My Fitness

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

to visit orphans in their affliction

"to visit in their afflictions" means to care for them.

Felipe and I are completely open to adopting. I hate it that some children feel unwanted. I wish I could take them all and provide for them all and make them all feel loved. Particularly this group of seven siblings is being told that couples only want 1 or 2 of them and "can you separate them?" As if these kids are in a garage sale. We have a big huge stupid house that only makes sense to own if we fill it with children. So why don't we take these guys?


And like that I contacted the necessary people to make that happen. We have many obstacles in our way. First, these kids are in Arkansas. We are in Texas. We have yet to do a home study. I don't even know what's involved with a home study. We don't have a big enough vehicle. We don't even have a big enough fridge. We don't have enough beds. But we do have enough space and we do have enough heart. We just want to follow God and God says to take care of them. 

Nissan NV Passenger van is about $40,000
A second fridge is about $1,000
Seven beds is around $1000 + $1400 (frames plus mattresses)
Curriculum for 4 is $1000
Legal costs are unknown but multiplied by seven
Then there's food, clothing, activities like seeing Star Wars, and we would never go on vacation again lol! I'm okay with that. That's a small price to pay for these children to feel loved and wanted. 
Do these look like prison bunks? Pretty sheets and some stuffed animals will fix that.

+
Will this fit under the bunk beds?

So what are the chances of us getting these kids? Probably 99% unlikely. But if God wills it, it'll happen and we are more than willing - we want to adopt. If pursuing this adoption of these seven siblings accomplishes nothing except that the kids hear that another family wants them, then that's something. As long as someone gets them. There are four other families inquiring about them. 

Some people are called to adopt and some people are called to empower others to adopt. But every Christian is commanded to care for them in one way or another. If Christ hadn't adopted us, we would be unwanted and enslaved to sin. By his mercy and grace he has ransomed us as great cost. I am willing to die to myself daily (deny myself pampering and an easy life) to pursue these children. 

I'll let you know if anything develops. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

family coffee date



Every time I try to lead our family in some God-centric activity it fails. I made an Advent Calendar and I'm the only one interested in it. I've given up on it. I've been hoping that my husband would take the lead since we got married almost 7 years ago and recently at church I decided that I would pray that God would awaken a desire in him to lead our family in either daily prayers or Bible reading or study. Since I needed him to lead it, I couldn't say anything to him about it.

John Hardison visited our Sunday School class and told how he and his family just read one chapter from Proverbs together as a family every morning. That's it. They sit, read, and leave. So simple!

Felipe decided to use this idea as a starting block for our own family. Praise God! Finally! I'm so excited.

We are not a morning family. But we'd like to be. To make the transition easier Felipe took us to Starbucks this morning to read Proverbs and I got doughnuts as a special treat for the kids. We sat and read Proverbs 21 and Felipe went to work and the kids and I went home. That's it! It was great!

I'm so sleepy!

But we'll do this again every day this week, except probably not Christmas morning since it won't be open; we'll have to find something that is open. The idea is that for this week only we will meet at Starbucks before work to make the transition to mornings more enjoyable. Then next week we do it at home.

So great!



Sunday, December 20, 2015

sw: tfa

gingerbread town
Saturday was all fun.

We went to support the Ronald McDonald House and saw tiny trains at North Park Mall in Dallas. The kids had fun. We saw gingerbread houses. We donated to the Food Bank so they gave us these chocolate pies that had gold on them. I've never eaten gold before. Felipe sat in a Tesla and we let Caleb sit in the driver's seat. We even stopped by the ducks and turtles before heading home.

But wait! There's more!

reflection in the top of the elevator
I decided that I just couldn't wait. We got tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens at an eat-in movie theater. It was perfect for the kids. We put Holly on a cell phone and let her watch Yo Gabba Gabba with no sound. Since the eat-in theater has massive seats she was able to do this without bothering anyone. Her wasted $6 ticket was cheaper and less annoying than finding a babysitter. The boys made it about 3/4 of the way through the movie before getting restless. Caleb let me know that he didn't like this star wars. Dummy. I LOVED it!

I laughed. I cried. I applauded.

I was the only one who applauded so I stopped because I felt stupid.

Micah at tiny trains
It was a good movie. Go see it.










Holly at tiny trains


Micah at tiny trains

Caleb in the Tesla
Caleb in the 5-point harness seat in the boot of the Tesla
Tesla command center


Felipe in his dream car

SW: TFA!!!!!

mi familia




before the movie began
collector's popcorn tin















Monday, December 14, 2015

finally tried jamberry

Today was crazy as seems my new usual. We got Holly's two year vaccines and headed to Chikfila. Then we walked to our neighborhood playground because over an hour Chikfila just wasn't enough. Texas in December is flip-flop weather. This morning was cold, and this afternoon was hot. The playground was wet so we immediately turned around and went home.
I'm trying to figure out where I belong in my church. Where do I serve? What Bible studies do I sign-up for? I want to figure out my schedule with my part-time job along with my new ballet classes along with my even newer ballet classes. Where do I fit in being president of DCHSA? Have I mentioned even homeschooling my own littles yet? Where am I going to get the money for the curriculum we need? What about swim lessons? I need money and cooperation from my husband for that. Today we did 5 days of the Advent calendar because that's how far behind we were. I want to incorporate what we learned from John Hardison at church on Sunday about reading a Proverb chapter a day with the kids. I forgot today. Are we supposed to move? I hate this house. It's so far away from everything. Why do I hate something that God was so pleased to give me? Why do I turn everything into a guilt-trip?

