase when I want to spout out ALL the roads from Massachusetts to California.

How does this play into my understanding of God's timing and plan?

I am amazed at how often I think I can see how something is "totally God's plan" and then it never amounts to much. Sometimes I can want something so much I can find evidence to support that it must be God's plan and other times I can assume it must not be God because it makes me uncomfortable.

I am amazed at the conversations we can have then turn around and get an email on the same topic. God's plan and mine are NOT the same. It is impossible for me to figure it out -- thank goodness because that's what makes him God! It is also impossible for me to explain my heart and my decisions to people - sometimes they just don't make sense unless you really know me. There are only a few people that really know me. Of course my husband is one. He met me before I knew Jesus and watched me grow into a Christ follower - he knows my heart and sometimes can see the big picture that I cant see - it can be aggravating and comforting all at the same time.

Lately I have been uncomfortable about some things - and that is unusual for me -- I like to play it safe. Don is actually enjoying the process God is taking me through because he has been through it himself. I remember one such time a few years back - how clearly I could see what God was doing in him and for him -- and yet he could not see it and was almost willing to let it all pass by. It seems like right now Don can see clearly where God is taking me -- I, however, cannot - in no way, see it. So as I sit frustrated with myself and things around me I have a loving husband who is watching each step and smiling as God reveals his plan in his time.

This is definitely one journey I have to let play out one or two turns at a time - could be interesting!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

10 years

Friday brings 10 years of wedded bliss for Don and I:)

God has blessed us incredibly - I love him more today than I did 10 years ago and I would rather spend my time with him than with anyone else or doing anything else!

One thing that surprises me is how many changes have happened over the 10 years - here is a quick list: (I will add to it during the week as I think of more)

  • 2 kids
  • 2 dogs
  • our 3rd house - same town
  • changed churches
  • we began to use twitter, facebook and blogs
  • I went from teaching full time to stay at home mom to working part time evenings
  • my mom and dad have both passed away
  • we are each on our 3rd car or so...
  • we gave away a car and a van to the same couple - approx 3 years apart
  • we visited ohio, florida, and myrtle beach and don went to India
  • both kids have asked Jesus into their lives and hearts
  • we have each gained 20 pounds and lost it again
  • we have made some great new friends
  • we have lost touch with some old friends
  • we have watched more than one set of some good friends divorce
  • we have seen family members divorce
  • we have been both blessed and challenged by God

What I know is that God has plans for us over the next 10 years - plans I can't dare to imagine!

My plan for the next 10 years -- to trust HIM - with my life, my marriage, my kids, my parenting - with it all. Even though it can be overwhelming for me - I know that nothing is too big or too small for my God.