Two and a half weeks ago I ordered Paleo Bread made with Coconut flour from Julian Bakery. (A friend of mine on Facebook “liked” Paleo bread so that’s how I came to know about Paleo bread and Julian Bakery.) About a week and a half after my order, they finally charged my account. Today (a week later) I received my two loaves of Paleo bread. I paid for 2nd day air. (You have to freeze it as soon as you get it home, according to the instructions in huge words on the shipping box.)
I have never used coconut flour before so I wanted to try some bread made from it before buying flour and trying to bake something myself. The description on their website sounded good. I’ve been looking forward to trying items made with other kinds of flour and I’ve heard good things about coconut flour.
Above is a picture of the loaf (with only one thin piece missing) in comparison to my tea pot and Honey Bell oranges from QVC. The loaves of bread are very small. Here is a picture comparing it to a regular, unopened loaf of Pepperidge Farms bread and below comparing slice to slice so that you can see the size of each piece.
My husband likes white bread because it’s light. So, I’m really trying to find a bread he can enjoy that isn’t heavy, but that is a healthier option for him. We’ve tried all different kinds of “store bought” breads. I’ve made many different kinds of homemade breads. They’re tasty. But, they’re still loaded with carbs. So, it seems coconut flour is a low carb option.
Looking forward to trying the bread I ordered from Julian Bakery I opened the box right away, put one loaf in the freezer and opened the other loaf. I took out one slice. I’m sure that Julian Bakery will not appreciate my observations, but I would like to share with others so that you can have a more informed decision about buying it than just the information on their website. I cannot say, in good conscience, that I enjoyed even one bite of this bread.
- One loaf of Paleo bread made from coconut flour is $7.99 (plus shipping). Two loaves and shipping cost me $31.15. That was a price I was willing to pay to try it once because I couldn’t find anything like it where I live, but normally I’m far more budget conscious. That much money can buy me 7 loaves of good, tasty bread (not the light fluffy stuff) in a local store.
- The bread is very heavy and chewy. (I’m not talking about a pleasant chewy like crusty Italian bread. It’s more like a soft rubber band kind of chewy.)
- Each piece is quite small and thin compared to a “normal” slice of bread.
- It has a rather odd smell coming out of the bag. (I can’t even begin to describe the smell. It’s not strong, but it is odd. It won’t bother most people, I’m sure. However, my nose is quite sensitive and I can smell things before others do. I have to wonder what ingredient is causing that smell.)
- There is no flavor to the bread at all. It’s extremely bland and I am very disappointed. There is clearly not enough salt in it, either, if any.
In order to give it a little flavor, I put a small amount of apricot jam on the bread. That didn’t make it any more palatable. It was simply apricot jam on a bland, unpleasantly chewy, slightly odd smelling piece of bread.
I do NOT like wasting food. But, I can’t figure out what to do with this bread. It doesn’t seem absorbant enough to soak up an egg mixture to make a tiny piece of french toast, but I’ll try that. I’ll try it as a sandwich bread and other things. And, then I’ll report back. Perhaps as a backdrop to something else (like tuna salad, ham, or turkey) it will be just fine.
- I made cinnamon toast. I toasted and toasted and toasted it. After 9 minutes in the toaster, it still wasn’t toasted although the outside crust was a tiny bit crisp and tasted (for a slight moment) like toasted sesame seeds. Then that flavor (from the outside crust only) disappeared. So, I put butter and cinnamon sugar on it to see if that would improve the flavor. It sat on my plate for a short period of time and there was a liquid that came out of it onto the plate… but, it was still rubbery-chewy (as if I had chewed up a soft rubber band and had tiny bits of it in my mouth), bland, and had that unpleasant odor about it. It wasn’t crispy like toast. The texture never changed.
- Instead of wasting an egg, I experimented to see if it would soak up liquid. I soaked a piece in water for a minute. When I picked it up out of the water with two fingers, it still held its shape and stood out from my fingers, perfectly straight as it had before the soaking. None of the water had soaked in and there wasn’t any evidence of softening like a grain flour would do. So, I know that I can’t make french toast from it. That will just end up being scrambled egg around a rubbery bread.
- I tasted a little bit with a piece of cheese. The cheese didn’t do anything for the taste or texture.
I can’t imagine what to do with this bread. I won’t be wasting any further ingredients trying to figure out what might help because the taste and texture (along with that slight odor) still remain.
