Friday, May 29, 2009
1. Open windows on a cool, early morning. It's such a nice breeze and the birds sing so sweetly before the sun has had a chance to heat up the house.
2. My VitaMix. I know I've told you how much I love this machine for smoothies, but did I mention it also makes hot soup from raw ingredients in 5 minutes, ice cream (also from raw ingredients) in less than 2 minutes, grinds flour, makes mayo in less than 1 minute, and grinds/purees anything for baby food? It even cleans itself! I got this for free, but it is becoming so valuable, I'm thinking I'll have to replace it if it ever goes bad! (No, I do not get a commission from VitaMix...I just seriously love it!)
3. Long weekends. We had productive fun this weekend. Saturday we cleaned up the yard (sore muscles from raking!), Monday we had a cookout and played basketball (sore muscles--again!), and Tuesday we ran errands as a family, took our first Spring Hiking Spree walk and cleaned the basement.
4. A husband that writes me notes. In church. That make me blush. In the middle of my sermon notes. Don't worry, I already confessed to the pastor. He understood. :-)
5. Free sandwiches. This is a great thing to post during healthy eating week, but I got a coupon for a free Arby's Beef 'n' Cheddar sandwich. And, I love Arby's Beef 'n' Cheddar sandwiches. And my husband was late for supper so we got hungry. What would you have done?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
His three basic conclusions were:
1. The primary cause of disease is not germs.
2. Drugs are harmful in almost all cases.
3. Disease can be cured through the proper use of correct foods.
The last sentence of the book sums it up nicely:
"The preferred source of nutrition is food, as fresh and natural as can be obtained, not dead products standing on drug-store shelves."
Now for those links I promised you:
Three-Year-Old Loves Green Smoothies
Green Smoothie Girl
Cheap and Healthy
A Little Bit of Everything:
Healthy Summer Treats for Kids
Just Say No to Soft Drinks
Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings
Why Diets Don't Work
Sage Mommy's Non-Diet Weight Loss Plan
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As I told you, cooking at all was daunting to me as a teenage bride. However, breakfast was terrifying! I know, it's hard for most people to believe that frying eggs could make one nervous, but I'm not really like "most people". (You've probably figured that out by now, :-) For the first few years of marriage, we only ate a cooked breakfast on Saturday mornings, and it was always prepared by my husband with the exception of my operating the toaster. (Yes, I am being serious.)
Once I had children who were eating table food, I realized that I couldn't skip breakfast, feed them doughnuts or have my husband fix breakfast before leaving for work (his day started at 4:30 A.M.). It was very gradual, but one thing led to another.
One week, after buying six boxes of all our favorite kinds of cereal at a phenomenal deal of 40 cents a box or something like that (after sales, coupons and rebates), I realized that my children didn't particularly like cereal. Those boxes sat on the shelf until I finally had to give them away. So, I took the plunge into that famous beginning step of "crunchy mama" and made my own granola. They loved it! Even after a couple mornings....even after the first week!
That gave me a bit of confidence, and I began to try to cook. I found recipes for homemade things like pancakes, biscuits and syrup. I tried scrambled eggs, then fried eggs, and eventually omelets and frittatas. I quit buying muffin mixes and found out how to make my own muffins really easily.
As I learned about real food, I realized that a lot of our breakfast foods were real since I was making more and more without all the man-made additives and chemicals. Then, a friend told me about a really weird idea...smoothies. Now, we had eaten smoothies on occasion, but they usually gave my kids terrible headaches because they contained milk (an allergic food for my kids), so I had quit serving them. But my friend is vegan and she had a different idea of smoothies....green smoothies. Not green from food coloring or as a St. Patrick's Day marketing ploy...green from spinach. Spinach? Yes. She wanted us to drink spinach. Can you think of anything more gross? I couldn't, so I ignored her recommendation.
Finally, I ran out of new ideas as to how to include vegetables with breakfast, so I checked up on it. I made our first one in my VitaMix fully expecting my children to complain (at best). Flashback to early granola days....they LOVED them! Even after a couple of mornings in a row...even after the first week. The really strange thing was...I did, too. I, the former frequent doughnut eater, LOVE green smoothies.
