Respectfuly Ignore Ignorant Banter

Respectfully Ignoring Ignorant Banter {when it comes to your children}

After visiting my father-in-law in the hospital, we all headed to the potty before leaving. My children begin taking turns using the one empty stall of the three while Aunt Meg held the door shut and I changed Ellie's diaper.

Pretty standard stuff. No screaming, hitting, or giant 'accidents'.

One of the women who occupied one of the other two stalls came out as two kids rotated out and the third went into the stall the stranger just exited. Said women began to wash her hands all while watching us like we were a circus. My kids finished and germX was dispensed.

As Meg took her turn in the restroom the women realized all the children were mine {the name mom a gazillion times in reference to me might have been a good clue}. She looked at me with eyebrows raised, "Are ALL these your?" I politely said yes with a smile. With a peasant look plaster on my face, I made sure everyone was buttoned, snapped, tucked, and clean as the Charley Brown "wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp" played in the background.

We were walking to the car, after Meg allowed me a private bathroom break as she and the kids waited in the lobby, and Meg ask, "What did that woman say to you?"

I hadn't thought much about it..."Something about, are all these yours?" I responded. I had to laugh when I realized she had said more and I couldn't tell you what.

I had to confess to Megan that after years of verbal abuse from strangers about my chose to love having multiple children, I learned to respectfully ignore their ignorant and insulting banter after the initial snarled comments about the number and or close age of my children.
It started when I just had three and hasn't gotten any better.

It's so sad that our society hates children so much that we make people feel inappropriate, irresponsible, or crazy for having more than two; especially if they are any less than 2 years apart. This doesn't stop with that, somehow, as Americans we believe we have some sort of right to determine perfect age in which to have or stop having children, how many to have, how you have them, how far apart you plan your blessings.

Just for the record, it is none of our business! Wither a woman is a teen mom, single mom, married mom, chosen or not chosen mom of none, an "only" child, the perfect number two children, or double-digit multiple children. If you aren't sipping a soda with a friend as your families hang out and it just comes up, its none of your business if someone's children are biological, custodial, adopted nationally or internationally.

If you are the target of such uninvited backlash, consider it an invitation from God to interact with someone you might not have otherwise met. Respectfully ignore or disregard their unintentionally hateful comments and seize the opportunity to love them. Keep your cool and maybe engage them in conversation about Who gave you these little blessings. I'm not saying do the cheesy, "I know my hands are full but you should see your hearts" reply. I mean be real. Since they began the taboo conversation about your littles, refocus the conversation on another taboo topic, Christ. Keep in mind, your children are obviously right there with you {hence the stares} so make sure your example is that of love toward your child's existence as well as the rude person's in which you are encountering. Both where creations of God and have a purpose- to bring glory to God. Take the time to help them accomplish that purpose.

Here is an article about 10 Things You Really Shouldn't Say to Mom's of Multiples as well as a little video that can help you determine if what you are thinking about saying to someone is appropriate:

IF YOU WOULDN'T SAY IT ABOUT A BOOB JOB... from Rain City Church on Vimeo.

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Synopsis of The Valley Church

