studioafter4

KonMari Life

I read The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up in January, and have watched several YouTube videos about the KonMari Method, and minimalism in general. I have been incentivized to change my life!

I haven’t done her program to the letter exactly how she describes, but what I have done has been fantastic!

I’ve done most of the kids’ clothes, mine and Kevin’s clothes, all the books in the entire house, a lot of our homeschool supplies, and some of the kitchen. As a mom of many, it would be impossible to do it exactly as she lays out in the book, and knock out all of the “odd and ends” for example, in one day. I try to tackle one category of things or a room every other Friday.

I had the goal of fashioning a creative environment to use as an office. I want to blog more. I want a space of my own. I also am taking on a job within our Classical Conversations community which requires more responsibility and record keeping, so I needed a spot for that.

I’m lucky enough to have a studio already. Sort of a glorified closet, it’s a small room on the south side of the upstairs. I love the natural light in here. I used to scrapbook in here, and I still sew and make cards. My needs have changed considerably, and all of the things I’ve been keeping have inched their way farther and farther from the wall until there wasn’t much room at all. And, with all the clutter, it does not invite creativity.

After a hard day’s work, I ended up with this: 

Much better, but it was still sort of cluttery, especially on top of my drawers, and with the sunlight I loved so much, I couldn’t see my computer screen due to the glare.
I made a few purchases to decorate it a bit, AND cleaned out our entire storage room to make room for Kevin’s steel guitar you see in front of the window. 
Now I truly have a Fortress of Serenity. I have a room I love to be in and a room that is once again useful and welcoming.

If you need motivation to change your life, I highly recommend The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up!
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Gardening Together With Children

I really should not read.

It fills my head with all sorts of un-executable ideas and grandiose plans, and frankly, drives my husband nuts.

I just LOVE this book: Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots . It’s chock full of great ideas for gardening with your children. I love the watercolor illustrations, quotes and poetry. Some of the ideas make me want to go till up the front yard right now to create A Garden of Giants or A Flowery Maze.

I want to turn our old whiskey barrel into a water garden.  I want to make a sweet little garden in my holey old purple rubber boots filled with parsley, chamomile, Easter Egg radishes and Thumbelina carrots.

I can tell you how that will go in real life. I would put dirt in my old boots. Small children would see this and fill their every day boots, and probably Dada’s with dirt. I may or may not get the seeds planted. I would set the boots on the front step to grow. I’d probably forget to water them. Something may sprout. One day some child would see the boots, filled with dirt and half alive seedlings and they would decide to put them on, and have soil filled boots up to their thighs. And then another child would decide a hose was necessary, because, really, the hose is always necessary, and fill the boots with water, in addition to the first child’s legs, and the soil, and the seedlings. Then when they tired of that, they would somehow extricate said legs from the mud boots and come into the house. Probably across the cream carpet. And the beautiful little miniature garden in process would get thrown into the yard and get run over with the mower.

Possibly. I could be wrong.

I can tell you how gardening went today.

I Square Foot Garden. Kevin thinks it’s kind of silly because we have ALL THIS SPACE, and I want to truncate my garden to fit in the sunny spot right under the windmill, next to the clothesline. I do it like this because it’s close to where I am all the time. It’s near the spigot so I can water conveniently. When I had the traditional farm wife garden, out in the middle of the side yard, I never went over there, to weed or water. Let’s just say nothing really grew. Except weeds.

I’ve been really happy with my little Square Foot Garden. I don’t grow enough to can or store for the winter, but I’m not really in a stage where I can do that anyway. If I tried to put that kind of pressure on myself, I’d be miserable, and so would my chiddlers.

Anyway. It’s the 26th of May, Memorial Day. It rained last night so Kevin took a little time off to help me with the garden. My parents took the older three to a Memorial Day service, so we thought the timing was perfect. The parent-child ratio was 1-1. It doesn’t get a lot better than that over here.

