Welcome



WELCOME!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit our family blog.
This blog was originally created to post updates on our newborn daughter, which was 4 years ago. God has started using this blog as a ministry and outreach plus a way to record the journey that God is allowing our family to live.
To Our Lord, may He get the Glory and Honor!

Blessings from Shandee

Update: We have been led to further sharing our online journey with posts from the entire family. What started out as a simple blogging journey from a Mother & Wife's perspective has blossomed into a family journey. We now welcome you to The Childress Family Blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thank you

I just want to take a moment to thank God for the ladies that he had already put in place for me when I moved home. Wow, it is amazing how my family has been embraced by these women and their families. I thought I would only get that from the Godly women in Pittsburgh that God had graciously placed in my life( I miss you ladies terribly,by the way and want to see you so bad!). I believed before we moved home, I would see all my old friends very often and we would catch up more than we did when I lived away. The truth is, it's not been really different. I guess some of us are just in different directions.
God gave me a precious homeschool family and Madison a best friend, actually children all of my girl's ages except Sophia. I can look out my window and see their house, how amazing is that?! God did not have me wait for a new friend. He has blessed me with not only a precious neighbor but a wonderful group of homeschooling families that delight in honoring the Lord and a shared idea for lifestyles for their family. I have been very blessed with a group of women from a new church that I am learning from and sharing life's journey on refreshing women's retreats. These women have prayed for us, loved us, cooked for us, and wrapped their arms literally around my family. I feel so unworthy. I just had to share that from my heart. So, with all the doors He closes, He graciously opens new ones. Sometimes, we expect one thing and God does something entirely different. By the way, it's beautiful here this fall, with the leaves gently blowing this Fall. We watched leaves fall and the wind brushed our face on the front porch while I was having school with Madison today. We became weather reporters while Claire and her sisters watched us on their "t.v." which was a swimming pool box :-) I laughed with joy today, and cried with despair at moments, and looked into their sweet eyes and as I check on them in a peaceful slumber, and hear the soft whisper of their breath as they rest, yes, it is worth it, YES, IT IS WORTH EVERY MINUTE. This season will gently fade and my babies will grow up. Just for a season, I have them near. God help me to remember this every day.

I hope this has blessed your day. I'm going to put pictures up in a day or so!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Love this Post from a family of 10...not too far behind, we're 6 right now

Tip #8 Make Housework a Family Affair
Especially in a large family, involving all of the kids in the housework, chores, cooking, cleaning etc. This helps to provide family unity, and a sense of belonging. It also teaches kids to develop a strong work ethic. And encourage Dad to get involved—n our situation,much of what a successful mom is able to accomplish, is due to a very present and helpful dad!

Getting ready for the week

Dear Friends,

I am getting ready for the week. Tomorrow is our day of rest as a family and I certainly am looking forward to it. We've had a very busy week with something every day and evening. That really tires a family with 4 young children; I think it tires anyone down. The last two nights have been unrestful for my gang, not sure why, but I am looking forward to a peaceful nights rest and I pray Rick and I can get one.

Our family dug potatoes tonight for the first time. I wished it could have been funner, but it was very hard. The girls, especially Claire, were in the way of where I needed to put the hoe to dig and I was afraid that I might cut her finger or something. That was stressful, there were not many potatoes, but a few. They are small, perfect for a slow cooked dinner, Madison said. I thought that was perfect.

Rick and I had a meal out yesterday evening without the girls. That was very nice of course. We felt kind of rushed, though. We had to do other shopping so that was pressing to us both. I wished we had the chance to do it over again, if that makes any sense, I don't know. Probably just do dinner and skip the rest so we can have a quiet moment together. Still it was wonderful to sit snuggled to the man I adore and eat peacefully and share with no one :-) That's nice for a night, but would much rather it be my daily walk with the girls. I am so anxious to have a night away with my husband, but I"m just not sure how to make that happen. Any ideas or suggestions? Rick, I think your'e about the only one reading this, so what do you think?

Madison and Claire started soccer, we have practice almost every weeknight and the games start the beginning of October! Neither of them are very aggressive and they are very stand-offish. I thought they might try to get the ball more, but they are very conservative. Claire likes to dance and jump around during practice, kind of in her own little world.

Well, goodnight and may God bless your day tomorrow!

