4 Moms: Homeschooling in a rotten mood

4moms35kids Q&A with the 4 Moms: dealing with comments on your big family, weaning babies, going from 1 child to 2   and beyond!I’m going to assume this week’s topic refers to the students’ mood, because I am never in a rotten mood.  Especially not now, even though my older children are old enough to sit themselves down to school when told and my younger ones know that late morning is OUTSIDE PLAY time.  When they think I’m in a rotten mood, it usually means I’m correcting them because they are being disobedient.

Oh, wait.  We were supposed to talk about our own mood?  Oh.

Well, the short answer is we don’t homeschool when I’m in a rotten mood – or at least, we shouldn’t.  Just like we shouldn’t run errands when I’m in a rotten mood.  For that matter, we shouldn’t do anything at all when I’m in a rotten mood because the very first thing on my to-do list should be, “Repent.”  It’s often easier said than done, but moods have a powerful trickle down effect, and a cranky mom will quickly find herself with cranky children on her hand.  Attitude correction only becomes a bigger and bigger project when you put it off.

Maybe this is where it’s good to keep in mind the goal of homeschooling.  Academics play an important part, but they are not the end goal.  We are preparing our children for adulthood, teaching them to serve Christ in every area of life.  If mom is in a rotten mood and just spreading her mood to the people around her as she tries to teach her little ones the 3 R’s, we are heading in the wrong direction.

We need to leave our gift at the altar – or our schoolbooks at the table – and settle offenses.

At this point, if my kids read my blog they are staring slack-jawed at one another, shaking their heads in disbelief.  “If she really believes this, why does she walk around being crabby?”  Because I am sinful, prideful, and I like to blame my bad attitude on the sinners around me.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  ~Romans 7:15-24

If we try to do school when attitudes are amiss, we are teaching and learning exactly the wrong lessons.  We are teaching our children that sin is acceptable in ourselves, and others need to just live with it.  While it’s true that we are all sinners and will always have sin in our lives, we should also be vigilant to put down our sin nature whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.  Just because it is in us doesn’t mean we should allow it to camp out on the front room sofa and offer it a big glass of iced tea.

The other moms are talking about it, too.  Here’s what they say:

Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:

  • May 31 – teaching children to cook
  • June 7 – How did you know you wanted/could handle a large family
  • June 14 – Q&A
  • June 21 – How do you keep up your energy?
  • June 28 – favorite freezer meals

Recent topics:

About 4 Moms, including a complete list of all past topics

4 Moms: teaching Bible

Welcome back to the weekly 4 Moms post, in which 4 moms with a collective total of 35 children share our knowledge, experience and and helpful tips in maintaining health, order and sanity.

First, I recommend you see what the other 3 Moms have to say about teaching Bible:

  • Connie at Smockity Frocks
  • Headmistress at The Common Room
  • Kimberly at Raising Olives
  • If I seem a bit giddy, disjointed or just plain insane today, chalk it up to any or all of the following factors:

    1. I’ve taken a month off of blogging and am having a bit of trouble getting my brain back into blogging mode.
    2. My lovely children talk nonstop.  To me.  I love them, but holding a train of thought is about as easy as holding a real train.
    3. I was up nearly all night with 3 sick children and a baby who is ruining my reputation by refusing to sleep through the night.
    4. My washer exploded this afternoon, flooding the laundry room.  Remember the part about vomiting children?

    I’m not complaining.  I’ve had worse days.  Not many, but a few.  There was the Great Poop Flood of ’99, for example.  Hey, check it out: we’re #1 on Google for the search term Poop Flood.  Call it a silver lining around that black, black cloud.

    At any rate, days like these remind us why we need God.  It’s easy to forget when everything goes right, but  His Word is an encouragement when things go wrong, a light to our feet (Psalm 119:105), and a reminder that everything is part of His will and plan for us (Romans 8:28) – plans for our own good (Jeremiah 29:11), even when it doesn’t quite look that way.

    I’ve blogged in the past about how we teach Bible and some of our favorite resources, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t go into depth today.  The methods change over time and some of those past posts look nothing like what we do now, but they served us well during other seasons.

    Bible Time for Little Ones

    George Sarris Bible CDs

    It’s All Bible Time

    Family Worship

    Daily Proverbs

    and more on Proverbs

    Right now, everyone old enough to read is making their way through the New Testament at a rate of 10 chapters/day.  Those too young to read are listening to me as I read a portion of each day’s selection aloud.  Our plan is to begin and end in month of January.  Of course you miss a lot of small details when you read at this rate, but you might be surprised at how much of the bigger picture you catch.  It’s a very different way to read the Bible.

