Science brings laughs

Oh my goodness. Mack is such a boy. We are reading all about the digestive system in science. So there’s lots of talk about where the food starts and where it ends up. He laughs at the word sphincter and anus and rectum. I mean, we can hardly make it through a paragraph without his endless joking.

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This morning we were discussing how food is recognized and broken down, and I said something like, “Our bodies can recognize real food with ease and break it down without too much extra effort. You know, like eggs or fruit or vegetables. Real food. But then we eat junk food, like ice cream or candy and our bodies are like, ‘Wait a minute, what is this?’ and it has to work harder to figure out how to break it down. While it is over there trying to figure that out, germs may enter our body and because our body is busy trying to figure out what kind of junk we have put in our body, the germ doesn’t get fought off like it should and then we get sick.” {I know that isn’t perfectly said in a scientific way, but I was just trying to get the point across.}

Instead of realizing that eating real foods that are recognized by your body is best, Mack says, jokingly, “OHH, so we should eat the ice cream and junk we love a little more often so it won’t be a stranger to our body.  Then, our body will know how to break it down because it recognizes it.”

Um, no.  Good try.

Our whole year of Science is about the body and all the amazing things it does and all the amazing ways it changes throughout puberty. So y’all pray for me. I am gonna need it for teaching this stuff to Mack!

He found a caterpillar outside and was totally distracted by it while I was trying to read our History book to them. Instead of telling him to put away the caterpillar and leave it alone, I let him bring it inside and try to watch it and see what happens over time. However, after an hour or so Mack told me that “Taking care of this caterpillar is too much work. And I keep thinking I am gonna kill it if I don’t feed it or let it drink and breathe. I’m just gonna let it go.” I guess the nurturing characteristic has some room to grow.

He also told me that the book they are reading (Sweet and Sour) is “just ok.” They are short fables and parables and jokes from Eastern Asia. He said, “I think it is the kind of book you can enjoy better if you have cookies and lemonade while you’re reading it.”

Ok, I will see what I can do about that!

Second Week of School, you’ve been pretty good to us. I think we might make it through the year, though it’s probably way too early to say for sure.

 

41, like me

Josh turned 41 today! He is so easy to celebrate! So loving and kind and giving. A hard worker, a strong spiritual leader for our family, and my absolute favorite person on the planet.

HAPPY 41ST BIRTHDAY, JOSHUA LEE!

Circle=Power

So, last night I held the power. And it was awesome.

I was downloading the Circle Disney app and setting up each family member’s profile and trying to decipher which device went with which person.

After that, I selected what is allowed and what is not allowed as far as where the girls can go on the internet.  I could even limit their time on certain sites. THEN, I was able to choose a wake-up time and a bedtime for the devices. Awesome! You can totally put these devices to bed. Amazing. I chose 7 am wake-up and 9pm bedtime. I mean, 9:00 seems plenty late enough to put the devices to sleep, so I clicked “Done” and sat back in the chair, happy that I had a little bit of control as far as how long the kids can watch brainless youtube videos or how long they can listen to music at night.

I didn’t realize it was 8:56pm when I finished setting up this circle app business. So four minutes later, whaddayaknow?

Molly: “MOM, my laptop just shut off.”

Enter Ruby.

Ruby: “MOM, why did my music stop? I don’t understand.”

So there we were all in the living room, happy as can be.

Oh wait, that was me sitting in the living room happy as can be. They were in the living room as unhappy as can be.  I was totally loving having all the power. And the power isn’t available only when the device goes to sleep. I can press “pause” on any device activity at any time. The power!  I’ve got it with the Circle App.

So today we went to church, ate lunch at JJ’s Redhots and came home, where the girls found their devices to listen to music or watch those brainless youtube videos. I’ve set the time limit to an hour, so pretty soon I imagine I will see them gather in the living room to figure out what in the world I have done now to mess up their life! ha! I don’t feel bad at all about any of this. I find it thrilling, actually.

So parents, if you want to feel like you have a tiny bit of control as it relates to these devices that we all love to hate, then check out Circle! So far, I am impressed! Power to the Parents!!!!!!

TWO Years in Charlotte!