I've been trying to apply these Jamberry nail wraps that my friend Amanda gave me to try since I got them about a month ago. Finally I just stopped everything and applied them. I didn't technically have time but I did it. I don't have time to be writing this, lol! But here I am. I just need a moment to think. Typing helps me think.

These are beautiful and easy to apply. If you want to order some from Amanda, go here: amandapigott.jamberry.com I get nothing out of your purchase. This is not an affiliated link. I just like the wraps and think you might too. I even used the leftover bits for Holly. So cute!


These are my homeschool ballerinas. I love them. They had their first show after just six weeks with me at a local retirement community. They did so well.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

tired

I'm so tired of everything being so difficult.












so tired


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ornaments for curriculum

(update below)
We had a good day today.

The church gave the kids these sticker books telling story of Jesus' birth and we used those for school today.


There were sticker matching, connect the dots, what's-different, mazes, and other activities that seemed like a nice way to have a low-key school day. We haven't bought a formal curriculum yet and I'm hoping to pinpoint which one to buy this week. There's so many to choose from that it's overwhelming. The prices range is ridiculous. Complete curriculum costs anywhere from $100 to close to $1000 per child. I'm sure we could spend more than that if we wanted. I'm reminded of all those public school kids who have their tuition paid for by the state and yet still have their cookie dough selling fundraisers and their christmas wrapping paper fundraisers and their fern plants selling fundraisers. I heard a story recently about this guy who was told if you sell so many items then you'll win a vacation to Disney World! But his mother told him that if his friends and family wanted to send him to Disney, wouldn't they just donate the money to him instead of buying cheap junk to hopefully send him? 

Anyway, these activity books told the story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem and having no room in the inn gave birth in the stable. The kids seemed to enjoy it. 

I'm trying this new model to my day where I wake super early and get as much of my data entry job done before the kids wake. Then I focus on only homeschooling and housekeeping until Felipe gets home. Then I got back to data entry. So since I was focussing on the kids, we painted ornaments.

Holly painted the yellow set on the right. So cute. The kids even helped cut the shapes out last night. Mostly they just did stars and stars and stars but then a few balls and circles and even one Christmas tree. So here's the deal: If you want to make any donation to our curriculum fund-raising we'll send you one of these ornaments of your choice with a hand-made Christmas card! Doesn't that sound exciting?! You'll never see craftsmanship quite like this, ladies and gentlemen. (I mean that the only value these hold is that three amazingly adorable children made them.) And thus reveals my desperation. Also, just pray that Felipe starts to make more money. I have my job and I'm teaching ballet (which doesn't really make money) and I'm super frugal. I get rather frustrated if I think about it too long. At least Felipe is happy at his new job and is doing good. If you want an ornament, let me know, otherwise let's pretend I'm not serious. 
Once painting was done I let the kids eat cookies on the floor. Caleb was explaining the different shapes to Holly and then quizzing her. It was so adorable. Then Micah joined and they made letters out of the stick cookies. I didn't tell them to do any of that! Learning must be fun when you have cookies! But cookies don't count for curriculum! ha! Well, maybe in my kids' dreams they do!


update 12/8/15 - I visited the used curriculum store and they didn't have what I wanted. ACE is about $450 for the boys' level. I'm going to continue to use the curriculum I have that was given to me from a friend until we can afford ACE.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

elf yourself

Every year I make an Elf Yourself video of my growing family. This year we outgrew the allotted number of elves! So Felipe and I will not be appearing. I don't know what we'll do next year!


Monday, November 30, 2015

advent craft - my first

I've never celebrated any kind of advent event with my kids. On my own I lit candles at church a few times. I've always been interested in advent calendars and something called a Jesse tree where you walk through the Bible leading to Jesus' birth. But I never did anything other than just be interested.

Sunday at church our speaker emphasized and our group discussed various things to do and we were encouraged to do something even if it's just a minute or two before bed. So I put on my creativity cap and went to Pinterest. I rejected Pinterest and all my ideas and threw my materials on the bed hoping something would come together. And it did!


I used 25 toilet paper rolls wrapped in gift wrap to make a tree. Only well afterward did I learn that *real* advent calendars only have 24 days. See I thought on the 25th you open it up to find Jesus. oh well. No big deal. Everything I used was basically trash: an actual box that was headed for the trash, toilet paper rolls, ornaments that were also headed for the trash,a baby Jesus from a broken nativity set, and even a bunch of mismatched gift tags that were headed for the trash.

