Wednesday, March 25

The big kid world

I think there is a time in ones early adult life, when it feels like you are play-acting at something that really isnt real. That is where I am at right now.

Lots of things have happened over the last few days that have really scared me. Yesterday we got a nasty blizzard, and against our gut instincts, Chris and I went to work anyway. Even though we came home early, at 1, we got the car stuck 5 times just trying to put it in the garage.
In the process of getting it stuck and unstuck we managed to almost completly remove the bumper, which finished coming off on our way to work today. Needless to say, instead of going to work, I lost another 4 hours of PTO, which I am desperatly trying to save for maternity, at the car body shop. It is going to be almost 700 dollars to replace the bumper, which we need to do, because we now have all the wireing exposed to the snow. And there is lots of that. Then we found out that our anifreeze leak may very well be the water pump, which I replaced last year. That will cost 600$. Then there is some sort of issue with something that is causing the car to stall while it is idleing. We dont even know what that problem is, or how to fix it. They are going to run more tests on it next Wednesday, when we take it in to get a final quote on how to fix the antifreeze leak. So as of now, with 2 of the 3 known problems with the car, we are at 1300$, and the car itself worth maybe 700.

So we are starting to think about a new car. This is kind of tricky. Because we would like to spend cash on a car... and that means we will only have about 2500$ to work with. That would mean buying something at least 15 years old, and probably having the same type of trouble next year. Or, we could put the 2500$ down on a newer car, and be tied to a car loan. In which case, we would want to get something we could drive for several years after the car is paid off. Also, depending on the number of kids we have in the next 10 years, which we expect to be more than 2 or 3, we will need something with trade-in value when we buy a mini-van, or larger vehicle. Or should we just get the van now? It would be more price efficient to buy a smaller car with really good gas milage now.. So we found something this afternoon, that looks nice, but is at the top of our 10,000 dollar limit. (9,990 to be exact) It is an '07 Dodge Caliber. Low miles, about 22,000, and room for 3 car seats in the back, as well as some storage space. The salesman says it will get about 24 mpg in town, and over 30 on the highway.

So what do we do? We could get a car that would run well, and pay on it for a few years, or we could pay cash, and be in this same position in a couple years. Then we would have the same issue then. With the economy the way it is, do we want another loan. No. However, is it going to be feesable to just expect that we will be able to get another one when this one does die? Would we be better off trying to pay for one now, when we have two steady jobs, or hoping we will be able to afford it later?

Then the next question is, if we get the newer car, how much is our insurrance going to jump?

I keep waiting for someone to come knocking on my door and say, "Thats enough big kid play for you Jennie.. You need to come home and be a kid again"

One thing is for certain. I will never be able to understand how those who do not have the promises of God to lean on cope. One verse that has been in my head for the last 2 days is Romans 8:28. "And we know that all things work together for good, to them are in Christ Jesus, that are called according to his purpose." I am not sure if that is word for word or not. But it has helped me not to really freak out.

I hope you all are staying dry! Pray for those families who are losing their homes to the flooding. The worst is still to come this spring I think.
Have a great day!

Monday, March 16

How do you raise Godly Kids?

Hello All,
I am sure this question has been asked several times, but I think it bears repeating. How do you raise Godly kids?

At my church right now, I am working with Awana, and teaching Sunday School with Chris on Sunday mornings. We are learning about Joshua in Awana, and about Daniel in Sunday School. Before we started each of these lessons series, we asked the kids what they knew about the charachters. (Daniel and Joshua) We were shocked to find out that not even the kids who have been in church their whole lives knew anything about these people, accept the pastors kids. My awana girls do not know their books of the bible, and really, they do not memorize any of their verses. It is very, very sad.

So, I am doing some brainstorming. Mainly, how do I teach my child all these things.. and secondly, where do I start with my Sunday School and Awana kids?

I am very tempted to do a little Bible trivia game, and cover several of the main Bible stories, and see where the kids really are. I am kind of scared of what I would discover.

I have already made up my mind, that when Judah is old enough to talk, he will start memorizing the book of Romans. This will give him a nice foundation on which to build his worldview. Then I figured we would move on to Pauls other letters, some Psalms, and mainly the idea is to have him leave home with a considereable amount of Scripture memorized. In addition to this, teach him the Good News and the Old Testement. This is very scary. How in the world am I going to have enough time to teach all these things to my child? What if instead of giving him a firm grasp of the faith, I make him so sick of it, he will reject it as soon as he can? It is no small task. But by the grace of God, we will be able to instill these essential truths.

I have noticed over the last several years, that in the American church, kids are very biblically illiterate. They dont know the stories, or the basic truths about who God is. I want to teach these things to the kids that I have. I only have about 2 hours a week with them total. Where do I start? How do I go about this? The other thing that makes in complicated, is that kids are at the point where if it is not fun, and entertaining, they do not want to sit through it.

Here are some ideas I have had.
1.) Write my own curriculum. My youth pastor from Wy. did this, and it was great. He started in Genisis 1, and covered the entire Bible, and wrote worksheets that kids could understand. He even referanced other scriptures for the kids to cross-referance. And also included a memory verse.
2) Start a quizzing. Make a list of questions and answers from a certain book of the Bible, and then teach the book to the kids, have them study it on their own, and then have a quizzing contest.
3) Assign the kids a lesson project. Give them a story and a text, and have them prepare a short lesson about their story, and give it to the class. This would encourage them to learn it for themselves.
4) Teach them how to be taught without always having to have games or rewards.

If any of you have more ideas, let me know.

I really want these kids to learn the Scripture.. Kids seem to get one message these days. "Jesus loves you and died to save you." This is a GREAT lesson kids need to learn. But if we dont teach them the context, and give them the whole picture, we are cheating them.

Thankfully, there are lots of awesome programs at the church I attend for these kids, and the other lady that teaches with me at Awana does an AMAZING job. A lot of the kids are from unchurched homes. I really want to make the most of the opportunity that I have to reach these kids.
Chris is an amazing partner as well. I love how hard he works preparing for Sunday School, and the interesting ways that he presents the lessons. And we also have the support of the Pastor, and other parents. Our church seems to handle it in a better way than many churches do.
Please keep Chris and I in prayer as we prepare our hearts and our lessons to teach the kids.

Saturday, March 7


Hello All...

Today Chris and I went shopping.. For maternity jeans, and for a MINI VAN!!! Well, we are not acutually looking at buying till we have enough money saved up. But we did test drive one that I loved!!! Its really nice looking, (the part I like) has lots of room, (again I like), runs great, (Chris likes), and will have room for 4 or 5 kids. So, I love it!! God has been really good to us.. I cant wait to fill up the van with kids..!! (of course, we need to save up the money for it now:))
I got myself all excited about the van, and now I dont want to wait a couple of years to save money for it. Chris tried to tell me.. but I didnt listen. :)
Well, Thats all that I have to talk about..
I guess my life has gotten kind of boring.. :)
Have a great day!!