Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sacred Mommyhood's first giveaway! Don't miss out!

Sacred Mommyhood is a precious blog full of tips, ideas, recipes, mommy stories, homeschool ideas, etc. The author is a Christian mother of nine wonderful children whom are all homeschooled (or at least one day will be!).

Don't miss out on her first giveaway! Visit Sacredmommyhood and check it out!!

Sacred Mommyhood

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The ugly side of motherhood...and then the beauty from the ashes.

Could there possibly be an ugly side to motherhood? It isn't really motherhood at fault, it is my own sin.

Today, I heard a disrespectful attitude within my child as she argued back. As the day wore on, I got more and more annoyed. I was being more and more disrespectful right back at her. The other children moved around us as we kept an ongoing argument throughout the morning and early afternoon when it blew up into a full blown fight.

Wow. Ouch. How did it come to this? How did I end up yelling at the very child that I wrote several days ago was blessing me? How did it get this out of control?

As mothers, we are warned to have a gentle and quiet spirit. We are told to train up our children in the Lord. We are taught order and consistency. Consistency. That is the main thing that broke down here. In my laziness, business, or whatever, I lost consistency. I lost sight of the goal, to train up this child in righteousness. I forgot that her character was more important than getting that chore done or finishing that spelling lesson with the other child.

If at her first offense, I had responded calmly yet firmly, and I had given the consequence deserved, it most likely would have gone no farther. She would have seen her sin, said she was sorry, had her consequence and moved on through the day still in the loving fellowship of her mother. Neither of us would have been angry.

Instead, I either ignored the offenses or just fussed my dislike of the offense while still moving forward with my agenda. This does not teach. It does not train. It does not say that you and your character development are a priority to me because I love you. It says that this is a normal way to disagree with me. It says that I don't have time for you. It communicates all kinds of negative things that I do not want to communicate to these precious gifts that God has intrusted to me.

So, what is a mother to do? Humble herself. I first went to God and asked for forgiveness. I prayed for my child, for my child's relationship and walk with God, for me as her mother, for the huge responsibility of raising this person, for my need for a savior, for my need for His help and guidance, for my child's and my relationship. I prayed.

When I was through, and while still in prayer, I approached my child. I confessed my sin and asked for forgiveness. I listened humbly and quietly to the hurt I had caused. We talked about what could make our relationship better, stronger. I was apologized to, and I forgave.

Our God is a God of reconciliation, of unity, of forgiveness, of grace, and of love! He restores and heals our hearts. As long as we are clinging to Him, humbly acknowledging our need for Him, all will work for good!

Thank you, God, for these precious gifts. Thank you that you never leave my side. Thank you that I am not raising them alone, but that you are with me. Thank you for a godly, loving husband who walks with me and supports and encourages me. Mold me into the woman, wife, and mother that you want me to be. I pray my heart would never be closed to growth, never "arriving" until I am with you. I pray that you would show yourself, your love, to these children. I pray that they would grow to know you, to love you, and to follow you more and more each day. May they never lose the thirst to know you more!! In Jesus' name, Amen.

(This post is now linked!) A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How I Help My Family....

"How I Help My Family..." is the title of our chore chart. Yes, some jobs are a chore, but it just seemed to start everything off on a negative note to say, "Chore Chart," when we talk about a happy heart all the time.

We divide the house into zones. Here are the current jobs:

AFTER MEALS: (We focus on the 15-30 minutes after meal time for chores, but the jobs the girls and I do sometimes requires initiative at other times to keep caught up.)

Rotation between Mom, Allison (11 yrs), and Ashlynn (9 yrs) (We do the zone for a week and begin the next week on Mon.)
              A - Kitchen (This job means everything in the kitchen from dishes to counters to floor pick up.)

              B - Bathrooms and sweeping (deep clean bathrooms on Monday)

              C - Laundry (wash sheets on Friday)

Kevin (7 yrs) - Picking up the living room/ entry hall and game room, take out recycling and garbage

Kaiden (5 yrs)- Dining room and stairs

Everyone keeps their own room picked up.


Rotation between Mom, Allison (11yrs), and Ashlynn (9 yrs): (These letters match what week we are on above.)

