Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Better Week and Homeschool News

This week has been a better week. Not because it was perfect, but I can definitely feel my change in attitude and the sun has been shining!  I think my kids love to be able to go out of the house as much as possible.  

Today, my oldest was protesting school and I was trying to keep my anger in check.  So his day got spaced out. Instead of doing it all first thing this morning, he did a subject or two, then went outside with my youngest.  While he did that, I helped my other children through other subjects, then went outside and did his history with him.  We still have a few other subjects but I feel more relaxed.  I still need to get through math with two of my kids, and music/art. 

As far as math, my son says he hates,math, but he isn't really doing too bad. We are using Teaching Textbooks 6 to try to get him where he needs to be.  So, at first I just asked him to do 5.  He still protested. Then I said, do 5 and then do at least 10 sit-ups, push-ups, etc. He did 5 and I joined him in doing 20 sit-ups.  He just did 6 more, didn't want to do any other work-out, until I said do a minute doing jump-rope.  He said okay.  So we both got a jump rope, though mine was tiny, and tried to jump rope as much as possible for a minute. He is doing 6 more problems and said he wanted to do push-ups next.  So, we will keep this up until he finishes, and get some gym time in as well!  Yay for that (and I get a workout as well)!

I keep getting nudges about overdoing it so switching it up today was a great idea, and I think God inspired it.  Because of the possibility of my son going to school, if not this year, then next year, I have been more pushy then usual.  I want him to be prepared and not be too lost when he gets there.

Not only that but I feel lead to have my two older kids help with the meals again.  They loved it and I really want to give them the opportunity.  

Also, I was inspired to cook some meals based on some on the time periods we have hit in Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age, using recipes in the activity book, and really make our learning extra special.  One is a Napolis pizza (we went through how Italy became a kingdom again) and maybe a cake with the Taiping coin on top, since we talked about the Taiping Rebellion and a little about the Opium wars and how the British helped the Qing dynasty.  Everyone thinks history is boring, but I think it is really interesting.  Especially the way we are learning it, compared to when I was in school and only thought some was interesting.  It depended on how the information was presented, but I am definitely learning more now then I ever did, and I hope my kids can learn and retain interesting things as well.
Speaking of which, we just finished our read-aloud "Courage to Run" which talks about the beginning of Harriet Tubman' s life when she was a slave, and her heart's desire for freedom.  My kids wanted me to keep reading. Following a suggestion from different homeschooling sites, I decided to do my read-aloud books in the morning. The next one I need to finish is Farmer Boy and my next read-aloud on schedule is Across Five April's. We shall see how the kids respond. It helps when they get into what we are reading. 

What is the coolest thing about homeschooling? Those moments when you are learning together and loving it! I don't want it to be all dry and boring.  So I am really praying God inspires me on the way!

As far as the house, since I am feeling better emotionally, more seems to be getting done.  Not perfectly but I am praying God helps me make it so it is smoother. Even if that means downsizing more.  The laundry pile must go!  

 Anyways, how is your homeschool going? Did you start yet? What are you planning to do?  

Have a blessed day!

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From August 13, 2017

Today is August the 13th, 2017 and it's a Sunday.  I got to sit in the service while my daughter brought my one year old to the back.  The service was good.  The man talked about doing "Round Table Conversations" with your family basing it off of certain scritpures.  Four things you have to do is 1)Be honest, 2)Keep up to date, 3)Attack the problem, not the person and 4)Act, not react.  It is a great idea, but I don't know if my husband would ever fully do this with me.  (It's harder that way.)

Anyways, I finally asked one person if they could help me siphon through all these emotions and things I am going through.  I was doing well but kind of went downhill, and so decided I needed to get some help.  I will hopefully be doing that on an upcoming weekend.

The things that blessed me today, which may sound strange, was a pretty pink sparkly dress someone was wearing.  It wasn't bright pink, but for some reason the color cheered me up.  Being outside with my youngest was really nice, as well.  His smile and his toddling around and exploring are just so sweet.

