Welcome! Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa ...Our house is your house

A glimpse into the life of Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 precious blessings. Thank you for visiting; we pray that what we share here may always bring glory to our wonderful God and Saviour. May you praise the Lord with us for the great things He has done and continues to do as we serve Him sharing the gospel here in the little town of Cuidad Insurgentes, BCS Mexico. He alone is good and faithful!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn Days

My camera is getting full, so it's time to share!  I don't have much time, so this will probably be a bit scattered, but here it is! :)
Autumn days are here!  We had a very special, long anticipated, yearly event this morning...

...the official digging out of the winter coats.  It's a very big ordeal at our house!  You would think it was Christmas morning.   Everyone runs to the storage room out back begging Daddy to hurry and help us get the totes down.  And of course, it always seems to be the very last tote lowered where we finally find them.  Then everyone runs back into the house as each coat or sweater is pulled out and tried on to see who fits into what this year.   The morning is ended with the season's first hot oatmeal breakfast and buttered toast. It was a blustery 54 degrees this morning.  You would have thought it was 20 below. :)  I think we have acclimated well to the climate here.

My refrigerator is full; my bulletin boards are full. My walls are made of cement blocks...tacks won't work and sticky tack gets to be a mess after a while.   Yet each day, my desk is covered with their handiwork.  And I want to display it all.

What do you think?  Easy to hang, easy to change around. :)

Evening visitation with Daddy.  Dusty streets, yet, "How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the gospel of peace (Romans 10:15)! "

Last week, we spent a family day at the beach for Timothy's 14th b'day!

Yep, he definitely belongs to us! :)

I think this is the only picture I got of the b'day boy young man.  He, Elijah, and Benjamin were out snorkeling the entire day. :)

I love this picture :)  Samuel LOVED the water!
Maybe a little too much! 

Little ones staying busy while the older ones study

Benjamin gave him a hat...so of course, he has to wear it :)

I love how hard they concentrate to do it just right.  And I love their smiles all the more when I tell them how well they did!

I love you, Hna. Tola!  I love you, Daniel, for having her here to help!
Saturday night, we had the teen Bible study over at our house.  They are studying 2 Timothy together.  After a time of singing and studying God's Word, we had pozole and strawberry short cake and played Uno :)

Well, that's a glimpse of life around here the past couple weeks.  I hope your autumn days are wonderful too!  I love knowing that whatever a day may bring, the Lord is right there.  I'm so thankful for a God who loves us so much!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Testimony

There is something that has been heavy on my heart all week that I want to share here tonight.  It is my testimony…how the Lord Jesus Christ found me and saved me.

I don’t remember a day in my life when I didn’t know who Jesus Christ was.  Just as a little child learns his letters, numbers and colors, I learned about God, what Jesus did on the cross, and that the Bible was true from my earliest days.  I don’t remember ever not knowing.

I remember being 6 years old and having been in Sunday School/church and then a Christian school, I heard the gospel shared every week.   One night, I sat thinking of what I had heard…that I was a sinner, the penalty for my sin was hell, Jesus died to pay for my sin, and I could go to heaven to be with Him someday if I just asked Him to save me.  So that night, I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and save me.

I’m sure I was sincere and I know I did not want to go to hell and I did believe in my head that Jesus had died for me, but it did not reach my heart. 
Romans 10:10- For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness

I was always what people would call a “good” girl.  My parents taught me to work hard, and I did.  I got very good grades, did my homework, did my chores, and stayed out of trouble.  I was active in church…Sunday school, Awanas, choirs, playing piano as needed.  Between Sunday School, Christian School, Awanas and the encouragement of my parents, I memorized hundreds of Bible verses.  I was taught to read my Bible every day and pray and most of the time I did.  As I got older, I went on short term mission trips and later went to work with a missionary during my college years.  I attended Bible College.

But I was lost.  While I thought I knew all about God and would easily tell you that I believed in Jesus, I did not know Jesus.  He did not know me.  He was not my Savior because I did not need Him.  And I didn’t know it.

