Friday, May 30, 2008

The Gift of Joshua

Eight years ago a journey began. One week ago that journey at least in part ended. It was at about this time of the year 8 years ago that Dave and I began to seriously throw around the idea of homeschooling. It started with a comment on my part...."Maybe, we should keep him home next year and I could homeschool him." Followed by Dave's comment...."I have been thinking the same thing." With that our homeschooling journey began. Caleb was finishing up 2nd grade at Evergreen Elementary Scool in Sedro-Woolley, WA and Joshua was finishing up Kindergarten. It had been a tough year of school with Joshua.....some teasing, many tears on his part and much anxiety on his mom's part. There were positive things, good things as well but the highlights were often clouded by the hard things. Through it all I believe the Holy Spirit was nudging us towards homeschooling. So we began the journey with Josh in 1st grade. Caleb continued on at Evergreen and Micah started preschool twice a week that year but it was not long before both Caleb and Micah joined us at home. The four of us with lots of input from Dad at the dinner table had 5 years of learning and growing together. I would not trade those years for anything. I loved learning with my boys at home....incorporating the Word of God into everything we were doing, being able to have so much input into their lives. It was an amazing time for this mom. If it were up to me I would have probably kept doing it all the way through high school and beyond. But it was not up to me and 2 years ago Dave and I both knew that it was time to send Caleb back into the public school setting. We believed it would not only benefit him but that he had gifts and abilities that God wanted to use among his peers in the high school setting....and so our journey took a turn but did not end. There were still 2 Ziegler boys left at home.

We took another turn in our homeschooling last week when our journey of homeschooling Joshua ended as we closed the final book on the school year. There have been many many ups and downs....much frustration on Joshua's part and on mine.....laughter, tears, raised voices, great hugs, conversations, concepts presented in a hundred different ways, struggles, victories, defeats. It has all been part of this road and much has been learned along the way....not only on Joshua's part but probably even more so on mine. Joshua is my special gift from my Heavenly Father. From the time he was 3 years old and we realized that he had some speech and language delays through all the years of trying different techniques and therapies to help him overcome his learning challenges to last year when he was diagnosed as MMR he has been a gift. I love all 3 of my boys to distraction. I am so proud of all of them. They are each unique and different with their own special gifts and abilities. Joshua....God gave me a special place in my heart where I hold him. He has had more of an impact on my relationship with my God than any other person in my life. I have prayed over him, cried over him, wrestled with God over him until I have finally reached a place of surrender....knowing that he is God's child....created by God with a plan and a purpose.....knit together.....fearfully and wonderfully made....used by God in the lives of so many. He is a gift. Next year he will be a Rifle High School Bear. He is so excited to go to the high school. Dave and I were not as sure that this was the right turn to take with him but Joshua has known that he wanted to be a Bear for the past two years and he has held onto that dream with everything he's got. I do not know what lies ahead for him there but I do know that God is with him....that there is plan and a purpose for him at RHS and that his God loves him even more than I do. It is hard for me to let him take this step in his own journey but I can do so knowing that I release him into the hands of One who is able to do more than I can even think or imagine in my Joshua's life. I entrust him to our Lord knowing that He is the one who holds tomorrow and because of that I have no cause to fear. Praise be to God Almighty!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baseball camp

Blogging is very new to me and I am still learning the ins and outs. I am very much a learn by doing person so I thought I would push a few buttons and click a few clicks and see what I could get to come up in my blog. Hopefully, there will be some photos for you to see of a few things that are happening in our lives this spring! Sports camps are our current camp for Micah in the mornings and basketball camp for all 3 guys in the evenings. We have not been involved with organized baseball before but Micah has been wanting to try it for a while so we thought a week of baseball camp would be just the thing....maybe get it out of his system. However, he is having so much fun playing baseball that I have a feeling camp is not going to quite satisfy his urge to hit the ball out of the park or to run the bases.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer?

