Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I had put off reading the book, because it required more time from me, having 95 pages. The WeE-book I read a few weeks back was so short!
My first glance made me think, "Why am I reading a book about homework? My kids aren't old enough for homework."
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Homework: Juggling Home, Work and School Without Losing Your Balance wasn't about assigned homework! It had nothing to do with giving children homework! This book has the potential to create homework for me instead!
This e-book is the motivational equivalent of the Biggest Loser television show. I was encouraged to learn that there are other crazy busy moms like me! My slow venture into being a WAHM (work at home mom) is a daily and necessary reality that God has provided for many homeschooling families.
The pages of Homework: Juggling Home, Work and School Without Losing Your Balance are quickly devoured as each female author shares her journey into starting a business from home. These godly women offer tips, tricks, and resources while maintaining honesty in their struggle to balance their walk with the Lord, homeschooling, and family life.
If you are looking to begin a business from home, need extra income, and/or desire to be inspired, refreshed and encouraged, then this is the book for you. Bonus websites have been meticulously complied for the reader to further educate themselves on operating a home based business. Cut your legwork in half and order this book from The Old Schoolhouse.
It seems that the worst in me emerges when we are going to do churchy things. In a more recent episode of Granola Mom sinning, Mr. Smackdown wanted to wear his Crocs. However, you can't wear Crocs to AWANA; you would think that he would have known this with only one more AWANA night left in the year. Rules are rules, and this one is for their safety. But that is not what this emerging opinionated 4 year old wanted. He didn't want to wear sturdy shoes. Because there aren't second chances to not get hit by a car, I expected the little guy to put his shoes on immediately. The saying at our house is that you have to obey in the little things to obey in the big things.
We were late. Let's go. He loves AWANA and being with his Aunt Cole! Nope. He sat on the cooler in the garage, playing footsie with the appropriate AWANA shoes.
"OK. You're not going" I hear myself say in a highly frustrated tone.
Along comes Grandma, the dear woman. She grabs the disobedient boy, whispers in his ear some diplomatic words encouraging him to hold it together and ask Mommy for a second chance.
What? You're crazy. No way.
Hope glimmered in my little one's eyes. With trembling lips and deep desire that sounds so precious, even when you are mad, from your child, "May I please go to AWANA, Mommy?"
I want to say, "No. You disobeyed. End of story." (Imagine if God did this to us every time we messed up!) I did not want to respond with kindness. But I hissed in a mature voice, "Yes you may go but you better not complain at dinner or the deal is off."
We went to our separate cars, as we were to caravan to church. Grandma rolled down the window and I hear this angelic voice say, "Thank you, Mommy." Prompted or not, it still softened my heart a little bit. So I say, in an attempt to lighten the moment and move on, "You're welcome, but I am going to beat you to church!" (He always wants to be the lead car.) Fear spread across his flushed face.
This car ride became a real game to me. I wanted to be first. I wanted to win. I wanted to pull into the parking lot first. I am the mom. I am the adult. I want things my way. I want control. But I found myself swallowing some fat pride and I allowed Grandma to go first, even though I pulled out of the driveway FIRST. When she took a short cut, the adrenaline still surged through me even though I knew that no matter what I would allow them to "win" and park their car first.
About 1/2 way there, I was figuratively struck by lightening. Actually, it was God being pretty gentle with me, His little girl. I want to follow the letter of the law. Don't step out of line. I will catch you. Forget grace, I want justice. I want fairness. But if life were fair, none of us would have grace. If life were fair, everyone would have my husband. None of us would have been introduced to Jesus. It doesn't seem fair that on the cross, Jesus forgave the man dying next to Him and would later be in paradise. It doesn't seem fair that someone in prison can be forgiven of multiple horrible crimes in the same way that Billy Graham or Sister Theresa or even me is forgiven. But that is what is so amazing about God. God is always ready to give us a chance. He is ready to allow us to take a turn in the right direction.
So I think for the first time, I really experienced giving grace when offended and knowing the grace that He gives me. In some respects, Grandma acted like Jesus when she interceded on Mr. Smackdown's behalf before angry mommy playing impersonal god. And she was able to save him from the punishment I wanted him to have. Grr . . .
But it isn't fair, as I pounded my hands on the steering wheel! Do you know how many times he doesn't do what I ask?
But I had to have this somewhat everyday riff to understand something larger than me.
I don't deserve salvation in light of my amazing holy God who madly loves me, yet Jesus stepped in and gave it to me.
Praise God I am not God. Every day God extends grace to me and He knows I need it. Yea, I don't always understand His ways. But I do know that if there was any different way, I think He would have done it.
So the next time you put your kid's Crocs on, remember grace.
Ephesians 2: 7-9
so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His
grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not
as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2 Corinthians 12:9
And He [Jesus] has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for
power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast
about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Monday, April 27, 2009
You see, when I attend my book club, it makes me feel sophisticated, smart and interesting. I imagine that I no longer have poop under my fingernails, avocado in my hair, or a stained shirt on. However, it is hard to evoke philosophical thoughts while eating something called a casserole. It just lacks a suave sound. I am even more bummed to discover that the synonyms to casserole are even more droll: covered dish, goulash, and hash, to name a few.
