Redefining my road

Passing Bikers on Road POV Auto Car Driver

Absence.

It is definitely what has defined me here and in life as of late.

I have purposely cut out most of all the “extras” in my life over the last several months. I have said no… a lot. That is not like me. I was finding myself stuck, stuck in a revolving door of busyness and commitments that I didn’t have a passion for. Weary. Tired of placing unnecessary pressure on myself and my family to get something done, to be somewhere or to fend for themselves because mommy has GOT to do “this”.

You see, I’m dependable. I know that once I say yes to something I’m going to die trying to keep that commitment…at all cost. (Remember my top 10?)

Oh, but I’m also not that organized so before I got my new fancy smart phone (yea!) my calendar commitments would be posted everywhere or umm nowhere?

So you can imagine what kind of nightmare this posed for a dependable unorganized gal like me.

Sometimes we just need time to refocus and get ourselves together. I had to redefine what’s important to me and make sure all the activities that I’m involved take me down that road.

Refocus. Renew. It’s freeing really. Because now I can say no without the guilt, and when I say yes- I really mean it!

Keeping up with this blog is hard work.

I’m not a natural writer; the thoughts in my heart don’t effortlessly transpose themselves into beautiful language that captures your attention. Sometimes my life just isn’t interesting enough to share, and sometimes life is just too busy to check in.

But it is a hobby I enjoy. So I guess I’ll keep it around for now😉 and hopefully you will forgive my lack of consistency while I try to maintain a balance.

New Beginnings

repost from April 2011

bluebonnetegg

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.  ~Virgil A. Kraft

 

Spring always brings renewal. In nature as well as in me. This is the time of year that I am reminded that all things are possible. I am thankful that God gives us this season as a reminder that we are never stuck where we are, we can always start new. I don’t know about you- but I need a daily dose of “do over”-  my very existence as a wife and mother hinges on the fact that I know- tomorrow is another day. So as I mother and educate my children, tend to my husband, de-clutter and clean my home, I am thoughtful…What am I going to do with the day God gave me today?

Live it!

And remember when I don’t live it well…tomorrow is indeed a another day.

In my life

Homeschooljournal

In my life this week…

Do things ever slow down? Church, school, sports, dance, meetings, friends, playgroups, housework…I’m thankful that summer is approaching, I love when things slow down.

 

In our homeschool this week…

We are learning about South America- specifically Brazil and the rainforest. The kiddos have been researching rainforest animals and we made masks after watching a video on the Brazilian Carnival.

carnivalmask1

 

Helpful homeschooling tip to share…

Don’t give up. This is about the time of year where we begin to get weary, hang in there. The finish line is near!

 

My Favorite thing this week…

Camping. I love getting away with our family and friends. It’s a whole weekend of no technology, friends and food.

DSCN9383 (2)

 

 

I’m reading…

The Fine Line

I rarely have time to delve into a fiction book, but this one had me captivated from the get go. Few books can inspire me and challenge me to question what I believe at the same time. Could I love a prisoner without judgment, with pure Christ like abandonment? … This book carried me deep into the heart of a Mexican prison where I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the characters, where I was reminded that God’s love shows no partiality.

 

Things I’m working on…

I’m writing a K-1 curriculum for next year. It’s something I have had on my mind for awhile but with Olivia entering kindergarten next year I have been more motivated.

I am also considering the Paleo diet. Checking out menu plans, and recipes. I don’t know if I could go at it 100% but I think it’s something I might think about.

Trying to keep up with this blog. Ugh, such good intentions, so little time.

Learning more about Essential Oils. I bought a kit from Young Living last year and have found so many uses for them, but I feel like there is so much more to know.

 

I’m grateful for

A God who is living and active in my life. He continues to speak to me through his word and others.

 

I’m praying for

Our country, our world.

 

A verse to share…

This one has been close to my heart this week.

The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.  Deuteronomy 30:6

 

 

Pinterest Love

pinterest picture2

It’s that time again…

We have been rather uninspired in the kitchen as of late- and have been sticking with our tried and true recipes. I’m quite certain that nothing will ever beat my love affair with the Baked Oatmeal I shared awhile back, I make it at least once a week!  But I did managed to try a few new dishes that I’m excited to share.

Most recently we tried Spicy Sausage Pasta

Spicy Sausage Pasta

It was great. Admittedly I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, I subbed out heavy cream for milk and cream cheese, and I used rotini instead of penne. I’m looking forward to trying it again the way it was intended. 

 

We love Tilapia. It’s light and non-fishy- and so easy to prepare. This Rachel Ray recipe makes it a snap.

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

 Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

 

This soup reminds me of the potato soup at Cotton Patch. Zoe had been asking for this warm comfort soup for awhile so on our last cool day we threw the ingredients in the crockpot before church and enjoyed it when we got home.

