Friday, July 27, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: A New Refrigerator

The deliverymen were barely out of the driveway when my children started decorating the new fridge!

While I do love our new refrigerator, I do not like the reason we had to get it.  John discovered water leaking from the freezer Tuesday morning, water from the ice melting.  So we quickly moved everything worth saving into either a cooler (for the refrigerated stuff) and our deep freeze (for the frozen stuff).  Then, of course, we had to buy a new one.  Ugh!  We are fortunate to have a local appliance shop which will deliver the next day, so we were only without a fridge for a little over twenty-four hours.  I'm so thankful for that!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • going to a Honeybee Expo on Saturday with Mary and Sarah Beth.  We had so much fun tasting different kinds of honey and doing some crafts about bees.  Sweet Mary knew I wanted to go, so she volunteered to go with me.  Then Sarah Beth decided to go, too.
  • meeting friends at a museum Monday.  It is set up like a children's museum, so our children had a great time playing with the different exhibits.
  • having a slow week.
I'm hosting an Usborne Books Party tonight as a fundraiser to purchase insurance for our CC group.  Then we have a busy day tomorrow!  In the morning, the kids and I are running a race:  mine is a 5K, and theirs is shorter, for children.  Then we're going to a friends' house to swim and have supper.  

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why I Decided that Being (Five Minutes) Late Isn't Such a Bad Thing


I am one of those people who like to be on time, even a little bit early.  I don't like to be late, and I want to make sure that I get where I am going with plenty of time to spare in case something happens on the way. Too often, however, my children are casualties of my wanting to be on time.  I end up yelling and screaming at them to hurry up so that we can get where we are going on time.

One day I read something by Gary Thomas where he said that it makes no sense to throw my husband under the busy, so speak, in order to look good to a stranger.  On another day, I read something about not harming my children's spirits.  And God used these two different thoughts to start my contemplation of something:  what if it's more important to protect my children's hearts than it is to get somewhere on time?

I first came to this realization one day as we were eating lunch, preparing to leave for piano lessons.  What would really happen if I let my children finish their lunch in peace and get ready without my yelling at them to hurry?  We might be five minutes late.  Would five minutes be worth the damage done to my children's spirits?

I thought about this again when planning for Practicum.  What would the results be if we were five minutes late to Practicum because I didn't yell and scream at my children to hurry?  Well, my children would be a little late to their camps, but that's not a big deal.  And I would be a little late to my session, again not a big deal.

In other words, I decided that being five minutes late would not be worth damaging my children.

Do you know the peace that I had when I made that decision?  It was wonderful!

Now don't get me wrong:  I am talking about being five minutes late, not half an hour.  I still think it's rude to be late, rude to whomever is waiting.  And you have to do a good bit of planning sometimes to be on time.

However, children are children, and they don't always realize what time it is or what they should be doing so you can leave on time.  And, let's be honest, if/when we're late, it's usually my fault for not warning them adequately about when we need to leave.  When I come storming out of my room running late, it's not fair to my children to start yelling at them to hurry when they had no idea that we needed to leave any time soon.

So I decided to try to warn them better about when we needed to leave and to relax a little if they weren't quite ready when it was time to leave.

If you have a problem getting places on time, this post is not meant to make you feel better about habitually being late.  Rather, you need to figure out why you're always late and work on that.  Here and here are two posts that might help.

However, if you're always on time, but it involves yelling and screaming on your part, this post is for you.

Are you usually on time?  Does it take yelling and screaming on your part, or have you figured out how to be punctual without that?  :)

Friday, July 20, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Camp and Puzzles


Since Daniel had camp this week, we were a little busy, but not really.  We just had to load up the van to take him and then pick him back up.  Other than that, we were home the rest of the day which I enjoyed after our busy week last week.

