Friday, October 8, 2010

Vanilla from Scratch

Apparently I've stumbled on something that is quite popular; making your own vanilla. I had just commented to Andy the other day about making our own vanilla since we go through it so fast between making ice cream from scratch every Family Movie Night and the hot carob drink I make almost daily instead of coffee. He, of course, was all for it and said to look into it. So I did what any modern day person does I went to the library and looked up vanilla in the card catalog. What??? Ummm, no, not really. Our library doesn't even have a card catalog. Do you even know or remember what a card catalog is? Anyway, I got on the internet and googled, how to make vanilla or something along that line. I found tons of websites with lots of information. Basically, it is vanilla beans and vodka put in a jar and letting it sit, easy peasy. So I ordered my beans from my normal spice company and waited for them to come. After they arrived, other things interfered with getting it done. Things like: salsa, school, green beans, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and school. I started to work on it last week while the kids were a science labs, but realized that I needed to get some things yet, namely the vodka and some gallon or half-gallon glass jars. Andy is on the road harvesting and the kids had my RAV so I waited.

Wednesday of this week for youth group, A1 got to take the big red truck, instead of my RAV, because I also needed some groceries and other things. We had been too busy with things for school that I needed to be home for in order for me to even run out. I'm sure you all understand that. The cupboards were looking like Old Mother Hubbard's. That doesn't work well at all with two teenagers in the house, one of which is a growing 13 year-old boy. So my Mom Time night was turned into errand night. I purchased 1/2 gallon ball canning jars and 1 bottle of vodka. The vodka I purchased is made from rye and is a Polish Vodka, called Sobieski. I hopped over to Wikipedia looking up vodka so I could give you a few facts. I know it is not the truest source of information, however, my Encarta is on the other computer in the office and I'm just too tired to go get it. I have to put something in here that is school like. Anyway, Wikipedia states:

Vodka may be distilled from any starch/sugar-rich plant matter; most vodka today is produced from grains such as sorghum, corn, rye or wheat. Among grain vodkas, rye and wheat vodkas are generally considered superior. Some vodka is made from potatoes, molasses, soybeans, grapes, rice, sugar beets and sometimes even byproducts of oil refining or wood pulp processing. In some Central European countries like Poland some vodka is produced by just fermenting a solution of crystal sugar and yeast. In the European Union there are talks about the standardization of vodka, and the Vodka Belt countries insist that only spirits produced from grains, potato and sugar beet molasses be allowed to be branded as "vodka", following the traditional methods of production.[20][21]

Since we have a potato and gluten allergy that will keep one of us from eating this during shots, it didn't really matter which type I purchased. I will just have to remember that during the restricted time after allergy shots that not everyone can have vanilla in items. I never realized before that we probably shouldn't have been using it. Even I am still learning something new everyday.

Okay, the beans were opened and counted, much to my disappointment, there wasn't quite enough beans in my package according to 3 different sites that I looked at. So I got online and looked again. This, is a God thing. I was checking through my email that afternoon when my feed came through for Heavenly Homemakers and she had brought up making vanilla. Apparently, I just can't get away from it. Since this is a blog I like to read I thought to look up where she gets her beans from. So I followed her link and then did another search, trying to figure out if I really needed organic beans. I try to avoid pesticides in things as much as possible. My search led me here: Amadeus Vanilla Beans. This site is great!! It is loaded with information about the different types of beans and what they are like. I had also checked to see pesticide usage in vanilla growing. A lot depended on if it was wild or plantation farmed. My vote, go organic. The prices at Amadeus Vanilla Beans were awesome, so I ordered 2 pounds of the organic vanilla beans. We are going to have vanilla coming out of our ears. Possible gifts for Christmas to be given, however, it technically won't be at its best flavor in time to use it at Christmas.

So how am I making mine you wonder after that lengthy explanation. Hang on because here we go.

Before you begin any cooking project we must first discuss this, the safety of washing our hands with soap and water. Be sure to use both and scrub for the whole song of "ABC.." or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." (This is to be thought of in the tone and manner of Norm Abram of New Yankee workshop who begins every episode with first we must discuss safety, and no more important rule then these, the safety glasses) Can you tell I'm married to a woodworking guy? Guess what? I now get to listen to it even when he is on the road for work since A2 watches the show regularly. Okay, back to work.

First you will need to gather the ingredients:

1/2 gallon or 1 gallon jars that seal, if you can find amber colored it is suppose to be better for your vanilla. I just have mine put in the back of the pantry cabinet in the dark.

1.75 liters of 35-40% proof vodka- your choice of type and expense.

40 vanilla beans/per 1.75 liters of vodka(this is a half-gallon size jar)

Make sure that your jar and lids are cleaned with soapy water and rinsed well. Now comes the smelly part. Yes, smelly. While I love, love, love, did I say love, the smell of vanilla after the first initial whiff it doesn't smell so good close up. You are going to use sharp scissors to slice open each bean from one end to the other, leaving about 1/4" to 1/2" not sliced. Place the sliced beans into the jar, nothing fancy, just put them in.

After you are done slicing, do not wash your hands off because you will have lots of tiny beans on your fingers and your scissors.

Open the vodka and pour it into the jar over your fingers, rubbing them under the vodka to rinse the beans into the jar. That part is easy, the scissors are trickier. You need an extra hand, or you can just wipe the scissors of with your fingers and rinse under the vodka again.

Put the lid on the jar after all the vodka is in and place in a dark cabinet. One of the places that I was at said that you could use the vanilla as early as 4 weeks, but that it would continue to age and get better as it sits. This particular site makes theirs a little different. Fell free to go check it out. Other places side to not use it for 6 months. The other personal decision to make is to filter or not to filter. I think I'll probably take the bean pods out at 6 months, but not coffee filter out the beans themselves. The above link also suggests shaking it daily the first week and routinely after that. Guess I need to go shake my jar tonight.

I think, we'll wait at least 8 weeks for this first batch of a half gallon. The gallons that I make when the new beans come in we'll wait for 6 months on. I hate to keep buying vanilla when we have some sitting here. Now I'll know to always keep some "cooking" in the cabinet.

I still have to research jars for making gift, but I really like that idea. Google is your friend. I've peeked, but not really compared a lot yet. I thought I'd let you all choose what you want.

