Tuesday, May 27, 2014

homeschooling doesn't have to be hard...

days like today help me remember that homeschooling doesn't have to be hard.

isaac had his garden journal outside while i was digging a garden bed.  i dug up a clover and we found a 21 inch tap root!  he recorded it in his garden journal (drawing a picture and adding the measurement) and we spent a good chunk of time reading about different kinds of clover and finding that a man in Lincoln NE who did research about clover and found a Red Clover that grew a tap root over 9 feet long!

science?  done!

this mornings, Christian had a question out of the blue (as most of his questions seem come).

Christian - "mom, are all armies good guys?"

and so followed a discussion of how all are sinners, how the same country can sometimes fight for good (things that line up with God's Word) and sometime let their selfishness take over and fight for wrong. various examples drawn from the revolutionary war and WWII. 

and that concludes our history lesson for the day.

see?  homeschooling really isn't that hard.  ;)

Monday, May 26, 2014

put up a fight...

1 Timothy 4:6
"In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following."

Jeremiah 15:16
"Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts."

I know this.  I've known it for years and years.  The Word should be my sustenances.  In it i will find strength and peace and be filled.  my day goes smoother and i am not ruffled by every little bother when i am nourished by His Words.

yet, as a mommy of littles, it's hard to get there.  my day seems to slip away with every school lesson, with every book we read, with every meal cooked, with every load of laundry washed, with every temper tantrum i have to correct.  and even though the day feels so very, very long, before i turn around, it's gone.  and i fall into bed without a second first glance at the inside of that Precious Book.

maybe you sit and read my words and shake your head and say "tisk, tisk!  that girl!  she should know better!"  trust me, i know that i should know better.  but i'm being honest here.

there are many more weeks than i would like, where sit down in the church sanctuary and realize that the last time i sat and soaked up these Words was 1 week ago in that same seat.  it's a painful realization.  and i hate it.  and yet, i'm being honest here.  because if i'm not honest, if i smudge the facts and say that it only happens "sometimes" rather than telling you truthfully that it's happened nearly every week this month, then nothing is going to change.

why?  why is it so hard to find time for the Thing i love most?  why does it seem as though there are a million little things that come up and i let them take priority over what i know needs to come first?

i know that my flesh is wicked and selfish.  that my flesh would rather work on a project, or just finish this one thing, or just sit and do nothing for a few minutes.  and that is a battle that i have to fight daily.

but, i wonder, if sometimes there isn't more to it than just my flesh.

maybe the reason mommies of young children have trouble finding time to be in the Word daily is because Satan works so hard to keep it that way.  at a stage when our kids are little sponges and soak up everything we say and do, maybe he works to keeps us from The Thing that would bless us with patience and peace.  and maybe he tries to prevent us from devouring the Scriptures so that we will not speak forth The Lords Words, but will instead have nothing but short tempered words.  maybe he works so hard to keep us from the Word, so that we will not influence our children toward the truth of the Lord.

if that is the reason, we need to fight harder!  we need to fight our lazy flesh that thinks a nap would be more helpful than the life giving Words of Scripture.  we need to fight our cunning and ruthless enemy by letting go of all the little things that get in our way and turn to the only thing that can really give us strength and peace.

we need to fight to consume His Holy Book so that these little sponges that we live so closely with will hear only blessings and praise coming out of our mouths.

just maybe, we need to act more like warriors and ready ourselves for battles with this ruthless foe.

Ephesians 6:10-12
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

my everyday kind of life...

this blog was started by my husband to inform others on the state of his cancer journey 4 years ago.  we are long past that trial now.  there is nothing to report.  no life events to keep people up to date on.  no great or hard things to tell.

we are living the boring everyday kind of life.

but i know that many of you are too... if there is still anyone out there reading this neglected little blog.  and you are often on my heart and in my prayers.  i wish i knew you and the trials you are going through in your everyday life.  i want to encourage you, to build you up, to light a little fire in you to keep doing good.  

so i hope to find more time to share here.  in between the homeschool lessons and the piles of laundry, i desire to study and pray and write words of encouragement to any who need it.

it will not be profound.  it will not be great and moving.  but it will be truth.

and while i will never be one of those everyday bloggers, i hope to get back here a little more often.

so, here is a verse that so fits for a boring everyday kind of life...

