Saturday, March 23, 2013

Still Here

I'm still here. I'm still trying to get my school room set up and get back on top of the housework after a 2.5 day migraine and 1 day postdrome. I swear, every day that I'm out of commission equates to what seems like about 3 days behind on housework. My husband also took several vacation days this month, so I've been spending time with him and the girls. Sweet Pea's therapy is going well. She's getting better and better at expressing herself vocally. I'm excited to start some preschool activities with her, just as soon as I can get everything set-up. Doll Baby is getting more talkative by the day. At last count she's using about 30 words pretty consistently. She has also developed her older sister's LOVE of books. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Mrs. P

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Long Week

This past week was a long one, capped off with a tummy flu that made Doll Baby run a fever and throw up once and caused DH and I a day of queasiness. PTL, Sweet Pea was spared. I'm still setting up our homeschool area and will post pics when it's done. Have a great weekend! Mrs. P

Monday, March 11, 2013


I didn't have much time to blog last week and might not this week either. My husband and I realized that even after several hours per day of ABA therapy, our bright little Sweet Pea is still bored and needs more stimulation in the evenings. I'm hoping that doing some preschool activities with her in the evening will give her the stimulation she needs because even structured play just isn't cutting it. She honestly loves doing academic type things and showing what she knows, so I've been getting our homeschool room (the eat-in area of our kitchen) ready. I'm going to keep it low-key and stick mostly to simple things like learning to cut with scissors, pasting, simple hymns, Bible songs, and Bible stories etc. She is trying hard to learn to read her books on her own though and since she already knows her letters and letter sounds, I'll probably do some word families and sight words with her as well. I'll post pictures when I can. I have a lot of stuff prepared, but about the only thing I have up at this point is the banner I made baring the name of our homeschool: Legacy of Faith Christian Academy. I hope everyone has a very productive and blessed Monday! Mrs. P

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Scripture Memorization Site

Doll Baby has been trying to cut a molar the past several days and has not been sleeping well to say the least. I've been in survival mode and in a practically zombie-like state due to being woken up a half-dozen times a night, hence the lack of blogging. I did want to let people know about a great scripture memory site though. It's 100% free, you can pick which version you want to memorize from, and it keeps track of everything for you. The only thing that I don't like is that even verses you have had memorized for years go into the "learning" phase and aren't considered "memorized" until you get it correct enough times to get the interval at which the site quizzes you  on that verse to 30+ days. It's not really that big of a deal though if you're new to memorization and don't have that many verses memorized yet. It's also a great site for kids. Having typing skills would be a plus as hunt-and-peck typing of all of the verses would probably get frustrating. The site is called Memverse. It will even send you e-mail reminders if you haven't been on in a few days.

Well, I have a growing to-do list that I need to tackle, so I best get off the computer and get to it.

Mrs. P.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Awesome Bible Reading Checklist

I've been kind of disjointed in my reading lately. I tend to skip around in my reading, but when reading like that, it's hard to keep track of what you've read and when...until now. I remembered a Bible reading checklist that I had seen on another blog. A printable version of that checklist can be found here. When printed, the boxes look to be small enough to write a date if you write small and with a fine-point pen or pencil. That's important to me because ideally, I like to know how long it has been since I read something. The checklist will be easy enough to 3-hole punch and put in my Bible study binder.

I hope you find this helpful!

Mrs. P

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Friday, March 1, 2013

You want the toys. I want the tuna.
Let's see if we can come to some sort of agreement.

That's one of our cats, Buddy. He's actually a very sweet cat, but the expression on his face in this photo necessitated a snarky caption. I figured I'd get some kind of post up since I haven't really been inspired to write about anything in particular this week.

Have a great weekend.