I really can't think of anything else.  I have to try to look over homeschool stuff for this week so I have a set plan.  It's been going good so far.  I can't believe I am on Week 5!  That really is pretty amazing.  I really enjoy My Father's World this year.  I didn't like them as much for other things, but this year has been interesting.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Prioritiy Lists?

My kids were having ice cream, so I decided to make a trimtastic zucchini cake.  I have been having a sweet tooth, and this cake would be healthier for me all around...I think I am going back to my Trim Healthy Mama ways, mixing it with Dr. Don Colbert's Mediterranean Anti-Inflammation diet, because between the two, I might actually get somewhere.  I have had bread the last couple of days and have felt horrible.  That and anytime I have sugar (like in jams/jellies), because I went totally off for a day or two, my teeth are bothering me again.  They actually calmed down while I was doing a bit of detox, though never fully on it.  I wasn't sure if I should be on it, because the baby off an on nurses still, and I didn't want him to get anything my body was getting rid of.  (I still love the probiotic and the vitamins, which I think have been really helping me, and will continue to take those). 

I was starting to read, "Goodbye to Survival Mode" and she actually wrote that we should make a priority list, not with what everyone else thinks we should do but what we actually want to do.  I am suppose to make four to six personal priorities to help me to determine my schedule and life. 

What is on my heart right now? (Not just priorities, but desires as well.)

  • One would be just growing in my relationship with God.
  • Second would be taking care of my body, mind and spirit, with God's help, so I can take care of my family.  This includes exercise, Bible, prayer, and so many other things.  Healthy eating.
  • Third would be developing and growing in my relationship with my husband and what it means to truly love him and be one, fully connected and going towards a goal together.
  • Another one would be becoming all God created me to be, using my gifts and talents in and out of my family.
  • Developing my relationship with my kids. Showing them Christ.  Being a listening ear.  Disciplining when necessary.
  • Meeting with other women once a week for prayer and/or encouragement.  I would love to actually lead a Bible Study, but my husband has kept stopping me from doing this, which is hard.  I really would like to growing in ministry, whether with my husband, or something God personally puts on my heart to do.
  • I would love to travel or see other places/historic sites/etc.  (This is more of a want, not of personal priority whatsoever) 
  • I wouldn't mind acting in a play again sometime.  I haven't in a really long time, but I think it would be neat.
What would you put on your list?

Moments To Treasure

We are on our midmorning break. The kids have gotten through 3 subjects and so we are enjoying the outside. 

Though it is quite cool for August, it is still enjoyable.  (These picturs show a warmer day! :) )

I treasure this time.  

I almost didn't come outside.  There is always so much to do inside.  

But as I watched my kids all head out, my oldest grabbing the baby, I really felt God impressed me to be out there.
And I am so glad!  

The pressures to teach. The pressures to keep going... they get overwhelming.  

I commend all the teachers who teach lots of kids all day.  I only have four who I need to teach but by 12/1pm my brain seems toshut down and needs, or wants, to move to other things.

Remember to treasure the moments God has given you!

Keep your mind on heavenly things.

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

He is Enough, Even When I Am Not

Honestly, most times I feel like a failure.  I can't seem to make anyone happy. Or myself.

(I am going to fail most people.)

If I was enough, if I could do it all...not fail...be perfect, would I need God?

Tonight, I again realized, I can't share anything it seems.  My husband and I randomly had talked about putting my oldest in school, but we never made a decision on it.  Then I find out that people were telling him that it was great about how we were going to put him in school because I shared too much.  I didn't say we were definitely going to do it, but it all started by me asking for prayer on Facebook on a big decision,  without going into detail other than it was about the kids.  And then in church someone asked and I didn't think it was a secret, so I shared that we were thinking about it and then Tim was wondering what I posted on Facebook.  It was like, wow....wow, epic fail #1.  Conclusion?  Stop posting on Facebook.  Stop sharing?  (Work in progress)

And let me tell you something else I seem to be failing epicly on.  I can't keep up with what my husband wants me to keep up with: The house!  Oh my goodness!  Everyday it feels like a war zone.

