Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I Corinthians 13 for the Homeschooling Mom

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and teach my children Latin conjugations, Chinese and Portuguese, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, and no matter what I say, they will not hear me.

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know my children’s bents and God’s plan for their lives, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and am the keeper of the teacher’s editions and solutions manuals, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, and even keep up with my giant piles of laundry and dishes, but do not have love, I am nothing, even if all the people at church think I’m Supermom.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and my formal dining room gets turned into a schoolroom and our family vacations look more like educational fieldtrips, and if I surrender my body to be burned, never having time to get my nails done, put makeup on or even take a bath, but do not have love, it profits me nothing, because all my family cares about is the expression on my face, anyway.

Love is patient with the child who still can’t get double-digit subtraction with borrowing, and kind to the one who hasn’t turned in his research paper. It is not jealous of moms with more, fewer, neater, more self-directed, better-behaved or smarter children. Love does not brag about homemade bread, book lists, or scholarships and is not arrogant about her lifestyle or curriculum choices. It does not act unbecomingly or correct the children in front of their friends. It does not seek its own, trying to squeeze in alone time when someone still needs help; it is not provoked when interrupted for the nineteenth time by a child, the phone, the doorbell or the dog; does not take into account a wrong suffered, even when no one compliments the dinner that took hours to make or the house that took so long to clean.

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness or pointing out everyone else’s flaws, but rejoices with the truth and with every small step her children take in becoming more like Jesus, knowing it’s only by the grace of God when that occurs.

Love bears all things even while running on no sleep; believes all things, especially God’s promise to indwell and empower her; hopes all things, such as that she’ll actually complete the English curriculum this year and the kids will eventually graduate; endures all things, even questioning from strangers, worried relatives, and most of all, herself.
Love never fails. And neither will she. As long as she never, never, never gives up.

Misty Krasawski is the overly-blessed mom of eight children whom she homeschools in sunshine-y Florida. She has been clinging ferociously to the hand of her Lord since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, homeschooling for the past thirteen years, and has eighteen more years ahead of her with the children who are glad she will have done most of her experimenting on those who went before. Her wonderful husband Rob has much treasure laid up for him in heaven for having been called to such a daunting task. After the house goes to sleep she can sometimes be found gathering her thoughts at

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tessa at Track

Tessa is such a cutie.  Now, we have sometimes likened our little Tessa to a turtle.  After meeting Ella, who is a snappy, everything-is-done-so-fast, you knock things over kind of girl… it was funny to meet our Tessa, who we saw from early on that she was on her own time.  She can’t be bothered to hurry up.  She is just on a different timeline than her sister.  While Ella is a natural runner, Tessa is not.  However, I decided to register both girls in this bank sponsored community track program.  It is a very low pressure, fun way to interact with coaches and team mates, and explore track and field events.  They have had 4 practices, and yesterday was the first meet (350 area kids are registered).

I could tell Ella & Tess were both a little nervous before the track meet, so I described to them what they could expect (as much as I knew) so they would be put at ease.  

We also repeated our Bible memory verse Colossians 3.23 ~ “And whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, working for the Lord and not for people!”  Only we substituted the verb for this case: “Running for the Lord, and not for people!”  

I told them to do their best, and they knew they would be earning a ribbon regardless of when they came in.  

Fast forward to the evening after the race, and here are Tessa’s comments:

“Mom, didn’t I do great?”

“Mom, I did really, really good on those hurdles!”

“Mom, look at my ribbon!  Can you believe I did 100 meters in only 21 seconds?”

I LOVE track!  I can’t wait until the next meet!”

…and this morning:
“Mom, I still can’t believe I ran that race in only 21 seconds!”  

I encouraged Tessa emphatically, because she did do great!  She ran her little heart out!  I was able to be next to the track for this race, and see her begin (she is the runner 3rd from the left, in brown leggings):  




 I watched her run beside 7 competitors.  

 I watched her cross the finish line.  
 She was so proud of her ribbons..... (ellas were misplaced by a coach?)

...and I began to wonder if she knew she came in dead last.  I didn't ask, but it did come out in conversation: yes, she did know—but she was proud of herself.  She ran her best!!

"Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". (Mark 10.15, Luke 18.17)

I am proud of my Tess!  Yes, because I am a mommy, but also because she did exactly what I told her to do.  She ran for Jesus and not for people, and she was filled with the joy of having done a good job.  

I am quite sure that across our valley, there were tears over not earning a blue ribbon.  Over being *so close*, but just not being faster than the other kid.  Over it not being “fair” that they jumped the gun.  I am so glad that when Tessa’s heart was exposed in this competitive venue, she was overjoyed to overflowing.  That’s the difference of running for Jesus, versus running for yourself.

Now, before you go thinking that my kids just aren’t competitive, you ought to know better!  I’d invite you to come over on any given night, and watch us play a family game!  We have tears shed weekly when we are playing game, and so-and-so doesn’t win.  Or it’s not “fair”.  Or comes in 2nd place.  It happens. 

I’m just glad that this 6 year old gem showed me what it is really all about.  

Bless the Lord, O My Soul!  (Psalm 103)

Ella at Track

Let me just say, I am very proud of both of my older girls!  I decided to enroll them in Highlanders this spring, because it is FREE, it is only a 3 week commitment, and because everybody wants to get outside and enjoy this amazing spring weather we are having!  They have had 4 practices, and yesterday was the first meet (350 area kids are registered).

I am so proud of the way Ella ran during the relay.  During practice, it didn’t look like they really knew what to do.  But on track meet day, they shined.  She waited for her team mate, then began jogging.  As her track mate approached, she began running.  She waited for a secure hand –off, and then she began sprinting!  It was so cool to watch!  I have no idea which placement their team got; for some reason all of Ella's ribbons went missing.  I was just marveling at what kind of job they did!  
running at practice 
stretching with the team
(and by the way, we think the coach in the foreground
 looks so much like my brother Joel!)

waiting for team mate

beginning to jog before the hand off

the secure hand off at a run

ready to run!


the track is very near to a private airport, so there are constantly small planes flying overhead,
much to the delight of Jaci & Aaron!

Tessa running hurdles

finish line!


Oh, how we love our little Cub!  We planned to have another baby AFTER we made the big move, but God had other plans.  I was extremely nervous about having a baby, selling a house, moving and unpacking all within a few weeks last summer... but as He always does, God worked it out.  And after the fact, I had to admit to Adrian that the sweetness of Orion actually made the whole transition more pleasant for me ~ and less of a burden.  God knows what he's doing.  

We are so glad to have our baby boy. He has been our easiest baby in many ways.  When we tell people that, they think it because we know how to handle a baby the 5th time around.  We know better!  :)  This little boy has been the mildest, quietest, non-complaining baby ever.  He was born with a pleasant little smirk on his face.  He began smiling the night we brought him home, and has smiled every day since then.  I have pictures to prove it!  He has been the best eater and sleeper.  He is our 1st child that didn't resist the car seat.  He never went through stranger anxiety, wanting only mom.  He goes around making happy noises and laughing.  When he needs something, he just kind of pouts ~ what a Cub!

the party scene

mmmm, chocolate!

For every Pheifer boy, there are 2 Braaten boys!!
If they were in age order, Aaron would be between B and K
Ages: 4, 3, 3, 1, 1, 2.5 months

gathering around to help O open presents!

not sure if there's anything better
than a little boy
in overalls!
(thus all the pictures...)

knows perfectly well how to push buttons with those tiny little fingers!