Mrs. P

Monday, February 25, 2013


It's amazing how things my kids do remind me of my own struggles as a Christian. Yesterday, my husband and I had our girls outside to play because in our neck of the woods it was warm enough to go jacketless with a long-sleeved t-shirt. Our 3 year-old, Sweet Pea ran around our largish front yard happily. Our almost 14 month-old, Doll Baby had a different idea. The only place she wanted to play was in the road. She would run that stiff little toddler run toward the road, I would head her off, turn her around (in a vain attempt to show her the huge area in which she could play) and she would promptly turn around and charge for the road again. Rather than looking at the large yard behind her, she insisted on focusing on the one area in which she was being told "no." She didn't realize that it was for her own personal safety.

I often wonder how often I do that myself with more grown-up things. Occasionally, when I flip through the channel guide after the girls are in bed to find a program to watch while I relax, I come across certain shows that I had been convicted to give up and haven't watched in a long time (months or years). How often I'm tempted to watch "just once" because "It's only once. What's the big deal?" Maybe there's a danger in me watching that show that God knows that I don't. Maybe those particular shows will plant seeds of accepting sin in my life? Maybe they'll harm my witness if non-Christian friends and family knew I watched them? I'm thinking all of the above.

This whole thing reminds me that I am to be my children's example. If they see me disobeying God and disrespecting His authority in my life by doing things I shouldn't do, saying words I shouldn't say, gossiping, being unsubmissive to my husband, being lazy instead of getting the housework done, putting off reading the Bible, etc. why wouldn't they have a hard time respecting my authority? I'm never going to be perfectly obedient to God's will just as my kids will never be perfectly obedient to the will of my husband and I because we are human. Why though should I expect them to have a heart attitude of cheerful obedience and respect for my authority and boundaries I set if they are seeing me having inconsistently positive (and sometimes begrudging) attitude toward obedience to God and His boundaries? "Do as I say, not as I do" leadership just doesn't work if one expects the ones under their authority to obey AND have a good attitude. Double standards only serve to cause bitterness in the hearts of children. I'm not talking about the differences in what one can do that come from parental authority or age. I'm talking about the parent who lazily lounges on the couch and failing to diligently fulfill their own responsibilities while lecturing their child for not doing their chores, the parent who cusses a blue streak when they're angry and then turns around and punishes their child for saying "butt," etc.

I guess the bottom line is that I want my children to grow up to be strong, mature Christians. If I am not setting the example as their mother and showing them God's love and how His boundaries are GOOD things, why would they view the boundaries my husband and I set (or the boundaries God sets in His Word) as being good? If I am to be used of God to help bring my children to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, I must not only teach them God's Word, but set the example for them when it comes to following it (and repenting and turning from sin or a bad attitude with the help of the Lord when I fail). Otherwise, if and when they come to saving knowledge and obedience to the Word, it will be despite having me as their mother rather than because God used me in their lives to show them the way to Him. How sobering a thought is that?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Question Friday

This link-up is hosted by Mama M at My Little Life.

1. What is a hobby you would love to learn and why? I already have too many hobbies that I rarely get to do (busy season of life with 2 littles right now). I would love to get better at sewing though and specifically, I would love to learn how to smock.

2. What do you wish you could have delivered to your house but does not deliver? The healthfood store where I get my GFCF daughter's soy yogurt, my CF coffee creamer, etc. It's an hour away. 

3. What's your favorite snow day activity? Inside and out? I live in the South now, so we don't see much snow here, but I grew up in the Northeast and my favorite activity as a kid was riding my sled down the huge hill that went from the top of the front yard to the bottom of the back yard of my parents' house.

4. Would you meet a stranger from an Internet dating site? That's how I met my husband. We talked on the phone several times first and then met in the daylight in a public place.

