Back to School!

You know how it is when you have taken a break from school, whether it be public school or summer school, and then you have to go back to the regular routine. We had two weeks off for the holidays and today was our first day back. A lot of the schools around us are closed because of the weather but seeing as how we didn’t need to go anywhere to have school I decided that we wouldn’t procrastinate any longer. Below are a few of the activities that have been included in our first day back.

First Momma needed to get ready for the day and have a little bit of quiet time as I knew it was gonna be a bit chaotic as everyone got back into school routine. My verse for the day was Proverbs 14:30, and it was such a good verse to start today out with. As usual I got myself ready so I would be prepared for whatever the day may hold.

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It is a Monday so that means the little boys need to do have their laundry washed. They brought it in and loaded it. They also switched it over the dryer and then unloaded the dryer. Jacob (3) loves to clean the lint filter. Then he offered to take care of pushing it to my room as Joey (4) was feeling a little under the weather today. I admire the empathy they show at such an early age.

The older kids took care of the morning chores like wiping the table, sweeping the floor, and cleaning up the playroom. Momma took out the trash and cleaned the bathrooms.

Jacob and Joey did their work on the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool first. They were on Day 77 of the Getting Ready 1. (I use Ctrl F to find the day easier.) They loved painting the farm and adding animals. They made a mud pit for the pigs and a pond for the animals to drink from. Jacob also found that he could make the rooster ‘fly’ backwards by tapping on the screen.

Then they went to Discovery K12 and worked on Jacob’s account (Pre-K) On here they practiced some phonics. and learned the proper way to brush their teeth.
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While the little boys were working on the computer William was at the island with the new touchscreen laptop. It took him a few minutes to get adjusted to it. He stands while doing this work or he will fidget with everything around him. He started off on the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool site with the McGuffey Primer Day 189.

We work on each lesson for more than a day. Usually a week or two until he is comfortable with the words and can recognize them easily. I have also found that by highlighting the words as he reads them it helps him to focus on each individual word as we go along. He did start independently on his Discovery K12, he is using the K level like Joey, but he ended up joining the boys when Joey started his work. I have to set a timer when William is watching videos or playing games as he will click on something else, that he thinks is more fun than his assignments, and will not get his work done.

I also let him keep a ‘fidget’ beside him as he works to help him stay focused on what he is doing.

When all the boys were

caught up to the same assignments  William joined the little boys. They worked on the Discovery K12 site at the K level. They watched some phonics videos, a counting to 100 video, and a video about reading maps which they really enjoyed.

Then they worked at the table on their workbooks. I had also printed out a peacock coloring page from the  Discovery K12 site. I printed one for all of the kids as they all like to color.

Around 9:30 we had some snack. Today was Cinnamon Toast….yummy!

After snack it was time for some fun videos. They picked out some nursery rhymes, some counting videos, and some videos about daily routines.

William stayed at the table to color in his new dinosaur book. The little boys were tired of sitting and went to the playroom to play and draw for a little while. Jacob had lots of fun with the dinosaurs while Joey played in the floor.

The workbooks for the boys consist of a variety of things. They have a Daily Activity book that I put together. It has lots of activities with letters and numbers that I put together from free resources on the internet.

I also found a couple of work books at the Dollar Tree and put those in their boxes as well. At Dollar Tree I also found some dinosaur books which are also in the workboxes. We have to have a little fun mixed in and it motivates them to get the other activities completed.

img_1241While the boys were working on the computers and doing their school work the girls were also busy. They started out at the table working on spelling and reading.

The reading and math workbooks come from the  Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool site. Isabella is on Level 2 while Caitlyn is on Level 3.

The spelling was something I found free on the internet a while back and I printed it off and made a book with it. I have their daily activities on the front page and they write it all down in a notebook. (We use one notebook for everything and just label the days.)

The copywork is also a random compilation of things I have found on the internet. The books include bible verses and famous quotes as well as occasional information related to social studies.  I found the Disney math books at the Dollar Tree and threw them in the work boxes to give them a little something fun to do.

The girls then take turns on the laptops. Normally we would be using the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool site for our group studies like science and social studies but I got a little sidetracked earlier in the year and decided to use the Discovery K12 site.