The local college offers a children's camp every summer which has several different offerings at different times kind of like college classes.  So Daniel is taking a chess class, Math Magic, and Flying High, and he's having so much fun especially in the chess class.  Finally, he has people to play chess against, people he can't beat easily.  :)

Meanwhile, the girls and I worked on puzzles.  Several puzzles.  Five hundred piece puzzles.  One thousand piece puzzles.  Hard puzzles.  Easier puzzles.  I really enjoyed working with them solving these puzzles, but mostly I appreciated us all working together for a common goal.  Sarah Beth even picked out a 300 piece puzzle to do with Mary while Rachel and I finished up our hard puzzle.  Wasn't that sweet?

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • getting back to my Summer Learning Plan.  I have taken a few weeks off for various reasons, and it was good to get back to it!
  • staying on top of the laundry.  :)  Since Daniel had to wear the same shirt every day for camp, I had to wash it along with a load of other clothes.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  This book is one that Sarah Beth has to read for her Challenge class this year.  I'm trying to read all of her required books so I know what's going on in her class.
We don't have much planned this weekend, and I'm enjoying every slow weekend we can get before soccer season starts back up.  

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Few Things I Learned at Practicum

Last week at Practicum, I received my training to tutor the Essentials class in the afternoon sessions.  There was great information shared there.  But in the morning sessions, we had a wonderful speaker Sandy James who imparted much wisdom.  She told many stories about her own children and other children whom she knows, and it was encouraging to hear that we haven't failed as parents if our children drift when they leave our houses.  My favorite analogy was that children are like baking a cake:  if you check them in the middle before they're "done," they are raw and gooey on the inside.  You have to wait to assess them after they are completely "baked."

Here are a few quotes I wrote down that spoke to me; I thought you might appreciate them as well:
  1. Isaiah 54:13.  "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."  Our speaker repeatedly brought us back to this verse, emphasizing how God will meet us and our children as we sit at the kitchen table doing school.  She also told us that the Hebrew word for "peace" is "shalom" which means nothing broken, nothing missing.  We can trust God that, when we teach our children, at the end of it all, there will be nothing missing, nothing broken; their education will be complete.  
  2. Discipline is an automatic reaction to vision.  If you have a vision for where you want to end up with your children as you homeschool, you will be disciplined to get there.  For example, when I'm training for a race, I don't mind as much getting up in the morning and running hard.  I have a vision.  When I'm just running for exercise, it's so much harder.  
  3. If you begin with the end in mind, the middle won't trip you up.  Again, if you have a clear vision of your goal, you won't get sidetracked when things get difficult before you get there.
  4. I have nothing better to do with my time than disciple my children.  This quote was my favorite, and the one I most needed to hear because I tend to forget it.  Speaking with them, discipling them, listening to them is so much more important than the book or blog I'm reading or the task I'm trying to complete.
  5. People (my children) need me when they need me, not when I am ready to be needed.  Isn't that the truth?  It seems that my children only need me when I'm busy doing something relatively important.  It's inconvenient; they're inconvenient.  But that's the way God designed things and how He can use our children to make us more like His Son.
Do any of these quotes speak to you?  Have you heard anything interesting lately?

Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West


When Savannah's husband moves out in anticipation of a divorce, she is devastated and has no idea what to do next.  So she moves a few hours away to live in her parents' vacation home in order to sort things out and figure out what to do next.  While there, she meets her neighbors:  elderly Clarice, her nephew Brock, and his daughter Maysie.  Savannah learns how to deal with past trauma, current pain, and the possibility of reconciling with her adulterous husband as she interacts with her neighbors in her painful circumstances as well as theirs.

The story in this book is a good one, one worth telling.  The author clearly communicates the pain and hurt that Savannah feels as her husband leaves her for another woman and how hard it is for Savannah to trust him again when he wants to reconcile.  However, the writing was a little simplistic. There were too many short and incomplete sentences.  Used once in a while, they are a great tool for emphasis, but West used them too often in this book.  Tighter writing and better editing would have made this good story great.

However, I do recommend this book because it's not a typical story, but it is a redemptive one.

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my kindle copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, July 13, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: CC Practicum

The only way I could get out the door on time!

