Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Ice Cream, Please?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

This little girls likes treats!

A funny…

Yesterday, Esther accompanied Anna and me to town for one of Anna’s dance classes. Shortly after dropping Anna off, we approached McDonald’s. Esther asked sweetly, “Mommy, how about if you and I get a little treat.”  I responded, “Not today Esther, we need to get home.”

A few stoplights later, Esther tried again with a “good for us” tactic. “Mommy, mommy… Sweet Frog! Frozen yogurt is healthy. We should do that instead!” Again, I denied her request.

One stoplight later, as we approached the last “treat spot” before the stretch of highway leading home, Esther says, “Chick-fil-A! It’s my favorite. Chick-fil-A ice cream isn’t expensive. Please, Mommy?” I responded just a little more firmly, “Esther, we are not getting ice cream. We need to get home.”

Esther, a little exasperated but as persistant as ever and with a “let’s-end-this-now” tone responded, “Mommy. I do NOT want to fight with you about this, OK???? I just want some ice cream.”

It was the tone I use and the exact words I use when requesting my children do something they don’t want to do. I know she has heard, “Esther, I do not want to fight with you. Pick up your toys and put them away (and then there is usually a warning of consequence.) I need you to obey.”

Now, for the record Esther did not get her ice cream. She also was reprimanded for her tone and given a little “respect” talk.

But I am still chuckling. You can’t blame her for trying 🙂

Esther’s Prayer

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

My sweet Esther became a Christian today.

I had no idea that Daniel was filming with his iPhone. What a precious blessing to have a portion of our conversation recorded! All day I’ve smiled thinking this will be such a treasure!

Before he began recording, Esther came down from her room to proclaim that the Bible says in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me.” This has been a verse she’s been working on in AWANAS. “Mommy, I want to be a Christian and I need to know how right now!” she proclaimed. She had been talking with Bethany who encouraged her to talk to Daniel and me.

We discussed sin and her need for a savior. I can’t even begin to describe how precious her words were. Shortly after she admitted she is a sinner, Daniel began the recording…

Sure… She doesn’t have a complete theological understanding. She is young. But Jesus calls little children unto himself. He is working in my little one’s life. She “wants to believe those things.” (And about those earrings… I wore some big hoops today with little jade beads. I think they were a tiny bit of a distraction:))

I am rejoicing that she is a child of the King!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Ballet Mag and a Birthday Party

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Anna at Ballet Magnificat!

Anna was blessed to be able to attend Ballet Magnificat‘s summer dance intensive this past July. She learned so much, made many friends and most importantly, was challenged in her walk with the Lord. Not surprisingly, she desires to attend again next summer and would love to stay a month. Because this was her first time away at a dance intensive, she had no idea what to expect. With a blistered foot and a nervous “newness,” she placed in a level 6 – just about right in the middle of the skill levels. While not at all upset with her placement, she’d love to work hard this year and place higher and stay longer next year. However, staying a month is out of our budget. So, since Anna’s return, we’ve been brainstorming ways for her to raise a little extra money this school year. One idea mentioned on the Ballet Magnificat! website is hosting ballet birthday parties. We are so thankful for Ms. Wendy, the owner of Northwestern Studios where Anna takes here in Boone. She is such an encourager and has offered Anna Northwestern Studio to host ballerina birthdays. So, with the help of her sisters, Anna has a new little business! With all the ballet party talk, Sarah, who turns 9 on Tuesday, decided she’d like to give the ballet party a test run – on her! Thus, on Friday, Anna hosted her first party. It was great fun, and we have Christina to thank for this video. Enjoy!

What’s up?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Yes, that's Anna... Watch out!

I’m just three days shy of one month with no blogging updates. I don’t have writer’s block. Everything is ok. I am just ending the month of madness – and I’m not talking about basketball.

Since Easter we have:

Christina turned 14!