Have a great time making yours! I'll let you know how mine tastes in a few weeks/months. I may try not shaking some of the next batch to see what the difference is in taste. A science experiment in the making, I can see it now.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Attitude Adjustments and Rotten Tomatoes

Attitude and tomatoes, what do they have in common? Both attitudes and tomatoes can have a sweet, savory and full of sunshine flavor in common; like when children are getting along and listening to their parents, or when we are listening to what God is telling us and doing what He asks of us. Think back a couple months to that first luscious tomato that you picked from your garden. It was warm from the summer sun and when you sliced it that sweet, tangy sent wafted up into your nose filling you with intense, mouth-watering pleasure. A different tomato, a month or so later, that is laying on the ground is now not quite the same. Oh, it may still be warm, but not necessarily from the sun, but from decomposing. It won't smell sweet, tangy and savory if you slice it. In fact you may be lucky to be able to pick it up because it is now rotting and slicing it will likely send you scrambling for some fresh air, while your mouth is watering for a whole other reason. Attitudes can be a lot like those tomatoes, one day sweet, savory and intensely pleasurable to our hearts and ears, only to turn on us in a day or minute or week to the rotten, yuck that fills us with disappointment, anger and frustration in how to deal with it and correct it.

We've had to adjust some attitudes around here just this last week or so. Things had finally come to a head and Momma wasn't happy. We all know how true the saying is, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Things weren't so sweet and savory on the obeying, respecting and listening front with not just one, but both kids. With Andy on the road, I was quickly getting to my wit's end. Maybe, just maybe, had it not been going on for more than a week or two, I might not have had to go to such drastic measures. I had been tired from fighting off a sinus infection and being Mom and Dad both, a daunting job for which I'm grateful to not have to do on a full-time basis. First, God gave me an attitude adjustment from my sweet friends on Facebook whose husbands are serving in our military. They didn't even say anything, other than posting how they are dealing with their days, doing what needs done, getting things done, and occasionally they'll have a rough day of missing their sweetie and post that. Wake up call for me, who gets to see her sweetie a couple days, thank you to a boss who doesn't want them logging too many hours in the combine for safety reasons, each week. I decided I have no room to whine, not much. Then I'm reminded of my girlfriends who are single parents and do this daily 365, 24/7. I do exactly what my Father in Heaven has been waiting for, I call Him up for some ideas. He is so awesome at answering. We had just harvested everything that was ready in the garden the day before, picking all the green Roma tomatoes and pulling up the cages, composting the plants, dug potatoes, picked the peppers and green beans. I knew when we quit that there was still some cleaning up to do, but thought I would get it later. God said, nope the kids can get it later. Have them pick up the rotten tomatoes from the beds if they continue with the bad attitudes. The battle plan was drawn, prayers continued to go up, not only from me, but also from my dear friends.

The next morning they emerged from bed one on his own, the other had to be woke up for breakfast. At breakfast I let them both know that today, starting right then, the attitudes would need to be adjusted or I had big plans for them in order to help straighten them out. There would be no disrespectful tones, facial expressions or actions, that I expected them to be polite to each other and to absolutely not try to be the parent, but remember that I was the parent and let me deal with it before they try to parent. Boy was I tired of saying, "You aren't the parent I am." I couldn't even inhale to start talking usually before they were parenting, you know? I sent them up to make beds, straighten rooms, brush teeth, get dressed for the day and be back down for Worldview class. So far so good. Everything was done on time. During Worldview, the first one fell;caving under the disgruntled frustration of not wanting to do school. I was able to calmly state that after class he would need to see me for the work I had planned. Not more than maybe 10 minutes later the other one fell to the parenting issue. Calmly a second time I stated that after I was done with the first the second one would get her assignment.

Inside I was grinning from ear to ear, waiting to see how this would play out. I took the first one out to the garden and said you will need to choose one of the two beds that had tomatoes in them. So the bed was picked.

"Your job," I stated, "is to pick up all the rotten tomatoes out of the bed and put them in a bucket. I want even the tomato skins that are there picked up as well."

Nodding of the head, "Okay, I'll go get my gloves...".

"Oh, no, you don't get gloves." A perplexed and kind of yucky look came over the face. "I want you to feel the squishy, slimy, yuck of the rotten tomato. As you put it in the bucket I want you to think about how gross and yucky that feels. That is what God feels like and I feel like when you are disobedient and disrespectful to me or when you try to parent. So as you throw the bucket of rotten tomatoes in the trash can, because we don't want any of the disease that may be there to get into the compost and come back next year, I want that rotten attitude thrown in the trash as well. When you are finished, come get me to check it, if it is all done right, then you can get back to school."

A big sigh, and shoulders have slumped a bit; the work began. It didn't take long, maybe 15 minutes at the most and I was back out checking the work. An excellent job had been done, not one bit of tomato remained. I told him that he had done and excellent job and to remember the rotten tomatoes when he wanted to have that rotten attitude. I also let him know that I had other, nasty jobs in my head for repeat offenders, just in case he wondered.

I go in and get the second child and repeat the instructions for the job at hand. Again I was asked about gloves and again I explained the whole rotten attitude concept into the trash can and wanting them to feel how yucky that really feels. A resigned sigh, this time, however, no rolling of eyes, and the work was also done excellently. I praised the worker again and sent her in to get started on some other school work.

I did have to get my half-bath cleaned later that day. Notice I said, have to as I sit here chuckling. Care to guess which one took on that wonderful task? Yep, that would be the strong-willed one. The awesome news is that the rest of the day went so much better.

The sweet, tangy, pleasurable scent of a good attitude, like the fresh sweet tomato is still permeating our house. The rotten tomatoes are in the trash can which will get taken to the curb on Monday night, by one of the kids, not sure whose on for that night, since Andy will be on the road and it is usually his job. I'm hoping to continue to grow some excellent attitudes over the coming year to fill our lives and hearts with. I want those to shine for Jesus and not the rotten tomato attitudes.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


What motivates you? Actually, what motivates your children? That is what we are trying to figure out here this week. It's not that things aren't ever getting done. It's the struggle to get it done. The reminding, telling, okay, nagging, to get it done. I don't want to do any of those things. It doesn't allow for building relationships when I feel like all I do is remind, tell and nag. It concerns me because we are getting to the point where the rubber meets the road. In two years, A1 will be at college and have to take care of things on her own; school work, job, room, clothing and her health care. Is she ready? Will she do it if I am not there or will it just slip?