                 A - Mop and pantry clean up
                 B - Clean downstairs windows and blinds
                 C - Clean shower and dusting

Kevin (7 yrs) - Clean kitchen cabinets and appliance surfaces, vacuum

Kaiden (5 yrs) - Clean both bath tubs, wipe down dirty walls

So, there you have it!

I have just recently added myself back to the chart. This has helped a TON as far as attitude within the ranks. Before now, though, it took all of my time training and keeping everyone on task that I would never get to my chore. So, I had to just be the trainer/manager for a good couple of years. Now, I am able to jump back in, and it has really improved my relationship with my girls.

Of course, this has been only going on a couple of months exactly like this. Dynamics change, abilities change, etc. so small revisions must be made.

I don't share this to say that this is the right way to do things. I share it to encourage you that your children are VERY capable of helping around the house!

Happy helping!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


God has had me on a fast track study program for the last 3 years. Three years ago, when we moved, my eyes were opened to a whole new way of life. I saw first hand how the family can truly be a wonderful place to be! I experienced respectful children and even teenagers who knew how to be under the authority God placed above them. I saw joy and love! I also saw moms who didn't do everything themselves!! I was introduced to the idea that our kids can and should do A LOT more than I had been expecting of them! (I will share what our chores are in my next post.)

I learned that not only do chores teach skills that my children will need for life, but they foster a sense of servant hood, of team, of responsibility, and of selflessness. We have battled back and forth over the last few years. Training children already set in the habit of being served proved a daunting task. I was also faced with my own selfishness, laziness, and inconsistency. God is still refining these characteristics in me.

So, as time has marched on, so have our chores. Each child has been given certain responsibilities within our home, to help our family run smoothly and enable us to be more hospitable toward our neighbors. Finally in this last year (or even 6 months!), the kids have finally given into embraced this idea. Sure, there are still yucky jobs and bad moods, but as a whole, everyone sees what an important roll they play in our family.

I was so proud of my oldest, Allison (11 years), a couple of nights ago. It was my turn to do the dishes. Two of my boys were fighting, the baby was crying and tugging on my leg, I was trying to bark out orders, and it was past bedtime. Allison came up to me and started doing the dishes. (She HATES this job!) I told her that she didn't need to do that, that I would get it done. She responded by saying that she knew I had enough to do at that moment, and she was finished with her chores, so could help. OH HOW THAT BLESSED ME!!!!

Because all of this didn't start until three years ago, my number 4 child was 2 at the time. We were just beginning still when he was little. The heart of family had not been bought into yet. So, he was in training like all the rest of us. Now, we have a baby. Noah is 21 months old and is absolutely precious inside and out! He LOVES to help! When ever he spills a cup, which is quite often, he runs for a towel and dries up the mess without ever being told to! When I say, "Chore time!" he goes and gets a wash cloth and starts wiping things on his own initiative! He will wipe walls, windows, the floor, his high chair, just where ever his little heart leads him. OH HOW THAT BLESSES ME!!!

I am absolutely loving this season of our lives. It has been VERY hard work, mainly fighting my own sinfulness, to get us trained. God is so faithful though! He has done such a work in each of our hearts, blessing us with a heart to serve, a willingness to go above and beyond, and a deep love for Him and each other. I am so humbled when I see a child working with a happy heart! That the Lord would bless us so abundantly brings me to tears.

Don't get me wrong. It is not perfect here by ANY means! We are still sinners, who struggle with our selfish and lazy tendencies, but we are learning! Praise God!

(This post is now linked!) A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


No, I haven't fallen off a cliff, I have just not been in the blogging mood. I go through seasons. Sometimes this is where I spend all my free time. Other times, not so much.

Anyway, after my big "WOOOOOHOOOO!!!" blog post, I had a bad accident that left me on crutches for a week and not in tennis shoes for another 6 weeks. I fell off a deck onto a rocky path while holding my 1 year old. In order to save him from any harm, I practically killed myself. Both ankles were swollen up for a little over a week. My ankles, toes, and right knee were BADLY scraped up. I still think I broke a toe, but will never know. It is still sore today and we are now about 8 weeks out. Soooooo, all that wonderful walking and motivation has vanished. I have spent so much down time now, that I don't even want to get back to the gym. I am working on that attitude. Stay tuned....

