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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Book Clutter

There is no such thing as too many books! Or is there?

I have too many books. So says my husband. And kids. And probably anyone else that comes into my house.

I want to stand up and shout, “There is NO such thing as too many books!”

Until I see that piles of books are everywhere.

Everywhere.

And it is causing a lot of anxiety.

Finally, my husband asked me to find a new home for a few. A few bookshelves worth, that is.

Funny thing is – I am coordinating a used book sale for our homeschool group.

I think deep down I’ve known it for awhile too. Why else would I sign up to help lead something like that?!

The problem is, books are my friends. How do you get rid of something you hold dear? Every time I think about going through the books, panic sets in. Really. As in panic attack. How do I handle it? By walking away. And the books keep staring at me and I keep walking away.

So, I did what I’ve been avoiding. I called Organize Em.

(Sound familiar? I’m noticing a pattern in my life.)

Her advice –

One book at a time.

Separate into two piles. Get rid of and maybe keep.

I won’t tell you how much that freaks me out.

She will come over and help with the maybe keep pile.

Here goes.

I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram. Follow me and see what the progress is. (bestmom4girls)

For now, I’ll be taking deep breaths and trying not to panic. I can do this!

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Ichthyosis Awareness Month

May is IAM. Carly featured the stories of people with this skin disease on her blog this month. Angela’s story was featured this week. Check it out!

Mission Trip

Sending my heart on plane today

The following is a letter my daughter wrote to her supporters. I am sharing it with you and asking you to join in supporting her in the most effective way – PRAYER.

Dear Supporters,

On my mission trip to South Africa we will work with a great ministry called Impact Africa (http://impactafrica.org). I will have many great serving opportunities. With over 8 million people living in squatter camps, South Africa has been riddled with disease and poverty. It has one of the fastest accelerating rates of HIV in the world. With death all around, there are nearly 450 children being orphaned every day!

Shantytown similar to the one we will visit. Click for photo credits.

 During my mission experience I will encounter these very communities, bringing them the good news of the hope that is found in Jesus. Each day will bring new challenges for me and I will get a chance to grow a deeper faith through the service and discipleship during my time in South Africa.

Please pray that on my trip I will really see the world through God’s eyes and I will carry out my duty to God and be his right arm to spread the love of God to others, who need it. Also pray for the people in South Africa and their horrible living conditions.

When Life Gives You Lemons… Become a Lemon Expert

Homeschooling a Struggling Learner

Lemons have a reputation for being sour. Sometimes they get a bad rap. But when you pair the lemons with a hint of sweetness… oh my. Serious deliciousness. That’s what today’s post is about – turning sour into sweet and doing ALL I CAN about it.  Life handed us a lemony situation and instead of becoming sour, I decided to become a lemon expert.

lemonpic1

One of my daughters struggles in a few learning areas. I’ve taken what I know and applied it in every way possible. I’ve hit the floor on my knees praying. I’ve researched, read books, and talked to people.

Finally I admitted I’m at the end of what I can do.

We found doctors, eye doctors, therapists, and even contacted the school district.

Wall after wall left us without viable options.

Sure, we had options, but they involved such things as:

  • enroll her in public school.
  • hire a tutor or therapist (4xs a week at 45/meeting – do the math!).
  • max out our medical account while still going into debt for several thousand dollars (Yep, up to $9,000!!).
  • buy a recommended homeschool curriculum for $300 to $3000.
  • use more affordable programs, but settle with our needs not being met.

Along this journey, I realized that there is a growing need in the homeschool community. There is a lack of HELP for those of us with struggling learners.

I also realized I don’t want a bandaid fix. No glossing over the problem, but discovering why the learning is hindered and what will heal the underlying problem.

To solve the problem of the sour lemon, I need to become a lemon expert. What recipe will turn the tart into tasty?

lemoninside

Here comes the big announcement:

This summer I am working on my certification to become an Educational Therapist. At the end of the program, I will be certified to work with children using the NILD program.

I researched several different programs to work with and found this one to be the best. It doesn’t just teach phonics (as some did), but retrains the brain. Ohhh… I love that brain stuff! And guess what? I’ll be sharing some fun facts I learn with you!