 I needed to mix more of the “Mel’s Mix”–compost, vermiculite and peat moss–this is supposed to help keep the garden weed free. We had stopped and bought some seedlings yesterday, and I had saved some seeds from last year (we’ll see if they grow…). Kevin helped me find the tools I needed. One of the frustrating things about my life is I can NEVER find anything when I need tools. Kevin just doesn’t have a “spot” for stuff. And even though I DO, the chiddlers don’t, so when they can’t find their tools, they abscond with mine. I’m locking my new ones up.

We took off the lattice to mark the squares, raked off the leaves and accumulated debris, raked up the soil that was still there, mixed the “Mel’s Mix” in the wheelbarrow, and applied it to the boxes. Then he filled my new box with field soil. He had read of a way to garden where you just plant your seeds in holes in landscaping fabric, so we’re trying that. (Again with the reading 😉 ) I brought out my seeds, which had been stored in plastic Easter eggs (I read somewhere that it is an easy idea to store them this way), and planted some of them.

Sounds simple. Relaxing. Working side by side peacefully with my handsome husband.

I left out this part:

 “Denton, stop! Don’t dump the nails!”
“Where dis goes?”
 “Watch out Elivette! Stay back! I’m shoveling here!”
“What cuh-wer is dis pwant?”
 “Nooo!”
 “Here, go shovel in this box!”
“Why we do dis?”
 “Don’t stand on the cilantro!”
 “Why da ‘slantrwo hewre?”
 “Uh-oh!”
 “Elivette has the hammwer.”
 “Here, Denton, you can pull out this nail.”
“Why we need dis?”
“Leave the fabric alone!”

watering the seeds

“I dist move dis.”
“Don’t put your sister in the tomato cage! You’ll poke her eyes out!”
“What dis for?”
“What you wooking fowr? Dis?”
 “IN the box. Keep the dirt IN the box.”
“When it my turwn?”
 “Here, you can help me dig this hole. “
“I put da wadish seeds hewre?”
“Watch out for that rake!”
“Ugh! I want to pwant dem awll!”
“We can’t dump out all the seeds, Elivette.”
“When dey gwo?”
“Let’s not open all the Easter eggs”
“Dis many carrwot seeds?”
 “Ugh. I just swallowed a gnat.”

 Giving children the joy and wonder of reconnecting with nature? Introducing children to the pleasures of gardening? Cultivating wonder?

smelling the basil

Hopefully.

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A Day in the Life

6 a.m. Kevin’s alarm goes off. He has to go out and load cattle he’s selling today. Last calf finally born in the night. 107 lb bull calf. Helped it get nursing.

6:15: Hear 20 month old Elivette. She’s at the top of the stairs crying instead of just coming down to our room like usual. I pick her up and she immediately stops. I love that feeling when it happens, as if I’m the answer for which she’s been searching.

6:45 Take her back to bed. Nurse her both sides. Miraculously she’s fallen back asleep. I can’t even remember the last time that happened.

7:05 Lie there drowsily snuggling. Cadrian, 5, comes in; happy, talkative, and thankfully, whispering! He says he didn’t fall asleep for a long long time because his new clock kept him awake with all its loud ticking. We snuggle and chat for a while.

7:30 Think I hear Denton, 3, stirring and I don’t want him to wake the baby. Throw on  fleece cupcake pants, and a plaid fleece lined flannel (both purple of course). Start to make shakes. Denton comes in, toting his giant car seat box. I pick him up and start his good morning song, but he immediately sees C going for “his” box and starts screaming. The girls, Aviana, 9, and Brielle, 7, are up. Hug and kiss and good morning song them. Can’t find  lid to one of the shake cups. Start to feel annoyed until I remember the poor of East End (London, I just finished reading the Call the Midwife trilogy) and choose to be grateful instead.

Good morning, good morning to you
Good morning, good morning to you
I love you so much, I’ll eat you right up (nibble ears and nose)
I love you, I love you, I do!

8:00 D & C are fighting over the box. B & A are shouting because B got dressed right away and A is furious that it is 44*F and raining and it’s May 1 and supposed to be spring and she had planned to wear a tank top. I calmly tell people that if anyone is shouting, they can shout outside all they want, and I don’t even care what they are wearing at the moment. If they shout, they are out.