Evidently the person who wrote this wanted to remain anonymous. But, I liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you all.
Once a boy and his father were driving along the road in the family car when a bee flew in the window. The boy got very upset when he saw the bee buzzing around his head and he began throwing his arms around madly, almost causing an accident. Maybe you think he was a coward, but that boy was a special case. You see he was allergic to bee stings! The doctors had told him that if he ever got stung by a bee again he would die of the sting! So naturally enough the boy was very frightened of the bee.
The father tried to brush it out of the car window, but couldn’t make it go out. So he quickly grabbed the bee! But it escaped, and buzzed around the boy’s head again making him scream with terror this time. Well, the bee was still in the car, but the father pulled over to the edge of the road and said to the boy, “It is OK. You are all right.” Then he opened his hand, and there sticking into his palm the boy could see the bee sting! His father had allowed the bee to sting himself! He had taken the sting out of the danger. There was no danger about the bee any more.
In much the same way Jesus Christ has taken the “sting” out of death itself. He let death “sting” Him instead of ourselves, so we could live forever and never die. How wonderful! In I Corinthians 15:55-57, the Bible tells us about that “sting” being taken out of death by Jesus Christ:
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Sin makes us unable to face a Holy God after we die. We cannot keep God’s Law. But Jesus Christ has fixed that for us, He has given believers the “victory” or made us winners over death. Praise God, we will never really die when we trust in Jesus as our Lord.
- Author Unknown
Happy New Year!!!
This year has flown by. It’s hard to believe that in just a few days it will be 2013. Once again I ask, “Where has this year gone?!!”
In the last several years I have chosen NOT to make New Year’s resolutions. It just seems pointless because I would make resolutions that I could keep for a month or two and then it would phase out. No… I’m not undisciplined. I just would take too big a bite (have too many things to work on at once) and not be able to chew that bite.
So, once again… I will not be making any New Year’s resolutions for 2013. But, I have some general directions in which I want to head. I have decided that I need to get rid of some old habits and create new habits. It has been said that it only takes 30 days of doing something and it will become a habit. I submit that there’s a lot more to it than that. Habits are deeply ingrained. Anyone can will themselves to behave in a certain way for one or two months, but if there isn’t an internal change and a change in perspective, they’ll go right back to the old, deeply ingrained habits. So, I will be working on changing my perspective this year. But, there are two areas in which I want to make improvements in 2013.
Last year I started off the year with a bang. I started losing weight and did quite well until I hit a plateau and couldn’t seem to get any further. Then I got discouraged even though I was telling myself (and my readers) not to get discouraged. I gained back some of the weight that I had lost and have been steady at that new weight for the past five months. I still need to lose a LOT of weight in order to feel comfortable. And… I will. But, I am going to go about it differently than I did last year.
I have discovered something about myself… something I didn’t like in my husband. I always accused him of being an all or nothing kind of guy. I would ask, “Isn’t there some happy medium? Does it have to be one extreme or the other?” Here’s just one example: If he was working on getting healthy, he would overdo it by walking for two or more hours a day. There was no 30-45 minutes of fast-paced walking for him. That two or three hours would dig into his schedule and soon went by the wayside because it took too much time and he had so much else to do. (He’s a pretty amazing guy, by the way. I wouldn’t trade him for another model for anything in the world. I love him dearly and he’s stuck with me. ♥)
It turns out, I have been an “all or nothing” kind of gal. I would go at something with everything in me, and if I didn’t reach my goal I’d get discouraged. What I’ve learned in 2012 is that it’s OK to take baby steps. It’s OK to work on part of a program instead of taking on an entire program. One of my links (to the right at the bottom) is to the Fly Lady. She is amazingly organized. I, on the other hand, have always been a “fly by the seat of my pants”, impromtu, “planning and sticking with a calendar is a pain in the back-side” kind of personality. I’m not one of these people who will account for every minute of my time. Nor will I set up a schedule that says, “for 15 minutes I’ll do this, and then I’ll do that for the next 15 minutes.” That just doesn’t work for me. That approach takes all of the joy out of anything that I do. In the business world it took a lot of effort to make sure that I was organized enough to do well at my job… and do well, I did. I always got excellent reviews. So, I know it’s possible because I was able to control that natural tendency to be disorganized. But, I also did the work in the way best suited to me so long as the results best suited my boss. Thankfully, I always had bosses that allowed me that freedom.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase.