Tomorrow, I will give you some neat links I've found about this surprising breakfast which we enjoy at least 3 times a week (or until I run out of spinach and fresh fruit). However, I will include one of our favorite combinations in case you can't wait to try it in your home! :-)
1 frozen banana (peeled, of course)
1 c. frozen grapes
1 c. strawberries
1 c. water
1 c. ice cubes
That's it! No sugar--frozen fruit is especially sweet. No milk--the banana makes it creamy. No bitter taste--spinach pretty much only contributes to the color, not the taste.
Who knows where else this will lead us? I've dabbled in healthier lunches and dinners, too, but I still have a LONG way to go there. At least I wasn't in the habit of doughnuts for dinner.
If you try a green smoothie and like it, please let me know. I'd also love to read your comments on your own health journey.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Fast forward to my marriage at an earlier age than anyone but God had planned. Sharing a home with a husband? I couldn't wait! Cleaning house and doing his laundry? I was thrilled! (Yeah, really. Time changes a few things. Only kidding!) But cooking? It scared me to death.
Not only was I totally inept in the kitchen, but neither of us came from the healthiest food backgrounds. Oh, I was familiar with many types of diets from the low-carb, high-protein one to the low-fat, high-sugar one. We had even tried the cabbage soup diet--for about one day. My husband's family rarely ate any fruits and vegetables and loved their saturated fats. My ideal breakfast was doughnuts and chocolate milk although I usually skipped breakfast altogether. His was eggs, bacon, white toast with margarine and a Pepsi.
I won't bore you with all the details of my trial and error learning to cook or our hit-and-miss attempts at healthy eating. When we had children, I began to be a little more concerned about health. That's probably when I started my research. I would read and read and read and then get overwhelmed with all the conflicting ideas and quit. Yet, something always kept pulling me back.
In more recent years, I've heard the most novel idea yet, and it's really growing on me--keep it real. Real food with the least intervention by man possible. As a Christian who believes God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, the idea highly appeals to me. As a woman who loves to eat, the idea still appeals to me. Telling my husband that we must eat real food to be healthy, for the most part, appeals to him. It seems too simplistic. No weighing food or counting calories/fat grams/carbs? Just back to the basics how God intended it? Well, we are trying it, and it's amazing--the more small changes we make, the more small benefits we reap.
If you've been on the "real food" journey for a long time, you can skip this week's posts, although they might be good for a chuckle or two when you realize how far I have yet to go. All I can do on this blog is share, not advise. So, I'll be sharing about where we started in eating differently...where else?...breakfast.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Outside my window...our newly cleaned up backyard. We spent the weekend tearing out some leaves left over from winter and some small brush and planting flowers.
I am thinking...of all the work to do INSIDE the house now.
I am thankful for...God sparing my brother's life in his motorcycle accident this weekend.
From the learning rooms...we....are....DONE! No more "official" school until fall! Yay!
From the kitchen...I was so tempted to order out pizza when my bread dough failed Saturday (I forgot to click the pan in completely when I put the dough in the bread machine so it sat for the whole dough setting and did nothing. When I ran it again, it was a sticky mess!). However, I took my sticky mess and made pizza dough out of it. Everyone thought it was the best pizza crust yet. :-) Today I have a few things to make to get ready for our picnic...some cupcakes, a veggie tray and boiling some bratwurst for my husband.
I am wearing...my nightgown...still. Hey! It's a holiday.
I am creating...a summer schedule...sorry I don't do many creative things, I guess, unless they involve writing or a computer.
I am going...to my mom's for a picnic.
I am reading...same book as last week, Carbs from Heaven, Carbs from Hell
I am hoping...to relax and have a good time with family today.
I am hearing...footsteps...Jeffery is now awake!
Around the house...we will try to implement our summer schedule and declutter some to get ready for spring cleaning (I'm always a little behind) the next two weeks.
One of my favorite things...coffee shops in the early morning. (No, I'm not there, but I'd like to be...no wait, this is just fine...coffee just finished brewing, Jerrod on my lap and my family just waking up.)
A few plans for the rest of the week: declutter (as I said), start into our summer routine (as I also said), maybe spend time with a friend and playing at the park.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
More Simple Woman's Daybook here.
Friday, May 22, 2009
2. A 3-year-old who uses words like "pry", "snatch" and "for esample". Does this crack up anyone but me?
3. An eight-month-old who is starting to scoot instead of crawl and sort of stands up to things until he realizes he's doing it!
4 and 5. (or should I say 4, 5 and 6? Oh well.)
For more Friday's Fave Five posts, go to Living to Tell The Story.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Go ahead and put yours on your blog and a link back here, then leave me a comment with your link. I can't wait to see what you all came up with!