Visited family in Greensboro

Danced in a ballet recital

Celebrated Christina’s 14th birthday at Carowinds

Continued with church activities including youth, worship practice (Daniel), MOPS mentoring (me) and babysitting (girls) and hosting small group

Endured end-of-grade testing

Played in the end-of-year band concert

Celebrated Mother’s Day

Wrapped up co-op classes, including the two classes I taught

Secured a braces date for Nathan

Continued private music lessons and ballet

Delivered a few meals to friends recovering from illness

Continued with swim practice for Nathan

Cheered Anna on as she got her learner’s permit

Exercise myself with some consistency

Gone to Carowinds again!

Met with a planning team for some educational classes for next school year several times.

Cleaned out our attic (a huge undertaking for a busy month! But yeah! So glad it’s done before it’s too hot to work up there!)

Celebrated the graduates of our homeschool group

Rejoiced in the marriage of two dear friends

May events still to come:

A piano recital for Christina

A tonsillectomy for Nathan 🙁

A huge dance recital for Bethany and Anna

A birthday for Daniel’s

And then, finally, summer 🙂

For the past several years, May has been exceptionally busy. Every class has an end-of-the-year recital or party. We must test the children. Folks graduate. We celebrate. And I end the month a little tired but so thankful; thankful for the academic and spiritual growth of my children; thankful for our church family; thankful for teachers investing in my children’s lives; thankful for dear ones graduating; thankful for the blessings of homeschooling; thankful for God’s grace throughout another school year and thankful for the summer weeks ahead.

Grandall and Esther on Easter day

Meeting Mr. Story of the World

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Sarah, Bethany and Nathan with Mr. "Story of the World"

This is Jim Weiss and he a phenomenal story teller! He narrates our history CDs, The Story of the World. Several days a week, my younger children listen to the CDs and then we discuss the stories. For Bethany and Sarah, my auditory learners, these CDs are gold. They love listening to them and really retain most of what they hear.

After we arrived at the homeschool conference today, we had a few minutes to shop the exhibit hall before it was “officially” opened. I stopped by Greathall Productions because I saw these beautiful CD sets that my children enjoy so nicely displayed, and Mr. Weiss introduced himself. Immediately, Sarah said, “Hey, you sound really familiar!” I smiled. Jim smiled. I whispered to him, “Say Story of the World volume 3.” He did. Sarah then went a little bonkers. Let me just tell you, she could not have been more thrilled had she met anyone in Hollywood. “It’s really fun to meet the man that reads Story of the World! We listen to you all the time!!!! This is so amazing!” And she ran off to find Bethany. “Bethany, you’ll never believe who I met! Come, now!”

Bethany accompanied Sarah to Jim Weiss’s booth and said, “Go ahead, say it!”

“Story of the World, Volume 3,” replied Mr. Weiss and Bethany covered her mouth in pure amazement.

Mr. Weiss, I am sure was feeling pretty good about his fame in the Jobe house until Anna came along. “Say it again,” begged Sarah and Bethany in unison!

“Story of the World,” replied this very fun and patient man. Anna then replied, “That is cool! Ya know, your narrating voice is much less annoying than what is used in most homeschool curriculum. It’s nice to meet you.

Mr. Weiss really laughed with Anna’s response. “Thanks, I think!” was his reply.

Jim Weiss is anything but “less-annoying!” Stories come alive with his narrations! His voice has been a part of our audio library for over a decade! I have a feeling every time we hear him begin a chapter of Story of the World, we’ll smile as we remember meeting him in person!

Loving the Little Years – Motherhood in the Trenches

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

I just finished an excellent little book – Loving the Little Years – Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic. Rachel is “in the trenches” with five children five years old and under. She writes from the perspective of a mommy with her sleeves rolled up and working hard – not from one kicked back after raising her children and reminiscing about the “good old days!” Having four girls and a son including a set of twins, she and I share a heart for mothering as well as very similar family dynamics. As she described many Jankovic scenarios, I was reminded of many Jobelette “in the trenches” days about a decade ago!

