Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mike Who?

In the trenches of homeschooling, there are those times that make you laugh absurdly. Most of the time, when you tell someone else, they give a polite "Ha, ha..." and look at you wondering what you were drinking at the time that made the situation so funny. I hope that I can relay my absurdly funny story from yesterday in way that you will find funny...

We were beginning a study on the election process. This study will continue sporadically through the year as different events occur during this election process. But you have to start somewhere, right? So I logged on to the trusty computer and found a website that I felt explained the election process in a kid friendly way. Even with the simplicity, the explanation of the National Convention, the Electoral College, popular vote, etc. was somewhat dry. I tried to make it as interesting as possible, but this is a subject that a majority of adults are not even clear on. The boys (4th grade and 3rd grade) were really listening and I thought they were following pretty well. I picked a candidate to use to illustrate my point, hoping to make it a little more personal. So, I picked Mike Huckabee. That way when I explained that if Huckabee won the popular vote in Texas, all of that state's electoral college votes went to him, it would seem a little easier when they were able to relate to a person instead of "The Candidate".

Or so I thought it would be easier...

I was almost to the end of my explanation, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, when my 3rd grader had a confusing thought (I knew this because I saw the confusion written all over his face.) He was trying to process...he was trying to make it all work in his mind...and, finally, a hand went up in the air. I thought this was GREAT because it meant he was thinking. He needed clarification on something, but it WAS processing. With the seriousness of a news anchor investigating the most important story of his life, my child says, "Is Mike Huckabee a person?"

Back to square one...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Computer Triangle

Do you ever feel that you get lost in The Computer Triangle? You are innocently flying along in cyberspace and all of a sudden you get sucked into a black hole of unknowns where there seems to be liitle hope of ever seeing daylight again.

Three days ago, my computer suddenly stopped accessing the internet. Since the internet is a huge part of why I even spend time on the computer, I was sufficiently bummed out. Since I have recently tiptoed into the world of wireless internet access, I assumed my network card was not working properly. Borrowing my hubby's laptop, I searched on the Net (shows you how dependent I am on that) how to test my wireless adapter and/or router so I could quickly and efficiently fix the problem.

Three days later...

My computer sat on the table this morning, taunting me. I could hear it laughing maniacally as it still held my poor internet hostage. I felt as if I would never be the same again, having lost the battle with the little black box. I was wounded and bleeding but ready to admit that I was defeated. Then, suddenly, out of the darkness, two little words came through the sadness of defeat..."system restore" echoed in my brain and jarred me into having a coherent thought. Yes! System restore! It is one of those features on the computers that allow you to restore programs back to a certain point without losing your documents and such.

Could it work? Could this be the answer? My mind raced as one rational thought seemed to flow into another..."It was working fine last week."..."Something had to have altered the process in some way during the last few days."..."I maybe could restore the computer to the way it was a week ago, before the probelms began."

With bated breath and a dry mouth, my fingers flew across the mouse pad, giving the command to system restore. I felt powerful, I felt hopeful, I felt terrified that this was not going to work.

The process completed, I rebooted, is the increasing suspense...IT WORKED!

As my home page leapt into view on the screen, I felt as if I had done my part in the Human vs. Computers War. This collection of boards, drives, and pixels had not won. It had put up a good fight and had caused me to doubt my sanity, but in the end it is ON THE INTERNET because IT DID NOT WIN!

And now, I sit in my glory as a winner, replaying the moment of victory over and over in my head, basking for the moment because I know that one day, this computer will come at me again. The battle is over but the war is still yet to be completed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

We Cannot Give Satan a Foothold!

Yesterday, before church, we learned of some terrible news. A local radio host (he is the nationally syndicated host of The Rick & Bubba Show, Rick Burgess) lost his two year old son, Bronner, in an accidental drowning. Burgess, who is a Christian, has reportedly given God the glory all through this past day and a half of grief. How can a man do that? How can someone lose a child and glorify God in the same moment? How can he say in the seconds following being told of this tragedy, "We cannot give Satan a foothold."? Only through the power of the Holy Spirit that is evident in a Christian's life. "We cannot give Satan a foothold."

