Monthly Archives: January 2011

Bible Memory and Reading 2011

Hey it is still January, I can still talk about “changes in 2011” right? 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 : 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Read verse 5 again:  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

In order to demolish strongholds in our lives and in the world around us we must take our thoughts captive for Christ; we must think on the good and not the world.  We must study; we must be ready to serve.  

Not only are we challenged to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but also to study God’s Scripture (see matt 4:4 for example).  This is a real focus for me in 2011 (still 🙂 January, remember :)). 

“Written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3).  God’s Word needs to be in our hearts and in our minds as absolutely as Humpty Dumpty or “not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” – God’s very Word needs to be second nature to us.  His Words need to come to our lips with out us even consciously putting forth effort; faced with a challenge we should be praying and speaking the Word before we even realize it. 

I really hunger for more of God in my life and I realize that the best way to hear God more is to saturate my mind with His Text, with His Thought and His Language and His Message.  I need to know Father God as readily as I know Mother Goose.  More scripture: not just reading, but studying.  Making His gift of communication a part of me; written on my heart; instinctively to my thoughts and to my lips.  This is a challenge for me, I can read, but to actually dive into it, to study, that is much more difficult in my life during this season. 

God told Ezekiel: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. (Ezekiel 3:10).

By our fruit are we to be known.  James tells us in the first chapter that we must receive the word of God into our hearts like a seed so it can produce fruit in our lives: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:21-25).  I am sure we all remember what happens to the trees that produces bad fruit (Matthew 7:19). 

So it is painfully obvious to me I need to do more, spend more time with God, to beg Him to scribe on my heart and to guide me fee that I might be part of the bountiful harvest.

Step 1:  Memory:

“You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul” (Deuteronomy 11:18).

Inspired by:  but in no way feeling I can commit to be part of that group, especially if this year turns out like I hope and pray it shall – I am going to try this on my own; my personal goal is 15 memory verse in 2011.  That is a bit more than one a month, next year (2012) I plan to set my goal at 24 verses – 2 a month. 

More soon about my method, I am still working on that.  I did not grow up memorizing Scripture, and my experience with good solid memory work lies more in Poe then Corinthians.  I need to work on that. 

Step 2: Reading:

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

Inspired by:

I had actually started a ‘read the entire Bible in 2011’ personal attack plan before reading her post, but it did certainly encourage me.  As with the memory challenge above I am not going to join anyone accountability group.  Again, I am hoping this year is topsy-turve in a great, but very challenging manner, and I hesitate to add more stress or ‘load’ to myself. 

90 days is just too fast, too big a commitment for me, personally, at this point in our family life.  ”It takes about 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes each day to read, depending on your speed” and I just do not have 45 to 90 each day to read, I think God understand that, after all He gave me these children. 

Remember the words of Christ in :  John 5:39   You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,



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Expecting Obedience

I’ll say it. 

I expect my children to be obedient and cheerfully so, not sullen (though I shall accept sullen obedience to defiance and still resolve to work on the attitude later :)).  I expect that if I give a direction, or an answer, that is how it.  I freely admit my children are a work in progress (aren’t we all, thankfully for Grace) and while I do not always GET what I expect, that does not change the expectation.  I understand why my expectation is not universally met, I accept the limits of their ages and abilities and we continue the learning process.  I am raising my children, teaching them, molding them; God is not done with me or them.  I am the parent, and they are – gasp – CHILDREN.  My main job is not to be my children’s buddy, but it is to be their parent.  Obey and obedience — are hot words … they convey a lot in a small package — but there is a lot of leeway for the “hearer” to assume a lot from the word much that may not be the intent of the speaker.  There are certain terms that carry baggage for everyone, and that baggage determines what a person ‘understands’ when they hear a term much more so than what the term means to the person that choosing to use it.  Some words are so charged they take on a life of their own — and the same is true of the concept of “expecting obedience” as well as the concept of “attachment parenting” or “gentle discipline”.

It is my job, my responsibility to raise my children to teach them, to mold them and then to launch them in to the world as functional and useful mature adults that can contribute and solve problems, not create more.  I am creating children that will, as adults, build up society.  My children are young, very young actually, and there is a lot of road to cover before they are ‘ready to launch’ and many expectations not met today, will be more commonly met tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. 

