Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So what is Christian education anyway?

 So very often, people don't really understand what I'm talking about when I say that Carter and Abby attend a Christian school and that Mike is a principal there.  I see in their eyes they are thinking "ohhhhh, snooty private school, you must be rich!".  Hmmm, no, that isn't it at all.  Many of my friends and family don't understand the what and why's of Christian education so I thought I'd give a whirl at explaining it.  Probably the easiest way to do this is to explain what Christian education is not.
1.  An exclusive private school for people to keep their children away from "bad" kids.
There is a big difference in exclusive private schools and Christian schools.  Our school strives to be available for many families who are sacrficing and struggling to pay tuition.  We do not aim to be an Ivy-league prep school.  We aim to reinforce to children that Jesus is active and intimately involved in every aspect of life:  home, academics, athletics, fine arts, and fun. Literature is evaluated through a Biblical world view, Physics is taught and demonstrates our God of order who created every molecule, the gospel is presented before the high school's production of Narnia.  Children spend an average of 130 hours a month at school.  It is nice when they are learning the same things taught at home.

2.  So, you guys think public schools are not good.
Certainly this is not the case.  Mike and I have been to 10 countries, between us, and have seen that America's free and appropriate education is a huge blessing.  Did you know that Haiti has a dismal 50% literacy rate?  We are supportive of children all over the US receiving an education, not based on finances.  Our son Dillon goes to public school because they have the services he needs, like speech therapy, content mastery, and more specialized services.  We happily pay the same taxes that everyone else pays, and we pay for private school tuition. There are some awesome public school educators who do really great jobs at teaching kids(Dillon's school is especially warm, efficient, and well-run).

3.  The only things that make a Christian school different are the uniforms, tuition, and chapel.
I wish you could spend a day at our school.  You'd see that those are the outside, inconsequential differences.  The differences are actually in the details.  Science fairs with Bible verses that the kids choose to reflect how God's intricate hand made everything and keeps everything working together.  A time of prayer requests for the teenagers to share with their teachers and classmates the areas in their lives that they need prayer.  A parent-intensive atmosphere that realizes that parents are the primary teachers and the school comes alongside the family.  An atmosphere where sports and jocks are not the heroes of the school.  Principals who help lead children and teens to a saving knowledge of Jesus every year.  Principals who call teen's parents in for conferences when there is talk of rebellion and disobedience in the life of their child.  Principals who know every kid by name.  Classrooms with 15 second-graders, not 25.  I bet you didn't realize that Christian schools get zero funds from the state.  State benchmark tests are not the goal when teaching the kids.  The flip side of no state monies means that the teachers make 1/2 of what public school teachers do, so they really want to be there and consider it their ministry. Of course, that also means that the only funding comes from tuition and fundraisers(we only do 1 a year).  Therefore, many of the amenities, like instruments,dance classes, and busses, just aren't possible. 

4.  Here's a classic line " some of the worst kids I know go to Christian school!"
I can't speak to the kids you know, but I can say, that just like churches, Christian schools are full of regular humans.  Humans make mistakes and bad choices sometimes.  Yes, students at Christian schools blow it sometimes.  However, in 11 years, Mike has had about 4 of the "big-time" problems with teens(like drugs, fights, teen pregnancy,weapon at school).  I think those are great statistics.  The neat thing is that the Bible is the ultimate authority to the morality enforced at school.

5.  And, finally, there is the argument that "if you take all the Christian kids out of public schools, who will share Christ in the public schools?"  I agree completely.  Where your family and children serve Jesus is between you and the Holy Spirit's leading.  If you strongly feel that your child needs to be a light in public schools...great!  Teach your child how to stand tall and strong for Jesus' love.  If you feel that God is calling your family to Christian Education...great, be prepared to make financial sacrifices to be way more involved(as far as time comittment as a parent) than you would if they went to public schools.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

teen parenting

The dilemna of being a parent to a teenager:
One day you feel as if you aren't doing enough on the job parenting and you have slacked off too much.

The next day you feel as if you are over-parenting, being a helicopter parent, and not letting your almost grown child make decisions and fly on his own.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A new school year prayer

The 2011-2012 school year begins this week.  Beginning of school, such an exciting and nutty time isn't it?  I have some prayers for this year.