Just take the first step. ” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Well, with the Fly Lady program I tried to do EVERYTHING all at once (despite the fact that she says to take it a step at a time). I had a great, organized house… for a very short while. And, while I was doing that I had no time to myself. I was always working, never sitting down and watching TV or taking time to talk with my husband. There was too much to do if I was going to do it all. With everything going on, I couldn’t keep it up.
This year I will take just a few things and do them until they are so habitual that I don’t have to think about them. Then I can add something else… take the next step… baby steps, as the Fly Lady calls them. See her Baby Steps web page. It’s a great place to start if you’re wanting to get the chaos out of your home over the next few months.
So this is where I am right now. I am going to sit down before the 1st and write down what my priorities are, listing the first five only. (I can tell you that my highest priority is my family.) Then I’m going to set a couple goals for myself under each priority and start working on those goals using baby steps. So, based on those priorities, I can make decisions/choices about my activities. If someone asks me to participate in something, will it help or hinder my goals under my priority list? If it takes me away from my goals or adds stress to my life (beause I would be saying yes to something for which I don’t really have time to give my best effort), I would need to say, “Thank you so much for thinking about me, but I won’t be able to do that this year. I just won’t have the time to put my best effort into it.”
My Hope For You
I hope that, instead of just making a bunch of New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll take time to think through your prioritites and determine whether those resolutions will add stress to your life or make you feel like a failure because you don’t have time or energy to complete them once you start. Only take on that which will help you reach your goals. Only set goals for those things/situations that are your highest priorities for the year. And most of all, make it a…
Happy New Year!
Every year I get that “little kid” excitement about the holidays. As a parent, it’s a lot of work. But, it’s so worth creating memories for my family. My husband and I put up the Christmas tree about three weeks before Christmas and we have a family decorating party. (My husband usually puts on the lights because he’s very detailed and takes time to get them on just right. I don’t have the patience that he does so I just wind them around the tree.)
I love Thanksgiving through New Year’s so much that I consider the whole time a wonderful holiday season with the primary focus being on Christmas. We leave the Christmas tree up until New Year’s Day. That way I take full advantage of every moment of the season.
To me Thanksgiving represents family and thankfulness for all that God provides. New Year’s represents a new year filled with potential where I can do what is needed to grow in every way… professionally, emotionally, mentally (think of all the things we can learn in the year coming up), spiritually and in so many other ways. It represents new opportunities to be a blessing to my family and those around me.
But, for me, Christmas is the primary celebration. Christmas reprents a special focus on the Lord of all Creation who allowed Himself to become a frail and helpless baby, cared for by His own creation, dependent on an earthly mother and father… knowing that His ultimate goal was to live a sinless life so that He could be the sacrifice that paid for our sin. What amazing love He has for us that He would leave the majesty of Heaven and come to earth to take our punishment (eternal death - meaning eternal separation from the God of Light and Life who created us because God cannot look on sin of any kind… not even a little white lie). Jesus’ arrival on earth… His birth is what Christmas is all about.
The other thing that Christmas reprents to me is family. I have so many fond memories of Christmas family times growing up and I want to make special memories for my family as well. This year my husband and I will be incorporating a couple of new traditions into our family Christmas. One of them will be a change in the “stockings hung by the fire with care.” You see, although Santa is a very fun story that we really enjoy, it’s a story, not reality. We read Santa stories and watch Christmas movies, but our children know that they’re make belief stories that we read or watch because they’re a lot of fun, not because they’re true. Our kids have always been OK with that and have lots of wonderful Christmas memories.
We have always told our children that Christmas is about Jesus. And, I’ve read to them the true story about the original Saint Nicholas from where the legends have grown. We can take the generosity of heart that the original Saint Nicholas (who loved and believed in God) had and create a tradition around that. We’ll put up our stockings for decoration as usual. But, there will be an extra stocking for baby Jesus. In that stocking we will be putting money throughout the season and that money will go toward some special charity or mission. We have yet to decide which one. But, that will give our children a little feeling of looking past themselves to something they can do to help others.
Christmas is such a fun time of year and we’re really looking forward to all of the fun, excitement, and enjoyment.