I am admitting to the contribution that I made to the problem. I have sinned in not "training them up..." and am reaping the consequences of that. While they were little and not in school they both had to help with things in the house. They would pick up their toys, help fold the towels, put the Tupperware away. The sweeper didn't work at that age and actually not until they were bigger, the 30 foot hose on the central vac was hard enough for me to whip around let alone the kids. Then came public school. They were busy with homework every night and activities afterward. The toys weren't in the front room anymore, they were in their rooms, rooms that I cleaned because they didn't have time. They would help by picking up and put their dishes in the dishwasher if it had dirty dishes in it. I did, however, ask that they be responsible for cleaning the upstairs totally in the summer. Like most tweens and teens, adults too, without accountability it wasn't always done.

Now I'm trying to re-establish habits that I let slack off. I haven't had much success since they've been home this, headed into our 4th year. Mostly because of lack of consistency and follow-up. Also, feeling like they just don't have time to do it with all the school work that they have each day. My view has changed finally on that issue. Now instead of them picking up and me cleaning their room and the upstairs of the house which is the school room and loft with their bathroom and bedrooms, it's on their list. I've even included some of the kitchen duties and laundry. It's past time for them to learn and for me to be obedient in my job as their mother.

After Andy and I sat and talked, while the kids were at youth group, the family sat down with the kids and explained what we thought we needed to do. The example was taken from Sunday School Class and tied into the system we had come up with. We knew also that to motivate them for now and to encourage them to do a good job we would have to work in a reward system. So back to tokens for school and chores done, extra tokens for those monthly chores that have to be done, but are not part of daily/weekly living. The regular reward for getting things done before supper is TV time that night. The TV doesn't happen here until school is done typically and that will stay. We weren't quite sure what kinds of rewards they would want to earn with their tokens, besides some extra internet time and maybe purchasing some books for them for fun. So after their input the list expanded to includes the above plus the following: iTunes, Ice Cream Trip, Pick out Movie to watch by self on Netflix(parental approved), spending cash, swim time for laps, trip to the downtown library on a Saturday, A1 added for her-nail polish colors and/or getting her nails done, A2 wanted flight time, but that one will be a lot of tokens since that is very expensive. Tokens will be withheld for Mom having to remind, tell, nag and for yucky attitudes as we stressed we are to do our work as to the Lord. The biggest consequence for not getting schoolwork finished by Saturday Night is the ability to go to all youth group activities for the up-coming week will be taken away.

So that is their motivation, for now. I foresee a lot more praying throughout my day as I remember to keep my cool while checking things, if I get arguments about having to redo them. The hope is that they will take ownership of it fairly quickly and will not need the external rewards for all the work. I'm not saying that we won't occasionally surprise them with a thing here or there, but first we need to get to where a job well done is its own reward. That they will not only take responsibility, but ownership for the things expected of them. Y'all will be excited to know that writing for this blog is one my list for the "chores" to do every week. My motivation is that I'm doing what God expects me to do, "train up my children."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

After my bout of insomnia this very late last Saturday night or early Sunday morning, whichever your perspective is of 3 am, I had posted on FB about my family reaping rewards of fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast from my lack of sleep, I was asked for that recipe too. This time when I duplicated it, I took pictures for you to see. You are going to want to slip off your rings as your hands will get goopy with this recipe.

The dough is not my own recipe, but is found in the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. I just love this book and the other book they have Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It is absolutely the easiest bread to make and worth your time to hope over and check it out. I just used the basic dough master recipe. They do have sweet roll dough recipes too.

First for your benefit I've laid out all the ingredients, other than the dough. You will need butter(or oil-typically I use canola or safflower, however, we are out right now so they get butter, not a big deal), sugar, cinnamon, almond meal.
The almond meal is just almonds that are ground up very fine, not to the point of almond flour. I do use this like almond flour though too. This adds some extra protein to the rolls and some calcium.

I take a chunk of dough out of my dish and roll it out into a rectangle. The approximate size of a 9 x 13 pan.

After melting about 2.5-3 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave, I pour that over the dough and spread it out, yes, I use my hands, they've been washed first.

Follow that with a scant 1/4 cup of sugar sprinkled over the top.

Cinnamon goes on next.

The final touch to the filling is the almond meal. My kids don't really like chopped nuts on their rolls, however, they will do the almond meal so they get the almond meal. You can make them without the almond meal and they taste just fine too.

Then you roll the dough up like a play-dough snake. This is the only type of snake that I'll get near and that won't scare the liver out of me.

Make sure that you pinch the outside edge to the roll to seal it.

I cut the snake in 1/2 first, then 1/2 again which if you are doing the math-I know you don't want to do math, but I'm a home school mom so math it is-you will now have a snake cut into 1/4ths.

Each 1/4 then gets cut into 1/3rds so that when all the cutting is done you will have 12 pieces.

I used to place these in a 9 x 13 French Corningware dish, however, the last couple times I've used my deep dish Pampered Chef stone.

I place the dish in the oven and set the convection heat to 170 degrees. If you don't have convection, then the regular oven at the same temperature works fine, it may take a bit longer for them to raise. You will want to let them double in size. If the dough is cold it takes about 30-45 minutes. I'm pretty laid back about and don't freak out about the times, that would be why I can't tell you specifics.

When they have doubled, approximately, then boost the temperature up to 350 degrees and bake until golden on top and when you tap them they sound hollow. I think it takes about 15-20 minutes, I wasn't watching precisely as I was busy loading the kids "workfiles". I was also making the glaze for them. This is the hardest part. Not really, but I had to let you think so.

You dump about 1 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, add a splash(approximately 1 teaspoon) of vanilla or almond, whichever strikes your fancy. This next part is the tricky part, actually this is true.
You need to a just a touch of water as well. Stir this all up and you want the icing to be thick, not a glop that you can't move(see the picture on the right), but thick, like you need to push it off the spoon with your finger or another spoon. If it is too runny then it all runs off the warm cinnamon rolls.

The thick icing will just melt over the top.

The smell wafting through the house by now has worked it magic and the kids are waking up and coming downstairs with smiles on their faces.

If you want to make these fancy you can make the cream cheese frosting. I'll include that here, but without the pictures. This is how I usually make them for birthday breakfasts and holidays. This will make enough for a couple batches and that is with a loaded top. I will fill up a decorating bag or the fancy pump thing from Pampered Chef to swirl the icing on. 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter softened, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons of milk. Place all of this in my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl and whip up until smooth.

