Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bible in 90 Days challenge

I had decided in December that I was not going to make any resolutions for the new year.  I just wanted to refocus on the goals I was already working toward.  So, no real changes...just back to life after vacation.  There are a few areas I will continue to focus on:  Making sure to actually eat during the day, paying attention to our budget so that we can plan better, planning my time instead of reacting, and getting the schoolroom more organized and streamlined.  As January approached, I read from Amy at Raising Olives about reading the Bible in 90 days.  I had never heard of that reading plan before.  I was intrigued.  I decided to check it out.

My first reaction to the idea of reading the Bible in 90 days was that if I started it, I may actually get through the Bible in a year.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I thought maybe this was a good idea for me.  Here are some of the questions and thoughts that have come up as I embark on this challenge.

Why read the entire Bible, just to say you did it?  - Although I have not actually read the Bible cover to cover, this is not the primary reason why I am reading it.  I think that we are affected by everything that we put into our minds - TV, movies, books, magazines, even conversations we have with others.  I have had a difficult time really studying the bible, of late, so I haven't been reading very much of it at all.  I liked the idea of reading "straight through from Genesis to Revelation, just a like a novel."  This is not a study program, it is a reading program.  I think this is good because we are told in 1 John 4:1 to "test the spirits" to see if they are of God; but how are we to know if something lines up with the word of God if we are not familiar with it?  I want to read the whole Bible so that I will be familiar with the word of God, so  I will know Him more fully.

Why try to finish in 90 days?  As I said before, I hoped that by setting the goal of 90 days I would actually finish sometime this year.  However, as I have read more, and started the challenge, I think I might actually make my goal of 90 days.  One of the reasons for this is just my nature.  When I have a difficult deadline, I usually accomplish more.  I think that is why I liked my accelerated degree program when I was in college and why I find life easier with three children than just two (most days... *smile*).  I also signed up early enough to have a mentor, which builds in accountability.  I need this!  Knowing that I have a group of people doing this with me, and that I need to check in every week, gives me motivation.  I love that they are encouraging whether you are up to date or not.  Amy at Mom's Toolbox, whose blog is the hub of this challenge, took 97 days to read it the first time.  My mentor, Laura, fell behind and ended up reading about 2/3 in 30 days.  So, I know that I will not be condemned if I fall behind.

When I told my husband that I wanted to do this challenge, his response was, "You are going to have to give something up."  He is right...I will have to give up time spent on other things to accomplish this.  I think this will be good, too.  I have wanted to have a consistent quiet time, but have not found my groove with that.  It takes 20 days to make a habit, so I am hoping 90 days will really make it stick!

I don't really think of this as a "resolution," but it is a commitment.  I am four days into the challenge, and I am really enjoying it.  It is not too late to join, there is plenty of time to catch up or go a few days over the end date set.  If you are interested in learning more, you can visit the FAQ page at Mom's Toolbox to see how to link up.  I don't think there are mentor groups to join, but I think you still check in on the main page.  They also have connections through Twitter and Facebook that are helpful reminders.  If you do decide to do the challenge, let me know.  I would love to have some friends do it with me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Treehouse News - Christmas Memories

What a great Christmas season this was for us. I collected a few quotes, photos and memories from this season that I wanted to share.

The Advent activities were all so much fun. It was so precious to see the kids get just as excited over buying food for the food bank as they were over having sleepovers in each others' rooms.

This is how they were sleeping on sleep-over night

One morning the scroll read, "Ice Cream for Dinner Tonight!" This meant that we were going to a restaurant and they could just have ice cream if they wanted. Afterward, I heard Little Man having a conversation with himself in his room:
Little Man: Guess what? I'm having ice cream for dinner!
Reply (to himself): What???
Little Man: Yep, a calendar of mine said so.
Reply: (Little Man)?
Little Man: Yes?
Reply: Don't you have ice cream for dessert?
I didn't catch his answer, but it included an emphatic confirmation of the plan.

We ALL got in our PJ's for the Christmas Light Drive!

"They gave him SAP???" - This comment came from Little Man upon learning that Myrrh was the sap from a tree.  Did you know that?  I know I didn't!  =0)

If you are my friend on Facebook, you may have seen the video of the kids singing their carols. What you may have missed are some of the lyrics. Little Man sang "Angels We Have Heard on High" and here are some of the creative lyrics:

"Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing bore the things.
And the mountains in reply echoing their joyous springs.
Glow we are in excelsis deo."

He also likes to sing, "Re-keep, Re-keep the sounding joy!"

One of the days of Advent, we were making cookies for friends. However, Little Man kept sneezing all over the dough as we decorated. We decided we were going to have to think of something else to give our friends.  Princess said, "Playing together is a good can't wrap that, though!"

Decorating the tainted cookies.  ;0)

I thought our Advent Calendar ended up very unique...with flying donkeys, Mary praying to a Palm tree, camels sitting on people's heads, and Baby Jesus floating in the middle.  Here is the final scene:

Advent Calendar Scene

We traveled to see Ryan's family, and there were a few memories I recorded from Christmas there, too.

Pookie was so excited while opening her presents that it was a joy for everyone to listen to her. I can't copy the inflection, but here is what she said while opening her first present - it was a bath time art set:

"I got sumpin! I got sumpin! I got yellow! Green! Orange! Blue! Pink! I love yellow."  (She gave herself a hug on that last statement.  So cute!)

Her next present, she said, "I got sumpin! I got a box! I got flowers!" She hadn't even found the present, yet. She was just so excited about the box it came in. =0)

Little Man just kept saying, "That's AMAZING!" with every present he really liked. Princess was not very vocal, but did exclaim, "That's just what I wanted!" when she opened her Twister Hopscotch game.

Little Man was so sweet Christmas evening. The kids were done with presents, but Great Grampy, Great Grammie and Nanny (their Great Aunt) came and the kids got to open the cards from them. Ryan read Little Man's card to him from Nanny, which had a comment that she hoped he was a good boy and that Santa didn't forget him. Before running back downstairs to play with his toys, he went over to Nanny and said, "He didn't forget me."  It was the perfect example of just how much he cares about people.

Princess with Nanny

At Christmas dinner, the kids asked me if they could sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  It was so cute that they thought of that themselves.  Great Grampy was sitting next to me and asked, "Whose birthday is it?"  When I told him, he just smiled a little.  This may be a tradition the kids start all on their own.
Teaching Gr. Grampy about Superheros!

Reading a book to Gr. Grammie

A few days after Christmas, it was finally white with snow and we went on a sleigh ride.  The kids had a great time.  Then, we came home for some crazy carpet fun!

Crazy carpets in the driveway!

When we returned home, we had present opening time with my family. I missed most of what was said there, I am sure. Someone told me that Pookie said, upon opening her Kimochi cloud, "I found you!"


The other notable quote I caught was actually from their cousin. He saw Pookie take a chocolate out of the bowl, and wanted it. She wouldn't give it to him, but turned around and got one for him and gave it to him. He said to Princess and Little Man, "Look what your baby gave me." I don't think he knows her name. =0)

If you remember things the kids said or did, I would love to hear about them. Please post a comment below, or maybe on Facebook.  If any of you want to guess why this guy is so grumpy, you can post a comment for that, to.  Hehehe!

Grumpy Sheep