Sunday, September 1, 2013

Scorched Leaves....Nourishing Love

I stepped out on the front porch after a much needed three hour Sunday afternoon nap to the horror of four precious houseplants burning in the hot afternoon sun.  Black leaves screaming of death and devastation to this heart that has nurtured them for the last two years or so.  You see, these are the longest plant friends I have had.  I have worked with them and often revived them through chicken pecking ,wind blowing them over, underwatering, overwatering, and many overturnings.  In return, they have graced our home with fresh oxygen and soothing beauty.  They were like a warm blanket of God's creation over me each time I caught their appearance in my kitchen and living room.  Now, they are hurting.  They have been scorched.... black leaves all over... even some of the stems are black.  And that Christmas Cactus?  It's leaves are bleached with black spots.  Will they recover?  They look miserable and make my heart heavy.

I cut away their black leaves one by one... sometimes a bunch at a time all the way to the base of the stem leaving a scraggly looking plant.  It looks a little like how I've been feeling lately.  Cut back and limp. Struggling to revive my spirit. Did I allow myself to get scorched?  Did I set myself out in the hot sun for too long?  I guess I did.  My plants were in the hot sun for 8 hours.  When I left them on the porch in the morning sun, I thought they would soon be covered with protecting shade.  I thought I would bring them in as soon as I returned home for lunch.  Exhausted when I arrived home, my thoughts turned to sleep forgetting all about my sweet friends on the porch.

Much effort is required when caring for a living creation.  Much thought must be given to its care in order for it to survive... even more for it to thrive.  I too am a living creation.  And I have a loving creator who cares for me.  When I fail to present myself before him regularly, I begin to droop.  When I am drooping, I need more of Him.  When my yeses turn me away from his refreshing, I begin to get scorched with the busyness of life.  Often I consider pleasing others as so important that it sacrifices the nourishment I need to please them with what they really desire.... my love.

Just as my plants require certain conditions to survive and thrive, so do I.  Feeling there are just too many conditions to provide for everyone, I choose those the ones generally accepted by others to be necessary. Yet, I am unique.  God made me....well, me.  What I need is not necessarily the same as what others need. I am jealous of those who don't appear to need so much refreshing.... so much time to think.... to rest.... to be still.  I need quiet time every day for an hour to rest, do some muscle relaxation, listen to soothing music.  I need time to read God's word and talk to him without interruption and without noise in the background. I need a relaxing bath once a week.  I need candles burning to remind me of the peace and light of God.  I need daily exercise... a walk, some stretching, some weight bearing exercise.  I need lots of vegetables.  I need to give myself food breaks once in a while.  I need to smile at my kids more often.  I need to play.  I need to observe the people and world around me.  I need more thankfulness in my heart.  I need to take it easy on myself when I don't measure up to my own expectations... or when things aren't going according to the plans in my head.  TRUST.  GOD.  DAILY.  Minute by minute.  BREATHE Him in.  BE STILL as often as possible. Accept failure.  Accept joy.  Accept love.  Give myself what I need not only to survive but to thrive.  Protect myself and others from the scorching of the leaves of my spirit.  Only then can I help others... and my plants ;) ... to thrive alongside me.  

God is waiting to refresh my spirit... to heal my scorched leaves..  I will lay myself at His feet and receive His nourishing love like a wave of new life washing over me!

Monday, June 3, 2013

What is an Earl?

Charlie asked this question today while we were reading King Arthur.  Here is a table to explain the many titles of the nobility of the middle ages:

Here are answers to the question: How does a man become an earl?

