Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home Dance School and Little Miss Priss

Last Tuesday night was the first night that Hadley and Eissa were able to attend their more advanced dance class that I told you about in the last big update (scroll down about 3 posts if you missed it). Grady decided he wanted to go check out their new class too, so he went along for the ride while Cass stayed home and had a little date night all by herself with her Daddy.

The next morning, Grady decided he wanted to try his hand at being the girls' teacher/dance coach. So, I grabbed a few videos of the event. Fun stuff.

At this point, Grady had lost interest a bit...and Hadley was doing what she does most here around the house. ;) This girl is a *girl* through and through.

And then this was taken on August 23rd. Grady had had a fever that day and the girls were a little runny-nosed and hadn't taken a great nap that day either, so we stayed home from church while Hadley had a little date to church with Daddy (and felt so special and loved every minute of it, by the way). We had our own little time of praise and worship with some old school Crystal Lewis Hymns action. Then the kids set out to play, as you can see. Such a fun night.

And then here are just some pics to go along with the videos. Enjoy.

A shot of the girls on their last day in their morning class.
The girls' first time in their evening class.

Cass enjoying the 'dance school.'

Monday, September 21, 2009

TICKED Follow-up 2

This is a continuation of the past 2 blog posts, so if you haven't read them, you really should so this will make sense to you.

I told you at the end of the last post that I had more to say. So, here you are, as promised.

I received two comments to the last post...two comments that weren't in support of these views. I have to assume that the people who view these things the way these posts describe were just busy over the weekend? ;) Here are a few more comments I got on Facebook about the subject.

I also think when we rebuke, if we've taken it to the Lord first and allow Him to speak through us, He will prepare their hearts and give us words. That often helps me.
And when rebuked, take it to the Lord and He can tell us if we have received wise council. God help us grow in our trust in You so you can take us deeper still.


Great post, Michawn. Agree. This topic is one of the promptings that we continued to pray about and deal with prior to coming to realization that God was calling us to plant a church. I think also that we have to see our church family as FAMILY. For some of us, that is the family we have b/c our family IS so dysfunctional, or b/c we live so far away and many in our family are not Christians, or just talk the talk. Trust is another word that keeps coming up, too. As pastors and leaders in the church are we afraid of preaching about this? Afraid people might leave, therefore their tithe goes with it? Are we afraid we might tick off the 'influential people'. We have to trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding us to teach the congregation what they need to hear. As members of the family of Jesus--the church-- are we trusting our pastors to teach us what we need to hear? Are we trusting the Holy Spirit to convict us to lovingly go to others, as well as that he might prompt others to tell us? I think, sadly, that we as a family of believers (not a nuclear family or origin), but family of God, have gotten too comfortable and have forgotten that being a Christian is more than just showing up on Sundays or whenever the door is open. Our churches (the family of Christ) have gotten too programmatic, planned, no room for authentic relationships to be built. People know how to act, what mask to put on, etc. We need to give our people room to live life, not fill up their days, weeks, lives with busyness ,but allow room for depth in relationships. We all can say the Sunday School answers when needed, but I long for the Bride of Christ to tell me what I need to hear and vice versa to others in my church family. Iron sharpening iron. No we are not perfect, but on an journey. And you are on the right track, my friend. In love we need to call out and be called out. But then, we all would have to admit we are not perfect. Are we not to be moldable clay? I think we have dried up?

Just wanted to share those really great words of wisdom.

This one too, from my great friend Mavis, who hasn't had the most luxurious of lives. A lot of the 'bad' was just the consequences of bad choices on her part, and she would agree to that wholeheartedly...
Spoken by the person I love the most. The one who never sugarcoated it for me. The person who saved my life because she cared enough to TRULY be my friend! Love you!
We MUST be willing to be true friends! The results can be so spectacular and the stuff to really rejoice about...as evidenced by some of the incredible things in Mavis' life today.

In response to the first comment I received on this blog from the last post, I must first point out that "thou shall not judge" is, in fact, not one of the 10 Commandments. We are given clear direction as to not judging a certain way or at a certain time throughout the Bible, but the Bible never says that we are never to judge period. There are very clear instructions for the right way and the right time and the right things to judge.

AND...let me re-iterate...again...I am talking about 'Christians' here. People who say they are Christians, but are not living like it. I am not talking about trying to win over non-Christians through rebuke...evangelism is in a totally different category (please hear that once and for all). In fact, if you've read my blog at all for any length of time or really know me personally, you know that Christians getting all up in a roar about a non-Christian not acting like a Christian (hello...there's an obvious reason) irritates the fool out of me. People who say they are Christians and aren't living up to it though...that's another story.

Leaving judgment only for God at Judgment Day, is again, selfish. Why? This is such a Christianese example, but it's true...if you had the cure for cancer, would you not tell others? "No, I'll just let God do it in His timing"...is that what you'd think? I doubt it. Some of you might think that ludicrous...but, giving people a cure for cancer can, in fact, be likened to a rebuke and a 'judging' that is done the right way. Each has the potential to make that person's life so much better. A rebuke is not done with the motivation to condemn, but to save. And we are not the ones who just randomly pick and choose what needs correction, what is sin. No, our guide is the Bible of course. The Bible sets forth judgments clearly already. Sexual sin is wrong, gossip is wrong, not following the Bible is wrong...to not try to help someone out of that...is WRONG. It's not loving, it's not kind. It might be politically correct, but that is what, in fact, will literally condemn them in the end...to a fiery pit called hell (no she didn't just go all hellfire and brimstone!). It's the Truth. That's not to say that 'Christians' who mess up (because, once again, we all do sin) will go to hell. Obviously. But, the people who say they are Christians but yet continue to walk in sin that is so very blatantly against God...it is questionable whether they are truly a Christian, now isn't it? If you think that is an unfair 'judgment,' just read your Bible and you will see that that is so consistently pointed out in the Word, there is no way to argue it away.

What had me so riled up the other day when I posted the first part of this? Well, as I stated, it wasn't just one thing necessarily. There have been SO MANY things over the years (literally) that have added up. And, I must say also, that most people in most churches that I've been in (because, obviously we try to surround ourselves with people who follow the Word) do practice this way of living and bringing life to others. But, there is a 'people group' in particular that is just blinded to this way...and there is so much destruction and defeat and so many destroyed lives. And it just makes me sad...and mad...because it clearly doesn't have to be that way. If you follow God's Word, if the church follows the guidelines that God so lovingly gave us, then we will flourish and not live in such a sub-standard way.

