Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Has it Been Two Weeks Already?

Time is flying by this winter. I doubt we are the only homeschoolers out there who are just in the winter groove, which means there aren't quite as many "exciting" photo-worthy activities happening. Or maybe it is just us. We just seem to be spending our days getting all of our necessary work done, throwing in some unit studies when they are relevant. Mostly we have our noses to the grindstone.

So what you are getting here is just a report that we have been getting in six or so hours of schooling every day, covering all of our required subjects and learning lots. All of our concepts in math and grammar are getting more difficult so the assignments take a bit more time to complete each day.

We are reading a lot every day. Not only are the kids reading their own personal books as much as they can, but we are also reading every day out of Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis and Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

WWII consumes the majority of the rest of our time. We spent President's Day learning about Harry S. Truman's role in the war, we have started to work our way through the atrocity of the Holocaust (even spending several days slowly watching Schindler's List), and learning about Jesse Owens and his role in the Olympics of 1936 in Germany. That gave us the excuse to go to the movies and see Race, which was excellent.

Extra-curricular activities have launched into full gear with Eli and Brynne both bowling each Saturday getting ready for state tournament, Brynne finishing up her regular season basketball games,  and Brynne attending Girls on the Run two days a week training for the organization's 5K in May. Eli and I are also doing some training on the same afternoons.

We are just really busy, but doing really well. We are on track to finish exactly where I hoped we would this year. In the next couple of weeks we have some fun unit studies planned surrounding Dr. Seuss's birthday and the Iditarod. We have a trip to Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana planned in April, where we will get in some great educational hours, and we hope to be done with our regular school year by the first of May.

2015-2016 Hours Logged - 688 1/2 hours out of 1,000 required hours (225 hours outside home)
Plus 83 Summer Hours

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

No Wednesday Hodgepodge this week, so this ...

For today ... Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Outside my window ... it is cloudy, cold, and windy.

I am thinking ... about a sweet moment I had with Eli last night. He is going through those changes, if you know what I mean, that is giving him emotions and worries about things that have never bothered him before. I had a real mom to young man talk with him last night, maybe our first. When he was getting ready to go to bed he said, "Thank you for that." I said, "For what?" And he said, "For the talk." I got teary. My little boy, my sweet little Eli, is turning into a young man. We had just had our first real adultish talk, and he was so mature about it. I told him that I would always be here for him and he can always talk to me about anything. He seemed so relieved and he smiled and went to bed happy. Man, being a mom is the most amazing thing in the world.

I am thankful ... that the tornado that went through Pensacola didn't hit my parents' house, although the wind did cause the basketball goal to fall and land on my dad's truck. My mom was in the linen closet in the bathroom and my dad was behind the couch. Scary for them, I'm sure!

I am wearing ... jeans, an Old Navy sweatshirt, cream puffy jacket, and Uggs. It's cold again!

I am creating ... absolutely nothing. And it feels so good! But Brynne really wants to get her basement bedroom created into something pleasant so that she feels comfortable down there. Right now it's, well, a basement bedroom. There are little creepy crawlies, it's dark with no windows, and it's just not very inviting. I really, really want to get it to where she enjoys it. I have some ideas and hope to put some things into action soon.

I am going ... to get some school work done with the kids, take Eli to speech therapy this afternoon, and then come home for a relaxing evening. It's Criminal Minds night!

I am wondering ... how Dawson's interview for a tech position at a local behavioral health hospital went today. He thought it went well. Really hoping he gets one of the open positions!

I am reading ... Positive by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin

I am hoping ... that my sinus headache is really gone for now. I woke up Sunday morning at 5 a.m. with an eye-splitting nauseating headache that lasted until yesterday. I guess the return of the cold weather froze out whatever was getting me.

I am learning ... about what I can and cannot eat with my reflux. It is a constant education.

In my gardens ... are freshly pruned rose bushes, budding hydrangea bushes transplanted from my deceased grandma's house (they survived the transplant!!), and some green in the way of strawberry plants and butterfly bushes.

