Monday, September 29, 2008

How I Become Way Too Busy

I am very busy right now. I think I have a tendency to always be too busy. How do I always manage to be so busy? Between doctor's appointments, and putting in time at our business, and getting together with other moms, and Natalie's violin lesson, and the girls dance class, and soccer, and finally trying to steal some time away for myself --- I'm just way too busy!

It's hard to do school. Not because I don't have the hours to do school - but because making dinner and cleaning house and planning for school all pull at me.

Right now there are two or three unique activities that should fade off.

The first is soccer. Soccer is three days a week. It's fun. I think it's relaxing to sit out there and watch my daughter play soccer. Natalie loves soccer and is really gaining self-confidence from it. But, it's a lot. I am torn back and forth over our future commitment to sports. It's so good for the kids, but what's not good for the kids is me being overwhelmed.

Girls all dressed up for soccer. The younger one doesn't actually play (yet), she just likes to get dressed up and practice with sister's team.

Secondly, I wanted to put some time into our business all summer, but babysitting and other scheduling issues didn't cooperate with us. Now, especially with the economy, our business could really use my help. Most things employees or my DH can do - but sometimes my husband just needs me in there for a short period to give my ideas and pour over our business website. I work on SEO (search engine optimization) stuff, give my input about products, and give my input about graphics. I could do more - but I REALLY, REALLY JUST want to be a SAHM. So we limit it. But right now I've been trying to get in there at least one evening a week.

The third is doctor's appointments. I've been putting them off. So now I scheduled a bunch within a two week period.

So, this is the 2nd week of the doctor's appointments. Next week is the last week of soccer. Then, I'm not sure how long I will try and keep putting time in at work, but hopefully I won't need to do that so frequently for too much longer.

But, my question is how do I make sure I don't overload myself when this time is over? Seasons are one thing. Ongoing busy-ness is another.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Enjoying Nature

Getting Out There With God And Nature

We have been blessed with so much natural beauty around us - directly around us where we live - on our property and closeby. Yet, so often I am so busy with schooling and activities - that I don't get myself outside. Not really. You know, where you go outside long enough and with a mellow enough attitude to really get lost in it.

Yesterday, the older girls and I visited a close by waterfall - climbing on the rocks and throwing rocks into the river. Dad was home and the baby was asleep and we stole away for just a little while. It was sublime.

Today, we went down to the far end of property and meandered around the little man made pond. We found a unique wildflower down there in one of the small streams, right in the water. Here it is.




My Rachey

My kids are so cute. Here is a picture of a cute Rachey - always ready to have her picture taken - but can you tell that she doesn't like the sun in her eyes???


Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Absent Minded Professor


I'm having a hard time not beating myself up over this one. Does anyone else do this? Do those of you that never do this, know that there are people like me that try REALLY hard and still do this?

I missed my daughter's dental hygienist appointment today. Ok, you big deal...everyone forgets things sometimes. No, you see, I forget things all the time. And I go to such lengths to not forget things.

I use Google Calendar now, which I JUST love. Check it out it. It would probably help lots of people with homeschool scheduling because you can easily manage multiple calendars at once. I digress though.

Her appointment was on my calendar though. It was there. I even looked at the calendar which I had printed out and posted on the fridge. On top of that, the dental office even called and left a message two days ago reminding me. But, I didn't remember. When did I remember? In the middle of the night when I was feeding the baby.

And, here are a couple of things about this appointment. This is a hygienest appointment with the local HMO. It takes a good two-three months to get an appointment. I had an appointment in the summer and had to cancel because Natalie had an activity she was doing. And, Natalie has teeth coming in that are blocked by baby teeth of the next set of teeth coming in. They may have wanted to pull a couple of teeth so they didn't come in too crooked. So, I'm not sure what to do. On top of that, Natalie knew she had an appointment coming up. I feel so horrible that she should pay the consequence for my inability to remember things.

So, maybe you are wondering, can't your husband help you to remember to look at your calendar? Well, he tries. And, as I said, I did look at my calendar. I just didn't see it for some reason. He tries my occasionally saying something like, "do you have things coming up on your calendar?" Alas, this often only adds to my confusion - or at least doesn't help me a whole lot because when he asks me that I feel my brain getting discombobulated.

Blogger Friend had a topic a few weeks ago about what your biggest struggle in homeschooling is. I would definitely add this to that struggle - the idea that I have trouble managing our schedule, our appointments. Yet, I know this is lie that the enemy would want me to believe. The truth is that I would struggle with this issue no matter what the schooling arrangement were. I'm still their mom and Mom still ends up being in charge of everyone's schedule.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keeper Of My Home

Here's an article I wrote about 2 years ago:

Homekeeper Scriptures

Titus 2:4,5 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant - not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Matthew 26:36-40 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Luke 10:40-42 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Perfectionism Is Not God's Intention

God has wonderful plans for us as mothers, as wives, and as women of God. Yet, we women hear the calling of God and make it into something that He didn't intend. We require of ourselves a level of perfection that we cannot acquire. This perfection eats at our husbands, at our children, at our health, at our ability to be a good friend, and at our love for the Lord.