The thing that just pushed me over the edge the other day was hearing of yet another couple who are friends of mine who are now getting a divorce (for those of you trying to figure out who I am talking about, you can't...unfortunately, over the last few months, I've gotten news of divorcing friends several times; and, lest I get overrun with comments of people saying that I'm wrong to single out divorce like this, I'm not trying to single out divorce at all...there are many things that our churches are 'sick' with...but this is just what I got news about the other day that spurred me to right that post; and I also know that sometimes divorce is seen as 'the only way' or one person does all he/she can to not divorce, etc....please...this post is not really about divorce, so let's stick to the topic in the comments please). Are individuals rallying around them in love? No doubt they are to a certain extent. But, are they going to the extent in their love that they say, "I love you, but you have got to know that this is wrong. I must love you enough to tell you the truth and to stand with you but stand against what you are doing. Please don't do this. Let's sit down together and really seek God on this and what you should do."

Now, sometimes when it has already reached the point of divorce, it is seen as too late...nothing is 'too late' when God is involved. BUT, that really is precisely my point. Where were they're really close friends before it got to this point (I would've been listed among those 'very close friends' at one point, but we have lived very far away from each other for years now, so I'm not in that grouping anymore...not that I can't still be used by God to speak into their lives, but it hasn't happened yet)? Where is their church family now that this point is here? I have no doubt that people love them, but our way of showing love within the church has become so skewed these days. This is a battle...we need to be coming together as in a literal battle around these people..saying to them and to the devil that we are not going to just stand idly by and let this happen without a fight (not against them, but against the devil). Think about a literal battle in a war...would we just sit back and let those people fight alone? What if they didn't ask for our help (the lame excuse of some of why they don't step in) in that battle? Would we still go fight with them so that their lives might be saved? What if they had some illness that was threatening their lives? Does the church go out of their way to stand with people in that life-threatening time, to offer any assistance and advice and wisdom that they have, to really wrestle in prayer in the battle for their lives? Yes. What about marriage...do we stand as firmly and strongly and non-apologetically and even as visibly in a battle for marriage? Why not?!?!?! Now, it might still happen that hey divorce of course because we cannot make people do anything, but we must start to do all that we can for others...in every area of life.

Have you seen all the books that Paul wrote to his friends and the churches that were under his care? He didn't hold anything back, did he? He loved the people under his care so passionately, that he didn't mince words, but made God's guidelines to them very clear. The Bible is written...we will not be writing any more books of the Bible, you and I. But, we can still be used by God to speak into people's lives just like Paul did. He was very harsh at times...in fact, some are offended by him still today. But, He was used by God, that's for sure. We must be willing to be used in the same way today.

I found this this morning. Basically, I want to leave you with this. I do not know this person, but what he so very succinctly stated, complete with a thorough list of scripture, is just what this post needs to wrap it up. As much as we can argue with what we perceive as opinions or prejudices, we can not argue with scripture (I guess you can, but you won't succeed in winning the argument).

Oh, and by the way, I have now changed my settings on the blog...no more anonymous comments. (To my last anonymous commenter, really? Is that all you got out of all the many things that were said in these posts? Wow.) So, from now on, if you want to post a comment, you must sacrifice the 5 seconds that it takes to set up an account to do so. You don't have to set up a blog or sell your soul or anything...just sign in and then you can comment. Really should have done this a long time ago...discourages 'irritators' from leaving random comments (it's happened alot, I'm not just referencing this time).

And now, in summary, this...

Judging is a subject which many Christians like to avoid. When pressed to defend one's position, though, there often seems to be a distinct division–those who think no one should judge anyone else for any reason, and those who tend to pass judgment on everyone for everything. So which position is right, according to God's Word? Neither.

The fact is that Christians are not only permitted to judge, but in certain scriptures they are instructed to do so. However, there are restrictions on what and how we are to judge.

Opponents of Christians judging are quick to point out the "do not judge, or you too will be judged" scripture (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37), yet they either stop short of or fail to understand the meaning of Matthew 7:2 which continues, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." So what does that mean?

Let's start with a good foundation for our understanding of judging. Our foundation is upon Jesus Christ. Jesus' purpose in coming into this world was for judgment (John 9:39). God the Father appointed Jesus as judge of the living and the dead (John 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5). It is important to note that Jesus' judgment is just and right (John 5:30; John 8:16; Acts 17:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 16:5, 7; Revelation 19:1-2). This is because Jesus doesn't judge arbitrarily; it is His Word which does the judging (John 12:47-48; Hebrews 4:12). God's Word further teaches that God doesn't judge by external appearance (Galatians 2:6) but that He judges each man's work impartially (1 Peter 1:17). And finally, we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 10:30; Jude 1:14-15). In summary, Jesus does the judging justly, impartially, and by His Word. And everyone, everyone will be judged by Jesus and the standard of His Word.

Now, let's return to the passage in Matthew 7:1-2. Since we know that we will be judged in the same way that we judge and with the same measure we use, and we also know that we will be judged and measured by God's Word, this passage means that we are permitted to judge by that which we find in God's Word. It is when we judge by other measures (opinions, wrong motives, erroneous information) that we end up in a lot of trouble. If we judge others with our opinions, with wrong motives, or by using erroneous information, then we can expect the same treatment from God. Boy, that should stop us in our tracks before judging, shouldn't it!?