From the outside, most anyone who knew me would say things such as, “Jaynee is such a good young lady…She serves the Lord…She loves the Lord…She has such a good, clean life.” And I would have agreed.  I thought I was good.  I thought I was serving the Lord.  I thought I loved the Lord. 

Man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart (I Sam. 16:7). 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:25 and 27)

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  (Matthew 7:21-23)

I do remember being in church and trying to feel close to God.  I thought  that I “was saved” and was taught not to rely on my feelings for the assurance of my salvation, but I would see people that seemed to have such a sweet close fellowship with the Lord.  I saw their eyes fill with tears as the gospel was told; I saw them kneel down in brokenness.  And I didn’t know what that was like.  I remember trying to cry because I felt that I should.  I remember trying to be very sorry over my sin, because I should.  But I didn’t really feel I was that bad.  Even when I did wrong things, I sort of pushed them out of my mind.  After all, they weren’t as bad as the things others had done.  Besides, overall, I always obeyed, was almost always good, and nobody is perfect.  I would just try harder. 

When I thought back over my life, when those foggy memories of dark times would pop up, I never dwelt on them…I didn’t like to think about them.  I was sorry I ever did them and usually it wasn’t really my fault anyways.  I had been pushed into doing something I didn’t want to do.  I had been provoked.  It wouldn’t have happened if the circumstances had been different.  I always did good.  It wasn’t in my nature to be mean or immoral or to deceive or to hate or hurt another.  I was good.  

I remember hearing testimonies when I was younger of those whom the Lord had saved.  They would share how lost they were…they would share how sinful their heart was…they would share how far they had gone from the Lord…and then when He found them and they came to Him, the amazing, undeserved, wonderful joy and grace that filled their hearts.  I actually thought to myself that it would be neat to have a testimony like that…to have needed the Lord that much.  Because I never had been that bad, so it wasn’t as special to me.  I often wondered what it would be like to have that much love for the Lord… 

And while I never knew it, He was still seeking me.  And He was going to give me that testimony that I had always longed for…
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. (Ephesians 2:4)   

I got married, I had children, and 8 years later, we came here to Mexico.  And here, out in the middle of the desert, away from all I had ever known, for the first time, I began to seek the Lord.

I came to realize how much I needed His provision, His protection, His help.  And He just wanted me to see how much I needed Him.  He wanted me to be His.  He wanted to save me. 

One day, I remember thinking and imagining, “What if I were to stand before God someday and He were to say to me that I was not His child…that He never knew me. And he was to condemn me to eternal punishment in the lake of fire.”  And as I thought of that, the first thing that came to my mind was, “That isn’t fair.  I’ve served you my whole life and I don’t deserve that.”  And as soon as I thought that, a fear came over me.  Did I really think that? 
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

For the first time in my life, those feelings and memories that I had pushed down so far, began to surface.  What I saw was so ugly and dirty!  I saw far past just the outward things I had done, but saw deeper and deeper into my heart…and it was so wicked.  My motives…so impure.  My thoughts…so selfish.  My heart…so proud. 
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it. (Jeremiah 17:9)

I read God's Word as never before.  And while I found comfort therein, my heart was often pierced, for His Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

I went back and forth for months.  Some days I felt fine, and then some days, I couldn’t shake the burden…I would wake up in the night so scared that I was lost.  I wanted to do the right thing and tried all the harder.  But then, when what was in my heart would seep out, I felt so guilty.

I thought about my life.
The scribes and Pharisees were the “righteous”, “spiritual” leaders of their day. They knew the Scriptures more than anyone.  They "did everything right". 
I was a scribe/Pharisee/hypocrite!

My entire life, I just wanted to be loved and accepted.  But I felt my entire life that I had to do something to be loved.  I had to be perfect.  I had to do right. 

I lived my entire life wanting others to think good of me, to love me.  I lived my entire life to please man.

When I messed up, I felt unloved and felt like I had to do much to make up for it and to get back into good standing and to earn forgiveness and restored fellowship. 
And that is how I viewed the Lord.

The Lord is so faithful, so good, so long suffering, so gracious.  He never tires of calling us to Him.  He never tires of looking for those who are lost.  And so He sought me. 