And I know it's because the last couple of weeks have been a huge struggle for me.  My emotions came to a head on Sunday where I didn't feel much of anything.  Which is strange for me.  And when I did start thinking it seemed like all of it was negative and I wanted to cry but I would stuff it back in again. I haven't fully had time to process it yet.

On top of that, my kids aren't really listening. Four of them, and a baby who screams when he doesn't get his way.  I don't think any of my kids were this bad.  And all I can do is shut down or yell, or question the kids and where their hearts are at.  Fail #3.  Not being a good wife and mom. (The house was #2 and isn't going to get very far.  Did I mention baby who moves, tries to go up the stairs, and screams when he gets put in playpens or cribs?  He still goes in there, though, because we can only handle so much)

So, as my husband tells me I need to fix something in the house, and my kids aren't fully listening and megetting hard-hearted, my heart fails...and I don't want to do anything.  It's horrible.  So I just go outside on the back deck in the dark and go, "God, You know." 

And I just thank God, through all the mess of my heart, through all my failures, through everything, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He has worked constantly in my life, and will continue to do so, even when I feel I can't move or go on.  He loves me.  He gives me what I need to get through each day. 

He knew before I was born and prepared each moment for molding me into the person He wants me to be.  He will never leave me or forsake me.  He says not to be weary while doing good.  He satisfies my deepest longings. 

I may fail everyone else, but God...wow, He knows me to the deepest part and knows how to work through the mess.   He is enough. I know everyday, I need Him.  Otherwise, the world will just drown me. 

There is not enough of me to help everyone or even to please everyone, but there is enough of Him.

And I know, that even if today, I have struggled, He will take the things that happened today and turn them into good.  And he will work out the kinks and things in my heart that are not of Him.

I will praise Him for His faithfulness!

What is a struggle you are going through right now?  And how can you think of God to help you move past your circumstances?

I hope you have a great night.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

He's a Good Father

It's August 5, 2017 and I am tired.  My husband is out practicing for church service tomorrow and I am longing to do something, but not sure what to do, or even how to connect with anyone else.  Ever feel like that?

What can I say of my day?  Today I cleaned, tried to keep up the kitchen, got the kids to help with other things, allowed my daughter to go to a friend's house, was outside for a little while talking to a friend and watched the baby toddle around the yard, interacting with his older brothers.  We watched some TV shows, I saw my husband a couple of times quickly, and cleaned some more.  Then I cooked some dinner. Did I mentioned I cleaned? ;)

I have been trying to do this detox thing but I really am having a hard time. Today it felt like my blood sugar dropped and all of a sudden I was starving, not able to fully pull myself together.  So I ate dinner.  On this detox/fast, I am not suppose to have meat or any big carbs, other than fruits and vegetables, quinoa, etc.  For the most part, I am doing okay.  I have definitely been eating tons of vegetables and fruits, but it has been hard to stay full.

I had zucchini spice pancakes for breakfast.  I ate cabbage, sweet potatoes and green beans with quinoa for lunch.  I have had nuts in between those meals.  A protein smoothie with fruit.  But by the time dinner came along I was shaking.  My body was shutting down.  I might have to just eat one meal with a protein so it doesn't keep happening.  I don't know.  It is interesting trying to do, and it is getting me to eat better most of the time.  But my brain can only work it for so long and I do need to function.  I have 5 kids and one husband to look after.

I am struggling in general.  I know God is still there.  I know He is in everything.  I know He is.   Just is.   I know He cares, so why am I struggling with so many down thoughts?  Shall I blame the detox? ;)

Today I was reading by Stormie Omartian and the first chapter talks about thinking God as your Father.  God is taking me down this road again.  Mostly because I feel lonely and need a father right now.  I want someone to talk to.  I want to be guided.  And isn't He the best Father?  He does things for our good.  He loves us.  He cares for us.  He guides us.  Treasures us.  Enjoys us. He wants a relationship with us, even if He doesn't even need us.   But to believe all this and not just say it...  To go, "Wow, God.  You love me." And not ever feel alone.