However, we shouldn't be so fearful of judging wrongly that we fail to use common sense, decency, and a knowledge of God's Word to pass right judgment. This is what has happened to our country; we have been turning blind eyes to all of the sin around us for the sake of not judging so much that more and more souls are bound for hell everyday. Instead, we need to realize that God's Word does, indeed, give us guidelines for judging rightly against sin. Let's see what limits and qualifications God places on making a right judgment:

Use God's Word as the standard for judgment (John 12:47-48 and Hebrews 4:12 with Matthew 7:1-2).
Be sure you are not currently guilty of doing the same thing when you make the judgment (Romans 2:3; also see specific examples in Matthew 12:27; Luke 11:19; and Acts 23:3)
Do not judge by mere appearances (John 7:24)
Do not judge with discrimination (James 2:4)
Do not slander (James 4:11)
Do not pass judgment on disputable matters or those things on which the scriptures are not clear (Romans 14:1-4)
Judge with mercy (James 2:13)
Be willing to forgive (Luke 6:37)
In addition to the above guidelines, one of the most important things to remember is that we are only capable of judging the act. We are never to judge the intentions or motives of another person–to do so would be assuming the role that only Jesus can fill. In John 8:15, Jesus taught that we can only judge by human standards, and we could be wrong. Only Jesus can judge men's secrets (Romans 2:16). It is the Word of God which judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). When the Lord returns, "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts" (1 Corinthians 4:5). Therefore, we can see from these scriptures that only Jesus and His Word are qualified to judge intentions, motives, and attitudes. We are limited to judging the act itself.
We must realize that there are some things which can be judged now and some things which cannot be judged until later, for sometimes it takes time for certain sins to be revealed (1 Timothy 5:24).

Christians are specifically instructed to judge the actions of those within Christ's church (1 Corinthians 5:12-6:4). Not to do so results in much sin within the body of Christ. In fact, God's Word teaches, "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment" (1 Corinthians 2:15).

The Bible gives some specific examples of things we can judge, so long as we follow the guidelines and limitations previously discussed. They include murder (Matthew 5:21), careless words spoken (Matthew 12:36), rebellion against authority (Romans 13:2), sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:3; Hebrews 13:4), and grumbling against each other (James 5:9).

Thoughts about this post and what the Bible has to say about all of this? Please elaborate.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

TICKED Follow-Up

**If you have not read the post before this one, scroll down to get the Part 1.

Oh, the comments...on here, facebook, and through email...thanks...love them.

Basically, I'm going to copy and paste some of those comments and answer them here today, k? Let's go...

First of all, I received this from my friend LO earlier today:

Subject: PISSED

i like pissed better than ticked. don't try and church it up. :)

anyways - read your blog... couldn't comment on it because its like, 2 am and right now i can't recall my password for blogspot or google reader or whatever that thing is... but your rant (and I mean.. rant in the most loving ranting way) went along with something i've been pondering the passed few weeks, and that is this....

for centuries, the fundamental understanding of what the “church is” has been that everyone has a part to play, everybody has to give – no matter how big or how small or how simple, and when everyone is playing their part well, the church flourishes, and lives are changed. The problem is, over the last few decades… the consumer-istic bend of the western world has perverted this view, and now church doesn’t mean this at all. What has happened is that people are convinced that church is all about them. About “me”. And that church should have all the programs we want and it should be as easy as possible to do anything and everything while we’re there, and that it should be built around us having a pleasant experience. We’re taught that almost constantly. And that’s an unbiblical model of church, that would have a person being validated by our presence, rather than by our calling.. and teaches and trains us that the gospel is about us, and not about God reconciling all things to Himself. So when that environment is created, monsters are created. The, “church is about me” monsters. Them serving me, not me serving the body. And one of the monsters is the “Referee”. A referee doesn’t play in the game, doesn’t score any points, knows nothing of the joys of the win or the agony of defeat, they just run around blowing their whistles and pointing out everyone elses errors. People that are involved in nothing, but critical of everything…. That’s a referee. People can pour out their lives for the sake of the gospel, and referees will sit in the stands and judge how they do it. And unfortunately, we encounter so many referees, it's hard to recgonize legit whistle blowing when it comes.

I'm not at all making excuses, or justifying not being teachable, or accountable.... I agree with your rant... just saying... your rant, made me think about the monsters that warped churches can create. that's all. just need to get back to the basics. the gospel. God reconciling all things to Himself.


Totally agree (and love your little funnies and light-heartednes). And an email I received from Anna said this:

...while you don’t like to be “trimmed” you’ve learned that pruning is necessary to bear fruit. I think you’ve learned that the pain is worth the fruit... But so many people haven't learned that. The church is full of a father-less generation with massive insecurities. This has breed people that think if you “wound” them, that you don’t love them. Plus they have to come to a place of “I deserve this” and justification to accept your confrontation.

Basically, I think they both hit the nail on the head. Why do we have so many problems within the church? Because we've become a people who thinks it's 'all about me,' we are so very insecure, and we haven't learned the lesson that Jesus Himself (very loving Jesus...in a parable) taught in John 15.

I received this comment from my Aunt Ann (or, I'm pretty sure I gathered that this was my aunt; the comment only said Ann and I know several):

I have read through your post and do not really understand what has gotten you so angry...so angry that you defile the Bible by calling it freakin'. Jesus whole life was spent as a living example of Love...a love so great that he gave his life that ALL can be saved. Note that he did not exclude any group as long as they believe in him and turn to him so as to be with God in heaven. He does not exclude anyone...and even on the cross, he was an amazing example of how we should live and give. Jesus won over people not through rebuke but through pure consistent love and kindness to all of the worst people ...the people in the greatest need of his saving grace. He did not hang out with the religious crowd and look down on people, he got out there and by example and by parable, gently got the message across of Gods love and mercy and he showed everyone by example how we should be to ALL around us; When I first changed jobs, I could not believe what I was hearing in a Christian work place that has the motto "to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ" but rather than just saying what I thought about it, I strived very hard to set a very good example of appropriate language and behaviors and have prayed continually for the compassion and love for the poor and the wretched that Jesus had..and in the past 2 years, slowly but surely, the cursing has almost completely stopped, without me saying one negative word and we have had some very enlightening religious discussions too. I know this is an opposite perspective from yours, but many many times, your actions speak much louder than your words and can mean far far more to someone than a spoken word. May God bless you with the maturity of an old lady and the heart of a child and the wisdom you need to be the person you want to be. (now for my little bit of correction...no naked pictures of your kids on line please...for their sakes and to keep the perverted people from looking at them too.) I don't know what is eating you right now but I will say special prayers for you and your mission work.

There are several points I want to make here in this follow-up concerning this issue and this is a great comment to help me do that. So, I will just make a list here...