Enjoy all and have a great morning!! Oh be sure to make some coffee or hot chocolate to go with these, that makes it even better. I'm hoping that you don't get insomnia before you get to try this recipe.

PS. They are quickly carried off and all 12 are gone tonight.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Breakfast Cookies

This morning I had to quick type in my breakfast cookie recipe to a friend on Facebook. There were other requests for my version of this so I said I would post it here. I don't have any pictures to put with it right now, but the next time I make them I'll get pictures up too.

1 cup white sugar-I use a scant 1 cup
1 cup peanut butter-all natural no sugar added
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons of vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats-I use the honey ones
1 cup of mini chocolate chips-original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of raisins, however, the kids don't like raisins so we use less mini chocolate chips.
6 cups of toasted oat cereal rings

1st Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

2nd In a very large bowl,(I use the regular Kitchen Aid Mixer and it maxes out this bowl with a single recipe), mix together the sugar, peanut butter, butter, apple sauce, water, vanilla and eggs until smooth. It helps if all butter, including peanut butter, and apple sauce are room temperature. Then add the flour, almond meal, baking soda and salt mixing while adding. (If you are into dirtying extra dishes those can be combined 1st then added, however, it has worked fine for me to not do this.) Mix in the oats and chocolate chips and then carefully stir in the cereal. The cereal is what really pumps up the volume and starts to go over the edges of your bowl a bit.

3rd Drop by 1/2 cupfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Space them out so that there are only 5 per cookie sheet. You then need to pat them down until they are about 1 inch thick.

4th Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cookies are lightly browned at the edges. Check them earlier if your oven tends to run hot. Let stand on the cookie sheets after removing for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store at room temperature.

Andy likes these with raisins and if I make two batches I will make one batch for him with raisins and a few chocolate chips and a batch for just the kids. A1 will eat the ones with the raisins, just after all the ones with only the chocolate chips. The original recipe said you could substitute the raisins out for chocolate chips or dried cranberries.

With the changes that I made the nutritional makeup changed as well. I only wrote down the following information, but could retype it into my recipe program and check to see other things if you want that. Per cookie 464 cal, Net Carbs(Total Carb-dietary fiber) 50g, Protein 14g

I love having these in the house because then I don't have to think hard about breakfast. They will typically just grab one of these. They also like them for snacks. I don't have cost calculated out per cookie because I typically get the organic cereal and things on sale and/or in bulk.

Enjoy everyone!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not forgotten

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I haven't forgotten about the final part for planning. We started school on the 9th and then went on vacation the next week. So between getting school planning done and setting up workboxes for that I haven't had time to blog. I'm hopeful that I can get to it this week, however, just a heads up the garden is ready for the salsa to be made, my Mom just dropped off three, five-gallon buckets of pears to do and the green beans need checked/picked every day. So hopeful is a great word to use.

In the meantime, I hope y'all are having a great week. I'll work hard to get to it at the beginning of the week, maybe while the salsa is processing in the water bath??

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Planning Year 3 Part 2:The Secret of the Pop Quiz-for Mom

I don't know how many of the TOG(Tapestry of Grace) families purchase the Pop Quizzes. I am just putting in a huge plug for them. They are awesome!!! Not just for the Dad's to listen to so that they know what is going on and can ask discussion questions at supper or when they are hanging out, but also for busy Mom's to listen to if they don't have time to read the TN's(Teacher Notes) Background information. I learned that sweet, sweet lesson last year and have loved them for me. I listened one morning while I was working in the kitchen, our day was packed and I didn't know how I was going to get ready for discussion the next day. It was great! After listening to the weeks recording, I had an excellent idea of where things were going and what was happening. I then, later, did have time to read the Background info and it was almost verbatim to the Pop Quiz. I have also had the kids listen to the Pop Quiz in the mornings after they have their readings all done, sometimes they pick up new things from the discs too and discussion happens over breakfast with the new ideas.

For this year's planning, since I am having to mesh the D and R level together, I have looked through the Threads, and through the reading assignments to get an idea on the amount of reading at each level for each week. I had allergy shots this last Thursday, a 2 hour drive one way, so I popped the CD in and got through the first 6 or 7 weeks of the first Unit. That really helped me to see what the different levels were and how I need to mesh them together for more cohesion. A2 was in the back seat, because he needed his shot also, and he was listening in for some of it. He thought it sounded like we were going to have an interesting year.

Today I'm going to go through all the books on our shelves, which compared to some of you is a drop in the bucket, looking for ones that repeat for this year and culling the ones that don't. Those will be getting sold and then I'll sit down again and look at the way the weeks go to decide which books I'll end up needing. I can write on my pages, thanks to the DE part, so that I know for sure what I'm assigning each week for reading. I will actually be highlighting that material. I know right now that the D level spends more time on Napoleon than the R level so the different weeks that it is in R level, I'm going to have to read both to see how that can be moved around to fit at the same time(overlap) with the D level at the appropriate time frame of D studies.

That is the next step in my process. Hope this helps you to see where I'm head too. Try out the Pop Quiz CD's I bet you'll love them too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Prepping for Year 3 of Tapestry using DE

I am sitting here printing things out in order to plan for Tapestry Year 3 and thought, I probably should blog about this as I go. So far nothing has been the same in preparing from year to year. This year would have been, until the Lord brought to my mind that A1 has never studied this time in European History and parts of the American History we will cover. It also was brought to my attention, God is so good, that A2 will not be getting this time period of history again either as he is a freshman this fall. Enter panic into my thought process. "A1 needs to get the facts and things that are at the Dialectic Level, but still needs the synthises of putting it all together and making the bigger picture connections of how history is still affecting us today and cementing her beliefs about it. A2 needs both of these too. If I have them do all of both levels they will hate me, school and life.(Thinking like a teenager here)" Enter sanity in the form of my TLT friends who are filled with wisdom and love to share and help. After gleaning from them, my year just got a bit more complicated, however, the kids year should end up with just the right balance of both. I will be weaving the two levels together according to what is being taught in both each week. We've always done both discussions together so that won't be new, however, assigning reading and work from both levels without overwhelming them will be new. So I'm going to write down how I'm doing this for future reference, since I'll probably have to do the same thing next year, and to help anyone else coming along after me through this.