In my kitchen ... is the fragrance of my new favorite coffee! It's no secret how much I love Aldi. I usually get my coffee there, have been buying the Hazelnut Barrisimo coffee. But my friend told me about the German speciality coffees and oh. my. yum. It is so rich and powerful. Love it! My new favorite!

In the homeschool room ... we are moving along so nicely this winter semester. The days are smooth and easy with a good rhythm. We spend our mornings doing our clipboard work and our afternoons reading, doing activities, and watching educational videos. We have been submersing ourselves in WWII this entire year and have hit the difficult topic of the Holocaust. We have decided not to shield the kids from anything, but to guide them through the terror that was Hitler and the Nazi's. They are handling it well and we are all learning so much! We will be ending our year with a trip to the WWII Museum in New Orleans in April, and we have much to complete before our trip.

A favorite quote for today ... "But perhaps some child who reads this, asks, 'Does God notice little children in school?' He certainly does. And if you are not diligent in the improvement of your time, it is one of the surest evidences that your heart is not right with God. You are placed in this world to improve your time. In youth you must be preparing for future usefulness. And if you do not improve the advantages you enjoy, you sin against your Maker." ~ from Advantages of Industry, McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader. (Such good character lessons in this little book and I highly encourage homeschool moms to have their kids read these little gems, discuss them, and even copy them for good measure.)

A peek into one of my days ... Kyndal had an uncomfortable pain on the right side of her stomach the other day that we were fairly certain was either discomfort from her diminishing cyst or ligament pain. But because she miscarried her first baby at about this time, the doctor wanted her to come in for an ultrasound. Everything looked great with no abnormalities. The cyst continues to shrink as it's supposed to and they couldn't find anything out of the ordinary. However, they did find this little bean backflipping through his/her mama's uterus. The baby was all over the place going from bicycling its legs to karate chopping to standing on its head. The heart rate was 181 bpm! She thinks she has some discomfort now .... just wait until that baby is doing those acrobatics in a confined space here in a few months!

One of my favorite things ... I have started working out with Daily Burn. I am doing the 365 class each morning at 8:00 a.m. It is a live, 30-minute class that airs at 9:00 a.m. ET. Each day's class is different, working different parts of the body in different ways with different instructors. I really like it because I have a time to "show up" each day because the class starts at a certain time. Even though I could work out to the archived class anytime throughout the day, I like feeling like I am in a real class. It takes me back to my 5:30 a.m. days at the Y in Oklahoma.

From the board room ... In my morning Pinterest browse I saw this image. I am not an Usborne affiliate, but since it's National Read Aloud Day I thought it would be a good reminder.

Post Script ... I always enjoy the Day in the Life series at Simple Homeschool. I will be posting mine soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday Coffee Chat

Give it up? We are in the Season of Lent: Do you give anything up? Do you observe Lent?

Confession: This year I did not give up anything for Lent. We are Methodist, so we do observe Lent as a denomination. I consider myself more of an independent Christian (my own title), so I do not really observe the tenets of any one religious sect. I believe that Jesus is my Savior; He is the only Son of God born to the virgin Mary; that He was crucified, died on the cross, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of God. He is my daily portion, absolutely no doubt.

I seem to have slipped into a sort of coma this winter. All of a sudden I stopped doing my morning devotion, my daily Bible study, checking in with my accountability partner. I shut down all activity except what has been absolutely necessary. I have spent my time taking care of what needs taken care of and then hibernating the rest of the time. I get that way sometimes this time of year.

I received a really neat Lent idea from a friend, and it looked promising, but I didn't do the first thing. Some years I celebrate Lent, and others I just don't. This year, I didn't.

Lest you think I have given up on my relationship with God, I do talk to Him all day every day. I listen to Him when I am silent, and sometimes I even obey. Right now I am his rebellious, lazy child, that he wishes would get motivated.

But He knows me well. He knows that I have these time of quiet. These times are necessary for my emotional and spiritual well-being. He is content with our daily conversations, because to Him it is just important that I keep talking to Him and keep the lines of communication open. He is a patient Father allowing me to be still when I need to be. Because he knows that with the coming of Spring that I will crawl back out of my shell and get out there again. It's slowly starting to happen already.