One interesting synonym popped up: pottage. After researching this word, I remain disappointed. Pottage is a thick soup of vegetables and often meat.
How about egg guiso (Spanish word for casserole--but I don't know Spanish. Egg should probably be behind the guiso)?
12 eggs scrambledsalt & pepper to taste (I typically use RealSalt Seasoning instead)
2 cups milkMix the above ingredients together.Cut 8 pieces of bread into cubesShred a lot of cheese and 1/2 package of turkey baconCreate two layers of bread, cheese, and turkey bacon. Pour
the egg/milk mix over your rainbow of ingredients. Let the raw Egg Wonder sit overnight.Bake at 350 for 1 hour, uncovered.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
This day marked the end of nap times in this four year old's life. And the end of "me time" for this mom. The future farmer was very excited about the demise of his baby-days and his entry into afternoon life.
Today, I went out to see what the Future Farmer's garden looked like. We haven't been watering it, due to the copious rain we have received. However, I think Mr. Smackdown might have a green thumb, with the help of God, of course.
Now, my garden remains a bit neglected. The Winter Wheat is loving its freedom and the garlic appears to enjoy the soil, judging from how large and full the stalks are.
And yes, we changed the fence around the garden. Now that we have a subdivision behind our house, the deer have disappeared and found a more quiet place to munch. It is so much nicer just to hop over the garden, instead of undoing the fences.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Though you are far may you feel near. Please use Grover's voice to say that!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Well, Jesus happened and Chemistry didn't that freshman year of college. I left school jaded by a large school setting and looked forward to a bright future in accounting at a small college deeper in the Bible Belt.
Tot School is nothing more than intentionally providing your tot with
age appropriate activities that are fun and engaging. By choosing specific
toys and activities, we expose our tots to a variety of early learning
skills. Mastery is not the goal, FUN is!
Mr. Easy is very intent on using his pencil correctly.
Big Brother, Mr. Smackdown, enjoys getting to use markers for Tot Time.
Mr. Easy separated "squishy" and "hard" items.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
But I didn't get to keep them. In fact, I dropped the basket off at her house yesterday. She is giving them to you. I guess she likes you better. At least I still have my Vanilla Lavender Shea Souffle and a bottle of Mink Oil.
I am hereby announcing my 3rd giveaway, even though Wendy took my favorite Honey Almond Shea Souffle (perfect for baby bottoms, dry skin, chapped lips, cuts, and eczema) and Love Spoken Creamy Shea Lotion away from me. Not to mention that the Nature's Providence massage oil is relaxing and not overpowering. Anyway, I though that it was kind of rude for her to need her basket back--as if she has a business!
You would probably like me to shut up and talk about the Giveaway. Nope. One more story.
I once gave Wendy a gift that she probably wished I had never given. You see, our friendship began with cloth diapers. I gave her the worst gift to start her child's cloth diapering career. I made Wendy some RED cloth wipes. Did I mention they were red? Guess what color her new white diapers became? Pink. They had a boy.
Here is what Wendy has to say about herself and Nature's Providence:
Let's see.. about me.. well the easy part is why I love NP. I love how natural and good for my skin it is- -that no matter how often I wash my hands they don't get dried out, how incredibly clean my face feels after washing it, and how healthy and soft my hair feels. I love the scents and essential oils. And of course the soy candles- I've always loved strongly scented candles! I especially love that Nature's Providence is local, handcrafted, and made and sold by women who truly love Jesus. Which brings us to the part about me, a woman who truly loves Jesus, and my husband and two precious kiddos. My prayer is that I love and serve my husband and children in a way that is worship to God.
Please check out Wendy's Nature's Providence Facebook site.
OK . . . so do you want to know what you are playing for? (Can you tell that I am a Survivor fan?)
You will get these three great products FREE, yes FREE . . . even if it needs to be shipped to you somewhere within the United States! And you get to choose your scent! Let me tell you that you are in for a good smelling, good feeling treat! Let me recap:
How do you enter to win this GIVEAWAY?
1. You must be a follower of my blog. If you aren't, become one. I won't stalk you.
2. Go to Wendy's Facebook site or Nature's Providence and let me know what scents you would like in the soap, shea souffle, and scrub. Leave me a comment. (1 point)
Extra Points (entries). You may do them all or the ones that are easy for you.
3. Become a fan on Wendy's Facebook page. Leave a comment and let me know that you did this.(1 point)
4. Send Wendy a Wish List message via Facebook or email@example.com with the following information: (3 points)
1) which products you'd like to receive as gifts
2) names and emails of husband, kids, and any potential gift givers
3) your birthday
5. Tell me something new (via a comment) that you learned from The Nature's Providence website. There is some GREAT educational information about Shea Butter, handcrafted soap, and soy candles. (1 point for each new factoid that you learned. Post each one as a new comment.)
