Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yesterday was a full moon!

So the day starts out as any other, It's a typical, tired, Monday morning feeling but I drag myself out of bed. The childrens wake up and we are doing our morning Bible and my sis calls me asking what time my appt is and I'm like OH NO!!! I had totally forgot I needed to be in Marshall by 930 and it was already 9! We hang up, I tell the kids to get dressed, QUICK, QUICK, QUICK!! Kirsten puts cheerios in bags for breakfast, we load into the van and get there by 935! WHEW, we made it! :) I realize that Keegan wore Chris's shoes. (insert eye roll) They are TOO big! THAT BOY! lol We meet my mom and sis at Burke's and I buy Keegan a cheap pair of flip flops (even though he has plenty at home!) bc we are not going straight home! Then we go by Big Lots and then on to McDonalds for lunch. Can I just say, I get really aggravated when they haven't changed to toy display to the correct toys. The kids thought they were getting Transformers and Hello Kitty and instead got Power Rangers and Victorious! They were disappointed. :( If you haven't had time to change it to the new toys at least put a sign on it or tell everyone as they order, it's really not that hard! Then we went to Hope's Closet. Found Kirsten some pants bc she just outgrew hers and the boys found a cool Speed Racer helmet for $1! Then enters strangeness! So I meet this other homeschool mom while Kirsten is trying on her pants and her daughters were trying on clothes too and we start to talk. She mentions a Christian homeschool group and also meeting a group of people at a church, she almost talks like a Christian so I have no reason to think different of her so when she mentioned this other group, I mentioned that we did not go to that group bc they have been known to have witches (as Christians, we believe there are things we must shield our children from). Well, her whole demeanor changed! She started to walk of and said somewhat under her breath, "well, pagans are alright too!" As I stood there in shock, she walked to the back of the store, all the way around to the other side and then up to the front to checkout and leave immediately! I wanted to cry, I was so upset that I so recklessly offended someone without the chance to apologize, however, the more I think on it, I am not sure I could have said anything to make it right bc there is not a way we could be friends or our children could truly be friends as things stand. AAAHHH... On to Wal-mart where my daddy stopped to say hi to everyone on his way home from work. Then we headed home while Mom and Bridge stayed in Marshall. While I am driving on Noonday here comes my daddy FLYING and I think OH MY! Someone just got hit!! Then my phone rings, it's daddy, someone hit Mama and Bridge and the kids, I'm turning around and headed back into Marshall, praying the whole way!! Thank God everyone was alright! PTL!! They are sore today but they are ok! That was scary. Kirsten stayed with them as they headed to the ER to get checked to be with her cousins and help. I brought my boys home, I didn't think 4 boys would be a help at the ER! It was hard not to go be with them but I knew I needed to just take care of my boys. I took the boys on a walk, I was trying to keep us somewhat busy to keep my mind off of not being at the hospital with everyone. Then Honey is headed home but has a headache. :( I decided easy Nachos (yep, cheese from a can!) for dinner. The boys gobbled it up! :) The wind was also CRAZY! Chris even had a hard time going to sleep bc he kept hearing the wind! Finally everyone is released from ER, Kirsten is home, everyone's in bed and as I am reflecting on the day and the crazy things that happened I realize, IT'S A FULL MOON!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

10 things I am thankful for...

1) School - So thankful for homeschooling. I love having my babies home and watching them learn new things. I love knowing just what they are being taught each day and knowing that they get a Biblical perspective.

2) Water aerobics - I don't go as often as I should but I am thankful for a fun way to exercise.

3) Food

4) A home! I know it's not always as clean as some think it should be but I am so very grateful for it. We have plenty of room.

5) My family - Glenn, Kirsten, Chris, Cayden, Keegan and Kayson.

6) Transportation - my van (Midnight) and Glenn's truck (that it is is still running!)

7) Great friends!

8) LOVE! :)

9) The Bible!

10) Holy Spirit! His guidance and comfort is amazing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prayers for my babies

looking through an old journal, I found some prayers I had written for the babies.

12/15/04 - Father, please make Kirsten and Chris wise. Make their hearts open to my/your instruction that they might gain more wisdom. Help me teach them what it means to fear the Lord. Help them to develop a deep and growing relationship w/ your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name AMEN. Protect their minds.

12/16/04 - Father God, Guard your babies from believing that wisdom comes from anywhere but You. You are the possessor of all wisdom and understanding. Help them rely on the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. Help them to fear only You, Lord God. Don't them rely on their own capabilities but on You, Father. Strengthen them to resist evil.