Monday, May 27, 2013

More websites to revisit

Reading Response Journals


Free Educational Sites

Websites I want to investigate for possible curriculum are listed  below.  I chose most of them from

Typing: - Dance Mat Typing - Peter's Online Typing Course

Copywork/ Dictation/ Memorization - Quote Land - George Washington's Rules of Civility

Current Events

Grammar - English Grammar 101

Literature - Free Online Children's Literature (The Baldwin Project)

Nutrition - Nutrition Detectives

General Curriculum Ideas:


Notebooking Ideas -

Monday, May 6, 2013

Great Book Giveaway

Sally Clarkson is giving away copies of her book "Mission of Motherhood" through her blog this week.  This is a great book for all mothers to read!  I have a copy that I love!  Check it out here:

Home: The Leadership Center for Life {Plus Mission of Motherhood GIVEAWAY!}

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When what I want to do and what I can do don't match

I am here.  Wanting to be the overachieving super involved mother engaging my three sons into a learning experience true to real life learning that will spiral them into a natural love for learning, yet overwhelmed by a surplus of entries on my mental checklist that remain unchecked leading me to a feeling of failure.  I know that my children are doing well but I so often feel that I am not.  And anytime I become frustrated with their particular personality traits that I don't know how to handle or redirect, I see clearly how my personality has greatly affected their personality.  My mother's voice rings in my ears, "You are so hard on yourself which makes you hard on those boys."  Yet, this is who I am!  I am an idealist.  I do not know how to be otherwise.  I try to let go of my dreams but it hurts.  Life got in the way of a lot of those dreams.  Many life things that others know nothing about.  God has brought me through them to amazing places of grace, mercy, and growth but the consequences remain.  So, I am where I am and I am who I am.  God can use me right here in any way he chooses.  The method I choose for teaching my children or conducting my household is just a tool.  A tool for reaching their hearts for God so that they can know his peace and love and share it with others.  Why do I so often forget this?  I am like Peter sinking in the water when noticing the storm around him.  God's sweet love rescues me and my focus returns to him for today.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  But does he want me to do all those things at once?  He knows me from within.  He is gentle and patient.  He teaches me a bit at a time and for that I am grateful.

What can I do at this stage in my family's life?  I guess I am not completely sure.  I know that I want to be a better housekeeper because it keeps my mind uncluttered.  Love and patience flows more freely from my heart when my brain is clear.  Housekeeping and educating don't mesh for me.  I can do one or the other. Mixing them results in frustration and very few accomplishments for either activity.  My brain says, "Make a plan!"  How many times have I done this?  No, I should do what has worked best in the past.

Right now, there are some character issues that need working on in our family.  That should always be my priority.  I feel unequipped to deal with these as they are issues that need work in me as well.  I never learned well how to handle them.  How do you teach your child to move past an issue when you don't do it well either?

I'm rambling off topic a bit now.  The point is I need to do what will help us achieve our family goals looking at which methods of life/ teaching/ relating to others will cultivate love and peace and learning in our home. The biggest thing I must consider is that taking care of myself so that I can take care of my family is important.  Finding balance in this is difficult for me because I often feel selfish.

When what I want to do and what I can do don't match, I turn to my Father for wisdom, patience, direction, and contentment.  I may not have the patience, the money, the room in my house to do things the way I want to but I have a God who can show me another way that may even be better for all of us!

Free Life Science Text

Classical Life Science

Friday, January 25, 2013


As I prepare to write, a bit of stress lifts from my body.  I knew I needed to type.  I was being stubborn about finding a comfortable way to make it happen.  I need to type to sort out the plethora of thoughts in my brain that I just know are somehow connected. 

What thoughts are in my brain?  Frustration. I feel fat and tired.  I miss my husband even though he is in town.  I desire to know God's word and where I stand in my belief on certain subjects but can't seem to find the time to study.  I know I need to spend way more time on relationships but can't figure out how to make that work either.  It is in relationships and caring for others that the love of Jesus can be spread.  Yet I can't spread love when I am grumpy.  So, I know I need to take better care of myself.  And here I am again.  This is a thought I have had at least once a week since Christmas.  How do I fit in time to take care of myself?  And what would it look like to care for myself?