I understand the importance of Lent, but I also understand that like any religious act, it can become legalistic. We sometimes tend to do things because we are supposed to do them instead of because we feel led to do them. I just personally feel that God would rather me give myself to Him in some way each and every day than to concentrate on a 40 day stretch and then go back to "my ways". I don't want to be a "have to" Christian. I want to want to. God and I have a great relationship, our own worked out relationship, and it's one that is ongoing 365 days a year. I do not feel guilty that I have not participated in Lent because I know that my relationship with God is more important to Him than my religious activities.

Now, if you are actively participating in Lent, then I applaud you .. because your relationship with God is YOURS! You do it your way, and if you felt led to give up something for God during this season, then that is awesome, and I know that God is so pleased at your sacrifice.

My point is that whether you do or do not celebrate Lent does not make you a more superior Christian. Your daily relationship with God is what does that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

February 17th is national Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16th) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th? Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

Isn't it an oxymoron to disclose a random act of kindness since the act of kindness is supposed to be random? And to have a day on the calendar telling us to be random doesn't seem random. I mean, if you know someone is having surgery in a couple of days and you want to do something special for them then that seems to be random, at least to them. But having a day dedicated to people doing acts of kindness seems wrong. We should provide acts of kindness whenever a need arises ... randomly .. not because we are told on a calendar that we should do one. I have performed random acts of kindness and had them performed for me. I definitely believe that it is so much better to give than to receive.

What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.

True, I have definitely been thinking on this one for a while. Not much encouragement going on these days, huh? And nothing stood out. So I just took my dogs outside to the go to the restroom and there was a beautiful little bird sitting on the back fence just chirping away. You know, birds don't care if the world is going to hell in a hand basket. They see a sunny day and rejoice. They sense warmer days and come home. I was encouraged by that this morning! It's something uplifting we can rely on. It's behavior we can certainly emulate.

Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos ... your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list.

Well, I must really enjoy black foods because these are all some of my absolute favorites! I just can't pick a favorite. I did eat black beans the last two days, though. I have never had black currants.

A while back I read a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50. They were ... travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises. What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you're over 50, have you done all 12? If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all? What's on the list you haven't done, but would like to do?

I'm under 50 and the ones I have concentrated on are traveling, taking care of my skin, exercising, stop caring what others think, stop worrying, and pledge to work less (lol!). Everything else on the list seems reasonable. Of what's left, I don't really care much about doing any of the others, but learning to cook an amazing dish would be great! Cooking classes would be really fun!

Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

Do not ask me why this movie is the one that keeps coming to mind, but Groundhog Day. I love the little town with all the snow, and the scene where they are walking through the town and get in a snow ball fight with some kids. It looks like the perfect winter evening. Oh, and then Dumb and Dumber. Absolutely hilarious!

When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?

Well, first of all, when you feel helpless there probably isn't much you can do about it. Having adult children brings this into play pretty often for me. This is where a strong faith in God and lots and lots of prayer comes into play.

Share a favorite Proverb.

Proverbs 6:6 - Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Again, kind of random that this is the one that popped into my head. There is some good wisdom there, in a lot of ways.

Insert your own random thought here.

Looks like spring is coming to Missouri. The next 15 days show, primarily, temps in the 50's and 60's and even possibly a day or two pushing 70. If we aren't going to have some good pounding snow, betting stuck in the house for days at a time, then I would rather spring go ahead and get here so that we can get some flowers in the pots and some color in the world.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday Coffee Chat

The Struggle is Real: Rant or comic relief. What are you struggling with these days?


I have always had a sourish stomach, popping a Tums before I go to bed. Over the past few years it has gotten worse so I went on prescription Prilosec a couple of years ago. Even taking Prilosec twice a day I have had some chest pains (not as much in my throat with the medication) at night and needed to take either Gas X, Tums, or Gaviscon to even be able to lay down and go to sleep. My sister-in-law is a pharmacist and has warned me about the long-term negative effects of Prilosec, so I would really like to be able to stop taking it someday. That does not look promising in my current condition.

