Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's in Your Center?

Since December 1 we have been having what I call "advent" readings in school. Now these aren't really "traditional" readings or do they really have much rhyme or reason to them, but they do all have one thing in common...the Nativity. I come up with something to read to them and a little craft or writing project to do each day. One day I had read this in my quiet time, so I decided to read it to them during school...

When my husband and I responded to God's call to come to Southeast Asia packing was a challenge. There simply wasn't room for the holiday decorations I had accumulated during the years. All that remained for our new home was a Nativity set that I had bought in a neighboring country.

With great care, I placed the ceramic pieces on my table. An angel was in the back; Mary, Joseph and the baby were in front; wise men were on the right; and the shepherds and cattle were placed on the left. The standard American setup.

The next day while I was at language school, my house helper looked at the Nativity. When I cane back later that day, my carefully arranged pieces were now in a circle, all mixed up, with the baby in the middle. Thinking she had dusted and didn't know how to arrange them correctly, I moved them back in proper order. The following day, the Nativity scene was once again in a circle. This went on for more days until I finally asked her why she kept moving the pieces--after all, everyone knows shepherds and wise men have definite stations in life and her arrangement just wouldn't happen.

She pointed to the scene and said, "Jesus should be the center of everything," Pointing to her heart, she continued, "Just like in here." Pointing to the wise men, then to the Shepherds and then to herself, she continued to teach me, saying, "He loves us all the same.

I was very touched by this story. We hear lots about keeping Christ in Christmas and remember He is the "Reason for the Season" and all of that is true. We should remember that. Yet, I wonder what do our actions show...would others looking into your family's celebrations see that Jesus is the "Reason for Our Season." 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rights of Passage, and a Big Cup!

Our family is now finding themselves in an awkward position. Yep, this is a new area for us...The Big Cup! Our daughter, whose the oldest, is tall, and I don't know if that's the reason or just because she's older but lately when we go out to restaurants she is given a big cup. This, of course, doesn't go over too well with our other two. Now, Avery will eventually forget it, stick his straw in the "baby" cup and go. However, for Jackson, this is torment. He will look longingly at her cup...he will push his cup away, often not ever touching it again...he will ultimately always say "wish I had a big cup." I mean who knew that a cup would cause such an uproar. Leaving mixed reactions all around the table one person extremely happy, one person indifferent, one person mad, and a couple of stressed out parents wishing they had requested all to have cups with lids! Anyone else ever experienced this?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Four Years ago...On the Fourth of October...

My Baby Boy was Born....what a day that was. I purposed in my heart to soak up every moment of his little life. Of course, I loved every moment of Jackson's and Elle-Catherine's babyhood...but you never really realize how fast time flies, till it's gone! Until, your packing up their book bag for kindergarten. Not this time around, I promised myself, and for the most part, I succeeded. I relished those feedings (mostly), I didn't complain too loudly about doing the dirty diapers, and I kissed, nuzzled and cooed every chance I got.

Well here we are four years later, and it still feels like time flew by. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't grab a hold of it and make it stop.

He's a beautiful boy who has a sweet shyness that's absolutely captivating.

He's loyal and protective even at four.

And quiet the little fit thrower!

 He's a natural born comedian!

 Loves his SHOWS!

 Adores his big brother Jackson and his Sissy!

I'm absolutely blessed to be his Momma; to be the one he runs to for kisses for ouchies, to be the one he looks for each morning, to be the one to make the bad dreams go away. I Love You, Avery!

What I'm learning...

I never in any of my imaginations of what homeschooling might be like, imagined I'd learn anything about myself, or at least admitted it to myself anyway. I had grand ideas of teaching my children the proper tools to be scholars. I had ideas of channeling my inner Martha Stewart and knocking out craft projects worthy of a spot in "Family Fun". Yet, my reality is turning out to be very different.

God has used the sword that is His word...(Hebrews 4:12) to cut away at my heart and flesh for several years. How surprised I was to learn how much more there was left to cut away. The issues within myself that I thought were gone are not; they are simply in need of more refinement.

Recently in another blog I follow, The Night Howells, she had a discussion about living the life God called you. In the midst of that discussion, someone commented that often God gives us children to save us from ourselves. This is what is happening to me. I am learning through the avenue of homeschooling how little I gave to my children and how much I gave to myself. I'm surprised, of course, to realize this, I have always been a stay at home mom; so I thought I was doing alright in that avenue. Truth is, I wasn't. I was perfectly happy being a stay at home mom but not really engaging in their lives to the extent that I believe is expected of me. Now, I am, and sometimes I'm not too happy about it. Sometimes I would rather give into the selfishness that is me, and do what I want. Yet, there is a tug at me that knows this is not acceptable. This tug-of-war within me is exhausting. I'm tired; yet, very happy. Funny how God can create within you the peace that will rise above your circumstances.

I've found a new verse that is becoming dear to's John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease". May the prayer of my life remain this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

For the Love of Hot Chocolate...