        Fix B’s hair in a “Lacy Braid” which my friend taught me last night. Our amazing neighbor, Cindee calls to confirm she’s picking the girls up for their tutoring session at 8:30. She tells me she messaged me on Facebook, but I didn’t get on FB last night! She takes them to her house once a week to work on science experiments or long term messy projects that would get destroyed or messed with by the littles here. C and D start in again, maybe about the rocket this time. Put C outside. He comes in when he’s done shouting, which is almost immediately.

        Fix A’s hair in a “Five Plait”. I wish I could figure out how to do a French Five Plait, but my fingers get confused. I go in the boys’ room to see how the fabric I got to make a bed skirt for Cadrian will work and pick up quite a bit while I’m in there. A has calmed down about the weather and decided to wear her CuddleDuds under her outfit.

 8:30        Give those who want it bananas and peanut butter. Do some geography songs and reading with Brielle and Cindee arrives. Remind A to take their books and she worries they’ll leave without her. Decide to check messages and to let Melissa know I’m not going to get my hair cut today. Comment on a few posts. Clean up the bananas and peanut butter.

9:00   E wakes! Nurse her. She’s so happy and hungry. Put off changing her a few minutes. Kevin walks in and makes eggs and ham for himself and disappears. I make eggs for the boys and Elivette. E and D eat 2 and Cadrian eats 4 (our chickens are young and the eggs are not jumbo). D doesn’t like the egg I made for him so I give him a different one and don’t even feel irritated. That’s kind of new and worth mentioning.

9:30 Gather 50+ library books and videos that are due today and tomorrow (sometimes I go though a “put-everything-that-looks-good-on-hold binge) Change laundry. Put my hand in honey B spilled yesterday on the half wall in the bathroom which no one cleaned up. Still don’t clean it up or I’ll get completely side tracked from the laundry. Goals for today: Get MY clothes put away. Get the winter jammas and clean clothes put away.
         Get E dressed. Get  a second cup of coffee. Get counting animals down for D.

10:00  Get dressed–long sleeve lilac sweater, black sweater vest cardi, jeans. Make bed. Start hanging up my clothes. Kevin wants to make bean soup with the leftover ham bone but needs help with the beans. E has dumped the counting animals all over. No clothes are actually hung up yet.

            Get my clothes hung up and put away. I have a bad habit of just throwing my clothes on the floor when I’m done for the day. I don’t wash my jeans or sweaters every time I wear them, so that’s part of why, but it’s also just because I’m tired and want in my jams. I will tell you this: If Kevin did what I do, I’d be mighty peeved. It’s that bad.

             Put my shoes back on the rack. Twice. Thanks Elivette.
             Put my stack of yoga pants back on the shelf. Thanks boys.
             Be thankful they didn’t pull down the closet shelves when all three of them decided to climb them at the same time.

10:30 Switch laundry. Check beans. Carry in my three pairs of shoes that have mysteriously migrated to the family closet. Bring in jammas, and two baskets of clothes to be folded and the bin for the jamms. It would be easier to sort and fold the clothes IN the family closet but it drives me crazy to have the chiddlers underfoot in such a tiny space and I can’t imagine the destruction which would happen in the house if I stayed out there to do it .
          AND my center closet door just fell out! (we have three bifold doors with mirrors, very heavy) Thankful Elivette was behind it, not in front of it!

11:00 Fold and sort clothes. Boys are playing with magnets, quietly-ish nearby. Cindee brings girls back who are WOUND UP. Try to discuss where to go from here and how long we want to continue our arrangement, but my brain has no ideas. Feel overwhelmed by the sudden mess and noise. The boys have now stripped to the waist and are wrestling. Cut up an apple for E. Finish the folding and go out to the laundry room again.

11:30 Clean up the honey. Pick up several toys and various detritus the baby or someone has strewn about. Among other things: a muffin tin, a cheese slicer, a metal tray, a magnetic letter Q, a headband, three socks and several pieces of apple. Put the pajama bin away, stepping over several articles of clothing in the process. Feel befuddled and annoyed this room ends up like this every day. (They take after me 🙁 )
           Put a load of rags in. Get another load of kid clothes out of the dryer. Decide I’m done and leave it on the floor.

