Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving Break

When I was a child, I couldn't wait for breaks from school. Now that I'm a homeschool teacher, I think that anticipation is even stronger. Finally, after week after consecutive week of school, Thanksgiving break is finally here! We celebrated by sleeping in. It was wonderful to sleep until we woke up and then to be able to just hang around our warm house and listen to the rain.

The introverted side of me would have loved to have been able to stay home all day, but we did have some things that had to be done, so we braved the rain to drop off the 10 Operation Christmas Child boxes our 4-H group donated! Then my dancers and I went to the dance store where we were pleased to discover that everything was on sale. That took a bit of the sting out of buying pointe shoes! Then my girls had Nutcracker practice.
After supper my older girls had Bible study.

We ended our evening with these amazing warm homemade brownies and The Blacklist for all but the youngest two. They enjoyed the privilege of brownies and milk in their room. 

Sometimes I can stress myself out by trying to put too much on my plate over school breaks. This break I am going to allow myself to rest and recharge, knowing that will serve my family more than organizing kitchen cabinets or even cleaning my room. 

Day one of resting was a success.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Everyday Joys

PThere are so many truly big and serious things in life. Big things that bring joy and sorrow. Big things that bring worry and peace. And when I look at those things from the daily smallness of my life, I can convince myself that the small things that bring me joy or frustration don't really count. But that's not what God tells us. Jesus said that God remembers the sparrows and counts the hairs on our heads. 

Today I celebrate some of the ordinary joys I've been experiencing:

* Fresh highlights! My last hair appointment I chose to do an all-over color, and it turned out darker than I realized it would. I lived with it until it was time to get my hair done again. I went with highlights again, and I'm loving them!

* Getting in to see a new hairdresser the same day I called! My usual hairdresser can fit me in pretty quickly, but, since she is not able to work right now, I had to call someone new. She happened to have a cancellation for that day and she did a great job!

* This sunset!

* A costume party with friends. Our theme was Awkward Family Photos. Our family dressed like hipsters with one goth child. Unbeknownst to us one the other families dressed up goth with a preppy child! 

* Baylor victories!

* Buying a wallet from women in Thailand who made them as an alternative to working in the s*x trade. I love being able to help people achieve freedom with dignity!

* Kittens! We got to visit a friend's little fluff-ball of a kitten last weekend. So cute!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Pinterest 31 Woman - Part 1

An excellent wife I find on Pinterest.
Her husband may not notice the many talents, skills, and recipes she has gleaned from the internet, but she really intimidates impresses her friends.

She pins prayer guides and encouragements she uses with her husband.

She makes beautiful clothes from patterns she pins.

She creates healthy gourmet recipes with exotic ingredients like quinoa and kale and shares her favorite recipes on Pinterest.

She wakes up early to serve her children homemade gluten-free pancakes in the shape of their favorite animals.

She buys heirloom seeds and plants an organic garden. She even pins about the method she uses for her compost pile.

Her arms can testify that she actually does the arm workouts she pins.

She perfects some of the crafts she has pinned and sets up her own Etsy shop.

She knits and crochets using free patterns she has shared.

She pins links to her favorite charities, and sets up ways to donate to them when she shops at her favorite on-line stores.

She makes her little girls dresses out of pillowcases and old shirts and knows how to do many intricate braids.

She never worries about where to find their family's stored winter items because she has used all the wonderful storage and organization tips she has discovered and repinned.

She shares the patterns to the pillows and curtains she has made for her home, and she always has wonderful decorating ideas.

She always knows the latest fashions and dresses well (on a budget), and she knows how to contour and highlight her face. 

Other women notice how she pins ways to encourage her husband.

She sells beautiful handmade scarves at her Etsy shop. And she knows 50 ways to tie them.

She pins wise quotes with beautiful background pictures and tastefully funny e-cards. (But never the tacky ones!)

She makes all her own household cleaners using formulas she has pinned. 

Her children bless her for teaching them fun and exciting things in their homeschool. And for throwing amazing themed birthday parties complete with beautifully decorated homemade cakes and homemade gift wrap.

Many women pin lots of things they never do, but she does them all.

Pins are deceptive and Facebook is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 

*Disclaimer: I am not against Pinterest. I have a Pinterest account that I use regularly and enjoy. Tonight's main dish was one I discovered on Pinterest. But I have realized that my life and the life of my friends isn't accurately reflected merely by the things we pin.  

*Disclaimer # 2: The things in my post are all wonderful things that really are to be admired. And if any one woman does all of them, she really does have my admiration. My point isn't to bash these things, but to help us see that few if any of us can do ALL of them at any given point in our lives!

In my next post, I'll share more about what God is showing me about these thoughts.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Blogged for 31 Days in a Row and Then Took a Four Day Break

I blogged for 31 days in a row! Yay, me!! And I intend to continue blogging on a regular basis. Probably not every day, but certainly at least several times a week. I'm hoping the four day break will be a rare occurrence.

Here are some things I learned about myself through the 31 day journey:

*I CAN blog consistently.

*Having a goal and accountability is a good thing for me, especially good when I'm trying to insert a new rhythm into my life.

*I often think through writing. Some days I thought I would have little to say, but as I began typing, thoughts and feeling surfaced that I wanted to express.

*Not every blog post will be great or deep or thought-provoking or funny. And that's OK.

*My voice won't sound like the voices of others whose blogs I love to read. And that's OK, too. We already have their voices out there. My echo of their voices is less interesting and valuable than me speaking and writing like me.

*I like to write, and I need to do so more often. 

*Lists are perfectly acceptable blog posts!