Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Having Fun and Calling it School

Having fun and calling it school, thats what homeschooling for preschool is. Today we pulled out some great birthday presents the girls received and had "school." It wasn't hard or painful because preschool really is fun!
 





Kaitlyn and Eva learned all about how seeds grow into flowers, herbs and tomatoes. They got to play with dirt, use their minds and hands to learn and of course, had fun the entire time. Their chubby little fingers pressed the seeds into the dirt and they carefully added just the right amount of water to their tiny pots. 


When we visited daddy at the Commonplace (coffee shop) the very first thing they told him was that they had planted seeds into pots! They even told him which seeds they planted and how they did it. I don't know what elementary schooling will hold for us, but for now, we like to have fun and call it school.    

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ambitious

In just five days we will be hosting Eva and Kaitlyn's third birthday party at our home. We've got some serious goals that we wish achieve in the next few days.


First we've got to clean the whole house, top to bottom. Part of our house is always clean but all of it is never clean at the same time, for their party I would like all parts to come together in beautiful clean harmony. We've got things all across the house that need touched up with paint, carpets that need scrubbed, toys box bins that need built (preparing the fields for rain), couches that need moved, bookshelves dismantled and books relocated, things need trashed, and the list goes on.




In the last week we removed an old and installed a new light fixture, painted a chalk wall, disassembled and removed our dearly loved coffee cabinet which we purchased from wal-mart when first married. It was broken down and about to collapse on a dear little one. We nailed the quarter round into the floor of the bedroom. (Finally! Yay!) Built the children a book shelf, toy bin, and removed a strange and out of place ceiling fan from the family room. I hung up some new owl art that I got from a friend... So much is going on.




For the party I decided that I wanted to serve real food. We eat real food, the girls prefer real food, so it seemed to be a logical decision. For our menu I chose the easiest real food options I could think of, that were still pleasing to our children.


*Turkey prepared two ways. One shall be deep fried in peanut oil and the other shall be baked in the oven, slathered in butter from grass fed cows and sea salt.
*Mashed potatoes, with butter, garlic and cream.
*Oven roasted asparagus with sea salt, cracked black pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


We will also have lots of fresh fruit, the girls are obsessed with fruit.


Michael and I are also baking their cake... We're making a rich chocolate cake layered with buttercream icing and strawberry puree. We practiced making small, normal sized, cakes but we must make a 1/2 sheet cake for the party. Did I mention that 27 people were coming? I almost want to run out my side door and run around my yard screaming "27 people are coming, 27 people are coming! ahhh!!!" I will refrain. 


I hope that everything comes together easily and happily. The turkey only needs tossed in the oven, most people eat turkey so dry they could pull a tooth out so I doubt anyone will notice how it turns out, but I have a feeling it will be good. The mashed potatoes can be made the night before and served in our borrowed buffet warming station. And the asparagus is so easy, it only roasts for 12 minutes... I see a recipe for winning all over...
Cake trial #2. Total fail.




There is a saying, "aim for the moon and even if you miss you'll land among the stars." I don't know who said that but it doesn't seem like that will be the case if I fail this food and house-keeping challenge. Fortunately, my last name is Flickinger, translated, "epic winner" from the original German.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Abide in His love!

Have you ever tried to force yourself to do something? Have you ever tried to will yourself to change? I certainly have, and recently I've been attempting to will myself to be a more joyful and patient mother. Each day I'd wake up, determine that THIS day I would be kinder, THIS day I would be more gentle and certainly more joyful... I was surprised to find that each day would go the same as the day before, I would try hard to be the best mom, to be the happiest, most consistant and yet also flexible mommy. Even still I would lose my temper. I wasn't enjoying my children or myself. Throughout the day I'd say to myself, "Ok, that wasn't good, I'll just try to be more joyful." And then I'd sing a song or try to tickle and love the girls. I was trying SO hard. I wanted so desperately to be slow to anger, quick to love, steady in my temperament. I couldn't make it happen. I was continually frustrated-- frustrated by the kids and frustrated by my own inability to change into the mom that I desire to become.


I'm not sure exactly when but I realized that I wasn't going to be able to will myself to change. I don't know why I thought I could... 
Photo Credit: Dan at Free Digital Photos
I am desiring to be be more fruitful. I just realized that everything I want to see in myself are fruits of the spirit! I cannot force myself to bear fruit! Wow, really? No, I can't. There is a far better remedy for my conflicted mommy heart. I need to abide in Christ, I need to abide in His love and He will bear fruit in me!


Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:4-5. 


Ah, a sigh of relief, honestly, I am sighing here right now at the coffee shop thinking about abiding in my savior. Our God doesn't desire to make us better people, or better mothers, or even better missionaries, He wants us to fall more deeply in love with Him every single day and by spending time with Jesus we ARE changed, we are transformed into his image by beholding his face. 


But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 3:18


To abide in Christ is to abide in His love and to walk in His Spirit, to follow His commandments. And what glorious commandments they are! We are commanded to DO two things, (please note that these are not DO NOT commands, God wants us to be DOERS, not worried abstainers!) We are commanded to love God and to love people.


Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying, Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matthew 22:37


Love, love, love, love! Hallelujah! 


As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. John 15:9-11


He loves you! Believe it and rest by faith in the FACT that He loves! He will change you as you rest in Him! 


God is going to bear the fruit of the Spirit in my mothering, in my life because I believe that He loves me and I choose to abide in His love by faith. 


Meditate on the love that God has for you through Christ. He desires to be intimate with you just as you are, you will be refined, melted down, perfected, by beholding his face and worshiping the God who loves you more than we can even fathom.


That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. - Ephesians 3:17-19


Shared on Sarah Mae, What I Know Now