5. If you had to spend 35 hours in a car with 4 other people, who would you choose? My husband, my 2 kids, and my best friend. (I would pity my poor husband. That would be A LOT of estrogen to deal with.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Angry Spirit

I read this post at Raising Arrows. It was a post from 2011. I think it had been posted to Pinterest or something, but either way the Lord made sure I saw it. (UPDATE:  I found the post through this post at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.) I definitely have an anger problem, and lately He has been calling me out on it because my anger and my expectations (the violation of which cause anger) are areas of my life that I have definitely not submitted to His will and control. The post at Raising Arrows linked to a sermon by S.M. Davis called "Freedom from the Spirit of Anger." In case you don't want to have to listen to it on your computer, I was able to download it and move it (click and drag) from "downloads" to an iTunes playlist on my Mac which has enabled me to have it on my iPod and burn it to a CD to listen to in my van. Pastor Davis's message is very powerful and even contains 10 Biblical steps to allowing God to remove your spirit of anger. Not sure if you have  a spirit of anger? The sermon helps you with that part too. If you even think you might have an anger problem, this sermon is worth checking out. He also did a sermon called "The High Cost of Anger," which was good as well. I'll have to try to find a link to it. 

The bottom line is that constant anger can poison a marriage and children. 
 "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." --Proverbs 21:19
I think that pretty much says it all. If you have a spirit of anger, it breeds contentiousness, which is contrary to what God's Word says regarding women and how we should act. 

"Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." -- 1 Peter 3:1-4
It's kind of hard  pretty much impossible to have a spirit of anger and its ensuing contentiousness and a "meek and quiet spirit" at the same time. Meekness by its very definition means being submissive, humble, and gentle. Those qualities are about as incompatible with a spirit of anger as you can get. 

If you find it hard to be meek and gentle (like I do), I would encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you whether or not you have a spirit of anger that needs to be dealt with.

Have a blessed day!

Mrs. P

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What's in a Name

This blog has been through a couple of name changes over the last few years as I've entered new seasons of life. It started as "Living as a Christian Woman in a Fallen World," then "My Life as a Christian Wife and Mom," and now "Looking Well."

I call my blog "Looking Well" not because I feel this is a strength of mine but because in this season of my life, my main focus (second to the Lord, of course) is learning to "look well" to the ways of my household, that is balancing two young children, a husband, and managing the household. It has definitely been a process of trial and error. I did not learn to manage a household as a child. I grew up in a home where academics and "not being dependent on a man" were emphasized. My mom was still responsible for 99% of the housework despite working a full-time job, while my father would generally come home and relax. After a hard day at school and doing homework (and being the bratty little thing that I was), I decided that if my dad got to relax, so did I. I pouted, stalled, and often overtly defied my parents' requests for help around the house and anything I did do was with an extremely poor attitude. Man, is that past sinfulness coming back to bite me now.

Learning to balance my roles as Christian, wife, mother, and home manager has honestly been more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. College and grad school PALE in comparison. I figured out a system for myself in a relatively short period of time and the system worked. Because I lived on my own and had nobody else to worry about, my natural Type A, perfectionistic bent (i.e. if I'm going to do anything, I'm going to make sure I do it "right") was actually an asset. Being a stay-at-home mom has so many other variables, that I frequently find myself overwhelmed because things RARELY go "as planned." When that happens I frequently end up eating several loaves of "the bread of idleness." If I can't do it right, then I will put it off until I can. This, of course leads to things piling up. Thankfully, the Lord has been working on me. I've made a home management binder (since no other planner I've tried to use has been just right :P) and it has definitely been helping keep me more on-track, but I'm still so far from where I want to be. I know I need to be patient and let the Lord work.

Oh well, I have a little girl here who is asking for her pre-bed snack, so I guess I had better wrap this up.

Mrs. P.

I'm linked up at Raising Homemakers  Serving Joyfully's Thriving Thursdays Wise-Woman-Builds Photobucket

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ducks in a Row

In my last post, I mentioned how God lined things up for us so that when Sweet Pea was diagnosed with high-functioning autism (HFA), we would have resources to deal with it. His lining things up started way before I was born and before I was even a Christian.

