Five Things Friday: the Hope edition

5 things newOn My Heart: Moms. Being a mom. Being a mom to daughters. Being a mom to teenager daughters. It’s so hard. Obviously we’ve not been promised a life of ease but wow. Some days, I grit my teeth until my head aches and channel my disappointment into cleaning rather than spew out the angry words that are running through my head. I pray. I clean. I fume. I clean. I pray that God will use the moments that I allow them a little slack in the line, so to speak, for them to make their own decisions. And I pray that when they don’t make the decision I wanted them to make, that I wouldn’t hold onto the disappointment. Just like learning a newborn’s cries and weaning a demanding toddler, parenting teens is a process of mistakes and grace and moving on.

On My Mind: Honestly? New curriculum. We switched math programs this week for the two older girls. It was a process (that word again!) but I think it will be worth it. I’m looking ahead to fall already and thinking through my options. Even though Addie won’t turn 5 until Oct. 1, she is totally ready to start school. I’m thinking over all the fabulous phonics and kindergarten curriculum I never had the chance to use with the others. If you could recommend any phonics curriculum, what would it be? I would love something fun, thorough and pretty all-inclusive.

On My iPhone: Pinterest. I’ve reinstalled the black hole of distraction! What am I doing?! I don’t know. So far, it hasn’t been that bad. I’m loving Spotify and a bit more freedom in choosing what I want to listen to.

On My DVR: We had a bunch of free movie channels this past weekend, so we took the opportunity to record a bunch of movies we haven’t seen. The Butler, 12 Years A Slave, Captain Phillips, Moms’ Night Out … and others I can’t remember. It will take us forever to work through all of them but it’s nice to have so many movies to choose from.

On My List: I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of a pre-release copy of Hope For The Weary Mom and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you (although I know it’s good already!); our church starts it’s Upward basketball season this weekend – there are some excited girls in this house!; another edition of My Favorite Things and I think this one might be surprising!

Five Things Friday: Confessions.

5 things newOn My Heart: Stretching. God gives us each gifts, right? Isn’t it just easier to hide our gifts sometimes? It is for me any way. Our church is doing a Christmas Cantata. I love to sing. Alone. With the radio. Confession: Singing when there are people looking at me makes my face red and hot. But I joined the Cantata. I’ll spend two nights a week for the next several weeks stretching the vocal chords God gave me. Stretching for my vocal chords and my tendency towards hiding. So if you come to the Cantata and my face is bright red, you now know why. Hopefully the stretching is good for more than just my voice.

On My Mind: Two words – Black. Friday. My parents will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year and it will be the first time in … I think 15 years … that my mom and I will go Black Friday shopping together with no kids. We’re venturing to the nearest city where there are real stores like Target and Starbucks. I’m scouring the sale flyers as they get released and making final gift decisions. I want to pack as much as I can into one day – while I’m near real stores without kids! – but without completely exhausting my poor mother. It’s going to be a crazy day but so much fun. Confession: I’m considering going to one store for one item on Thanksgiving night. I’m now ducking to avoid the rotten tomatoes you’re going to throw!

On My iPhone: Nothing. Pretty much nothing. Now that Apple has decided to install about 10 apps that I don’t want or use without giving me the option to delete them, I have no space for music or games. Confession: I’m not very thankful for my iPhone.  I barely have space for photos. Sometimes I wonder if I really want Santa to bring me an iPhone 6. If he does, I hope it’s at least a 16 gb.

On My DVR: Confession – Dancing With The Stars! I am not a dancer. When God was handing out gifts, I missed that line. But Sadie Robertson is a big deal in this Duck Dynasty loving house and she is shining on DWTS. I really have appreciated how well she and her family have handled the situations they’ve been put in. The costumes have been nice, the dances appropriate and her humility is refreshing. After watching a  little of DWTS last season and being really disappointed with the actions of another “Christian” star, I was a bit apprehensive about Sadie. I have been so pleasantly surprised.

On My List: Rehearsals, work, dentist appointments (oh joy.),deciding on Christmas outfits for my girls, some projects in the yard to prepare for winter and an extended visit from my parents before our Thanksgiving/Black Friday extravaganza!  Are you planning your holidays yet? Did you see this download from Home Educating Family? It’s free for a limited time!

Five Things Friday, the wednesday edition

What can I say? I’m a little behind when it comes to posting on here…. Let the Wednesday edition begin:

5 things newOn My Heart: Parenting is hard. Homeschooling is hard. Being in a family is hard. I need more grace and patience and understanding every day. I need to be less offended and more loving. I don’t know how I’d do anything without Jesus. And I have a couple of longer posts in the cooker about what I do when homeschooling is hard. ‘Cause, can I be honest? It’s been hard lately. Not our curriculum choices, which I’m 99% happy with, but with attitudes and schedules and eye rolls kinda hard. And I wouldn’t change what we do for anything! I am thankful for the opportunity to work through the attitudes and eye rolls (because if not me, then who?) but whew! Am I the only one that’s already thinking ‘Just a few more weeks and it’s Thanksgiving break…’?!

On My Mind: The Internet. I want my daughters to know how to use it as a tool. I want them to be aware of dangers and all the bad things that are out there but I don’t want tIMG_1746hem to be afraid of it. Does that make any sense at all? Another thing that’s been on my mind – our little hobby farm. I’m already looking forward to getting a garden in next spring. My chickens are producing a nice little pile of eggs each day.We have two freezers full of meat that was raised in our back yard. I love it. More plans are swirling around in my head! Also, this weekend is the beginning of hunting season. My Hubster will be out in a tree stand for the first time. We know there’s a chance that he won’t get a deer this year but it’s been a goal for awhile now to get all this in place. It’s exciting to at least get this far!

