31 days

Monday, September 30, 2013

The 1st few days breezed by. No big deal. 

Homeschool. We can do this. 

It doesn't look very traditional at our house. Brian teaching 2 days a week. Myself teaching 3. 

Today was different than the 1st few, and I wasn't even teaching. Brian taught today. I worked. I got everything done that I needed to (nearly everything). But somehow, I let the devil sneak in. 

Doubt started in seep in. Nothing stirred it. I just started wondering if I really could do it. The devil is stupid and sneaky like that. 

I'm better this evening. 

I shut my computer down, turned off my phone, and spent 2 hours outside with my kiddos, 11 chickens and the most fall-ish day we've had yet in Oklahoma. And I feel better. 

Dinner with my daddy and my sister and brother-in-law also helped. Snuggling and kisses and tickle fights....those things help too. I hand washed a kitchen full of dishes (since there was already a load in the dishwasher), and I let the warm water and suds soothe my soul. 

Sometimes my mind goes on overload. Sometimes I can't make it stop. And I needed it to stop today. 

So in honor making my mind stop, and slowing down, and focusing on what matters, I'm spending the entire month of October participating in The Nester's 31 Days Challenge. I already write everyday, so that won't be too much of a hang-up, but writing everyday about 1 topic may present a challenge. 

The question became, what is the only thing I need more of in my life? 

The answer? Jesus. 

So, that's it. You're about to get 31 days of Jesus. Lucky for you, there are amazing things that come with Christ. Ya know....peace, joy, love, gratitude. It'll probably be interesting to see where this goes. 31 days of Jesus....here we come. 

When you've been through a lot together

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"We've been through a lot together."

We really have. She knows me better than anyone except my husband....and there's a chance that she knows me better than he does. 

Our journey started in kindergarten. Somehow, at 5 years old, a lifelong friendship was formed. We would go to school together until 3rd grade, and then we wouldn't walk the same halls again until our sophomore year. 

She knows all the details of my junior high and high school career. Everything I quickly forgot, she has remembered. She was there for my 1st kiss (knows the date and all the details); she was there when I performed on stage or cheered on the sidelines; we took road trips together; and many a sleepover in each other's beds. 

We are almost as different as night and day. She is the girl that everyone likes. She makes friends easily and comes off as pleasant. I, on the other hand, tend to come off as a witch on occasion, and I'm the first to admit that I don't like girls very much (more on that in another post coming soon). I'm a neat freak....she is not. She loves math. I love English Lit. She played basketball. I was a cheerleader. I was boy crazy in high school, and she was not.

And 25 years later, our lives have been intricately intertwined. She is simply a part of me. 

And when I say we've been through a lot, I mean it. I was a horrible friend in high school. I dated her ex-boyfriend/ 1st love in high school. That's pretty much an instant call for the end of a friendship with no questions asked. And she forgave me. I was so stupid. 

Now, as grown adults, we have been pregnant at the same time twice. She was in the room when my daughter was born. She got engaged on New Year's Even at my house. We were of course, in each other's weddings. 

Our relationship is different but very much the same now. There are times that we go months without talking. And when we see each other again, it's like we never missed a day. 

I'm thrilled that we were able to spend this weekend together. It was a joy to my soul. I can't really put into words what that kind of friendship is like. I'm just beyond grateful that I've been blessed with it. 

"Friendship isn't about whom you've known the longest...It's about who came and never left your side." 

{May 2006}

{This weekend}

A fresh passion

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My brain is running in a hundred directions at a million miles an hour. I'm processing from a weekend well spent with 7700 women at Beth Moore's Living Proof Live Event. 

It was truly incredible, and Miss Beth definitely brought a word. 

I'm on overload honestly. If I weren't writing everyday, I wouldn't write about it yet if I weren't writing everyday just because it doesn't all make sense in my brain. 

But I do know this for sure. Beth makes me crazy about God's word. The treasures that she finds....the little mysteries that she reveals in scripture, it makes it crave the word of God, and there is nothing like that craving. 

I have prayed for it many times, and there are several points in my life when I have been obsessed with the Lord's word, but this weekend, that passion came back with a fresh eye. There are so many treasures to be found in God's living, breathing word. 

So while I process an amazing weekend with incredible friends, I'm thrilled that the Lord inspired a renewed passion in me. 