12/17/04 - Father God, Make Kirsten and Chris' ears hear wisdom. Let their ears block out bad words and mean comments. Let them hear peace and love. I want them to know and recognize your voice. Lean their hearts towards Godly understanding. May they heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In Christ's name, Amen.

1/10/05 - Father, I pray for Kirsten and Chris' lives to be full of love. Please let truth be written on their hearts. Open their eyes to other's needs. Let them always show kindness. Bless them w/ favor and good reps in the sight of God and man.

1/11/05 - Keep Kirsten and Chris' heart pure, Father. Don't let bitterness into their lives. Help them to live in love. In Jesus sweet and Holy name, AMEN.

1/13/05 - help the babies to have clean hands and pure hearts. Let them love You above everything. Help them be able to discern what is true and what is false. Keep their mouths pure and their intentions Godly. Thanx for all your promises with faithful fulfillment. I love You, Lord.

1/18/05 - Father, help the babies walk in your path. Let them find delight in obedience to your word and follow you all the days of their lives. AMEN

These prayers still abide in my mind and they now include three more babies. I did not realize then just how relevant some of these prayers would be for our circumstances. I do pray that each of my babies would know truth by the revealing of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lord, I love You!

Lord I love You
I worship You
I adore You
I praise You
You are awesome
are mighty
all powerful
and everywhere
There are not
words enough
to express
all of You
Lord I love you

By Hollie Derr 11/30/04

Friday, February 8, 2013

a look back at Derr ISD over the years

As I was going to sleep last night, I started thinking about everything that has happened to us since we started homeschooling. Each year has it's own set of unique trials and experiences. This (our 5th year) has been the mildest so far and we are actually fairly on track. Yea!! :) I had this picture of homeschooling paradise and while I would call it a paradise, it certainly has not been the scheduled, done by noon with plenty of field trips and experiments splattered throughout that I had imagined! (At this point every homeschool mom reading this is laughing!) :) So I thought I would share a little about each year so far.

Homeschool year #1 - Kirsten/3rd grade, Chris/1st grade, Cayden/2 yrs, Keegan/still baking and being born
I get ready to start the year with complete A Beka curriculum sets, a teacher planner full of plans for everyday, a school room and a schedule. I've got this! Let's go! Two or three weeks in and I'm already calling Honey in tears, that's it, I can't do it, put them back in school!! (2 hour math lessons and tears everyday from my daughter was NOT fun! We eventually figured out, A Beka was too aggressive of a math for her and I was requiring her to do everything on every page and it was just too much! Took some seasoned homeschool moms reminding me who the teacher was and that it was ok to skip repetitious items.) My Honey, who was already completely in love with homeschooling, very calmly talked me out my tears, assuring me I could indeed get through all this and then had a talk with his daughter. Crisis averted. Sept comes with hurricane Ike making his way up into our area. Knocked our power out for 2 weeks! We schooled outside quite a bit, or by open doors and windows. Dec brought us a new baby 2 days after Christmas, I had already planned to take all of Jan off for our adjustment period. Hello Keegan, welcome to our family! :) Then hits Feb. '09 I dutifully start school back up. Let me aside here, Feb. 7, 2008 I had a miscarriage. So here I am, postpartum, trying to start school back and then hits the one year mark of my miscarriage. Also, I don't handle change well and we had a lot of changes that normally wouldn't have bothered me but bc of the other things already going on in my head, they did. Like a new, bigger than I wanted, flat screen TV, all the pine trees being cut down on our property. I felt like I went crazy! One day I drove in to meet Honey for lunch and my daddy (who just happened to be in longview that day) had to drive me home bc my panic attacks were so strong and non stop! That was a scary, scary time. Honey had to take care of the house, we missed 2 weeks (at least) of school, it was crazy! Somewhere after all that, I realized, we had to throw our schedule out the window, I had to readjust all my plans just to try to get through what they needed to for the year. In spite of everything, we managed to get most if not all of every book done and felt that we were able to declare our first year a success while also realizing that some changes in curriculum would be necessary for the coming year.