--First of all, the word 'freakin' to me is like using 'dadgum' (this may not translate for all you non-Southern people...ha ha ha). 'Dadgum' does not at all come close to defiling the Bible for me. Not sure if it's just the use of an adjective or if 'freakin' to some people is in another class for some reason than 'dadgum', but I'm very sorry for the offense. I will truly be more careful, but I did want to explain that in my mind, it is not a defilement, so I didn't purposefully defile the Bible.

--Jesus is a very powerful example of love for us. BUT, and I think this is a huge part of the problem, Jesus' love did not mean that he didn't rebuke. They can, and do, go hand in hand. Just because you rebuke doesn't mean you don't love. Quite the opposite actually. What did Jesus do in the temple when the vendors were there? He rebuked. What did Jesus do when Peter said something inappropriate? He rebuked ("get behind me Satan"...pretty harsh some would say). I think that by and large, when you are called to call someone out on their sin, it is mostly done with someone that you have a relationship with, but Jesus didn't know the woman at the well from Adam, but He didn't let that stop Him...he totally called her out on her wrong behavior.

Holly, I loved the point that you made in your comment. Lots of times we don't have the relationships with the people who need rebuking. Sometimes I think that means we don't rebuke, we just pray. Sometimes it stops there...we only pray...and sometimes God leads us to talk to that person even if we don't know them (look at all the prophet books in the Bible...no, I'm not saying you have to be a 'prophet'...just be willing to be used in this way by God). Sometimes, as Holly said, God will orchestrate it so that we are able to develop a relationship with that person and can then speak into their lives.

But, back to Jesus. I think that we've developed this (as my former pastor used to say) 'mamby-pamby' view of Jesus. YES, he was loving and sweet and kind and gentle. But, he was also very firm and strong and did not take any crap, to be frank. Yes, He humbled Himself and was put on a cross for you and me. But, before that (well, and after that too), He didn't back down about speaking the truth. Look at his relationship with the Pharisees and the Sadducees...wow...talk about a poop-stirrer (ha ha ha, that was for you Judy). Seriously, He spoke nothing but rebuke to those people.

Basically, He was the perfect balance. And...another part of the problem. When people hear or see the word 'rebuke' these days, they wall off automatically. Why do we always have to go to such extremes? Rebuke doesn't have to signify being mean or hateful or excluding. But people see it as such, so they then go to the other extreme of never saying or doing anything.

--I, too, have experienced the power of being a silent witness...everywhere I've worked in the 'secular' world (as in, not a church job, etc.). I worked my first job, at Good Shepherd in Longview, for 3 1/2 years. Slowly, over the course of those short years, the atmosphere changed. Not only because I was there of course, but people would come up to the floor, transferring patients to me, and say that they'd heard about me...and in a good way. :) What?!? It would always throw me off guard, but it was always so very cool. People constantly asking me questions about God and the Bible and such...even when they didn't know anything about me. It was made evident to me then, in that season more than ever before, that when you are rooted in Jesus, you just kind of 'throw off' Jesus everywhere you go. It's the spilling effect...when you have a full glass of water, sometimes you don't mean to spill, but you inevitably do. It was never deliberate, but it happened. I was the one who was always assigned the 'special' cases, even by non-Christian charge nurses. I was supposed to get an LOA (sometimes when a hospital floor doesn't have many patients, one of the nurses scheduled for that night is called and told not to come in to work) one time specifically that I remember (it was my turn for an LOA), but was told when I got to work that night that they couldn't LOA me...that I had to be there to take care of this one patient in particular (they didn't speak in Christianese, but what they meant was that this patient needed to be ministered to and I was the only one to do it). The whole atmosphere of the whole floor changed over the course of those years...and then just kept going after I left too. When I came back to visit about a year after we moved to Phoenix, the nursing director of the floor pulled me to the side and thanked me for the influence I had had while I was there. She told me that they were now even having a Bible study every day before shift changes. Isn't that cool? Of course, it wasn't all because of me...I'm not saying that. But, it's just cool to see the part you can play.

The same thing happened when I went to work in Phoenix...NOT in the Bible belt any longer and it was so obvious! ;) One day not long after I started to work, I was standing at my med. cart when the nursing administrator came up to me. She asked the example 'goal' question that you hear in sermons all the time, word for word, "Michawn, what's different about you?" Ha ha ha...I almost started laughing at the Christianese that she had just spoken and didn't even know it...there amongst all her F words. :) "Um, I don't know...I'm just passing out meds." Ha ha ha. It was awesome...and amazing what transpired in that place while I was there. That whole spilling effect again...I had said not one word. It's also that principle of favor...when you are where you are supposed to be in God, He will give you favor, with Him and with men.

All of that to say that words are definitely not always needed (so, Aunt Ann, that's not an 'opposite perspective' from mine). But, that wasn't what the post was about. So, it's kind of in a different category.

I wrote only about rebuke in the post because that is what we are most ignorant to. It did happen in the Bible. Jesus did do it Himself...and we know that God did it countless times in the Old Testament and instructed others to do the same. We also know that He instructed us to do it. Are we not supposed to follow the Bible still today?

--And now for the rebuke. This will be a great example of how to really handle a rebuke (and not just a play one...ha ha ha, Sherry, that was awesome). For all of you reading this, a while back Aunt Ann emailed me and very lovingly expressed her concern about 'naked pictures' of the kids on the blog. I very lovingly emailed her back, keeping it lighthearted and friendly, expressing my reasoning and beliefs. So, this is just a follow-up I guess. My explanation goes like this...I have thought about this alot and there are many really cute pictures that I don't put up on the blog that I'd actually really like to, just because they are SO VERY cute. But, also because they are your typical shots of your kids that everyone takes...naked in the tub, when they've unexpectedly stripped down in the yard, etc. For so many of you, your friends and family are right there, so they get to see that kind of stuff in person, or at least see the pictures that you take. That is not the case for me...although, that's not the only reason I have put them up on the blog before...just one of the reasons. But, believe me, I haven't put the very few that I have (I can think of 2, maybe 3 max, that I've put on this blog in the 4 years I've had this blog) on here without thought...and have actually refused to put many more on here. I've followed the example of others that have blogs...studying what they've done. Some have put more than I would...even frontal shots of their kiddos playing in the tub. I came to the conclusion that I would drastically limit (again, 2 or 3 tops that I can even think of) the number of cute baby/kid hiney shots (and nothing more than hiney) and that would be sufficient for me. So, as I explained in my email, I promise that I have thought this through...and am constantly in a state of thinking this, and other things like this, through...all the ways in which I can protect my kids in all areas of life. We might think very differently on the matter. But, I so appreciate your concern and also you having the courage to talk to me personally about it instead of expressing your concern to others behind my back (which so often is the case with people).

