"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge it's rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Getting Ready For School

Hello friends!

Can you believe that summer is winding down already?

We get to welcome in a new month tomorrow!

Fall will be upon us before we know it, and I've got a lot to do to get ready!

 I'm sure you do, too!

School starts for us next week and I will have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, and a kindergartener!

Each year just keeps getting more complex!

When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I just take a time-out and head outside with my scissors...


My roses didn't do too bad this year despite the fact that I didn't end up fertilizing any of them!

They are faithful friends that show up year after year...


I have five different varieties.

A sprig from each was snipped for this arrangement in my kitchen.


But I can only turn my back on my responsibilities for so long, *sigh....

I need to make sure I am ready for school!

I decided to write out a rough draft of Roman and Nola's upcoming school year to make sure I'm not missing anything.

I wrote out the subjects that I wanted to be a part of our year, and the means by which they will be incorporated...


It made me feel a little better!


I'm really looking forward to starting the year! But it'll be a lot to take on, and I feel as though my plate's already full! SO, I began brainstorming ways that I can be more efficient in my home.

One idea that I had was to train the older ones to do some of my morning jobs.

If we're going to get everything done in the mornings to be ready to start school at a decent time, then I need help!

I thought I'd try giving Roman the job of making breakfast for everyone. So the other day I assigned him the entire task from start to finish. He had already been used to helping me with kitchen chores, but this was the first time I completely backed off and let him do it.


He did great!

He made scrambled eggs and toast; cut up some fruit, and gave everyone a yogurt and a vitamin.


Once I saw that this could be a possibility for our mornings, I felt encouraged! This could potentially free me up for an extra 20-30 minutes each day, allowing me to focus on other morning tasks.

Some other ideas of chores that my older kids could do...

~ Nola could switch over the morning load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.

~ Roman could help Nola and Soren with their piano practice.

~ Nola could make Elsa's bed for her and help her brush her hair and teeth.

etc...

These are all habits I'm accustomed to doing, but I've been wondering lately if I need to do a better job delegating, so that more can get done!

Well, if there's ever a time to experiment with that, IT'S NOW! Homeschool takes a big chunk out of the day, and I'm not willing to cheapen our meals and homelife because of it. 

I would LOVE to still do hair and makeup every morning, make nutritious meals, and keep our home clean and tidy...

(Any of you veteran homeschool mamas out there willing to give me advice on this? Haha... Leave me a comment!!!)


Once we're up and running with school and in the groove, I'll write a post about our schedule.

I'm just still in the planning and waiting phase now...

Yesterday I set up a bookshelf in the family room and stocked it with supplies...


Last year we did school in the dining room, but this year I'd like to try it in the family room.

What do you think?

Where do you do school?

Do you have a school room? A school corner? Or do you do it at the kitchen table?...

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have any of you tried it in the family room? Did you like it? 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

My brain could go and go...

But for now I'll just try to enjoy the last few quiet, unhurried days of summer...


and finish getting ready for school.

:)

xo,

~ Courtney ~











Friday, August 25, 2017

Our Week Of Adventure

Have you ever noticed how nobody ever says, 

'World Sweet World', 

or 'Job Sweet Job', 

or 'School Sweet School'...

No.

Everyone knows it's 

'Home Sweet Home!'

And for good reason!

"... At home we are totally in charge! We can turn on or off the music any time we want. The curtains can be lace, or linen, or shades, or blinds ~ or none at all. And if we want something and it's too expensive, we can figure out how to make it, or save for it. TV can be on all day, or never... We can feed the birds or we don't have to. And no one cares because it is our own world and no one else's."
~ Susan Branch

Yes! This is how I feel about my home.

It is my own little world where I can do what I please, and I almost never wish to leave.


Sometimes though, I have no choice and I must leave.

This happened recently.

Micah called a family meeting and announced that we would be leaving for a week to travel south. He wanted to watch the eclipse, visit family, and give the kids a summer vacation.

So he planned a summer road trip for us and rented an RV.

Of course my initial reaction was not very pleasant. My first instinct was to feel sorry for myself with thoughts like, This does not sound fun at all! I do not wish to go! I can't be out of the house for a whole week! He knows that!!! What about laundry?! What about my plants?! What about back to school prep?! And on and on these thoughts went...

Until finally I came to a conclusion.

I realized that there are more people in this family besides just me. My happiness is not the only thing that matters, and there are others to consider. I resolved that I would go on this trip with as good an attitude as I could muster! This would be something that Micah and the kids would enjoy, so I would find contentment in that!

I began to embrace the idea, and do my best to get us ready to go!

I gathered together the items I thought we'd need...


Threw the kids' clothes in a bin...


