Monday, September 24, 2012

Coffee Date Monday - Fall is Here

We can finally say "it' fall, ya'll" for real and not just because starbucks pumpkin spice is back, or because it's cooler out, or because everything in us is ready for some change.

This Saturday was officially the first day of fall. So, Happy Fall, Ya'll.

The leaves are changing. The colors of earth look different shades - the blue of the sky and the green of the grass are deeper colors. The warm clothes are replacing shorts and t-shirts in the closet. 

This morning is the perfect morning for snugging under a blanket in the Sale house. The temperature dipped down into the 30s last night, causing me to put cooper in his warm pajamas, and add a quilt to our bed. It makes for a great snuggly morning.

Andrew was gone for a few days this week. He left Wednesday and got home late Friday night. He left again yesterday afternoon for a staff retreat. I'm excited that he gets to go have fun, learn, grow with the people he works with. But I was very sad he was leaving again. It was so nice to have my helper back. 

Maybe that's because he let me sleep in til 9 AM on Sunday! It was a cause of celebration. There was much rejoicing. 

Another cause of celebration: Last night Cooper was in bed and ASLEEP by 7. So, a sleeping boy, no husband, time to myself...didn't know what to do! So, I caught up on a few emails and phone calls. Turned the Emmys on, but then felt this whisper from God to spend time with him.

I've been wanting to start a new bible study on the book of Ecclesiastes but it's kind of a deep one, and I needed some good time to myself. Last night was the perfect opportunity so I started it. And I'm so glad I did. It was the exact thing I needed to read and meditate on. 

Today my to-do list is big. So, I should end this post here.

What about you? What are you up to today?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Photo Dump

I started home-schooling Cooper.  Man, has it ever changed my days around.  The first week I felt so behind in housework because my mornings were spent completely devoted to teaching Cooper.  That left the housework to the afternoons, which is when I tried to have my down time, and when I would write blog posts. So, I can't promise my blog posts will be as consistent until I get in the hang of this whole schooling thing.

Heres' what we've been up to the past month.

My birthday. 
This is how aunt leeann lets cooper eat cake.

We took Cooper to see his fist movie in the theatre - Madagascar 3!
While at WalMart, I walked into the isle to find this. Like Father like son.

Bear attended school one day, too. Please ignore the disaster that is my living room behind them.

Coop loves to lick the batter when I bake.

Uncle Aaron teaches Cooper about Super Bowl Rings


Drove to the store and when we got there I looked back and saw this.

Carousel at the zoo.

Train at the zoo.

We had the Feldner girls here a couple nights. 

I got glasses! First time in my life I've needed them.

Enjoy your weekend. Ours is a cold and wet one!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Road Signs

The other day I was driving and there was a road sign that said, "Road Work Ahead."

And it got me thinking.

What if in life God put up these big road signs for us.

Good signs like "unexpected check in the mail this week" "free babysitter tonight" "new wardrobe coming soon" "your husband is going to do the dishes today" are awesome. But if we saw these signs before they happened, they probably wouldn't be such a big deal to us...wouldn't make us as happy.

Bad signs like "unemployment ahead" "extra finances coming your way" "relationship trouble ahead" "car crash coming soon" "your husband is coming home in a bad mood today" would be the absolute best. I can't find any reason it wouldn't be nice not to be forewarned about these things.

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and we never know what's coming up next for us. No big warning signs for us.

...Or are there?

There are two instances in my recent past that really stand out as warnings to me.

When Cooper was just a few months old I traveled with my mom and dad to Kentucky. The whole time we were there I kept thinking about hitting a deer. Every time we were in the car, it was all I could think about. Then, while driving one evening, out pops a deer and I hit it. Car dented, not quite sure about the deer, but Cooper and I safe. Ever since then I haven't had that feeling. But I do think God was warning me: "you are going to hit a deer soon". He was warning me with my thoughts. I just didn't realize it until after the accident.

The second one came last year. A dear friend of mine (whose husband is in ministry) once told me that she always prayed that God would work ahead of them, taking them to where they needed to be at the right time...even if to them it didn't seem right. I vividly remember when that wisdom came back into my mind. I was in the garage, sweeping one night when that conversation crossed my mind. I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to pray that prayer. So that night, while I swept the garage, I prayed for God to take us where he needed us, even if it seemed weird to us. A few days later...yep, Andrew came home telling me it was time to leave Generations.  God was trying to warn me, I just didn't realize it until after it happened.

From my personal experiences, it seems like God does throw up road signs for us, we just don't recognize or realize it.  Probably because it's in quiet ways, like in what we think about.

Even though the quiet thoughts and feelings aren't large yellow signs with warning or danger ahead written on them, I think there are three ways we can be ready for things that come our way.