If I was properly taking care of myself, I would eat healthy meals and snacks.  I would be exercising at least 5 times per week.  I would be showering every other day (unless I get really dirty or sweaty).  I think it would be easier if I showered every day but I am not sure how my hands would hold up with the extra dryness.  I would wash my hair two or three times a week.  This would require either blow drying and styling it or leaving plenty of time for it to dry naturally before bed.  I would drink 5 quarts of water a day.  I would go to bed by 10.  I would spend 30 to 60 minutes per day in prayer, meditation, and Bible reading.  I would floss and brush twice a day.  So,  I see that sleep, exercise, water, healthy foods, prayer/ meditation are the areas that came up first. 

Other things I need for self care: friends, laughter, sunshine.  I would like clothes that fit well, weekly bath time, weekly or at least monthly alone time with no guilt. 

How do I make the basics happen?  Eating healthy snacks or meals means planning and buying what I need to eat.  And keeping the things I don't want in my body out of the house.  Exercising?  That is a tough one.  I am not sure when the best time is for this.  I would like for the boys to get some exercise too.  Yet, trying to all exercise at the same time usually backfires on me.  A daily walk at a certain time seems like an option.  It's just that our routine gets interrupted so often.  A daily shower or self care after dinner each night sounds good but I don't want to leave everyone else with dinner cleanup.  Options: morning before Jeff (6:30), morning after Jeff (7:00), afternoon (4:30), evening (8:00 or whenever we get home.  I like evening the best because I never know what the morning will hold and it gives time for my hair to dry.  Washing my hair: Thursday, Saturday, Monday.  Water: set a timer and respond to it.   Prayer/ Meditation: before bed (15 minutes), morning (15 minutes), lunch time (15-30 minutes).  Floss and brush: make a morning checklist.

It's a start. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Learning Can Often Be Painful

I am learning.  Life is all about learning for me.  Often that learning is very painful. 

Being a home educator, learning is the primary goal for my children.  As long as I see progress in their skills, thinking, and manners, we are right where we should be.  I often am asked how I know my kids are where they are supposed to be.  To me, progress and learning is the answer. 

Today the learning I am thinking of concerns me.  Most of my life has been spent striving for goals far beyond anyone's reach thus making most of what I do extremely difficult.  Nothing ever seems good enough.  And today I realized (again, though more profoundly) that I am transferring this over to my children.  I am most likely exuding to them that their performance on school work and house work is not good enough.  This may be carrying over into their attitudes as well making them feel they are a horrible person when I constantly remind them of their rudeness or bad attitudes. 

In reality, my kids are amazing!!  They are such creative, talented, loving, expressive, thinking boys.  They like to tell us all their new ideas and show us their creations.  They do their best to meet our expectations even when they are unsure of what our expectations really are.  Every morning and at least one other time each day, they tidy and/ or clean their given areas of the house.  When I read to them and when they read alone, they absorb far more information than I do. 

It is in the house cleaning and attitudes that I seem to pick and pick at them.  If the job is not done as well as I could do it, I point out how they missed it.  This might be acceptable if I could do it gently only finding one area to improve on at a time, but I tend to tell them everything that is wrong.  I also point out almost every time I feel they have been rude.  How many times do I point out the good things?  Probably not enough to make them feel like the fabulous, special person they are to me.

I think they feel that they are a burden.  They often wince and say, "Please don't cry, mom!"  I don't want this anymore.  I never wanted my children to feel the way I fear they do, that they are not good enough for me.

So, today I learned during tears and questions to God privately in my room that as an adult I am still very hard on myself.  It stems from the desire to do what is best in all areas of my life.  I don't think that is a bad desire, but I often find myself feeling less than my best.  I want my family to be healthy, to honor God with our actions and thoughts, to take good care of all God has given us.  I want us to have great relationships with one another and be thoughtful of each others needs.  I want us to serve others willingly.  I want us to enjoy being together.  I want these things so much that when we don't measure up I feel that I must be doing something wrong.  I am doing something wrong.  We all are.  We are not God! 

