Friday, March 30, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Normal Week

We returned to our regular schedule this week with Classical Conversations, piano lessons, and school.  It was a good week with a wonderful ending:  John has today off!  We always enjoy him being home, but especially when we have him home for a long weekend.  Good Friday, indeed!

Seriously, though, one of my children asks every year, "Why is it called Good Friday?"  Since Jesus died, shouldn't it be "Bad Friday"?  No, no!  We call it "Good Friday" because Jesus took our place when He was nailed to the cross.  Yes, it was bad that He died, but it is wonderful that His sacrifice took our sins away and gave us hope, a sure hope of eternity with Him.  We should call it "Wonderful Friday," don't you think?

Here are a few things I enjoyed this week:
  • we had supper with friends last Saturday.  We've made an effort to try to get together monthly, and we've all appreciated that!
  • CC.  Several children were sick this week, but we still had class.  It was a smaller, more intimate setting which was nice -- occasionally.  Honestly, we missed having everyone there! 
  • having some time during piano lessons to get ahead by working on my lesson plans for CC next week.
  • the nice weather.  It's been sunny and warm, but not hot.  Perfect weather for playing outside!
  • rain.  We did get a bunch of rain Wednesday night with thunderstorms, but since it came during the night, it didn't interfere with anything.
  • only one soccer practice this week.  Due to various things, we only had one of the four soccer practices this week -- which made things a little easier for me.  :)
We don't have any big plans for this weekend other than church as usual on Sunday.  Unfortunately, our church doesn't do anything special for Easter, and I miss that.  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, March 23, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: My Christmas Present!

For Christmas the past couple of years, I have asked for a weekend (almost) to myself.  John does this by taking our oldest four children camping one weekend while I stay home with Hannah.  It works out wonderfully:  John and the kids have a great time camping, and I have a relatively restful weekend at home.

Last weekend was my weekend.  John and the kids left on Thursday, and they arrived back home on Sunday.  They drove up to Lawton, Ok, where John's father grew up.  Actually, it was closer than some of the parks John looked into here in Texas.  They had a wonderful time.  The weather was just about perfect, and there was lots to do.

Meanwhile, I was home with Hannah.  She loved being an only child for the weekend!  We ran a few errands and got some things done.  Mostly, I enjoyed the slower pace of having only one child for a few days.  It's hard to remember what those days were like!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • visiting Challenge A up in the Houston area.  This is the next step up in Classical Conversations, and Sarah Beth will start this program next year.
  • getting my oven repaired.  I've lived without a display that can be read for almost five years, and it's been fine.  But now it works!  I can see what the temperature in the oven is!
  • families visiting our campus.  We had an Open House this week, and there are some families who are interested in CC for next year!
Tomorrow, Sarah Beth has two soccer games, and Rachel has one.  Then we're going to eat supper with some friends.  Fun!

What did you enjoy this week?  Have you asked for anything unusual like a weekend to yourself for Christmas?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Visual Reminder to Watch What I Say and How I Say It

A couple of months ago, I read an article about how the author tried an experiment to see if she could learn not to yell at her children anymore.  She put five rings on her left ring finger, and whenever she lost her temper with her children, she would move one ring over to her right hand.  I thought that was a neat idea and immediately bought some rings for myself.

I hate to admit that I lose my temper with my children and my husband.  I hate to admit that I speak harshly to them without real cause.  I hate to admit that I use sarcasm to belittle my children.  But I do.  I am not perfect, and I will not be until I die and arrive in Heaven.  So I need cues to help me remember to watch, not just what I say, but how I say it.

In the picture above, you can see that I only have three rings on.  That's not because I think I will mess up fewer than three times in one day.  No, if I wear more than that, they cut off the circulation in my finger.  So I wear three, and so far it's working.

That is, when I remember to wear them.

The really great thing about these rings is that they are noticeable.  My children and John know why I'm wearing them.  The really bad thing about these rings is that they are noticeable.  When I say something unkind or yell, they will quietly remind me to move a ring to the other hand.  It's humbling.  But I need their help and accountability.