This would be a great time to follow me. No, not by coming to class with me! You can follow my blog by clicking the follow button on the top right. My blog posts will be emailed to you!

Ask – and Ye Shall Receive!

God blew us away with a faith test. My daughter needed funds for a mission trip to Africa. I doubted we would have enough time to raise enough.

God said – Trust me and have faith.
Friends said – Trust and have faith.
I even read a fundraising book. It said – Trust and have faith.

So I gave up “plan B” (the if we don’t raise enough plan also known as the NOT trusting in God plan) and prayed.
I asked for faith and the ability to trust. I laid down my fears and simply asked.

God blew us away!

Not only did that daughter raise ALL the needed funds, someone even offered to pay for a different daughter’s summer camp!

(A huge thanks to those of YOU, my loyal readers, who read and and responded! It touched me greatly that you gave!)
Ask – and ye shall receive!
What do you need to ask for today?

Sidewalk Chalk and Tissue Paper Flowers

Handmade cards and tissue paper flowers,

Gifts not of money but of care.

tissuepaperflowers (2)

Stories and poem written in pencil,

Messy and misspelled add a special flair!

Messages of love from

Paper, pencils and crayons

Messages of love

That will never be gone.

shadows (1)

Drawings on the sidewalk,

Chalk that will wash away.

Shadows get distorted.

They fade throughout the day.

Messages of love appear in

shadows and chalk art.

shadows3

Messages of love

Forever in the heart.

The Day I Was the Worst Mom Ever

Confession: There was a day I was the worst mom ever.

At least that’s what I told myself. It all started with an unmatched pair of socks. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find a pair of socks that matched for the kids. (This was before I bought the mega size packages of plain white socks. Or several packages. All white. You get the picture.) I had little white socks with pink hearts, or little pink socks with white hearts. There were rainbow socks and lace socks, but NONE of them had a match. Yes… I was THAT behind on laundry. All the matched socks were dirty. (This was also before any of my kids had ever re-worn a pair socks.) In a moment of frustration, I told myself what a horrible mom I was. “Bad Mom” is all I could think. In everything I tried to do, I found something negative about myself. The mantra in my head became “You are the worst mom ever!”

The negativity spiraled into a vortex of one angry mom quickly loosing her patience with the kids. The kids would then loose their patience with each other and everyone would walk around grumpy. For days, all I did was focus on what a failure I was. I spent so much time brooding, I didn’t get other important things done. The list of my faults and failures was really adding up.

Knowing my life at that time, the list probably included items such as:

  • forgetting to sweep
  • not picking up cherrios off the unswept floor before my husband got home and realized the kids were eating them
  • forgetting to switch the clothes to the dryer and having to rewash them- again
  • burning toast
  • forgetting an ingredient for dinner
  • yelling at the kids until someone cried
  • speaking mean words to my husband

All, in all, the list is not ideal, but also not worthy of total failure. It was a sad, negative cycle that left me feeling like the worst mom ever. That phrase is exactly what I spoke over  myself until I believed it, and in believing it I lived it.

One day I decided the only way to stop living like that was to – just stop. Start speaking words of truth – even if I didn’t believe it. So where do you find that truth? When your mantra is negative and thoughts of yourself are lower than low, where do you find the encouraging, positive words?  The Creator of all the positive words. The Creator of You.

Psalm 139:12-14

12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for

I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

I didn’t stop thinking those thoughts overnight, it took years before I actually believed I wasn’t a failure. (I can be stubborn that way!) But it happened. I woke up one day and the thought of me being the worst mom ever made me laugh. I realize it was easier to stay stuck in “I’m the worst” so I didn’t have to strive to be the best. I could be lazy because that’s what bad moms did. Once I started to believe I was WORTH being the best mom, I started to live it. Laziness and mistakes did not equal unworthiness. I began to look at the things I messed up as just that – mess ups. Now, instead of brooding over mess ups, I put them behind me and allow them to teach me how to improve.

What about you? What is YOUR mantra?

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