Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Works for me Wednesday -- phone numbers

How many scraps of paper cluttered my desk with random phone numbers of who-knows-who from who-knows-when?

I couldn't have told you.

But, all that has changed because of the simplest, silliest tip of all time.


Wait for it --

Write down the name whenever you write down a phone number.

I know, it seems too simple, but let me tell you it really works. ;) Taking that extra 5 seconds to jot the name of the business, friend or family member that the number belongs to has saved me a ton of time and kept my desk cleaner.

Now, when I find a number a few weeks later I know who it belongs to.
Now, I know if I can throw it away or write it in my address book.
Now, when looking for a number that I just wrote down yesterday, I know when I find it and don't end up calling for pizza instead of calling the library.

One little bonus tip that is somewhat related, always use pencil when writing in your address book. People move, get new cell phones, change their email, have more kids, move again, and change their phone service more times than you have space to write about. And, who wants a scribbley phone book anyway?

My MIL set this example for me and I cannot believe what a space saver it is and keeps my phone book current without being messy.

So, go ahead, friends, change your emails, move down the street or across the country, get a new cell phone -- my pencil is ready!

Check out more wfmw.

School plans -- second semester

Roughly the half way mark brings a sense of accomplishment, and new resolve to buckle down.

The plans for the coming semester:


Bible -- Grapevine New Testament Survey. We took a little break to study the advent, but will be picking this up again now. Blake and Paige will finish reading the whole NT on their own.

Blake -- 9th grade

Apologia Physics (through a co-op).

Elections-- another co-op class. This is prime season for this class. I'm excited to learn along with him as they get involved in the election process during primary season. They have already helped bag literature and he seemed like he kind of enjoyed it.

Geometry --This has improved as the year has continued and we should have no problem completing this before year's end.

American History
-- Sonlight Core 100 will pave the way for this. Timelines, group discussions, and lots of reading.

American Literature -- Jumping off of Sonlight Core 100.

PE -- his favorite class. ;) I printed out a check sheet for him to mark off hours as he participates in various classes and activities in and out of home. when he hits 135 hours he has his credit for the year.

Paige -- 7th grade

American History -- she'll complete this over two years using Sonlight Core 100

American Literature -- Sonlight Core 100

English -- Rod and Staff 7 and IEW Level C. We are taking two years to complete the R&S book and she is doing the IEW slowly, a lesson every 2 weeks when co-op is not in session.

Sewing-- co-op class

Math -- Saxon Algebra 1/2

Science -- Apologia's Physical Science

PE -- soccer, gym and swim, and classes at home

My independent worker. She is doing a great job keeping up with everything.

Faith -- 5th grade

American History -- Sonlight Core 100. I will be reading selected books outloud with the younger kids and we will be compiling our timeline. Also taking my class at co-op on the American Revolution for Kids.

Music -- piano lessons. She wants to take violin, I just need to get it in working order.

-- Rod and Staff 5; All About Spelling level 3

Math -- Saxon 7/6

Science -- Considering God's Creation. I'm really enjoying this. A simple program for diverse ages and activities that we can easily pull out and do. Hopefully I'll get some pictures up with our experiments and demonstrations.

PE -- soccer, gym and swim, co-op class, and classes at home

Brooke -- 2nd grade

American History - Sonlight Core 100. I will be reading selected books outloud with the younger kids and we will be compiling out timeline. Also taking my class at co-op on the American Revolution for Kids.

Music -- recorder lessons (co-op)

Math -- Saxon 5/4

English -- Rod and Staff 2 (will be starting 3 soon); All About Spelling level 3; handwriting

Reading -- Abeka readers. She's currently wrapping up the third grade readers.

Science -- Considering God's creation

PE -- soccer, gym and swim, co-op class, and classes at home

Nathan -- 1st grade
Lots of oral learning, but we use these workbooks and such to keep us grounded:

American History - Sonlight Core 100. I will be reading selected books outloud with the younger kids and we will be compiling out timeline. Also taking my class at co-op on the American Revolution for Kids.