In My Living Room....
my wedding bouquet atop my piano.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The first is The Joyful Christian Homemaker that you can download from the right sidebar here. The scenario that the book opens with sounded a little too good to be true to me (as does the famed Proverbs 31 woman), but a great ideal to work towards. No matter where you are in your homemaking, JOY is something that we can start adding right away.
The second book is also about our attitude towards our home but is more from the decorating aspect. You can download It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful here. Look under "The Nester Recommends" where it says Free E-book. I loved the quotes she added throughout the book.
I won't add a lot of comments about these books since you can read them for yourselves, but I found them full of practical helps as well as encouragement.
Now, here are more links about joy in homemaking:
Finding Joy In The Journey
A good example of someone with joy in the everyday
Serving God in the Mundane
A Letter from a Mom to Her Daughter
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Joy? Humph. I'll have more joy in my homemaking when I get more organized...when my husband stops leaving dirty socks on the floor...when my kids grow up...when I don't have to work so hard...when I can afford to hire a maid.
Sound familiar? Or maybe it goes more like this:
Of course her spice jars are alphabetized, her husband does all the cooking.
Yeah (rolling eyes), my house might look like House Beautiful, too, if I didn't have all these kids.
I wish I could clean like her, but I have too many other responsibilities.
It is Satan that tries to get us to keep our eyes on our circumstances or compare ourselves to others. After all, this was his own downfall (quite literally by some Bible translations). He looked around at all the worship and praise being directed to the Great Creator and began to compare himself to God. He wanted to be better than God. This pride could not exist in God's holy home of Heaven, so Satan was banished.
We cannot allow this negative thinking to rob our joy and exist in our homes either. Oh it's hard sometimes: I know! However, the truth is that no matter how much comparing we do, no one really "has it all together". We don't follow that other homemaker/woman/wife/mother around every moment to see her areas of weakness and discouragement. And we don't know who is looking at us and thinking (suppress your incredulous laughter here) that we have it "all together".
One key to joy in homemaking is to rejoice and find joy in the areas in which we do excel as homemakers...the things that do bring us joy.
I have an assignment for all of us this week. Grab your camera and walk from room to room in your home in the next few days. Overlook the pile of messy laundry on the couch and take a photo of that lovely wall arrangement you worked so hard on. Turn away from the dirty dishes waiting in the sink and take a picture of that breathtaking view out your kitchen window. In the bedroom, ignore the unmade bed and take a snapshot of the collection of loved things that graces your dresser. Thursday will be "Snapshots of Joy" day here on Joy Ever After. I will post the things that give me joy here and you can post the things in your home that give you joy on your blog and link to it here. And...if you find after a second look that the pile of messy laundry on the couch is actually your husband, go ahead and snap a photo! :-)
Monday, May 18, 2009
FOR TODAY May 18, 2009...
(actually doing it a day early)
Outside my window...the sun is shining in patches through the big tree in my backyard and I know what my husband will be doing tomorrow--mowing.
I am thinking...of what I will be taking photos of this week (more on this later).
I am thankful for...an adorable baby who is sitting on my lap intently watching my computer screen.
From the learning rooms...only five more days of Phonics! I had so hoped to finish everything this week, but real life got in the way. We also have achievement tests this week.
From the kitchen...My husband made some awesome Chocolate Chip cookies for us for dinner last night! I made Sunday dinner today (usually go to my mom's) complete with homemade bread, homemade noodles and Tammy's Oven-Roasted Chicken and Depression Cake (which the kids renamed "Be Joyful Cake"). This week I'm going to be gone a lot for Jessica's tests, so the meals are simple, but I will be making mayonnaise a little later.
I am wearing...my favorite lavender robe although I'll be getting dressed for church in a few minutes.
I am creating...my snapshots of joy (more about this in tomorrow's post!).
I am going...to church in a short while.
I am reading...Carbs from Heaven, Carbs from Hell (hope the title doesn't offend you--it's not particularly a Christian book although the content is very good).
I am hoping...to go thrift store shopping tomorrow sometime.
I am hearing...Jerrod's babbling and kids playing in the living room.
Around the house...just doing the basics this week until we get through with end-of-the-year school stuff.
