Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Letter to the Mean Mommy~ repost

A Post from the Past
Originally posted on December 8, 2007

In the midst of stress and frustration, God has sent exactly what I needed to hear. In the following letter that I received this morning through an email from Homeschooling Today, the words that my heart was crying out (but my head would not let them through) were made real. When I sat down for a break to read this email I could not believe that it came today. It has been a busy week and many things are behind, this evening is busy as well and I really want to get caught up to put my greatest effort into school before Christmas. This morning everything I needed to do seemed overwhelming I am glad I was able to put it into perspective before mean mommy stayed too long at my house. You see, I know I am not alone because the person that wrote this poured her heart out to help someone else. To the author I send thanks and gratitude for her honesty.

 A Letter: To Whom It May Concern 
by Kara Murphy 

Dear Mean Mommy,
 I am writing, once again, to protest your visit to our house yesterday. I would have thought that my last litany of complaints would have given you pause before you returned, but no. You seem to come and go at will. Well, I have had enough. First, you never give me any warning that you are coming. If I knew you were coming, I would be able to prepare for you as I do all my other guests. Why must you always arrive when the house is in such disrepair? In general, we do a fair job of keeping things picked up, but without fail, when the house is at its messiest, you show up. Not only that, but you time your arrivals when I feel my worst. Your last visit was after a sleepless night with our newborn. Before that, it was during a stressful time when the bills were late. No one should feel free to visit at tax time, especially when I have put off important record-keeping until the last minute. I suppose you would not think twice of arriving at our door immediately after we have just had back-to-back company. These are not the times to make unannounced appearances at our house!

 Even if we were aware of when you were coming, I would still not appreciate your attitude. Must you whisper those words to me all day long? You can’t do this. You are failing. Another woman would do a better job than you. What are you doing to your children? It isn’t enough that you pick on me, but must you also be so grumpy toward my children? All day long, you nag and complain about them. Do this. Do that. Hurry up. Get back to your work. You are a broken record and you need to be replaced! Don’t you realize that children are not finished products, yet? They are adults-in-training, but they’re not there yet. And must you be so impatient with them? Sometimes, you are like a steamroller, plowing through the house. I would hate to get in your way! You are running us all over. But the worst of it is your appearance…you look so much like me, my children may not realize the difference between us. They might actually think that you are me! I have had to apologize repeatedly for your troublesome ways. This is it. Your reign of terror must stop. Please leave and never return. And should you be tempted to come back, just remember that I am onto your tricks. Your wiles will not fool me any longer. I am going to fight to keep you away. And I know the best way to do that, too. God’s word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Him. —Psalm 119:11

 First, I have determined in everything, to give thanks seeing that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) I will rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) for I am learning, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11, 13) When those doubts begin to creep in I will be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6) If you could just stop blustering and ordering everyone around long enough you might see an eternal perspective. You would realize that there is so much more to life in Christ than the day-in-and-day-out ups and downs. Step back for a moment from the immediate stressors. Why, there isn’t a hair that falls from my head that the Father is unaware of. He cares for birds and flowers in the field. How much more does He care for me and my family? (Matthew 6:25ff) Not only that, but He is working every circumstance in my life for my good and for the good of my children who love Him. (Romans 8:28)Since I know that I must be sober, to love my husband, to love my children (Titus 2:4), I will be gentle among my little flock, even as a nursing mother cherishes her children: So being affectionately desirous of them, I will be willing to have imparted unto them, not the gospel of God only, but also my own soul, because they are dear unto me…even when I must labor night and day. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9a) And most of all I will remember that charity—an antiquated term for our word love—suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity—or love—never faileth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
 If I have to, I will get really radical. When you show up, I intend to meet you at the door intent on bodily harm. For I see who you really are. You are the old (wo)man that Scripture speaks of so clearly. But I know this, that my old woman is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth I should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) I will likewise reckon myself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So I will let not sin therefore reign in my mortal body, that I should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield my members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield myself unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:11-13)

Because I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
                                                                              Prepared to do battle,
                                                                                                      A Loving Mama

Homeschool Planners

Homeschool planning, sometimes it is my favorite part of the homeschool adventure. How many planners have I tried? I will not embarrass myself by sharing that. :)

This past year I tried the beautiful Well Planned Day. It was the first booth that I walked by at last year's convention. The young, eager salesmen wanted to talk to someone. It was a fine looking planner that, if I am correct, was written by a homeschool mom. So I bought one, with the matching binder. I wanted so bad to love this planner. From the start the binder was just too bulky and was made of a cloth like binding. Meaning, I was OCD about it staying white. I sold it while it still looked new. :/

Well, as much as I loved the design. I just could not get in sync with the planner. I am sure many mom's love it. So, what do I do for planning? I am totally eclectic. Here I will share links to the site I use for my forms. I make my own binder. First one: Donna Young

Honestly, she has a gold mine here and it is all free!

My other go to place for planning is: The Homeschool Mom

Free homeschool resources

And if you are homeschooling high-schooler and the word "transcript" sends you into an emotional break down, check out this link: (IT'S FREE!)

Homeschool Planner Plus

While using these forms I just create my own binder. I love the cute notebooking covers at this site.
This is a beautiful planner that you make YOUR OWN.  There are list, menu planning (that is another blog post) and everything you would need and they are too cute! (Did I mention cute yet?) Access to the site last one year. You can download these to your computer and use as long as you like. There are also many freebies here too!