One day, I wrote down a list of all those things in my past that weighed so heavily on my heart.  It wasn’t a huge list, but it was so daunting…a burden far to great to bear.  There were things written that even my husband did not know about.  And I knew that God knew.  And as I looked upon those things, I felt hopelessly and utterly lost. 

Shortly afterwards, I began to tell Daniel some of those things.  While he’s never given me any reason to think this, I wondered if he would even love me anymore.  I wondered what he would think.  I was so scared. 

And so I “tested” the water.  I told him a little.  And then more.  And then the tears flowed and through sobs, I told him all that was in my heart.  And he cried and held me and loved me.  And I told him all my doubts and fears and the struggle that I had had for so long.

And he told me words I will never forget.  I may not remember every word, but I remember most.

 Jaynee, the Lord loves you so much.  He loves you just like this.  Your dirty, broken, sinful heart…He still loves you.  You don’t have to be anything or do anything to make Him love you more.  You can’t.  He died for you just like you are. He stretched out His arms on that cross and they are there open waiting for you to come to Him.

Nobody had ever loved me like that. 

I fell down on my knees that day and told Jesus everything.  I pictured his arms open wide on that cross and I told Him I wanted to run into them.  By His great love and mercy, I wanted my sinful heart to be cleansed by His precious blood.  

And by faith, through His amazing mercy and grace, He saved me!  I felt so much love; I felt so clean and forgiven!  So much joy!  And then as I knelt down crying with a heart full of thanksgiving, my doubts and fears were gone…completely gone!  And I pictured Jesus in His glory with His arms stretched out to welcome me to His heavenly home someday.  Someday, I will run into the arms of my Savior!

I will never forget that day…Monday, June 21, 2010.  Three days before my 37th birthday.  He gave me the testimony I have always wanted!

Ever since that day, I have had joy that I can’t even describe!  While I have read and memorized so much Scripture in my life, it is as if I am reading it for the first time.  Everything is so rich, so precious, so deep.  So wonderful!  Wonderful words of life! 

Each time I sing, I either feel so joyful that I might burst, or I have to choke back the tears.  I have sung these songs hundreds of times before…but they are now mine!  They are now my songs for my Savior!

And my entire life, I have wanted to have a burden for the lost.  I have wanted to love the unlovable.  But as much as I tried, it was just that…my effort.  A lost, unloving girl trying to do what only Christ can do.  But now, it is as if I see everything anew…everyone with new eyes. 

I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see!
Amazing Grace!!

If any man be in Christ, He is a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17). 

Those very verses that convicted and condemned my soul, now  bring me the most wonderful joy!  I am a new creature in Jesus Christ!

This Sunday, 10-10-10, I shared my testimony with our church here and I, along with four others, was baptized in obedience to the One who saved me. 

The Good Shepherd found His lost lamb.  And the angels in heaven rejoice! 

 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Christmas Box Time- And with USA Shipping this year!

I love October!  School is well underway, it's officially autumn, and while here in the Southern Baja desert, we don't exactly see cool days, or  brightly colored, falling leaves, just knowing that it's a new season brings much excitement around our house.  The children color paper leaves to paste to our windows, Timothy counts down the days until his birthday,  and we plan some fun evening activities, special foods, and crafts.
But one of the most exciting things is knowing that it is again time to share about the
Christmas Box Ministry!
Some of you have already written and asked about the plans for this year.  Some of you may have participated in the past.  Some of you may have wanted to participate, but were unable. And some of you may have not yet heard about this opportunity.
This post is for all of you!

For the past three Christmases, we have been able to bless a number of children in our town and the surrounding ranches with a special gift from many of you. What a joy it has been to not only give these children a shoe box or bag filled with wonderful treats, but by being a blessing in this way to their families, have an open door to share with them about the One who gave us the greatest gift of all! 

This Christmas, we would again like to reach out to the families of our town by giving their children a Christmas Box. We want to not only show them the love of the Saviour through this tangible way, but go back and tell them the wonderous gospel that so many have still never heard.