1)Act on the quiet whispers.
This year I've really tried to listen to the whispers in my heart. Someone crosses my mind, I pray for them, and in turn, call/text/email/facebook them. More than once I have had someone on my heart in a big way and pray for them all week. Then, when I call them, it becomes clear.

2)Be ready for battle
Prepare your mind and heart with scriptures. Dress daily in the armor of God so you are ready for whatever comes your way. I love the way the message states Ephesians 3:13-18

"Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is and indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out."

3)Claim the peace He offers
God is always with us, will never let us go. He is with us in the battle, fighting with us, and for us. In him we find our best protection. He will never leave us on our own, and in that we can find peace. But you have to claim it first. You can't just know about it, you have to experience it.

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much you've done
Knowing every victory 
Was your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, you are faithful
You are faithful, God, you are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once, did we ever walk alone
Carried by your constant grace
Held within your perfect peace
Never once, no we never walk alone

(This is also a song they sang my first Sunday at NewPointe. It brought tears to my eyes.)
Listen to it here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I never ever thought I would ever ever ever say this, but this year I am home-schooling Cooper.

...If it's even considered that?  (It's just a couple of hours, a couple of days a week.)

Next year we plan to enroll Cooper in a 3 year old preschool classroom somewhere.  Not so much for the academics, but because he has thus far lived 2 1/2 years sans siblings.  He has so many only child symptoms it's not funny.  We do what we can (church, bible studies, story time at the library, play groups) to expose him to other children, but I think that the day-to-day interaction with the same kids a few times a week is really going to do wonders to his social issues.

What are Cooper's social issues?  Being the center of attention, sharing, aggression, and being the center of attention.

We work on these at home, but like I said, I think the day to day iterations with other children is going to be awesome for him.

After we discussed and decided on putting him in preschool at 3 years instead of 4, I realized that this would be my last year with him at home all day, every day.  *tear* *sniff, sniff* *happy dance*

I want to make it a fun year, a purposeful year, and one that I don't look back on and wonder what in the world happened and why I just let it pass me by.

A friend told me about this awesome curriculum a couple of years ago, and I decided to use it.  It's free...holla!  And the lesson plans are already there for you (basically).

So, I went for it.

I planned.

I bought and organized supplies.

I made some busy bags. (And still have lots I want to make).

I checked out the right books from the library.

And last week we started.

After breakfast we get dressed, brush our teeth, sometimes I suck down a few sips of coffee, and we start.

With Bible.
Currently we are learning about the days of creation.  With some guidance, Cooper can now tell you what happened the first, second, and third days of creation.  He also knows his memory verse for this unit, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1" Yes, he knows the Genisis 1:1 part...I actually think it's his favorite part of the scripture. So, our Bible time consists of me reading him the part of the story from his bible, going over our verse, and a craft.  While he does his craft, I throw in some classic sunday school songs, such as "the B-I-B-L-E" and "this little light of mine".

Then we move onto the book of the week.  Last week: Llama, Llama, Red Pajama. This week: When the Elephant Walks.  He has really enjoyed both. Also, hearing him try to say llama lama red pajama is just about the cutest thing...


We also talk about the color of the week and the letter of the day.  So far, we've covered red, blue, Aa, Bb, and Cc.  I checked out books from the library about colors, and we read through them and find other things that are that color.  I created these paint bags where we practice writing the letters, and we do a letter craft.

Then? Well, he's 2 1/2...we have recess.  He gets 15 minutes of playtime outside (if it's nice weather). Then restroom break and snack.

Then 5 minutes silent reading time (a struggle for him - he can't sit still or be silent) and then some group reading time.  He gets to choose the books.

Then we move onto shapes and numbers. So far we've learned circles, line, and the number one.  He can count with one, group things in groups of one, but has a hard time identifying the number. We're doing a Counting book, where he will put the appropriate number of apples on the tree as we learn the number, and do counting games.

I also bought this big preschool activity book and I use pages from it as well.

Then he does busy bags.  Right now these don't keep him entertained for that long.  I set the timer for 5 minutes for each activity, and I have to redirect him many times.  I'm hoping he can work up to the 5 minutes with no problem by the end of the year.  Maybe even 10? Yeah, that's pushing it.
Please notice that monkey is in attendance, too.  He's ever-present in Cooper's world.

After busy bags, our school day is over.

He loves it. He asks for it a lot.  I think the one-on-one time fills up his love tank and his behavior is improved the rest of the day.  Also, it kind of wears him out, making nap time much more enjoyable and easy.

It's actually been quite nice to homeschool him.  It's awesome to see the light bulb turn on in his mind, to hear him respond to things we learn. I think it's going to be a great choice for us this year, making it a very memorable and purposeful year together.

Whew, that was a very long, wordy post. Thanks for sticking through it.