Wednesday, January 15, 2014

For fun: tips, tricks, favorites, and as of lates

I am taking this challenge because I am so out of the loop. Is it because I am down to the last kid on the totem pole? The day doesn't demand management in the same way as it did when there were 4,5, 6, or 7 little peeps running around.

So. Do I have any tips? I feel the answer is a resounding, "No!" But let me dig deep and consider.

A new favorite: a Bible reading plan that a bunch of us are doing together. I am loving the accountability. Also I am reading it in a modern translation, stopping to study portions along the way. Yeah. Loving it. You may be able to hop on board still if it sounds of interest. Just let me know.

A few of my friends have mentioned their new cast iron Dutch oven as a favorite. I anticipate that it will go to the top on my list as well. After some research and reading of reviews, I was convinced that, as often is the case, the new kid on the block (and therefore cheaper) was just as good. In ratings and testing, the Lodge matched Le Creuset in every way. I envision using it a lot.

The day here still starts with Bible reading, breakfast, then bedroom and kitchen chores. I find if we don't get those things checked off first, they don't get checked off. So, buddy and I make sure we get those done.

My oldest son comes over once a week to tutor my youngest son in math. They are using Khan Academy, a free online curriculum. It has worked well for them.

Loving studying history and geography through literature. I host a class weekly, and we are having a great time. We'll resume in Feb.

Set a timer if you are having a hard time being joyful throughout your day. Every time it goes off, stop what you are doing, quote a Psalm, sing a song, or improvise your own from-the-heart worship to Him who is keeping you by His great power. It's always in vogue for His people to have praise on their lips!

That chore chart? That list of things to do? Draw a flower in the corner, a trailing ivy, or put some fun stars there. A touch of you, a sparkle of creativity makes the mundane special. We are created in His image - the great Creator!

Work side by side with your kiddos when you can, even if it's a chore they have down pat. It affords time for conversation, improved work habits, and camaraderie. It makes the job more fun for them and keeps the standard high. It can't always be done (I mean, let's face it, we need the multiplied work force!) but it is good to revisit how they are doing their work, and it is fun for them, too.

If you're like me, you may need to keep a running list of  "things I need to mention to honey" throughout the day. Sometimes I send myself emails just to remember those odds and ends of questions, reports, and updates for him.

3x5 cards. Always helpful for so many reasons: chore assignments, Bible verses, study notes, and fun notes. And don't forget - they could use a flower, a smiley face, an explosion of stars, or just some fun colored pens, too!

No new products to exclaim about. I will be trying to add Norwex to my cleaning regimen. That will be a fun adventure, I hope!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Theme for 2014

As 2013 closed out, God spoke a clear word to me. "It is time."

It is time to "lift up the hands that hang down" in praise, in honor to Him, in true thanksgiving. Actually, in really earnest rejoicing. It is time.

A season of grieving is past. It is time.

It is time to rejoice earnestly in His salvation. In His promise. In His great love.

It is time to strengthen the weary hands, the feeble knees.

A time of grieving was needed. I feel no chastisement from my God for that. He knows my frailty, my need, my weakness. And now, He said, it is time to move on. It is time to look up and find strength in the joy of His salvation.

I did not fail to trust Him. I did not stop believing. I just was laid low, prostrate, with sorrow. Now it is time -  to lift the hands, strengthen the knees. Stand, jump, run with joy. That is the word, the theme for 2014.

And I say, Thank you, Lord!
It is time.

Strengthen the feeble hands,
    steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,

    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  Isaiah 35.3-5 (NIV)