Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Praises and Updates

Bad news first. I don't think I have lost any weight. I was not good this past week or weekend on my exercise. If I have to step out of my routine I don't get it done, so I need to be really proactive in finding ways to stay active throughout the day. Last week we had testing and I was gearing up for my meeting with the Christian School about art classes so we didn't get to the park. Guess I'll have to park farther away from stuff, dance around the house with the kids, and stuff like that. I have been bad with what I've been eating too, but I have been better with portions. So in the words of Scarlett, "Tomorrow is another day." Actually this one is just beginning so today is a good place to start too.
That being said, now I can share the most wonderfullelst( I know I spelled it wrong, I just wanted the cute effect)news! I am officially going to be teaching art classes at Grace Academy next year. It will be an after-school program about three days a week.
I will have pre-k through eighth grade split up into four groups. I will do pre-k through 2nd the same day with 2 one hour back to back classes. Then the 3rd-5th grades another day in a 90 minute class, and then one more day with 6-8th in a two hour class.
I have been given a conservative estimate to expect 30 students. I am doing cartwheels! If this is accurate, this will make up for my tutoring job almost three times worth. I also have new students in my home class and hopefully will get more this next school year. God is so good!
It is hard to express what it feels like when you get a chance to make money doing something you would gladly do for free(don't tell anyone that though).
I have more to write about proverbs and inspirations I got from my pastors sermon this past Sunday, but If I am going to make today count for exercise I need to get the boys up and get to the park, so I will try to write more later tonight.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yesterday's Menu

Okay, so this is what I ate yesterday...

Breakfast: 1 large green apple and one piece of whole wheat bread, 2 large cups of coffee with 2 sweeteners each, plus some milk and about half a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring.

Snack: peanut butter and strawberry jelly on whole wheat.

Lunch: 2 double cheeseburgers from McDonald's Dollar Menu and ice water.
(no fries)

snack: 1 large green apple and a diet soda with ice.

Dinner: 1 beef kabob with bell pepper and onion. (about 4 oz of beef) and diet soda.

On the other part of the health and beauty routine, I did brush, floss, and rinse my teeth as well as wash my face and remember to use moisturizer. Spiritually, I did half an hour of bible study on Nehemiah. This evening I will continue that since I did not have time for it this morning.
Last week we went to the park every morning, Monday through Thursday. The boys played and did some of the exercise machines with me. At this park near our house they have these great outdoor exercise machines that work against your own body weight. It doesn't seem like they should work, but the fact that I was sore all last week tells me they do! We wrapped up each day with a lap or two of walking around the park. We haven't done it this week yet, because of the state testing Taylor had to do. Ryan doesn't have to do it until next year. Tomorrow we will get out there though because the testing wrapped up today.
I don't put too much stock in the testing. It is a measure of what one child did on one day. They are not a measure of a child. However, I do have my kids take them because it does help the school with their funding, which in turn helps us out by increasing the resources we have available to us. That said, Taylor's math scores last year were pretty bad. His language arts scores were through the roof. He's nine and he just started reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy because he wanted to. I made him read me a couple of paragraphs out loud and he can do it. His sister didn't read them until seventh grade which is still pretty good as there are plenty of adults who haven't attempted them due to the thicknesses of their spines. Anyway, as I had suspected last year, because Taylor finished first, before any of the other kids in math, that he had just zipped through and guessed at everything. Taylor confirmed that, so as incentive this year, because I'd like to get an accurate estimation of what he's capable of in math, I told him that if his math scores came up I would buy him a new video game or take him to Boomers. He is very excited and a little daunted as we won't get the results until the middle of the summer.
On a slightly sadder note, we said goodbye to another fishie this morning. We originally got four from the fair. One died about five days after bringing him home.
Taylor was devastated. It was his fish, Odysseus, who had floated. Ryan had come home with two fish, Fred and Bob, so he told Taylor that he would give Fred to him now. This meant that each kid had a fish. It was working out well. We had purchased the ten gallon tank and even the fish even had their own Parthenon, sunken treasure and castle. We had gone through some murky water issues, but all seemed well until last night. I noticed a dripping sound that was different than the water filter. The tank had started to leak. So we moved the fish into a big plastic tub until we could reseal the glass in the aquarium. Jody I were even able to rig it so the filter would work in the plastic tub. I didn't cover the tub though. I had read somewhere once that you should cover your aquarium so the fish don't jump out. I wish I had remembered that last night. When Jenna got up to go to school this morning(she's up at 5:30am so she can catch the bus at 6:45) she found dead Fred on the kitchen floor. Apparently Fred had been suffering from fishie depression and all his desperate fish cries for a little fishie prozac in the fish food had gone unheard. He could take it no longer and proceeded to commit fishicide by jumping out of the plastic tub. OF course these reports may be inaccurate. It could have been that Fred was really Frederika and she had developed a passionate relationship with the skull in the sunken treasure chest. Being separated from him may have been more than she could bear. She began to get jealous and in a jealous rage she jumped from the tank in an attempt to find him and be reunited. The love story however ended tragically as so many often do. Take your pick. Fred is dead and once again Taylor was devastated. Devastated so much in fact, that as his sobs began to subside, he said " You know Mom, to comfort me, you could look up that lego star wars game boy game on amazon and get it for me to make me feel better." Ahhh, the manipulation starts early. That's what I get for teaching him how to read the big books!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Staying Accountable