8. Give a testimony of your experience with Nature's Providence products. (1 point)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thank you for your post yesterday, Self. You knew I would need it today. Thanks, Self.
Yes, it has been one of those days.
Because of yesterday's post, I woke up this morning feeling prepared to embrace the day with joy. I was going to greet Mr. Smackdown and Mr. Easy in their room instead of them pulling me out of a deep slumber with the words, "I'm hungry, Mommy." I envisioned a dreamy day of everyone saying "please" and "thank you." Sharing would abound and hugs would be too numerous to count. We wouldn't need music on because laughter would fill our home as a pleasant choir.
Let's just say, it didn't happen that way.
So I am experiencing "avoiditus." I suppose that the appropriate word to use would be procrastination. However, I figured if Dr. Seuss can make up words, then I can make up a word once in my life. Avoiditus typically translates to me blogging. Avoiditus is another way of having "me time," which as you will recall from yesterday is a myth. The reality is that after I am done blogging, nothing will be done. All the toys will still be strewn across the floor. Two boys are sleeping, but one will be awake in an hour. Another little boy will be done with his rest time and ready for all of my attention. I will come out of my blog zone, feeling frustrated at my lack of physical accomplishment, though my Internet accomplishment I am sure will astound many. Blah, blah, blah.
I will say that yesterday's post has helped me to be less lazy today and to truly enjoy serving my little charges; even attempting to disciple them as God's precious creations instead of discipline them in anger as little intrusions.
Though I have longed for some quiet and alone time today, I haven't entered into my present time with a locked, windowless door. If there are interruptions, so be it. My time is not my own.
Scripture that has really encouraged me today comes from Ruth. What a neat little book! There is sooooooooooooooo much detail.
Ruth 2: 12, "May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the
Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."
Thought #2: What if Hotty Husband blogged?
I'm rather curious at the thought and it makes me giggle. Perhaps it would be a blog describing the idiosyncrasies of his silly, beloved wife. Or maybe he would write mini-sermons. Perhaps he would include elaborate engineering drawings. Or better yet, I think he would make it a blog about backpacking adventures and how to become an experienced backpacker. Yes, that is what it would be.
Thought #4: My hands smell like I have been camping. But I haven't. It must be the hot dogs we had for lunch. Gross. So does that mean we always have hotdogs when we go camping?
Thought #5: I forget.
Thought #6: Do you notice one small, tiny change in my blog? Send me a comment if you know!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I never thought that I would like spicy food.
I never thought that I would remotely enjoy sauerkraut.
I never thought that I would have three of those biological children . . . without drugs.
I never imagined that I would love my husband more today than 16+ years ago.
Friday, April 10, 2009
For those of you who didn't win, I am giving you a really yummy soup recipe to warm you up on this cool and rainy spring day! Thanks for entering! Stay tuned for more giveaways!
Monday, April 6, 2009
We walked out of Half Price Books with about $8.00.
It was hard to not take this as a slap in the face. We would have to share a meal that night. Certainly, no movie or popcorn for us. I felt defeated and rejected. Those books represented several hundred dollars and hours of reading. There had to be a better way to get a return on my collection of words.
Two years later, I found the answer. I was having lunch with Laurel, the classy lady who is hosting my most recent giveaway. We were discussing good parenting books and Bible studies. She mentioned that she would put my recently read books on her wish list through PaperBackSwap.
Tell me more!
Do you have a lot of books lying around the house? The reality is that if you take them to Half Price Books you will probably get $8 for them and if you go to Goodwill . . . . well, nothing but a tiny tax deduction, if you are lucky.
The solution? PaperBackSwap! (No, I am not getting money for this post. But I will receive a credit toward a book when you sign up using the ad at the bottom of this post and you list 10 or more books!) I think that this site is a creative tool to get rid of books you no longer use and gain books that you would like to read. Look at some of the great books I have already swapped!
How do you do it? Easy! You will have over 3,000,000 books waiting at your fingertips!
1. Click on the below, colorful PaperBackSwap blue ad.
2. Post all of the books you are willing to swap. Typically, you just enter in the ISBN located on the back of each book.
3. After you post 10 books, you will receive 2 free book credits as a "welcome to the club" gift.
4. Browse for books that you would like to read or give as a gift using the search page.
5. Order the book or put it on your wish list if it isn't currently available.
6. When another member requests a book from your electronic bookshelf, you will receive an email alerting you. (And don't worry--by signing up, you will not be bombarded by emails, unless you post a lot of books!)
7. Accept the request and mail the book using media mail, which is approximately $2.23 for less than one pound. You can print the wrapper and pay for postage directly from your PaperBackSwap account.
8. Mail the book!
One Credit=One Book
PaperBackSwap has blessed our homeschooling bookshelf for significantly less than if I had bought everything new or even at Half Price Books.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I can't be this old!
Friday, April 3, 2009
However, it didn't change the fact that I am a bit of a pessimist. Show me a glass filled half-way, and I will tell you it is half-empty, rather than half-full.