I have tried every conceivable way of eating, because all of the experts have a different opinion. I've even gone as far as Ketogenic (practically NO carbs) because I had heard others report how much better they felt on that diet. I can't say I felt any worse, but certainly not better, and I was starving all the time. I even did Grain Free with the same results.

I am a CARB ADDICT so I have worked for the past few years to limit my carbs to 30% or less a day, in relation to fats and protein. That's what the current trends are suggesting.

After a particularly bad week with my reflux last week, I said, "Suck it!" and did what I knew would make me feel better. I made the decision to spend a couple of days eating a yellow diet. That meant, yep, you guessed it, almost ALL CARBS! I needed a bland diet. I needed no spices, no colors, no extra yummy, no fats. I needed my tummy to feel loved and warm and cozy.

I instantly felt better. And by that I mean that by lunch I could already tell a difference!

For breakfast I had a bowl of whole grain oats with 1/4 apple, cinnamon, and stevia. For lunch I had the other 3/4 of the apple and a half of an almond butter sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread. For dinner I had some penne pasta with small shrimp and mini cremini mushrooms seasoned with some grated parmesan cheese, turmeric, and parsley.

And I wasn't even hungry for a bedtime snack, which is a rarity under my previous diets!

So I ate the exact same thing the next day. And I felt amazing! And I've been eating pretty much that way ever since and I haven't had one moment of heartburn or gas or anything.

But carbs are my enemy, right? They always have been! That's what I am always told!

So, do I want to eat to look good or feel good?

Right now, I'm opting for feeling good. I am all for looking good, too, but I am almost 45 years old. I am not going to be a swimsuit model. That is no longer my goal (not that it ever was). My goal is for my stomach to not hang over my jeans.

But here is an added bonus surprise .... I think I have actually, maybe, lost a little weight! Or, at least, I know I sure haven't gained any! I can always tell my weight by my waist and how I am wearing my jeans and how much tummy hang over I have. And I look and feel really trim right now.

And, folks, I haven't exercised in a couple of months, so that's not it. (I am desperately waiting for nicer temps so I can get back out and run!)

I read the book Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure by Jamie Kaufman, M.D. & Jordan Stern, M.D., and following it has made me feel fantastic! I feel fantastic!

This plan is way simple, doesn't require any measuring or macro figuring or keeping track of anything. It just requires me to eat some things and not others.

But the best part is ... I GET TO EAT CARBS!!! Oh, Hallelujah! I will keep you updated as to my progress. If I continue to feel this good, I might try to cut out one of my doses of Prilosec each day.

So, the struggle continues. But, have I found the holy grail of answers? Do I still get to eat my yummy carbs, and drink coffee, and feel good, and look good?? Let's hope!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up ~ TWO Weeks of Good Schooling Catchup

Alright, let's wrap up the last two weeks. I've been sharing my computer with a Minecraft maniac, so when I've been in the mood to blog she seemed to always have my computer. Then when my computer was available, I didn't feel like blogging. Know what I mean?

But, this blog is my way to prove to the world (and sometimes even myself) that we actually do spend 30 or so hours a week educating like we are supposed to do.

Two Weeks Ago

We had one of those glorious boring weeks in our schooling. We read, wrote, and mathed, primarily. I love those weeks sometimes.

Dividing improper and mixed fractions takes some time with all of its conversions, higher level math facts, and simplifications. Because I would rather the kids "get it" than do multiple problems, quality versus quantity, they spent the week doing a lesser amount of problems, but more difficult ones, each day. I didn't want to pack in a bunch of activities to complete because I wanted them to feel the freedom to take their time and complete the problems correctly the first time.

We are doing some massive reading. It's just that time of year for all of us. The kids are both absorbed in their book series, and we are reading some good literature as read alouds. If I accomplish nothing else in these years of homeschooling except that my kids enjoy reading and good literature, then I have been immensely successful. So, if either of the kids say, "I want to finish this chapter." or "Can we read for a while longer?" or "Will you please read the next book in this series instead of us moving onto something else?" then I am hard-pressed to grab up an activity for us to do instead.