My fourth year of college, I suddenly had the desire to change my major. I was majoring in accounting, but just wasn't enjoying it. I had transferred to the school I was attending because of their accounting program, mind you. "Something" told me to "try psychology." (I now know that "something" was the Holy Spirit.) I had only ever attempted to take one psychology class at my pervious university and dropped it because I hated it so much. I finally relented though and after finishing a miserable semester (not bad grades, just hated the accounting classes all of a sudden), I decided to try a few psych courses over the summer. Not only did I do VERY well with them, I LOVED them. It took an extra year-and-a-half to graduate, but I obtained my degree in psychology. 

**Side Note:  If you are currently a Christian, I would be careful which program you pick if you're going into a secular psychology  major. Though mine is helping tremendously with my daughter and her situation, it's easy to let yourself be influenced by aspects that are not just neutral but run in direct opposition to some Biblical principles.**

I ended up obtaining my M.Ed. in elementary education after attempting a program in school counseling but not feeling it was right for me. It was after graduating from my M.Ed. program and moving south that I got saved. 

Fast forward a few years and a church change and I have a 2 year-old, a newborn, and a pediatrician telling me that the 2 year-old is showing signs of having a pervasive developmental disorder or autism. We got her tested, and sure enough...HFA. We were devastated. Neither of us had any real experience with autism other than a couple of people we'd come across on the very severe end and the one girl I taught who apparently used to be more severe but with therapy had friends and was almost indistinguishable from her peers to the untrained eye. 

We brought it up as a prayer request in Sunday School. Our one teacher happens to be friends with a woman IN OUR NEW CHURCH who runs a local ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy center. Another Sunday School teacher is a close friend-of-the-family of the therapist that Sweet Pea has had since the beginning (she has more than 1, but M has been with us since the get-go and Sweet Pea loves her). M is a "line therapist" who works with her every day in addition to our other line therapists, T and R. She also has a lead therapist K, who comes once a week to monitor progress and a coordinator, V who comes once a month to direct the program. Our state actually provides 3 years of ABA any time between the ages of 3 and 11 to all children who have an autism diagnosis. Praise the Lord!

What does this all have to do with my degrees? Well, the ABA is based on "operant conditioning," which B.F. Skinner introduced in the 1930's. I took a psych course that hammered operant conditioning and that has made this a whole lot easier because I understand all the psych jargon, know how to tell if an intended reinforcer is actually reinforcing, etc. My teaching master's is actually what got me to move south where I met my husband. Without the teaching degree, I doubt I'd have moved here, met my husband, and gotten saved. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about how the Lord has provided all the necessities for getting my daughter therapy and how He was even working at this YEARS before I got saved. 

My next post will talk about the name change of this blog and why I chose the one I did. **Hint: It's not because I think I've "arrived" when it comes to looking well to the ways of my household and not eating the bread of idleness.**

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Make or Break

A lot has happened in the last 1.25 years since I've blogged. I had a baby (Doll Baby) who is now a rambunctious 13.5 month-old who loves to chase after her big sister, Sweet Pea, 3.  Something also happened that would either make or break my faith...Sweet Pea was diagnosed with a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. It came out of nowhere for us. We knew she was a behind on talking, but chalked that up to "she must be taking after me." I talked a bit late (over 2), but then was talking in full sentences like an adult by the time I was 3. But there were other things that we saw as "quirks" that when put all together added up to an ASD. I'll be brutally honest when I say that to my husband and I, it felt like someone put a bag over our heads and hit us in the stomach with a baseball bat. It was definitely a defining moment. The question was, would I do what I've been known to do in the past - run from God (and over much less than this)? Or, would I cling to God and grow in Him as we dealt with this trial?

By the grace of God, this did not break my faith, but made it. As we've dealt with this and learned everything we could about therapies for autism, we've clung to God and each other in a way we never have before. We got Sweet Pea started in ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy and she LOVES her therapists and is doing great. Since last April when she started, she has started talking (sometimes even putting short sentences together), giving more eye contact, playing with her sister, showing empathy, and developing a cute little sense of humor. The way everything lined up for this to happen can only have come from God, but that is for another post.

For now, I hope anyone who reads this has a great Sunday!

Mrs. P