I expect, require my children (3 and 5) to obey with out asking. BUT I, as a parent, make sure we do discuss my thoughts and reasons when it is feasible to do so.  I do this because it is important to how  I parent; it is important to us because of how  we interact with out children.  Again, I am not saying my children consistently behavior in the manner; some days they consistently do NOT behave in the desired manner; they are children, each day we just keep doing the best in every situation we (adults and children) can.  That is my responsibility as a parent, I am teaching them to think and to understand; but thinking and understanding come after doing; for the very young anyway.  Habit first, muscle memory; then move on to the thinking.  I do not want a routine practice of “questioning mom every time she says something” – I do want a habit of obedience.  I accept polite questions AFTER they have obeyed; I do not tolerate defiant challenging or arguing.  I still encounter it, trust me.  Nevertheless it is not an ok behavior; and we continue to work on it.  I do not want robots, I want correctly thinking children (and someday adults) and that requires an understanding of the reasons behind decisions; so that they can evaluate for themselves, as adults, the morality and validly of directions or requirements.  At 3 and 5 they are not capable of the level of thought Daddy or I are and they don’t know the world like we do; and sadly there are things I do not wish to explain to them; thing they should not know about or worry about until they are older.   

There are choices and decisions in this life that parents are required to make, we have the experience and the worldly understanding to grasp so much more than our children are able to.  I expect our children to obey me, not debate me or argue with me.  For example if we stop at a park to play, and after school hours a number of teens show up being loud and behaving in a rude manner (overt sexual language, coarse language, smoking maybe) I tell my boys it is time for us to leave, and we do so.  I do not feel that is the correct time or place for a long discussion with them about why I am choosing to cut our park visit short; I want them to quickly and cheerfully load up in the van.  After we leave I most likely will tell them we had to leave because the older kids arrive and were making poor choices, but I still do not want to discuss the sexual tone I choose to lave a situation like that to shield my boys, not so I can then have to discuss the very thing I wanted to avoid.  Take it a step further; we are out and about and I spot a threatening or suspicious individual; again I expect them to obey momma telling them it is time to leave; and I do not wish to debate it.

Obedience is a habit, it is a foundation; that stable and strong will allow for children to learn and grow.  Consider this:  a child or pre-teen that is constantly arguing with his parents, fighting every instruction, questing.  When is that child going to learn, and to understand and to see the wisdom in the parent’s directions?  If a child’s attitude is one of constant challenge they are never able to internalize the adult’s warning, advice or reasoning; because they are forever set in combat mode with the parent or adult.  If the child is used to, and constantly questing, or challenging or doubting or fighting with the parent the child is never going to internalize the instruction because that simply will not be the tone of the relationship. 

As they grow and are able to understand more, and think in a more complex fashion then we will discuss more and explain more and facilitate their own moral reasoning and critical thinking skills.  Nevertheless the rock upon which this is built is obedience.  Children learn the HABIT of stopping when momma says STOP long before they are able to pull their thoughts off the ball they are chasing, look around, realize they are headed towards a pond, and then think about the possible negative outcomes and decide to stop all in the spilt second it takes for a child to fall into a pond and drown. 

Obedience is a habit.  Obedience is a statement of faith.  God expect us to obey and we all know God does not explain the entire Plan to use and ask if we agree; He does and expects us to do trusting Him.  Remember the story of Jael, a house wife, and how she put a tent stake though the head of Sisera, the enemy general?  (Judges 4) it is a story of simply obedience, Jael followed God and was obedient.  Do you think God woke her that morning and told her today she would kill an enemy general with a tent stake?  The way my children learn to listen to me, and obey me is the way they will listen to God and either hear, trust and obey or rebel. 

Some worry about expecting unquestioning obedience because they fear it is overly optimistic to hope that our children ONLY obey us without question.  They fear that after such a habit or expectation is instilled in our children that behavior (quick unarguing obedience) will spill out into other parts of their lives and they tend to give the same obedience to most authority figures.  Then you run the very real risk of their obedience leading to abuse.  I agree this is a risk, however I have to feel that the attitude and actions of the parent in some way inoculate the child, as they age, from this risk.  A child that is obedient to a loving and trust worth parent that has time after time been “proven out” is not going to continue to obey someone of questionable morality that is not ‘proven’.  In cases of abuse, then yes, abuse begets abuse.  Abused children frequently end up in abusive adult relationships; but that is not situation we are discussing here. 