One of my favorite things...cuddling up and reading with my kids.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Like I already said, hopefully clothes shopping, achievement tests and finishing school. Relaxing a little after a busy week last week!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
For more Daybook posts, go to:
Friday, May 15, 2009
2. My baby's first cold that seems to be healing on its own. With our past history of ear infections, I was a bit apprehensive, but Jerrod seems to be doing much better without a fever or any other indicators of ear infection. Holding my breath...
3. Time with my sister and her husband. They get to visit for little short bursts and not very often, so it was good to have about two days to see them this time before they went to spend two days with his parents.
4. Hearing Akron Symphony perform. Even though it was a kids' concert, I really enjoyed it and enjoyed seeing the kids hear an orchestra live for the first time.
5. Catching up with a friend from high school that I've known since 2nd grade. We went to school together all the way through to graduation and have kept in touch ever since. Since she recently joined the "stay-at-home-moms" club, we decided NOT to stay at home and caught up on the latest happenings in our lives while our kids played at McDonalds.
More Friday's Fave Five on Living to Tell the Story.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
It was a typical day in the life of Jesus and His disciples. They traveled from town to town doing good and a large crowd of people followed them wherever they went. Jesus knew they followed Him not so much to be near Him but to receive the benefits of His healing. The time of the Passover feast was nearing for the Jews, and as Jesus climbed the mountain with his disciples and the great multitude of people, He prepared to teach a lesson about the Bread of Life in anticipation of the feast.
He sat down and looked around. So many needs, so many problems! Many were visible--the lame man, the woman groping about in blindness, the sick child being carried by a worried father. Yet, the great Creator could look into each heart and see the more glaring needs.
Turning to the disciple nearest Him, He asked him how they were going to feed everyone. Phillip was astonished! Feed them? He replied that two hundred day's wages wouldn't even give each one a little. The other disciples joined him in surmising how they could feed such a large crowd. After investigation, all they could produce was five loaves of bread and two small fish found in a young boy's lunch.
Jesus knew that many of the people assembled only followed them for what they could get from Him. He also knew that some needed to see some evidence that they should believe in Him. However, He also had a lesson for His faithful disciples that day.
- Jesus let the disciples exhaust all their own resources first. How many times as parents do we have it all "figured out"? We try our techniques and stay awake at nights trying to decide how to handle the latest discipline problem. God allows us to do this so that we can come to the end of our resources and admit, "Lord, I can't do it through my own power. Only You can parent these children as they need parenting."
- All Jesus needs to work is our admission that we don't have enough and access to what we do have. Once we admit that we need Him and can't do it in our own strength, God doesn't step in with super-power weapons. He uses our own feeble resources in order to prove His power.
- Jesus blessed the small gift of a boy's lunch and worked a miracle through it. For us, He takes those broken prayers and that imperfect training that is committed to Him and works through them.
- Jesus didn't individually go to every person, but worked His miracle through the disciples. Yes, it would be easier if Jesus would directly parent our little ones. Instead, He chooses us as imperfect but committed vessels to bear the Bread of Life to our children.
As for us, if someday in Heaven we stand with our children before the Throne of God, we can only look back to our completely inadequate resources and say, "It's only by the miracle of God!"
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As Bunyan began scratching out the story that would touch generations, he was doing something for us as 21st century Christian parents. He was telling a tale so biblical in its foundation, so universal in its application, that it can gide us so we driect and protect our families in the decade ahead.Each chapter begins with an excerpt from a modern version of Bunyan's classic. The Parshalls offer sections titled Practical Progress for Parents and Kids, Principles and Parental Action. A lot of resources and ideas are included in this book. I found encouragement in these final words of the book:
When we follow Christ and guide our precious kids to do the same, our story will end at no less a place than the glittering streets of Heaven.Oh, that it may be so!
Here are some things I found on this topic while browsing the Internet this week:
University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox..says that... for the most religious parents, “getting their kids into heaven is more important than getting their kids into Harvard.” Source
My comment: If you mean parents that follow Jesus, you are absolutely right!