I have to find a way to stop being so rough on myself.  It doesn't feel good.  It makes me tough on everyone else.  I want to loosen up.  The only way I know how is to ask God to guide me in this.  A personality change is not easy.  Not that my whole personality needs changing, but the unrealistic standards I set for myself and my family sure do.  So, please join me in prayer for this change.  Pray that God would gently show me how to be ok with, no, that I would be joyful about where we are as a family as long as we are walking with Him.  I want to learn how to strive for the best while accepting my humanity and showing mercy towards the humanity of others, especially my children.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Do Not Love Vegetables

Surprised?  I eat them mostly because I feel good after I eat them.  As they enter my mouth, I actually receive little satisfaction from them.  Covered in salt and seasoning and cooked just right, they might please my taste buds on occasion.  Eating them raw hardly ever does it for me.  Yet, I want to like them because they make me feel good once they start radiating their nutrition inside my body. 

Many things in life are like this for me.  Perhaps that is why it is often hard to start the things I know will be good for me - no immediate satisfaction.  That burst of pleasure is such a great motivator!  When it isn't available I must shift to my wise person who reminds me of the benefits to come.  In reality, those things providing quick pleasure seldom last.  The benefits are only contained in a matter of minutes.  For example, scrumptious tasting brownies do not provide hours of energy nor does the taste last longer than about 2 minutes (5 if I am savoring each bite).  And laying around on my couch under a warm blanket feels great while I am there but as soon as I get up I am cold and feeling unproductive as I look around at all the things I needed to accomplish (not to say that laying on the couch can't be helpful for refreshing occasionally).  These two are so much more appealing than eating a nice fresh salad or scrubbing the bathroom floors but far less rewarding. 

So, I decided today to keep eating the vegetables and pray that God will change my taste buds so that I will be able to enjoy them and eat more of them.  It's a do your way into feeling type of thing.  I may not feel like doing it.  But, if I will do it for a stretch of time, I know I will feel like doing it eventually. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Little Something Everyday

I challenge myself to write a little something each day.  No requirements of length or depth of emotion do I give myself but the requirement of something.  I often hesitate to write fearing that what I say will not flow or may not stir any great emotions in a reader (should anyone read it at all).  Yet, I know that writing helps me think through the mess of ideas and questions circling round in my brain.

Only a few minutes remain of today's quiet time.  Yet, I am refreshed and ready to move on to tackle and enjoy the rest of what lays before me.  History.... home care....scouts....loving my for my God.  My time was spent on reading blogs: and and the one that I posted about yesterday.  I was reminded that being a mom is a job of utmost importance.  That I should enjoy my time in this stage of life rings true to my soul.  Besides my ultimate purpose of bringing glory to God, I have been given two sub tasks that are above all other requests for my time: mothering three special boys into manhood and being a helpmeet to an amazing husband!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Blog Discovery

Found a new blog that looks interesting:

I'm looking forward to exploring and maybe getting a few recipes as well as lots of encouragement!  Looks like Tina enjoys feeding her family healthy real foods and struggles with anxiety.  We may have a few things in common.  Maybe you would enjoy reading her blog too.

Friday, January 11, 2013


This is a title for a new book that I can't wait to read.  Check it out at this website and enter to win great prizes! and 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'm thinking.... I'm thinking....

Writing is important for me.  Exercise is important for me.  Meditating is important for me.  Why don't I stop and make time for these things?  How do I make time for these things?  When I can't see a way, I stop and remember that God sees all.  He is on my side because I am on his side.  I will ask him to make the time in my day for these things and show me when it is. 

Cease striving.  I strive a lot!  I think I wear myself out with striving.  I strive to live up to my expectations even when they are beyond what others may expect of me.  So much effort is spent in this striving that I lose sight of God's expectations of me.  Confidence slinks off to the corner of my clogged brain leaving thoughts of "not good enough" lurking behind every thought.  Light shines through reminding me that confidence is mine in the Lord!  He is my confidence.  I am following after Him and listening to His voice.  I will be confident in that!  I will stand firm knowing He is my all in all, He cares for me, He teaches me, He forgives my mistakes!  I stand clean because of the blood of Jesus!