Category Archives: Mommyhood

Loving this mommyhood journey

I De-Clare …. HOPE!

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I was playing the card game War with my two sons. The boys were about to square off over a pair of Jacks. They laid down their three primer cards and got ready to lower the boom. In a somewhat synchronized fashion (after all, no one wants to go “first”) they said, “I De-Clare ….” And as my oldest son shouted “War!” his younger brother said “Hope!” Guess what? My youngest son won. In fact, he did that the entire game. And won. Every. Single. Time. He declared hope and won.

I have taken an extensive break from blogging, introspective writing, and for a while there, a break from living life. I mean, really living. Loss and trauma left me an empty shell, devoid of the desire to think … to feel … to laugh … and to really live.

But something happened. Time passed – and while not a cure, it allowed for healing, and for growth. It allowed for rebuilding, both inside and out. I got stronger. I got wiser. I got better. And then I made the decision – I want to REALLY live.

And that’s when I declared HOPE. I have hope for a future filled with possibilities. I have hope that even if I don’t always feel like laughing or smiling, the sun will shine and things will get better. I have hope that I can accomplish all God has placed in my heart to do, even if it’s only one step at a time. And I have hope in a God Who loves me; Jesus, Who guides me, and family and friends who embrace me.

It’s time to focus and get back on my mission. Powerful lesson from an 8-year-old.

I De-Clare HOPE!

Don’t Take It At Face Value

Standardized test May 2016

It’s standardized testing season. And I have a perfectionist child. He wants to get everything right – the first time – without exception.

He finishes his practice test and discovers after checking his work, that he got several answers wrong relating to interdependence, cooperation, and wants vs needs. Initially, he was crushed, and came to me about it. Instead of immediately agreeing with his answers being incorrect according to the answer guide, I asked him to explain the answers he selected. I was taken aback. And thrilled. He’s an outside-the-box thinker. He doesn’t just accept the answer at face value. He thinks, reasons and examines.  And I don’t want to change that about him for anything in the world.

I love my little homeschool family. I love my creative thinkers. I’m ecstatic that he understands the answer that may be desired on the test and why, but can still defend his thoughts. It’s an amazing feeling to see his young mind at work.

He doesn’t just accept an answer at face value. Indeed, I’m raising individuals. And I love it.

The Together Shirt …. Raising Up Parents

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My boys would not stop arguing this morning. I’d had enough. They are normally very sweet, considerate and get along well. But alas, it was one of those mornings. Out of patience, I decided to get creative with a solution. I stuck them together … literally … by wearing a huge Together Shirt.

They balked at first. Even cried, lol. Ah, I have a winner here. I grabbed one of my big shirts, squished the boys in, and voila, Together Shirt. I went back to work, pleased with myself.

A funny thing happened. They came up to me ten minutes later, asking if they could wear the shirt all day! It was fun, they said. They were reading, doing activities, and were pretending to be one big monster!  No fussing on my part, no yelling, no additional punishments – just teaching a valuable lesson to learn to work together.

How is this raising up parents? I read an article today about the rise in Kindergarten suspensions – Kindergarteners!!! For throwing chairs, bullying other kids, drugs, even lewd conduct. Sad. Disheartening. Also angering. And preventable.

Parents – where are you? What are you doing? Raising children is not a pastime or hobby. You don’t do it when you feel like it. You don’t get to decide when to pay attention and when to ignore. It involves time, effort, diligence, energy and patience! It also involves love, caring, sacrifice, and as you can see by my example, a little creativity. What is your “together shirt”? How do you reach your children? No answer? Then that is your answer. Get busy doing it. Now. Don’t know what to do? Get help from books, resources. Put in the time and effort.

In raising up your little ones,  you’ll find yourself growing, too.

Can I Do It? Yes, I Can

I Can Do It February 2016
Doing things on his own. Becoming more independent. Continuing to capture my heart. These are the things I looked forward to as my little guy turned five.
Figuring out what to do for his Kindergarten/First Grade curriculums … eh, not so much.
See, when I decided to homeschool my oldest son last year, I felt like he came primed and ready to go – after two years of private school, he had an awesome foundation. So I had full confidence that I could take him further, and help him soar. But my little guy has never been to a formal school, and all his education has come from … me. I started doubting myself. Would I be enough? Would I ensure he had the strong foundation he needed? Would I leave gaps? Would I make enough of the right choices for his curriculum and learning to help him achieve. In short, could I do it?
Then, our free online curriculum said it was time to teach him to add. And he did it. Joyously. Not just that, math is now his favorite thing. He wants to add again and again and again. And he’s reading. I mean, like, real words! My eyes welled up with tears. Not just because he can do the schoolwork, not just because he’s advancing, but because I gained confidence in my ability to teach him. God has blessed me with this incredible responsibility. And with His help and His grace, I can do all things. So can I do this? Yes, I can.