Burgess was speaking at a Christian youth conference in Tennessee when he learned of the death of his son. He was doing something right. He was proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ at the time his son left this world. He could have looked at the heavens and asked God, "Why? Why? I was here preaching your Word, I was doing as you command us to do. Why would you take my son?" Instead, he said, "We cannot give Satan a foothold."

I am convicted this morning because while Rick was out preaching the gospel this weekend, I invited the enemy into my home. While Rick proclaimed the glory of God after the loss of his precious child, I allowed the enemy into my mind, exposing him to my children. While Rick was saying, "We cannot give the Satan a foothold.", I was unlocking the front door and inviting him into my living room. How did I do this, you may ask? My specifics are between me and God, but we all do it everyday. Anger, greed, gluttony, lust, envy, hatred, lying, idleness, fill in the blank.

I have been humbled this morning. I have been convicted. I have asked forgiveness, but the consequence of my sin is still this yucky, heavy feeling that I am carrying around. My God has forgiven me, because His word says He will, but I am still saddened that I took a couple of steps back this weekend. I am tired of allowing Satan into my home! I am tired of allowing him to wreck my day, put strife between myself and my husband, distract me from those things which are so very important in my life!

God is soverign. He is in complete control. He was not caught by surprise by the death of Rick's baby boy. He allowed it to happen for His glory. Countless young people were touched at the conference where Rick had been teaching (including 300+ salvations!). Thousands upon thousands of people who tuned into The Rick and Bubba Show this morning heard the name of God being glorified. God has allowed and will allow good to emerge from this bad (Romans 8:28).

May I learn from the example of this man who has placed himself and his family into the hand of God. May I cherish this new day He has given me and not invite the enemy into my home. May I put live the promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it." May I not give Satan a foothold!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Okay, I AM still living

I am still here! I have not posted a blog in FOREVER because I just haven't had the drive. I know that people go through writer's block for a period of time, but I have just been blocked for what seems like forever. I haven't been idle in my life, I just have had no drive to post.

Just to catch you up a little, we are in the second semester of our school year. Caleb is in the 4th grade and Garth is in the 3rd. I am attempting to teach Hannah some preschool stuff and she has already learned how to recognize and spell her name. We have had ups and downs this year, but mostly ups. Garth has caught up with his 3rd grade peers in Language Arts. This is an amazing feat since he started a whole year behind 2 1/2 years ago. He has worked really hard and I am very proud of him. His strongest subject is still math where he is a little ahead of where he is supposed to be in a challenging curriculum. Garth has continued to develop a love for reading as his skills continue to improve. He enjoys picking out books from the library in subjects that interest him. He is also a wonderful big brother as he tries out his developing reading skills by reading books to his little sister. She loves the attention and he works on his reading. What a great combination!

Caleb continues to amaze me in the subjects he still understands. He is in his second year of Latin and watches a DVD course. He is self driven in this subject. I am not sure I could even help him if he had a problem because I have not been following the lessons like I should (oops!). He aces all the quizzes and tests that came with the course, so I am content to let him work through this one on his own right now. In Math, he is going to complete the sixth grade Saxon course before school lets out and I am contemplating where to go from here with him. If I go like I think I am going to, he will begin earning high school credit in the sixth grade for math. Whew! He still is an avid reader completing a couple of books per week for pleasure reading in addition to his Abeka readers and assigned book (right now that is Robin Hood).

Hannah is, well, Hannah. She is wonderful at taking care of herself while we are doing school. She will play in her kitchen or watch Dora or play a computer game. Sometimes, she will "do school" with us and color her pictures while we do math or language. She is so smart and picks up new concepts really well.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family. And I am excited to be back in blogger world for a least until the next writer's block jumps up.