Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation treats

In answer to the comment a few posts below about what fun things I came up with for the road, I'll mention some of what I did. It wasn't anything fancy (like everything in my life), but it helped add some spark to a LONG vacation.

In the weeks before the vacation, I kept my eyes peeled for small fun treats for the boys. Always on a budget, they had to be cheap or free and non-messy since they were mainly for car entertainment. I also raided the gift closet for a few of these things. At different times on the road (i.e. whenever chaos was taking over the minivan), I would pull something out and present a new "vacation surprise."

  • cheap, but brand new sunglasses
  • a new set of washable markers for each boy
  • Lifesavers
  • gum
  • a small individual box of raisins (from my mom's) We always buy the huge family size canister of raisins, so individual boxes were great fun
  • sticker books
  • other snacks that we wouldn't normally eat at home
  • coloring books
  • shower caps (from the hotel--they wore these most of the way home) you never know what kids are going to like!!! :)
  • starlight mints (also from the hotel)
  • Skittles
We also had a big bag of library books that they shared and we did (sorry anonymous commenter) actually have a portable DVD player. I sewed a case for it that enabled us to attach it to the back of my seat. They watched 1 movie each day we were on the road and for kids that rarely watch movies, it was a special treat.

We also brought some books on tape on Joe's Ipod that we listened to on the way to Virginia. We had the complete works of Beatrix Potter and got through at least half of them. That kept us entertained for a good hour or so. We got them from Librovox, which is an open source online library of voice recordings of various books. They have a pretty good children's section.

We also had lots of podcasts--some from Boundless and some from Dave Ramsey--both are available on iTunes.

I still remember a cross country car trip with my mom and grandmother from when I was a child. They had a brown paper bag with treats in it and we got to unwrap one each hour (if I remember correctly). The treats were things like scissors, paper, and crayons, but I loved that trip.

For our vacation next year I am going to have to do a little better and prepare a few more surprises. This year's was kind of thrown together, but the boys loved it. It helped make the vacation fun for them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

See this

Oh, and for some food for thought before I go....Holly posted this today.

On the road again....

We leave this morning for a glorious 11 days of vacation! Joe came home last night after a LONG day (long week, long summer, long year!) and was "free!" I am so excited to have him to myself for the next 11 days! Though after packing everything yesterday, I told Joe that I need a vacation from our vacation.

Last year's vacation was learning to trust God in the see His good and sovereign plan for us NOW (not tomorrow, or next month, or in those future set of circumstances) but here and now. It was seeing His goodness and sanctification presently.

Joe has already started talking about how focusing on Christ's sacrifice on the cross frees us to love and serve and rejoice. I look forward to thinking on that especially on this vacation.

We are going to Virginia to see my family by way of Atlanta to meet my newest precious niece. We're driving (hurray for gas prices) :( but the boys are good traveling ages and I have lots of fun planned for the road.

Pray for us, if you think of it. Pray that our time would be sweet. That we would be drawn more to the Savior who frees us to live lives of service, praise, and love. Pray that we would have refreshing time as a family and with extended family too.

I'll see you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Also overheard on the way to RYM

Fatherly wisdom from Joe to Joseph when Will reclaimed his “night-night” blanket from Joseph.

“Joseph, if you want to borrow someone’s things then you can’t put your boogies on them.”

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cheap homeschooing

Since I seem to have gotten a little input about homeschooling, I figured I would ask the question here....
Do you have any suggestions on where to order from?

We are going to be doing Saxon 1 with Joseph next year and I am trying to find the cheapest place to order it. Any thoughts? Post replys in the comments here or email me at hallie(dot)holland(at)gmail(dot)com.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My "baby" lost his first tooth!

I can just say "ditto" to Callie's post from yesterday--even down to the adult tooth already coming in behind the baby tooth. How funny is that?


Chick-fil-a is having their Cow Appreciate Day on Juy 11th. If you show up dressed like a cow, you get a free combo meal. If you wear just a cow accessory, you get a free entre.