Math -- Abeka 2, at break neck speed. His goal is to catch Brooke.

English -- First Language Lessons book (oral); All About Spelling level 3; handwriting

Reading -- A Beka readers. He is currently wrapping up the first grade series.

Science -- Considering God's Creation

PE -- gym and swim, co-op class, and classes at home

Eli -- 20 months

Great napper. Loves independent play at times. Enjoys all stereotypical boy things -- balls, trucks, etc. Getting easier to keep busy during the school day in some ways, but also learning to make a mess bigger and faster with each passing day.

Plugging away until June.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Verse of the Week -- Colossians 1:17

Christ is my glue. Holding together the cracked vessel of my life.

This weekend our pastor reminded us that we are God's chosen instrument. We could all fittingly carry a sign over our heads saying so. Not because we deserve it or have done some amazingly worthy act, but because of who He is and what He has chosen us to be.

God used those words to describe Saul, a murdering, passionate anti-Christian that walked as far away from God's way as possible. Yet God had other plans.

I cannot look at any accomplishment as my own. Colossians 1:17 says, "And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

He holds together my family.

He keeps my day from falling to pieces.

He has glued together the cracked chips of my past.

He holds together my future.

He is the secret to the cohesiveness of my marriage.

He holds it all in His hands.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
~Colossians 1:17~

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The first 10 of 1000 gifts

My journey begins.

Don’t remember exactly when I came across it. Probably first at Courtney’s blog, then I perused Ann’s blog, then a friend mentioned the book, then I won it in a giveaway from the House upon the Rock.

I started to read the book with my kids, but realized it dealt with topics too serious for their innocent ears. We left out major portions, but still captured the message – a need for gratitude if we wish to live fully.

The new awareness of life around me is soul stirring. Like getting a new pair of glasses, the world seems so much more defined than I ever realized. Each day jam packed with gifts from God that used to just blur into the background.

I have much to learn as God grows greater gratitude in my life and heart, but for now I begin to learn on the job . . .

1000 gifts

1. Shared mugs of cocoa

2. Bedtime snuggles

3. Quiet moments to sort out my thoughts at the end of the day

4. A full glass of refreshing water close at hand

5. Droopy eyelids on a nursing toddler

6. Days that stretch every parenting muscle till it aches

7. Resolution, character growth however small in these precious children

8. Friendships, true friendships, homegrown

9. Connecting with my own siblings over thousands of miles

10. Cookie dough fingers

Read more lists of 1000 gifts, beginnings and continuations, and start your own.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Verse of the week -- Psalm 121:1,2


As I continue to learn to trust God at a deeper level, I seek greater change in myself, my parenting, and my kids.

Love should overflow from our family. As disciples of Christ, others should see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. However, sometimes love is all but absent in our home.

I recently noticed a sharp loss in love in our home, among siblings in particular, and went to my knees to bring some improvement to the situation.

What did I expect? As I prayed, I expected voices to miraculously soften, words to grow tender, expressions to shine, and hugs to abound. Okay, maybe my expectations needed a dose of realism, but I did expect improvement.

What did I get? A sharp turn for the worse, and I didn't think that was possible. Simple manners were virtually non-existent between some duos and civility was just barely detectible in others.

I hadn't anticipated Satan's counter attack.

He relishes our arguments, the disrespect, the unkindness, and he wasn't about to let go without a fight.

Initially, the struggle seemed too great, and then I remembered where this battleground lay. This supernatural battle takes place on my knees. Abundance of words will rarely calm hotheads. Lectures, even peppered with Scripture, flow in and out of fuming ears.

I had to return to where I started, more time in prayer.

Slow changes. Thankful for a husband who joins forces. Bedtime giggles between girls remind me that some in the house remain good friends.

Keeping my eyes heavenward, even as the battle rages.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
~Psalm 121:1,2~