On My iPhone: My poor, old iPhone. I am very thankful for my 4S. But I foolishly (stubbornly) installed the newest update on my 8gb 4S. It has definitely slowed things down and caused some glitches. Maybe Santa will bring me an iPhone 6 for Christmas. :-p

On My DVR: Two Words – White. Collar. *happiness* Season 6 premieres in two short weeks. The girls and I are catching up on the last bit of Season 5. We are also enjoying the new show Scorpion. Josh likes it too, so after the little girls go to bed we watch it together.

On My List: trying a new chocolate espresso cake recipe, our church’s annual member’s dinner (date night! woohoo!), a baby shower, writing out our first semester quarterly reports for the school district, thinking over ideas for a December gathering for the moms’ small group I organize and surviving pre-algebra. What’s on your agenda this week?

Five Things Friday: the update edition

On My Heart: *prayer. Just remembering how easy it is to silently pray for situations, friends, loved ones, direction, our nation, our church leaders throughout the day. Remembering that it doesn’t have to be beautiful and drawn out, it just has to come from a heart that is earnestly calling out to Him. *slippery slopes. Watching how one poor decision leads to so many more. Wanting to shake my girls and remind them that every decision matters, every choice, every reaction can be one that either glorifies God or destroys something. *thankfulness. God provides. You can look at it and say ‘what a coincidence!’ and that’s your choice but I know. The little things that just happen are His way of reminding us that He’s present in our lives.

On My Mind: *organization. For the longest time, I did not want an organized to the hour kind of homeschool day. But with some changes afoot and new responsibilities coming, it is necessary. And I’m loving it. *chickens. Tomorrow is chicken processing day! This may seem disgusting to some of you but I love knowing that from hours after they hatched to their last moment, these chickens have been in our care. And now they’ll fill our freezer for winter. *changes. Some changes are coming to this little blog soon. Things I’ve wanted to do for a long time and realized that if I don’t do them now, they’re never going to happen. I’m really excited to share it all with you soon.

On My iPhone: Podcasts! Part of my new schedule is time for a morning walk, 4-5 days a week. During that time, I usually listen to podcasts. As much as I want to really sharpen my mind and spirit with excellent preaching during that time, my brain is not always on board with that much information so early in the morning. So I’ve been listening to The Chicken Thistle Farm CoopCast, A Happy Home Podcast, Homeschooling IRL, the HEDUA podcasts and will be trying out the Real Life at Home and Inspired to Action podcasts.

On My DVR: Fixer Upper. That is all. If you don’t have cable, watch episodes on her blog. You must. Today.

On My List: First would be finishing up the preparations for chicken day and a visit from my parents to give my October babies their birthday gifts a bit early, finishing up the work on blog changes I’m making, writing some reviews, menu planning for next week (do you menu plan? love it? hate it?), taking two girls for fillings – fun times. One thing that’s not on my list – switching over to fall/winter clothes. We finished that after 8+ hours of work yesterday. Dressers and closets switched, rooms straightened, bins returned to the attic. Painful, exhausting and emotional with four daughters — but done!

Five Things Friday, v.8

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On My Heart: I was thinking recently about a story someone told me. This person was at a festival that hosted a wet t-shirt contest. The crowd was so rowdy and the girls so drunk, it turned into a strip show. By the end of it, there were young women walking around the stage completely naked. The rowdy (I’m sure intoxicated) crowd went even more wild. It was probably 15 years ago that I heard about this. And it still breaks my heart. Because those girls? Those young women who were prancing around naked in front of a huge crowd, thinking they were so liberated and free? It wasn’t a bunch of liberated feminists walking around, because YOLO or living it up or who cares, you’re only young once. It was because they have a hole in their hearts and they don’t know how to fill it. They’re trying to fill it by buying the lie that they should just do whatever feels good. It breaks my heart. The girls doing the walk of shame, stumbling home to their dorms on Saturday mornings? They’re not fighting against the sexual double standard that says guys that sleep around are studs, but girls are sluts. They are desperate for someone to love them. They all need to hear that they are loved by the God that created them. It makes me so sad when I think about how lost these young people are.

On My Mind: Animals. Processing three large pigs and how we are going to get them from their pen into a trailer. How many meat chickens should we get? When will our little happy chicks start laying eggs? Am I seriously done with another year of homeschooling? Year number 8 – check. IN-SANE. Are we really talking about high school plans already? We aren’t even going to revisit the teenager thing. Because, honestly? I’m pretty sure Lael is taller than me already and she won’t even be a teenager until next week. i’m not ready for this. 

On My iPhone: My name is Jackie and I’m addicted to 2048. Someone help me. I’ve also started using an app that maps my morning walks, showing me exactly how far and fast I’m going. I like having a number to beat. My Pandora playlist lately has been based on ‘Landslide’ by Stevie Nicks. It’s what my hubby calls the ’90’s hippie’ list. I love it. All kinds of awesome songs that I’d forgotten all about. I’m kinda hooked.

On My DVR: After a few lazy days and way too many late nights, I finished Prison Break. As much as I heard my family say “how many times can they break out?!” I will still defend it. I totally loved the whole show. Action and a government conspiracy – I was totally hooked. Since finishing it, I haven’t been able to find another show I enjoy. We’ve also watched a few other conspiracy shows. I’m now ready to dig a trench in the back yard, bury a bus and live in it.

On My List: Number One would be prep and planning for a two day shopping trip we are taking for Lael’s birthday. Then we are having a family party a couple of weeks after that. Our small group for moms is starting a summer session, being led by my pastor’s wife. I’m so looking forward to it! Besides that, my list consists of the following: pool, beach, sit outside reading, sweep the floor after everyone goes to bed, beach, pool, read a magazine ….

I know. complicated, right?