Since I have the DE(digital version) and I have to move so much between levels on the threads and reading levels I am starting by printing both of these things out so I can mark them up. To be most economical about it I am printing the Threads into a book by printing back to back. I am also doing it in gray scale with black only ink. While I love color, it isn't essential to my planning as I'll be highlighting the final way I'm wandering through Tapestry this year. (There will be a brief pause while I finish this up and decide if I'm using color for the next step or not.)

Actually, I digress. I next printed in gray scale, black ink only, the Unit Introduction notes for the year as well. Between reading these, looking through the threads, and listening to the Pop Quiz CD's when they get here, I should have an excellent idea on where to weave at. If I'm not sure for the week, then I'll read the Teacher Notes(TN's and background) for the week in question off of the DE screen on the computer.

I know some are wondering why I didn't just get the print version or the print/DE version. Here is the logic behind this. I don't need it all. I only need some things. I probably could have gotten by without printing the Unit Intro's, but I wanted to be able to take this to bed and read there and it is easier to read paper in bed then off a laptop. I love the DE version for the search-ability. I think this year instead of printing the kids Student Activity Pages, I'm going to put them on a flash drive either edited to word or have them do that so that they can type their answers on their computers. If they need them printed then they can do it. That is my thoughts on that part of it. A1 uses her laptop for everything and A2 likes to use his too. He is all about not wasting paper so that might work well for him too.

To print color or no color that is the question, whether 'tis nobler or...oops, not Shakespeare, but color it is. The kids may have to refer to these charts in case something goes weird with the whole workbox system we are also going to try this fall.

So all of those things are printed and I've actually read the Unit Intro's for the whole year. It is going to be an exciting year. Today I'm going to start through the threads, highlighting the things that I feel are most important for them to get. To start I'm going to use yellow for things I think we should do and then go back and refine with blue so that everything we are going to do will be in green. Then, I'll coordinate that with the reading assignments for the week and start checking to see which books we have.

I might be busy for a few days or so, but this is where it is starting. Somewhere during this I really need to get the rest of the painting finished around here too.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Winding up the year

As we get ready to wind down this our 3rd year of home schooling, I am amazed at all the we are all learning. This includes me as well. I haven't just learned or relearned the academic things, but things about me and things about the kids.

I have learned that I need to not sweat the small stuff quite so much. That part of that process is letting natural consequences fall into place and watch everyone learn the life lessons. I still have issues with remembering this and following through with it, but I think it is getting better, maybe. I'm sure I'll have to continue to work on it. I've learned that I have got to stick to a schedule for me. If I follow it, I'll get my Bible reading in, workout in and seem to get more work done. The days I don't have a list or schedule of things I seem to wonder around. Yet, even in knowing this I still must remember to be flexible and open to things not happening like I plan them and go with the flow, following the path that the Lord has lead me down for the day. I am noticing things that I need to make sure that the kids know how to do; cleaning, maintenance, finances(not too much), cooking. I need to teach them and then let them do it; learning to let it go if they know what to do, expecting them to do it like they've been taught. I've learned that time goes so very fast with the kids home. I've got 5 years, 4 as Austin reminds me since it is the end of the year, before they are both gone and in college. I have got to remember to have fun with them while they are here, grounding them in their faith and in knowing that home is always where they can turn to. I have one summer left with Austin home before he joins the summer work force to enjoy my "little guy", who absolutely isn't so little anymore.

A1, my little girl, has grown up so very fast. She has learned to do better with her time management. She has more to learn, but improvement has been made and she is excited to try something new to help with it. She has grown in her relationship with the Lord and letting Him make decisions in her life. She has shown persistence, discipline, courage and lots of heart in fighting for her possible spot on the varsity team for volleyball this year. She has literally paid for it not just with her money for the extra club team practice this last year, but also in blood, sweat and tears with the pain of the dislocated knee and rehab done in order to get back to being able to tryout doing all movements. She has learned that age is just a number doing her service project with the women's sewing circle at church where she is the youngest girl there. Most are older than even her grandmothers, yet she she such a fun time with them and loves each one. The feeling is totally reciprocated. She is still my girl, not tomboy, for sure. Her highlight so far this month was her day shopping at Michigan City with her cousin and my Mom. They both spent all that they took. She had a list of what she wanted and truly found some great bargains. She was so excited the night I broke out the nail polish for my toes for the summer. She suggested this purple or blue; I declined for red and she thought that was fine too. Most of the time my jewelry gets put back, the pink necklace and earrings though are usually found upstairs on her vanity if they aren't on her person.

A2, my "little guy", has grown both physically and matured in his walk with the Lord too. He is far from little, being the 2nd biggest person in the family, only surpassed by his Dad, my "big guy". He loves being taller than his sister and does like to reminder her that he is taller. Soon, Andy will have extra shoes as right now the guys wear the same size shoe. I am so amazed that my "little guy" is not so little anymore. I tell him he will always be my "little guy" no matter how big he gets. He is still so in to his flying and wanting to do missions flying. Free reading will find him with his nose in some sort of book on aviation and/or drawing and calculating things for planes he has drawn. He is following his dreams by going to a camp this summer for missions aviation. He has gotten a special waiver to go because he is just one year too young. His interest, reading and ability to focus on all things aviation allowed the waiver to be given. He is learning from his Dad all about Authentic Manhood. He is getting better about rejecting passivity & accepting responsibility. These are the two that I can encourage. It is amazing that when I ask for something to be done or if something has been done, with just a reminder of these two phrases the response that I get. He has applied himself to his quizzing studies more this year and has seen the benefits from the extra time applied to this study.

As you can see, we have all learned a lot of different things. Together we are having fun, for the most part, in this learning journey. Some of the harder lessons are hard, but we are learning to lean on each other more, including the kids going to each other. I'm excited as we wind up the year and look forward to the next year to see all that we will get to learn.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking Time-final transfer from other blog

I hope you enjoy this post transferred from my other blog. As you all know I have a hard enough time keeping up with just this one blog. Enjoy. My major projects on the house are almost done as is school mostly so I'll have more time, maybe. We'll have to see what happens with that.

It has been quite awhile since I last posted. Life has been so busy that time has gotten away. This leads to lesson number two.