Two years ago we drove into this town, closed on a home and moved in. We knew pretty much no one. We would need to find new doctors and dentists, new grocery stores, new church, new friends, new pretty-much-everything.

And I am so glad we obeyed the Lord. He opened this door totally on His own initiative. He gave us confirming “words” all along the way as we walked through each open door. We rehearsed the “words” we had received and the faithfulness of the The Lord when the days were really hard and quite lonely in this new place.

I was reading in Jeremiah about when he was imprisoned, and he received a word from the Lord. In Chapter 32, verse 8 Jeremiah {after what God said would happen was followed up with an opportunity that matched the word from God}, said,“THEN I knew that this was the word of the Lord.” Evidently, Jeremiah believed he had a word from God but wasn’t sure what to do with the impression from God UNTIL the actual opportunity came to him to buy the land.

I remember in Decemberish of 2015 I had an impression that I sensed was from The Lord. I wrote about it in my journal, and I shared it with Josh. It was a picture in my mind of The Lord scooping me up and turning to walk away with me in His arms. I contemplated what exactly it might mean. I talked through it with Josh– ”maybe God is prompting me to withdraw more with Him and away from the distractions of the world…maybe no more social media, quit blogging? I don’t know, but it means something.”

About a month or two later is when we met a couple that we were going to Africa with in conjunction with our Pastor at the time. I just “happened” to attend the meeting because #1- it was our anniversary, #2- Josh’s dad had come to town with one of the men who would also be in the meeting, therefore he could stay with the kids in my absence, #3-our Pastor’s wife was unable to be at the meeting and I thought it would be nice to be there so that the wife of the couple we were meeting wouldn’t have to be the only lady. I didn’t know who this couple was beforehand, but I was happy to meet them and to hear their story. I remember standing in the hallway waiting for them when someone who knew of our meeting said to me, “So you have a pretty important meeting this afternoon, I hear!” I smiled and said, “Yes, we do,” though I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about. He probably didn’t realize how important this meeting was actually going to turn out to be for The Dorminy Family.

Long story short, the couple we met that day is now who Josh works for. The five years Josh tried to balance a full-time commercial real estate broker job and a full-time Executive Director of a ministry job ended up being a huge positive to who Josh works for now. He highly values business knowledge and experience and highly values ministry knowledge and experience. Josh was in the middle of both, only because of God directing his steps and opening up doors of opportunity that no man could close.

So back to that impression of God scooping me up and walking away. At the time when we were praying about the opportunity to move to Charlotte, away from all we knew in Georgia, we received specific verses and confirmations from the Lord. And one day it dawned on me– THAT IMPRESSION of the Lord scooping me up! This is what it meant. He was taking me away from all I knew, wanted me to start over.

But over the course of many months, that impression came to mean much more. The Lord provided this opportunity for our whole family, for sure. I could see clearly the advantages for Josh, even though he was being stretched in his new job. I could see the kids learning so much about making new friends, trusting God, and working through frustrations. They now say they love that we moved!! Let me just tell you, that is NOT what they were saying when we told them we would be moving away from Woodstock! But for me I had a harder time seeing the good. I trusted God would bring it full circle for me, I really did. But the day to day junk was challenging. I won’t bore you with all that went wrong in the house we were living in. It was a lot! But all throughout the adjusting to everything new, the Lord has been so personal, so faithful, so patient with me. That impression was not just a way to show me we were moving away from all we knew and loved. It was a call to flesh out the truth that JESUS IS ENOUGH. He really, really, really is.

And so today, on our two year anniversary, a few things happened that made me vividly recall the early days of living here and all the challenges we faced. #1) The washer flooded the upstairs because Mack didn’t set the load size exactly right. Enter screaming and many, many sopping wet towels as a result of trying to dry up the water that was making its way across the upstairs. #2) The chimney guys were here to service our wood burning stove and our gas logs before fall and found a small problem that will need resolving next week. I was trying to read to the kids from our history book while his large vacuum ran quite loudly. #3) Our dryer isn’t working right because the vent on the roof is the incorrect type of vent and is clogged. Still waiting to hear back from the roofer I called for help, so I decided to take all the dirty clothes to a laundromat. And there was a ridiculous amount of dirty clothes overflowing from the girls’ baskets!! Ridiculous. I may have firmly told them that “if it ever gets higher than the basket again, I will give you ONE outfit to wear for two straight weeks. You will have to wash it every day to have anything to wear outside of the house.” I can be dramatic like that. But I was totally serious.