Each time we have done this, it has been a tremendous blessing to the people. We've been able to hand out between 50 and 200 boxes each year!  Every box that we receive is placed into the hands of a Mexican boy or girl. For many of them, it will be the only Christmas gift they will receive.

This year, we are so excited to be able to give you a USA address to which to ship the boxes.  Daniel's brother Philip and his wife Kayleen live just a few miles north of the Mexican border, and they are willing to receive the boxes and store them in their apartment.  We will then make a quick trip north with our covered trailer to pick them up sometime in mid December.  
I know the cost of shipping to us here in Mexico is so expensive and while we have been so blessed by the sacrifice of so many in years past to send the boxes here, we are excited to be able to offer USA shipping which may enable more to take part in giving.
Keep on reading to find the shipping address!

 We will pass out whatever boxes we receive and the more the better! And we would love to have your help! It is truly more blessed to give than receive! If this is something in which you would like to have a part, here are some guidelines:

*Boxes should be shoebox size (you could either send a real shoebox or send a plastic container with a lid that is approximately the same size; the advantage of the plastic container is that the child/family can use it for something later)

*For Shipping Purposes, some people prefer to send a bag. Each year we handed out backpacks, paper gift bags (which were protected by being wrapped in plastic wrap so they wouldn't break open in shipping), and cloth hand bags as well. When we were up north, our girls were given some cloth hand bags for their birthdays that were purchased at the dollar store.

*Some years we had  people send a large quantity of an item(s) to be handed out with or in addition to the boxes (we've received Spanish New Testaments, Spanish Christmas Coloring Books, Stuffed Animals, Blankets/quilts, hats). If you are interested in sending something like that, just email us and let us know! :)

*Boxes should be sent to:
Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood
 c/o Philip and Kayleen Lockwood
9494 Carroll Canyon Road #41
San Diego, CA  92126

*We would like to have all the boxes ready to give out a week before Christmas. Please have all boxes sent with enough time for us to pick them up by the 14th. 

*If you would like to specify "Christmas Box for a Boy" or "Christmas Box for a Girl", please mark that somewhere on the package.  We will be handing them out to children of all ages, so variety is welcome!

Now for the fun part! Ideas of what to include in the boxes!
If you are on a tight budget and would like to give, please know that anything will be appreciated.  The children here do not have much at all and even small treats mean so much.  If you have a dollar store or the like in your area, that would be a great place to go!
*Toys: a small stuffed animal, a ball, a yo-yo, whistle, picture book, a puzzle, a game, play dough, coloring book etc...

*School Supplies: pencils, pencil box, crayons, felt markers, stickers, notebook, erasers, pencil sharpener, glue etc...
*Toiletries:  soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb or brush, wash cloth, floss, etc...
*Other: American Candy, scarf, a personal letter* or picture drawn for the child, comb or brush, toothbrush, craft, stickers, etc...
Here are things to NOT include:

*Chocolate or any other food that could melt, make a mess or spoil


*Items that could easily break

*Books or music (other than a note book or coloring book)

*Anything liquid that could spill (bubbles, shampoo, ect...)

*Anything that could be dangerous for a small child (marbles, sharp items ect...)

*Clothing other than maybe a scarf or hat as you don’t know what size the child is that will receive your box

If you have any further questions, feel free to email us (email address at the very bottom of the right side bar). Of course, we plan on taking lots of pictures of the children opening their boxes and will post some on the blog. Wouldn’t it be fun to see a picture of a child opening the box that YOU sent? :)

*Spanish phrases that you could include in a personal note if you would like:

Dios le bendiga– God Bless you

Jesus te ama– Jesus loves you

Feliz Navidad– Merry Christmas

Dios te ama– God loves you

Estoy orando por ti– I am praying for you

Con amor de - With love from  

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Lockwood Family School Schedule 2010-2011

Below is a link to our school schedule for this year. Some browsers will actually show the schedule below. If you just have a big blank space, you'll have to use the link. But scroll down if you'd like to read the post below :-)

School Schedule 2010-2011

This is the post where I share some of the nitty gritty of our school schedule/days, and it might be long! And it might have a few pictures :)

I know often people wonder how a large, home schooling family functions. I know that often, I have been blessed, encouraged, and helped by what others have shared with me as they care for and/or school their children. And I'm so thankful for the Lord so patiently and continually teaching me, guiding me, and helping me as I strive to carry out each responsibility He's given me. So with that, I share our days with you.

