My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The format of the book is easy to read in small chunks, which is good because small chunks of time is all I have! Her honesty in the struggle is encouraging and refreshing on its own, but her Christ-centered instruction and intentional hope-giving tones are what I valued the most. This is an excellent read and a book not going on my shelf, but a book going to another parent in need. I’ll buy it again if I need to.
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I was recently reminded of this book and even used it in a devotional earlier today. It’s a really great book. Two of my favorite bits:
“The prayer of the morning will determine the day… The temptations which the working day brings with it will be overcome by this break-through to God. Decisions which our work demands will be simpler and easier when they are made, not in the fear of men, but solely in the presence of God. ‘Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men’ (Col. 3:23). Even routine mechanical work will be performed more patiently when it is done with the knowledge of God and His command. Our strength and energy for work increase when we have prayed God to give us the strength we need for our daily work.”page 71
“And we may be certain that our prayer will be heard, because it is a response to God’s Word and promise.page 85
“It is one of the particular difficulties of meditation that our thoughts are likely to wander and go their own way, toward other persons or to some events in our life. Much as this may distress and shame us again and again, we must not lose heart and become anxious, or even conclude that meditation is really not something for us. When this happens it is often a help not to snatch back our thoughts convulsively, but quite calmly to incorporate into our prayer the people and the events to which our thoughts keep straying and thus in all patience return to the starting point of the meditation.”page 85
Two weeks into this Coronavirus stuff, and I’m finally taking a day to catch up on all my emails. I found a blog I nearly forgot about, downloaded bank statements, and listened to voicemail my kids left me while I was working.
A lot of folks have extra time on their hands right now, and I’m both sad and glad for us all. Extra time is a gift. Too much extra time, not so much. Double-edged sword.
My favorite part of this staying home business is that the kids and I have a new evening routine. “It’s art time, Mom!” rings out shortly before it’s time for bed. We gather in the classroom and color, work on latch hook rug, or whatever art project we’ve got going on. It turns out, it’s my kids’ favorite too. I had to work late yesterday, and I got a phone call:
Kid: “Mom, you’re missing art time!”
Me: “I’m sorry kiddo. Maybe we can do art time in the morning?”
Kid: “No, we’ll wait for you. Art time can’t actually start until you get here.”
Stalling bedtime? Maybe. Do I care? Not even a little bit.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a practical, well-written, and encouraging book. It’s short and very easy to read through. I feel like I can totally relate to this homeschooling mama!
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I read a brief article on this idea of opting out of all this data sharing. This one paragraph that caught my eye:
A good first stop is the World Privacy Forum, a nonprofit “dedicated to reimagining privacy in a digital era.” The organization has an extremely detailed opt-out list for data brokers, with the respective links and steps needed to remove your info from the companies’ clutches. More broadly, the WPF put together what it calls the top 10 opt-outs — a detailed step-by-step guide to pulling your information from the data brokers of the world.Mashable
For years now, I’ve utilized the site Catalog Choice to get unsubscribed from LOTS of catalogs and other junk mail. I still have lots to throw in the recycle bin straight away, but it is considerably fewer thanks to this service. One of the first steps in getting organized is to have less stuff to organize! I’m pretty sure that’s why this simplification craze is taking on like wildfire. 🙂
Now, I’m off to the races with the “top 10 opt-outs” to start opting out of some stuff. Happy day.
Uhmm… yeeaaahh, it went off silently.
I’ve once pondered getting a sound machine for myself but got a simple alarm clock with charging ports instead. There are no challenge questions to turn off the alarm, but the harsh beeping does do that trick. I’m up. I like that little clock.
For the kids, I purchased 3 of these HoMedics sound machines. They did ok at first, but then started having issues. I reviewed this item on Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s website with 2 stars, not recommended. When it worked, it was great. However, it started having issues after about 6 months of use. Now, I’m going to need 3 more machines! Save your money and get a better sound machine from the start. I don’t know what that machine is, yet.
If only I could convince the kids to switch over the app on their devices! I may try that angle again. Spending $150 or more on sound machines is not my idea of fun.
*None of these links are affiliate links.
I started making these super simple washcloths and they’ve become very popular! I’ve been commissioned to make them and had many family members request them as gifts. They are made from the polyester scrubby “yarn” and are single crocheted all the way with a 5 mm hook.