School is out! Summer vacation is officially here. It is time for the lazy days of summer. Time to sit out in the sunshine with a good book and a glass of iced schedules....nothing to do....nowhere I have to be. Isn't that what lazy days of summer are all about? Whoever coined that phrase clearly did not have 3 boys and a whole neighborhood of kiddoes running around! Today was the first official day of summer vacation. Micah had baseball camp this morning. I dragged myself out of bed and raced to get ready so I could drop him off at camp and go straight to work! Wait! Isn't summer vacation about sleeping in? What happened to that part? This afternoon Dave and all three of the boys had basketball camp. There was no great family conversation and time together over the dinner bbq. There was no dinner at was just grab something out of the fridge before you go to basketball camp so you don't get hungry type of dinner. I believe that will be the protocol for dinner this whole week since Micah has basketball camp from 4 - 5:45 and Caleb and Josh have camp from 6-8 and Dave is there for it all! Now I am not complaining....I am just wondering what happened to the lazy days of summer we have all been waiting for....maybe they'll get here in July!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am here at 1:00 in the morning facing an empty white board on my computer hoping that facing this board will help me to sleep. I have insomnia. Thankfully, it does not strike every night but tonight it is here brought on by the rambling thoughts running around my brain. I thought possibly if I could capture those thoughts and spit them out into my blog then possibly....hopefully....sleep might come! As I lay there in my bed trying to force sleep to come I was thinking about choices and consequences and parenting. I believe these thoughts were brought on by my husband. His school year is over but instead of feelings of relief and satisfaction he is facing feelings of frustration and discouragement because of choices students made and consequences they don't want to deal with. Many years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Mark Bailey. He is a wonderful Bible teacher from Dallas Theological Seminary. During that time he taught many great truths but there is one thing that he said that not only has stayed with me but that I have used over and over again in my life and in my parenting. I have repeated his words to anyone who would listen because I beleve they are powerful words of truth. They are these words:

"You can choose your actions, or you can choose your consequences but you cannot choose both!"

Such a simple idea but so profoundly true and applicable to all of life! These are the words I want to yell out to these students and parents who want to have it both ways. They want to choose the actions they feel like taking in the moment....not showing up to class, partying instead of studying, not turning in work but then they want to choose the consequence as well....passing....getting the A. They don't get it! To add to it when they cannot have the consequence they desire they want to throw the responsibility onto someone other than themselves or their kids. Now....I am a mom and I get it. It is hard to see my kids go through a rough time. It is hard to see them disappointed. It is hard to see them have to walk through the consequences of their actions...but I do them a huge disservice when I try to manipulate the consequences of their actions to help them get out of it or when I cast the responsibility for their choices onto someone else. How will any of us learn if we never have to face the consequences of our choices?

God in His infinite wisdom gave us this very concept in His Word:

"See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and you descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deut. 30: 15-20

What is the consequence I want in my life? If I truly want it then I must choose today to take the actions that will lead me there. If I can instill this truth into the hearts and minds of my kids what an amazing tool for life they will have! If they can see their choices today in light of their consequences tomorrow it will give them a huge advantage in making those choices in the moment. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in them they can choose life and set out on a path to victory!

Will we fail and make poor choices as we walk down this road? Yes...absolutely but Praise be to God that even in the failures....even in the poor choices....even in the wrong actions there is forgiveness and grace! But He in His eternal wisdom has us face the consequences of those actions and poor choices knowing that it is in facing the consequences that we will find growth and maturity. As a parent I too need to allow my children to walk through the consequences of their poor help them to take the responsibility for their actions for in doing that I help them walk down a road to maturity and growth.

That is my vent for this late night...or early morning. That is the rambling in my brain that has kept me from sleep on this night.

As I read through what I wrote I want to shake myself and yell at myself..."Do you not hear what you are saying? When are you going to start living this for yourself??" If I truly want the consequence of weight loss and health in my life then I have to start taking the actions that will lead me there! I can't have it both ways! I can't eat whatever I want and live without moving and expect for the weight to just fall off. Isn't it funny how God works at times? These midnight ramblings were not about me! They were about other people and the changes they needed to make but at the end of the day I am the only one I can do anything about. What will I choose? That is the real question!