(and frankly this issues is one issue I cite for homeschooling a child under the age of reason, a child that is not old enough to evaluate independently regulations and requests should not be under the control of anyone other than the parents or someone specifically chosen personally by the parents) 





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A normal MONDAY !!

Little Brother was excited to return to classroom (he attends classroom 2x a week, 2 hours each time) he had missed Mrs. D his teacher and Miss Em the SLP.  Last night I asked him about it, and he ran and got his shoes and coat right then, he is making great strides in attempting to communicate (ASL, gesture, pictures, and attempting speech) and the time in the classroom 9and his one on one time with both Mrs. D and Miss Em) has really pushed him in that area – or maybe a switch finally just flipped on in his head and he just matured in to it; either way it is an exciting change.  It vas stunning to cut thought the school hall, over head Little in Speech with Miss Emily and hear him clearly say CAR.  His speech is developing and his willingness to try is improving. 

Here at home he is intrigued by ASL and quickly picking up signs.  Not all of them are useful in daily communication (hippo for one doesn’t come up too often) but his interest and the spark is carrying over to other terms (cheese for example) that does help daily communication.

In classroom today, Little Brother went yup toe ht S on the Alphabet poster and made an ssssssss sound, the teacher was all excited and Little Brother showed her a few more.  Currently he can identify all 26 letters (when shown the letters can point to the one requested) and make about 12 of the simple phonics sounds independently.  The SLP and the classroom teacher were both impressed. 

Big Brother did a great job on his school this morning, he and Momma get two devoted hours on Monday’s while Little is in classroom, then Big goes to his ST appt when we picks Little Brother up.  Big is demonstrating a really strong ability to correctly identify the beginning sound of words.  Once we finish up the rest of the sheets I already have mode for “starting sound” I am not making any more.  At some point I will again, for blends, but not at this point; endless images of cats and hats, lizards, tubs and whales and he gets the correct starting sound each time.   Big Brother has also shown competence in matching the upper case and lower case of the same letter.  Again, once he is done with the sheets I have copied or printed for him thus far I do not expect to make any more until Little Brother is ready for them. 

One thing Big Brother does not excel at is numeral recognition.  We do counting activities and he can count the correct number of objects, but above 6 or maybe 7 does not recognize the current numeral to choose.  A current goal for Big Brother is to get him counting to 100 (both counting and able to count 100 manipulative) and also to recognize the written numeral.  Big Brother has the ability to do simply math in his head – 2+2 and 3+4 and so on; the lower math facts; but he is unable to do them written because of his lack of ability to ‘read” numbers consistently and also he is still limited by his handwriting. 

Tonight Daddy and Big Brother talked about positive and negative charges (like batteries) and played with the magnets to demonstrated charges that “pull” and ones that “push”.  I am considering this painting with magnets activity as a tie in, for tomorrow.  I do not have magnet marbles (my dad does, I bought them); but I may be able to come up with something; I have the wands.

Finally tonight, Big Brother wrote, all by himself this note:

It says “I love you”.

Ah Big Brother is really growing up. 🙂


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The boys have been sick; for weeks.  They both ran a low grade fever for close to a week; then the cough started then one day they woke up with fevers above 103 and the lethargic behavior, or lack of behavior, kicked in.   That was Monday (Martin Luther King Day); and the result STREP.  So both boys have spent this week pretty wiped out, on the sofa, on medication.  I have been a bit surprised by how hard they were hit by this illness.  They both ran really high fevers all week, Friday I tried to forgo Mortorn and see where the fevers where and Little did ok, still a fever but not that high, Big however went up well over 102 again.  Saturday (yesterday) both had low grade fevers, and today Little still felt hot to me but neither registered a fever.  We did nothing last week, we got home from Missouri on Sunday and spent the rest of the week on the sofa; missing many speech appts, a couple of OT appt, a playdate and more.  Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow and getting back in the saddle for all their routine appts (ST, OT, classroom, and so on).   



