Tuesday, July 19, 2016

carried goals, an update + meal plans this week

I have been amazed at how quickly the days are flying by this summer. We got our schedule for Classical Conversations, and our orientations start in about two weeks!! At Rob's request we are taking the rest of the month off until school starts for Elijah on Aug. 17. (The kids are so happy about this! He's a nice dad.)

Now that the temps are so high here I've had to turn up the A/C to enjoy my afternoon cup of joe. ;) I started teaching a early morning bootcamp (5:15 a.m.) so I've been getting up at 4:30 a.m. and on those two afternoons coffee becomes my best friend. :D Even with the early hour, I love, love, love teaching bootcamp style and getting done with my workout before Rob has to work.

My other friend/workout companion is the NOW brand of iron supplement- it's very easy on your stomach:

Now that we're done potty training (!!), I feel like we got something big accomplished this summer! :) It went so well- about day 4 we were ready to give up, but we kept pressing on and he had it by day 7! I think you must have been praying for me. :D

I spent much more time potty training last week so I didn't get nearly as much done otherwise. Rob's been working on a project, and then we've been doing more people-things so these household tasks have been waiting and continue to wait to be done. :) Carrying the same things over feels difficult for my Type A-ish personality, but such is life, right? Big projects require time and patience. :) (I'm reminding myself!!)

// do //
:: household ::
finish one project we are still working on 
add cove molding to wall (Rob)
list one big item for sale online
spray porch ceiling down
wash car
bleach + clean washing machine

:: loving people + kids ::
visit nursing home again (we didn't get to go last week)
take kids to library
have extended family over if possible

:: fitness ::
write 3 new workouts 
teach + exercise 5-6 times
buy more weights

:: marriage ::
pray for Rob
go on a date (or have one at home again!)

:: blog/web/design ::
work on project 1 hour

// read //
daily Bible study
read Ephesians 2x

// learn //
1 Peter 1:1-3 
read + review 2 chapters of CPT cert book with flashcards/ web learning

// be //
I have been wrestling with anxiety and fear (for years now), and I know and praise God that He will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7). He will help me- this is my prayer and thanks! :) This lab was SO encouraging to me today. 


:: breakfasts ::
oatmeal, eggs, cereal, or toast

:: lunches ::
sandwiches, corn dogs, leftovers

:: dinners ::
roast + ramen 
dinner out
beans + rice
eggs + toast

I crossed Monday's dinner off the list because I made that pot roast for maybe the second time in our marriage last night. :D The kids and Rob were all oohing and ahhing, thanks to the Pioneer Woman's recipe and the fact that all Sam's Club had were Angus roasts. :)

Fresh herbs courtesy of my brother's green thumb (a talent which I obviously don't genetically share). :) It was delicious for sure. If the meat didn't cost $4/lb. I might make it every week! :)

What's your favorite pot roast trick? 
Searing it beforehand was new to me but it made it SO good.

Mamas, when do you start back to school? Any ideas to make the most of the last month?

Monday, July 18, 2016

what good week(end)s are made of

Good weeks (and weekends) are made of...




And capes:

I can't imagine happier days of raising kiddos than these. :D

Thursday, July 14, 2016

from intimidated to emboldened

The whole classical education concept is still new to me, so I was more than thrilled when the group we're attending called Classical Conversations hosted a free three-day training (practicum) in our area.

I felt confident and excited about CC and the direction we were going this year... until I walked into that practicum room. As I entered, I realized I didn't recognize a single face from my group (which wasn't terribly odd since I was new). I finally settled down at a table near the front and then glanced around to find lots of other moms grouped together.

I took a closer look to discover that most of these mamas around me had giant rolling coolers. And three-ring binders with dividers. And some had full-size scissors neatly tucked into their binder pockets. They had scissors (!), packed lunches, and cute pens, and I barely threw in a spiral notebook and made it on time. And I didn't even have to bring my kids! I felt the fear welling up in my chest.

Oh no. What am I doing here??

Why did I think I could do this? I'm not a homeschooler. I'm not organized like they are.

Then right on time, our speaker began. Sandy James was her name, and she began with a sentence that silenced the whole room. She told us all there's one thing she needed us to do for her for just the next three days. 

"I need you to believe you are enough."

My eyes instantly filled with tears as she went on. 

"You are more than enough, because God will help you."

She told us with a smile that this homeschooling thing was not our idea- that this was not even the devil's idea for us to homeschool. This was God's idea for us to homeschool.

In Isaiah 54:13, she explained, the promise of God is that "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."

One minute into practicum, and my tears couldn't be contained. 

"Peace- do you know where the word peace comes from here?" Shalom- and the word shalom doesn't mean absence of conflict like we think of peace, but really it's more about completeness- an idea that there is "nothing missing, and nothing broken."