They were on Day 77 here and learned about the Constitution and Red Cloud for Social Studies. The site had a lot of reading so I used Youtube to find some videos related to the subjects that were on todays lesson plan.

For science they were learning about the life cycle of frogs and tide pools. Again I used Youtube to find some videos for them to watch.

I am pretty relaxed, at least a lot more than I once was, about the way they learn. I know the girls, especially Caitlyn, have some trouble with comprehension. I try my best to incorporate as many different teaching and learning styles as possible to help them learn and retain the information. We experiment, a lot, to find out what works best for each of them.

The girls use the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool site for their Math and Reading. There are a few other activities that they do on there as well.They do a lot of math games as well as a lot of different grammar games.

I like the Xtramath site as it shows the progress that they are making. The girls really enjoy working on it as well.

After the computer work they go back to the table to finish whatever book work that they may have and then they do some fun stuff.

Usually about 11:00 or 11:30 we start to clean up. The kids put their finished work in their folders. The folders, notebooks, and a few other supplies are color coded. This help them to easily identify where their things belong. It also helps Momma know who left their ruler, notebook, or whatever out on the table or in the floor.

Today we had planned on eating leftovers but there was nothing left over! So we had some good ole PB&J with a banana. (Looks like we may be having banana muffins on Wednesday.)

After eating lunch the kids did a quick cleanup and headed to their rooms for naps. Momma did her ‘House Blessing‘ with big sister’s help. I then decided to upload all of these wonderful pics and write a post. I did not plan on publishing this post right away but sometimes technology gets a little ahead and is quicker than my fingers are. So I thank everyone, who may have seen the published but unfinished draft, for their patience.

This is just one day out of our crazy lives here. We did not do everything that we usually do but it was a day of adjustment as they haven’t been doing the normal school routine. The important thing is that they did learn and they had fun while doing it. I think they will be much more apt to remember these things than if I had sat them down and tried to force them to learn. As you can see, by the choice of ‘fun activities’ that the little boys made, kids have a natural tendency to seek out interesting things and a desire to learn. Everyday is a learning experience for them as well as for me.

I will slowly add in a few other things that we didn’t do today. I will try to post on them another day. But naptime is over and I hear the pitter patter of little feet coming to find me. Ok, who am I kidding? It’s more like the stomping of mini dinosaurs who are looking to devour the first thing in sight that I hear. So I better get off of here and head to the kitchen to find something for these little raptors to munch on.

You can also check our Facebook page for more current things we have been doing.

Afraid To Love

I’m sure all of us, at one time, or another have thought about how nice it would be to live secluded away from others for a time. I have thought about it more than once in the past little bit. I have come to realize that this would be selfish and a bit self centered. It would not be at all what God has called us to do.

Sometimes it is because we have been hurt by those around us. Other times the weight of the world just seems too heavy to bear any longer. There could be a million reasons why we would want to withdraw and hold back our feelings but that is not what God wants us to do.

He has called us to love one another. Time and time again it is mentioned in the Bible about loving others. It has been explained and modeled by Jesus himself. He does not want us to withdraw or to withhold love from others. No matter what we are going through we should always show compassion towards others. No matter what they have done to us we still need to love them just as He has done for us.

We are all, each and every one of us, sinners that have or can be saved by grace. There is not one of us that could be held blameless. We are not to judge the sins of another because we have our own sins that could be judged. We need to be a constant source of encouragement to them. Yes, we have our bad days but that is when our lights can shine the brightest.

Each of us, to some degree, have a yearning to be accepted. We want to feel like we belong to something or that we really matter to someone. This may be a little selfish or self focused but it is natural for us to feel this way. We want to be loved and respected by those around us. We want to have a close relationship with others. Sometimes though past experiences can make us afraid to love or to accept love.

The sermon at church today touched on so many of these points. I have been studying a lot of the same verses the past couple of weeks. It gave me a new understanding and perspective to see this from. How can we show a Christ like love towards others?