The small size (4″ square) is for the sink
I try to make them square, but sometimes they get a little character like my latest washcloth pictured above. I’ve also experimented with making them with large holes in each corner so you could hang it on a hook in the shower, but it turns out to be extra work for nothing. The weave moves about and you can hang it on a hook without making a hole specifically for hanging.
I love making this, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re becoming my most requested item.
A while back, I switched my bathroom sink’s hand soap from liquid to bar. With the bar, came a soap dish. With that soap dish, came water circles on my counter. Call me crazy (and I might be), but I really don’t like those rings!
So, I decided to learn how to crochet an oval. I’ve never done it before. My first oval turned out kind of warpy, but I like it and I think it’ll do the job.
Here it is in it’s place:
I’m really quite pleased with this perfectly imperfect little creation. Now, I need to make another one and see if I can make it without that giant hole and maybe even a little bit less warped.
I read this article once, and then again. The second time, I shared it out on Twitter. My IFTTT routines kick my tweets to my Evernote journal. I saw that note this morning, and read it again. This article by Ken Chitwood really resonates with me – perhaps because it takes deep courage to raise kids, especially children with special needs.
A few excerpts:
“When most people think of courage, they think of bravery, fearlessness, or feats of super-heroic valor. And yet, despite what we think or imagine, courage is not about being impervious to fear, pain, or struggle. Instead, courage is something that emerges out of fear, pain, and struggle.
In fact, courage cannot exist without adversity.”
“What we see in these moments is courage. True courage. Courage forged in fear, built after burnout, and worked out in the wilderness of anxiety, pain, and loss…
All of these difficult life experiences and tragedies threaten the very integrity of ourselves, our beings, our souls. At critical crossroads in our lives, we feel the weight of the world
crushingin on us and we face a choice: to pick ourselves up and carry on in courage, or turn in on ourselves and shrivel up into the dust, disappointment, and despair.
Instead of trying to avoid anxiety or sidestep struggle, we should embrace these moments in our lives as opportunities for
courageto be developed, practiced, and put to use.
Reflecting on the idea of courage, Paul Tillich wrote that true courage is not something that removes or rejects anxiety, but engages it and takes it into itself. Basically, Tillich argued, courage is embracing fear — not avoiding it, ignoring it, or pretending it doesn’t exist.”
“When faced with the great challenges of life, we will need to pull on reservoirs of courage, miracles of audacity that emerge from our past experiences where fear has been transformed into faith, loathing into love, and hardship into hope.”
My son had been playing an game all day yesterday – something about nuclear fallout and having a shelter. His room was the shelter. The kids were running around the house and pretending stuff was poison laughing and playing. It was great! At one point, I even played along – “Before the nuclear blast hits, come eat your lunch.”
Fast forward to bed time, my son’s room looks like a bomb had gone off! I commented on such and he gave me this chagrined look, “Well, I kind of had to because I was scrounging for parts to make my door seal so this could be the nuclear shelter.”
He rigged a light switch from grandpa to pieces from his electronics kit and taped it to the wall next to his door! That little green light on the orange thingy actually turns on! I was cracking up and impressed. This kid.
Math and Magic
My oldest son spent nearly the entire morning programming and drawing in Scratch a meter to reach his goal of purchasing the outrageous builder subscription on Roblox. He did loads of math learning how to divide his monetary goal up evenly, and how long it’d take him mowing lawns while giving to God and saving.
He then moved onto making magic wands (or swords?) with Legos. That sweet boy tried to wave his wand to make all my pain go away.
Imagination to Design
My younger son and I had a lovely conversation at bedtime revolving around how to go about designing things. He now aspires to this Roblox subscription and is noodling what shirts to make. How do you imagine something and make it real?
… and Poop
I get asked a lot of questions
I responded, “No, but if he does, it’s perfect.”
Purple Dot Journal By Artist’s LoftTM – $5 from Michael’s
At this price point, it’s a great deal. I like the size too. My favorite pens are the Pilot G-2 gel inks. They do bleed through the pages ever so slightly. The hardcover is on the softer side of things, it has some give. I love that it has two ribbon bookmarks and that there’s a table of contents style to the first several pages.
*I don’t do affiliate links or for-reward reviews.
I originally was going to review several journals here, but I’m realizing that will take a really long time. I’ve been using this journal for my first bullet journal and I’m enjoying it. I think I’ll get a blue one next time.
Update: I posted my review on Michael’s website.