           Orchestrate “pick up time” which is an exhausting and constant process. Everyone wants to negotiate their jobs and I just want the stuff picked up! Find several more counting animals. Keep 3 or 4 of them semi-focused and on task.

12:00 Start lunch. Mac and cheese and frozen mixed vegetables.Kevin calls suggesting I put Elivette down for an early nap since he wants to go to Menards later. Since she slept until 9, I don’t see that happening. Aviana wants to tell me why she is made. Cadrian wants to tell me why he is mad. Everyone is hyper and talking at once. I keep patient, telling them they are interrupting each other and listen as best I can. Inwardly though I feel anxious and irritable.

12:30 Tell C & D to sit down and wait quietly. They do fairly well. Ask B to get milk and C to help E with her bib, while I’m dishing up mackey. Suddenly I see B helping E and No-one getting milk. So irritating. Mention it calmly that no one would have to wait if she would have just done the job I’d given her.
           I love how E holds out her little hands expectantly at the beginning of a meal to hold hands and pray. Today we sing “Johnny Appleseed”, which reminds me to be grateful for even the rain.

Oh, the Lord is good to me,

and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me,
the things I need,
the sun and the rain
and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me.
Tell the children I need to get E down for her nap and to please clear the table and put their plates in the dishwasher. 
1: 00 Nurse E. Take her up to bed. Read boys Rain Drop Plop and Because Your Daddy Loves You. Put them in their Quiet Time areas after they choose where they’ll be. C is on my bed with a book and D is in his room. Several reminders of “It’s quiet time rest time, remember your question and ask me after it’s over” later, I have a bit of silent time. I snuggle up on the couch under my down comforter and rest with my eyes closed for a while. I hear Aviana singing Broadway songs to Denton.
1:30 Head to my studio for a bit. Finish making 2 I-Spy Bags, read a bit of Moon Time, send a few messages. Cut out fabric for several more bags.
2:00 Aunt Mary (another amazing neighbor) picks the girls up to take them to ice cream. We are so blessed to have so many people willing to give of their time to invest in our family. As soon as they’ve gone, D immediately begins hunting for me. He finally searches me out so I give him the job of counting out 10 trinkets for each I-Spy bag. 
2:30 He is so so excited to have such an exciting job that he jabbers like a strung-out magpie. Then Kevin comes up and installs a motion light in the homeschool closet. I next give D the job of cleaning the vinyl and quickly realize I’m done. 
        K is reading a book about the heart to C. He can’t find the other books because the boys’ room has devolved into a disaster zone. They clean up without complaint and find the books. 
3:00 Kevin goes back to work and I show C some videos of gliders and hang gliders. He promptly goes off to build one. I let Denton watch youtube with me and watch part of a boring vlog of a teen mom–her Day In The Life (DITL). Everyone wants to be famous. So ridiculous and sad. Watch a video on how to wash fleece. I have had a fleece in the garage for a couple of years and am finally going to use it to stuff “rocks” for our new play area I’m designing. Check eBay, my rocks should be here soon. I feel a connection with the woman in the video so look up her website. Maybe it’s just because we both have five children; other than that we don’t really seem to have a lot in common.

3:30 E wakes up. Nurses. Get a snack for C, D, and E. Graham crackers and natural fruit leather. Set it out and go find E. She is standing on the stoop in her brother’s fireman boots “calling” Duke (Duuuuu! Duuuuu!) Watch the adorable for a minute. Go back into the kitchen to discover D stole everyone’s fruit strips and he’s hiding in the corner. C only got 1/2 of one and doesn’t have a fit. No yelling (pats self on back). C is too busy looking for a mile high place from which to throw his “glider” to really care.
 
4:00       Change E and she messes around sitting on the potty. She loves to sit on the potty, but it has yet to see any action. Think about doing yoga but get distracted by something. Do some preschool pages with D. It seems like he’s on par with Cadrian. He can recognize his numbers and knows how many of something is represented by that number.