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

— Hebrews 13:1-6King James Version (KJV)

We can do it through our hospitality. By welcoming others into our lives and showing them kindness. We can help them to feel accepted, welcomed, and loved. We can do it by showing empathy for others. We can do this in person or through prayer. There are so many others that are in worse situations than we could ever imagine and need our prayers on a daily basis.

Of course, we should show this love towards our families. We should show love towards our spouses and our children. By modeling this love in our families we can be a role model to others and to our children.

We can do this also by having the proper outlook on life and towards those we meet. We don’t know what others are going through or have been through. For this reason we are not to judge them but to accept them. We are not to look down on them but to see them as equals. We are to help them without the thought of what they could do for us. We are to show them unconditional love.

We each need to renew our commitments to God and ask Him to help us show brotherly love towards everyone we meet. When we experience God’s love to the fullest it will overflow and spill out onto those around us. His love will be the driving force behind your desire to show love to others.

Don’t be afraid to love others. I know sometimes it is hard to forgive others for things they have done or to look past things that have happened. If you can overlook those things and let God’s love shine through you and through your actions you will be bringing honor and glory to our Lord.

 

Chicken Tamales

We love tamales, especially my oldest daughter. I often serve these at parties or get-togethers but I have to warn people not to eat the husks! The yumminess is wrapped in the husk and just needs to be uncovered. I don’t make them very often as it is a bit of a process but the reward is delicious. It seems no matter if I double, or triple, the recipe I never have enough!

There are many ways to make them and I am not an expert. (This is my easy version of tamales.) I will attempt to take some pictures to add to this post to help with making them and the assembly of them. The kids love to help with this and it is so much fun to put them together. This is one of those things when practice makes perfect so don’t give up and just have fun!

You can also use other meats besides chicken. Just make sure the meat is cooked first and then season it to your taste. There are also recipes for sweet versions as well but I have not tried to make any of those.

One important thing to note is that Masa Harina and cornmeal are not the same thing! This will not work with cornmeal. The husks and masa are generally found the ethnic aisle of the grocery store.

See the end of the post for picture.

Chicken Tamales

Ingredients:

  • 20-30 corn husks, usually 1 bag or less
  • 3-4 lbs chicken
  • 3-4 qts. water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2-15 oz jars of red or green salsa

Dough:

  • 6 cups masa harina, mix for tamales
  • 2 cup corn oil or shortening ** see note for using shortening**
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the corn husks in warm water until soft. I usually let them soak overnight.

Cook the chicken, onion, garlic, and salt in water for 30-40 minutes until done. Remove the chicken from broth. Set the broth to the side to use for the dough. Finely shred the chicken and mix with salsa.

Use a mixer to blend the masa, oil or shortening, salt, baking powder and the chicken broth to obtain a consistent mixture. (**Note: if using shortening it is best to beat the shortening alone for a minute or two until light and fluffy.)

**Tip: Drop a small amount of dough into a cup of cold water; dough should
float to the top. If dough does not float, continue beating until
dough is light enough to float.

Drain corn husks and pat dry. Place a corn husk on a work surface with the small end pointing away from you. On the large end, spread about 3 T. of dough to within 1 in. of edges. Top with about 2 T. chicken mixture. Fold long sides of husk over filling, overlapping slightly. Fold over ends of husk and set on plate. (Many times the filled tamales are tied with a string to secure but this is not necessary if you are careful with them.)

Repeat until ingredients are used up.

Get your pot ready with a steamer basket. Add about 1 inch of water, I usually add a little salt to the water, and bring to a boil.

Place the tamales,upright with the open end up, in a steamer basket and place in pot over the boiling water. ** Do not place tamales in the water.**

Cover with extra corn husks and cook tamales for 35-40 minutes.

Check them every 10-20 minutes. Add water as needed.

Tamales are cooked when they separate easily from the corn husk.

We serve them with yellow rice and beans. (You can use some of the leftover broth to add more flavor when cooking your rice as well.)

(makes about 25 or so)

Note: You can also use a store bought rotisserie chicken and use canned chicken broth to make this a little simpler to make.

Masa mix and husks:

Soaking the husks, I use a small plate on top and weight it down with a water filled coffee cup.