I know that I'm no expert on really anything...I know I have so much still to learn! But I just am so happy! I love our days! I'm so thankful for the Lord's daily guidance, presence, and love! How sweet it is to simply trust Him with child like faith! How complicated I can make it sometimes when I want to do things my way or want to follow my own plan which may not be His. His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

Each Friday night we are able, Daniel takes me out for a date. I look forward to that time all week long :) We talk and talk and talk...and He lets me talk about anything and we just have such a blessed time together and I feel I just love him more and more all the time...how is that even possible I wonder!?! But it is! And it is just like that with the Lord. The more I am with Him, the more I feel His love and the more I love Him!
I told Daniel tonight that this is just the best year ever! I just feel overflowing with joy all the time! How good the Lord is to give us His joy! It is priceless and precious. It is far deeper than happiness, for happiness comes from our circumstances, but joy comes for Christ...from deep within our heart and nothing can take that away!

For those who may not know, about 7-8 years ago, I was given a book by Steve and Teri Maxwell called Managers of Their Homes. It was simply a book to help Christian, home schooling moms manage their time/days and accomplish all that God had called them to do. At the time, I believe I was pregnant with our 7th child and our others were ages 6 and under. I was a very busy mommy! And I was making it okay...I only had a couple that I was schooling, but as the years went on, I realized what a blessing the Lord had given me through what the Maxwells shared.

There were a few principles I learned back then that are still very important to me today .
1) The Lord has not given me more to accomplish than He has given me time in the day. If I "don't have time" then either I am using my time in something that I shouldn't be or what I want to do and think is important isn't what He has called me to do at that time.

2) Ask the Lord to show me what my priorities/ responsibilities/goals should be each year. There are so many "good" things that can be done, and so many things we can focus on. But the Lord knows just what we need to focus on...just what we need to be spending our time doing. And I want to please Him and there is so much peace and joy in giving my time and days to Him to direct as He will. In Romans, God tells us to yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto Him (Rom. 6:13). I was just telling the children this week that yield means to give up and submit. We are to give God our lips, hands, feet etc...to use as He wants.

And finally, 3) I learned that a little time given to anything, if faithfully done each day, adds up to much! How do you teach a child to read? A little bit of time each day, and it's amazing what they've learned in just a couple of weeks. How do you learn an instrument, organize an area, memorize a passage of Scripture, write a report? I am always amazed how quickly a little bit of time given adds up soon to so much. And that is one of the blessings of our school schedule. It's a tool to help us accomplish those goals and responsibilities we have! Little by little, step by step...

So I share with you a little bit about our days. Each family is unique. Our family is different than yours. And while every family has many of the same responsibilities, every family has many different ones as well and how we carry out those tasks will differ to based on our needs. For example, we have 12 children and our oldest was only 12 when our youngest was born. We live in a small town in Mexico. We work in the ministry together. My husband can be needed at any time, day or night, to help someone in need. We home school our children. Our children are mostly still very young. All those things make us different than other families. So how we do something or the time we spend on something may be different than that of another family. Through prayer and knowing the needs of our family, we made our yearly schedule.
I do not want to discourage anyone! We do not think that there is a "right" way vs. "wrong" way to order our days. God tells us to redeem the time, and this is the way that we have found that best enables us to do that.

The schedule is our tool; the children love to follow it! It helps give much order and stability to their days. I rarely hear, "I'm bored!" or "I don't know what to do!". It blesses me because at the end of each day, rather than feeling I have just "spun my wheels" and worked non-stop but have nothing to show for it, I know that I have worked on the areas I need to.

Yes, we have to be flexible. A neighbor stops by, someone is in need, a child gets sick, a bag of dried beans gets spilled all over the floor and needs to be cleaned, we lose power, so we have no computers, there are disagreements that need to be taken care of, a little one bumps his head and needs love, comfort and some ice :) etc... But overall, we do our best to follow our schedule and yet be sensitive to other needs the Lord brings our way.
This year, our schedule is a bit more flexible even in it's writing than in other years. It just seems to be what works best at this time in our lives.