    I would love to make this a yearly tradition, but we’ll wait and see how that idea is received next January.

    This is something we did years ago, when we had 2 rather new readers who were still a little slow.  They found the idea of 10 chapters/day daunting, but they buckled down and did it, and by the end of the month my reluctant readers were fluent bibliophiles who had done what I didn’t do until my 30’s: read the entire NT.  After that, they willingly set themselves to the OT.

    I have similar hopes for Natalie and Becca this year.  Both are intimidated by what we have undertaken, but I know they can do it.  It will be a challenge for all of us, and all of us will know God a little better at the end of January.

    In fact, does anyone want to join us?  If you start today, you can be done with the entire New Testament in less than 30 days.  You might even beat us, because we’re not off to the best start.  We’re learning a lot this week about bending our plans to God’s will for us on a daily level.

    Upcoming topics for 4 Moms 35 Kids:

    • January 13: Favorite cold weather foods.  Be ready to link up with your own recipe!
    • January 20: Book recommendations for preschoolers
    • January 27: Q & A.  Got a question?  Leave it in the comments on my last Q&A post.

    Bible verses for labor, anyone?

    Not that I need them just yet, but you never know!

    Do you have any favorite passages you like to meditate on during labor?  I’d love to have a list in the comments so I can find them when the time comes.  If you don’t mind, please copy the scripture itself into the comment for me (Bible Gateway is a good place to get the text) so I won’t have to go look for it, and feel free to say why that particular verse or passage is special or appropriate to you during labor.

    I’m feeling much more ready to have and meet this baby – not just in terms of having things prepared, but also more ready to face labor and delivery.  Overall, I’m having very little false labor, far less than usual at this stage, but last night I was awake for several hours with minor contractions, and found myself hoping that it might be real labor.  This is a huge shift from the apprehension I’ve been fighting for the past weeks, and I’m so thankful that God is preparing me.  He always does; I don’t know why I let it worry me each time!

    Now I’m just wondering how far into my traditional 2 week window of eagerness I am.  Did it start when I began to think a lot about labor, with my May 17 Baby on the Brain post?  That would mean I might very well deliver on Memorial Day, which would thrill me.

    Or did the countdown just begin over the last day or two?  That could mean that I’ll be up to 2 weeks late, longer than I’ve ever gone before.  That wouldn’t be terrible since the heat bothers me more when I nurse a newborn than it does during pregnancy.  I wouldn’t mind getting just a bit more of the summer behind us before delivering, though I really am getting eager to meet this little one.

    Now don’t forget: what’s your favorite labor verse?  Share, please!

    Did you place your guess yet in our Big Baby Giveaway?  Enter to win $475 worth of gifts from Thanks Mama, Bill Tiger, Maccessorized , Marie Madeline Studio, New Creation Apparel, and Vision Forum!

    One more bit of insider info to help with your guess, if this wasn’t enough: today the midwife estimated that the baby was currently about 6.5 lbs.  If she’s right, that would be our smallest ever!

    Thoughts on labor

    This morning in my Bible reading, I came across this:

    But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

    I Thess. 5:1-3

    I’ve read this before, but this time it struck me a little differently – maybe because I’m less than 2 months from my duedate.

    This is how the last two weeks of pregnancy are for me: every day I feel as though I could go into labor any minute.  Is today the day?  Maybe today is the day.  I feel like today could be the day. I just can’t shake the feeling that labor is imminent.

    But then – the feeling goes away.  And then labor begins.  Is it just me, or does it work that way for you too?  I’ve mentioned it to other mothers and it seems to be nearly universal.  And I can’t help but think that Paul is referring to that short period of time after the feeling of imminence and urgency has passed, but before the first real contractions begin – or rather, God is.  Maybe Paul didn’t know all that much about the psychology and physiology behind labor, but God certainly does.

    The application?  I don’t know.  Don’t be complacent, because just when you feel like relaxing is when you need to be most ready?  Don’t ask this pregnant brain to think much beyond labor and delivery for the next 8 weeks.  But maybe you can figure it out yourself.

