Tuesday, February 28, 2017


So I have this habit of getting really, really excited over some new idea, I am even (usually) great for the first week, sometimes two, but the whole sticking it out even when it becomes dull, boring, or (gasp) hard as h*ll to keep it going?

Ummm no, that is not my cup of tea.

I usually start rationalizing.  'Well maybe this isn't the season' or 'today was a hard day' or 'I deserve a break'...and before I know it another idea is scooted aside.

I hate that about myself.

But the comfort of being able to have a backdoor alternative was/is too appealing for me to have applied the self discipline to stick something out.  The only problem is, that the comfort I cling to, the comfort I seek, isn't Biblical.  It is a double-edged sword for me.  My idea of comfort is safe, habitual, and usually involves food or a warm cup of hot chocolate.

I have been feeling crappy for a while, the worse I feel, the more sugar I reach for.  And the cycle seems unbreakable.  I decided this morning that I am going to go thirty days without sugar, and this blog is going to be my accountability partner.

Now let me quantify what I mean about 'no sugar'.  I am not going to throw out my salad dressing or spend time reading labels at the store, at least not to begin with.  I am going to start with all the 'extras' first - snacks, desserts, special treats, drinks (soda pop and hot chocolates) and breakfast.  Until I can find something that I am sure is a good alternative, old fashioned oats with almonds slivers sprinkled in, with sprinkled cinnamon (no sugar) will be my breakfast of choice.  For thirty days.  I am sure I will whine and cry and complain.  A lot.  So if you do not want to read for 30 days, I completely understand.  I know this is going to be hard.  But I am curious...will it be harder to do this for 30 days or to stay where I am?

Friday, February 24, 2017

My one word

My one word for 2017 is prayer.

I struggle here.

A lot.

So for my walk with God focus each month I am going to choose one aspect of prayer.  In March we are going to work on praying as a family.  Tomorrow a family member leaves for a mission trip and so we are starting there.  Coming consistently before Him each day on behalf of the team and the trip.

I talked yesterday about what I needed my focus in March to be for homeschooling, so that leaves:

Tidying :  the kitchen

Financial : build a savings

Diet/Weight Loss : do not go over my daily allowance on Lose It!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making the day work for you

Recently, I decided that there are five areas (usually not all five on one day) that I drop the ball with consistently.  

My walk with God, homeschool, tidying, finances, and health (diet/exercise).  

So I have decided each month I am going to pick one thing in each area to work on.  

In March my focus for homeschooling is to make the drawer system work for us better than it has been,

Our drawer system is a system that is based off of the workbox system.  For years I was intrigued by this, but could never figure out how to make it work for us personally.  Does that ever happen to you?  It is SO frustrating!  Finally, I bit the bullet last year and ordered the drawer system and in doing so, I had to be ok with 1) it wouldn't look like pinterest 2) not every drawer would have something in it every day, and 3) we wouldn't get through every drawer most days, we simply would pick up where we left off the next day.  After I realized and accepted these three things, I was like "where have you been all my life?!?"  

In March, I want to be more intentional about using it, I want to make a monthly plan with a list of ideas for each kid in areas they need 1) practice in or 2) encouragement in.  Then I want to use the drawers to drive home those points.

Do you drop the ball in any areas of your daily life consistently?  What do you do to address these things?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day in the life of our homeschool

What's a typical day like in our homeschool?  Well....there isn't one :).  Every single day is unique.  Since I have three kids that have their own respective struggles, health and academic, every single day is a sort of jack-in-the-box surprise.  

A routine is an anchor for us, but a schedule is a nightmare.  Since each day arrives with it's own set of unique struggles, there is no way we can do Language Arts at the exact same time every day.  The most we try to keep set are wake-up, meal, and bed times.  Other than that, we just shoot for doing the same thing, in the same order every day.  That way if there is a meltdown, a migraine, or seizure activity...when whatever is happening has ended, we simply pick back up where we stopped.  It is comforting to me, and reassuring to my kids.