Every year it seems that Christmas becomes more and more commercialized. The local stores were stocking Christmas things before Halloween and we have been listening to Christmas commercials since right after Halloween. The message: Buy, buy, buy. If you don’t spend a lot of money on your loves ones you won’t be showing them your love. If you don’t spend money on the newspaper delivery person, the hair stylist, or the grocery person who packs your bags, then you’re not a very nice person. There are even lists that you can fill out (with reminders) as to whom you must give a Christmas gift in case you forget those people you only see for a few minutes several times a year. It’s all geared toward spending your money.
In this economy with such high unemployment (where I live it’s still above 9% and that doesn’t count all of the people who have completely used up their unemployment benefits and have fallen off the graph of numbers that is officially reported to and by the White House or whose bosses have reduced their hours because they can’t affort the health insurance required for full-time employees) I hear of people who are completely stressed out because they don’t have money to spend on Christmas. Hear me on this. IT’S OK to NOT SPEND A BUNCH OF MONEY! Simplify your life!
Going into debt for Christmas?
There are two rules to follow with regard to money.
- Don’t go into debt to give Christmas presents.
- Don’t feel pressured (by TV and radio commercials, your kids, or your friends and their spending habits) to spend money you do not have, or can’t afford to spend because you have bills to pay.
Changing our Perspectives
In our home, we have been teaching our children that Christmas is not about receiving, it’s about giving. Some people think, “Yeah, right. How do you teach a child that?” Well, we started early, but it’s never too late to start with that philosophy. I really hate the fact that kids are taught to think only of themselves and what they want. Making a list of 40 things for Santa just presents selfishness and we’re teaching our kids that “I am more important than anyone else. Only I matter. I’m the only one I have to think about. I want… I want… I want…” And then if they don’t get what they want, there’s a lot of drama. This “gimme” attitude just isn’t attractive in anyone. Yes, it’s nice to receive gifts. But, it isn’t the end of the world if we receive something simple instead of that diamond necklace we’ve been eyeing in the jewelry store or that $500 electronic device we’ve been seeing on QVC. And receiving it with graciousness shows class. It should never be a demand, an expectation or a requirement that someone give us gifts… and especially NOT that they go into debt to do so. We need to change our perspective and our kids’ perspectives.
A couple of years ago our budget was extremely tight. Our kids chose to exchange gifts. I mean exchange as in, “What do I own that I know he would really like? I’ll wrap that up and give it to him.” They actually got into it and each gave the other a very nice gift. Neither of them gave the other something they didn’t care about. That came from the heart because it meant that they were chosing to give up something for the other person. They put the other person before themselves. And, they were excited to have the other one open the gift! Another thing we did was to make gifts. That also came from the heart because it took time and effort. We let our kids know that, “the budget is very tight, so this year let’s focus on doing things for each other rather than on spending a lot of money.” Because of the way we approached it, our kids understood and participated in a big way. It isn’t that they didn’t receive gifts. They just didn’t focus on writing an expensive “I want” list. Instead, their focus was on what they could do for others. It was a pretty special Christmas.
What are are a couple things that can be done to help change our perspectives, take the stress out of Christmas, and teach our kids that spending and going into debt for Christmas is not a good thing?
- Take your family to a homeless shelter and volunteer your services for a few hours. Serve a meal, talk with people, and begin to realize that these are real people who each have a story. They need someone’s help, someone’s hand on their shoulder, and a friendly smile that doesn’t look down on them because of their circumstances. Believe me, that experience along with a good, honest conversation about your blessings (not in a preaching way, but with an attitude of thankfulness for the blessings you have) will help change their perspective. It may even be the beginnings of developing an attitude of looking past themselves and their own circumstance to help those who are less fortunate.
- Be honest with your kids if things are a little tight. It won’t hurt them. Have them be involved in coming up with fun ideas that don’t cost a lot of money. Let them be involved in making Christmas a fun, family time. A child who learns that money doesn’t grow on trees, we have to work hard for it, and we have to be responsible by paying our bills first and limiting our spending will be much better off (and learn a valuable life lesson) than one whose parents indulge him in everything and go into debt to do so.
Even if your budget isn’t tight and you can afford to spend a lot of money, take this opportunity to teach your children a valuable life lesson. Take the stress out of your Christmas this year. Simplify. Get your kids involved. Create new free or low-cost traditions. It’s the traditions and fun family time together that they will remember the rest of their lives, not gifts that break after a while or that they’ll get bored with in several months.
Make this Christmas something special, something about people and time together, not about things.