There will be more to come soon...and this is the only picture I snapped all weekend....Sarah Matanane, I'm so sorry we didn't get one with all 3 of us! (We didn't think to do it until we had all walked through the rain....you just can't take a picture after your hair's been in the rain...ya know?!)

{This one was snapped after a break before everyone was back. There were 7700 women in this place, and it was amazing to worship with them.}

A short trip for mom

Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm moments away from heading out the door and up the highway to hear Mrs. Beth Moore teach at Living Proof Live tonight. 

It's always hard to leave....even for a night. There is a bit of guilt and a moment when I think I need to make up some excuse not to go. But then I remember, that it's okay to take some time off, and it's okay to get away for a bit. 

I am extremely tempted to take curriculum with me to lesson plan for school and my computer to do who knows what, but I think I've decided I'm leaving it all here. It's only 24 hours....sometimes we just need to walk away. 

So that's what I'm doing. Packing up, and getting away. Just for a minute....but it'll be wonderful. 

I can't wait to hear what Mrs. Beth has for us. I know the Lord will use her to speak to each of us in the most personal way, and I can't wait to hear it.  

I'm sure you'll hear all about it tomorrow......

A story worth reading

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I know you're tired of hearing about our homeschool adventure....sorry. I'll stop soon. Maybe. {But really, if nothing else, scroll to the end of this post to see a story worth reading.} 

But tonight I'm still in the thick of it. Ya know...just trying to figure out what it looks like in our house and in our lives. It's a big change, but it feels small and simple and good and right. 

My planner looks like a crazy mess. There are suddenly a few more to dos. I'm having to be more intentional with my time. It'll just take some time for us to get grounded in it. 

As an added bonus, homeschooling with a 10 month old in tow is quite the experience. 

His homeschool activity consisted of pulling all my paper goods out of the cabinets. Fun. 

Later his daddy came to the rescue and they had a good manly day together at Gymboree while Addy and I had our first outing with a homeschool group. 

It was 4-6 year old girls' day at the farm. 

Addy was in heaven. They had 40-50 chickens free ranging all over the farm.

We ate our sack lunches and took a tour to see all the animals.

And then, there was this tree.

It had 3 swings hanging from it, and I definitely could have stayed there all day. Under the shade of the branches, it was perfect.

Our free parting gift was a dozen fresh eggs. And we were equally excited about that!

On a completely different note, my dear, dear friend just started a blog. And you absolutely have to go check it out. 

Her name is Ryan McLaughlin, and if you'd followed here for any amount of time, you've probably seen me write about Ellie Kate. Well, Ryan is Ellie momma, and her story is beautiful. 

Since Ellie's diagnosis, 7 years ago, Ryan and Mike have been keeping their friends and family updated via a program called CarePages. Ellie's entire story is written there. 

I am currently taking all the Care Pages posts and transferring them to Ryan's blog. Before long, you will be able to read Ellie Kate's entire story on the Wonderfully Made blog.

 Go check it out! Follow Ryan. Her faith and her story is one that will inspire you and move you. 

You can check out the Wonderfully Made blog by clicking here. And if you want to start reading Ellie's story from the beginning, click here. It is definitely a story worth reading. 

The Mega Balancing Act

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I wrote a post one time that has had more views than almost any other post I've written. It was called Work Life Balance. And that idea of work, life, motherhood, and balancing it all has been big on my mind this week. 

Today was our 1st day as homeschooling parents. We have a unique situation in that Brian is going to teach 2 days a week while I teach the other 3. 

Talk about having a mega balancing act coming my way. But honestly, I'm not stressed. This week has been a little crazy as I've worked to get curriculum together. I still have my 2 days to "work" and that's all I need if I use my time wisely. I plan on doing that. My kids deserve it. 

I'm excited about my day as teacher tomorrow. We have our first outing with other homeschool girls, so it should be fun. (Even though I have a tendency to be awkward in social situations where I don't know people.) Oh well. I'm okay with it now. 

Today was good. Brian and Addy did school this afternoon and even went on a library trip. Or at least they said they did....I have yet to see the books they checked out...but supposedly she got her own library card and doesn't have to use mom's anymore. 

She said "New Hampster" today instead of New Hampshire. What's better then that? I we got to hear it. A silly little word slip up was enough reassurance that we are doing the right thing (I never would have known that if she had said that in school.) 

We ended the day with brownies that she insisted on making herself with absolutely no help from mom. 

I know not everyday is going to be smooth. And I know that there will be hard times, but we'll work though it all together. That's what families do right? 

