Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful to Homeschool

One of biggest questions people have when they find out that we homeschool is:  What about your kids making friends and being in activities?  

Well, that question has really weighed heavy on my heart and mind. They have had a few friends along the way, at church, on a ball team, but most of those relationships have been temporary. We have been fairly active in our local homeschool association for a couple of years now, and for one main reason was for my kids to meet other kids. Through that group we have met some great people, but there again we would see these people on occasion. My friend, Crystal (who also homeschools her girls) and I have wanted to form a small co-op group of our own for a while now, but things just never seemed to work out. For about 2 years now we have been praying about a group.

To make a long story short, we have now formed a group with a total of 6 moms and 14 kids!  We are SO EXCITED about this group of people. We have started doing activities and classes together just within the last month.  I just LOVE IT when the Lord works things out like this! We all just seem to really click with each other. No one person is carrying the load by themselves...we all work together great! Our husbands have even been able to meet, and it just seems like we've all known each other forever. We chose to name our co-op, Group 4:9, from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he does not have another to help him."  I pray that's what we do, lift each other up!

This week we were studying the real meaning of Thanksgiving, and we really learned A LOT! Each family made their own replicas of the Mayflower that we shared with each other during class. The boys decided they wanted theirs made from cake, so we did the Mayflower out of rice crispies and set it on a cake body of water. They really did do a lot of it on their own, and I helped some. I mostly did the baking and shaping..they did the icing, sails, and design. Here they are icing up the ship. :)

They enjoyed getting chocolate icing all over their hands!

Here is our completed Mayflower!

After our great lessons about the 1st Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful feast!
Check out our Group 4:9 blog:  www.2rbetterthan1.blogspot.com  (also linked on this blog) for more great pictures and info.
I am thankful for this group and how the Lord has given my boys and myself new friends, and YES now they get to socialize!!  HA! :) I wouldn't trade this time with my boys for anything! 
Do we have bad days?--You bet so!
Are there days I wish they were in public school?--Definitely YES!
Would it be nice to get paid for a job that I have to put so much time into?--That would be a great plus!
Would I like missing learning with them and spending these years with them?--DEFINITELY NOT!!

I am thankful, most of all, that the Lord has always provided a way for me to stay at home with our boys. It's not for everyone, and I realize that most families need two incomes (which we could use right now!) but I always go back to the calling I've felt on my life. I

know that God has called me to be a wife and mother, which includes homeschooling our kids. This was decided before we had children...actually, I believe before we were even married. SO, on our hardest days I have to remind myself of these things. And, on the great days, like when we're with our Group 4:9, or going on a great field trip, or just sitting on the couch reading together, that's when I say, "thank you Lord for this time!"
I AM thankful to be homeschooling our boys!

Who wouldn't want to spend time with these 3!?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Temporary "Home"

We have been in such a weird place of transition since leaving the church Eric was pastoring. That was our "home", where 2 of our boys were baptized, Eric's first pastorate, many great memories, and learning experiences. We were there for 5 1/2 years and God said it was time to go.  Questions were in abundance as to what God had for us next. For almost a year before we left the Lord was dealing with both of us asking us what we were doing? Really, what were we doing as a church (and when I refer to church, I mean the body of Christ, not a building!) Are we really reaching lost people for Him? Are we spreading the Gospel, or are we just comfortable and complacent where we are. We know we're saved and that's really all that matters, right!?!? We were fine where we were and not really wanting to take that step of faith. But, we have learned in the past that when God says to go, you go! No matter if it makes sense to you or anyone around you. 

We referred back to the Bible accounts of Abraham alot!  God told him to go and made him promises for his faithfulness. As Abraham went, God was faithful and kept His promises.  Abraham wasn't rewarded for his work for the Lord, He was rewarded for his faithfulness.
"What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say?  "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."  --Romans 4:1-3

We have been at Ebenezer Baptist Church since our big step of leaving our temporary church home. There are many great memories for us here as well. I grew up at Ebenezer...active in the youth group, sang in the choir, baptized & really grew as a Christian at this place. We were also married there. Ebenezer is really what I call my "church home". It's a place I can always go back to and feel welcomed.  We are happy to be in this place, but still know that this is temporary. This world and everything in it is temporary.
We desire to serve the Lord no matter where He places us. For now, we will be at Ebenezer, and Eric will be assisting Pastor Tony in pastoral duties. They are very much like-minded and have the same Godly visions. We pray that the Lord will work through us to fulfill His purpose at this place. Then, whenever that next "Abraham Call" comes, we pray that we will be willing to step out again, and He will find us faithful.

I hope that we all remember that this is our Temporary Home. What we do here matters, but thankfully it's not all that there is. There is a better day coming. Are you ready?

~Raising Husbands

As a mother to boys, I pray daily for each of their future wives (1 wife each!). But, I also realize the responsiblity I have to teach them how to take care of themselves. The Lord may or may not have planned for them to marry. And if they do get married, I DON'T, and they BETTER NOT expect their wife to do everything! They need to become independent men that can live on their own, wash their own clothes, cook for themselves, clean & keep a house, etc, etc....  So, in my effort to teach them these important life skills, we had a cleaning day this past Saturday. They had to clean their rooms and dust, just as I was doing in the rest of the house. (and I might add, that my cleaning duties never stop!) :)  I only got a couple of sighs and moans as I gave out instructions, but this was better than doing an extra day of school right?!?!  So, I must brag on them a little and show you how hard they really did work.

Noah dusting his room.  Don't you like his outfit for the day??
I never know what kind of get-up he may have on!

Caleb got on his top bunk to take the sheets off for me,
and then I saw him dusting his fan! Without me asking!!
This crazy kid was even helping...in his own way!
He was basically telling his brothers what to do! :)

They actually enjoy seeing the finished products of their hard work.  It also helped as motivation that they had a friend's birthday party to go to that afternoon! 
Well, whatever it takes! :) BUT, they will make good husbands oneday!  Husbands that help their wives in the partnership of marriage. Thankfully they have a daddy that is a great role model, and a momma that is just stubborn enough to not give in and make them do things on their own!

~~Many hands make for light work.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eric does exsist!

Since I don't have an updated picture of our entire family to use for a profile pic (OK, I'm really bad at doing that! Our last family "portrait" was in 2006...I don't even have one that includes Jacob!  Putting that on my to-do list right now!!) :), I thought I would include some pics of Eric, so he wouldn't be left off our Hardman Family Blog! HA!  I do take lots of pics on my own, but finding the time to get a professional shot is nearly impossible....does anyone else have this problem!?!  ;)

Here's Eric...isn't he cute?!?!

Playing a game of football

He really is a great dad that loves his boys and spending time with them. We are approaching our 11th wedding anniversary (Dec.2) and I am so thankful for him! There is no one else that I would rather be with traveling this great adventure! He is my husband, father to our children, but most importantly...he is my best friend!

Us at Disney World, Sept. 2010
(Don't we look cute in our matching Mickey shirts?!? We were being true tourists!)