Whew!  This week was busy!  We had Practicum for Classical Conversations where I receive the training I need for tutoring.  While I do that, my children have camp.  We all had a good time learning and spending time with friends, but it was exhausting.  We had to leave at 7:45 each morning, and we didn't get back home until after 5:00.  And it was an hour drive each way.  Tiring, but good!  I'm so glad that we went, and I received tons of great encouragement and new information.  But I'm so glad it's over for the summer.  :)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed this week:
  • being home Thursday.  We only left the house to pick up the groceries yesterday.  Meanwhile, I caught up on laundry and other household chores that were neglected because I was too tired to deal with them when we got home.
  • friends at Practicum.  Usually, my children and I attend without anyone else from our CC campus, but this year we had several friends go with us which made it that much more fun.
  • a trip to Half-Priced Books.  There was one on the way home from Practicum, so we just had to stop in one evening especially since we hadn't been to that location before.
  • John being fine with easy suppers all week since I was too tired when we got home to cook.
I plan to run a 5K tomorrow morning although I have to admit that I don't really want to.  ;)  Other than that, we have a quiet weekend planned.

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

Friday, July 6, 2018

What I Enjoyed This Week: Time with my Little Girls

This dress was Rachel's and she loved it.  Now it's Hannah's turn to dance around in it!

John took Sarah Beth and Daniel to hunt prairie dogs over the weekend, having left Thursday morning early and returning home Monday evening.  They had a great time even though they got too much sun.  But isn't that what usually happens when you're outside all day?

Meanwhile I stayed home with my little girls:  Rachel, Mary, and Hannah.  Since I did not want to sit around all day, bored or worse, watching tv, I tried to think of some fun things we could do that didn't cost much, if anything.  Thursday and Friday were easy since Rachel and Mary were finishing up their swimming lessons.  We took a trip to the library on Saturday.  Of course, we had church on Sunday, and I took all three swimming Monday morning.  We were busy enough so we didn't get bored, but we really were not busy at all.  I found the right balance.  Oh, and we did watch a few movies.  ;)

Here are a few other things I enjoyed:
  • John's birthday Tuesday.  Since he wasn't sure when they would get home from their hunting trip, he took Tuesday off, too.  So we had him home with us Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was wonderful to have him home for two weekdays in a row!
  • I have been doing Jen Wilkin's Bible study God of Creation through LifeWay, and it is wonderful!  She pulls together different parts of the Bible that I hadn't realized were so connected.  She also digs in deep into the first chapter of Genesis (that's as far as I've gotten) and shows the patterns that are there and why they are significant.  I have already learned a good bit.  If you're interested, LifeWay has the videos up to view for free here.  
  • I took all of the children swimming Thursday evening which they all enjoyed.  I have fun watching them have a good time, especially Hannah because she smiles the whole time.
  • my new treadmill.  Actually, I have been enjoying it for several weeks now.  When we took our tour of the Southwest, I ran on a few hotel treadmills, and they felt magical.  :)  I felt like I could run all day long, and they showed me how poor my old treadmill was, how hard it was to run on it.  So my sweet husband bought me a new one when we returned home.  While it's not as magical as the hotel treadmills, it is much, much better than my old one.
  • the rain.  It rained a couple of times this week, and we have needed it.
  • doing a puzzle with my girls.  Our library has puzzles that you can borrow, so we picked one out and have had fun figuring it out.  I especially enjoy it when all of my daughters are gathered around the table working on it.  Yes, even Hannah.  She is usually sitting on my lap putting pieces together that we take apart when she isn't looking since they don't really go together.  :)  Daniel does not enjoy puzzles.  :(
I have a busy week next week, so I will be using Saturday to get ready for that.  Hopefully, I will get most of my to-do list done so I can relax and enjoy Sunday.  

What have you enjoyed this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Birthday, John!

John returned home last night from a hunting trip with Sarah Beth and Daniel.  They drove up to New Mexico to do some prairie dog hunting which apparently is a lot like Whack-a-Mole with a gun.  :)  Hopefully, I will have some pictures for you on Friday.  


Happy birthday to my wonderful husband, John!


He's a great father...


as he helps our children negotiate their surroundings.


As you can see, they all love him very much.


He even does projects with our children.


I'm so glad that God gave me such an incredible husband! 

Hmmm.  I think I need some updated pictures!