And away we went...


I learned very quickly that RV living is NOT for me! But as I told a girlfriend the other day, I am more than happy to go through a rough week to give my kids a memorable experience!

(The RV had NO hot water!!! And the generator kept quitting on us!!!!!)


They loved it, though!!!

And it was good for them because they have so far lived a rather sheltered life, and our week on the road gave them many unique experiences...


For example... We camped at a place where we met an earthy, European family. When my children asked why the dad had long hair, and the daughter was running around shirtless, I explained to them that there are all different kinds of people in this world. God made and died for everyone, even the ones who are not like us!


We attended a church that was nothing like the church we're used to at home. It felt like we were at a rock concert! When my children asked why this church was so huge and so loud, I explained to them that God's people are everywhere and worship Him in all different ways!


But probably the most unique experience was to watch the eclipse in the path of totality...


We had two full minutes of complete totality. The sky grew dark... The temperature dropped... And the people all around us clapped and cheered!

It was a memorable experience for us all!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One of the days on our trip was spent in downtown St. Louis.


My children have been raised in the country- on trees, trails and meadows... So, spending the day in a big city was a great opportunity for many important life lessons!



We took them to the Arch...


And made our way up to the very top!




Once we came down we decided to walk to the City Museum. 


My children are quite used to walking because of our daily nature walks on our trails. But this walk would be twenty city blocks!


The kids did great! And as I mentioned above, there were many teaching moments.

They learned how to cross streets in a big city, how to read the signs and what they mean, how to figure out the way to 17th street from the corner of Washington and 4th, etc...

At one point one of them said, "Why are we walking for so long?" And I explained that it's a lovely thing to be in the heart of a city- absorbing the atmosphere, gazing at all the interesting sights, and taking in the energy!

The city is exhilarating!...


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

While on the road, we drove to Kentucky. Micah has some family there, and together we visited the Ark Encounter...


The exhibits were fascinating! And the whole experience really boosted my faith!

One exhibit is of Satan saying, "If I can convince you that the Ark wasn't real, then I can convince you that heaven and hell aren't real."

And it reminded me of 1 Peter 1:14-15 which says, "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do." 

Unsaved people are the ignorant ones.

SO... don't ever let unbelievers put you down for your faith and make you feel silly for believing the bible!

"Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him."
-Proverbs 30:5


There were some challenging moments on this trip, but also some sweet ones...



My hope is that the memories made will last a lifetime...




When our week of adventure had ended, we headed back.

I was ready for 

~ Home Sweet Home ~

I couldn't wait for this sight to greet me...


Ahhh... Home!

When we arrived home, we discovered that my mother had stopped by the house to drop off some groceries, feed the pets, bring in the mail, and leave 'I missed you' notes on the children's beds. THEN! I got a text from a friend saying she was bringing us our dinner for the next night!

She said, "I know what it's like to get home from a long trip and be overwhelmed and exhausted..."

I don't know what I ever did to deserve such wonderful people in my life!


They take care of me!!!

And even though I've had mounds of laundry and lots to do, I've made sure to get out into the yard for my usual puttering around and flower clipping.

Arranging clippings in a vase stabilizes and reassures me, and helps get the house back to normal...

(The cranberries are here! Fall must be close by!)



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well friends, there's so much more I could share, but I'll end it here for today.

I plan to have a quick recover but then I must get to work preparing for the school year to start!

I have a lot of ideas and much to do to make it all happen, but I'll be sure to take the time to share it with you!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, and for all the comments, 'likes', and support you have lavished on me throughout my blogging journey!

It means so much to me!!!


xo,

~ Courtney ~






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Being Bored At Home

Hello again, friends!

It's always wonderful to sit down at my computer to chat with you!

I spend my days flying around like a headless chicken!... Mopping floors, doing laundry, and driving kids to and from the park, the pool, and other activities. So, when nap time arrives, or the kids have finally been tucked in their beds for the night, it feels luxurious to me to be able to sit and rest and type out what's been on my mind!


Lately I've been thinking about the topic of being bored at home.

This comes up from time to time in 'Mom World', from both parties - The stay-at-home moms, AND the working moms. So today I would like to address it.

I have personally heard women who are new to the stay-at-home life complain of boredom...

Maybe they were raised by working mothers so they don't know what to do. And they don't know what homelife should look like, since they weren't given an example growing up.

Or maybe they just left their careers to stay home and they are bored because they are transitioning to life at home and just trying to adjust.

As for the working moms, I've heard it from them, too. They will say things like, "I don't know how you stay home and keep your sanity. I've got to work or else I'd be So bored!"