I finally got my “round to it” and watched The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch on Netflix. I have to admit that the actor more than the story line is what grabbed me.
The movie was gripping – a very well told story. Turing was so obviously autistic it was painful. The homosexual twist was not exactly shocking, but I was pleased with how it was covered – not lewd/crude, but matter of fact and certainly not central. Although the movie could have ended much earlier than all the homosexual political stuff – however, I do understand why Hollywood included it. I can’t fault them for using their medium for political agendas.
This is definitely an adult movie for many reasons, but mostly because it’s slow and complex. Kids won’t necessarily be able to follow it. I liked it, and would probably watch it again sometime.
Cumberbatch was great in this role. I do like that actor. He’s not overly handsome, but he is a really believable actor. I find that skill level fascinating to watch.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams has the answer, and it’s 42. This is a great and fun book. I’ve never read the rest in the series, but I want to!
There are a number of theories why the answer to “life, the universe, and everything” is 42. My favorite is that’s it’s ASCII for “anything you want it to be.”
The number 42 also happens to be the ASCII code for the asterisk ‘*’ which is a wildcard character indicating any number of characters or even an empty string in programming. This could be interpreted as the answer ‘anything you want it to be’.
The real answer is far more mundane.
Douglas Adams was asked many times why he chose the number 42. Many theories were proposed… Adams rejected them all. On 3 November 1993, he gave this answer:
The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and… I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’ I typed it out. End of story.
To help with our educational goals (and make use of my giant Kindle library), I purchased 3 Kindle Fire HD 8 tablets on Prime day for the children. I also got these MoKo cases. Both products are great!
We got three of these cases. The cases are sturdy, fit well, the kids love them, and they’re pretty. Who could ask for anything more?
Incidentally, my giant Kindle library is largely due to a BookBub subscription. That service is brilliant!
I had a heating pad on for a while, and then got very chilled when I took it off. I commented as such to my son, and then said I needed to get a jacket, “even though that’s ridiculous in this heat wave.”
My wise son replied, “Go outside, Mom.”
I did! Much better now, thanks.
The collection that sits on my night table struck me funny. My logic puzzles book, my bullet journal for tasks and homeschooling stuff, my calendar for the usual scheduling needs, and my prayer journal.
I sometimes wonder if I should combine all of those journals into one, but I’m not sure that I want to. I like the compartmentalization.
I took the kids to the $1 movies today. I LOVE that this type of thing is still around! It was either Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel or the Secret Life of Pets. We’ve seen the Pets movie, and I really didn’t like it enough to watch it again. So, Alvin it is!
This movie was cute, slap-sticky, and laugh out loud funny. I was entertained even though it was a little ridiculous. It’s a kids movie! 🙂
My kids enjoyed the movie, laughing and carrying on for a little while afterward. I’m shocked they didn’t go on and on about the fart scene, actually. They loved the helicopter and bad-guy confrontation stuff at the end.
I did roll my eyes a bit at their cheeky handling of bullying and body image issues, but on the whole, it wasn’t totally terrible. There are only two things I didn’t like and wish could have been different:
- The oversexed up girl chipmunk group. They could have been cuter and less sexy, and it would have still worked well.
- The insinuation that you can’t be in sports and music at the same time. This movie was down on sports pretty hard. I was a band geek, and I still didn’t like how horribly the sports team guys were portrayed.
I don’t do stars, tomatoes, thumbs, or anything. I enjoyed the flick, but probably wouldn’t watch it again.
I loved this sermon message!
I am the bowl, and the fruits of the spirit are put into me by God. Gifts!
The fruits of the spirit are not goals to reach for, they are evidence of God’s spirit in you. If you’re focusing on these qualities as goals, you are seeing where you fall short – your failures. If you are seeing them as evidence of God’s grace… well, that’s a whole different ball game.
Have a listen!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
– Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
It probably wasn’t a genius on my part to let my young crew watch this movie, but they enjoyed it all the same. It did have quite a few parts that made me cringe and hope they didn’t really pick up on what was going on. I know I didn’t realize all THAT was in this movie when I was their age.
I like the reviews over on Common Sense Media. I probably should have checked there first instead of scrolling Netflix for something that didn’t sound boring.