Homeschool year #2 - KED/4th, CDD/2nd, CMD/3 yrs, KSD/just a baby
So I gathered curriculum, deciding to make math easy and just bought the total math books from Sam's. Other curriculum was gathered at used book sales mostly. So we started the year. Nov. brought Glenn's dad being hospitalized. That began a several month long journey of hospitals, surgery and nursing home, during which time we were in Shreveport what seemed like more than we were home and Glenn used up all his sick/comp/vacation time to be close to his dad. Several times we didn't know if he would make it or not, every time he did. Sometimes he was in ICU and the babies couldn't see him. There were many tears. We home/car/hotel/hospital schooled that year! We did a lot of worksheets. I would hand them a small stack of worksheets from various subjects, stapled together each morning for them to do that day. When they were done with those, they were finished for the day. Thus began the use of packets in our homeschool which we still implement (although modified) today. I discovered how invaluable the Comprehensive Curriculum books (which I had bought at Sam's also) can be in a pinch! We didn't even have a Thanksgiving that year, our Thanksgiving dinner was spent at Golden Corral in Shreveport so we could be close to the hospital. Christmas Day was spent at My FIL's bedside at the hospital. He was waiting for open heart surgery would happen in Jan. Even Chris' bday party in May that year was held at the nursing home where my FIL was getting rehab so he could be there too. Late Jan or early Feb of that year we also found out Kayson was on his way! I was so worried maybe the babies weren't learning all the things they needed to, especially since mostly all they did this year was worksheets. We got them tested. They were above their grade levels! WooHoo, somehow we could label the second year of homeschooling a success!

Homeschool year #3 - KED/5th, CDD/3rd, CMD/pre-k, KSD/1 yr, Kayson/just born
By this time I was learning what curriculums did and did not work for us, I discovered Bob Jones Bible Truths and this was our first year to use them, love them, still use them! This was the year Apologia science really began to click with Kirsten, we wait till 5th grade to start that series now. We also used Learning Language Arts Through Literature, loved it! We also decided to throw any schedule out the window and continue using packets. I did realize, however, that the packets had to consist of more than just worksheets so they would also contain a sheet telling what should be read out of what book, or anything else I wanted accomplished for that day. Sept brought a new addition to our family, with a longer than we wanted hospital stay. Then I was getting sick every few weeks or less and was getting worried. Right before Thanksgiving we discovered that it was my gallbladder and right after Thanksgiving I had surgery. I couldn't lift my 2 month old for almost a month per doctor's orders. Needless to say, not much work got done during this time at all! January came with Honey's knee surgery first and then the flu, once again school was put on a back burner! That spring was a whirlwind of Glenn in school, Chris in soccer and renovations on the house! Whew, makes me tired just thinking of it! We barely got through 1/2 of our books and I decided to switch to A.C.E. math mid year and that put us even farther behind in math and I am still trying to get Chris caught up. I'm not sure we were ever able to fully come to the conclusion that this year was a homeschool success but we were happy to have survived it!

Homeschool year #4 - KED/6th, CDD/4th, CMD/K, KSD/2 yrs, KPD/1 yr
I made the executive decision that we were going to start this year fresh, we were not going to worry about wasn't finished last year and start over (except for math, we really needed to lay a good foundation here and this was the only subject I was worried about them being behind in, so we were going to finish math). I figured after everything we had been through the last few years we just needed a fresh start with out worrying about the work that was left undone the previous year. This would be the first year that I was not nursing or pregnant while homeschooling. I was really hoping for a somewhat uneventful year, I kept thinking we would eventually have one that ran for the most part smoothly. This would also be the first time I had taught one to read! We started out strong but then my life fell apart. I was bullied at church of all places and the pastor chose sides against us as did my in-laws. The things that were said about me (and still being said) tore me up inside. I had never felt so much hate in my life, I never could've dreamed people could be so cruel. I do not say this to slander anyone, or to make it sound like those people have won but I say what is the truth. You cannot change what has happened. You can learn from it, you can heal, you can be strengthened but you cannot change it. This was a very difficult time emotionally for me. God is faithful and He has lifted our family up and is holding us in His hands as He heals our hearts! Yes, there is still healing happening but let me tell you, we finished school, all the books that needed to get done got done (with the exception of catching up in math). I believe the Derr Zoo is a closer family. I see my babies loving to read the Bible together, loving to sing to Jesus, still loving to go to church and I just smile! At the end of the year as I was throwing away empty workbooks and putting away the non-consumable books on the books in waiting shelf and seeing all we had accomplished in spite of people trying to rip us apart at the seams, I had to praise God and consider Homeschool year #4 a success, a complete success! Honestly, maybe the most successful year yet! :) and in the end, I can smile!