4:30   Time to leave for Kuk Sool Won and the new Menard’s. Round up everyone’s shoes and socks and all the library books and adjust the car seats again. Realize I forgot the closet drawing for our new walk-in.

5:00 Stop in our small town for K’s cattle check and to return the books. Pretty cool we can load the cattle at 7 and have a check by 5.   The boys each vie for returning books in the drive through which means they take turns crowding me and stabbing me in the neck with their elbow. Jet to Kuk Sool. Aviana is telling the boys a Tommy and Timmy story. She has such a gift for storytelling.
     
  I tease Brielle by telling her to ask her Kuk Sool Master what happens to kids if they don’t give him a check on the first of the month. He’s also a fire chief and they just had a pancake breakfast so I was telling her to ask him if they had any leftover pancakes. She was pink cheeked and grinning; I love to hear her laugh. She has such a contagious joy.

5:30 Aviana is reading the highway signs joking that we’re going to DesMoines and starts singing a silly song about it. She wants to know if we can just leave Brielle at Kuk Sool and drive to Omaha. Denton often tells me he wants to “sell Cadreen to Jonafon”. Maybe reading them the story of Joseph and his brothers was a bad idea 🙂 Silly kids.

They were a bit berserk at Menard’s. They need to have a giant store to run around in and climb the walls of when the weather is rotten. Too bad there were other customers. As it was though, everyone was grinning at them. Even though I feel like I need to rein them in all the time, they are adorable and funny!

We looked at closet inserts and organizers but didn’t make any decisions. It’s so expensive! It seems crazy to spend that kind of money on storage space. On one hand, I love the idea of it and on the other, it feels so wasteful. People in third world countries–heck, even 1950’s East Enders would love to live in my new walk-in closet.

We ended up buying stain for the trim, a heating duct, paint brushes and M & Ms. We were there under an hour (but it seemed longer since we circled the store twice) and ran into friends of ours. I love living in a city this size. It seems like I run into someone I know whenever I go somewhere.

6:30 We picked up Brielle, who noticed the M & Ms straight off. They weren’t as good as I remember. We ate at Culver’s for supper. Another decadent indulgence. Just being able to go out to eat occasionally seems like such a gift.

The boys were still in overdrive. Denton ate 1/2 his burger and some fries and as we were pulling out of the parking lot announces, “I’m hungry.” Brielle didn’t like her burger so ate some of my pot roast. Elivette would only eat fries.  LeSigh.

7:00  It was nice to be able to chat with Kevin in the van. The kids were only semi-quiet, but we could hear each other, so that was a bonus.
        A few minutes from Culver’s, still in town, but on the edge, Denton declared his need to pee. We pulled over of course. He ran on his short sturdy little legs down the ditch, up the hill on the other side and behind a bush. Cadrian couldn’t resist that invitation so he had to go too.
         They took so long I thought they might have gone down the hill on the other side, but no, just looking for pine cones. Denton rolled down the hill, and then staggered dizzy like a drunken sailor. I got the giggles.

7:30 Kevin and I got to everyone to bed pretty efficiently. I watched the kids like a prison warden in the family closet to make sure no clothes ended up all over the floor. Kevin brushed teeth. I did jammas and stories and nursed and good night songs and shushings and prayers. We love Richard Scarry’s Going Places. It has cute –short– stories; perfect for harried evenings.

  8:00       Denton had to get up and pee again.
 I heard him say to C “That’s just my breathe”
                                 “What?”
                                 “My breathe! The stuff tumming out of my mouf!”    
Nurse babe. She’s so funny about pretending to sleep.
Pray with girls. Sing them the good night song.

It’s time to rest your sleepy little head.
It’s time to snuggle in you cozy bed.
It’s time to say good night.
The sun has gone to bed and so must you.
Know you’re loved, all the whole night through
It’s time to say good night.
The stars will shine until the morning light.
God will keep you in His care all night.
It’s time to say good night.
It’s time to rest from such a busy day.
Tomorrow, we will have more time to play.
It’s time to say good night. (3xs)

Cadrian takes issue with that last line because he thinks it sounds like we’ll have more time to play than today. I maintain it only means we’ll have time to play again. 
As Aviana sagely notes, It does no good to argue with a five year old.