My 5th child, and last biologically,  is in the process of weaning, which is very emotional for me. He is almost 21 months old, which is the longest of mine to nurse. We both love it and I hate to see it end, but then.....

School is humming along nicely. The check off list which I talked about in my last post is working GREAT!! The kids are finally trained back onto chores (for the most part), and so the house remains functionally clean most of the time, which is refreshing.

I am looking forward to a long weekend by myself! My parents have requested my children's presence and I didn't want to disappoint them. So, I am planning to have some fun with friends, see at least one movie, and get some projects done! I want to rearrange and reorganize some closets and get the "school room" (except that we never have school there) and kids' rooms reorganized and some toys put away. I am a mess about this weekend already. Some moments it can't get here soon enough! Then, other moments just make me sit and cry (already!). I am going to be a mess when I drop them off! I always am and then I am fine and enjoy the time. I can't help it! I love my kids!

Allison just auditioned for a singing and/or speaking role in a play at church. Both Allison and Ashlynn will participate. It is for kids 1st - 5th grade. We are all really excited. They live for this sort of thing!

The boys are just being boys. They collect the occasional bug or reptile, try to skate board (I hate the skate board), and get busted in the tops of closets with everything that was once on the shelves on the ground.

I am doing well, but adjusting to Chris' 7 day a week football schedule. This Friday we will cheer on the Brandeis Broncos for the first time this season! If you ever want to come with us, let me know and I can get you tickets!

That probably wraps us up for now! Hopefully I will get inspired to write about something important soon! Until then, God bless you and your family!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A "schedule" that WORKS for the type B gal!!!

I have needed a schedule forever. For those who know me, you know how much I actually enjoy making out schedules and plans. I can waste hours on these, never to follow them. When things get crazy, making out a schedule gives me a sense of perspective and peace again. It lets me know what is possible. Unfortunately, the next morning usually bombs. Still, with each new child, I realize my need for organization.

Well, I don't know about you, but I always get sick of the crazy, little to no schedule days of summer. The kids are staying up later. Everyone is waking up later. Things may happen in the day but as they come, not by schedule. I get all excited about the coming school year about this time. With it comes potential for consistency and predictability!

We actually began our full school line up this week. It has been a little rough, but there have also been many successes! One was that, after making out many schedules, I ditched them completely! I realized that my personality and the personality of my family just didn't adhere to a specific, tight schedule well. I also realized that some of my priorities makes it impossible to stick to a schedule. For example, training these children up in the Lord and their relationships with each other come before academics in my book. They are top priorities for me. This mean that when heart attitudes are out of whack and/or children are fighting with each other, I am going to use those times to teach about what Jesus would want them to do in that situation and how to treat one another. If that takes the time I "scheduled" to be history, then so be it. That will be taught in time.

My problem with following a schedule is also that I can't break myself free from the "all or nothing" philosophy. I either followed the schedule, or I didn't. So, if at 9:30am we are off, well, what's the point? Right?

Here is my current answer to my scheduling problems. Below you can see a simple "To Do" list for each of my reading children. They now know what they are held responsible for and what they need me for. This is holding them (and me as well) accountable. They LOVE to play with the children we have been so blessed to have living close to us. The kids can't go out and play until everything is checked off their list! It is working!! Granted we started Monday and this is Wednesday, but it is really working! We are getting ALL of our school done EVERY day!!! I am so excited about this!

We begin our day with breakfast and our Bible time. We then stay at the table for History and Science. After that, I begin with the youngest child and work to the oldest doing the work they need me for. Everyone else is plugging away at the independent portion of their list. The only thing I think I need to add is some play time with our toddler for each of my older ones. My baby has been used to being the center of attention, I think, during the summer, and now finds everyone busy. He has been a little cranky and into stuff trying to get attention. So, each of the kids, beginning next week, will spend 15-20 minutes playing with the baby!

Hopefully this will continue to work for us. It provides the flexibility we need. I don't see times that make me feel like I am failing. We can visit neighbors, go to co-op, play with friends, and still come back to our list! YAY!

Here is their daily check list:

Friday, June 24, 2011


I want to shout to the world, "I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I have walked 4 miles each morning this week (Mon.-Fri.)! That is 20 MILES!!!!!! WOW!!! I have never done that! I have also lost 5.6 pounds!!!! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!