In what ways do you purposely reveal God, His Son, and His salvation through art?

This question was recently posed to me. It is a really simple question and yet so challenging at the same time. It doesn't have to just be about art either, you can really substitute anything at the end, through art, through music, through whatever you decide to do. It is a challenge pure and simple. I can't answer it completely all at once. I think it is really a life long process, maybe even a battle.
Art is one of those wonderful things that was once a medium used to primarily to honor and glorify God, but has been snatched away and more often than not is now a tool used to mock Him instead. It makes me so sad, and yet am I doing enough to live up to the aforementioned challenge?

I see many things whose whole purpose were once considered glorifying to God, music, science, marriage, family, education, and they have been hijacked and put into the service of the enemy. Hostages overtaken by Helsinki syndrome and transformed in to Patti Hearst like terrorists. I want to be part of the generation that frees the hostages and brings them back home. Back to their original purposes. It only takes two to three generations to swing it one way or the other. That's why it is so important to teach our kids about serving and glorifying God in all they do and to model it for them in our lives as well.
Next time you see a rainbow bumper sticker. license plate frame, or a Darwinized fish symbol, remember that the rainbow belonged to God first! Of course it belongs to Him, he's the one who made it. The fish belong to Him too! Early Christians lived and died on that fish symbol, deciding whom to trust based on it. Art and music were God's idea, and shouldn't the author get some royalties!

On a different note, I have a friend who is trying to get healthier. Something I need to do as well. She has inspired me to a call for accountability, and so because of that I present the following to you. Each week I will update my current weight and measurements and each day I will post a food diary. So here it goes!

Current weight 160lbs
Height 62 inches

Measurements

Waist 34"
Lower Abdomen 41"
Hips 44"
Chest- under bra 34"
Over bra 38"
Upper arm 13"
Upper thigh 26"
Knee 17"
Upper calf 16"

My goal weight is 115 lbs.

I will post today's food and exercise diary tomorrow since today isn't over yet.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good News!

It has been a very long time since I have updated this blog. I have been so busy that any free time I've had has had to be down time in order for me to retain my sanity. But I have such good news now that I must share it and ask for prayers that it continues to go the way it look like it is heading.

I have the opportunity to take my art class into the private Christian school that is part of my church. We just started going to this church back in February but we have known lots of people in it for a long time. The retired pastor did our pre-marriage counseling and went to seminary with my husband's dad. My mother and father-in-law have also been going there for a few years now too. God is so good to me! I knew that I would not be going back to tutoring next year and I have been praying that God would open doors with my art class to either bring more students to the class at my house or to let me take it into a school. I met the school's principal the first time I went to church there. I just asked if the school had any kind of fine arts program going on and they didn't but were interested in adding one. I am so excited! I have a meeting with the other teachers at an in-service training on Monday. I am hoping to complement the existing curriculum and support it with my art program as opposed to having a completely separate program so getting to meet with them now to plan for next year is perfect. Nothing is set in stone until it actually starts though and it could easily not go well and be cut, so keep me in your prayers on this.

God may bless me even more this summer and next year with more students in my home class. I just have to be careful to not turn it into a full time job because homeschooling the boys is my first priority. I am also trying to start a new homeschool coop group. That is near and dear to my heart because the only local coop group does not allow members who use public school homeschool programs. Since it is a Christian group, they feel that members would be violating church and state regulations by including public school children. Though I don't agree on their reasoning, the rules are the rules. So it has become my goal to get a more inclusive group going. It will still be unabashedly Christian, but it will also be open to any type of homeschoolers. Prayers are requested here too!!

Right now I just feel so blessed. I get to get paid to do a job that I love doing and have fun doing. Praise God!