8:30  All is quiet. I mess around on FB and read more about Namaste Farms and read a few articles on gentle parenting. Chat with a few friends.

9:00 Kevin brings me in some ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and I start typing all this up.

As I’m typing I realize I took ONE picture today. ONE.

Last year when I did this I made a photo book out of it–it turned out beautifully. It’s pretty hard to make a photo book with one photo.

I’m not going to be annoyed with myself. It is what it is. It’s a day in my life.

         

   

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A Lost Art

If you can get hold of this book, I highly recommend it. My copy is published in 1972, but it seems like it’s much older.  It’s sweetly written and endearingly illustrated. I do like everything I’ve read by this author.
A succinct summary: Pelle wants a new suit, so he shears his lamb. He trades chores with various people until he gets all he needs to have his suit made. Then he works for the tailor who makes him his new suit. .
The jobs Pelle does and the jobs he asks others do are all but lost arts; carding wool, spinning, weaving cloth, even making a suit! We have lost something in our drive-through, cheaply-made, satisfied-with-good-enough culture. 
How do we get it back? Do you feel that a modicum of self reliance is important? We’ve lost the sense of independence that even a young boy can feel capable, can know that he has what it takes to get the job done.
A lot of people are upset these days, in light of the government’s current antics. No one is taking care of them. Babies are going hungry. People aren’t working. People aren’t getting paid. 
l wonder if Pelle and his family would ever have expected their government to take care of them.  
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Lead Your Family Like Jesus

I was excited and honored to be a part of the launch team for a new book. It’s called Lead Your Family Like Jesus, written by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer.

At first, I thought, while good, there wasn’t really much ‘new’ or ‘revolutionary’ inside. I have read a ton of parenting books over the past 8 years, always trying to hone my skills and figure this thing out. I kept reading  however, and I am SO glad I did.

Over the past several months, I have been trying to steer us from an authoritarian, “you must obey because I’m your parent” style of parenting to a more grace based, Jesus like, relationships are more important than blind obedience, grace filled family. It is HARD. Hard because it challenges me more, it challenges the way I grew up and the habits I already have in place. But it is also GOOD. Good because I feel like I am doing it more Biblically.

And this book, oh this book, came into my life at just the right time.

It is FULL of takeaway nuggets, real life application, references to the Bible, other parents’ experiences, thought provoking questions, and prayers. It is set up to easily do with a book club or small group. There is so much to think about and apply, I can’t recommend getting the book enough. It’s available on Amazon or CBD, and at your local bookstore. You should also request your library buy it.

Parenting is singularly one of the most difficult challenges you will ever undertake. You often feel unappreciated, like the bad guy, guilty or that you are doing it wrong. This letter is a real encouragement to me, and hopefully to you as well.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for the gift of life. I am grateful that you believed in my potential to be a blessing to you and to the people I will meet during my lifetime. I thank God for placing you in my life.

Whatever happens from this moment forward, one thing will never change. Ia m your child and you are my parents, forever. You will always be the living images of the words “Father” and “Mother” that I carry with me all the days of my life. Whatever you teach me about love and what is important in life will mold my view of the world.

Before things get too hectic,  I want to thank you in advance for the sacrifices you will make on my behalf so that I may grow into the person God intends me to be. Thank you for all the busy days and sleepless nights that you will invest in caring for my  needs.  Thank you for praying for wisdom in how to guide me through all the pain and mistakes I will experience as I grow.  Thank  for standing firm when I test your patience so that I may learn obedience.

Thank you for your encouragement and discipline. Thank you for listening to me even when my arguments don’t make sense and my frustrations spill over. Thank you for letting me fail, when failure is the best teacher and humility is the lesson. Thank you for picking me up and dusting me off when I fall, so I will not be discouraged as I learn.

Thank you for all the times you will comfort me with the hugs and kisses that always make things better. Thank you for cleaning up the messes I make, and then teaching me how to clean them up myself. Thank you for teaching me to value what is important to God. Thank you for teaching me that love includes forgiveness, compassion, apologies, accountability, as well as patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, good temper  unselfishness, grace and sincerity. Thank you for saying no when what I ask is not in my best interest. Thank you for enduring my seasons of rebellion that will come with the growing pains of becoming an adult.