Boiling the chicken:

Using the stand mixer to shred the chicken:

Mix the salsa into the shredded chicken:

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Set up your workspace. I keep a small bowl of cold water for dipping my fingers into. It helps to keep your fingers wet when spreading out the dough.

I make a dough ball and then spread it with my fingers. Then spread a little of the chicken mixture onto the dough.

Note: This may not be the most authentic way to prepare a tamale but this is what works for me.

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Next fold the tamale, one side of the other and overlap slightly, then tuck the bottom end over the seam.

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I then smooth the tamale out towards the open end. Don’t squeeze too hard or the filling will come out. This is what it should look like if you peeked inside:

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I get my pot ready when I am about halfway through with the assembly of the tamales. Let the water start to get hot.

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When you are finished assembling the tamales the water should be boiling and you should be ready to start cooking them. (I did cut the heat down to 4 after I placed the tamales in the pan.)

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Place them in a steamer basket, or use a pan like I have, and place them with the open end up. Be careful because the steam is HOT!

I then cover them with leftover husks.

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Let them cook for 30-45 minutes. Check them every 10-15 minutes to make sure they have enough water and add more if needed.

And Voila! Hot Tamales! They are finished when the tamale pulls away from the husk easily.


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Make Your Home a Chemical Free Zone Today!

 

January 7, 2017

Well today has been a day. Oh, what a day!

Full of tons of excitement as the boys have been pretending to be super heroes for the past two days. Which means that they have been dragging blankets around, tucked into the back of their shirts, everywhere they go. They eat with their capes, their sleep with their capes (using them as blankets), and they play with their capes.

Jacob has been getting up super early and this morning was no exception. He wanted peanut butter apples first thing this morning.

For breakfast we had Dutch Puff with applesauce. Joey has decided this is his new favorite food and has requested it for his birthday dinner next week. Not so sure that is going to happen but we’ll see.


The kids saw the how windy it was and decided that today would be a good day to fly a kite. Well, it’s cold and rainy so we agreed that we would wait for another day and then one of them suggested we should have a ‘kite day’ in March. So I will try to put that on the calendar for then.

The kids were cleaning up the playroom and I was fixing them some lunch when Joey asked me if his sister was still coming today. He says, ‘Remember Momma, she wants some mollies’. I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about until I glanced at the calendar, which I should’ve looked at this morning, and saw that I was supposed to make tamales!


This threw me into a bit of panic mode but everything was OK. (Yes, those are bananas in my mixer bowl. I have been buying more fruit and just use the bowl to store the extras when I am not using the mixer.)

So I scurried around a few minutes and got everything together and set to work putting together the tamales. The kids were down for naps so they didn’t get to help me this time around.

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After putting together a big plate of tamales it was time to cook them.

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While they were cooking I cleaned up a bit and snacked on some of the leftover chicken and salsa mixture.


Then I got to work on the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake for dessert. All the while Joey, who was supposed to be napping, kept coming up with ideas for his upcoming birthday. He wants an ‘Indominus Rex’  cake. Hmmmm…. not so sure that I can pull that off but we’ll see.

I finished up dinner around 5:00. We had yellow rice and black beans to complete the meal. Everything tasted so good!

It always amazes me how I can spend hours making a meal and then they can scarf it down in a matter of minutes!

We had a good visit with my oldest daughter. The kids watched ‘The Good Dinosaur’ and had lots of fun. 

Then bedtime came around and Jacob was crying for his ‘friend’. His new friend is ‘Silly Raptor’. (I think this is an imaginary friend.) We finally got him settled in bed with the promise that we would try to find her in the morning. 

I am headed to bed early tonight. Tomorrow is another day and another start but I know I’ll need as much energy as I can get. 