One of my favorite things the kids have been doing this year is reading out of McGuffeys and then copying paragraphs. I know that they do not see the immediate benefits of this, but they are getting some massive practice in reading and writing good grammar, and getting in some good old wholesome character stories. I feel as though a strong language arts education is important at their ages (5th and 6th grade), so we make this and formal grammar and spelling lessons a priority and will at least through the next year or two. It makes for comfortable, enriching days.

CNN Student News always gives us topics of discussion first thing in the morning. That week we discussed the Iowa Caucus and Ground Hog Day and various other topics of current events. We do this each morning cuddled up in blankets with a cup of coffee and it may be my favorite thing we do all day.

WWII studies had us wrapping up the topics surrounding the war on the homefront. We did a photo analysis of a family listening to a radio program during the war while we listened to a radio broadcast of The Lone Ranger, we watched the first episode of Bomb Girls to show how the women went to work during the war, and we watched A League of Their Own. It's one of my all-time favorite movies, so it was a great excuse to introduce the kids to it. I even recognized some things referencing the war and topics that we have studied that I have never noticed before.

In our weekly hosted enrichment class, the kids received their Level 1 prizes from the WWII Museum's Get in the Scrap program and then decorated switch plates with permanent markers to remind them to shut off the lights when they leave a room.

We had a week off from basketball games, so the kids were able to focus on their bowling league on Saturday. They both bowled really well! State tournament is in a couple of months, so they are getting prepped for it.

Last Week

We got a little more hands-on last week with some science related activities from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. We did some studies about soil and erosion. We learned about the levels of soil by watching a video and doing an edible soil activity.

Then we learned about erosion from Bill Nye and did an erosion activity, incorporating our recent studies about landforms.

Our basic studies continued with spelling, grammar, McGuffey's, CNN Student News, and math. I made up some additional fraction word problems from our previous week's lessons to make sure we had those concepts solidified before we moved on to the next topics.

We finished Prince Caspian and On the Far Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and then watched "Prince Caspian" as a family.

In our WWII unit we started our studies on the Holocaust by learning about Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport. We watched excellent videos, especially "Into the Arms of Strangers: Kindertransport". It was very powerful and an excellent lead-in to what is going to be a very serious and difficult topic.

While finishing up On the Far Side of the Mountain we read about Rensaelarville, New York, and the Rent Wars, so we found a documentary about it and finished off our week learning more.

At our Victory Garden Enrichment class the kids did a maze activity with Get in the Scrap and completed another level for more prizes!

Brynne got back into basketball and had an excellent game on Saturday. She had a fan club.

We had a nice Valentine's weekend.We spent some time listening to our grand baby's heartbeat on the home dopplar Collin and Kyndal purchased.

Dawson had a special someone come for a visit from Oklahoma for the weekend. Rick and I opted out of a night on the town because the temps were frigid, so we went up to our little small-town Chinese restaurant and had dinner together Saturday night. Good food and great company!

On Sunday we just hung out at home like any other regular Sunday watching movies, napping, playing with friends. I made dinner for the whole family Sunday evening. We had filet mignon, baked potatoes, heart-shaped pasta, corn, and rolls. It was a great night together!

This week we are moving on with more great studies. The longer I homeschool, the more I love it!


2015-2016 Hours Logged - 623 1/2 hours out of 1,000 required hours (212.5 hours outside home)
Plus 83 Summer Hours

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tuesday Coffee Chat

I missed this week's Tuesday Coffee Chat, but when I went back and read the topic I just had to join in, even if two days late.

Show me Love. Now is your chance to get all lovey-dovey. Share a craft, share a poem, share a date night idea.

For Valentine's Day in 2010, some girlfriends and I put together a The Amazing Race: Valentine Edition for our spouses. It was so incredibly fun, one of the funnest things I have ever planned and pulled off. The post with the details of that date night is as follows:


Oh how I have been dying to post something about this! But, I couldn't breathe a word or even drop a hint because it was such a big surprise!