With that said, I want to say that Christmas will be what it was meant to be if we celebrate the ultimate Christmas gift… Jesus Christ and His birth over 2,000 years ago. Too many people don’t want to acknowledge Jesus Christ and refer to Christmas as “the holidays” or x-mas. But, Christmas is here because of Christ. Christ was the beginning of Christmas and we still celebrate Him today. So, even though I hope you have a happy holiday season with all of it’s celebrations between now and New Years’ Day, I wish you a…
I subscribe to the Women Living Well blog and have been really enjoying it. I particularly like this Making Your Home a Haven series that she’s doing now. Click on the link below and enjoy! (This one is about getting ready for Christmas.)
Other products have 2 – 3% improvement over time and call that substantial. This has real results on real people with scientific proof, and the results are as dramatic as 10% – 60% improvement within 30 – 90 days… with some results happening even in the first weeks. In the scientific testing, they even see a reduction of the wrinkles under the skin that haven’t shown up yet and can’t been seen without the scientific equipment. WOW! Here are some pictures that speak for themselves. I don’t have to say any more!
Dramatic reduction in wrinkles:
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Improvement in skin texture and tone:
These are just three of thousands and thousands of pictures showing improvements. This stuff works!
There’s a 30 day money back guarantee for those who want a guarantee. AND, when you get on autoship and refer three friends who do the same… you get your product (and the results) for free for as long as three of the people you refer are on autoship!!! FREE! I don’t know of any other company who is so secure in the effectiveness of their product that they do that for their customers.
They have a 90-day Real Results contest going on as well. Anyone who gets on autoship and enters has a chance to win a trip (fully paid including airfare and spending money). You have to be on autoship to enter. I’m entering. I just had to take pictures of my skin (wrinkles and all). I picked one to post. In five days I had to post another picture to show improvement. Then I have to post another picture in 90 days. I put these pictures online at the contest web page and am entered into the contest to win a trip for two!!! (They say your photos must be untouched or they won’t be accepted. They want only real results so act with integrity.)
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a lot of skin problems lately. I’m not looking as young as I feel anymore. I look in the mirror and wonder, “WHERE did these wrinkles come from and how did I get them so soon??? And why does my face keep breaking out like I’m a teenager again?” (It’s frustrating. Wrinkles and breakouts… not lovely. I know… some of you are saying TMI. But, many of us out there are having the same problem so I’m being honest. If I share where I started, then where I end up will be all the sweeter and will encourage others.) I’m thrilled to find this company. And, I promise to post my own 90-day results when I’ve completed the 90-day test.
But, don’t wait for MY 90-day results or you’ll miss out on the contest. With the 30-day money back guarantee and the 3UR Free program where you can get your product free just by telling others about it, you can’t lose. No, I’m not telling you just to get my product free. I only do product reviews honestly. I’m not going to say I love this unless it’s true, and…
I LOVE THIS!!! So, I want to tell everyone about it!
NERIUM INTERNATIONAL <– Here’s the website!
When my step-son came to live with us, he was well past school age. He is a very special, special-needs child who will never think and perceive beyond the mind of a 5-year-old child. So, when he came to live with us, my teaching him was on the very basics of life. He hadn’t learned how to do much of anything for himself at all. He couldn’t even fold over Velcro on his shoe (let alone put his own shoe on) because it was a complicated concept. He was sick and thinking like a 2-year-old. But, we worked hard. He lost 80 pounds, we worked with his doctor to get him phased off of all of his medications and, once his mind was clear, he started learning and developing until he behaved more like a 5-year-old and could do many things for himself. You could say we home-schooled and we still spend a lot of time working with him and teaching him. We probably will for as long as we live. Schooling him is a special challenge in and of itself. There are many homeschool parents out there who have the additional challenge of having to homeschool their special-needs, school-aged child under their state regulations, taking special tests to help show improvement if there is the capability of such, and also teaching their children who do not have special needs. I respect what you’re doing! It’s not easy.
This month we formally registered our homeschool with our state for the first time since my youngest son is now 7. We have a formal school name (as required by our State) and an official logo that was fun to create. My son is excited. He’s in second grade this year.
My son LOVES homeschool. We homeschool all year round for several reasons.
- My 7 year old son laughs when I say that one of the reasons is that I don’t want his math, gammar and spelling to leak out of his ear during the summer.