Time. We all need it and use it on a daily basis. We also have it taken from us to do with as we would chose by kids, spouses and family, commitments that we could have turned down, but instead chose to say yes to, emergencies that pop up "out of nowhere". With all of these things pulling us in so many different directions, there is one person who doesn't clamor for our attention. He is a gracious friend who waits patiently for us to realize the importance of our time spent with Him; my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and God the Father.

As I diligently went out each day to pull at the weeds and misplaced flowers in our front bed, I was surprised at how much time that it took to get a small section done. I also realized the sense of joy and accomplishment that I felt at the progress that I made. As a couple of days turned into a couple of weeks and my new friends at the Tapestry of Grace Loose Threads group were getting worried about all the weeding that I was doing, I was relishing the quite time spent listening to my God speak with me and to me. You see, I had planted the wildflower mix into this particular bed for the sole reason of not having to weed it all summer to keep it looking nice. We have a couple of other beds with wild flowers in them that I just love. However, this particular bed just didn't look right with the flowers even though they were put there it just wasn't where they were suppose to be(another lesson). The shrubs in it were hidden by the flowers and they weren't really growing because they weren't getting the water and light that they needed to grow.

This was a two by four to the side of the head moment. I can't grow right either in my walk with the Lord if I am not planted in the right conditions. I must have light and water and air and time from and with my Lord if I am to thrive. In order to do this I must weed out the nasty weeds, and beautiful flowers that may just be planted in the wrong place or time frame in my day for me to get the nourishment I need to grow and thrive.

I won't tell you that I have accomplished this consistently yet, that would be lying and I don't do that. I am getting better. I am learning to really look at something to see if it takes away time from my family which would cause me to juggle them to another slot and squish out my time for my Lord. That part is going fairly well.

Now I just need to be as diligent about keeping my time commitment with my Lord as I was with getting out to work in that flower bed this summer. That is a goal for me to do and achieve before the end of this year. How about you? Are you getting watered and weeded(lesson number 3) on a daily or weekly basis, outside of church?

My Lord waits each day to meet with me and yet do I meet with Him or do I stand Him up. How do I expect to grow and bloom and bear fruit if I am not making my date with Him each day? Now it is time to put into practice this first step that I was told this summer. Look how patient my God is. That is such a small comparison to how much I know that He loves me.

He's waiting to meet with you too.

Have a great week everyone.


coachmom said...


I'm so glad that you take the time to see God in everything around you. I have often used weeding to help me grow in my relationship with God. I look at it like this...when we clean out all the bad things from our lives, we leave room for all the beautiful things to take root and grow. But don't look at my yard as any proof of this analogy, ok?

Coach Mom
October 24, 2008 6:43 AM

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. The day that we honor our Mothers and as Mothers maybe actually get a bit of pampering too. Each year we typically have both my Mom and Andy's Mom, all the rest of the immediate family is invited too and we do lunch. Usually taco bar or hamburgers on the grill. The treat is the first making in the large ice cream maker of homemade ice cream.

This year is anything but typical for Mother's Day for me, very typical, however, for a mother's normal day. Starting about a week ago with A2 getting sick that accumulated in the removal of his appendix on Wednesday. We got to come home on Thursday to A1 who was fighting a sore throat and her neck was out of alignment. Still wanting to go to volleyball that night, but when she got back from her chiropractor appointment she hangs her head and asks for me to see if she has a fever. Yes, she did. So now I have two kids down, or up as they chose to be in their rooms. A good choice, since A2 really didn't need to "catch" anything from A1. I slept upstairs on the couch Thursday and Friday nights. I knew I would sleep better because I wouldn't be running up and down the steps to check on them if anything was wrong for everything I heard. A2, bless his heart, was afraid I wouldn't sleep very well there and that he would wake me up. I told him that was just part of being a mom, being up at all hours when the kids need you and I explained that this way I wouldn't be trekking up and down the stairs every time I heard something.

Things were running smoothly. While there was no snoring keeping me awake those nights, the wind was something else on Friday night. It had finally died down and apparently God wasn't finished carrying up through the storm when at 4am Andy came up to have me look at "some" hives he had. He told me he already had taken Benedryl about an hour before but was still itchy. His back was covered, like one giant hive. His chest and belly were pretty well covered too. I stayed up with him for about another 45 minutes until he was comfortable and sleepy. He said he didn't have any problems breathing. We tried to figure out what he had gotten into and narrowed it down some. A bit later, 2 hours, Austin was up and needing pain meds. Bless him, he took them and waited for some breakfast while I caught another 1 or 2 hours of sleep.

Saturday, I thought we were on the way out, A1 had been fever free for over 24 hours. A2's pain levels were down. Andy forgot what we thought he reacted to and ate some, so another round of Benedryl which knocked him out for the afternoon. He and A1 went to our church's dinner theatre that evening. He has sound to set up after tear down of the play's sets so they took two vehicles.

I hadn't planned on going to church because I didn't think A2 was going to be ready to try that and I didn't want to leave him home alone, just in case something weird happened. Well all the different eating times and high sugar and high caffenine foods caught up to me very early(2am) Sunday morning. I got up and took some things to make me feel better and went back to my bed. No couch at all that night; both kids had been doing great. Andy came in as he was getting ready for church later and said that A1 wasn't going she thought she was running a fever in the middle of the night. Back to running stairs. I rested in bed a bit, until A2 called me to see what was for breakfast. I did get a thanks Mom and I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day.

So today is not typical Mother's Day. I talked with my Mom on the phone today instead of live. I was glad that both she and my mother-in-law both had told me earlier in the week to just cancel our regular plans. That I should just take the day and rest. Well, while I took the day off, but I'm not celebrating a typical Mother's Day, I am celebrating a typical day for a Mom. I'm taking care of my husband and children, without whom I wouldn't have the honor of being called "Mom" in the first place. When everyone is well, then we'll send a day doing something special and fun. For right now, I'll just hold on to the Lord, who really is carrying me through all this. Thankful for all the prayers of my friends and family.

I hope you all have a Happy Mother's Day, whether you are spending it typically or atypically.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whose plans are they anyway?