This little 102 page book contains twenty essays that address  the heart of the mother before anything else. There are no chore charts, meal plans or checklists. This may strike young mommies as odd. Don’t all parenting books contain tips from the experts to make life with so many munchkins more manageable? Consider this quote, which still  spoke conviction into my heart though my 5 under 7 are now 15 down to 8…

“When Scripture says to bring children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, it is not talking about finding the most effective way to organize them. This is a very easy trap to fall in, because the more children you have the more difficult it is to keep them clean and clothed and fed. Just the basics of life are a full time job. … What you are doing is finding a way to contain your children, control them and keep their sin from making you look bad. But you are not actually dealing with anything. The fact that your children have learned to go with the household flow and do their chores does not in any way offset the fact that they spend all their available free time sulking in their room. Christian child rearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge. The more children you have, the more you need to be pastorally minded… If you are being a parent who is pastorally minded, you will stop whatever it is that you are doing to go see how your daughter is up in her bedroom.”

I call such bedroom checks “eternal time,” a term borrowed from a dear friend of mine. In taking time away from dinner prep, math homework or laundry, we’re focusing on the eternal living souls of our precious children. We are tending to our little lambs, making sure their hearts are ok. Eternal time can be terribly inconvenient – especially when there are lots of lambs to tend to and they are all hungry. Rachel makes the point that, if you are blessed to be the mother of many young ones, you must make special effort to see each child as an individual. Schedules and charts are fine and needed, but they can give a busy mother a false sense of security or success. Children quickly pick up that peace in the home matters more than peace in their spirit when the schedule is too highly valued. One observation that I have, as a mother of older children as well as a couple of littles, is that the older they are, the more eternal time they need. Teens and tweens don’t, by any means, have it “all figured out.” They also don’t go to bed at 8:00 allowing you to complete unfinished tasks. Thus, as the littles age, you get to sleep through the night which is wonderful, but you often have midnight counseling sessions 🙂 Mothering gets easier in some ways and harder in others.

Rachel, in each of her essays, addresses the heart of the mother before the behavior or management of children. Unlike children, there is one thing that absolutely must be organized:

“The kids can be running like a bunch of hooligans through a house that appears to be at the bottom of a toaster, and yet, if organization and order can still be found in my attitude, we are doing well. But if my attitude falters, even in the midst of external order, so does everything else.”

I could not agree more. And that organized attitude starts with knowing where to find our peace!

Other topics you’ll read about in this little book are child training, the “bulk” effect (which comes with having many young ones at once), the physical scars of motherhood, little girl emotions, being “overwhelmed,” “me time,” and more! In reading it, I’ve been reminded of many “mothering in the trenches” moments, and I plan on sharing a few of them in the weeks to come.

Esther Skis at Three

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Someone got to go skiing last week!

We’ve never taken a child under the age of 6 or 7 to the slopes. However, youngest children occasionally find themselves at an advantage. Christina had to wait until she was 9 to get a puppy. Esther thinks our yorkie, Tanner, is her big brother. Anna begged to ski until she was seven. Esther got to try out the bunny slope last week just two months after turning three. She also was born into a home equipped with two dollhouses, 6 bitty babies, a decade of dance costumes for dress-ups and a Playmobil castle. I remember when Anna was three thinking, “We really need some girl toys.” That was 12 years and 4 daughters and a bazillion birthday parties ago. Anyway… Daniel and I are guilty of “not being fair.” Esther gets to ski at three.

And she did GREAT!

Because this preschool-ski thing was new to us, we had no idea how she’d do. We were so surprised that after a few runs, she wanted to try it “all by myself!!” I was pleased to capture her first run down where Daniel “lets her go.”

Way to go, Esther! 🙂

Esther’s Big Pink Pocketbook

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

This is Esther and her big pink pocketbook. When it’s time to run errands, she flings it over her darling little shoulder and exclaims, “I’ve got my pocketbook! We can go now!” In it is she keeps her essentials. Today, there is a little book, a bracelet, some “lip-stuff” and a stuffed animal. Tomorrow, the contents most likely will change. She holds it carefully in her lap in her car seat. If she is given a treasure as we run around town, she has a perfect place to put it.