- Another reason is that we can cover so much more than they do in a standard public school. Who says that a child must learn only so much per grade. Kids are sponges and we need to take our clues from them as to what they are capable of learning, understanding and retaining… and how they learn best. There’s the formal school time and then there’s the informal “life learning” that takes place all the time.
- The third reason is that this allows us to have shorter “formal” school hours each day. That gives us time to do other learning activities such as cub scouts, field trips, fun computer research, cooking & baking (while he’s still interested in participating), learning games on the computer that he doesn’t even think of as “learning”, reading aloud together, volunteering, playing, doing chores, taking care of the pets, helping Daddy with landscaping things, participating in community sports and activities (tennis lessons, little league, tae kwon do, and anything else he’s interested in taking), and so much more. Life is as fun and filled with learning as you make it.
- We don’t need to take days off for parent/teacher meetings. (I’d be a little worried if I had to meet with myself.) We don’t need teacher work days so the teachers can get seemingly unending paperwork completed. We don’t have to worry about taking snow days off, although if we wanted to we could take the day off and play in the snow while learning about how snow is made in a fun and casual way.
Our schedule is completely different than the public school schedule. We have the freedom of flexibility. We fit our school into our family life, yet spend more hours learning (since it is year-round school) and learn more than kids in public school.
What public school do you know where a second grader is learning art, Bible, typing/computer (because he’s really interested and motivated to learn and at the moment he really wants to be a computer specialist when he grows up), basic economics (saving, giving, spending money, keeping track of his money using his math skills), spelling, grammar, reading comprehension, writing (including script, because he’s done exceptionally well with printing), imaginative writing (creating stories and poems), geography, history, math (beyond the public school grade 2 math because he already learned half of that last year), music (piano, theory, voice, music appreciation by listening to and identifying various styles of music scores and instruments, etc.), personal development subjects, photography (simply because he’s so interested in it, motivated to learn, and has been experimenting with his camera for a year now), PE (through the community activities, through our homsechool association activities, and at home), science, sign language, Spanish… and more?
What public school covers all of that in grade 2, participates in science fairs, geography fairs, history festivals, music concerts, numerous field trips (most can’t afford more than a few), and has time to teach to each individual child’s needs without sending tons of homework home to be done in the evening? (Bless the hearts of each teacher in a public school. You have to respect their hard work. Their job expects that they teach a large number of kids from many various family cultures since each family has their own unique culture, personaliities, capabilities, and interests/motivations… and complete it all in 180 days or so. It’s simply not possible with an average of 36 kids in a classroom, with a limited school budget, and with policies about not being allowed to teach certain things.)
It’s so much fun for the kids to do what they are motivated to do. It’s so much fun for them to participate in all of the extra activities and know that they created that science project and presented it for the fair or they created that geography presentation on the country of their choice, etc. It’s so much fun for them to have various ways of learning, a good variety of activities, and personal encouragement all along the way. Homeschool allows for parents to teach their kids in this way.
Not every homeschooler does all of this type of thing. Each Mom and Dad evaluates their own children, their motivation, their interest, their needs, their capabilities, etc., before adding additional classes. It’s not a competition. Homeschooling means observing each and every child and doing what’s best for him/her. It’s about our children, not about a curriculum. It’s about spending more time with our children, giving them greater opportunity to practice and develop in various areas, and teaching them our life values.
It’s OK if one child is, for example, in grade 2 for most classes, grade 1 for math because that’s a bigger area of stuggle for her, and grade 3 in reading, writing, spelling, etc. (That wouldn’t be possible in a public school.) We can take more time to cover areas of stuggle and that’s OK because we homeschooling parents have the ability and the flexibility to do exactly what our children need… and a parent is the best possible judge of what his/her child needs because we know our children better than anyone else could possibly know them. With homeschooling parents that truly care and are vested in their child’s life, there will be no child going through homeschool never having really learned to read (as has happened too many times to children in public school). There will be no moving a child on from grade to grade because holding him back reflects badly on the school’s record. We can take time to make sure that our children really, truly understand the foundations and concepts of a subject before moving on to the next level. That is called flexibility and it allows us to do what is best for our children. We can let our child go ahead in an area that is really easy for her because she is getting bored with the “same old, same old” in that subject. On the other hand, we can choose to allow her to look up other examples that reflect the concept she just learned so that she isn’t moving way ahead or we can take a short break from that particular subject, getting back to it in a couple of weeks. There are many ways to handle situations like that. Again, it’s called flexibility.