I find that many people go through this type of identity crisis.  Who am I?  What is my purpose?  What am I suppose to do?  We look to loved ones, to things we like, to our job, etc, and usually come up not totally full.  Yes, those things are nice, those people are great.  But only God could truly fill what we really need.
'When you truly acknowledge God as your heavenly Father, you will have taken the most significant step toward finding the freedom, wholeness, and true success God has for you.  When you come to know who your heavenly Father is, then you can understand who you really are." - The Power of a Praying Life Stormie Omartian

So, I guess I am thinking through this.

My own dad wasn't really around.  My Mom had to ask him to visit with me.  He didn't keep up phone conversations and I felt like it was a very one-sided relationship. I didn't really know if he cared about me, and he would give me gifts.  I have never been a gift person.  I like things, yes, but my Mom would tell you that as soon as I got something I would find someone I could give it to, because I always cared about people.  My husband yells at me all the time for not taking care of things, but I have never been motivated by things, but by people.  I am definitely more a quality time type of person.  Anyways, our relationship was a bit strained, especially after the birth of my firstborn and he said he made a joke, but it was something that hurt so much, and he was made I didn't call him, after being five days in the hospital with toxemia and having to have a c-section...I really didn't call anyone.  My Mom did most of the calls and my husband asked me Dad to not call again because I was crying.  At a certain point I wrote him a letter saying I didn't hold anything against him, and I don't.  I think he didn't know how to be a dad.  And that, even though I didn't feel like he was the greatest dad, I still cared and I hoped he was doing well, but I didn't know what to do with our relationship.  He seemed to not know what to do, either.  He died recently.    A little while before that I got an email from him asking if I was happy.  When I thought about it, I was content.  I liked my little family and where I was, so I said yes.  I got to try to talk to him and visit him at his home in Virginia, though he was really out of it when I was there.  I never meant to stay separate.  I wanted him to know his grandkids.  But he seemed to not really want to, fully, where he would ask.  How do you talk to someone you weren't that close to?   I brought some of my kids to meet him and left a few who weren't up for the ride with my Mom.  One being the baby.  I found out from my aunt that every Christmas he gave things to a family in need.  That he helped people.   He sang Karioke, and would sing with a close friend for charities. That he gave his heart to Christ.  (That truly brings joy to my heart, because I know I will be able to catch up with him someday when I get to heaven.)  He died of cancer.  They aren't sure what type, but he got opened for another surgery, they saw it, and it spread like wildfire.  They say certain cancers do that after being exposed to oxygen.  I wish we had more happy memories to share.

But with all that being said, I think fathers are really important.  They shape kids in a way a Mom can't.  They bring perspective and guidance.  And protection.  I am so thankful for my husband being a dad for his kids.  I don't even know if I express it to him enough, but he really is there more for our kids then my dad was there for me.

I really didn't know myself. 

To really think of God as Father.  A kind Father.  A loving Father.  One who is there all the time.  Who will never leave me or forsake me.  How awesome is that?

I tell people that I came to God because I longed to be loved fully.  And God loved me. I remember the first youth bible study I went to at the church my aunt mentioned to me.  The topic was, "Who am I?"  I kneeled down while someone prayed for me.  I cried.  I longed.  It was an answer to an angry, tear-filled prayer I had said to God 4 months prior: "If you are real, kill me, change me, do something.  I can't live like this anymore."   I took home that day in the Bible study a paper that had verses on top with the words "Who is God?" in the center and on the bottom the words "Who am I?" with other verses.  I brought that home and was so hungry, I highlighted my entire Bible.  God reached out for me.  I reached out for Him.  He loved me for who I was, not what I could or could not do.  Even in my mess.  Even in my hurt.  My anger.  He cared for me.  And I am so thankful for that.  When I get lonely, I usually have to remind myself of that.
The foundation of your entire relationship with God is that you are His son or daughter.  That means you are dependent on Him for everything, and because He is your Father, you can trust Him to provide for you and protect you.  After all, isn't that what a good father does?...Being a child of God means knowing you are part of a large family and you have a place with Him and that family for eternity.  In the meantime, because you are his son or daughter, God will guide you, provide for you, protect you, and give you and important position in the family business.-The Power of a Praying Life, Stormie Omartian

I guess it all comes down to trust. Love.  Belief.  Do I trust God?  And if I have doubt, I believe He will He help me overcome it, just like that father in the Bible who asked Jesus to help him with his disbelief.  He asked him to help him overcome it.  And Jesus did.  And He can do that for you, too.