One of the many, many reasons that this is my favorite time of the year and summer is not; is the smell of coffee. I know when I smell Terry making coffee fall is on it's way. I love how coffee smells; it beats any candle. However, I hate the taste, and believe me I've tried to like it. The closet I've come is Wendy's Twisted Frosty Toffee Coffee...yes, it's as good as it sounds but I'm sure it has very little coffee! So, with coffee out; I"m left with Hot Chocolate, but that instant stuff just wasn't cutting it. I'm on a find and perfect the best Gourmet Homemade Hot Chocolate recipe. I made some was very good might just have to make some small adjustments!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Following in her Daddy's Footsteps...

Recently we accompanied Terry to a Regional Tournament in Paris. Elle-Catherine absolutely had a blast. She hung right with Daddy and made great friends (big surprise there right!) I'm thinking that she may take over the weigh-in from Daddy any day now. Of course, she still hates fish!!

Christmas Decorating Schedule...Yay!

I'm satisfied that I'm one of the only person in America who does this. I know very few people who actually do what I do. I've asked myslef many times if this is normal and my answer...I don't care. I LOVE Christmas; I just get excited thinking about it. I plan where I will put trees; I change things up, and some I leave exactly the same year after year. Yes, there are some decorations that must absolutly stay in the same place, year after year. So, tonight I made this...

It's my Christmas Decorating Schedule. read that right. On somethings I can be absolutely organized about, and with school it was even more important that I be scheduled. The fact that it's all scrapbooked and stickered can be attributed to the fact that we have no ink in our printer!!

So is anyone else like this??

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I HEART Fall...

Yeah, we may be in the middle of a heat wave, and it may not feel anything like fall, but I HEART fall. I mean I really, really like fall. Don't believe me take a look...

It's Soccer Time in Tennessee...

Truthfully, I love College football, love it. Watch it, listen to it, keep up with it, actually turn to ESPN on my own. That being said I've discovered that I also like soccer. This season will also be fun because I get to watch Jackson and Eli playing together. It should be interesting...

School Days...

 Making our "All About Me..." books...

 The end results...

 Outside painting for Thursday Art

My Thursday Art project...we love Thursday afternoons!!

First Day smiles's been awhile since I've been here. I've missed laying out our lives on this blog...but lately, I've been just too busy living it. Homeschooling is and will always be a challenge. I've learned so much about myself in such a short time. I've learned that if I'm going to be successful at this I must be diligent, patient, kind, and loving. I must at all times remember that this is what God has called us to do, and that being the case He will supply me with all I need. I have learned that my frustrations will breed their frustrations. I have learned that we must adhere to a very strict schedule in order to succeed. I have also learned what a privilege to hear my son tell me that I am the smartest teacher in the world because I have taught him to read. The truth is he came already prepared for reading but it was great to hear. I have learned that my daughter is so much like me, and is also very, very intelligent if I can just find out how to unlock her. It's funny...I'm having a blast doing the absolute hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Monday, August 02, 2010

In 13 Years We...

-sold a house and built one
-owned 6 Cars and/or Trucks
-traveled to Walt Disney World twice
-had 3 amazing and wonderful children
-tried very hard to be faithful to what God has called us to do
-cried together, laughed together, held on tight to each other, loved one another, talked with each other
-are trying very had to speak each others love languages
-have had a live Christmas Tree from Duncans' Christmas Tree Farm every year but one
-have only had 2 sets of living room furniture...just replaced the first set this year!
-learned each others strengths and weaknesses

I have had an amazing time being the wife of Terry McCormick...I am certainly blessed among women!

Happy 13th Anniversary!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just for Me...

All the decorating I do in our home, (and that's a lot!!) one could argue that it's all for me, especially Terry. However, my recent redo is definitely for me. I decided that I hated my laundry room; for more reasons than most women hate their laundry rooms! No, this was a deep hatred; that room was messy, unorganized, a little bit dirty, and very ugly. I mean there was nothing of ascetic value in there. So, I decided to do something about it. With just two days and $10....I went from this...

To this...

It's certainly still a laundry room...but now it's just a little bit prettier!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Heart Stopped....

As Terry and I were taking a routine trip to "The Ray", or otherwise known as, Ray of Hope today....I found this...YES, you guessed it, I had to have it...for the mere price of $1.99 (for the lamp).

These I saw after I had checked out BUT I had to have them and they were only $.59 each. Terry KNEW these gems were there, but didn't bother to tell me, of course, he says that he was going to tell me before we left...

I couldn't wait to get them home!!

Oh, it was a good day for "Vintage Hoda"!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

All Grandmothers Beware...

I have recently discovered an absolute love and obsession for vintage Home Interior. Yes...that stuff that everyone had hanging on their walls in the 1970's...yep, love it!! I recently shared this love at our Sisters meeting on Tuesday, so I decided to share a small sampling of my collection...really small sampling! I found out the The Home Interior Company was founded in 1957 by Mary Cowly and by 1962 the company had made it's first million. Ms. Cowly wanted to provide women with an opportunity to make extra money without taking them away from their families. Warn your Grandma's if I come to their house their "Vintage Home Interior" isn't safe around me! Anything from the 1960's or 1970's I go GAGA over!