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup

potato soup2

 

It has been warming up around here, and the change of seasons always gets me thinking of my wardrobe {or lack there of…sigh} A friend recently introduced me to this cute little vest made from a scarf. Just think of all the endless possibilities!

Scarf Vest

how to make a scarf vest step 2 by Blues and Shoes

 

For other great Pinterest finds you can follow me here.

These lovely pics came straight from their source.

Large Transfer picture…The Almost Disaster Craft Project

Our bedroom has been in serious need of a makeover for awhile, it is the most neglected room in the house; overrun with laundry, children’s toys, papers and other junk. I resolved to change that this year. I started with new bedding, a chair cover, and a new headboard- all of which made a world of difference, but the walls were still bare. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and then I remembered this great  project a friend of mine did. It was perfect! She made it look so easy, as it turns out…she is a liar. Just kidding. But she is obviously way more talented and craft savvy then I am.

I started with this picture

stevenandme

Cute right?

Then off to Staples I went. I asked them to blow this picture up to an engineer size. They do it in black and white for super cheap…for like $2 or something like that. Only I was told that if I want that cheap price I needed to bring the picture in on a digital copy, otherwise it is around $5-6. (sorry my memory is fuzzy) Only I pouted a little and the nice lady said she would let me off the hook this time.

Hobby Lobby was next on my list for the Gel Medium. Since I didn’t take note of what kind to buy- I just grabbed one. This might have been where I went wrong. {who knows}

I also grabbed a large canvas.

materials

I will let you read the step by step directions from here, or here.  They will do a much better job explaining the process, and even sound happy about it ; )

But basically I spent hours. Yes hours, people. Rubbing. Spraying. Rubbing. More spraying and rubbing. I even got Steven in on the action. And although I am pleased with the final project and I LOVE the way it looks above our bed, I will probably never attempt it again, at least not on this scale.

I love the old time, rough around the edges, distressed look, but I had a hard time controlling where the paper was coming off- which is one of the reasons that made this project stressful. I ended up with a big line right down my face, but even with that, I still love it.

So here is the final project in all it’s glory.

transfer picture1

And here is what it looks like above our bed. I want to do some smaller squared black and white pictures of us next to it- something fun,  but that’s another project for another day! 

bedroom2

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I’m sharing this with Mom On Time Out

Teaching Sight Words to Reluctant Readers Part 3

While I tend to do most of our teaching of sight words in context and through fun repetition, I do like to reinforce learning with games whenever possible.  Any game that gets my children moving is a big hit at our house. So this sight word hunt game is perfect!

Step 1: Place colored sight words around the house

sightwordhunt1

Step 2: Make sure your student has a coordinating crayon for each color you chose.

Step 3: Once a sight word is spotted, have your child find the corresponding sight word on their grid sheet and color the box the same color as their word. 

sight word hunt

You can download the game all ready to go right here or make up your own!

We also like to play Go Fish, and Memory with our words. I have him say the word before he can take it when we play memory just to make sure that he does know it. If he can’t say it, then he can’t keep the match.

I like these games because they are quick to put together with note cards and can easily be changed.

I love to use games and items that we already have to incorporate play with our words, I showed you this game at the end of last year with our car mat, Zack also loved this game that I found over at The World Gone Blue Blog, using his nerf guns! I have pinned tons of other sight word games over on my Pinterest page. Check it out!

Although I would love to incorporate more games into our schedule, the reality is we can usually only get to one or two games a week per subject, and that might be a wee exaggeration some weeks.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the Series for more ideas

Teaching Sight Words to Reluctant Readers Part 2

As I stated in the first post in this series, I believe that teaching sight words {and vocabulary} in context is the most effective way to get the words to actually move from the front of the brain – all the way into the sticky part way in the back. {obviously not a biology major} Winking smile 

When we teach in context and not in isolation we bring the words to life, we give them a purpose and our children see that the words we use, have a use.

When we first started formal school for Zack I used the units from The Moffat Girls. They were bright, and fun and the repetition was great. But much to my dismay Zack hated it. While my older daughter looked on with green envy in her eye over the “fun” activities her brother got to do. I was met with much groans and frustration. He didn’t want to color, cut, and paste even if the activities were so darn cute!

So this year I scrapped all that cutesy stuff and stuck to the basics. Our day is much more enjoyable, although not without it’s struggles.

Here is how it looks now.

I start the week by introducing a few new sight words. I usually only choose 5 and I make those five words part of his spelling for the week.

I provide lots of exposure to those words through books, magazines, lessons, activities, and  games. I also try to point them out when ever we see them while we are out and about.

sight word matching

I consider the words mastered when I am able to hand him a book with those words in it and he can independently read it.

DSCN0758

If we get to the end of the week and he is still struggling (sigh, it does happen) then I just add those words to the next weeks list.

Simple.

Effective.

 

Next week I will share some of the fun games we have done to reinforce our learning.

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