Game for Teaching First Time Obedience
What you can do for parents even if you're not a parent
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
We often think of the purpose of Christ's coming to be his death for the sins of the world which is the means of our salvation and eternal life in heaven. Of course that is the work He came to do, but it wasn't the only work. Don't believe me? John 6: 38-40 tells us why Jesus came:
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
As you can see, his purpose for coming was two-fold. The part about our everlasting life is in there, however first Jesus purposed not to lose any of what God had given him. More careful study shows that He was talking about the disciples God had given him. Jesus' ministry caused many to believe on Him, but his disciples were His main concern. In John chapter 17, Jesus prays to His Father regarding this work. In verse 4 of that chapter, He states, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." This was before the cross (on which He made His final "It is finished" statement), therefore the work He meant was the discipling of the 12 men from various backgrounds with varied talents.
|Photo courtesy of|
The tough part for me and probably some of you mothers to realize is that we can only do our job and allow the Spirit to work from there. The even tougher part is to realize that we have done our job not perfectly as Christ did, but very imperfectly. Can God redeem our mistakes? I sure hope so!
More on this subject coming on Thursday
Monday, May 11, 2009
FOR TODAY, May 11, 2009...
Outside my window...the sun is still rubbing sleep out of it's eyes and the birds are singing.
I am thinking...of all I need to do to get ready for my day.
I am thankful for...a beautiful Mother's Day with lots of little surprises from my kids.
From the learning rooms...five more days and counting!
From the kitchen...I made some strawberry muffins this week and need to make some granola for breakfast. We have berries (our favorite, yum!) for our smoothies, too.
I am wearing...my comfy, soft lavendar robe.
I am creating...nothing except ideas in my head for writing and some clothes shopping.
I am going...to Symphony Soup with the whole family this morning and the tea room with my mom this afternoon (our Mother's Day tradition) and to have dinner with my sister and her husband visiting from Virginia--a fun day!
I am reading...I just finished The Joyful Christian Homemaker and am getting ready to start The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life.
I am hoping...to get my kitchen completely cleaned up before I have to leave on all my running and that Jerrod quickly produces a tooth and loses all the congestion before it turns into an ear infection.
I am hearing...the coffee pot brewing my morning coffee...oh wait, it just stopped. Be right back!
Around the house...I decided to postpone my spring cleaning until June (early summer cleaning?) when things slow down a bit. The next few weeks are too hectic to get it done right. I also have some pictures to hang if I can snag my husband for some help this week.
One of my favorite things...sticky kisses and "Mommy, I love you all in my heart" from my 3-year-old.
A few plans for the rest of the week: spending time with my sister who is in just briefly, accompanying a former student at his band concert (blues piece--pray for this rhythm-challenged piano teacher!), seeing a free play with the kids and finishing first grade for the second time (still have 2 more times to go!).
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My shelf displaying my Mother's Day gifts--yes, the Lego creations are included as special things they made for me. I also got two plants from the kids that they grew at church but they are in another place.
For more Simple Woman's Daybook, visit http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
And for us daughters, go here and scroll to the bottom of the post. Watch the video and remember your mom or purpose to treasure the one you still have. Inspired me to maybe get writing myself?
Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
Friday, May 8, 2009
1. "Be Squared" Portraits from JCPenney. I couldn't resist buying one when my daughter got her 7-year-old pictures last Friday. I did have a coupon, though!
2. Free KFC meal coupons. Since we're talking about coupons, I was glad to get enough for free meals for the whole family. I was also thankful for the 4 or 5 people that told me about them!
3. A husband that can help with breakfast on a bad day. Enough said. Except...it was Monday.
4. New dresses. Specifically one found on Ebay by my favorite designer with a $115 price tag still on it that I got for under $30.
5. A cup of caramel tea. Mmmm....especially a sample pack bought for $2 at Adagio.com. Delicious!
Anyone notice a frugal tone here? I didn't plan it to be that way, but oh well. For more Friday's Fave Five, go to Living to Tell the Story.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I admit that I do not spend an hour every morning at exactly the same time in quiet Bible study and prayer. This is not the season of life for that, as we've already heard from mothers much further ahead than I am. However, I desperately need time with my Savior. Here are a few things that help me to keep a (sort of) regular quiet time:
- Get up. Sounds simple, but it is not always easy. When I have been up often through the night with the children, I feel it is more spiritual to get my rest in the morning and catch time with God in those "short moment through the day". You may disagree, but if I become irritable from lack of rest, what good is an hour of Bible study? However, if I have had a reasonable amount of sleep (it's been awhile since I've seen 8 consecutive hours but more than 4 seems reasonable), I find that I must discipline my flesh to get up early before the kids and spend time with my Father.