Well, life has been zipping along at warp speed here in Indiana as spring is bursting all over. Planting season for gardeners has started and the farmers are gearing up to go in the next week or so depending on the weather. The wives of said farmers, are busy with those gardens and other projects that will keep us just as busy doing them and running errands-think food/drink-for our guys. This wife, doesn't have those errands to run since Andy actually works for a company that does corn research, however, it is easiest to explain he gets paid to farm. We live on a farming lifestyle schedule and our lives, projects and vacations still revolve around farming calendar. My plans for this spring/early summer were not huge, not really. It was something that I wanted to do and felt that I needed to do. I thought they were great plans, but again I'm reminded that my schedule/plan isn't about me, but about God and His plans for my day to help me grow and prosper. When am I going to learn this, I don't know for sure, hopefully soon, because the lessons are not fun. I don't enjoy repeating lessons over and even now being reminded how like a child I am sometimes with some things in my walk with the Lord, oh yeah, and that I need to exhibit the same patient teaching with my kids as He does with me.

For the past couple months in anticipation of Spring Break, I've been planning on repainting the inside of the house. We've been here now 10 years going on 11 and it is time. It actually was probably time 5-6 years ago when the beams finally dried out and left little gaps of unpainted space around them, but the budget said it wasn't time yet. I was excited, everything was lining up, budget, time and energy. I worked at figuring out the new colors. Was I going to go with any special painting finish or just paint. I spent a whole weekend working up poster boards with the colors I liked, but then didn't use those because they didn't look right with the beams, consulting with Andy too because it's his house too. Finally, the decision was made. The barn door green dining room and the cornmeal kitchen were both going to wild oats. Then north wall of the kitchen is going to have a color called Suede Grey. It really isn't grey, it is more of a green/grey color along the sage line. The cabinets that Andy built in my office are painted this color. The entry, fireplace and TV room, along with the loft upstairs are going from a hollyhock red below chair rail with corckscrew willow above to all corckscrew willow. The north wall of that section of the house will also get changed from holly hock red to the Suede Grey. A2's room is getting done too. He picked out this really neat green color. Okay, everything is picked out. Paint is purchased, while it was on sale-wahoo!!! Ready to roll on this project over spring break, literally. This is My plan, get all those rooms done over Spring Break; My project as Andy will be in KY on mission trip. My plan is set. (No the "M" being capitalized isn't a mistake, it is there for emphasis to remind me that My thinking was wrong.) Little did I know things were about to unravel.

The thread begins to unravel about mid-March. Thursday evening we are sitting watching TV after A2 has went to bed and A1 is a volleyball. Phone rings, after 9 pm, which means this might not be good as most people don't call us after 9. It is not good at all. A1 has dislocated her knee at volleyball practice and Andy's Mom, whom God placed there that week because of a meeting so she wanted to carpool, calls to wonder what she should do. I talk with the coach and they take her to ER where we meet them. Dislocated knee, anyone know what that looks like? Well, A1's was bad. She was holding her kneecap on the outside of her knee, like a whole 90 degrees from where it should be. She was in extreme pain and had to hold it at a weird angle from her body to be comfortable as they wheeled her slowly to the ER room. As we got towards the back the nurse wanted to speed her along to get her into a bed and she wanted to go slowly to keep it from hurting so badly. The mama bear in me wanted the nurse to let us go slowly, however, the practical side of this mama knew that the sooner we got her to the bed the quicker they could get rid of the pain. Long story short, pain meds, semi-conscience sedation meds, straighten her leg and take two fingers to guide the kneecap back and it's done. Followed up with xray and sent home with instructions to follow up with orthopedic surgeon. After visits with 2 different ortho guys we finally got some answers that didn't conflict and actually made sense. Her orthopedic surgeon that she was miraclusly able to get into 2 weeks earlier, thanks to prayers from my awesome group at TLT studied under Dru Bree's orthopedic guy who took care of his shoulder problems a few years ago. I literally hung up with the late appointment and went straight to post the request that we needed to get in earlier, this was at about 9 EST am. I called back after lunch around 2ish and they had an opening for 8:15am the next morning. Isn't God Great!! She is currently in rehab and will see orthopedic guy in about 10 days to check her progress and get our next set of instructions. While he was assuring to her about volleyball he also was assuring to me as he stressed that getting the problem solved correctly now was important so she wouldn't "have problems when she was older like him". I was laughing in my head because this doctor must be at least 10-12 years younger than me. She was given clearance to practice volleyball still, just no jumping and she has to wear a brace. So she has been staying in touch with the ball, just not killing it from the sky.

As A1 says for her all good stories start with volleyball, just 2 weeks later on the way to volleyball practice she was in her first accident, so the unraveling continues. Her Aunt Heather had to pick her up because Andy and I decided to be healthy that night and take a walk, A2 tagged along, but we left the cell phone at home, thus she couldn't get a hold of us. When Heather called, she asked how my day was going and said A1 is fine, I'm on my way to pick her up from an accident. Andy had turned right around when we got back and took the car to get eggs from our friends and didn't take the cell with him so we couldn't leave to meet them there. Heather said that she would just get her and bring her here. Bless her heart, she was so worried and upset, not about the accident totally, but more about what we were going to do and how we were going to react. She was fully expecting to be grounded from driving when she got home. We didn't ground her or take away her driving privileges; we just gave her a big hug, assured her it was an accident and it happens. We did tell her later that weekend that we wouldn't rule out having to help pay for difference in insurance, plates and help with the payment we knew we would probably have. "Sure, no problem," she said. "That will help me not to feel guilty for messing up the accident free bonus." This all happened on my birthday-Happy Birthday to me as A1 says I got you a new car! I was just thankful she was okay.

Did I mention we just finished the Seeds Campaign at church about giving God our time, talent and treasure? To help everyone be aware of all they have to offer to God and to commit as a church to get the mortgage paid off in 3 years. In looking at our time, talent and treasure we had made commitments to all three things. Commitment Sunday had been the week after the dislocation of A1's knee, the 2 weeks before the accident and new car payment that will now come out of a budget that was balanced well and finally working correctly. Celebration Sunday was also Palm Sunday, we had a lot to celebrate. The following Easter Sunday we had even more to celebrate as we saw things start to unravel and God start to work to put them back together while protecting us from harm. Cup of Cold Water had been on the schedule since January. Andy loves doing this and it follows right into his talent-building things and working with his hands. Spring Break works into the schedule for him at work, because when the group goes in the fall he is in the middle of harvest and can't break away. I was excited for him to go, however, we were under attack and that Friday a rage came over me as I was cleaning up in the kitchen and thinking about painting project for me over Spring Break. It started, no lie, in my toes and went clear to the tip of my head. I slammed my hands on the counter and was ranting, "Why does he have to go on a trip to KY to build a house for someone else, taking a week vacation to do the work, when he could stay here and get our house finished and help me with the painting?" Two seconds later I went, "Whoa, where did that come from? Lord, forgive me because this is not how I really feel. Satan, leave me alone in this for this is something that the Lord is in and you have no place." I was sure to let Andy know about the attack when he got home that evening. He was floored as he knew as well that I was behind him in this ministry. We came under further attack on Sunday night as A2 started having issues with Andy being gone too.