Love,Shandee

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Heart's Desire

I think it was little Sophie who came into the kitchen pointing me in the direction of our door. A man of God was at my door holding out a dish that I had prepared food in for their family. Just so happened this is the father of 9 precious children with much wisdom and lots of answers! God has blessed me in return for blessing their family. He chose THAT day to send him with the good news of Jesus-HOPE! I was desperate. My girls were running around all over the porch and I looked a mess and he could probably tell I was just not myself. It truly was one of the worst days I've had at home. He told me he was returning the dish and thanked me. I immediately jumped at the chance to gain wisdom from the walk of him and his wife with their large family. He gave me the answer CONSISTENCY and explained. How true it is to be consistent with your children. Don't smooth it over or try to ignore and hope their mistakes will get better. In my training, I had not been consistent.

That was my answer! Rick and I decided to put everything to the side Thurs. and Fri. and focus on consistency. For me, that meant, the first time Madison used a disrespectful tone, she was punished. The first time Claire did not do as I asked, she was punished. The first time Hannah would not sit in her chair, she was punished. The first time Sophie pulled her sister's hair, she was punished. I had to stop what I was doing many many times and go to them and correct at that moment. Finally, by Friday I noticed things were starting to shape up a little.

Sat. I was gone all day and Rick continued our plan of action with consistency. It was working! We're learning how to manage this family of ours. Training from the heart-not because I said so, but because in your heart, you want to do what is right because it is what we are supposed to do. Not from fear. I also figured out it is a heart issue. Rick reminded me that today it is the same with marriage. You live a certain lifestyle with your spouse and walk in love and purtiy because in your HEART, you treasure your spouse and they are a gift and you recognize that.

I learned so much at the retreat Saturday. I could not take the time to record it all. But, I learned what my heart's desire is and how to make that happen. I learned what I needed to do to finally have total peace in my home and I am going to put the plan into action. I want to fulfill the purpose and God has given me for my life. I will need prayer and guidance so pray for me as I learn to manage my household and get it in order, God's way, not the world's way. He knows my heart's desire and is giving me that. Seek Him for yours and "he will provide".

Weekend

Wow, what a wonderful weekend I have been blessed with. I attended a Women's retreat all day yesterday; I was gone from around 6:30 a.m. till nearly midnight. It was amazing, no, God is amazing. How I learned and was encouraged.

You see, for many, months I have been struggling with the business of life. Some may think just because you stay home, you can't be that busy. Oh, my, what a misconception. Call me for 1 minute or drop by my house sometime and how you will find that is the farthest thing from the truth. There is constant movement and laughter, along with chaos of a larger family. Our days are never boring, and they are always rich. I have to be honest, some days I cry out to God and ask how am I going to get through this, my house is a wreck, my children are not obeying, I hardly see my husband, getting ready for church and attending church is so much work, I have a classroom to teach with small children picking at each other, and deliberately disobyeing, plus I terribly miss my husband, we hardly get to talk or hold each other. Whew, I felt helpless these past two weeks. But, sure enough God keeps his promises. I had to be broken to the point of nothing before I truly left Him take over.

I became broken Wednesday. My girls were not listening, everything was just coming to a head. I was so grumpy and so ashamed of how I was handling my home and children. That was everything I ever wanted, God had blessed me with babies I never thought I could have. My husband is a precious man of God and I was acting like a wild woman who had stuck her finger in a light socket, just out of control. I was trying to hurry and fix lunch Wed. and I cried out to God and told Him He was going to have to help me, how could I carry on, but I wanted to, my heart's desire is and was to love and nurture my babies, and teach my children Godly instruction and educate them at home, and be a loving wife. I was failing in all areas. I knew why some women leave, just run away. I have felt like it. God's word instructs us to be accountable to Him and our husband. If I ran away, that was disobedient. I was in trouble and God was my answer. My next post will tell about His answer.