Psalm 37:3a
"Trust in the Lord and do good;"

2 things.  neither very complicated.

i could expound on the difficulties of letting go of control and trusting Someone else, but there is no point since, as the Sovereign Creator, He is already in control anyway.  so trust Him, in His perfect judgement, to do what is best.

and i could give examples of how our flesh battles us everyday, wanting things that are selfish and lazy.  but you already know about those.

so rather than some mounting lists of all the things that we need to change in our lives (cuz that list would be very overwhelming!) let us instead relish in the simplicity of it.  let us face our days this week with these 2 things that cover all the trials of our everyday lives.

memorize this truth.  it's 7 words long, so it's not too hard, even for the worn mommy or busy student.  devote it to memory and remind yourself of His beautiful little statement over and over again.  when the day is long and our body and mind grow weary, meditate here.

let us trust in the Lord, and let us do good!

care to share and encourage someone else?  leave a comment about something from your everyday life that you need to remind yourself to trust Him with.  or a situation you come to in your everyday that you need to remember to do good.  

Friday, February 28, 2014

mommy moment of the day:

when you grab the pot to put it away and realize that, for all your meticulous scrubbing and scouring of the inside and outside of the pot, you forgot to clean the gunk off the handle... and now decide to put it away anyway, cuz the part that counts is clean.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

not-as-bad-for-you peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

so, i've shared this recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies before.  

but i have been messing with the recipe some more (i'm a perpetual tweaker when it come to food) and thought i would share.  cuz i've figured out how to make them healthy! not as bad for you.  

ok, let's face it, a cookie will always be a cookie.  but (!) these probably rank above donuts and pastries when it comes to nutritional value.  so, i will be serving a couple of these with scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning.  cuz i'm a cool mom like that.  ;)

now if you're a fan of the light colored, fluffy little, eat a dozen at once type cookies, use a different recipe.  or buy some from the store.  cuz these cookies ain't like that.  these cookies are deep and rich, satisfy your hunger with 1 type cookies.  these are what other cookies want to be when they grow up.  

ok, moving on from my ridiculousness, here's the recipe with the changes i've made.

not-as-bad-for-you Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
just under 1/2 c. coconut palm sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar (i usually just use my 1/2 c. but don't pack it or fill it all the way)
1/2 t. vanilla (i love my homemade vanilla)
1 egg
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. dark chocolate chips 

cream together butter, peanut butter, both sugars, vanilla and egg very well, making sure you scrape your bowl a couple times.  

in another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder.  add these dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over beat!).

mix in your oatmeal and chocolate chips, then drop by spoon fulls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.  bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet in order to keep them soft and moist and prevent them from drying out (i know, this is terribly difficult as they will be calling your name.  you may be temped to throw them on a wire rack to make them cool more quickly so that you can indulge in one (or two), but trust me, it's so worth the wait!)

now i don't sub out the butter, cuz animal fats are a lot easier on your body than vegetable fats.  and i use a more natural peanut butter if i have it on hand, but the hubby likes JIF, so that's usually what's in the cupboard.  

the palm sugar was new for me.  i've read some things talking about it's lower glycemic index, so your blood sugar doesn't rocket around as violently.  and, like cane sugar (which i usually use), it still has all the minerals and such in it.  

sugars, clockwise from top left: cane sugar from the bulk bins at my local health food store, white sugar from the grocery store shelves, coconut palm sugar from the health section of the grocery store.

honestly, sugar is sugar.  so you could say just pick your poison.  but i felt like the palm sugar is at least a half step in a better direction.  however, you have to consider the hefty price tag for the palm sugar and use it sparingly.  

the real kicker is just cutting back the sugar.  trust me, if you fill your measuring cup a little less and a little less as time goes on, your family won't even miss it.  i never pack brown sugar anymore.  i pretend my hips are grateful for those little gaps in between the clumps.  

i sub out whole wheat flour for white flour all the time, so my family is pretty used to it.  if your family is used to 100% white, make the transition gradual.  go half and half for a while.  give them time and they will be more than happy with whole wheat cookies. 

oh, and many articles sing the praises of dark chocolate, especially in regards to women's health!

when you bake them, remember that they are going to look a lot darker because of the dark sugar and flour.  it's always better to have a cookie that's a little under done than a little over done, personally speaking.  

now excuse me while i go spend the rest of nap/rest time enjoying one of these cookies with a cup of peach ginger tea.