So Spring Break rolls in Monday. Andy is gone by 6:30am and takes the truck, leaving me with a kiss and the kids, who are sleeping in notes. I start on the painting project. Furniture gets moved to the middle of the room, curtains are taken down, the shelf is removed, spackling gets done, walls get washed, everything gets taped. Did I mention that I should have spackled and fixed dry wall with compound first and then washed the walls after sanding? No, well that is because I learned that I should have washed the walls after sanding. Let's just say the walls were well cleaned for the paint. Despite the mix-ups with washing the walls, phone calls made to and from the insurance company and looking for something to replace the van, I was able to get the dining room all painted with the first coat and the kitchen walls that were in the same color done as well. I had A2 reminding me that I needed to workout and my response was I am working out, climbing up and down on the chair to paint was like a giant lunge or squat. I wasn't sore though until Wednesday afternoon. I had to throw in a trip to the chiropractor on Thursday morning because Austin's neck was out of alignment and he had a bad headache going. I was also not feeling quite as well. So I had some adjustments done on my neck and back as well as my wrist. It is amazing what a 12" roller will do to my wrist vs the 9", however, after the adjustment my wrists didn't hurt anymore. I was really tired and just felt off. Thinking I probably just needed to rest a bit I took a nap that afternoon; I could just work later into the evening to make up for lost time. God says, "Guess what Anita, you are not in charge. This plan you have is not what I have for you to do this week." I woke up with a slight fever and still had a headache and now my stomache just felt yucky. No more painting for me. I rested, watched some TV and movies with the kids and researched and researched some more on a vehicle to replace the van. I was able to find something to replace the van, but not finish all the painting. My poor husband came home to a house that looked like a disaster zone and has only recovered somewhat. I did make sure he was forewarned, but I felt so bad. My lesson for the week was that God was in control of my plans and this was most evident when I went to take the things out of our smashed up van.

Things are not important, including freshly painted houses. It is the people who live, laugh and love in those houses that are important. The God I serve protected my daughter that day of her accident and in doing so protected me. The whole right front corner of our van was gone. You could see into the engine and the left side was smooched back to the front of the engine. From the rear it looked normal, but from the front it made my legs shake just to see it. Climbing into the van to empty out our things that Ashley had left in(she grabbed the registration and something else I can't remember now that was important), it looked totally normal as well. Nothing was smashed or crumpled or crinkled. Thank you Lord for protection for my baby girl.

We took an extra week for Spring Break, for me. The kids worked on some makeup things for school, but I didn't teach. I worked on the painting some more. I have some things finished. The dining room, kitchen and office. They are put back together, and my sweet husband's first choice to get things put back together was the dining room. He missed our nightly Sorry game. So after 2 weeks of eating in the TV room because everything was piled everywhere we were back to eating supper in the dining room and playing team Sorry. Last weekend while the kids were at a quiz invitational Andy and I worked on getting the TV room finished. Today I just got the furniture put back into it. The painting for the rest isn't totally finished yet, but it will be; when it's suppose to be done. I'm working on one room at a time now, the fireplace room and lower walls(think no scaffolding) of the entry area are next. The boarder is half off, but I'm taking tomorrow off to chill out, relax and scrap book with my friend. We both need to relax a bit. The painting will still be there when I get home and I can work on it next week between teaching, cooking and all the other things on my list. But it doesn't really matter what is on my list as much as does my list match God's list for me for that day? Does He have something else in mind and am I listening to Him close enough to hear them? If the kids ask for extra help with something or a friend calls and needs something done, am I listening to the Lord asking me to serve them or am I going to have to relearn that lesson about Whose plans they really are. I'm hopeful that at least for a longer period of time, this time, I'll remember Who is really in charge of my day, thanking Him for the chance to serve Him by living, loving and laughing with my friends and family and serving them and strangers who cross my path in the plans He has for my day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Alone Time

Following is my first post from my other blog that I had started, back when I had grand plans of doing two different blogs, one about our school and family life and the other about things God was teaching me in my walk with Him. Funny how the theme of the two posts, yes only two, were about time. Since my poor followers here know I'm not quite in the routine of getting writing done here on a weekly basis, funny. So I will post the first one and get to the second one next week, during our Spring Break sometime during the painting project that I have going on in our barn. Enjoy and thank you for stopping by.

In my other blog Life Lessons from the Barn I talked about other things coming up instead that got in the way of my starting to plan for the school year. These first few posts are going to be some lessons I learned this spring during a weeding project.

We first had a garage sale with my Mother-in-law and Sister-in-law, two actually. The first one was fairly simple and not a lot of work. The second one, however, was a lot longer prep as we were clearing out the old farm house. My Mother-in-law is in her own apartment/suite that is attached to my Sister-in-Laws new house and the farm house is coming down. In the few weeks that took to arrange the sun and rain conspired together to grow a healthy patch of weeds in one of my wild flower patches. I had planned on working in this patch to change it around a little this year, but first I needed to get time to work on it.

I did ask the kids(14 and 11) if they wanted to go out and help pull weeds. It was amazing how no one wanted to pull the weeds and flowers that weren't where they were suppose to be. Even my husband found other projects to do. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had time alone. No one bothered me with questions or needing things. They never even checked to see if I was still alive out there-this might have been a nice thing. I know they were concerned if I saw them they would have been recruited. I might have the first day, but after that I think I wouldn't have. God was talking to me and I could actually hear without all of the other things pressing me.

How often do we not want to do something like this alone? Sometimes, I feel that, yes, the kids and husband could help-they live here too. Other times though in the business of our lives as Moms and Wives a drive to the grocery store alone, weeding a flower bed, working outside or inside alone at something is a chance for God to use and teach us. I haven't asked for too much help when doing the weeding this year and after letting things get away from me as you will see in the next post leaves a lot of opportunity for musings along the path with my Lord.
Posted by Anita M. at 7:28 AM 0 comments
Labels: life, Quiet time, weeding
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