So, go have fun and make for yourself a planner that is all your own and WORKS for your family and your school!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lunch Break~ Mini Deep Dish Pizza

What's for lunch? That question usually comes before I am ready to answer and fix it! I love, love, love fast and easy lunch. However, I don't like to settle for processed food if I can help it. The down side of this tasty treat are the canned biscuits. But, it was a hit!

 Here we go: Mini Deep Dish Pizza

 Enough Can Biscuits to feed your family. (We use a full 12 serving muffin tin.)
1 packet of Turkey Pepperoni
Pizza Sauce
Your choice of shredded cheese
Other pizza fillings you like. (Next time we are going to do black olives)
Italian Seasoning {optional}
Cooking Spray

 I start by spraying the muffin tin, then patting out the biscuit dough while incorporating the Italian seasoning. Then press it into the pan. Add a dollop of pizza sauce and other fillings (olives, sausage, veggies). Then top with cheese and pepperoni.
Bake at 450 until the edges are brown and the top is bubbly. I baked them in my new convection oven that the kiddos picked out . You just wouldn't believe how often I use it. {we are trying to get rid of the microwave} It has also come in handy when the big oven is baking and I need to bake something else.
Here they are! They were a huge hit here!

{Photo credit : my daughter, Jessie}

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's Cooking {Crock Pot Cooking} Today~Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe
from SparkRecipes

Number of Servings: 6


    *2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts *1 pkg Good Seasons Italian dressing mix * 1/4 cup water * 1 8oz pkg low fat cream cheese *1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup *3 cups cooked white, long grain rice


*1. Place chicken in crock pot
*2. Mix together Italian dressing mix and water. Pour over chicken.
*3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours OR low for 8 hours.
*4. Mix together cream cheese and soup in separate bowl.
*5. Carefully remove chicken from crock pot to plate.
*6. Pour cream cheese/soup mixture into crock pot and mix together with dressing in bottom.
*7. Return chicken to crock pot and mix gently to shred the chicken.
*8. Cook on LOW until heated through.
*Serve with rice or noodles.

**You may add skim or low fat milk in very small quantities to thin the sauce a little. It does not significantly affect the nutritional value if you use up to 2 tablespoons**

Makes 6 servings. Approximately 2/3 cup mixture with 1/2 cup rice.

This recipe can be made with FAT FREE cream cheese and it saves about 6 grams of fat. However, I feel that the dish benefits from the flavor of the low fat over the fat free.

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user ORANGECOWCAT.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 368.7
Total Fat: 10.3 g
Cholesterol: 115.5 mg
Sodium: 737.4 mg
Total Carbs: 24.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 41.7 g

Gentleness Challenge.

This is a highly important aspect to mothering. Gentleness. As a homeschooling mom I can get so busy and stressed about everything from laundry to phonics and attitudes and character.....the list goes on...that I become one unpleasant mom. You know what that does? That totally tears down the very thing I am trying to build.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1

 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2

"Let’s focus this January on dealing gently with our children. Touch them gently, use their names gently, use your words gently, slow down and be loving, kind, and gracious." from Women Living Well.
 The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson is  the basis of this study. If you would love to be a more gentle, gracious, patient mom (who doesn't) then check this out.

Here is a direct link to the book:

Many blessings to you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Confession Time

I am not a morning person. I have never, ever been one. I want to be really bad. I imagine all of the wonderful things I could do if I just got up earlier. It's a beautiful vision: Me all dressed and smiling with a nice warm breakfast to greet my kiddos after I have done my bible study and exercise and I have gone over the days to-do list and I am ready and in charge.

Then.....the alarm goes off. It is still dark. It is cold. The precious 3 year-old is snuggled in under my arm and all is right with the world (and I get nauseated just getting up before the sun) and my bed is warm and the house is quiet. I start the morning by failing. Failing to do what I have needed to do for years. I promise this has been going on for years. I clearly remember my mom waking me to the song "Oh, what a beautiful moring..." and me feeling like I was going to relive the scene from the Exorcist (you know, where her head spins and she pukes) And ever since I left the workforce when my 2nd born was one I remember those mornings of finally being able to sleep in and not having to drag the kids to my mom's house at 7:00 in the morning. It was heaven. Now, getting up early may not be for everybody. But, I have this grand  illusion that if I got up and accomplished those things listed above then my life would run smoother. I just have to see if that is the case.

So, as all of you bloggers know. The blogosphere is full of wonderful, godly women who help us all be better at what we do. I stumbled upon (divine intervention?) a challenge. It is called :

Hello Mornings

There is a free ebook. Today is the last day to register. It is free. It looks like a fun way to tackle a hard thing.
I really want to try to change the way things are going here at home. I think this may be the key to being more productive and successful in some things I am trying to do. I know it will teach the children a better example. I am just a night owl who is wanting to see how the other side lives. ( I stand in awe at  all of you morning glory types) :)

Wish me luck!

"prod yourself, kick yourself, it is the only way!"  The Disciplined Life by Richard Taylor.

Monday, January 2, 2012

How to get your 12 year old man child... enjoy working through the Body Book.

Allow him to color it like a swamp thing and call it by his oldest sister's name. ;)

In all truthfulness, I was so excited to do this book. Earlier in our year I happily introduced it to him and boy was I in for a downer. The man-boy was not too happy about cut and paste. So after dwelling on it over the holidays I decided to not give up. I also relaxed and agreed that he could be as creative with it as he wished. He still thinks it is goofy. I still believe it is a neat way to learn about our body. Let's face it, Apologia science books will come to him soon enough.

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What a way to get our school started back. PJ's, fuzzy socks, fleece wrap. ;)

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