 

January 8-14, 2017 Meal Plan

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crock pot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

Sunday

Breakfast:

Pancake Poppers, applesauce

Lunch:

PB & J sandwiches, fresh fruit

Dinner:

Meatball Sandwich Casserole, French Fries, Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Peanut Butter Crackers


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner:

Chicken in a Biscuit, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Cinnamon Toast


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

hot dogs, mac n cheese

Dinner:

Pintos, Hoe Cakes, greens

Snacks/Desserts:

Rice Pudding


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Muffins

Lunch:

Egg Salad Sandwiches, veggies

Dinner:

Easy Bean Tostadas, rice, salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Pancakes

Lunch:

PB&J, fruit

Dinner:

Taco Ring, salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches, fresh veggies w/ranch

Dinner:

Fix It and Forget It Crockpot Chicken, 30 minute rolls

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn


Saturday

Breakfast:

Monkey Bread, Eggs & Grits

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner:

Tomato Gravy7up Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs

Snacks/Desserts:

Peanut Butter Bites

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is a recipe from the Real Mom Kitchen Cook Book, This is so easy to make and everyone really loves it. I normally double the recipe for my family and we rarely have leftovers! We usually eat it over a bed of rice with a side of green beans.

Poppy Seed Chicken (Link to original recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed (I have used the store brand with good results)
  • 4 T. melted butter or margarine
  • 1 T. poppy seeds

Taco Ring

This is a great meal that works well for parties and get togethers as well. I need to start making two of these as it disappears really quickly around here.

There is a link to the original recipe below.

Taco Ring

Ingredients:

Taco Ring:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground pork
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 T water
  • 2 – 8ct packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3 cups lettuce, shredded
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted ripe black olives
  • sour cream
  • avocado, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook ground meat in large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
Remove pan from heat.Stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese and water.
Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles.
Arrange triangles in a circle on pizza pan or cookie sheet with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in center.)
Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered).
Bake at 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

If you want to do something fancy, scoop out a bell pepper and fill with salsa and put into center of ring.
Add your toppings to top of ring and finish with more shredded cheese and sour cream.

Rice Pudding

This has been a favorite of mine since I was little. It is a great way to use up leftover white rice also. Some of my kids don’t like the raisins so I usually divide the batch in half and leave one part plain.

This could also be served for breakfast, if you liked.

Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 c. cooked white rice
  • 1 box vanilla pudding, prepared
  • 1/2 c. milk, more or less to get it the consistency that you want it
  • 1/2 c. raisins, plumped or let the pudding sit 5-10 minutes before serving
  • 1-2 T. cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 c. sugar, to taste

Directions:

Combine 1st three ingredients adding milk to get desired thickness. (I like mine a little thick.) Add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Stir in the raisins.

Life in 2016

Reflections of 2016

December 30, 2016

December 27, 2016

December 21,2016

December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016

November 18, 2016

November 8, 2016

Gratitude With Grace

Did you know that the word gratitude comes from the word ‘gratus’ which also gives us the word grace?  I didn’t know this until recently but I know that they sure do go hand in hand. It is hard to have one without the other.

I know life can get you down. We can fall into a pit of despair and have pity party after pity party when we think of all the bad things that have happened to us. It is OK to be upset or feel sad when something bad happens. We need to feel it and get over it. We have to make the conscious choice to get over it.

If we don’t then we get stuck in the negativity of everyday life. We will start to look for things to be upset with or to complain about. Complaining to everyone who will listen helps us to feel justified in feeling the way we feel. But it also keeps us from seeing the blessings that are all around us.

So your car broke down and you were late for work because you had to wait for a tow truck. Instead of looking at it in a negative way try to be thankful, the tow truck driver is. He needed that call to pay for his daughter’s dental appointment. It is also possible that delay  could’ve saved you from an accident down the road.

When we dwell on the negatives it is sinful. It is something that Satan wants to keep us from experiencing the grace of God. The bible tells us to give thanks for everything. It doesn’t say to give thanks for the things we perceive as good, or just when we get what we want. We need to give thanks even when it’s hard to understand why something has happened.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am constantly reminding myself that I am only seeing a small part of the big plan that God has in mind for my life. Maybe, just maybe, He needs to use these inconveniences to help me change my course or to keep me from tripping and falling into sin. I always try to remember that when He says ‘No’ to something that I’ve asked for it is usually because He has something much better in store for me down the road.