We homsechool parents teach to our childrens’ needs. My husband and I have put together this year’s curriculum for our son because he is doing really well in all subjects and is extremely motived to learn these extra things. It’s wise to take advantage of it when a child is motivated to learn. If we find that the extra classes are a little too much, that’s OK. We switch one of the subjects from formal learning to informal learning and cover it in a different way or we still do the formal method, but do a shorter class once a week or once every two weeks. There are so many different ways to handle it. Again, it’s not about the curriculum, it’s about your child and what he/she can do. It’s about making sure your child isn’t bored because school is too slow and making sure that you’re not pushing too hard and taking things too fast. It’s all about your child.
It’s incredible. My husband and I can choose to teach the extra things that my son is motivated to learn. We can teach in a way that our child learns best. We’re doing what we feel is best for him and giving him the biggest headstart on life that we can possibly give. We have the ability to help him think independently and, as time goes on, to study independently so that by the time he’s out of highschool he’s incredibly well prepared for college and the world beyond. He’s only going into grade 2 right now. Yet, with everything on our list, my son has plenty of time to play and just be a kid because we have the flexibility to cover this at his speed and teach the way he learns best. We love homeschool.
Beware the barrenness of a busy life. ~ Socrates
It’s Saturday. Another week has gone by and I’ve been so busy that, as I look back, I have no idea what half the busyness has been all about. Recently I feel like I have been letting life happen to me… and getting grumpy in the process. That is a sad state of affairs!
I’ve done my usual running errands, dropping off and picking up kids, going to Tae Kwon Do Class, doing house work, and working in the office for our business. The week has included volunteering, giving haircuts to the guys in my family, cooking meals, baking, shopping, planning, and making important phone calls. And then there was homeschool. Although I’ve tried to find time for writing, the only time to accomplish that seems to be in the wee hours of the morning (like right now,,, sleep was elusive and it’s 3:13 am as I write these words). Yet, with all of the busyiness there’s a sense that things have been left undone. I have arrived at the end of the week feeling like time has flown by and left me as I ponder, “What important thing did I even accomplish?”. My mind has not been focused and I feel like I’m being pulled in a bunch of directions. Lately time goes by, but I don’t feel effective (or efficient).
Have you ever felt like that?
Talking things out has always helped me find answers and focus. So, for those of us who are going through this, how do we get past it? If we look at our lives and what we see as our purpose in this season of life, what is it? Focusing like this needs to be a mindset. I honestly believe (from experience) that multitasking simply allows us to lose focus and do many things not so efficiently.
Focus on what is important in this season of life and get rid of the superfluous.
List your priorities. My personal priorities in this season of life are growing in my relationship with God, being a godly wife, rearing my kids, and homeschooling.
How does one develop a personal relationship with God and why should that come before anything else? Well, to answer the second part of that question, we women can’t be godly wives and mothers if we’re not taking care of the “learning to be godly” part of the equation. But, what exactly does it mean to develop our relationships with God? That part is simple. Have quite time so that you can refocus on the rest of your daily life with a new perspective. Get your Bible, a pad of paper or notebook, a cup of coffee or tea and sit down. (I’m not a morning person, but I have found that doing this early when the kids are in bed ensures that it is, indeed, a QUIET time.)
Once you start your day with a focus on God, you’ll be surprised at how much you think about it at little moments here and there during the day. When something comes up that you might be struggling with, thoughts of what God has been teaching you through His Word come to mind as a reminder. Having God’s Word in your mind makes it easier to make the right choices, move past the issue, and develop the ability to show grace toward others in your life. Even as I write this sentence, I’m reminded of what I’ve read recently and how it applies to actual situations in my life.
“A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31: 10-12 (NIV)
Being a godly wife becomes easier when I work on my own personal relationship with God. Being in God’s Word in the morning helps remind me throughout the day to hold my tongue and be careful of what I say (James 1:26), remember that my husband was created with a need to be respected (Ephesians 5:33), esteem him and take care of his needs (Philippians 2:3-4), live a life filled with grace toward my husband as God has given grace to me (Ephesians 1:6), and so much more. Because I’m focusing on changing myself (God changing me) for the better I focus less on trying to change my husband at all. This stuff is tough. Our natural tendencies are to look after our own needs and do what’s best for ourselves, try to change others, etc.