For well over a month my friends Berry, Deidra, Tamara and I have been planning The Amazing Race: Valentine Edition for our husbands. I saw this idea on My Insanity, and immediately enlisted these friends to do it with me. Saturday night was the first chance around Valentine's Day that we had to do it.

Our husbands were told that we were meeting at Nick and Deidra's so all four couples could go out to dinner. When we got there, we had a couple of cocktails and then the wives slipped into the bedroom. We came out wearing t-shirts that said "I love my Husband". We told the guys that we were all really gathered for the race. They were in shock, and one of the husbands was even a little perturbed (come to find out, he hates surprises!)

The men were given their uniforms: Matching t-shirts that said "I love my Wife".

They were given a pink pouch with around $1.10 in change, mostly pennies, and their first clue. Then they were told the rules:

1. They had to wear their uniform at all times.
2. They had to follow the clues and complete all Roadblocks.
3. They had to video each Roadblock being completed.
4. They had to use the pouch of money to buy each of us a gift.
5. They had to get each of us a bouquet of flowers without spending any money.

We took all of their wallets and cell phones. The driver was given his license and his cell phone.

And they were then given Clue #1 that said:

It's time to make those cards, but in order to do it right, you'll need to go to the store, where Nicole makes memories on a Friday night.

They guys had to go to our local scrapbook store, where a real crop was going on, and make Valentine's cards for each of us with supplies we provided. Then they received their next clue.

Clue #2 said:

Now you're heading to an Island, where you'll have a Funtastic time. You'll be swinging and sliding, and finding a clue when you climb.

They had to go to Funtastic Island, a large community playground (in the rain) and one of them had to search the slides and other equipment for their next clue. They were to text me at this time to say that they had completed this task.

Clue #3 said:

Next drive across town, to a Firestone who is a delight. One of you will perform a Roadblock, that's sweet and spicy and such a fright.

They had to go to our friend's house where one of them had to eat some chocolate covered insects and sour cream and onion insects. Then she gave them their next clue.

Clue #4 said:

Your next stop is a pizza place, near Uptown not down. Hopefully they'll be love in the air with your tune, and not (A)more frowns.

They had to go to Andolini's Pizzeria and the remaining two guys who hadn't done a Roadblock yet had to sing That's Amore to the patrons of the restaurant. When they completed that Roadblock, they got their final clue and the pizza and spaghetti we had ordered for dinner.

Clue #5 said:

Now go (b)o(w)ling, not to the alley but the house. There you'll find your prize: not a million, but your spouse.

This led them back to Jace and Berry's house (their last name is Olinghouse) where we were waiting for them. We had set a beautiful table and made homemade breadsticks, salad and dessert. We enjoyed a great dinner and lots of laughs.

They came in wearing the red bandanas that we had tied at the Roadblock locations. After dinner we went to the living room for them to present their cards, gifts and flowers to us. It was so funny! Personalities really came out!

We couldn't get the video to run at their house, so we are working on it to give to everybody. Some of the highlights were: them talking about how gay they felt in their matching t-shirts; how they would rather be killed than to spend a Friday night scrapbooking; how much fun they had at The Dollar Tree picking out gifts and how long it took to stand there and count out their pennies to pay; how they bought one of our gifts from our friend and then took a flower arrangement of hers to give as flowers to one of us; how when they went to the restaurant they actually had a stuffed singing bear that sang That's Amore when you pressed a button and the store owner gave it to them!

Each of the men were given a Skor candy bar with a note attached that said, "Your hard work paid off so now you'll 'Skor' tonight ".

I'd like to thank Rick, Jace, Nick and Jeff for being such good sports. The gals and I had a blast planning it and keeping the secret and pulling it off!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Yeah, well I fell off the blogging bandwagon again. Oops. I have actually even had a couple of posts completed and then not published. Sometimes I just find myself wandering away from the computer. It usually coincides with an increase in the amount of reading I am doing, and I am doing tons of reading these days.

But I'll jump in on Wednesday Hodgepodge today. Thank you, Joyce, for giving us a fun place to land each week.