Or they will say to me, "You better keep your cosmetology license renewed through the years so that when your children are grown you can go back to work and have something to do."

And on and on it goes...

Well, first of all I'd like to say this ~ The Lord has given us His Word to address all topics of life. From the bible we can learn exactly what God wants from His people. His Word and His ways are perfect for us.

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

If you have chosen to be home, or would like to leave your career to be home, please! please! please! don't listen to women who tell you it will be boring!

God's Word says that we younger women ought to be, "... Self-controlled, pure, busy at home, kind, and subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God." Titus 2:5 (Emphasis mine.)

So you see, it is not God's plan for us to be bored at home!


When I was pregnant with Elsa, I began writing letters to her in a journal. I know I've mentioned it on this blog before. It's an eclectic assortment of family history, stories, and motherly advice. I plan to give it to her when she's an adult.

When preparing for this blog post, I remembered an entry I had made in the journal about this very topic. 

I'd like to record it here, for you to read...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Elsa,

I live in the day of homemakers being looked down upon. People think we're chained to our ovens, living dreadfully boring lives. The common question- with a smirk- is always, "What do you do all day?" 

Today is Thursday, November 5, 2015. It is 7:00 at night. This is what I did today...

- Made my bed, got dressed, did hair and makeup.
- Cooked a hot breakfast, and made a spinach smoothie for myself and my children for breakfast.
- Changed diapers on the little kids and got them dressed.
- Tended to 'Max' (our special needs kitty who's healing from surgery) cleaned out his box, gave him breakfast and love.
- Swept the staircase and foyer.
- Watered the plants.
- Monitored the big kids during their 'Morning Routine' and chores.
- Drove kids to piano lessons.
- Made fish for lunch, with fresh salad and tomato on the side.
- Put a meatloaf in the crockpot and prepped the potatoes for supper.
- Worked with Roman on his school worksheets.
- Administered one spanking, two rebukes, and broke up about six or seven sibling fights.
- Three loads of laundry, to completion, folded and put away.
- Two dishwasher loads. Clean dishes were put away after each load.
- Received a visit from Grandma.

She stayed with the kids and I...

- Took Nola to dance class.
- Stopped by Target for some Christmas shopping.
- Purchased Roman's birthday present and card.
- Got gas.

- Set the table for supper.
- Had a nice family meal.
- Gave you a bath.

This is a brief summary of what today looked like. My day is still not over, but it is winding down. I usually go to bed around 11:00pm and set my alarm to get up in the mornings at 6:45. 

There is no opportunity for boredom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


Yes, friends, it is important to stay busy at home.

You may be reading this and thinking, "Yeah, she only feels that way because she's a homeschool mom. My kids are in school full-time."

Well, I have given some thought over the past couple of years as to what my days would look like if my children went to school... And I still don't think I'd be bored. 

If my children were in school full-time I think I would...

- Hone my cooking skills.
(I would love to become a better cook!)
- Plant a vegetable garden.
- Do a lot more with my flower beds.
- Work on keeping my home far more clean and tidy than what I am able to right now.
- Reach out to neighbors.
- Minister to and encourage young, new moms.
- Plan and host dinner parties more often.

etc, etc...


Recently I was reading in 1 Timothy, and was encouraged to read about how God wants women to spend their days...

(You have to know a little background though, first, in order for it to make sense....)

 Advice was being given to the church about how to care for widows. For a woman to be put on the list of widows that the church was to care for, she had to meet several requirements...

She should be, "Well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble, and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds." 1 Timothy 5:10

Sounds like a busy life at home, to me!

When I read this the other day I realized that my time for doing these things is NOW! And I began to feel convicted.

"Would I qualify for such a list at the end of my life?" I wondered... "I don't think I'm good enough... I don't think I'd make the cut..."

Suddenly I felt inadequate.

I prayed the Lord would help me do well in these things, then went on with my life...

Well, today I brought Elsa in from playing outside and washed her hands in the bathroom sink, then I stuck her feet in the sink to wash them, too. This is a dull 'mom duty' that I've been doing methodically for years. Never thought it mattered in the big picture of life.

But today when I was washing her feet in the sink I heard the Lord speak to my heart, saying, "You are washing feet. See? You ARE doing these things."

And I was encouraged!


What about you, friends? Are you home full-time and bored? 

(I know this exists because women have told me!)

Just roll up your sleeves and get to work!

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."
Proverbs 31:17

Work hard at home training your children and keeping your home clean and tidy, and not only will you not be bored, you will be doing kingdom work!

We can do it, friends!

"She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."
 Proverbs 31:27

And at the end of our lives we'll be glad we did!

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."
Proverbs 31:28


xo,

~ Courtney ~