So our 'typical' routine is as follows :

I wake up and take out the puppy.  We have three dogs, a rabbit, and a guinea pig.  The puppy is a puggle and LOVES LOVES LOVES kibble.  He is seriously obsessed with food.  In a bad, will eat until he chokes kind of way.  So first thing in the morning, as soon as he hears any type of human movement at all he is up and ready for breakfast.  Thankfully he just turned a year and is now sleeping through the night.    After I take him out (and usually after chasing him around the house trying to run interference) I wake up my kids.  My oldest waters all the pets, my middle feeds the puggle, and my youngest feeds our older dog (he is 13, almost 14) and our chihuahua.  Then each child has a meal time that they help with.  So this month it's my oldest on breakfast duty, my middle on lunch, and youngest dinner.  We eat and clean up. 

Next up is their morning routine (personal hygiene, make beds, tidy up) and I read to my youngest before we dive into our 'school time'.  Right now I spend a large majority of our time in a tutoring type session with each of my kids.  We do Language Arts (spelling, writing, grammar, reading etc;) and math together.  While I am meeting with each of them, the other two have jobs to do.  We have a drawer system  that I load up with activities that they can work on independently.  They do worksheets, writing responses to books or audio books they have read/listened to, the Daily Spark, task cards, iPad apps, memory work (their personal memory work here - math facts, science definitions, time line facts etc;), and copywork or dictation (on a handheld recorder) from the Harp and Laurel Wreath.  I also usually tuck a surprise in a drawer from time to time..a simple recipe they can complete together or alone in the kitchen for a treat, a game to play, a song to sing (at the top of their lungs), a picture to take etc; 

My husband comes home from the office most days for lunch and it is hands down the best part of our days :).  

After lunch we have quiet time - we either watch a movie or listen to an audio book and recoup.  After quiet time I finish up my one on one time with whoever is left and then we move into table time.  Table time is like morning time but obviously it's not in the morning :).  We do Bible, hymn study, tea time and poetry (snack and poetry reading) and family memory work.  

Then we get to one of our favorite, favorite things.  

Read aloud time.  

We love to read aloud.  Depending on how the day has progressed at this point we will either gather around the dining room table or pile on the couch.  We tackle great books, history, and science during this time.  

At this point, if the day has gone relatively well, we get to the fun extras.  Nature walks, play outside, piano and music, or arts and crafts.  If not - well that is what the weekends are for :).  We also do all of our science experiments on the weekend so Daddy can participate.  

We also try to go to the zoo, museums, a play group, and the library when we can.  Since we have a lot of dr appts and 'sick days' we school year round.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

LOVE this post about being a special needs mom - this is the BEST post I have ever read.  I can relate so much to this sweet momma, I am there, I have special needs kids.  It is hard.  Every.single.day.  But it is so beautiful.  I second guess myself constantly.  I worry it is somehow all my fault.  I worry that I am messing it up all day, every day.  But you know what?  God promised in Psalm 139 that he knitted my kids together, all their days were recorded before even one came to be. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.    I really, really love this post.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Good Morning

I use Lectio Divina every morning.  I love it.  It is the very first and only daily Bible reading that I have ever been able to stick to.  Have you heard about the Lectio Divina process?

Anyway, this morning's scripture is Luke 1:67-80.  I love the entire selection, it was hard to select one verse to pull out and focus on, but then as I read over it again and again I stopped on verse 74 and 75.

...to rescue us from the hand of our enemies & to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness & righteousness before Him all our days.  

As someone who has struggled with fear and anxiety all of my life (I often say I think I came out of the womb worrying) this verse really resonated with me.  I backed up and saw that Zechariah (John the Baptist's father) is singing this.  And he is praising and wondering over the fact that his son is going to be the one who prepares the way for Jesus.  Then I noticed this, at the beginning of his song he says this - Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them.  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us - this horn of salvation is Jesus.  He came to save us, to rescue us, and to enable us to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all of our days.  

My heart is full of wonder at this truth.  It is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Have you heard or seen

this talk that the US Senate Chaplain, Dr. Barry Black gave at the National Prayer Breakfast?

It is awesome.