Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

The house is quiet.  My kids, husband, and most of the pets are still asleep.  I just crept into the kitchen and brewed a cup of decaf (note to self...Starbucks Christmas blend is really strong, you really need to clean pot and filter holder (what is that thing called?) before brewing a different blend of coffee) and poured myself a cup of Great Grains cereal.  Is there anything better than dry crunchy cereal and hot creamy coffee?  Not in my book :)   I plugged in my headphones and attempted to finish a replay of Sarah Makenzie discussing her book 'Teaching From Rest'.  If there is one book I would recommend any homeschool mom to read, it'd be this book!  I love this book!!!!!!!

This has been a weird fall.  Late summer several odd health issues began popping up, one after the other in my kids.  We've spent large stretches of time camped out in bed or on the sofa waiting for better days to dawn.  Nothing life threatening or earth shattering, more annoying and yucky feeling.  It's interesting that I started this school year off thinking that God wanted me to conquer my fear, because it's been a daily battle.  Really, you only have to turn on the news or open an email and its there, threatening to choke the life out of your moments.  But this fall for me, I can only see my normally very active, bouncy, energetic child lie on a couch for so long with a list of symptoms that has the dr saying...hmmmm I am not sure....and not have fear clawing up the back of my throat.  So often my list of what ifs or whys are really long and so ear splittingly loud rolling around in my head, that I miss His gentle quiet whisper.  But then in a moment when I have cried my tears, or blown it again, or feel like the daily mundane is too heavy...He is there.  In the verse that is tucked away in my morning reading, He greets me and gives me a truth to push back against the lies with, His gentle whisper blankets me with reassurance in the voice of another who has listened to Him in her harder moments, and it sings through the voices of many who love Him deeply.

So here is to an amazing holiday season, I am praying we have the continual overflow of grace to hear His voice, see His hand move, and hearts that cling tightly to Him.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015


I feel like we are germ magnets.

We do all of the recommended preventatives - washing our hands, using germ-x, taking vitamins, eating (somewhat) healthy, getting rest, avoiding others when we know they are sick...but for some reason, it seems like from fall until spring, we move from one thing to another.  Right before my husband left we had a tummy bug, then he came home sick and of course it passed through all of us, and then they picked up hand foot and mouth - seriously?!?!

We are finally feeling better - YAY :).

My husband and I marathon watched The Blacklist a few weeks ago.  Oh my word, I love that tv show,  I usually don't go for the violent dramas, but this show?!!?!  I LOVE it!!!  When Red got out of the box for Lizzie, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!  Speaking of shows I am insanely excited Sherlock has new episodes coming...LOVE LOVE LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock.

My oldest and I are doing a weekly cooking/baking lesson.  The first week my child made flawless bread using this recipe, then the next week it was applesauce bread, but yesterday?  Yesterday was a disaster of epic proportions.  I had this brilliant idea (cue the point where I really should stop and seriously reconsider, and almost always don't) ... OK the store had drumsticks on sale, my kids love fried chicken legs.  So I googled and searched Pinterest and we found an easy recipe and followed it exactly...or at least almost exactly.  An hour later (it said 25 minutes) the first leg was measuring 165ish so we pulled it out, drained the excess grease off, and sliced into it.  Raw as if we'd just cut into an actual chicken.  Seriously.  Fifteen or so minutes later we tried again.  Same thing.  I am starting to panic because I didn't have a backup plan and dinner was supposed to have started ten minutes ago.  So after a few panicked phone calls I threw away the lot of them and we cheated and had Taco Bell.  Oh well, good story for the grandkids someday.  :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

No Spend November

have you heard of Ruth Soukup?  She has a challenge once a year or so called Living Well & Spending Zero - most people started this challenge in October, but we opted for a start day of November 1st. There are the basics & the already planned for/committed to that you may pay for, but other than don't spend a dime.

It's going to be interesting.

But as we have had so many unexpected expenses pop up, we figured this would be a wise challenge to undertake.  If you are interested check out her blog and sign up for the challenge as you get a daily email full of encouragement and mini challenges along the way to keep you focused & prevent any cheating. :)

Before the challenge began, I spent sometime on Pinterest to beef up my menu plan and help me select healthy/cost effective options in which most of the ingredients I already have on hand.  I love Pinterest.  I use it for homeschool ideas, bible study ideas, menu get the idea. :)

We just completed The Hittite Warrior for school (by Joanne Williamson), this book was really good. I love historical fiction, it just has a way of making history come alive and settle in our minds and hearts, making us engage it on a deeper level.  I include myself in this because I am learning as much, if not more, than my kids.

I started a loop cleaning schedule (idea taken from Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things), our days are usually like a roller coaster up one day, down the next.  This loop scheduling idea is ingenious!!!  You make a list of tasks and instead of assigning them to days of the week you just move in order of tasks, for example you have a list of tasks that reads: toilets, counter tops, mop floors, dust.  Let's say on Monday you get to do your task, so you clean the toilets.  But then it's Thursday until you get time to do something again, don't despair, you simply move on to the next task on your list, which is counter tops.  See the brilliance?!?

We are also trying a version of the loop schedule in school.  We are looping hands on, visual, audio, & taste/smell.  Because of the uniqueness of our challenges, we can't loop subjects, we have to do the same subjects everyday...but how we do them?

That we can loop.

Our core subjects are Table Time, Bible, Lang Arts, Math, and either History or Science (History in the fall and spring, Science in the winter and summer). Each day I look at a task list and see how they did that subject yesterday, for example if they did a hands on project like made a notebook page or wrote a summary response, then today I might assign a you tube video or if I can find it a Netflix or Amazon video.  Something that engages the subject(s) in a visual aspect.  Lots of times the sensory ideas overlap - for example visual and hands on...but we try to focus on one a day.  This helps strengthen their weak areas, while also using their strengths to further engage their minds in the subject at hand.

My husband just returned from a week long business trip, sick :(.  While he was gone I listened to Timothy Keller sermons on you tube at bedtime.  Have you ever heard of Timothy Keller?  He's got an awesome grasp on how to set your heart upon God.

This post was random, I hope to try and write more, at least once a week.  I don't want to get so caught up in the difficulty or happiness of the moment and forget the details of the process.  I think my kids will love to someday go back read about their days.  :).

Have an awesome week.