This is the same tone I used when Aunt Ann and I discussed this before. This is what being teachable is. It doesn't mean that you are always going to reach the same conclusion in the end, but it does mean that you don't fly off the handle to someone who is giving you correction or get all defensive and shut down. Even if the person giving you correction doesn't do it lovingly (which I must believe that Aunt Ann's tone was loving even though it's always hard to read tone and intent in written form...you always just have to give people the benefit of the doubt and think positively), you are still called to respond with a teachable spirit. Even when people deliver it in a really nasty way, you are still called to be teachable...and God can still use the jist of what they are saying to bring about change for your good. Sometimes you are already aware of what the rebuker is trying to bring to your attention and have already thought it through...sometimes you haven't even thought about it. Sometimes it is a completely foreign concept to you. But, whatever the rebuker is saying to you, your job is to really take it in, pray about it, let Jesus talk to you with His words on the matter, and then follow through.

It's never easy to be rebuked. It's not pleasant at the time, but the more and more we practice being teachable, the easier it gets. And the more and more we see the fruit that it brings, the more we are EAGER for people to speak into our lives, even when it involves a rebuke.

Wendy touched on something that I've had to deal with also. In one part of her comment she said, "I agree with what you said Michawn but how do I talk to her in love. I have no back up to reinforce this to her." This is what makes it so hard to do the things we are called (by God, in His Word) to do. This is why it gets me so 'ticked!' If people, family members, church family members, would do what they are called to do, one single solitary person wouldn't have to be the Lone Ranger in all this. But, having said that, I feel that no matter how alone we are, we have to do the right thing. Isn't that what we tell our children? No matter what others are doing, you make the right choices, you do the things that God wants. It's really so simple, even though it is not at all easy.

I don't recall anyone standing up to the Pharisees and Sadducees but Jesus. He matter-of-factly just spoke the truth. Sometimes we have to pull out the syrup (as in lots of sweetness for those of you who don't get that)...it depends on who we are dealing with and what they are going through. Sometimes, we need to just be more matter-of-fact. Although, come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing Jesus pull out the syrup. Do you think that he went up to the woman at the well and gently stroked her arm and looked deep into her eyes and spoke in a slow, low, apologetic tone while calling her out on her sin? Sounds like he just said it point blank to me...but we weren't there. I don't know...sometimes I think we've become too psychologized today...too 'feelings' oriented. Sometimes some good, point blank truth is just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes people won't hear it any other way. Sometimes the opposite is true. It's always God's call, in each situation...and it's your job to listen to His voice.

So, Wendy, I don't have a specific answer to your 'HELP'...but, you have His voice. Just be strong and be brave and do what He asks you to do, in the exact way He leads you to do it. I'm so sorry that you don't have a support system in this.

This is already very long and I actually have much more to say. But, I will say it another day. Many of you have asked what in the world got me so riled up. Well, I'll save that answer for next time. But, until then, comment away on this post. I do want to continue to hear your thoughts and questions on the matter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I actually typed the other word and actually prefer the other word, but thought it might be too offensive to some. Just know that that word is the more appropriate for this topic though. I'm a little...oh, irritated to say the least.

You know how sometimes you just get so mad about something that you can NOT stay silent? My time has come. It's been building for literally years and I just can NOT not write about it here. It's time.

Sidenote: LKJ, I want you to know that this was not at all sparked by our conversation a while back. I totally know your point of view and respect that and please just know that this is not an attack on you and/or your viewpoint. And, in fact, in some ways this is totally a different subject anyway. But, I just wanted to make it clear...not at all directed toward you. I have no interest in re-hashing our discussion. Believe me. I speak truth. We friends! ;)

Sidenote #2: This post has nothing to do with my horrible day yesterday (Facebook status updates)...I will explain that at another time.

Now...on with the post...

Over the years I've seen many a person screw up (including me of course). Everyone does that, right? O.K. Now that that's established. This is not some self-righteous rant. Although, it will be taken as such I'm quite sure, by those who are so very touchy (part of the problem of our day). Here goes...

What the heck happened to accountability? What happened to people FREAKIN' CARING ENOUGH to call someone out on their behavior and do something about it?!?!?!?!? People are so very NON-teachable these days...they get so freakin' defensive. It's basically impossible to do that with anyone...call them out on their behavior. Not that it still shouldn't be or can't be done, but more than likely that person will get so 'offended' that the relationship will be broken or at the very least, damaged. Uggghhhh!! AND...it matters not how loving and patient and sweet and merciful you are when you present this loving rebuke (and a rebuke can be loving), the rebukee is still offended and defensive. What the heck?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Let me be quite upfront. Of course I am talking to Christians here in this post. In my own experience, non-Christians have FAR less of a problem with this anyway. Yeah...way to go Christians...way to be salt and light and set apart and examples to the world! Good job!! (insert a roll of the eyes)

Let me again also re-iterate that no, as some of you may be thinking (in your very defensive state), I know I am not perfect. I am not without sin. Come on...not what this is about. Again...not at all trying to be self-righteous.

BUT...I've seen it happen over and over. People doing the wrong things...and continuing to do the wrong things...either because nobody had the anatomy enough to bring it to their attention, or because they refused to listen to whoever may have actually tried.

And because they continue to make these same wrong decisions and because NOBODY calls them out on it, their lives are destroyed. Not only their lives, but the lives of all the people that their wrong choices have affected (because it NEVER happens that only the one person is affected!!) are also severely altered...and not in a good way!

I'm SOOOO sick of this! See it all the time. And I'm ticked. And I have no doubt that Jesus is 'turning over some tables' about this too!!

Here's the thing, people...are we not a family? Don't family members care enough about each other to speak up and say something whenever they see destructive behavior?