Our church body has had an outpouring of support from friends, family, and complete strangers from all over the state as well as many other states. Most recently, we've had a couple Vacation Bible Schools focus their missions offering collection on us. They want to educate kids on local missionaries as well as support them financially. I thought I'd just share the simple overview we've given them so their kids know a little about us.

~~~

Matt and Julie Rothacher {Roth-ache-r} were youth ministers in Arkansas until God called them to plant a church in a new community.

There was a lot of planning, moving, and remolding that happened before They Valley Church launched on Easter 2013. Lots of other churches helped by donating money, time, and supplies.

This is a picture of the launch Team Easter evening in front of the space they were leasing that used to be Vilonia's old Dollar General. Since that time, God has done some crazy fun stuff through this group of people.

the church in the valleyThe Church in the valley family pics

There has been unspeakable life change, people come to Jesus for the first time, 8 baptisms, and lots of unique ministries done in the community to show the love of Jesus.

the little valley launch sunday IMG_2720

The Valley has services on Sunday mornings as well as Valley Groups {small groups} on Wednesday nights. Children birth through 6th grade met at the building for Little Valley Kids groups where we are walking through the Bible book-by-book using The Gospel Project {by Lifeway} curriculum. During Sunday services, we believe "big kids" {K+} are smart enough to learn from the lead pastor so we don't have a kids church, although we do a few things during the service to make it more kid friendly- provide color sheets, clipboards, and soapboxes full of crayons, as well as do crazy and unexpected things during the teaching portion of the services like have odd props- goats, flannel graphs, giant mountains, painting during the message, and lots of humor to keep their attention along with their parents.

Kids are learning about Jesus as well as how He wants to be apart of their lives every day. They are learning that every story in the Bible points to Jesus as does everything in our life. Kids are excited to love their friends, family, and neighbors like Jesus would and know God has a plan for their life that specific just for them.areal view

Shortly after celebrating our 1 year anniversary, the town of Vilonia was hit by an F4 tornado. It started on the southwest side of town and cut all the way across to the northeast side. One family with a mom, dad, and 2 young boys that go to the valley lost their home as well as a two of their best friends who lived down the street.

The building that the valley was meeting in was in the center of town, right where the storm went through. The tornado knocked down 3 of the 4 walls of the building and destroyed, blew away, or dropped walls on top of all the stuff in the building including all 3 nursery rooms and playground where the kid tables, chairs, books, curriculum, and toys where.

The morning after the storm all the people who attend the valley showed up where the family who lost their home was and started to dig through what was left of their house and possessions. They collected any clothes, toys, movies, dishes, and pictures they could find.

The same people showed up later that afternoon at "the slab" where the building used to be and helped dig through rubble to find anything that was still useable.

After those two places were quickly cleaned up, the valley church was excited to find unique ways to minister to the town of Vilonia during such a hard time. The people of Vilonia lost businesses, restaurants, animals, homes, and people they loved. They needed physical help as well as emotional and spiritual support for healing.

One of the first things the valley church was able to do was start "The Playplace". This was a place kids could come have breakfast and lunch, play, rest, watch a movie, do crafts, and be with friends far away from the sad sights and dangerous areas that were all over town. The local primary {elementary} allowed them to use their giant multipurpose room as well the playgrounds outside and several restaurants supplied food. The Playplace was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

As soon as people heard about what was going on, strangers from in town, all over the state, and some from other states, brought supplies and donations for affected families, along with toys to send home with the children.

Another fun thing the valley was able to do for the town was take all the mommies to a fun night out with their friends since most of them were very sad and stressed. The mom's went to a "Mom's Night Out" that included dinner, shopping, getting their hair, nails, and make-up done, all before going to the new movie, "Mom's Night Out".

Mom's Night Out {group pic} Mom's Night Out

The storm that knocked down the valley's building happened on a Sunday night, and the very next Sunday, the valley church had service on the empty slab where it once stood. People from all over the state brought lawn chairs, folding chairs, and even pews for people to sit on and there were over 300 people out in the hot sun who came to sing praises to Jesus and learn more about Him.

After that, the same school that allowed us to host the playplace let us host services for the valley church. Right now they are meeting at the local fire station in the big bays {with no AC} and the Little Valley Kids and Valley Groups just kicked back off last week. Valley Groups for teenagers and adults meet in homes and the younger kids get to meet at the local Senior Citizens' building on Wednesdays.

at the school:
IMG_0010 IMG_0011IMG_0012

at the SCC:

I know lots of you may think this is weird but not the valley. God has taught us that He is good no matter what. That means, even when bad things happen, we can trust that God has plans for our life. Plans to prosper us, not to harm us. He also taught us that The Church is the people who are following Him and not a place or building.

I will remember our Covenant

We are thrilled to be a part of what God is doing in Vilonia and are continuing to find new and unusual ways to love these people. We are also looking into doing something we never imagined doing {especially only being a year old}; buying land and putting up a simple building for the valley church to use for the glory of God.

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How Rich am I

My family is in the richest 14.2% of the world's population.

Our family's income is more than 6.9 times the global average.

If we were to donate 10% of your income:

We would still be in the richest 15.4% of the world's population. Our income would still be more than 6.2 times the global average.
And with our donation, every year...

685

Against Malaria Foundation would be able to distribute 685 mosquito nets

or…

8,400

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative would be able to treat 8,400 people for neglected tropical diseases

This is equivalent to saving 1 life

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The Odd Start to a Very Fitting Adventure