    400 yo Bible bookmarks: choose your own

    400 year old Bible pages

    400 year old Bible pages

    Since we haven’t hit you with too many sales pitches lately (er…have we?) I thought I’d just mention that I have a very nice lot of bookmarks for sale.  Like the ones on our Geneva Bible Pages site, these are each made from 1/2 of an ancient Bible page, damaged but still amazing.  All are from 1640 or earlier, either King James or Geneva version.

    Unlike the ones on our other site, I’m going to do something a little special here.  I’ll let you choose your bookmarks!  These are $7 each, with free shipping.  We like payment by Paypal.

    Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to larger orders.  May I suggest that you provide a backup choice for each request just in case your first choice is not available?

    Here’s what I currently have available, listed by the headers at the top of the pages:

    roman letter – A modern looking font, easy to read.  Many pages still have the “f” looking letters for “s”, “u” instead of “v” and other obsolete spellings.

    • Salomons prayer for the/Salomon praises God (II Chron)
    • The Arke of the Couenant./people.  His facrifice (II Chron)
    • Ieroboams deftruction forefhewed./He is flaine of a lion (I Kings)
    • Who neede the Phyfition./Iefus came to preach. (Mark)
    • Chrift tempted.  New doctrine./Confpiracie againft Chrift (Mark)
    • The Prophet feduced;/Rehoboam dieth.  Abijam (I Kings)
    • The Church in captiuitie/Gods power and mercie (Pfalmes)
    • A fhrewd wife./The want of the word (Proverbes)
    • Know thy flocke/Tale-bearers.  (Proverbes) – includes a favorite of ours, The wicked flee, when none purfueth: but the righteous are bold as a lyon.
    • The tongue of Canaan/Deftruction of Egypt. (Ifaiah)
    • Of Damafcus and Ifrael/Ifaiah goeth naked.  (Ifaiah)
    • The defcription of an harlot./The ftudie of wifdome (Proverbs)
    • The churches favours, and/Davids zeal to ferve God. (Psalmes)
    • Obedience the beft facrifice./evils.  The majefty of Chrifts kingdome. (Psalmes)
    • Jacob bleffeth his fonnes./Jofephs age and death (Genesis) pending
    • His death/Jacobs funerall. (Genesis) pending
    • Of Diues and Lazarus.  Abraham bofome./The great Supper (Luke)
    • The fteward.  Riches of iniquitie./The prodigall fonne.  (Luke)
    • Samfons jawbone.  Deliahs/The foxes.  Samfons wife burnt.  (Judges)
    • Againft furetiefhip, idleneffe, &c./Of whoredome and riot (Proverbs)
    • Samfon killeth a lion: His riddle/falfhood.  Samfon is taken (Judges)

    gothic font – A fancy, old-fashioned print.  A little hard to read, but beautiful to behold!

    • The Ifraelites goe out of Egypt:/Mofes fong.  (Exodus) pending
    • The fea is diuided/Pharaoh purfueth them. (Exodus) pending
    • Gods wonderfull power:/in affliction.  (Psalmes)
    • Dauids prayer/His promife to Dauid (Psalmes)
    • The Paffeouer./Chrift accufed before Pilate. (Luke)
    • Luke (headers missing) – Peter will deny Christ; Christ arrested; Peter denies Him;

    To place an order, just leave a comment telling us what you want.  We’ll email to let you know if your choices are available and give you a total for your order.

    Geneva Bible Page update and special offer

    genevabannerThere’s a lot going on at our family business, Geneva Bible Pages, and we hope you’ll share our excitement.  Read all the way to the bottom for the special offer.

    • Bookmark orders are being filled today and tomorrow. You can still get them at a very good price – just 4/$21, with free shipping.
    • Everything on the site is still on sale for 30-50% off.  Check out the Family Bundle we created: 3 beautifully matted pages, ready to frame, and a set of 4 very special bookmarks, all for $90!  Take a look and bug me to upload photos of new items, like the floating frame.  Really.  I need the motivation.
    • We’re changing the way we do our framed pages and adding new products.   Check out the new, more affordable Standard Framed Page, and the simple, elegant floating frame.
    • Coming soon: we will be adding specific framed passages to our own For Sale page here at Life in a Shoe, so you can see just what you’re getting before you order.  These will come in a variety of more ornate frames, but still with archival quality acid-free materials.
    • I’d also like to add very special title pages to our line of products. To help raise the funds to buy a batch of these pages, I’d like to try to pre-sell a few with a great offer.   Here’s the deal: order any framed page on our website before August 1 and receive a free upgrade to a title page. Just mention this offer in the “notes” area of your order or leave a comment here to let me know.  The catch: your order will take an extra week to ship since we don’t have the pages yet.  It’s a pre-order, ok?