Or, is that the problem? We as families are so very dysfunctional now, we don't talk to each other. We're 'afraid' of each other. Even if we do see something that is not right, we are too scared of conflict or, God forbid, 'hurting' them (hello...what about that stinkin' destructive behavior they are involved in?!?...that's not going to hurt them?!?) to say anything to them. People, let me just say that that is COMPLETELY SELFISH!!!! Do you hear me?!? You are only thinking about yourself...you don't want the discomfort of possibly causing momentary conflict. You are fine with talking about it with others and grumbling and complaining about their behavior to others, but no...you can't risk actually talking to the person yourself.

And so it goes...we've become so isolated in our own families...and nobody can say anything to anybody because, well, 'who are you to say this...you aren't perfect either.' Hmmm...ok. Not really the point, but whatever. And if one single solitary person does have the gumption to actually lovingly try to steer their loved one in a better direction, even if others agree with that single solitary person, they don't lend any support. And therefore, the single solitary person's views, however beneficial for the loved one, is seen as not valid. Others may have the same views, but don't speak up. And so...the loved one continues on the path of destruction. And everyone around them is unfortunately drug along with them.

Here's the thing...CHRISTIANS, WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure which happened first...did the church become so dysfunctional because the families became that way or did the families become dysfunctional because the church was that way? But, the truth is that we really can't waste time in pondering that and blaming one or the other. We just need to fix it!

Families...loved ones...really start to care for each other more than you care for your reputation or your comfort, and don't just leave your special ones to destroy themselves.

Pastors, youth pastors, church leaders...start to study healthy confrontation and what the Bible says that you as a church family are supposed to do concerning TAKING CARE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. I KNOW what the Bible says and it does NOT say that we are supposed to just let them make their own desicions and their own mistakes..."it's none of our business." NOT what the Word says...not what Jesus wants.

Oh thank God (!!!!) I have some awesome friends who care enough about me to call me out on my junk...and call me out they do! Thank. God. Oh how grateful I am to have some friends of iron to sharpen my iron. I LOVE being accountable and not walking alone. That means I have to make sure that I am in a constant state of being teachable, but let me tell you...it's so much easier and better than walking alone.

God has a very specific design for relationships (ANY relationships, whether it be biological family members or our church family members). It does not involve 'leaving each other alone.' Huge problem.

What if we actually cared about each other?

AND...what if we were actually taught to see others' rebuking words as kind and loving? What if, dare I say it, we were humble and teachable? What if we followed words like "He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding" (Prov. 15:32) or "A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise" (Prov. 15:12) or "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction" (Prov. 12:1) or "If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding" (Prov. 15:32).

This 'judge not, lest you be judged' thing is SOOOO blown out of proportion. But, that is the motto of the day. There's so much more to the Bible than Matthew 7:1-5. And...even there it says that first you need to deal with the log in your own eye, but then, yes...by all means, help get the speck out of your friend's eye, for the love of God (literally)!

The church today needs a major overhaul...MAJOR. Many would say there are many things that need to be fixed, but this must be ranked up in the top of the list...otherwise we will never be functional (only dysfunctional...and how does that help win others over?...no, not that we are perfect, but we should at least be a little different, for heaven's sake!...we are being not at ALL different...which is not exactly what God called us to). Without truly loving each other, we will continue in our destructive ways. "Leaving people alone" in their sin is not loving. It is not kind. It is as if you hate that person...esp. if you add on to that talking about that person to other people about the things that he/she should be doing instead of going to that person personally. Hate I tell you.

We need a major revision. We MUST learn Matthew 18. If we'd only learn the very first part of this (going to the person one-on-one), so much reform in our churches would happen. But, as I said before, so many times the one-on-one approach doesn't work. The wrongful loved one is not convinced of wrongdoing by just one person's voice in the matter. The 2nd step is needed. Oftentimes this does it. If not, church discipline (which is basically non-existent at this point in time).

Oh people, study your freakin' Bible. This living like the world crap has got to go!

If this was too straightforward for you coming from me, just pretend like I'm a really old lady or you can pretend like I'm someone who has recently lost a child. Unfortunately, these two categories of people are among the very few who have some kind of 'entitlement' to speak the truth. Sad.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time For a Big Ole Update!!


Let's get right to it...

Grady (age 5 1/2) - Grady is basically reading now. It's so fun. We are only on Lesson 75 of his "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" book, but he's reading. He is so very sensitive to our leading...always wanting to do the right thing. LOVE that boy. I'm going to LOVE seeing the big things God does with him. About a month ago, we moved Grady to his own room. He LOVES having his own space...loves it. He helps me so much these days and is just generally so grown up. He does everything on his own now...showering, brushing his teeth, dressing, putting his clothes away. He takes care of his sisters so well and is always on the lookout for them...their 'moral compass' sometimes, if you will. ;) He's so sweet and gentle and thoughtful. He reminds me a lot of his Daddy...SUCH a great thing!

Hadley (age 4 1/2) - Hadley is my girl. She's not obnoxiously girly, but she's girly. She loves to get dressed (skirts only please) and do her hair (although she rarely wants anything but a hairband these days...likes to keep her hair down; Eissa only ever lets me do pigtails). She still has more self-confidence in her pinky toe than some people have in their whole bodies. Been that way since birth. But, she is also very sweet and loving and gracious too. She loves to take care of her little sisters...they play sometimes like she's the mama and she does everything for them. The little sisters love that game...they just lay there while "Mama" does all the work. :) She started ballet class back at the end of May. A couple of classes ago (she goes twice a week), her teachers asked if she could move to a more advanced class, so we will start that. She really is very good at that...so graceful and picks things up very quickly. She always seems to be doing a ballet pose wherever she is...sitting at home on the couch (toes pointed), at the table eating, wherever...and she was like that even before ballet class. Ha ha ha. She is such a performer anyway...does not at all mind having the spotlight on her (prefers it actually...ha). :) So, ballet is good. As feisty as this little shrimp of a girl can be, she is also very loving and sweet...although it's been much more of a learned behavior than with her brother. ;) Funny. Love her spunk!

