Monday, January 31, 2011

What I Think Is Most Important - Part 2

  1. Praying with them and filling them with Scripture at least once a day.
  2. Getting outside with them for at least 30 minutes - EVERY day.
  3. Reading one book of each child's choosing to them at some point each day (a meager total of 4 picture books / chapters daily).
So, of course I pick the week when temps are in the 20's and we get a nice round of snow to work on spending 30 minutes outside with my kids every day.

And we did alright.

They did much better than I did.

My big hurdle was the weather, of course.  I can think of plenty of enjoyable outdoor activities for myself in spring, summer, and fall; but in the winter I, honestly, just want to cozy in a blanket by the window and watch the snow.

But I got out there (a few times) with them and scavenged for nature in the forms of dried seed pods and animal tracks, made ice art with them, went sledding with some friends, and built a snow fort of sorts.

Fresh air is good, and there is nothing healthier looking than pink, cold-nipped cheeks and noses beneath bright eyesWe're all pleasanter with eachother when we are outside - it's a fact.  The fresh air is good for us physically, emotionally, spiritually. . .  that's why I never argue when they want to stay outside longer.  School, chores. . . even meals can wait.  Next to time spent with God, I think time outside is definitely most important.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I went on a semi-allergen-fast for a couple weeks - nothing hard-core or overly-committed.  I did, in spite of my lax treatment of said "fast", find out a couple things about myself.
  1. Too much wheat flour makes me feel yucky - crampy, heavy, just-plain-ill.
  2. Smoothies make me feel wonderful - light, healthy, energized.
I've begun trying to limit the amount of flour I eat a day.  I aim for only one meal with wheat flour daily (though, at certain times - special occasions, the end of a pay period. . ., I eat much more and just go to bed feeling rough).  On a good day, however, if the kids are having a wheat-friendly meal, I opt for a smoothie using the following recipe. 


1c. Frozen Fruit (at least half of which is frozen blueberries or blackberries)
1/2c. Juice (preferably cran-grape) or 1/2c. Concentrated, Cooled Green Tea with some Honey
1/2c. Water or Yogurt
A couple TBL of finely chopped walnuts

Plop it all in the blender and blend till. . . smooth.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I Think Is Most Important - Part 1

In my quest to figure out how to get our homeschooling on the right track for our family, I sat down and thought about what, to me, are the three most important things I can be doing with my kids each and every day.  I came up with:
  1. Praying with them and filling them with Scripture at least once a day.
  2. Getting outside with them for at least 30 minutes - EVERY day.
  3. Reading one book of each child's choosing to them at some point each day (a meager total of 4 picture books / chapters daily).
I feel if I can get just these small, simple bases covered I can feel I've done something of worth, right?

So, this week I began making a more consistent habit of the first - Praying with them and filling them with Scripture at least once a day.  And there were actually some days when I got this done more than once.  The key was finding the simplest method possible for me.  I'm taking very short exerpts of Phyllis Tickle's Divine Hours readings and praying / reading them with the kids at each meal.  That's it - The Lord's Prayer, a small Scripture reading, and couple one-line prayers at each meal.  Conversation just takes off from there, and I quickly find myself answering questions about God and faith, praying for small needs and concerns, and just talking with the kids.

The challenge in this is not so much the forming of a new habit as it's the breaking of the old, bad habit - eating our meals in front of the TV.  Yes, I'm confessing to letting my kids watch TV - way - too - much.  But we are putting off this bad habit to take on the new - prayer and Bible reading.  And it's been great.  I have to say that it has helped set a more contented and peaceful tone in our home. 

One old habit on it's way out the door; one new habit getting nicely settled into our home.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"This life therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.  We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on.  This is not the end but it is the road; all does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified." ~Martin Luther

Monday, January 17, 2011

When Something Just Feels "Off"

We're technically half-way through the school year, and things just seem off.  We tried a homeschool co-op which was wonderful, but it just required more from me than I can give at this stage of motherhood; so we dropped that.  We've been sick most of the past few months which has put a bit of a damper on every single one of my homeschool plans.  I've entered January questioning everything.  What the ideal looks like in my brain is not matching up what reality is looking like in my home.  It's disappointing, in a way.  But, it is also a challenge to re-evaluate.

So, I find myself looking over parenting and homeschool ideas here - and I'm convicted and encouraged all at the same time.

And, I find myself pulling out "Big Three's" - the three things I feel I must accomplish each day, if I don't do anything else; the three things that are most important to my husband; the three things that I feel are my biggest strengths; and, the three things that are my biggest weaknesses.

And I will slowly come to find exactly what it is that our little homeschool needs.

The upheaval of the past few months will prove the refining fire of our schooling, burning off the expectations of others - the plans and methods and ideals of people I, oftentimes, don't even know - leaving behind myself and my family and what works for us.