It just seems natural and normal and good. 

And I'm good with good. 

A 2nd 1st day....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I know I said I was going to start going to bed at 10:00. I'm working on it. I really am. This week has been a little abnormal as we've prepped for our first day of homeschool....which is tomorrow. 

All 3 of us are excited and nervous at the same time. I can't wait to see what this year holds for us. 

Watch out 1st grade....here we come. 

The Decision

Monday, September 23, 2013

We made a rather important and life changing decision last week. I had been prayerfully considering something for several weeks. I don't know why, but I just couldn't shake it. 

Thursday morning, I woke up later than I would have liked. Brian had been up since 5:00 am. I found him at the kitchen table reading his Bible. 

He looked up as I walked in the kitchen and simply said, "We're going to homeschool Addison." 



Homeschooling was a promoting that was placed in my heart before Addy entered kindergarten. She was in a private school for pre-k that we adored, but when it was time for kindergarten, Brian and I both had reservations. So, we pulled her out. 

I started researching other options...homeschooling being one of them. I loved the idea. But before we knew it, we had 2 foster babies, and I was pregnant with baby #3. It just wasn't the right time for us. So we decided to put her in public school. 

We were blessed with the most amazing kindergarten teacher. Addison thrived. I keep saying how much of a blessing her teacher was to us during the transition year that last year was. I had peace about her being at school. 

But this year, that promoting returned. I couldn't explain it, and I couldn't shake it. The homeschool thing just kept coming up.....during the day, during my quiet time, and over and over again. 

The majority of my being wanted to pretend that I wasn't feeling the need to seek out more information. Homeschool would mean more work for mama. I was just starting to feel really good about my work load. 

But this feeling wasn't going away. And there are lots of reasons that we decided to finally take the plunge and make the change....reasons that we can talk about another day. 

At the moment, I'm in lesson planning mode, and honestly, it feels good. I feel in control of my child's education for the 1st time, and I love that. 

Addison is actually excited. We were unsure how she would react, but she's ready and looking forward to the extra attention she's going to receive from mom and dad. 

Tomorrow is her last day of school. Wednesday Brian will teach our 1st day of homeschool....and Thursday and Friday will be mom's day to teach. Brian is going to teach 2 days a week. I will teach 3. I'll do all the lesson planning as well. 

So that's it. Life is about to be a little different around here, and we're all anxiously awaiting it. We know it's not the easiest choice. But we believe it's the right choice for our family right now. 

We all have our messes

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I was just about to close my computer to go to bed when I remembered that I had not written today!

So we have a lot of news around here. We have a new nephew....Lincoln Roy. He is like to die for beautiful! 

We had a busy, family filled weekend. 

Today we went to church and then skipped out on the Hot Mamas 5k to go to the fair. I know.....I didn't run 3 miles and ate an indian taco instead. Good for me. 

But it was a lot of fun. 

Everyone loved the Lego area. They gave all 3 of my kiddos a free 48 piece lego set when we walked in! 

When we got home, everyone agreed to a little quiet time. I was able to get a few things done in preparation for a big new thing we have going on this week (more to come soon). 

I also had a lot of laundry to catch up. Like a whole lot. I turned my dining room into a mini sweat shop. {For the record, if I ever build a house, I will build a giant laundry room that will serve as a family closet. Seriously.} 

I mean, that's embarrassing. But sometimes, I think people don't post enough of their mess. We've all got a mess going on people! And it's okay! 

This was a little more of my mess....in preparation for this strange week ahead. 

Just wanted to say that we all have messes, and we can't spend all our time looking at everyone's pretties on social media while stressing about our own mess. 

Just live. Be you. Be happy. Be present. Find joy. And live in peace. 

My words of wisdom for the week. Happy Sunday. 

Happy Saturday

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Late last night I cancelled our Director training that was originally scheduled for this morning. I picked 2 weekends in a row and it turns out that everyone can come next weekend, and no one could come this weekend. 

That means more prep time for me, and a great Saturday with the family. 

We went down to Moore this morning for a precious and very special 2 year old birthday party for sweet Lucy. 

We then headed to Bricktown for a yummy lunch and a trip to Bass Pro Shop. 

For the record, those beers were not theirs (or ours). We moved to a table in the sun when some other people left, and the beers stayed.

And this is Wyatt's new favorite face. We all crack up when he does it, so he does it over and over again.

And this just makes my heart happy.

Happy Saturday ya'll. 

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