Father, we thank you so much that you love us.  Help us to trust you today.  Help me to trust you.  Help me to see our relationship in a newer and more amazing way.  In a daughter/Father type of way.  Thank you so much for being a part of my life and having your Hand constantly guiding me, even before I knew You. Thank You for drawing me to You, for guiding me through the crazy, and help me glorify You more everyday.  In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thanks so much for following!  Have a blessed evening!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

A Few Hours Away, Chores and Homeschooling -What Do You Think of That?

Today is August 4, 2017 and you are hanging out with a crazy, productive, wacko woman.  Wonder Woman?  No.  The woman over there?  Possibly.  Over where?  Yeah, I know, this is crazy.

All silliness aside, today really felt like a good, productive day.  Though the dishes wanted to take over the world, and the laundry pile wanted to drown all those who came nearby, I think over all they have dwindled and changed as I kept moving and pushing forward, eating right over all, doing about 4-5 loads of dishes and three loads of laundry, and still getting the kids through a good amount of school (them being willing to get it done well and quickly always helps).

What made the difference in my productivity to other days where I didn't get half as much done?  I think just a few hours being able to get away yesterday as my husband took my daughter to soccer and my mother took some time to be with my boys really gave me a much needed few hours to just do something different.  Something that wasn't cleaning, or schooling, or making meals.  So I walked/exercised with a good friend, was able to encourage them a little and share a small bite to eat.  (Well, it wasn't really small.  My blood sugar dropped and so I ordered an Italian sub with tons of veggies, and had something nice to drink...I did not plan to do that but I did).  It was really nice overall, and when I got home, I put the kids to bed and worked on yesterday's blog post.  (And now I am working on tonight's!  Wow, two days in a row.  I don't expect this will always happen because life doesn't always happen like that.  Though it would be great if it did!)

Anyways, just a few hours really rejuvenated me.   My husband doesn't realize how much, but there is something about being out of the thick of it for a little while and then heading head-long back into the everyday "grind" or work, which helps.  I am still surprised that I was trying to keep up with dishes, getting as much laundry done as possible, cleaned out and reorderd the pantry and some cabinets, got the kids through homeschool (though I am realizing now some of them didn't get their math done), getting breakfast, lunch and dinner  together....wow.  I also did some gardening and picked some beautiful zucchini and green beans, as well as some yellow squash, from my garden. (Thank God for the motivation and ability to get so much done!)  I also got to read a little bit of one of the books from Dr. Don Colbert about supplements and vitamins, which I have to bring back to the library sometime next week. Though things were hard to keep up, I really felt like a lot got done.  My mind feels clearer.  I was actually looking forward to meal planning with the kids where they do some meals as well, with supervision, of course.  (I haven't wanted to do that in months.)  Something good must be happening in my heart.  Meal planning is another goal for this week (though I can't remember what the other goal was from my previous post...was it better scheduling?).

Today I kept thinking about the verse that was up on my whiteboard that the kids memorized this past week.

I have set an example for you that you should do as I have done for you.  John 13:15

I hope I can continue to do as Jesus has done for me.  In my life, in my marriage, with my kids, those outside my home.  Did you ever think of all that Jesus has done for us, or for you personally?  Would you ever be willing to do even half of that for others?  It's kind of profound to think about and I am still absorbing and mulling over it, trying to think how to put this into action.  How can we best do what Jesus did?

Well, I guess that is all for now.  Have a blessed evening!

  *Please note, that I am an affiliate to different companies, so if you do click on one of the many things I put up, please not I will get a small amount from whatever you buy which will help my blogging, home, and homeschool in the future.  Thanks!