- Write it down. I've told you before that I'm easily distracted. I do have the tendency to be praying earnestly and find ten minutes later that my mind is a million miles away. What has greatly helped me with this is writing my prayers rather than saying them. I got the idea first from Anne Ortlund in one of her books. It seemed strange at first, but I find that not only can writing down my words to God keep me from getting distracted, but it can help me when I do get interrupted to remember where I was. Another benefit is being able to look back and see all the answers to prayer.
- Don't stress. I used to feel like if I didn't read my Bible through at least every other year, I was not a very deep Christian. I would set myself up for failure and always be playing "catch-up" therefore I couldn't really enjoy my time with the Lord. That's just one example of all the burdens we can put on ourselves. Your quiet time (and mine) is not a performance; it is a relationship. Love the Lord, enjoy Him and share with Him. Learn His heart. These are just a few of the things I'm endeavoring to do now without the guilt trips.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I've been reading one of my favorite books for homekeepers again, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald. No doubt, many of you have read it and received much encouragement from it. Since my topic is devotional life this week, I am only going to focus on Chapter 4, entitled "Weary Women".
A quote from the chapter that took me by surprise the first time I read it was:
"Spending time with God and in His Word is crucial, but don't set yourself up for disappointment by expecting a regular time of peaceful bliss in prayer and quiet solitude."My first thought was that this was some kind of heresy. However, as I read the advice of this mother of many, I began to understand what she was saying. A few other quotes that stood out to me were these:
"Make His Word a continuous presence in Your day."This is a must-read book for every wife and mother! Apparently, the advice in the book is advocated by other experienced women as you'll find in the links I've included below.
"Accept that this is your 'noisy season'."
"Make room in your prayer closet for your children."
"Find Him in the commotion of everyday life."
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
1. Take Bible to a cozy chair upon rising in the morning.
2. Spend the first hour in prayer.
3. Spend an additional hour in Bible study.
Nice and easy of course. If you are a mother of babies and toddlers, you may need to add a few additional steps. Preparation is key, so the steps begin the evening before your anticipated devotional time (aka "quiet time"):
1. Set alarm for 5:00 A.M. Early morning devotions are essential. You must meet with God first thing, of course.
2. Go to bed at a decent hour. (Note: The phrase "a decent hour" is highly relative. The most exact figure used to explain it would be the hour between the last drink/good night kiss/"just one more thing to tell you" routine and the hour the baby awakes for his midnight feeding.)
3. Awaken approximately 4-5 more times for varied reasons involving your children before falling into a deep sleep at 3:00 A.M.
4. Drag out of bed at the prompting of the alarm clock you diligently set last night. Fumble with alarm clock to turn it off and realize that you've already turned it off. That high-pitched siren is actually the baby...hungry...again.
5. Gather Bible from under a pile of artwork, bills and a banana peel. Breathe the first prayer of your devotional time which is a prayer of repentance for allowing something to be laid atop God's Word. Oops...add to that repentance for allowing God's Word to be dropped on the floor...bananas leave a slippery residue.
6.Wipe off the front of your Bible and take it and the now screaming baby to the cozy chair. Dump the stuffed animal collection and the stack of books on the floor and settle in to feed the baby while reading your three chapters of the Old Testament for the day. (Your plan to read the Bible through every year has yet to make it out of the Old Testament by December 31.)
7. Read first verse and hear a plaintive whisper from the staircase, "Mommy, I can't sleep. Can I sit with you?"
8. Tuck darling into bed after a sponge bath and clean sheets. Utter the second prayer of the day which is "Please let him go back to sleep, Lord!" Scoop up once again screaming baby who is indignant for having his feeding interrupted.
9. Settle into a chair with baby again and reread first verse. Read verse two and three before baby starts to fuss--he's done eating but not ready for sleeping yet.
10. Abandon your Bible and decide to walk and pray while jostling baby. Five minutes of this and you start to feel a bit smug for multi-tasking. This has got to count for an exercise routine. Which reminds you that you never got around to exercising yesterday or the day before that. You start wondering if you'll ever be able to lose the baby fat with such an erratic exercise routine when your husband comes downstairs and asks what you are doing. You start to tell him you are praying then realize that your mind is a now a million miles from whatever you were praying about. You also realize that he will laugh if you tell him you are exercising by jostling the baby who is now (finally!) sleeping, so you remain speechless.
11. Your husband gets in the shower. You successfully put the baby back to bed. You decide to pray while fixing your honey's breakfast. While you are buttering toast and starting on the missionaries, said honey hollers, "Could you bring me a towel?" At which point you realize that the entire household inventory of towels are in the dryer, which after investigating, you discover was never started. You pile them into the washing machine again and look around for something with which to improvise.