 I painted a tree for some reason and later decided we'd "hang" the scripture on it after we read them in our Bibles every morning. Someone from our church group printed some suggested readings.




I'm actually going to use THIS one because it starts on Dec 1.


This is my end result:




I put it on my bedroom bookcase next to my Nativity. 


This nativity, unrelated to the advent calendar, is the one I got from a garage sale for either free or like $1 for the kids because I knew they'd break it eventually. 


Sure enough Felipe told me yesterday that he turned around to find Jesus missing his arms. lol! Today I found a bunch of rocking horses in the scene. It's all good.


 In summary, I don't know what I'm doing, but it looks pretty.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

yesterday the blackest of days

Did you know that Satan was once Lucifer, the brightest of angels? His name literally was "morning star". Nowadays this Father of Lies still deceives his children with beauty and light. Remember his lies to Eve? "You will be like God." Even God wants us to be like God. But you can't be like God by following any path other than the one he paves. This lie still persists today...especially yesterday.

I feel like there is a constant tug-o-war for our holidays. Some esteem one day higher than another and each should be convinced in his own mind. It seems that God doesn't really care about days. He established seven holidays and not many Christians even acknowledge them. Christmas is not one. Neither is Thanksgiving.

Christmas has pagan origins that Christians stole and redeemed for the celebration of the birth of Christ. I see it as a bright day in the middle of darkness. Winter is scary. Jesus' birth brings hope. But today we (as a society) still use pagan symbols like the tree, which in many pagan nations were thought to keep witches away. But we took these superstitious symbols and decided that we'd use these trees to remind us of the tree that took Christ's life and our sins.

Paul showed us on Mars Hill that we can take pagan symbols and use them to point others toward Christ. I'm okay with doing this with days if Paul is okay with doing this with an actual false god and his altar.

Even Halloween. Halloween has ancient Druid pagan origins. They used squash and pumpkins to scare away evil spirits and sacrifice their children. Maybe. But Christians have been using this holiday to spread the good news and bring light to their neighbors by handing out tracks, and let light shine in jack-o-lanterns, and use this day as an excuse to gather with neighbors and share love.

Thanksgiving was instituted in the US by President Lincoln as a day specifically to thank our Creator for his goodness and provision. But immediately after this day of thankfulness is the darkest day of greed that we don't even pretend isn't and have called Black Friday. Although not a holiday it is certainly a day where worship of self and altars of greed are set up.

Black Friday is advertised like this:
they smile because they're about to steal your soul
And just like Satan's lies, all sin is advertised as being full of light. Bad guys don't know they're bad. Even ISIS thinks they are the good guys. Satan says this sin will make you feel better, this sin will complete you, you will feel like god, this is a good deal.

This advertisement shows smiling models and low(ish) prices. The prices aren't even that great. People are killing each other over bad deals - that's what sin is, people killing themselves over a horrible deal (i.e. brief satisfaction for an eternity of emptiness).

The reality is people trampling, stealing, fighting for the possibility of giving money to big corporations. The reality is this.

Satan uses greed and hedonism to steal Thanksgiving. One day we share our thanks with our friends and family. We celebrate our God and all the good he has done for us and the very next day, wait, actually that very evening we set ourselves up and plan how we can best serve ourselves. We give in to our darkest on Black Friday. We may even say shallow things like, "I'm trying to be frugal." or "I'm getting this gift for a loved one." No. You're only fooling yourself.

This is what I am NOT say: I am not saying that it is unchristian to buy things on Black Friday. I am not saying that if you participate you are a bad person. I am not saying that if you refrain you are a better Christian. I am not saying that you are evil because of Black Friday.

I am saying: Black Friday reveals our darkest, innermost souls. I saw a video where a gal grabbed an item from a toddler and then tried to steal a second item from the toddler's mother and then the gal started screaming that the toddler's mom was being aggressive. What is that about? It's evil. Black Friday just gives us opportunity to show our vileness. If we refrain we simply show it in different ways.

So if you saw your darkest yesterday, whether by participating in Black Friday fights and mobs or by refraining and arrogantly snubbing "those animals" just remember that the desire to be a god is ancient and the ability to become the least of these and serve each other in Christlike humility and grace is available for all. God loves you whether you show your true colors or not. He sees straight through your veils. He loves you at your blackest and he loves you at your holiest.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

thanksgiving with homeschoolers

Thanksgiving in a homeschool household means...



you don't get a break from school because you're already there!

But they had fun!

 I set up a table with Thanksgiving theme projects. The dining table became the crafts table. The kids had to discipline themselves to keep from touching things. It was so hard for them but they did a good job.



 Micah played with a thankfulness "fortune teller" that I made him. It has questions about what are you thankful for. I had to look up directions - I can't believe I had to look up the directions for something I've done 9,346 times. But once I did I remembered quickly. Ah, childhood.

Caleb and Micah have thankfulness Turkey books. Micah had to spell his name with turkey feathers. Holly matched colors for her turkey.


In summary, I did over an hour of preparation for fun turkey school work for the day that they completed in minutes. I don't think I'll do this again. ha! But it was fun.