Esther could have decided to carry a purse for her treasures all on her own. Many little girls do, and she does have four purse-carrying big sisters as well as a purse-carrying mommy. However, modeling for purse carrying came from another little girl – one with cartoon-like blond hair, beady black eyes and green pants. We’ve read of her adventures about town with her mommy so many times that it’s a shame this child speaks in first person and never shares her name with us. This is a picture of our nameless friend, who happens to carry a big green pocketbook – much like her mother’s blue one… and, Esther believes, much like her hand-me-down-from-big-sister pink one.

Esther adores this story that we borrowed from a friend of mine. While I enjoyed reading it to her, I wouldn’t say it’s one of my all time favorites. It’s sweet, but it has only taught my daughter to carry around a pocketbook. Every time I see my cute three year old with her pocketbook of treasures, I am reminded of the powerful influence that stories can have in our children’s lives. If a little cartoon friend can convince Esther to carry a purse everywhere she goes, what else might she learn from stories? My hope is she’ll learn far more during our read-aloud times than the joy of pocketbook ownership.

I once heard, “You are only changed by the people you know and the books you read.” God changes us most definitely, but there is no doubt that He often uses other people and words (spoken or written) to do so.

I most certainly desire the truths of God’s Word to penetrate the hearts of my children. Yet there are so many good stories that testify of God’s faithfulness as well –  missionary stories, biographies and fiction that direct little hearts toward the Lord. Might the Bible story of the little boy who shared his lunch inspire my children to be giving and trust Jesus? Might a missionary in Africa become their hero? Might my children be influenced toward gratitude after reading of Laura Ingall’s joy in receiving a penny and a piece of peppermint as her only gifts on Christmas Day? The answer to those questions is yes! I’ve seen the power of a book’s influence time and time again in the lives of my children.

May I choose treasures to fill my daughter’s heart in the stories that I share with her. Just like she collects trinkets for her purse, may I collect and read edifying, wholesome books – books, full of life-giving, encouraging words and godly influence! And while I’m at it, I may just pick up our own personal copy of The Big Green Pocketbook – just for fun!

Best. Christmas. Ever.

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Every Christmas is wonderful. It’s not the presents under the tree, the food or the traditions that make a wonderful Christmas. Every year, Jesus is celebrated. Every year, we reflect on the greatest gift ever given. Every year, we rejoice in the birth of our Savior. I just can’t seem to “rate” our Christmases because they are all precious to me. However, the Jobe kids universally declared that 2010 was “The Best. Christmas. Ever.” I live with teens now so this was an “epic” Christmas. It ruled. It was “pure awesomeness” for a multitude of reasons.

#1. We had a gorgeous tree. I’m a dummy and didn’t get a picture of it, but really, it was symmetrical, huge (11-ish feet), and only $25. I could write a whole post about my tree, but in summary and in keeping with the teen talk, we “scored.” The day after Thanksgiving as we were driving home from spending time off the mountain with family, Anna, my fifteen year old daughter, read a friend’s facebook status update and informed us that this guy’s family had trees for sale for $25. I envisioned a family tree farm and thought, “Sure. We’ll support our friends.” So, we pulled over at the designated location and were surrounded by big-eyed boy scouts shivering from standing in the freezing cold trying to sell the last of the bailed trees that had been donated to benefit their troop. I’d not envisioned picking up a bailed tree on the side of the road from some scouts. We live in the mountains. We typically do hay rides and meander through Christmas tree farms in pursuit of our yearly tree. We don’t buy them unseen or uncut. But neither my hubby nor I could say no to the boy scouts ready to tie slip-knots and secure the last of their trees-for-sale on our huge 12-passenger van. Daniel said as the scouts got to work, “Honey, I’ll just throw it in the woods when we get home if it’s ugly.” It wasn’t ugly. In fact, it was gorgeous. We could not believe it. The. Best. Tree. Ever. All for $25.

Pot holders for Ma Boo.

#2. We stayed home. Neither of our families are local, so often we travel on or around Christmas, but not this year. We missed seeing my family, but because my parents lived with us for six months as my dad waited for his heart transplant, we were blessed to have more time with them this year than we’ve ever had. We enjoyed the slower pace of celebrating Jesus’ birthday at our own house.