Eissa (age almost 3...next month) - We are still in the thick of the 'breaking-that-strong-will' stage that most 18 month-3 year olds pass through (well, some don't pass through it, but passing happens in this house). It's getting better though. Quick obedience is shining through...quick obedience with a happy heart. Eissa has the best facial expressions in the world...it is so fun to watch her talking to us. I love having conversations with her. She also goes to dance class and will be transferring to the more advanced class with her big sister. She is so very snuggly and loves to cuddle. She is our 3rd, but our 1st with such great baby fat. Grady was always stocky, Hadley was just a skinny little thing, but Eissa is so super squishy...love it! She has done GREAT using the big girl potty. She only had a few accidents that first week (about 3 weeks ago)...averaging about 1 a day. After that first week, she's only had a couple of accidents...and those two were when she was outside and just couldn't tear herself away from play long enough to potty (so predictable). She's even had a few dry naps and nights. Nice. Grady and Hadley are still super tight, but Eissa is now officially a part of the group. No more 'tag-along' status. She loves to help out with Cass and try to 'show her the ropes.' She's so very sweet and so much fun. She is more like Grady and those sensitive ways. Oh how we love our little squishy Eissa Rose!

Cass (age 18 months on the 25th) - She's always been the perfect baby. Now she's the perfect toddler. She is definitely opinionated, which is so very funny. But, she still just goes with the flow and so far is very obedient too. She is saying so many things these days...'shoes on,' 'door,' all of our names, 'eat,' 'more,' and so much more. She even, when looking for something (usually either her shoes or her blanket), she will say 'where are you?' (sounds like 'whe ah ooh'), just like we do when we are trying to find something. ;) She loves her older brother and sisters, but when Eissa gets a little too helpful sometimes, she will not stand for it. She's even been known to bite a time or two (yep, she has definite opinions now). She has almost all her teeth. She has definitely filled out more (I will get a weight for you soon), but she's still a tiny little thing. Her big deep blue eyes (my Granny calls them big blue marbles) just seem to look right through you sometimes. And she thinks she is just as big as everyone else in this household. She insists on sitting with the big kids when eating sometimes and just throws her head back in laughter when everyone else is (even when she has no idea what is so funny). She is a blanket girl. All of our kids have a special blanket, but they aren't attached to them (for instance, if they are in the wash for a few days, no huge deal). Cass, though, just has a special type of blanket that she prefers so far...and thankfully we have many of that type. She drags one around with her at all times (think Linus) and still sucks her left thumb too (left only please). She is a very, very cuddly girl. She still seems to be more like Hadley in temperament, but only time will tell. She is quite the little mover and shaker...if there is music on, she's shakin' what God gave her, that's for sure. And she loves to be 'tickled'...she'll come over to us, rub on her belly saying 'ticka ticka ticka,' and then grab our hand for us to do it. Fun. P.S. She also really loves it when there is a chocolate square in her afternoon snack bowl. ;)

As for their parents, we are doing well. Joel continues to thoroughly enjoy his role as maintenance coordinator there at the Asas de Socorro flight school. He makes sure that the students are getting all the practical training that they need in the area of maintenance and feels like he's really found his niche...for now anyway. He also takes up the slack here at our house...he helps me so much here at 'my job' (so nice in a husband)! I continue to do the wifely things such as keeping house, doing laundry, cooking, and watching after the kiddos. Grady and Hadley are wrapping up their first year of homeschool in the next few weeks (we use the Brazilian school schedule...starting in February and ending in November, with the months of July, December, and January off). We have thoroughly enjoyed it...I love, love, love teaching my kids. I love the time I get to spend with them every single day. So very content in that. I'm still going to Portuguese classes once a week. My teacher no longer does anything super structured with me...mainly we just talk and I ask her any questions that I might have. Sometimes I read to her aloud and we talk about my comprehension. She is also really interested in learning English, so sometimes she even asks me questions now too. ;) Fun. We are very good friends and I love spending time with her every week. It's a real God set-up I think, so that's exciting.

We just recently bought tickets to return to the states in November for our furlough (a missionary word for the time that we go home and visit friends, family, and supporters and also try to squeeze in a little vacation time and usually also some extra training of some sort), so it's official. We will be in the United States Nov. 24th - July 20th. We have so much traveling to do, but we hope to also get in some down time with family and friends as well. Saline, Louisiana (my hometown) will be our home base, but we will also be passing through Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, and the Boston area. Joel will also have a training in March in North Carolina. It looks like we might have to drive to all of those places (airline tickets can add up), so if you are 'on the way,' maybe we'll be able to stop off and see you too. We don't have any dates set in stone concerning our traveling while within the states, but we'll keep you posted. We are super excited to be returning and seeing some of you!! Can't wait.

I think that about does it for your big ole update on the Ebersole crew. Keep in touch...we love to hear from you!! Don't forget about us way down here! ;)

Love you guys!

And, lots of pictures for you...finally. All of these were taken this month...lots of them taken only today. Enjoy!!

All ready for dance class one day.

Hadley had applied some subtle eye make-up that day. ;)
A couple of the kids' friends (also neighbors of ours) came over to play one day. The little girl (a few years older than our girls) basically played like the girls were her dolls...they changed clothes about 50 times. ;) It was cute.
The girls (+friend) in the treehouse. Cass was performing a little one-man show. ;)
Cass had them cracking up.
Grady playing with his friend, Samuel (Rebecca's brother).

I love the look over that Eissa throws the kids...checking to see what they are doing. ;) Sweet.
They were taking their babies on a walk outside. Don't worry about Grady...they had just finished playing dinosaurs...he's well balanced. But he'll be an excellent Daddy, that's for sure...lots of practice already. ;)
Snack time. And Cass saying "cheese!" Happens every time.
A little fun with some water balloons.
So squishy!
And again with the glance over.

Cass, convinced she's half-grown.
Grady's snowman.
In the mornings sometimes, the kids watch a little Portuguese TV (morning cartoons). I looked over and saw this...Grady's arm.
Grady helped Cass out of the treehouse. When I said something about how I didn't know he was going to bring her all the way in the house, he said, "Well, she was just holding me so tight, hugging me...she didn't want me to put her down."

Cass is very well taken care of.
Eissa's turn.
Oh dear...she's taken over the comedy relief role of the family. Don't worry though...after (and only after) we got a picture, we taught her not to do this. ;)
I heard Hadley say to Eissa, "Wanna touch your eyeball?" And she then commenced to showing her how. I wasn't able to grab the camera fast enough, but Eissa was giving it a valiant effort...not sure if she succeeded or not. Never a dull moment.
Afternoon snack on the driveway.