    Big Giveaway

    This one isn’t a Vision Forum giveaway, it’s a GenevaBiblepages.com giveaway, and we need your help.

    The Skinny:

    We over ordered – double actually – our stock, but instead of sending it back we decided to keep it and put our inventory on sale. We are running a 40% off sale over at Geneva Bible Pages.  We’ve even created a special Family Bundle at 50% off!

    What you can do:

    Blog, Twitter, Facebook,Digg, do whatever it takes to help us get the word out about this sale. We need to move this inventory fast – like in the next 2 weeks and we are prepared to make it worth your time to help us.

    What’s in it for you? Besides a great deal on a really cool gift, that is.

    There’s also 400 bucks –  well up to 400 dollars retail in products from GenevaBiblePages.com.

    Blog about our sale and giveaway (or facebook or twitter) and then come back here and leave a comment with a link to your efforts.  We will take entries until midnight June 17, then we will select a winner to pick up to 4 individual items from GenevaBiblePages.com absolutely free.   Our most expensive item sells for $94.99 each so that’s practically 400 dollars in retail.

    But wait!   There’s more! (Now where have I heard that before? )

    I will actually let the winner choose 200 dollars cash instead of up to 400 dollars in merchandise if they prefer.  Would you choose filthy lucre instead of a set of framed 400 year old Bible pages?


    As always shipping is entirely free on GenevaBiblePages.comfree

    Once more because we need to hear it.

    Download the audio on Behemoth.com for free here: Doug’s ‘Freedom at Risk Speech’ on behemoth.com

    April Foolishness

    April Fool’s Day came and went this year with hardly a giggle in our house.  Sure, we played a few jokes but nearly all were verbal and immediately followed by shouts of “April Fool’s!”  The shouts were hardly necessary since they were invariably preceded by raised eyebrows and skeptical faces.

    Hubby was mean enough to call his poor, long-suffering mother and other relatives, raising false hopes of a surprise visit to Tennessee.  tsk, tsk.

    What April foolishness happened in your house?

    And now that your regularly scheduled day of national foolishness has passed – not to be confused with the national foolishness that happens every day of the year – here is a more serious look at foolishness:


    In the spirit of anti-procrastination Friday, I’m posting on Monday this week.  No, it doesn’t matter that I failed to post last Friday.  This counts for next Friday.  It’s my holiday, and I get to make up the rules.

    So…I finally assembled another Geneva Bible page for our poor Canadian customer.   She ordered her page in November and we shipped it.  After several weeks she very courteously let us know that it hadn’t arrived yet.  We checked and learned that it had cleared customs a week or two earlier, and encouraged her to wait a bit longer.

    A few weeks later she emailed again.  Still no page.  She asked us to initiate a trace, and after more waiting we learned that nobody knew what happened after it cleared customs.  It seems to have dissolved into a sticky puddle of nothing on the floor of some nameless Canadian post office.  Do they even have post offices there?  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s the problem.

    Finally, we decided to just replace the poor woman’s order.  And then I realized we were out of frames.  Each page requires one frame and 2 panes of glass.  I had to order them and wait.  And then we got sick.  And then we went on a prescheduled-not-on-our-own-dime hunting trip.  And got sick some more.

    And now, this very day, after an inexcusable amount of time, I have assembled a replacement.  It’s extra special to make up for the delay.  I hope it’s special enough.  Most of the pages we frame and sell are 400 year old random Old Testament passages, but this one is a title page – far more ornate than what she would have gotten in the first place.  I’m thinking I’ll toss in a set of bookmarks, also made from 400 year old Geneva Bible pages.  The goal is to make her so happy that she’ll place another order someday and actually hope that it gets lost along with my brain.

    Do you think it’s working?  Tell me this: if you were her, would you ever order from us again?  Would you just thank God that you didn’t ripped off and wash your hands of us, or would you recommend us to others?

    Or if you’d rather not answer, just get off your duff and do something you’ve putting off.  I know you had a perfectly good excuse reason for delay, but just do it now.  Then come right back and tell us.  Right back, you hear?  No procrastinating!