Converse socks and ear warmers from Uncle Stephen

#3 Family came to see us. Christmas Eve, Daniel’s parents and brother arrived and attended our Christmas Eve service with us. Anna and Christina danced and it was beautiful. Having Ma Boo and Grandall and Uncle Stephen  with us Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and for breakfast on Sunday was special indeed.

#4. We didn’t lose power. Last year, we had an ice storm and were without power for 48 hours. We ate cold bread and drank Sprite for our holiday meal. We couldn’t play new Wii games. We were freezing. We couldn’t flush potties. We couldn’t take showers. We slept in the den all together and Esther didn’t like it. It was not the best Christmas ever.

#5. Though we kept our power, it snowed. Yes, we had a white Christmas – a gorgeous white Christmas. Peaceful. Beautiful… About a foot of the pretty powdery stuff… not the dangerous icy stuff.

#6. The children had no wrapped gifts from their parents. They were a little worried. Even on Christmas morning, Christina questioned me, “Seriously, Mom, did you really not get us anything?” This year we gave each child two gifts and neither of them were “wrap-able.” The first is a promise to see Tim Hawkins, a hilarious Christian comedian, live in March. Many evenings we’ve spent as a family laughing at his you-tube videos. All of our children love him! They’ve never been to a live show such as this and are so looking forward to it! The second gift is family season passes to Carowinds, an amusement park two hours away. Instead of unwrapping their gifts, the children played Wheel of Fortune to guess the gifts in puzzles. This was a total blast and took about thirty minutes on Christmas morning. Once they figured out the puzzle, they were absolutely ecstatic! Our large gang doesn’t frequent amusement parks often. We’re all looking forward to some special family times ahead on roller coasters and water slides!

Our Wheel of Fortune guess the gift game

Carowinds Season Passes

#7. I didn’t shop in any malls or stores. None. Tickets were ordered online. I baked a little. I made my parents and in-laws picture calendars. Staying out of the stores made for a much more peaceful me.

#8. The children, however, shopped for one another. Five siblings (Esther didn’t give, but she received) X 5 gifts each, meant that even though mom and dad didn’t put gifts under the tree, there were still 25 beautifully wrapped presents. This is the first year they’ve done this and I must admit, I loved it. They spent time thinking about one another and were good shoppers. Anna styled little brother up a bit. Nathan bought perfume from Bath and Body Works with Bethany’s help for big sisters. Sarah patronized the dollar store and selected everyone’s favorite candy. Sweet. Very sweet.

Presents... all bought by the children for one another

Precious Esther

#9. We read Jotham’s Journey every day of Advent. I highly recommend this sweet story. From the website of the author:

After running away from his father’s tents in a moment of anger, ten-year-old Jotham has lost his way, and his family. As he journeys through Palestine in search of his nomadic home, Jotham is helped by a fool, a priest, a zealot and a wise man. Chased by a gang of thieves, thrown from one “foster parent” to another, Jotham slowly discovers the miracle of the first Christmas, and some miraculous things about his own life and his own family.

Written as a devotional for parents to read to their children during Advent, Jotham’s Journey unfolds day by day until the exciting climax on Christmas Day. Each day’s installment of the story is followed by a short devotional which will challenge your family to share in Jotham’s discoveries.

My children all enjoyed our evening time together reading this Advent story!

#10. We gathered with friends Christmas night and played new games. Some of our dearest friends who live in our neighborhood invited us over and we so enjoyed our time of fellowship with them! The children think next year we should invite a family over to our house for games. They’d like to see this become a new tradition! Enjoying some time with dear friends after an already perfectly wonderful day was just “icing on the happy-birthday-Jesus cake!”

Game time with friends

My children say this was the best Christmas ever. I disagree. The first Christmas was the best ever 🙂 However, this one was special. Very special. Maybe even epic.

Our Shoebox Video

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Three years ago, Samaritan’s Purse filmed our family packing our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. It was an experience we’ll never forget! All the children still talk about this day – except for Esther who was born ten days later. Enjoy!

It’s that time of the year. Time to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child!