12. You head back to the kitchen and are met with several tousled-haired children with one thought on their mind, "What's for breakfast?"
13. After serving your children the now-cold buttered toast, you pop some more in for your husband and surrender to the fact that your devotional time for that morning is now over.
Disclaimer: The above scenario is completely fictitious. Any similarity to a real-life situation is completely coincidental and entirely probable.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Outside my window...it is dark. Although it is officially Monday, I haven't gone to bed yet from Sunday!
I am thinking...of how to redecorate my blog since I kind of promised you that!
I am thankful for...a wonderful revival week at church and getting to know the Millers better.
From the learning rooms...we are counting down the days until school is over and committed to "doing school" six days until we're DONE!
From the kitchen...I had a busy weekend shopping, filling my fridge and counter top with fresh fruits and veggies, making homemade bread and a cheesecake for Sunday dinner.
I am wearing...my navy and tan skirt and the sweater Jeff got me for our first Christmas in '97!
I am creating...my very first Daybook post! (Sorry, my creative juices are running out this
I am going...to bed soon!
I am reading...Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald...again!
I am hoping...Jerrod sleeps all night long and I can sneak in some time with my mom tomorrow after a busy week for both of us.
I am hearing...quiet...ah! Blessed "everyone's-in-bed-but-me" quiet! (Yes, I know I should be there, too, but don't spoil the moment!)
Around the house...is a mess! Getting a fresh start in the morning...(see below)
One of my favorite things...a lazy afternoon tea with my three favorite gal friends in the world--my mom, my sister and my daughter
A few plans for the rest of the week: spring cleaning, mother/daughter banquet, catching up all the grading and filing for school plus the usual
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My baby that just turned 7 when she was 3! :-(
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Friday, May 1, 2009
Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to four children, ages 4-18 and an author, conference speaker and director of www.homemaking911.com. Visit her site for inspiration, encouragement and practical help in your roles as a godly wife, mother, homemaker or home educator.
Schedules and Routines
Many women have learned the benefits of having a schedule in their homes. Others have resisted the idea of having a schedule for a variety of reasons. Some like freedom and enjoy having large blocks of unstructured time. It may be because they have created schedules in the past, only to have them fail so rather than working to create a workable schedule, they disregard the idea all together. Others feel that with many small children, keeping a schedule is akin to herding cats. It is difficult, if not impossible.
What I would like to suggest to those women who are “schedule resistant” is the concept of routines.
Daily routines can be the shot in the arm you need to create a more orderly, joyful home. Here is how it works. Think about the things that must be completed daily in your family and make a little list that details what must be done and in what order. Start with a simple morning routine.
Beginning around age three, each child in our home is given a Morning Routine list. When learning his or her routine, I will be alongside, training the child to become familiar with the list and what each point on it means.
Once the list becomes a normal part of their day, their routine can be overseen by a sibling, or they can become entirely self-directing depending upon the maturity of the child. For a three year old, a simple morning routine looks like this:
-Rise and Shine (wake up in a good and sweet humor)
-Go potty (some kids need to be reminded of this!)
-Get Dressed (you can lay out clothes, or teach them how to choose them)
-Straighten Room and Bathroom
Once all of these skills are mastered independently, I will introduce an evening routine that looks very similar. As the child matures, the routine list will grow longer, but in each case, make sure they work to independence on their list. For example, at age eight, my daughter’s list includes some additional items:
-Laundry (switch laundry and put away a load of laundry)
If your children have no routines in place, morning and evening routines are good places to start. You can then start working to establish routines in other areas of household management. You can also have daily routines for meal times.
One of the evening routines we have in place is “after dinner clean-up.” Each person has certain tasks that they can do independently to make sure the kitchen is clean after dinner. Depending on the age and maturity of your children, it may make sense to rotate certain chores, such as dishes or mopping. Or, if you have children of several ages, it may be beneficial to keep the routine the same to best optimize their capabilities.
Other routines to think about: Meal Times, Bed times, Getting things ready for Church, Laundry. Basically, anything that is a regular part of your life can be simplified and made into a routine. Once your children are accustomed to their routines, they will amaze you with their abilities to be a benefit and contributor in your home.
If you would like to see some of our routine lists, you can find them on our website: http://www.homemaking911.com/