The early years, she told us, are hard to see through, but we need to take the long view, she said. The 18+ year view. In the end, when we are done, nothing will be missing and nothing will be broken because God is teaching our children. He is with us at our homeschooling table, helping us, guiding us, because where two or more gather together in His name, He promises to be there in their midst.

Cue the weeping.

Is there anything, anything in the world that my Father doesn't see and meet at just the right moment?? I'm not sure if I did there or not, but I should have been repenting of my lack of faith in those first minutes! What good thing does He EVER withhold from me??

The whole practicum was three wonderful days of sitting under a sweet, older woman anointed by the Holy Spirit. It was a gift, a precious gift from the Lord Himself. I wish every believing, scared-she's-going-to-mess-this-up homeschooling mama could have experienced it with me. :)

A few more ideas she shared have lingered in my thoughts - they are just small pieces, out of the full context, but maybe they will still be a blessing to your heart like they were to mine. I want to remember them all, for at least the next 20 years:
  • "Always start with the end in mind." 
  • "Vision automatically creates discipline."
  • "If you teach your children HOW to learn, they will be able to learn anything."
  • Homeschooling is an 18-year journey, not checkboxes to be completed.
  • "For a time let us cease altogether to read the living men on their dead topics. Let us read only the dead men on their living topics." G.K. Chesterton
  • "The word the Lord speaks has power. All you have to do is obey. You don't have to know how to do it." (ex: walking on water! stretching out a withered hand: He knows your hand is withered!!!)
  • "Listen to the little things, so they will tell you the big things."
And then there was so much encouragement for when they get bigger from now (12+) through the teenage days I have ahead of me (Lord-willing):
  • "The only way to debate well is to learn the other side of the argument."
  • "Shift from the teller to the asker."
  • "Let's stop using insinuation to manipulate our children into obedience."
  • "At this age, let them push, and don't move, but push back with questions."
  • "Let them be wrong- ask them another question."
  • "The questions will be weird, but you're the steady one- you're the hum."
  • "It's okay if they don't agree with you."
  • Stay up late talking with them- that's one of the best times to hear their heart.
  • "Your job is to nurture your children's soul."
  • "Prepare yourself for how you'll react to your kids when they fail, because they will."
Don't you just love her? I so do. Encouraging isn't even a good enough word to describe Mrs. Sandy James. :) After that first morning, and the way the Lord encouraged my heart through her I didn't even dare think of feeling inadequate again. Because He is the one doing this homeschooling thing. Not me. And He reminded me of just how much He has it in less than 60 seconds. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

surely it will be worth it + goals this week

This week feels so much slower than the last. :D I always like starting a week with a vacation day like the 4th, but I'm going to try to keep the energy going and use all five days to work on my goals. :)

We've been doing light to no school for the last week, so we started potty training last Thursday! As you could imagine the past few days have been consumed with all things toilet-related. :D It's been SO long since we did this- even just going places is way more complicated now. :) Remind me it will be worth it in the end?

Here are my do-read-learn-be goals this week:

// do //

:: household ::
finish one project we are still working on 
add cove molding to wall (Rob)
go grocery shopping
list one big item for sale online

:: fitness ::
write 2 new workouts 
work on bootcamp details + send out more info
teach camp/sub classes
exercise 6 times

:: loving people + kids ::
go to event
have friends over
visit nursing home again
march on with potty training
start planning November party: timeline + send out emails

:: marriage ::
pray for Rob
make him special dinner for a date

:: blog/web/design ::
write 1 email
create package

// read //
daily Bible study
listen to the book of Galatians x 2

// learn //
1 Peter 1:1-3 
review 2 chapters of CPT cert book with flashcards/ web learning

// be //
prayerful- my husband is teaching me this by example so much lately. We were both frustrated for some reason the other day, and he said you know what we need to do? I was all ears waiting for a detailed plan of action and he totally surprised me with "we need to pray right now." ahhh. It breaks down walls and barriers. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom so when we try to figure it out on our own we're completely un-joyful and weak and un-wise!! It's so good to know the Lord, isn't it?

What's on your schedule this week?

Any funny or encouraging or commiserating potty training stories? I'll take anything.
Looking on the bright side: Zane's gone "long" in the potty 1.5 times now! {:x} annnnnd at least he can tell us 5-10 seconds before he goes when we're driving... (!!) Rob also spent 30 minutes in a public restroom yesterday with no results- what a good man, right? :) 

Monday, July 11, 2016

life in just three words

Our life lately, in three words each: :D

1. Projects happening everywhere:


2. First time ever!!

3. Loves some veggies:

4. First Mediterranean-ish meal:

5. Rare solo lunch (!):

6. Early morning classes:

7. Nana brought cupcakes:

8. Weekend dates rock. :)

9. Send in help...

Any weekend words? :D

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