So on our second anniversary in Charlotte we are still finding new places and doing new things!

First Day of School 2018/19

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Today is our first day of school for the new year.

Ruby is 14 years old and is beginning high school. She will do great, I am sure!

Molly just turned 13 and will be in 8th grade, finishing out middle school with lots of  maturing, I am sure!

Mack is 11 years old and is starting his middle school years. He will probably figure out how to not complain all the way through his math lessons this year, I am sure!

I am 41 years old and beginning my tenth year as a home school mom teacher. I am going to do my best to live in the moment, enjoy time with the kids, do the best I can at all that comes our way and not go slap-crazy in the process, I am sure!

{These photos were taken on Sunday morning because no one really wants to see us Monday morning in our pajamas. Plus, we won’t have time for posing for photos because we are going to be getting smart.}

Rolo needed her first day of school photo taken, too! She will try to distract us, beg us for food and pounce on us for belly rubs, of this I am sure!

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Molly is a teenager!

The day has finally arrived! Molly is a teenager. She was actually born a teenager, but the years just had to catch up with her, I suppose.

This child is a unique one! Has always been independent. Head strong. Creative. Able. She is the quickest to forgive. She stays out of wrestling matches around here. She loves when someone else is in the “hot seat” since many times it has indeed been her sitting in that seat. We love how God has made Molly, and we are thankful for the ways He has gifted her. We pray she will use her talents and gifts and her challenges for God’s glory as long as she lives.

She loves people. An extrovert if there ever was one. People, people and more people…that is Molly’s idea of a good time. Does it wear this mama out at times? Absolutely!! But she helps us all open our hearts and home to people, people and more people.  It only seemed right to have dinner with loads of some of our favorite people! These people have taken an interest in our kids and loved them and encouraged them and challenged them in the year or so that we have gotten to know them. They are awesome, and we are eternally grateful that they chose to spend time with us celebrating Molly.  It was also Noah’s birthday celebration! Two for one!

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HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY TO MOLLY!!!

We had hibachi, obviously, and Mack told us today, “It was so good. All the food. I wish it never had to end.” Hilarious.

A few details about 2018/19 school year

Three days a week–Table Time. The kids don’t like that name, “Table Time.” They say it sounds like a preschool thing.  Maybe they’re right, but in the morning at the table we will be doing a series of things for a set amount of time.

WORD OF THE DAY (Maybe two words a day)

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Maria’s Word of the Day will be incorporated at least three times a week, and we will likely need to choose two or three words a day to get through the box. The goal is to learn a new word and what it means AND use it appropriately at least once in that day.

LOGIC

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We will do this Logic book twice a week and see how smart or not-so-smart we are!

SPELLING

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Honestly, Ruby is the best speller of the family. I am a close second and the other three are a mixed bag! So we still work through spelling words and spelling “rules,” of which there are ALWAYS exceptions. So as much as spelling can be a bore, our standard testing every year-end tells me it is still needed at The Dorminy Academy of Higher Learning.

PROVERBS & PRAYER

Each kid has their own Bible plan, but the three times a week we are at the table together, we will read the Proverb chapter of the day and pray together.

The other mornings will start a little differently, but I am excited about gathering my (not so little) chicks around the table to start our day together. It’s one of the perks of homeschooling–all sitting at the table, unrushed, keeping our own schedule and continually getting to know one another day after day and year after year. The clock is ticking on how many years we will all be under the same roof, so for now I am choosing to walk confidently in this season, saying no to many other opportunities or interests in order to put my main efforts here at home and into each of my kids.