The kids are 12, 10, and 9. I know. I know. A little young. Common Sense Media suggests 13. They handled it just fine though. The boys loved the explosions, fire, the hole through everything on campus, and, of course, the popcorn. They also loved the potty humor. Of course, they did! All 3 of them did, actually. I’m surrounded by potty humor nearly every day movie or no movie.
As for me, I still really enjoy Real Genius. It cracks me up even more now looking at all that 80’s!
This is an appropriate title for my first stab at a reaction video complete with video editing!
<< video removed >>
I created the video capturing with OBS – my husband/son introduced me to this tool. I edited the video with Adobe Premiere Pro and created the intro/outro with Adobe Spark. All the while getting near constant input from my son on how to actually do it all! I have experience in graphics editing and Photoshop, but nothing to do with videos. That’s a whole new world!
Update: My son (12) uses the free version of Resolve for video editing, and states that “it is the best editor in my life.”
2nd Update (months later): The video was flagged for copyright infringement since it showed the original video via the video capture bit. This thought should have occurred to me, but simply didn’t! I did not intend to infringe on anyone else’s copyrights at all! eek. It was still good and fun skills to learn with the kids. Please be careful when making videos to not infringe on other’s creative works. I certainly will be more careful!
I had more fun playing with the WPMU custom sidebars plugin today than doing any actual writing for the blog. There’s now a different sidebar for the post pages that doesn’t include the long string of Instagram pictures. Post pages are probably never going to be long enough to warrant all of that.
I then realized I didn’t have a search function on the site. So, I added one and then I added a custom sidebar for the search results. Oh yes, I do find this stuff loads of fun! This is good because when I’m not homeschooling or mothering, websites are my job!
Speaking of blogging, I’m considering moving the more blog-like posts from my professional website over to here. This is the blog. That is more of my living business card. Of course, that means I’ll need another bucket for my more geeky posts.
For now, I’ve been slowly adding in bloggable posts from my collection in Evernote. Some of them may very well have been published to this blog in one of it’s earlier iterations. When I do add those posts, I backdate them for when they were originally written.
Jesus could have struck down Satan any way He chose. After all, He was the Son of God with an endless arsenal. But, instead, He engaged the enemy with the only weapon that guarantees victory: the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).
What would Jesus do? Use the Word of God!
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think of weapons and battlefields in everyday life. That is unless I get trapped into yet again arguing with a strong-willed child. That definitely feels like a battlefield!
There is no weapon more powerful than God’s Word.
So, if you find yourself on a battlefield feeling alone, don’t lose heart and don’t reach for the wrong weapon. You are not alone, and you have the best weapon ever! God’s Word is the weapon that will bring you victory, comfort, and provision.
What weapons do I normally reach for? Overeating, yelling, running away (me time!), or drinking. Yeah – those don’t work so well at all! What about when I lecture the kids on what is right? What about when I am right!? Those never really work so well either.
I really need to do a better job of using God’s Word in my daily life rather than only having it as something I read and study. Lord, help me do that better.
If you don’t follow Jennifer Rothschild’s blog, you should! Her writings often encourage while convicting me. These excerpts are from her article The One Weapon You Need to Fight Any Battle.
My son discovered we have both Sprite and lemonade. He loves mixing those two. He’s all excited and asks me, “Mom, what’s your favorite mix.” I’m sure someone will call my bad parenting skills to the stand, but I at least I answered truthfully – “vodka and cranberry juice.” I love my boy! He nodded his head and responded rather seriously, “Ah.” LOL
I recently spotted a short video clip of a woman crocheting on Instagram (embedded below). It struck me how very differently she holds her hook, yarn, and wip from how I do things. (wip = work in progress)
She has this overhanded hold on her hook and a way of twisting the hook to pick up the yarn that was beautiful to watch. It also seems a more relaxed hold on things as compared to my style. I don’t think her left hand (the yarn hand) does anything other than be there for the yarn to run through.
I hold my hook much like a pencil in my right hand. Then, I work the yarn with my left hand over the hook as I hold my wip along with the weaker fingers of my right hand. I found this little series of photos I took back in January 2010 that shows a little bit of my hold. (The animation is thanks to Google Photos.)
I wonder if my technique is odd? I wonder if her technique is better? I wonder if I can change my style so drastically?
I gave it a whirl. I had to laugh at the pretzel my fingers turned into. It’s like I was first learning crochet all over again! I think I might persist though because it is a much more relaxed hold and it’s far less tiring on my hands. I could crochet even more!
That’d be cool.