For my sweet Dillon who started 2nd grade this year:   healing from his communication disorder so he can speak clearly, a friend who will invite him over to play, a teacher who advocates for him and pushes him to reach his potential and doesn't accept the "I can'ts" 

Abby starts 5th grade Wednesday:  for a continued love for school and learning(she was begging me to let her go to school today!), for no tween girl ickiness to start, for no identity issues related to adoption--that she will remain comfortable in who she is--a beloved daughter of the King of the world, and our Korean Kong-ju(princess), that even right now, God is growing up a sweet boy to be her husband one day

Carter begins his Sophomore year of highschool:  for him to grow to be a man of integrity-who chooses the path of righteousness, for continued musical skills to thrive, for more order and maturity in being responsible for his school work, for a new friend at school to take the place of his best friend who moved.

Hudson:  Well, poor little man wishes he was going to school so badly.  He says "me big, what about me school?".  He doesn't realize it yet, but he and mommy will have one last sweet year together.  I'll  not lack for entertainment, that is for sure.  His favorite cartoon is "fun-Bob, scare-pants," he sings Jingle Bells all the time, he wants to read so badly and asks what everything says. 

Mike:  It's been a stressful summer with the new secondary building being built.  God has blessed and provided many more students than we had in May.  My our sweet Christian school be a light in the community, a testimony to the Lord and His faithfulness.  May Mike slow down, enjoy the opportunity to shape young minds and hearts to be servant leaders.

For myself:  I'm taking it a bit slower and only taking 10 hrs August through December.  I've decided on the grad school I want to attend and will apply in February. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2 big adoption events coming up in DFW

For those who love the fatherless, there are 3 big events coming up and I want you to have plenty of time to plan

Tuesday, October 4th is the Give Hope Golf Classic.  This tournament promotes awareness and raises funds for millions of children around the world with no momma and daddy.   I've known them several years, they adopted from S. Korea through Dillon International and are on fire for adoption and orphancare.    Click GOLF to go to the website

Saturday, October 29th is the adoption and foster care conference at Irving Bible Church.  This is a well-established, effective ministry and their conference promises to be awesome!  I have taught adoptive parenting classes alongside one of the breakout speakers(Melanie) and she's down-right amazing.  Foster parents:  you can get education credits at this conference.  Click here for the link

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

20th year reunion dilemna

I was going to post about 2 important adoption events coming up, but that can wait a few days.  Here's the dilemna:  I got info for my 20yr class reunion today.  UGH.  I graduated in 91.  Not a close class.  In fact, I don't talk to or visit with a single person I graduated high school with on a regular basis.  If not for Facebook, I wouldn't have a clue where most of them live.  Don't misread me, I didn't have a terrible time or dislike my classmates.  It was typical late 80's early 90's teenager life-- Def Leopard, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, big fried hair, rolled jeans, MC Hammer pants, and lovely other styles.  We cruised the main street in our town, singing with Information Society tapes and such.  I had a group of down right hilarious friends.  We could quote every word to the Sarah Jessica Parker movie "Girls Just Want To Have Fun."  But, here I am 20 years later.  All grown up and done with teen angst(believe me, I had plenty of it!).  I love my life now and have zero desire to go try to catch up with people I haven't seen in many years.  Plus, the weekend is is planned for is the same time as Kairos, the freedom ministry conference at Gateway Church that I've been really wanting to attend.
  Oh, I'd love to bring my gorgeous hunk of a husband and darling kids to show off!  But, is there going to be a hole in my life if I don't attend my 20th reunion??  Help me out here people.  If you didn't attend, and you have issues now, please message me :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Class is over

Image Detail

I took my Statistics final exam this morning!  Let me tell ya, I've been way stressed out over this, I"m not good at math and it has been 20 years since I've taken a college math class. 
I had a 75 average in the class.  The final counted for 40% of the grade. All my witchiness(is that a word??)  and being a gripey mommy paid off.  The hilarious thing is that I ended up making a 80.6 for my class grade.  Yes--a B!!!!!!!!  I was praying so hard to pass(heck, 70 is degree right?).  So we celebrated this huge feat with a free Chili's dinner, thanks to an old gift card I had. 
Just jumped over a big hurdle toward grad school 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dave's debt comparison

This is awesome!!  Good ole Mr. Ramsey puts the federal debt situation in real-live family terms.  I copied and pasted from his website

The federal government will take in $2.173 trillion in 2011. That’s their income, and it sounds pretty good. Until, that is, you factor in that the federal government will spend $3.818 trillion during the year. So, just like many families, the government’s outgo exceeds their income—to the tune of $1.645 trillion in overspending. That’s called the deficit. Altogether, the government has $14.2 trillion in debt.