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Mack and I worked on his schedule. We are going to try to stick to these times at the beginning and get into a good routine that will come to him as naturally as breathing. {This is the goal, anyway. Mack doesn’t really stick to any kind of schedule…he is easily distracted and takes a gazillion outside breaks throughout the day. Balancing the freedoms of homeschooling with the “GET THIS WORK DONE NOW, SON!” mentality is challenging at times. We are all a work-in-progress.}

And this picture below is totally random, but we wouldn’t want to leave Rolo out of the back to school hoopla! It will be hard on her to have the kids busy with their work more than they are now, but she will likely appreciate the earlier wake-up times. For the summer she has been in her crate until the girls decide to roll out of bed around 9:30!! And I hear that owners look like their dog and vice versa. I can definitely see the hair resemblance between us.

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Inner Work

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Well, it’s that time of year again. Lazy summer days are coming to a close. It’s time to buy binders and paper and pencils. It’s time to clear off our desks and wake up our brains. I am faced with thoughts like, “Wow, we are really doing this again.” I have homeschooled since 2009. This year, Ruby will be starting 9th grade, Molly will start 8th and Mack will start 6th grade. The elementary years are behind us. In some ways it has gotten easier and in other ways it has gotten quite challenging. 

When they were little we worked hard in the morning and were done by lunch time. They were usually agreeable about their work…even liking it, I dare say. The math was much more my speed and writing wasn’t so hard to evaluate. I managed their time for them, but now they are learning to manage their own time and it doesn’t always end the way I hope. There are more eye rolls and huffs than ever. But I suppose that is to be expected at some level. We just keep pressing on, keep putting one foot in front of the other and progressing through the years.

So as I have begun thinking towards the school year, I have been praying for God to get me ready. I just haven’t felt ready, and I was hoping the feelings would be overwhelming and give me the kick in the pants I need to find my “teacher” hat and get organized for our school year.

Well, box after box of curriculum has been arriving on the doorstep. I’ve bought some binders and paper and pencils. I even bought things to organize Ruby’s high school years. But still I was waiting on that certain something that was going to excite me about teaching another year here at home.

And then I heard the Spirit remind me of Isaiah 37:17. Someone at a prayer time I was attending, prayed about our roots going deeper and that’s when it washed over me. That’s when I got the kick in my pants!

Isaiah 37:31 is about Judah and it challenges the remnant of God’s people to “take root downward and bear fruit upward.” I love those words. It gives me a visual picture for each of my kids. There are many times I am looking at the external, hoping to see more fruit, more progress, more right decisions made than wrong ones. Yet, I fail to acknowledge there is a work the Spirit is doing in their hearts. I want to pray that God would be able to plant truths of His Word, seeds of righteousness, of honesty, of diligence, of kindness, of integrity deep in their hearts and that over the years, as they grow and mature, I will see the fruit of the Spirit’s inner working. 

This morning I was reading in Jeremiah where he challenges the people to “break up the fallow ground.” It reminded me that before roots can go deep, there is some tending that needs to be done. At lunch today we discussed this. The fallow ground of summer has been just that—a time of rest. Resting our minds, resting our bodies, resting our schedules. When land is at rest, weeds can creep in and take over. So we discussed what “weeds” are in our lives that we need to let Jesus tend to. I can’t, as their mother, call out their laziness and pluck it out of their heart. I can’t pluck out dishonesty and bid it to never return. The Spirit does the inner work, and I must trust Him. I do want to create a safe space to discuss our sins and our failures. I do want to be a mom that helps them see their potential in Christ. I do want to point them to The Lord in our day to day life. But I also know that The Spirit is the One who can strengthen them in their inner man.

The fruit will be evident…one day. I pray I will have eyes to see the ways God is working and growing in each of my kids. I pray that they will hear the Spirit and heed His conviction and submit themselves to His ways. I’m encouraged that this isn’t my work, this inner work. This is sacred work that I must pray about and trust God with. I pray that I will do my part as unto The Lord—day in and day out, as The Lord keeps doing His inner work in my heart as well.  

Mack’s first camp

Mack went to Elementary Camp with our church last week. He had a blast! This was his first time to spend a week away from home like this, so I was nervous that he might get home sick, but he didn’t! He was glad to see us and happy to be home with a clean toilet and shower and comfy bed, but he had such a good time at camp that he was able to successfully endure any of the bad parts.