Monday, May 19, 2008

This Week's Menu

Menu planning is one of those things that I know makes a big difference for the better in my life. It helps me stay organized in the afternoon. It helps me save money. It helps me be much more effective in the grocery store. So many would think that it would be a part of my life....but alas it is something I think about each week but rarely do. Instead I find myself scurrying around at 5:00 to see what I have in the pantry and what I can throw together. This does not make for stress free, peaceful, healthy meals together and often results in a fast food run which really does not work with our budget! So imagine my excitement when I discovered and Menu Planning Mondays!!! I am jumping for joy! So here is my first go at Menu Planning blog style. Hopefully with the new found fellow menu planners and accountability, I will actually do this for more than one week!!! So here it is....this week's menu:

Monday: Goulash, Salad, Bread
Tuesday: Mexican Tacos, Chips and Guac
Wednesday: Rice and Chicken with Broccoli
Thursday: French Dip Sandwiches
Friday: Company 4 dinner! Grilled Pork Chops, Rice & Beans, Tostones
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: We're heading into the big city to see Prince Caspian and eat at the Genghis Grill!!! A celebration for the end of the school year!

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Early Morning Meeting with El Roi

My blog woke me up this morning. There was stuff I needed to write! But it seems that my writing ability is much better when I am in that place between asleep and awake. Because now as I sit here I am wondering what it was that was so compelling that it pulled me out of my sleep at 5 in the morning. Not that I am upset about it....I love this time of the day. It is one of the few times in my day that the house is quiet....even the dogs are still sleeping. I have spent this time in the quiet thinking about El Roi....the God who sees me. I love that name for God. He sees me. He sees my joy. He sees my hurts. He sees my laughter. He sees my tears. He sees me. Yesterday He saw me as I sat in the Rifle High School award assembly watching Caleb receive awards for Anatamoy and Physiology student of the year and for Sophomore Science Student of the Year. I am so proud of Caleb. He has made the transition from homeschooling to public school with such grace. He stands up for his faith. He works hard. He is salt and light in his school. I am so excited to see what God has for him in the future! Yesterday El Roi saw me also as I sat in a planning meeting with the special ed. department at the high school and lots of other people planning out what next year would look like for my Joshua. He saw me fighting to hold my emotions back. He sees how hard it is for me to make this transition for Josh from homeschooling to high school. I know it is right and truthfully I walked away from that meeting with peace in my heart about next year. It is time but it is still hard to let him take this step. But I know that my Joshua too is a child of El Roi....the God who sees. God has big plans for my Joshua and I am so proud of Josh and all that he has overcome. There are many challenges yet ahead for him but I know that the God who sees him is also the God who will give him the strength and the power he needs for each day. It is because I have a God who sees me....who sees my uncertainty, my insecurities, my fears that I can do this thing......because at the end of the day it is El Roi....who not only sees me, but saves me, strengthens me, loves me, holds me, shelters me.......It is the spirit of the living God in me......not me.......Him! Praise be to God!

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will prtect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forever.
Psalm 121

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What will I choose?

The morning is over. We are on lunch break. I have to say that it was not a great morning for this teacher. I can definitely tell that the school year is winding down for all of us and we are ready to be done....but there is so much yet to do before we can close the books on this school year and know that we finished our course! It is amazing to me the ups and downs that sneak into my day just in the course of a few hours....the downs of yelling at my son cuz the math just wasn't clicking and I really felt like it should be many different ways can I explain the concept??? The ups of that same son coming to me an hour later having chosen his Bible for his Silent Reading time and asking me some questions about what he was reading. Which one will I choose to focus on? All too often I see the bars and not the stars. It really is a choice. Where will I let my mind dwell? I choose joy this morning! I will focus on the many many blessings my Lord has filled my life with and I choose to rejoice!

My First Blog!!!

OK! This is my first blog ever and I am excited to begin this record of the journey God has me on!! I just have to say to start off today that my Mommy heart is very full this morning! I got up early to spend some time with my Lord and when I came out into the living room at about 6 am I found my 16 yr old son up, ready for school and reading his Sword! And now even as I type this my 12 year old son is across the room with his nose stuck in his Bible. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to my God who has blessed me with these! Now just to share a little about my life....I am first of all a daughter of the King of kings, second a wife completely in love with her husband, Dave and mom to 3 fabulous boys: Caleb (16), Josh (14) and Micah (12). Caleb is finishing up his sophomore year at Rifle High School where Dave is a Chem and Physics teacher. I homeschool Josh and Micah. We are all looking forward to summer and a little more relaxed schedule. I will fill you in more about the boys in my life in later posts. Today I am just getting my feet wet.....I thought if I don't put something on here now....I will never get started! So here it is my first post.....hopefully with many more to come!
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