I speak from both personal experience and observation. I am such a perfectionist. I want to be the best wife I can be, but I don't want to be stepped on. I want to give my children every advantage, spiritually, academically, physically. I want my home to be as beautiful, as well kept, as well organized as any I've ever seen. I want to be social with believers and non-believers alike, living a perfect life, that I might not be a "stumbling block" to any.

But what I miss is love. What I miss is the love Christ has extended to me - called grace. What I miss is the ability to continually reach back to Him, trusting Christ to work everything out - called faith.

Lovers of our households

Titus tells us we are to be "busy at home". In King James this is translated "keepers of our homes". I desire to be a keeper of my home. But, I want to endeavor first to never forget the beginning of that verse, "love your husbands and children". Or, as Jesus said it, "Love the Lord your God, and Love your neighbor as yourself."

Simple Changes

Rather than endeavoring to have the perfect schedule, do a perfect job with our children, follow Jesus perfectly, let's endeavor to know and love our Lord and show our love to others. Let's not neglect our homes, but let's not make them our highest priority. Rather, let our homes serve us and serve God.

I want to endeavor to make small changes that allow me to feel more on top of my day and actually give me more time with my Lord, my husband, my children, and others. One concept that has worked well for me, is simply the concept of breaking down what you need to do into small chunks. You don't have to do it just like someone else! Find what works for you.

Look at what you want to accomplish and break it down, into manageable tasks that don't seem to huge. Now, you have your list of what you need to do. Instead of concentrating on getting the whole list done, just do one task at a time as quickly as you can.

Congratulate yourself when you cross something off your list. Don't talk yourself down!

The following is an example of a one page sheet I have made for myself listing a breakdown of my regular household duties. I print one off per day and see how much I can get done in the first part of my day. If I do an item more than once in a day, I check it off twice. Don't forget to make a chore chart for your children as they become able and give them a few tasks from your list.


  • Unload Dishwasher
  • Load Dishwasher
  • Wash Large Pans
  • Clear Off Kitchen Counters
  • Sweep Kitchen
  • Take Out Recycling
  • Take Out Kitchen Garbage

Living Room

  • Pick Up Living Room Floor
  • Straighten Bookshelves
  • Vacuum Living Room



  • Put Clothes Away
  • Do A Load Of Laundry

Food Prep

  • What's For Dinner by 3:00 p.m.


  • Mop Kitchen
  • Clean Toilets
  • Clean Counters & Floors In House (Wash Rugs)
  • Straighten Bookshelves
  • Clean Windows
  • Clean Mirrors
  • Take Out All Garbage
  • Empty Out Car


  • Dust Eaves In Kitchen
  • Clean Out Window Sills In House
  • Wash Doors
  • Vacuum Under Dressers/Bed
  • Change Furnace Filter


  • Take Out Garbage
  • Take Out Recycling


  • Read Chapter Book To Girls
  • Have Child/Children Read
  • Math
  • Writing Work
  • Phonics Work
  • Violin Practice

Personal Health & Wellbeing

  • A.M. Vitamin
  • Eight Glasses Water
       __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 
  • Stretches
  • Workout
  • P.M. Vitamin


Monday, September 15, 2008

My Baby Took Some Steps

First Steps

Baby Abigail took four steps today in front me today about three times. She has been standing (without holding on to anything) and she has been taking one step then sitting down for several weeks now. But, today she took steps. Her sisters told me she took even more steps yesterday when I wasn't watching. Yet, since I wasn't watching, it must not have really happened. Right?

She's my earliest walker at ten and a half months. We predicted this would be the case because even when she was only a month or two old, she loved to push with her legs and stand.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Date With My Husband & Our Garden


Today my husband and I had a date. Yes, a date. But, today our date was at home. We had a babysitter come over and he and I worked in the garden together. We love working in the garden together. Just like we love hiking together. But, with baby Abigail, it's been downright difficult to get garden time in. The only time I have is her nap. If she is up, and I take her in the garden, well, she puts dirt in her mouth. And, generally she is fussy. So, it was really nice to get to the garden, and my hubby and I got to do so together, without anyone saying, "mom, can I...".

A Garden Tour

I took you all on a tour of my garden here in June. So, now I take you on a tour of my garden now in September.


Garden Bounty


Strawberries & Broccoli Gone To Seed



Our Spring was very cold and we got a late start. Our corn was short this year, but finally we are getting some ripe heads.

Carrots, Lettuce Gone To Seed, & Yellow Beans

We had yellow beans and green beans this year. Unfortuneately, we haven't been very good about keeping up with them. These beans on the ground are the overripe ones. I picked about three overripe beans for every one rip bean today.

Pumpkins & Squash

Aren't those vines big???

A Pumpkin To Be

Did you know FRESH Sugar Pumpkins make absolutely the best Pumpkin Pie? Just cook them in the oven like any other squash and then puree the cooked flesh - and use it like you would canned pumpkin.

I actually got some Grapes this year.