We did this 2 years ago and had a blast. Here is Will in the cow costume that we make from time to time and the same type that he wore to Chick-fil-a. The only thing that I would add is spots drawn on with marker or crayon. And you can't see it from this angle, but he has a tail stapled on the back.

So easy to do and we had so much fun!

(HT to MoneySavingMom)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Motherhood and dying

I read a fabulous post today at Choosing Home about being a mom today that really sums up a lot of what God has been teaching me recently. Molly has recently written a lot that is not Biblical (she’s reading some sources that are misinterpreting church history and Greek and are using sloppy exegesis) , but I do agree with her insights about motherhood in this article.

I have really been learning about submitting to the busyness of life with small children and dying to self daily to serve my family. A verse that I have been thinking about a lot recently is 1 Timothy 2:15:

“But women will be saved through childbearing-- if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

Most pastors sail over this verse because they don’t know how to deal with it (or don’t want to offend by teaching what it means) and so I haven’t really heard much about it. Obviously, it is not teaching that women are saved (as in saved from their sin) by being mothers, as salvation is clearly only received by faith in Christ. I did read a post by Carolyn Mahaney from Girltalk about it that made sense to me. (If I can find the article, I'll link it later). In the Greek, what is translated “saved” in the NIV version, is actually better understood as “kept safe.” How true! If I mother with faith, love, and holiness with self-control, I will be kept safe from much sin, temptation, error, and trouble.

Motherhood has been such a sanctifying thing for me and continues to be a way that God works in my life. As Molly wrote, the immediate needs of my children require a self-sacrificing work that requires me to let go of my wants and needs. I am still railing against this letting go and too often find frustration instead of peace as I see my plans and expectations foiled. And it is not a letting go to some great cosmic force or letting go to chaos. It is simply a releasing of my needs to allow me to meet the needs of the boys and Joe. And it is good because it is what God has called me too.

Despite what everyone says, the Bible is clear where my priorities are.

Titus 2:4-5
Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

I am a “younger woman” and so this verse lays it all out for me clearly.

The only thing left for me is to “die.” Amy at Amy’s Humble Musings excerpts this (in another excellent post about “one of those days").
“An older missionary said something to Amy Carmichael when she was a young missionary that stayed with her for life. She had spoken of something which was not to her liking. His reply was, “See in it a chance to die.”

And that is what I want to do. To see my daily service to my family as my chance to die—that Christ might live in me and so change me more into His image.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th!

And word to the wise, don't do anything funny while I am holding the camera.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


We've had two days of coolness here--in the 60s and 70s in the mornings--and it has been just lovely. The boys said that they needed their jackets because it was "cold." :) Not quite, but it is refreshing after consistent upper 90s.

Joe and I are doing a bit of life review and questioning right now, mainly focusing on our children and our family devotion times. It is the strong desire of our hearts to raise worshipers of the one true God and even at their young ages they are developing habits that will either cripple or carry them for a lifetime. I want them to truly "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34). We want our times of family devotions to be authentic and to speak to where we are as a family.

We are also getting really excited about our trip to Virginia to see family from July 18th-28th. With 4 days on the road, it will be a long trip, but we can hardly wait to see everyone. Joseph is hoping to have his first tooth out by then since his cousin Ginna pulled her first tooth out this past week. (Fortunately, he does have one ready to come out--otherwise I think he'd try to pull one anyway.)

We are also down to the wire with choosing a curriculum for next year. Daily I go back and forth between Veritas and Sonlight. I feel like we "should" use Veritas because it is classical and just what people use, but Sonlight just looks like such a good curriculum--well laid out, fun to use, and literature based. We'll see where we end up when we finally hit the order button.

And finally, the mailman just brought a Land's End box to my door that I have been patiently (read: I walk to the mailbox at least twice a day to look for it) waiting for. I splurged last week and spent 1/3 of my birthday money savings that I have been hoarding saving for 2 years now. At the good suggestion of 2 friends, I ordered a much needed bathing suit. I also got 3 pairs of shoes and a cover-up. Yay for new clothes!

Will and Joseph have been patiently waiting for me to read them a book, so that is all for now.
Girltak has two timely posts of the value of homemaking. One here and the second here. I always need to be reminded of this.