I love the job the Lord has called me to do! I was telling Daniel last night that this is just the most wonderful year ever! The Lord answered so many prayers as we were praying about our schedule, schooling, and other areas in our home and lives. And I'm just so thankful!

Here are some specifics that have been big blessing to our schedule this year that differ from years past:

*Starting earlier each day
We have always started our school work at 9 am each year. But this year, we are starting about 45 minutes earlier. We are accomplishing much now before lunch time.

*Hna. Tola as a helper
Hermana (sister) Tola is a dear widow lady who has been part of our church from almost the beginning. She has brought up her 16 year old grandson, Ivan, since he was a baby. This summer, she was in need of a job as she works to provide for herself and Ivan. We had often talked about having a lady come to help in the home, and it seemed as the Lord arranged it just perfectly at this time for her to begin working here with us. What a blessing she has been! She arrives just as I'm finishing my time with the Lord in the morning and while I get the children up, dressed, do some chores around the home and check the children's chores, she makes us breakfast. After breakfast, the children clean up the kitchen and dining room, but she washes the dishes which enables us to start school earlier. While I'm teaching, she works on the laundry, does some general cleaning, and prepares lunch. After lunch, she again washes the dishes and sweeps/mops. Ivan arrives shortly afterwards from school, eats lunch, and then takes his grandma home.
She is so sweet, loves the children, and while we miss our family in the USA so much, it is like having an adopted Grandma right here. She's here Monday through Friday and I feel so very spoiled! I don't know how long this will last, but I'm enjoying the blessing of her help each day to the fullest!

*Some classes taught by video
Since the Lord gave us a child each year for 12 years, I will be home schooling all 12 of them Timothy and Elijah's final year of high school. This year, I'm schooling 9, with 2 pre-schoolers and baby Samuel. We had been praying the last couple years about the possibility of someone from the states coming to help me with the home schooling. We had some possibilities, but the Lord seemed to close the door. Abeka (which is the curriculum we mainly use) offers their classes via dvd or internet streaming. They have samples of their classes for each grade online. Our children loved to watch the video samples "for fun" :). Daniel started praying about the possibility of us using the video school for some of our children in order to lighten my load and give me more time to work with the others. It wasn't something we could afford, but we just prayed and asked the Lord to open the door as He willed. We just asked Him and left it in His hands to direct. And He worked everything out! Being missionaries, Abeka gave us a discount, the Lord provided the money needed for school, and we were able to get online streaming for some of the children's classes.
I was a bit nervous not knowing how it would go and hoping it would be a blessing and not a burden. The Lord is so good, and He knew! :) It has been just wonderful! The children are enjoying it so much, I've been able to spend extra time helping a couple of mine who need that extra teaching time and they've been growing and learning so much. I still work with the ones using the video's each day...they read to me, I love to read the older boys reports and help them with their assignments as they need it. I'm just so thankful!

*Giving direction to our little energy-filled Nehemiah
(Managing a very active 3 year old)
Often we hear, "Oh, your children all look alike." But what I love is how very different they all are! God has made each one so unique with different strengths, weaknesses, personalities, talents, likes, dislikes, etc... We've had 3 very easy going, laid back, quiet ones. And then there's the rest :) They are full of energy, thoughts, and ideas...and they talk a lot. :) Don't know where they got that from since Daniel and I are soooo quiet. ha! :) I just look into Nehemiah's eyes and I can almost see the thoughts running through his head. He is so full of life and I tell you, this past summer, he was constantly in trouble! Getting into something, doing something he shouldn't, putting together some strange contraption, acting out something, jumping, running, climbing, touching everything. He definitely kept me on my toes and quite entertained!