Just thinking about that gets me excited! I mean most of the times I am asking for something that seems really wonderful at the moment. Yes, I feel a little disappointment when it doesn’t happen but then curiosity takes hold. I have to wonder what could possibly be better than what I had in mind? I get a little anxious but I know that God only wants the best for me and He will reveal His plan in His time. He feels the same about each of His children.

I know how hard it is to feel grateful when you are sitting on the side of the road in a car that just won’t go but try to give thanks in every situation and every circumstance that you find yourself in. So the next time you find yourself complaining or throwing a pity party try to think of something to be thankful for. It will get easier the more you do it and before you know it your whole attitude will turn around and you will be so much happier. Your eyes will be opened to the blessings of God’s grace that surround you each and every day.

When we obey our Lord then we are showing Him our gratitude for the grace He has shown to us. Just think about how you feel when someone thanks you for something that you’ve done. It pleases God the same way when we thank Him for the many ways He has blessed our lives.

I didn’t clean my house last week!

Can I tell you a secret? I didn’t clean my house last week or even this week yet. We didn’t have school last week and probably won’t this week either. Sometimes we all just need a break, a time to do nothing, a time to just enjoy life. 

Ok, so maybe I did clean a little bit. We kept up with our basic routines and I did declutter the playroom but no other ‘real’ cleaning took place. We took down our Christmas decor and carried it out to the building for next year too. 

By the ‘basics’ I mean that the dishes and laundry were washed and put away everyday. The bathrooms were wiped down with a cleaning wipe every morning. The table and counters were wiped down after each meal and the floors were swept. We also made our beds and the kids picked up theirs toys. 

We didn’t vacuum the carpets other than the playroom. We didn’t mop and so far no one has stuck to the floor. We also didn’t dust or polish and yes, you probably can write your name on the mantel. 

We didn’t have any ‘formal’ lessons or structured learning. However the kids did take it upon themselves to work in their workbooks. They also did some ABC mouse on the tablets and computers. 

You know what happened? We survived and the house doesn’t look like a complete disaster. 

The kids also learned a lot about sharing and working independently. They got to be kids and that’s important too. 

Our routines kept us together and kept our house running smoothly. So when someone is sick, out of town, or just plain tired the house can keep going as normal. 

What routines do you have? Make them as simple as you can so they can keep your house running when you need a break. 

January 2, 2017

I’m sitting here writing this before 7pm and I am exhausted. This past week has seemed like an eternity. The kids have been super hyper, family tensions have exploded, and life has just been down right crazy. There have been many times this past week that, even in the midst of all the chaos, I have felt so lonely.

That’s how life goes though. We have to have the bad to know what the good is. We need the craziness to keep us on our toes. It all works together to mold us and shape us into who we need to be.

There have been some really good moments and some funny ones too. Today DS3 asked me for a piece of ‘turned over cake’ aka Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. He was so happy to get a piece after dinner. It’s amazing how the simplest things can bring a smile to a child’s face.

Then there was this little couple at the grocery store today. They were older, reminded me a bit of my mom-mom and pop-pop, but they were so cute. I wanted to snap a picture but I didn’t want them to think I was completely off my rocker so I didn’t. I was happy to see them but also a little sad.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever have that. That’s what I signed up for, not once or twice, but three times now. Three times it hasn’t worked out. It seems that every time I see a little glimpse of that it slips away from me and feels like it was just a figment of my imagination.

That’s when the Devil slips in and tries to tell me that I’m not good enough or that I’ll never be enough for anyone. He reminds me of my past failures and he points out my kids. He tells me that noone would ever be crazy enough to sign up for all of this.

Well, he is WRONG! I know he is. How do I know? Because God has said that I am His daughter and He is the KING! If it is God’s best for me then I will have it. So, I will try my best to be content where I am right now. Even though where I am right now is not where I thought I was a week or so ago. It is so hard to keep the faith sometimes but I will trust in His promises.

Even when times are hard God is there. We may not see Him or feel Him but He is there. When it seems like the dead of winter is upon us, He is with us. He is working on us, pruning us, shaping us, molding us for the plans He has for us. We may not see the fruits of our labors right now but we will see them in the future. He is so good!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

— Habakkuk 3: 17-19