Thank you for making it easier to obey you by keeping the rules simple, the consequences consistent, the standards for success attainable, praising my progress, explaining why, and most of all, modeling the behaviors and attitudes you want me to develop.

My prayer is that God will bless you with the wisdom and the courage to raise me in such a way that I will grow to understand what it means to have faith in the love of God, to believe in His Word, and to obey His commandments.

Love, Your Precious Child

Excerpted from Lead Your Family Like Jesus, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2013 by The Center for Faithwalk Leadership/Lead Like Jesus. Used by permission. To purchase a copy of the book, please visit http://family.christianbook.com

You may also be interested to know there’s a giveaway for an iPad Mini going on! Details over here!

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Monday’s Daybook

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

FOR TODAY
Outside my window...foggy, chilly but bound to warm up–birds cheerily chirping

I am thinking...every pregnancy is different

I am thankful...for my super caring midwife

From the learning rooms...plants and green science

In the kitchen…nothing as of yet…(that sounds bad!)

I am wearing...blue long sleeved shirt and purple cupcake pants

I am creating... pins on pinterest (does that count?) Planning on starting some booties and diaper covers; it’s hard to get excited about yellow…Made a jersey knit maternity skirt for myself last week…

I am going…to pick out trim, windows, doorknobs, doors, shower, faucets and more tonight; if I’m up for it…

I am wondering…why I can’t think of anything to put here.

I am reading…Entwined for book club and Charlotte Mason and Simplicity Parenting

I am hoping…this infection I’m fighting goes away soon. very very soon.

I am looking forward to...breaking ground for our addition today!

I am hearing... chiddlers stirring

Around the house... breaking ground for our addition today!

One of my favorite things...making connections with new and old friends.

A few plans for the rest of the week: being outdoors and not eating sugar

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

I love my blue eyed boy.
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Mama’s Daybook

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

FOR TODAY
Outside my window…cloudy, 50’s; so far, it doesn’t feel like November

I am thinking…those Best Buy deals might be worth the craziness this year!

I am thankful…I get to see my husband every evening

From the learning rooms…making a puppet theater

In the kitchen…I have a menu made! (*insert applause here*) Tonight we’re having BBQ Pork Sandwiches with leftover pork roast

I am wearing…pink knee socks, my favorite long and lean jeans, a long sleeved purple shirt & purple 3/4 length sleeve purple sweater cardi with one big button

I am creating…some knits…

I am going…We went to presentation day today

I am wondering…if I’ll be able to get my hair highlighted this week

I am reading…finished Patriots (a how to survive the end of the world book in the guise of a novel. The writing is extremely detailed but intriguing) and am in the middle of Playful Learning (bought it–that says a lot!) and The Bourne Dominion. (I enjoy the action and trying to figure out what is going on and going to happen, but think this will be my only Bourne book)

I am hoping…we get to make some new friends when we go to “Doughnuts and Chat” at the local retirement center on Saturday.

I am looking forward to…Thanksgiving!

I am hearing…Children giggling, quietly

Around the house…keeping up with the clutter

One of my favorite things…Baby bummies

A few plans for the rest of the week: We will be going to my cousin’s for Thanksgiving. We also are going to the gym (three times hopefully!) and to set up a room at church this week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

Sir Cutie Patootie
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Daybook

FOR TODAY

Outside my window…Sunny, cool–gorgeous October seeing itself out…
I am thinking…store bought milk is gross
I am thankful…for my milk co-op so I only have to go to the farm where we buy milk every couple of months
From the learning rooms...memorizing the countries in Europe. Because she wants to.
In the kitchen…homemade bread…also thankful for a bread machine.
I am wearing… argyle socks, jeans, purple shirt w/ a purple sweater cardi
I am creating…knitted gauntlets
I am going…to get back into the habit of making menus. This fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing is driving me batty.
I am wondering…if I’m hearing God right, why isn’t my husband in agreement?
I am readingHow Children Fail **** (four out of five stars)
I am hoping…to resolve some mental confusion
I am looking forward to…Daylight Savings Time being over (and wishing it would never change–just one more way the government is exerting control in our lives IMHO)
I am hearing…Cadrian talking to himself as he plays with his trains.
Around the house…laundry–the usual…
One of my favorite things…Denton backing up into my lap with a book he wants to read together
A few plans for the rest of the week: we went to the milk farm today, Bible study Wednesday, playdate Thursday. Yes, playdates are more for me than the children.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