With this post, I'm letting more people know why I wear these rings, and you can also help to hold me accountable.  Especially when I'm not wearing them.

Please just don't look too closely to my left hand to see how many times I've messed up already today.  ;)

Friday, March 16, 2018

What I Enjoyed this Week: A Trip to the Zoo and a Broken Dryer

 Daffodils have always been a sign to me that spring is coming!

Actually, I did not enjoy the broken dryer.  What a snag in our day-to-day operations!  Do you know how much laundry is generated by seven people?  ;)  And I really want to blame it on Hannah since it was her sheets that were in the dryer when it quit working.

Seriously, though, my dryer stopped heating up Sunday afternoon.  (While I don't usually do laundry on Sunday, this was kind of an emergency.)  It still ran, but the sheets inside it were cold and were not drying.  And I almost panicked because how was I supposed to do laundry?!!!  So I called the repairman Monday morning, and he wasn't going to be able to come out until Wednesday.  Again, the panicky feeling.  My hero husband came to the rescue.  I thought I would just wash several loads since my washer still worked fine, and then take them all to the laundromat to dry.  When I told John that, he said, "With all five children?"  Like, have you lost your mind?  He told me to take the dirty clothes to the laundromat and just pay them to wash, dry, and fold them.  I thought about arguing because it's so expensive, but then I submitted.  And how nice was that!

The repairman came out first thing Wednesday morning, and he was able to fix my eighteen year old dryer in less than thirty minutes.  Hooray!  But -- there's always a but, isn't there? -- my dryer vent was clogged.  So he told me I should not use the dryer until the chimney sweep could come out and clear it.  What?!  He was just here two or three years ago!  The way our dryer vent goes up and around our garage, it gets stopped up easily.  So we're going to need the chimney sweep out here regularly from now on, that is, if I want my dryer to continue to function properly.

By the way, did you know that there is such a thing as a chimney sweep?  And that they clean out dryer vents?  I had no idea -- until three years ago.  I had that song from Mary Poppins stuck in my head all day.

Anyway, the chimney sweep was able to come out Wednesday afternoon, so I was able to start getting caught up on all of the laundry I hadn't taken to the laundromat and that we had generated since then.

That was my adventure for the week!

Here are a few things I actually enjoyed this week:
  • a working dryer!!
  • getting caught up on laundry.  Yes, I did!
  • no CC this week!  It's spring break in our area, so I scheduled us to be off, too.  With all of the craziness with the dryer, it was nice to have one less thing to worry about.
  • a trip to the zoo.  Since we didn't have CC, we went to the zoo with a couple of families from our CC campus.  We had so much fun!
  • texting with a distant friend.  We try to interact daily via texts, and it's absolutely wonderful!
  • a meeting for one of the CC classes.  Even though it was a working meeting, it was still enjoyable to spend time with those ladies.
  • meeting a friend for coffee/tea.  She drank coffee, I drank tea, and we both enjoyed wonderful fellowship.  :)
  • pi Day.  I made a chocolate pie to celebrate!  It was pretty good, definitely worth making again, although I will use a graham cracker crust next time.  
It looks to be a quiet weekend which I'm planning to enjoy.  :)

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?  Did you celebrate pi Day?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Word for the Year: Fun

When I went to the Homeschool Moms' Winter Summit this year, I heard a talk by two women who had graduated their children from their homeschools.  Both mothers said that, if they could go back and change one thing, they wish they would have been more fun.  I sat up to pay close attention because you should when wiser women are speaking.

I mean, honestly, which parent is the more fun usually?  It's not the mother.  We have so much on our plates, all the time, with maintaining a home (laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning) and schooling our children, if homeschooling, and/or working.  We don't have much time left for fun.

After the Summit, I determined to change things a little, to try to have more fun at home.  But how?  That's a great question.