I look back over these years and wonder how we got anything done! lol Seriously, though, I look back over these and realize just what all God has brought us through, what He has carried us through. I look back on these years and see His hand everywhere bc I know there is no way we would have survived without Him! No, this homeschooling journey has yet to be my imagined paradise but maybe it has been better bc my children are learning invaluable life lessons that can't be found in books. All this leads us to this year and although it is only half done, I will leave you with a few things about it.

Homeschool year #5 - KED/7th, CDD/5th, CMD/1st, KSD/3 yrs, KPD/2 yrs
It was exciting to start this year, feeling confident in curriculum choices, having a planning system that works, a loose schedule that we can somewhat follow, knowing we are ready for the next grade bc we finished what we needed to. The two olders were still starting this year a year behind in math, we decided to catch Chris up so he is doing two years of math this year but Kirsten is just doing one this year, she won't finish school with as much math as Chris but I think that is best for her as she is not strong in math and it stresses her out. I am so excited to see Cayden reading. For the most part this year has been fairly uneventful, oh we did get behind with Christmas (no school in Dec.) and sickness right after. Glenn changing jobs is a big change for all of us but we are so proud of our future police officer! We are mostly where I wanted us at this point in the year in almost all our subjects. I love homeschooling and being able to see my babies heads light up with knowledge. We are so grateful for our homeschooling/parenting journey. We are blessed. I feel confident that we will end this year strong with the Lord by our side. Thank you, Father in Heaven for loving us and keeping us safe, In Jesus Name, Amen!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My babies' strengths

-Smart, loves history and reading and Bible
-Artsy, she paints, draws, loves doing anything creative with her hands, she was making flowers out of wire and beads just a few minutes ago to go with her valentines for KVNE to take to the hospital.
-cleans, she loves washing the dishes and we love that she loves it! :) it's so easy to ask her to help out around the house bc she is so great at it and does her work so thoroughly.
-mothering, she takes such good care of her little brothers, so loving with them.

-our comedian/clown, makes everyone laugh, loves telling jokes, I tell him he might be the next Tim Hawkins! lol
-smart, so awesome at math, does a lot of the work in his head and no one taught him that, he just sees it
-loving, he loves his family and can be so sweet with his little brothers
-also cleans, he can do an excellent job, when he puts his mind too it
-helps, loves to work with his Papaw Mike and his daddy and learn new "manly" things :)
-very charismatic, such a people person

-smart, is reading and doing so awesome learning his addition and subtraction
-helpful, he loves to help Kayson
-loving, I love getting his hugs and kisses
-loves music

-smart, he was recognizing letters before I had even started trying to teach him
-imaginative, I love to listen to him playing and making his characters talk to each other
-loving, he just loves Kayson so much
-good memory, he can remember songs after only hearing them once or twice, loves to sing

-oh my what do I say about this little guy, he is so full of joy and happiness, just keeps us laughing and he is such a loving, loving baby and the faces he makes, he makes more faces than any baby I've seen! He is so silly, just like Chris!

I so love watching my babies grow and get so excited to see what they will make of themselves! :) We are so blessed with each and every one of them. They add so much to our family lives with their individuality. I love to see their smiling faces everyday and feel so blessed to be able to teach them the things they need to know.

Father God, show my (Your) babies how to use their gifts for You. They are so special. I know You have something special planned for each of their lives. Be with them as they grow up. Help me to lead them where they need to be. Help me to be able to see and encourage the special gifts You have placed in each one. Help me always remember how special each one is to You. Guide our family in your path. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Spiritual ABCs

A) Adore God! He is all-powerful.
B) Believe
C) Confess
D) Delight in God!
E) Express a need for God
F) Focus on God
G) Give thanks
H) Have humor - LAUGH
I) Invite the Holy Spirit's guidance
J) Journal - write your prayers and remember to record the answers
K) Keep knocking on Heaven's door - don't ever give up
L) Love God!
M) Majestic is His name in all the earth! :)
N) Never give up
O) Offer yourself to God - Here I am, Father, use me.
P) Praise the Lord!
Q) Quietly listen and wait for God - The still small voice!
R) Repent
S) Seek Him!
T) Trust God!
U) Unite your will with God's - Pray for Him to show you His will.
V) Value yourself - God values you! God loves you!
W) Worship God in spirit and in truth
X) X-pect God to do great things in your life!
Y) Yearn to learn - study His Word continually.
Z) Zealously Share. Joyfully share. Share love. Share Christ. Share of yourself.
This isn't original, though I don't remember where I first got it, I found it in one of my journals but I did change a few letters to make more sense (to me anyways). :) What would you change?