But, something interesting happens. When I respond the way God asks me to respond, my husband’s responses toward me become more loving. (Don’t take this the wrong way. He’s an amazing man and far more filled with grace than I am. I know without a doubt that he loves me with all his heart.) It’s the same in reverse… when he responds the way God asks him to respond to me, it makes it so much easier for me to live “peaceably”, show respect, and live with grace. I just wish that I’d remember that every day, all through the day, every time I’m tempted to tell him how he should be… every time I open my mouth to correct something… every time I choose to respond in a way that is contrary to scripture. But, I do have hope that over time, as God continues to work in my life and as I continue to work on what He’s teaching me, those responses will become less and less a part of my life and godly responses will become more of the norm.
I don’t know one woman who hasn’t tried to change her husband. But, ladies, God gave you the husband you have. He’ll work in you. He’ll work in your husband. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. (I’ll give 50% if you give 50%.) It’s a 100% proposition. I’ll give 100% regardless of my spouse’s behavior or attitude. It’s not your job to be the Holy Spirit in his life. Its your responsibility to build him up, encourage him, love him, respect him, honor him, support him, be there for him… and work on changing what God wants you to change in your life, not in his. Let God be the one to work in your husband.
“Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not turn from it.”
Rearing my kids and homeschooling is a full time job, in and of itself. The thing about homeschooling is that it allows me to have input in my sons’ lives at all times (through teaching, through my example, through spending fun times together, through reading together, and in so many other ways). There’s the formal part of school and then there’s life. Homeschooling isn’t just doing school at home. It is focusing on rearing my child and using all of life (from morning to night) to teach him in various ways. So, regardless of whether we’re sitting down and doing math or social studies, going grocery shopping together, reading just for fun, baking cookies, having conversations in the car, taking care of the dog, or anything else, it is all an opportunity to speak into their lives and teach them about relationships, God, life, self-discipline, and a vast array of other things.
It’s so easy to be strict in order to keep order in the homeschooling process. But, I have to keep reminding myself that my focus is on my children as a whole.
There is so much to distract. It’s important to avoid the tendency to get on the computer and do something when my child is needing my attention (one of the reasons my blogs have turned from daily to… random). If there’s not enough time to do everything, then I have to set priorities. My children are a priority.
So, to answer the comment at the beginning about not feeling effective (or efficient), once the focus is clear then everything funnels through that priority funnel. Spending time reading with, baking with (etc.) my youngest son is an effective and efficient use of time. Spending time making up on-the-spot silly songs with my austistic son when they bring a smile to his face is an effective and efficient use of time. Having my youngest do chores with me while we sing (for example, picking up toys from the living room floor and moving small furniture while I vacuum) is an effective and efficient use of time because we’re doing something together, learning how to focus on work, and making it fun at the same time. Making time for my husband and actually listening to him while he’s talking is an effective and efficient use of time. Spending an hour on Facebook is not an effective and efficient use of time if I have many other things that need to be done.
So many of us who have been career women before having a family tend to have a “corporate world” view of life. Daytimers, schedules, meetings, lists of tasks and accomplishments, completed projects… My career defined who I was in my mind. They’re all good things, but they don’t define our lives. They don’t define who we are, in reality. Using that sense of self-definition means that playing with my son is not an accomplishment. But, just think… if, during playtimes, my son learns to talk with me while he’s little and we keep that line of communication open throughout his growing up years, he’ll come to me to talk when he’s a teen and an adult and may need advice, may need to talk something out, or may just want to spend time with his Mom. The precident has been set from an early age. He knows I’m there for him now. He’ll know I’ll be there for him always… even if it’s just to bounce ideas off of someone. He’ll be in the habit of connecting with us. Those times are valuable and have more than one long-term purpose.
So, whether you’re an At-Home-Mom or a mom who works in the business world, don’t let busyness keep you from your true focus. Don’t let the business world mentality impact how you see yourself and your accomplishments in life, in general. That’s great for business, but life is much more than business. We do need focus and purpose or life happens to us rather than us making things happen in our lives. But, remember that projects and specific accomplishments are not the only things that validate our lives.
Well, I have written far more than I intended. These are things that I’m continuing to work on. Thank goodness my children and my husband practice grace towards me as I should be doing toward them. I hope that my experiences have spoken into your life in some way and impacted your perspective of busyness, focus and living a godly life.