I LOVED when friends would send a photo of Mack smiling from ear to ear. It did my heart good.

He learned bible verses, heard amazing Bible truths morning and evening, learned to share his faith and practiced it with his friends, played games, went tubing, canoeing, played laser tag, and a gazillion things more!

We are so happy to have him home! And I must say that his bag came back in great shape. Dirty clothes were in the bag I sent him for dirty clothes. He brought back all of his toiletries and flip flops. I was just thoroughly impressed with him! Molly came home from her camp last year with a suitcase full of sopping wet clothes, so I really wasn’t expecting much from an 11 year old boy. Let’s just say he has learned from Molly’s mistakes.

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And yes, the girls also went to church camp in Tennessee and had a blast, but I don’t have pictures I will post of them. They are at the age where everything has to be approved. I also saw several photos that I wouldn’t post because they just reveal that I  still need to do some coaching with one of the girls on social interaction and boundaries. Ahhhh, the joys of motherhood.  But the girls did have a good time on their trip and learned a lot of cool things from the Bible! I am thankful for our church family.

 

Firm Steps

Psalm 37:23 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;”

Psalm 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

I am aware that God orders our steps. I rest in that truth. I walk in that truth. I trust that God is Sovereign, perfect and all of His ways are good.

Sometimes He gives us extra-awareness of this truth which ends up fueling our trust and faith all the more. I had one of those times this past weekend.  We had traveled down to South Georgia for Charlene/Grandmaw/GG’s funeral. She passed away last Thursday, July 26th. We are thankful we were able to be there with family; I learned some things about her that I didn’t know, and I was reminded of what a hard-working woman she was. Thankful she is in heaven with Jesus!

Josh found some VHS tapes of him playing football in elementary school and in high school while we were there. We played them, and I videoed them on my phone. Mack has begged me for years to figure out how to let him see Josh play football. I told him even I have never seen Josh playing football! Josh loved football the most of all sports when he was growing up.  He is a natural leader, and he is athletic and a hard-worker….all things that make for a good team player. He played quarter back most often growing up, and he was starting quarter back his freshman through senior year at Lee County High School on the varsity team. It was just expected that he would go to college and play football. Josh expected it, for sure. He was even scouted by University of Georgia and verbally given their word that he had a place on the team. Then, one terrible day, the Goff coaching team got fired from UGA. One of the coaches came to Lee County High school to tell Josh he had been fired, but that most likely Josh would be fine and still be able to attend UGA and play football.  That didn’t happen.

Let me just say that Mack is sick about this story. It doesn’t matter that I tell him that if Josh had been signed to UGA and played football that Josh and I would have never met…most likely. Which also means, Mack wouldn’t have been born to even know that his dad didn’t get to play football at UGA. None of this matters to him. He would rather us not have met and him not be born than to have to realize that Josh was fairly close to playing football at UGA. The conversation we have about this leaves me flustered every time. But anyway….

We watched one video that highlighted Josh and the coach was interviewed and said, basically, “Josh can go to any school and play right away.”

Yet, God didn’t have that in the plans for Josh. Part of me wishes he had been able to see that dream come true, but knowing God’s plans are best and that God is good, I trust that it wouldn’t have been good for Josh. I trust that God wanted us to meet at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA in 1996. WHERE is Cochran??? Exactly. No one knows much about that school at all. Josh went there to play baseball, which he didn’t even love, but thought he would sign and go play in the pros. When the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the 42nd round and took him to lunch at Hardees, Josh turned down the opportunity–fully aware that he didn’t love baseball and wasn’t pro material anyway. He decided to keep going to school and ended up transferring to University of Georgia to play baseball. But not before he and I began dating. Crazy how God works.

 

Yes, it was super fun to watch Josh play football on those old VHS tapes. And yes, it was amazing to see him in an interview that I would love to post here, but won’t because he would likely strangle me. But more than anything, I was just thankful that my God has ordered my steps, redeems missteps and works out His will in my life for my good. Such an amazing truth!

As the sun rose the morning that we left the southern part of Georgia, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness to God for His kindness toward me and towards Josh.

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