One day, Daniel said, "Jaynee, that child needs something to do most every minute of the day. It is only then that he is not in trouble." And he was right! If Nehemiah was working along side Daniel or I in a project or if we were playing a game together or he was helping someone do something, he was as good as could be. He just needs something to do! As I was working on our school schedule and the children were getting their new books and their desks ready for school, I asked Nehemiah if he wanted to start school. His big, brown eyes lit up, and he got the biggest, cutest smile, jumped up and down several times while saying, "Yes!! I want to do school! I love school!" I gave him his own little drawer, with his own little work books. He got a pencil box with pencils, glue, crayons, and and eraser. Daddy had an extra little Bible on his desk that he didn't use and he gave it to Nehemiah as he would want to study the Bible too. And wow! What a change! While he still has his moments, we are no longer saying, "Oh no! Nehemiah!" every 15 minutes.
He has Bible class with us all each morning, then he writes someone a letter (I write it out for him and he traces each letter with a crayon and colors a picture), then he and Susannah color together until it's break time and all the younger ones go outside to play for half an hour. When he comes in, he gets all his school books and he and Susannah do flash cards and work on work sheets with me. When we finish, Rebekah (who's simply wonderful with the little ones...she loves to teach and is so creative!) takes them outside for her break for a half hour and does school with them. Then he comes in until lunch and works on his "home work" with mommy. After lunch, he takes a rest and afterwards, he listens to his brothers read to mommy, has a snack, and we play together for a while. By then, most of the other children are finishing up their school/chores for the day and he either plays with them or sometimes just sticks with me because he loves to be hugged. :) And I love to hug all my children as often as they'll let me! :-)

Well, the rest is much the same as our other years...we all do chores in the morning, afternoon and evening. We love to work together and many hands make light work! :) We love to play together as often as we can. We love to share Christ with others. We love to help others. We just love being a family and are so thankful for the many people the Lord has put into our lives to bless, encourage, and pray for us as we serve Him. We pray we can be used to bless others and love them just as Jesus has loved us.

Anyways, we so enjoy our days! We don't schedule weekends as Sunday we are working in the church all day and Saturdays are filled with extra cleaning, grocery shopping, and other misc. projects that there isn't time for during the week days.
Our schedule often changes a bit in the evenings...Tuesday is family night (a trip to the park, a walk around the neighborhood, playing games in the back yard, going to visit someone in our church), Wednesday is prayer meeting, Thursday is all church soul winning, and Friday is date night.
But we always want to being and end each day with the Word and prayer and singing. I love hearing the children's questions about the Lord, hearing their prayers, seeing their excitement at answered prayer, and to see the Lord continually work in their hearts just as He does in mine. They, like their mommy and daddy, are far from perfect and struggle with the same things that we do...pride, envy, selfishness, anger, laziness. But the Lord is so faithful and how thankful I am for His forgiveness and His continual work in our hearts! The older I get, the more I know how much I need Him. And while I can follow a schedule, work my best, and do all I know to do, it is He alone that works in the hearts and lives of my children. And How I ask each day for His grace, His work, and His loving hand to touch their lives. And when I give each concern, burden, and care to Him, and I trust that He has heard and He will work, each day is a welcome blessing and even the troubles and problems that arise, I know that He is working!

Well, did you make it through all the way to the end? :-) Oh, and as to how I'm feeling physically/recovery... I am feeling like a new person! I'm so thankful for so many blessings! Oh, how He loves us! Thank you so much for your prayers!

I Corinthians 1:25-31
"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see our calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty not many noble, are called: But God hath chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and bas things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

I love listening to them read!

When this this little boy become a man?

They bring their books to the living room where I teach when it is their turn

Working on math

Completing pages at their desks

Hi Samuel! Do you like your lunch?

Susannah gets a Bible out each morning to read. When I finish up my chores, if there is still time before breakfast, she always wants me to read her some verses. The other day, I had 4 little ones on my lap listening to me read the verses they chose :)

Nehemiah's turn to help with the flag/Bible salutes and lead in prayer for our day.

Big, proud 1st grader Noah

Nehemiah is "SO" excited :)

Working on his letter

Studying hard...hanging a sheet in the window to keep the hot sun out!

Benjamin letting the little ones help him clean out a drawer from the fridge

Fridays are organize your desk days...didn't they do well? :-)