Champion Kids Nuggets – Train them Up

 

Train up a Child February

The Bible talks about the importance of parents training kids up according to the Word of God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” I love the admonition of putting the Word of God into our children, so that it takes root in their hearts, and remains to guide their lives. However, I believe that this verse is talking about more than just teaching our kids scripture. I believe it is speaking of training them up in every facet of life.

We need to be training them up to be business-minded entrepreneurs. We ought to be training up our children to have a strong work ethic, not an entitlement “gimme what’s mine” attitude. We should be training up compassionate, giving children; children that care about the world around them and are willing to work to make a positive difference. We must train children who are goal-oriented and focused; children who understand the importance of education not merely for the sake of good grades and memorization, but for the sake of knowledge because knowledge is power.

Take the time to train up your children in the way they should go.

Someday

Loved this so much I had to share . . .

 

what I tell myself on those really really really long tiring motherhood days….

Someday my house will stay clean.

Someday the dishes will be done and cereal not spilled on the floor.

Someday the juice box straw wrappers won’t be stuck to the counter.

Someday there won’t be swings to push.

Continue to read at: “Someday” – Finding Joy

Why I Homeschool . . .

Homeschooling December 2015

When I started this journey over a year ago, it was daunting, to say the least.  I really wasn’t sure I could do it.  I mean, the thought of the responsibility for all that my children would learn, being in my hands, overwhelmed me.  Good teachers, teachers who care and love and have a passion for helping children, are amazing and deserve our respect and accolades!  I hardly thought I could measure up.

Then a funny thing happened.  I realized I didn’t have to measure up.  It’s not a competition.  Instead of trying to teach in a certain way or be like that amazing teacher, I had to put my trust in God to navigate this journey.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do my research, lesson plans, preparations, field trips, grading papers, science experiments (I’m getting tired just reading that J).  Rather, it means if God has trusted me with this noble calling, then He will equip me to do it.

So in spite of myself, my limitations, my shortcomings, I homeschool.  I homeschool because I am putting more than academics into my boys.  We are studying Godly character.  We have a lot of life lessons – we study how to prioritize time, how to make decisions on what is most important and why.  When we’re all tired and no one can focus, we can take a break and go play outside, or head out the door to a field trip.  We play together, talk together, have lunch together, think together and dream together.  We study what intrigues them, and have time to research fun activities. We take vacations when the beaches are empty, and do science experiments at night. We stay at the free university called the library for hours, or make grocery shopping a time of math and critical thinking – why should we get milk instead of chips? We have afternoon cuddles and wonderful story times of reading. It is an amazing adventure.

It’s not easy.  It’s not convenient. But I love it, and I’m so thankful for homeschool.

Let’s Hear It For My Boy

Hear it for my boy

My son is not the biggest kid on the team.

He’s not the strongest.  He’s not the best hitter.

My son isn’t the fastest.  He doesn’t strike them out from the pitcher’s mound yet.

But … my son is resilient.  My son has a strong work ethic.

My son is a fast learner.  My son is attentive.  My son is supportive.

My son is persevering.  My son has a great team attitude.

Tonight, my son stole the most bases.

Tonight, my son scored a home run.

Tonight, my son won the game ball.

#Proud.

Let’s hear it for my boy!

Freeze A Feeling

Freeze a Feeling

I wish I could freeze the feeling of …

A 4 year old hugging me around the neck
How I feel when my son says “yes ma’am” and shows respect.
My joy at hearing my children laugh,
The relaxation of a soothing warm bath.
A tender touch, my husband’s kiss
A first day of school I dare not miss.
Just a few family moments on my mind tonight … feelings I wish I could freeze and feel forever.

Busy. Happy. Healthy.

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I promised myself. This time would be different. Workout gear. Check. Water bottle. Check. Walking shoes. Check. I’m ready to get at it. And I begin, daily. For a few weeks, even months, things go great. But then something happens. It could be the kids, work, hubby, I get sick, you name it – there’s always something. And I let it throw me off course. It could be a week. It could be a month. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to require too much time and effort to correct. I’ve got too much going on to deal with it. However, instead of repeating the cycle, this time I’ve chosen to make decisions enabling me to be healthy the smart way. The right way.

– See more at: Gospel Today – Busy. Happy. Healthy