One of the mothers said that every time it rained where she lived in western Texas, they would stop school and read books.  But it didn't rain often because that part of the state is fairly dry.  I don't want to do that because it rains a lot here, but I thought raining might give me somewhere to start.  So I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, scooped it out, and froze the raw dough.  Now I have frozen cookie dough, ready to bake when it rains.  Unfortunately, it hasn't rained since I did that.  :(

I am also trying to remember to celebrate some of these fun holidays.  We celebrated Tootsie Roll Day Anniversary by reading some of the history of the Tootsie Roll and, of course, by eating some.

Now I'm out of ideas.  Do you have any?  What have you done, or what do you do, to make school more fun?  Or even what do you wish you could do to make school more fun?  I would love to hear your ideas.  :)

Friday, March 9, 2018

What I Enjoyed this Week: Racing with a Friend

I ran a 5K last Saturday, and it was great to run it with a friend.  Okay, we didn't actually run it together; she ran a good bit faster than I did.  But it was fun to have someone to talk with before the race and afterward, waiting to hear the results.  And I came in second!  (We're in different age divisions; I'm older.)  I always find it exciting to hear my name called because I run so slowly.  :)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • talking with a woman who wants to start homeschooling her children next year
  • texting daily with a friend
  • watching Rachel read chapter books, ones I bought for Sarah Beth several years ago to start her on chapter books
We don't have any plans for the weekend which is nice.  Next week is spring break in our area so there's no soccer practice or games.

What did you enjoy this weekend?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Monday, March 5, 2018

Book Review: A Light on the Hill by Connily Cossette

Moriyah's face was badly scarred during her short visit in Jericho seven years ago, so she doesn't think any man will want her for a wife.  However, her father finds someone, and she has high hopes for the marriage.  Unfortunately, something goes drastically wrong, and she is forced to flee to a sanctuary city.  The journey she takes along with the things she learns, help her see how valuable she is despite the scar and how much God loves her.

I did enjoy this book about Moriyah fleeing to a sanctuary city during the early settlement of Canaan after the Israelites started its conquest.  But the journey seemed far-fetched, too much too believe, almost like the author was trying to figure out how to give Moriyah and Darek more time together.  It was long and drawn out, and I was ready for it to end.  However, I really appreciated the twist at the end at Moriyah's trial.  But to find out what that was, you'll have to read the book!  I enjoyed how the author wove it all together at the end.

I want to thank Bethany House Publishing for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, March 2, 2018

What I Enjoyed the Past Three Weeks: A Weekend Away and Other Things

I can't believe I haven't written an "enjoyment post" in three weeks!  It just shows you how busy I have been lately!

My mother came into town two weeks ago.  When she visited at Thanksgiving, she asked what I wanted for Christmas.  I replied that I would like her to keep our children for a weekend so John and I could take a short trip, just we two.  So she did!  John and I drove down to San Antonio for the weekend.  We visited the Alamo, walked the Riverwalk, and enjoyed the resort where we stayed.  Oh, boy!  The food was delicious!  Mostly, we enjoyed the time together, connecting.  And we really appreciate my mother doing that!  But I cannot believe I did not get a single picture!

Rachel and Sarah Beth have both started soccer this spring.  Rachel had her first game last weekend, and she played hard and great.  Either she's a little bit of a natural, or she learned a lot watching Sarah Beth and Daniel play.

Here are a few other things I enjoyed recently:
  • visiting with my mother although I didn't see her as much as I would have liked since John and I were out of town for the weekend.
  • having supper with friends last weekend.  We don't see them often enough!
  • a productive information meeting for Classical Conversations.  Several people came, and it looks like we will have some new families on our campus next year.  Yea!
  • watching the Olympics!  We stayed up too late and watched too much tv, but the games only happen every two years, right?!
  • seeing a rainbow on the way to soccer practice one evening.
  • I started a new Bible study on Sunday evenings which won't interfere with school like the Thursday morning ones did.  :)
I have a 5K to run tomorrow, then two soccer games:  one for Sarah Beth (her first) and one for Rachel.  It should be a busy day!  

What have you enjoyed recently?  What do you have planned for the weekend?