What would happen if John Q. Public and his wife called my show with these kinds of numbers? Here’s how their financial situation would stack up:

If their household income was $55,000 per year, they’d actually be spending $96,500—$41,500 more than they made! That means they’re spending 175% of their annual income! So, in 2011 they’d add $41,500 of debt to their current credit card debt of $366,000!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Looking back on 8/6/2010

Why do I recommend you keep a prayer journal?

Psalms 77: 11-2 I shall remember the deeds of [fn]the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

 I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.

 It becomes an invaluable treasure of memories, prayers, answers, and feelings.  Over and over, Scripture tells us to remember and remind ourselves of God's faithfulness and blessings.  It is such a trap to live in the past and in the world of "But what if?"  I know I've struggled with that many many times. 
This day last year I was at a crazy juncture in life.  Infertile for 10 years, happy momma of 4 kids(one had just been with us 11 months) and content.  I strangely found myself pregnant.  Unfortunately, I wasn't happy or ready for that news.  It blew me out of the water and totally freaked us out.  Sadly, the pregnancy ended several weeks after, in a maddening kind of way(you can read about it under the title Choosing to Bless).  I journaled, as I have for years.  My prayers and thoughts were raw and honest, heck, why hide anything from my maker when He already knows my thoughts anyway?
On  8/6 last year I wrote
     Praise you Jesus, the sonogram shows it is in the uterus, there is a heartbeat. Help me have a joy for this life.  I can't work and take care of 5 kids--God what is going to happen??
On 8/7 last year I wrote
      Okay Lord, I may be totally off my rocker, but I think my baby is dead.    Could my hormones have plunged super quick? 

Psalm 42:5b  My soul is downcast within me, therefore I will remember you

Why do we remember the Lord when our soul is downcast?  Because remembering brings to mind the good and bad.  In this world, you can't have all good.  There is always going to be good and bad, in a fallen/sinful world.  Remembering and reflecting on the journey the Lord has brought you on requires acknowledging that somehow, you make it through the tough stuff and you see how El Shalom, God of my peace, walks with you and uses everything for His ultimate glory. 
Reflecting on the blessings of the journey keep you grateful.  Reflecting on the trials of the journey keep you dependent on Him to provide.  Reflecting on the mistakes made on the journey, keep you humble.  Reflecting on the victories in the journey, make you trust Him to carry you again, in the next trial!  Isn't that exciting? 

So, here I am, one year after my surprise baby died in my body(makes 2 we've lost in utero), I'm reflecting:
blessings:  sweet family and friends who loved on us, my 4 children are healthy, recognizing what an amazing and supportive husband I have, I now have an opportunity to furthur my degree(and the hospital pays for it!)
trials:  anger, ungrateful spirit, lack of trust in His plan(what the heck are you doing God??), physical illness
mistakes:  a few from the above-like anger, lack of trust, ungrateful
victories:  sealed in my heart how much we love our children--no matter how they came to us, worked through some deep personal loss and grief issues I'd repressed, and now I can more effectively walk alongside women who are or have experienced miscarriage

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The talking toddler

As you are well aware, little man Hudson, is crazy!  He is so dang smart and precocious, talks non-stop(like, every second of the day filled with his talking).  For you entertainment:
Tonight he picked up a bottle of baby bath, turned it over and looked at the label and said "Mommy, how many calories this have?"  I said, "That is baby bath, it doesn't have calories."  He didn't believe me, pointed at the small typeface and said "Uh-huh, see, it have calories."
Nuts, he's just nuts!

And here is sweet Dillon's bedtime prayer this week.  We are in a severe drought and heat wave(it was 108 yesterday).  He prayed "Dear God.....rain, rain, no give us any, we need it so bad....rain, rain, rain."
That sums it up perfectl :)