The boys finally rallied this weekend and started playing more; not totally normal but at least they were enjoying some of their typical activities.



Today Big Brother and I reviewed some of his memory pieces.  He recited ALL BY HIMESELF:


  • Humpy Dumpty
  • Jack and Jill
  • Ol’ King Cole
  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep I forgetting something?  I feel like I am..

He also counted to 22 without mistake.  My two biggest goals right now is to get him counting to 100 (both with and without manipulative) and to get him 100% fluent on reciting his ABCs.  He can say them, but he stutters and his articulation is not perfect


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1.23.11 just photos

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Today the boys and I worked on phonics.  We got out letter tiles out (one letter per tile, one capital and one lower case and one object card for each letter).  First Big Brother and I went though the 52 letter tiles, he named the letter, the sound and then today’s challenge was to think of a word that started with that letter.  Little Brother ran up to his place by the sofa as soon as we started and while he can’t yet name any of the letters (speech) he did over 10 of the correct sounds.  He stands there so bight eyes and holds his little chubby hand out for his tiles when he gets a sound right; and oh the GRIN.  Big Brother did a pretty good job thinking of words: for S he rattled off ‘snake, sand, sun, summer’ right off.  Some he was confused by (g and j of course) and we spiked ‘X’: it is a lot more difficult to think of words off the top of one’s head vs. choosing a letter to match a given picture; it was fun to watch him have to really think.

After that I had him take the tiles to the table and sort them, capitals together and lower case together.  Not real challenging for him, but a few of them he has to think about.  After he did that 4 times (the final 3 times on his own “can I mix them up and do it again?”) I had him start matching the pairs up.  I think he could do all 26 pairs, but it is a bit overwhelming, all 52 card laying out there.  He did about ten pair then wandered off and I did not challenge him to keep going.  Today is the first day all week the boys and I have done more than practice ASL since they have been sick, and so I didn’t push it.  Emotions were still rather fragile today and by bed the fever had returned so I was glad I left it to him to leave the task.

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Re-working the new system, yes already

I can’t tell you anything about how my new system is working for our family; sadly because I can’t get the system to work.  The system itself, the physical mechanism.  The boys seemed to like the modified work box system I created the one day we “ran it”.  However, practically speaking it fell apart and I have already seen things I’d like to do differently.  I have been trying different approaches to make it work (they physical stuff, not the ‘system’):  so this has remained a work in progress and is still not up and running. 


  • The glue did not sick well; the lamented labels came off the magnets the first time Big tried to “choose” something off of the TO DO side.
  • The lack of reading made the choices not really independent (he could not choose one and go to it alone). 
  • I quickly had a 4th ‘subject’ I’d like to be able to rotate into the boxes


  • First I took clothespins and glued magnets to them, hoping that they will hold up to being used.  The labels can be clipped in to them.  I like this in theory – but the magnets (craft ones) I had did not glue well and even when I got them glued, they didn’t really hold the clothes pins to the gun safe – the cards made them too heavy and if you brushes them no matter how accidently they fell.  They all feel off the safe each time Daddy opened it.
  • I remade the labels and I added clip art that the boys can use as a guide.  The choices that correspond to a box (Math, Phonics, Fine Motor, Handwriting) I made 2 of the label so I can clip on to the TO DO board and the other to the box.
  • I glued clothespins to the boxes to that the label can be changes based on what I want to make an option that day.  However, again, the glue did not hold the clothes pin and any time there were touched they fell off.

A 2nd try at fixing things:

  • I realized we have a magnet from the Zoo in Jacksonville that is nothing more than a big clothes pin (have 2 actually).  Magnetic clips like to hold notes on a fridge would be perfect.  I searched for magnetic clips – and YES found just what I need. 
  • The laminated TO DO and DONE signs would not glue to the magnets, so I think, for a time anyway, I’ll just put up with magnetic clips also.


Challenges I am still working on:

  • The labels for the boxes.  I have not found glue that will hold clothing pins (wood or plastic) to the front of the drawers.  I would just use clear packing tape and put the labels on, but I have 3 drawers and 4 subjects I want to be able to rotate though; and I am sure I can think of more too, so I did not want to be limited in what the drawers could hold.


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