I love this shot. She was pointing, showing Eissa something and 'talking' about it. Funny.
And then again, pointing to something and 'talking' (jabbering) in a full sentence to her sister. Too cute.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It Will Revolutionize Your Life

Those are the words that came out of my friend's mouth (I joked with her that I would link to her blog, but I will spare her on this topic...this time :) ). She was talking about something called a Diva Cup...and she was right.

Now, if you are a man who is just downright opposed to hearing about girly issues, then stop right here. Click away to your Bass Pro Shop or ESPN site. BUT, if you are a man who has a wife (or plan to in the future) or a mother or a sister, or you just generally thrive on knowledge of all types, you should read this. It is super interesting and I want you to read this...if you will. Read it and share your knowledge. I do share personal stories though. You know by now that I don't mind you hearing them (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't put them on the world wide web...and they aren't that personal). But, if you prefer to skip down to the bottom of this post, you can just read the jist of this post there, in the last paragraph...and follow the links to learn more.

For those of you still with me, remember, I am a nurse...think of this as a friendly, in-home nurse-patient inservice/teaching seminar, shall we?

We will be discussing menstruation today class.

And specifically a product used in the days of the month when unfertilized eggs are dispelled.

Let's begin.

Back in January 2008 or so when I was researching cloth diapers, I saw this product and/or others like it. Of course, when I saw things like Mama Cloth and LunaPads, I didn't linger. Those are super (and I've had friends who even made their own) if you like pads. I despise them though and generally avoid them like the plague.

Again, I saw products like the Diva Cup that my friend was talking about, but I just wasn't there at the time. I had had one visit from Aunt Flo in 2004 after I had Grady, then one in 2005 after I had Hadley, and then nothing between Eissa and Cass. I was pregnant with Cass at the time of my cloth diaper research, so I was sitting happily in my non-period, pregnant self bliss. Just wasn't on my radar at the time.

Well, Aunt Flo came back for a visit when Cass was only 3 months old, to my horror. What in the world? Not time for her yet! And, also to my horror, the tampon options here in Brazil are incredibly (and unbelievably) basically null and void.
Culturally, in general Brazilians feel very strongly that girls don't even consider wearing tampons (or any internal feminine products) until after they are married. Interesting to me on many different levels and for several different reasons, but I won't get into that now. After they are finally permitted to wear tampons, it seems as if most are so accustomed to pads (and tampons have just been so taboo) that they prefer the pads. They have ob's here...like 3 boxes obscurely on a shelf anytime you go to the supermarket, amongst the whole section of pads. Occasionally (rarely) you might find a box or 2 of Tampax. But, that's it. And no plastic applicators to be found anywhere.

Thank God for girl visitors from the states (with their plastic applicators in tow) when Aunt Flo showed back up after Cass. And then they were very generous when they left to go home to the land of plastic applicators...they left theirs here for me. ;) Smooches for that, girls!

And then there was the trip to the airport in the states to depart for Brazil back in February. We stopped by Wal-Mart for one more last shopping spree...some special things we wanted to get that we can't get here. My items? 6 big boxes of precious Playtex plastic applicator tampons. :) It was quite the sight I'm sure when we were in the ticket line at the airport and I was opening all 6 said boxes and dispersing and shoving the individual tampons into our 11 large suitcases. Ha.


I was set for a while. But then my friend here in Brazil (a fellow American missionary), over pizza at the food court in the mall, said, "It will revolutionize your life." She started explaining it, her husband suddenly decided he'd go find my husband in the arcade with the kids, and I was all ears.

She sold me on it. And then since, I sold another lady here on it and we are both Diva Cup owners now. :) Ahh, I love networking.

I won't describe it to you, but just imagine never having to spend money on feminine products again. Husbands, imagine never having to spend your money OR stand in line with a box of tampons or pads stuck under your arm. Imagine no leaks, no toxic shock syndrome concern, no need to pack 'essentials' in your purse. I'm telling you, your life will be changed. Here is a link that explains all you'd ever want to know about the glorious Diva Cup so you can see more yourself (they even have videos...wha?!?). But, buy from this site when you decide you want to take the plunge...this company is near and dear to my heart. And, when you buy, you won't regret it. Because truly...it will revolutionize your life.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

How Much Do I Love This?!?

Oh how my little boy has my heart!

I know that I just did a post on Grady, but I needed to record this. ;) You know, for when he's grown and gone and married and all. Although, he just recently reached the conclusion that he won't be going anywhere or marrying anyone and wants to reside with me all of his days. I know that almost all little boys say this at some point or another to their mothers, but I feel quite sure that Grady really means it and won't go back on his word. ;) Right?!? Right.

Although, he did confide in me last night that there was a certain little girl in the airport way back in December (!!) when we were going to the United States that caught his eye. "She was byoo-tee-ful." O.K., then. Yes, she must've made quite the impression. He even told me what she was wearing. He always pays attention to the details. But, he is so very respectful and was just very matter-of-fact about it of course...he's not a drooler, that one. Just stated that she was a beautiful little girl with her 'mother and father', that's all. And don't worry folks...he's still constantly praying about his wife.

But, like I said...there probably won't be any need for that now since he's just going to be my constant companion from now on. ;)


After he was done with lunch today, he went to his room and was very quiet. Eissa even said at one point, "Where is Grady?" Ha ha ha.

A few minutes later he came out with this drawing. We are now on Lesson 67 of 100 in the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" book. I think he is doing quite well. This was the first time he ever sounded things out to write them out...and all on his own too.

LOVE this. And love that boy!

By the way, he continues to talk about the fruit of the Spirit...things like how sometimes we have too much fruit and we just need to give some away (oh what a practical evangelism lesson) and how we need to ask God to show us where the fruit is so we can eat more and more (seeking God). I have yet to inform him that it isn't real fruit like we eat physically as in apples and oranges. I think he's getting lots of practical lessons out of it...and so are his parents. :) But, I plan to do a Fruit of the Spirit study with him soon. I'm researching online...anyone have any suggestions for free online unit studies or sites I can use? Fun, fun stuff!!

Alright, better run. I have a cute little boy to do reading lessons with.