Sitting in the quiet, me in my glider and hubs in his man chair across the room, we did our newly found way to unwind involving reading and writing. This hadn’t always been our thing. God had just sparked something in my husband and he began to read. That may not sound abnormal to most but we aren’t readers. I mean, we can but It’s just not something we did for leisure. I had begun writing/blogging on as Jules is going as an outlet shortly after having Jamin, my third child in two and a half years.

The Odd Start to a Very Fitting Adventure

Seemingly out of nowhere, Matt says, “So…I think I’m supposed to be a pastor.” Again, this may not seem like a big deal to you because you either know that my husband was a youth pastor or have met us in this phase of life where he is a “grown-up pastor”. But you have to understand that we were “lifers”. We often discussed our discussed with those who used pastoring youth as some sort of stepping stone to get to the “major league” as if youth were a lesser being that earned lesser klout. Sickening, really.

We would joke about attending loud concerts and challenging young people to eat gross things all while we sported our gray hair. We deep loved {and Still do} youth. Our heart was to reach the next generation with the same timely gospel but with relevant tactics. If we ever transitioned, we thought maybe we would end up in collegiate ministry but never working with or pastoring/leading adults.

This nonchalant “I think I’m supposed to be a pastor” conversation didn’t go very far. Looking back, I wasn’t overly supportive but I wasn’t trying to be a discouragement. I literally thought, “Okay, this is his new kick. He’s got like a 6-week-timeline of excitement. I’ll wait it out and see what happens.” I nodded my head and with a slight giggle in my response said, “Okay” and we went back to what we were doing.

We’d been having a rough go with our current job. After being in a church-body for over 5-years starting when we were newlyweds, it was hard learning a new space, culture, and the expectations that come with that. I wasn’t going to let satan scare us into pastoring adults because of that. We were stronger than a few bumps in the road. I really just thought, “Things will calm down here. We’ll jump back on the wagon and get rolling soon.”

Needless to say, before even nearing the six weeks mark, Matt came to me and said, “Okay, I’ve been praying about it and not only do I think God wants me to be a pastor but I think He wants us to start a new church.” I’m not a good liar so I’m sure my face had laughter all over it. With eyes wide, I questioned like most of us do, “There are enough churches already, lots that need help, why in the world should we start a new one.”

You see, I was a firm believer that ‘lots of churches’ were just a result of The Church not being able to play-nice together. I wanted to be part of the solution, not add yet another division to the already segregated body of Christ.

Time passed. Matt read more and more on church-planting. I held out, still confused, waiting for the shiny to wear off. Over two and a half years later, the shiny has worn off, reality has set in, and it’s more evident today than it could ever be that God did/does want my husband to be a pastor. God did/does want our family to plant a new church.

We just thought Scotland was the adventure of a life time when we were given the opportunity to minister there. Boy was I wrong. I am so glad God softened my heart in a time of skepticism to get us all on the same page because if he hadn’t, I would be missing this awesome adventure. The one I’d always dreamed of. The adventure God had planned for our family. An adventure fit just for us!

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K5 Learning {Review}

We just finished our trial period using K5 learning. Both my girls (5 & 4-years-old) tried this out and loved it!

K5 Learning is an online reading and math program for kids from kindergarten through grade 5. Our intent is to help kids build reading, math and study skills through independent study. K5 is designed for home use and can be used for after- school, weekend and summertime supplemental study or in conjunction with a homeschooling program.

We started by complete and online assessment with 8 key reading and math skills. From there, the girl work independently at their own pace. They offer over 3,000 online lessons and activities. The lessons have cute animation and are simple enough for my four-year-old to interact with them by herself {after showing her how the first round}. K5 learning automatically chose lessons for the girls (based on their assessment and past lessons), track their progress and provide reports for me about their progress.

In the short time we tested out this program, I did see my girls begin to learn essential reading and math skills, develop good study habits, and reach their academic potential. This supplemented what we were already doing in 'school' and gave my girls one more tool to practice these skills with the added benefit of learning basic computer skills.

It did require me to walk them through some of the basics of the program but after that they could navigate most of it by themselves. With my girls being 4 and 5, I'm not quite ready for them to have this much independence. Eventually, that will be a great benefit of the program but I noticed they were slightly irresponsibly independent, getting off track, being lazy going through the lessons, and guessing just because they wanted to click around like it was a game rather than actually listening, learning, and answering as if it was a lesson.

In general, we enjoyed the program. It did seem a bit like handing my kids a smart phone to play "educational games" but I feel like this was much better at teaching my children actual lessons in a way that I wasn't able to. I liked that it wasn't costing me tons in printer ink to create workbooks.

The girls loved being able to "play on" my computer but I was uncomfortable with that. For this program to be used to its fullest potential, they should be doing the lessons on a regular basis. Since we only have my laptop, if they are using it for K5, I can't work at the same time and it made me nervous the machine would get torn up some how rendering me unable to work. If we had a some sort of tablet or simple computer for them to use for school, I would be much more likely to allow them to use the program more often.

At this time, we won't be purchasing the program at its monthly rate although it would be a comparably inexpensive price for the reading and math curriculum.

The K5 program includes:
  • an initial online assessment of each child’s math and reading skills,
  • award-winning, curricula based reading and math content,
  • over 3,000 online multimedia activities, personalized for each child based on his or her assessment,
  • a highly structured environment which allows the student to proceed through the lessons in a logical fashion at his own pace,
  • ease of use which allows even 4 or 5 year olds to work independently,
  • attention to child safety with no external links, advertisements, chat or similar,
  • comprehensive reporting to parents,
  • 24/7 availability and no downloads
Program Costs

K5 Learning is available on a subscription basis for $25/month or $199/year with substantial discounts for siblings. Each subscription includes a free math and reading assessment and unlimited use of each of K5’s four programs, K5 Reading , K5 Math, K5 Spelling and K5 Math Facts. A 14 day free trial is available.

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