Create an acrostic using the word LOVE.


Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?

I think so. I read somewhere one time that every single problem in this world is the direct result of a child not being properly loved. Let that sink in. That doesn't mean each child should be loved in the same way, necessarily, because we all have different needs and love languages. But, if Hitler had been loved "properly", would he have become the monster that he did? If that teenager down the street was properly loved, would he be going down that path he is going down now? Maybe the love is tough love. Maybe the love is sheltered love. Maybe it's as simple as just hearing that he or she is loved, just hearing the words.

Tell us about a time recently where you really put your heart into something.

I put my heart into homeschooling my kids. I take this job so seriously. I don't do it just for its educational value, but also for the relationships it provides us. I spend hours each week thinking on our lessons, making plans, preparing, implementing ideas, and thinking of the future. I would say that most of my time, energy, and heart goes into this profession.

What's your favorite fictional love story?

Landon and Jamie in A Walk to Remember. "But our love is like the wind. I can't see it, but I can feel it."

Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve or keep your cards close to the vest?

My cards are shoved right into the pocket of my vest with the button fastened. I used to be an open book, but I have found that it is much safer just to keep my opinions and my personal thoughts and feelings to myself.

What food says love to you? Why?

Coffee. Coffee says love to me every day. And I say 'I love you, too.'

When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.

We are going to be grandparents and that gets me pretty tickled. The first time we saw and heard the heartbeat of our first grandbaby, it took my breath away. It was magical. Unfortunately, that baby went to be with Jesus shortly thereafter. Our second grandbaby is on the way now, and we have seen the heartbeat on an ultrasound, but have not yet heard it. We are anxious for that moment!

Insert your own random thought here.

Does anybody else look at the upcoming presidential elections and think, "Oh, Lord, please be with us."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday Coffee Chat

New Month ... time to shed the old and make a fresh start. Let's start with One Good Thing.

I was just talking with my friend Cheryl this morning about this very thing. I typically thrive on a pretty hard-core schedule. I wake in the morning, read my Bible and do some journaling and prayer, do a little computer time, get up and exercise, get ready for the day, get the kids up and moving, get them schooled while doing some housework, get everybody where they need to go and when they need to go there, feed the crew, and wind down in the evening with a regular bedtime.

But, as of late, I have had no motivation, not even enough to keep up with my schedule.

I haven't been waking at an intentional earlier hour.

I haven't been starting my day in the Word.

I haven't exercised at all.

I really don't care to be on the computer.

I feed the family, do the schooling, get everybody delivered and home again, and get the housework accomplished.

And then I sit in my chair with tea and my dogs and read. And I read some more. And then when I am done reading I go get in bed and read until I fall asleep.

And then I get up and do it all over again.

My word of the year ... KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) and all I was planning to do with that, I haven't done.

But, then again, things are certainly SIMPLE right now.

And, you know, it's completely okay!!

I've said it many times that I tend to wear down pretty substantially during the last few months of the calendar year. Add to that some heavy family stuff and this year was particularly draining. We took a month off from school, but that wasn't even enough to get me recharged. I've needed to shut myself down, and I mean DOWN. And that's what I've done.

I started to feel bad about it until I decided that I don't.

I look ahead to the busy months of April and May and beyond and know that this gift of unfettered time that I have been given right now is exactly that, a gift. And I gladly receive it.

It is okay to take a break.

Even though I am not reading scripture each morning, I have felt God speaking to me in other ways (such as in my dreams and just in the way I feel .. I can feel His presence). I am not exercising, but I will start again when the temps start to rise and I can get out and run again (plus we are going on a beachy vacation at the end of May and I don't want to look icky in my bikini, so there's that motivation). I'm watching what I eat right now so that's a plus. My family is being well-taken-care-of, and I am happy because I have no real stress. I have the security my husband provides and his love and acceptance to be who I am. We are schooling at a good pace because we have a nice break coming up in April.

This new month I am shedding any guilt I might feel at not doing things "the right way", even if it's just a way that I have conjured up in my own mind.

That's my One Good Thing.