Grape Vines



God has been faithful to care about the small things in our lives this fall. The Spring was very cold. Our garden was delayed big time. Yet, we were able to get a new garden watering system in (which our plants REALLY liked). And, this September we have had very warm weather, allowing us to be able to finish some crops that otherwise wouldn't have finished this year, and allowing us to get a little more summer in. I'm hoping my tomatoes will still turn red.

Asian Pears




A Lone Red Pear


Raspberries Up In A Trellis

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


What we do to ourselves and our children from time to time


Well, we take ourselves (and our children I might add) on tangents to locations like the one above. We look at properties we clearly cannot afford and we drool. If you love the country and dream of living on a secluded acreage, you must visit this site ( and find a ranch of your choosing.


Maintaining Focus

Trying to maintain focus is ALWAYS a struggle with me. I want to do a million things. I go off in a thousand directions. I guess the answer to this is just focus. Focus, do what I’ve already planned, just say no to new things, be faithful in what God has given me to do today.

With that, this scripture will be my verse for the week:

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" Matthew 25:23 (NIV)

And, regarding a picture to share, I share with you a picture of our "craft cupboard". Really it is a learning supply cupboard. You can see how crazy I am for art supplies by looking at our cupboard. I am leaving it as I found it. Sometimes it is a lot messier depending on how long since I went through and cleaned it up in between my cleaning job and the kids cleaning stuffing things back into it.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

How Did I Get Into Homeschooling

How Did I Get Into Homeschooling

Well, I guess the first exposure to homeschooling that I had was a single mom who pulled her kids from the private school they were attending to be homeschooled. The kids were also in the daycare I taught in after school, and they were teased a lot. I didn't think much of it at the time, other than a passing thought on whether that would help those kids or whether it would hinder them.

Then, I guess I heard of homeschooling here and there talking with friends. I heard so and so was homeschooling, but again didn't think much of it. I was a young single gal, why would I think about it much. Then I had some exposure to a friend's sister-in-law who homeschooled. This wasn't good exposure. This mom kept her kids out of school, but didn't really school them, and they were WAY behind on reading and math.

After I married my husband (Jon) and began having kids, I thought about schooling. Then I started having good (typical) exposures to homeschoolers. Jon's cousin homeschooled her girls and did (and does) a fantastic job at it. Her kids are smart, well-adjusted, and happy.

When my oldest girls were babies, we lived just down the street from a high school, and I can tell you I didn't think much of the fruit of public school coming from that (which was displayed before me before and after school). I was sure I would homeschool or private school. Also, several families across the street from us (by that high school), homeschooled and had happy, smart, well-adjusted kids. There was also a homeschooling program through the school district I had heard about. I had even met some adults who were homeschooled as kids, who had healthy sibling relationships as an adult. I knew homeschooling was a viable option.

I hadn't really decided based on all of that, however. I had always loved teaching kids (any kids, not just my own), and had always loved learning independently, so I had a strong tug to homeschooling. Yet, it seemed like a lot of work, and "how did you really know your kids would be socialized properly?"

When my oldest daughter was four, I put her in preschool at a local private school. I was testing it out, knowing that I was debating between homeschooling and private schooling. And, it turned out to be an excellent school. It would have been a good choice I think. But, still, while the fruit shown in the teenage years was better at the private school, it still bothered myself, and maybe more importantly it bothered my husband, that the teens didn't seem that innocent, that they didn't seem that happy to be around their parents. At this point, I met a friend (Keren) at the local MOPS (mothers of preschoolers co-op) who had begun to homeschool and she was sold on it. She was involved in a Co-op called First Class, and she told me about it. I visited with her and saw how she organized her homeschool efforts, and I decided to go for it.

The next fall, when my daughter was in Kindergarten we went to the Co-op. We got the chance to meet lots of other homeschoolers and homeschooling families and talk to them about what they do in their homeschooling. Also about this time we began playing soccer. On the soccer team there were two other families that homeschooled. A year and a half later, for the last half of Natalie's first grade, First Class started a co-op up in our neck of the woods. I especially enjoyed this, as for once I felt connected with others in my community who homeschooled.

Now, I'm sold. I believe I will homeschool through High School. I love that my kids can learn to learn by themselves, and to love learning. Sometimes it's hectic, especially challenging are times like being pregnant and having an infant. But, I can see the fruit of close sibling relationships in my kids already. I love it.

Here are some reality pictures of homeschooling. I try and have things more together, but with a 10 month old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old, it can all fall apart way too quickly. But, they are learning and they are loved. This is what matters.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our 1st Day

First Day Of Kindergarden & 2nd Grade

Our first day of school went well. I'm amazed at how, just in time, my five year old has developed an interest and an understanding of the alphabet and numbers. It really went well today, they were excited, although today was Tuesday (which will be our busy day) and we were probably out of the house more than we are at home.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I've always wanted to make Biscotti, so I took a crack at it today. Here is the final product and the process:

biscotti_1    biscotti_2
biscotti_3    biscotti_4
biscotti_5    biscotti_6
biscotti_7    biscotti_8