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blog homeschool day in the life

More on Amish Values…

There is a lot about the Amish lifestyle that is appealing to me, chiefly among the reasons are the sense of community and self-sufficiency I feel like is inherent to their way of life. When I read the Amish diaries in Country magazine or a newspaper column in my old hometown weekly publication, I always feel a little wistful about how their lives are different from mine. I enjoyed the book Amish Values for Your Family. I received a book to review and one to give to a reader from the publishers, and am excited to send it your way. The book is divided into four sections. Each chapter starts with an Amish proverb which in and of themselves are worth noting and posting round your home. The chapter consists of a little short story of an Amish family, sometimes combined with information of the world we live in, statistics and such. The main anecdote is followed by “Road Map: Getting there from here”, which is made of tangible ideas you can apply right now to make your life look a little different, a little simpler, a little more Amish, if you will. The chapter ends with a a section called “In their own words…” which are amusing peeks into the Amish life.The four sections are:1. Children are Loved but not Adored 2. Great Expectations 3. Daily Bread

4. Letting Go
The section that probably meant the most to me was the first. I found several nuggets I could apply to my daily life, that I should apply to my life. These Amish women and men put me to shame in their application of God’s word to their lives. The chapter aptly named “The Mud Hole” was startling in the reaction of the mom when her covered-with-mud boys interrupted her baby’s nap (again).

One of my goals in life is to be able to react “wordlessly” when my day doesn’t go as planned because of the precious little blessings I ought to be putting first in my day. A quote from the “Road Map” is “it’s quite possible that you are trying too hard to accomplish one thing and altogether missing the more important thing. The good is often the enemy of the best.” The author suggests to dig for the humorous part of the situation.

In another chapter, she suggests having a “to-be” list instead of a to-do list. I plan to implement this as well. Write down the big overarching goals in your family. For example one of mine is “To live close to God, my family and the earth.” Keep this in mind as you approach the minutia that invariably comes up in your day.

There are so many tidbits one could apply to one’s life. I would recommend reading this book bit by bit and let the ideas swim around for a while. If you try to read it all at once, you could end up with an inferiority complex (ahem, like I did). I don’t purchase books very often, but I would buy this one.

If you’d like to see how to apply Amish values to your family, and own a copy of this book too, you can enter my giveaway by leaving a comment. Tell me what you want your family legacy to look like, what you see as truly important, your overarching goals in family raising.
Press release as follows:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of Amish Values for Your Family, her latest non-fiction release. “It offers loving ways to bring your fractured home back to life-Amish style. Read it and apply generously! It’s a beautiful book-funny, charming, soulful, and beautiful.” -Mary Ann Kirkby Read the reviews here. To celebrate the release of Amish Values for Your Family, Suzanne has teamed up her publisher Revell Books to giveaway a Kindle, and with Bill Coleman (the amazing photographer used on Suzanne’s book covers) to give away a signed Bill Coleman original.

One Grand Prize winner will receive an Amish Values Prize Package (valued at over $200) and includes: * A brand new KINDLE * A Signed Bill Coleman original * Amish Values for Your Family (for KINDLE)

Click on one of the icons to enter. Winner will be announced on 9/2 at Suzanne’s blog. Be sure to stop by the blogs on Suzanne’s blog tour – many have copies of Amish Values for Your Family to give away. But, wait there’s more! Suzanne is running a Bill Coleman caption contest during the month of August on her blog. Title one of Bill’s gorgeous photos for a chance to win a print from Bill’s Amish Photo site and/or a copy of Amish Values for Your Family.

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