Beverly

Dear Friends, I am sad and heartbroken to say that the lady named Beverly that I had requested for prayer, lost her battle with cancer Friday morning. She passed away early in the morning, the ironic part is that the time she left this earth was the quiet time she spent with God every morning before starting her day. She has some young children and an older daughter, I believe a total of 6 children. Please still pray for her family, they are travelling home to Big Stone Gap for her burial, as she requested. I was reminded yesterday not to continue to worry about her and her family because God will provide. The Word says He is always the same yesterday and tomorrow! How I love His promises!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hello

Hello to anyone that checks my blog. It's been a bit since I've updated. I guess this will be the norm from here on out instead of the exception. School preparation and class time take a huge amount of work and time from me. It is especially hard with toddlers with short attention spans running around from thing to thing while I try to keep my 2nd grader and PreK student interested. The mornings are stop and go, stop and go. Reminds me a lot of when I would teach at our Pittsburgh toddler class (www.wrccc.org). I would often stop and go, get a bit of a lesson in, gather someone back to the table, or hold a baby while teaching, or have a baby growing in my belly while teaching. That is what it's like in my own homeschool classroom except I don't have a baby being formed by God's hands at this moment in time. Sure, it's hard. People say, "I don't know how you do it". To me, they must be saying, there is no way she can keep all those kids in a classroom and teach her oldest daughter. Actually, they are wrong, they are all learning. Diffferent ways, different concepts, but still they are learning from their mother and each other. Can you remember having to get up to go to school dreading the day before you get out of bed? Maybe it was because you didn't want someone to make fun of you, or you felt like you didn't have anything to wear, or maybe you didn't do your homework or study for that test, or was it that you were just tired from working a part-time job in high school? I can remember sitting on the pavement during recess in kindergarten. All the children were playing, but I was sad. I was alone, no one came to comfort me sitting there against the wall or fence. I cried and my heart was sad. No one noticed. I hated being there. I missed my home and mother and I was tired. I already did not like to go to school. Only God saw me at that moment, the teacher did not even notice. I know some people tend to disagree with homeschooling but I truly cannot imagine a more beautiful childhood memory than being in a class learning everything with your mom and family. Why does a child need to go to school where they do not want to be, be robbed of time with family, and be rushed and rushed with schedules not to mention peer pressure by people that will only remain in their lives a short time. After high school, the ones that matter will be family, their parents and siblings. A very wise woman once said that homeschooling was everything you are already doing just taking it a step further. Oh how true, how blessed I am, even in the moments I think I am going to scream(and yesterday I did :-( and feel like the day and workload will not get finished. I get to hold my daughters close in my arms, smell their sweet hair all day long, and help them learn to love each other and everyone even when they don't feel like it. I would not trade it for anything. Sure, I don't get a lot of time for me, but when I became a mother, that theory was surely put out the window. There will be a season for myself, my time with them is short, I only have a short time with each of them.
Speaking of that, Madison is reading Charlotte's Web. Lastnight, I read ahead to the chapter where Charlotte is weak and begins to die. Oh, my heart broke and I began to dread her reading this. She is like me soft-hearted and sensitive. I didn't want to worry her, I didn't want her to go through the pain. Sadness overcame me and I went to Rick and told him. We both agreed she needed to continue to read this book. It is something she must eventually learn about and how would I rather her to learn about it than with me? We will be snuggled up on the couch, I will see her face and expressions and I will hold her and we can cry together. I will share that moment with her and she will remember her Mommy holding her as she read Charlotte's Web in 2nd grade. I can give her a biblical perspective and I can show her love. If she was in a classroom with many other students, she could not get that and the experience would not be the same. I will gladly die to my self and go without luxuries of fashionable clothes or fancy manicures and even time for things I might enjoy for a short season to savor hugs, bouncing curls, days of pushing cuties on the swingset, doing house keeping things, seeing all my children's first steps and achievements, taking a drive on the mountainside and sharing sweet giggles every day. Now, on the other side, I will say there is a huge basket of laundry piled in my laundry room that needs to be put away, a huge sock basket in my room along with a stack of bamboo I bought on clearance for 39 cents, an untidy house, I haven't had a shower today-but did sponge bath and put on makeup, a grocery store shopping list waiting on me at 10:30 or 11 tonight, and school plans tomorrow. I have to be real and tell the truth, to put all the facts out and not just make it sound so perfect because it's not.
I say all these things to prove it is not all glamourous, it is hard work, and the sun does not always shine, but I am doing what I feel God has called m to do. There is so much fun to a big family. Others may feel called to different things, like Mommies who are called to be Drs. I couldn't have had my babies without the female drs. that have delivered my babies. God calls us all to different things and we have to discern that area. I just know my heart is in the home. Where are you led to be? Ask and He will surely answer His will for your life and I can promise the peace He will give you and your family once you find it! I thank God for his amazing grace.