Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sick AGAIN!!

Well, my big plans for my blog this week are going to have to wait a bit since both boys are sick with fevers... AGAIN!  Dang!  They have only been better for about a week and a half and here we go with round two!  Bummer!  Poor guys! 

Off to go comfort sick little people!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More with Lorrie Flem!

As I mentioned in my previous posts about the Inland Northwest Home School Conference, I thoroughly enjoyed Lorrie Flem as a teacher, and I wanted to make sure I shared with you all some more of the things I learned from her other two workshops that I attended, plus Lorrie's goodies that I have been discovering since the conference!

For the first workshop session on Friday night I attended Lorrie's "Dawdling, Diligence, or Distracted" session, and it was very eye-opening!

Guess what folks?

I'm a dawdler!!

With a side of distracted!

Lorrie defined dawdling as the deliberate act of wasting time instead of working.  OOOO- that one stings!  Guilty!!  She went on to describe being distracted as allowing yourself to pay attention to things other than what you are supposed to be doing.  Hmmm.... guilty again!  I think that my days can too easily get overtaken by these two simple little concepts that can slowly, but surely, turn me into one unproductive little mama!

There is hope though!  It's called diligence!  Lorrie aptly referred to Colossians 3:23:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

Lorrie went on to make lot's of wonderful suggestions and applications as to how you can use your time more wisely, increase efficiency and help your children overcome these tendencies as well (okay, so I think the workshop was actually mostly aimed at helping your children, but I found it applied more to me!).  For the full benefit, though, I would really encourage you to just hop over to her shop and pick up an MP3 or CD copy for yourself! 

On Saturday I attended Lorrie's session on Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom, which was about overcoming weariness.  Lorrie made it very clear that our homes should actually be building us up, nourishing, blessing and fulfilling us as we pour our work into them.  That is a new concept for me, because as of late (okay, so actually since about the time I had Lion Cub last June) I have felt more like my home has been sucking the life out of me than nourishing me.  I had everything so together and running smoothly before he was born, and since then I just haven't been able to muster the energy and motivation to make it all work well again.  Sure, we have been surviving and maybe even learning some things along the way, but by no means would I say we have been thriving.  Sadly.  It has been a long battle (mixed with lots of hormones!) but one I am ready to be done with!  After all, our hope is to have a large family- if things are ever going to work well with a larger brood then I had better get our life in order now!

That is where the great part comes in!  Lorrie kindly reminded us all that we have the power to change!  We are not stuck!  We have the ability to get rid of what is weighing us down, and a lot of it relies on just doing what needs to be done (with a good attitude!) and worrying about how you feel about it later!

Wow!  Are you feeling convicted?  I know that I am! 

Lorrie was great about giving some practical suggestions for making days more fruitful, not the least of which was gathering strength from the Lord, each and every day!  Probably the most convicting for me, however, was "Wake Up!"  Erg- most of you know how my Early Bird Challenge for this year has been going (or not going, rather).  I really need to just do it and worry about how I feel about it later (which is usually something along the lines of "Seriously?  Get up now after being woken up every hour by a restless baby last night?!").  I know it will change my days dramatically, though, if I just buckle down and do it!

Once again- there was just so much goodness in Lorrie's workshops that I really think you need to hear them for yourself!  Her shop ( is stalked full of wonderful books, e-books and audio messages for you (and me) to glean from!  In fact, I was just telling my husband that I think a monthly TEACH allowance to learn all I can from this wonderful lady may very well be called for (he didn't disagree!)!  Which brings me to the next part of my post:


I only spoke to Lorrie for about a minute after her last workshop to inquire about one of her books (she mentioned a book of hers that talks about teaching your toddler to sit still on your lap during church!  I need that!), but I see many similarities between Lorrie and I!  She is an author and speaker (which I aspire to- someday- if the Lord wills!).  She has a large family who she homeschools and disciples in the Lord.  She sees the importance of leaving a written, tangible legacy for her children, their spouses and the generations to come (there is a little hint, hint into the top-secret blog project I have been dangling before you all for months!).  She holds retreats for women at her beach getaway house numerous times throughout the year (something I have always wanted to do- but let's face it, if it ever happens it will probably be minus the beach house part!).  Basically, I see Lorrie as the grown up version of ME- or what I hope and pray to be, anyway!

At the end of the conference I decided to take the plunge and order a year subscription to her magazine, TEACH. I was sure that it would be good, but had no idea just how good until I got home and started pawing through it!  It is filled with goodness!  And I am still just absorbing everything that the Summer 2008 back issue (that I received as a gift with purchase) has to offer, I haven't even gotten to the current issue yet!

I have been amazed as I skim the pages to find how many of TEACH's writers I am already familiar with, such as Marilyn Moll of Urban Homemaker, Cindy Rushton, and Jessie Hawkins of Vintage Remedies!  Such solid women in the Lord who write wonderful articles that are completely pertinent to the homemaking way of life!  Maybe, just maybe, someday I will be at a place where even I could have something to offer in an article for TEACH!  (A girl can dream!)  I am so looking forward to all of the issues to come and can already tell that I will be subscribing many years beyond the one I have already ordered!

Honestly, I think I could go to lunch with Lorrie Flem and talk for hours!  I would probably pick her brain until she was dying for an escape route, but I just think that there is so much to learn from this kindhearted and wise woman who has obviously spent countless hours at the feet of Jesus!  Let me tell you- her speech is seasoned with salt, and it is lovely to be around!

I am dearly hoping to be able to attend one of her Teach on the Beach retreats this year, to do just that! Possibly in the fall if she has one.  Since seeing her impact after just this short home school conference, my husband seems very game to have me go as well! :-)  Of course I would love to attend with some friends, be they online or IRL!  Who's with me?!

By the way, I want to make it very clear that Lorrie Flem has in no way compensated or encouraged me to write these posts!  They are just my honest, heartfelt opinions!  And you can be fairly certain that this is not the last time that you will be hearing about Lorri Flem or the TEACH ministry on this humble little blog!

Monday, March 29, 2010

It is Finished!

I can't believe I am actually writing this right now, especially with the amount of catch up I had to do over the weekend (I read from 1 Thessalonians to Revelation yesterday... only partially neglecting my family), but I actually read the Bible in 90 days.  90 DAYS!!  Cover to cover!  The whole shabang!

And do you know what I am walking away with?  An overwhelming sense of being loved!  The Bible is just one big love story and that was abundantly clear as I read it as one whole account, one continuous book.  I am also coming away with a great new habit- getting in the word EVERY day, at least a little bit!  I have meant to do it for years, but having only missed 3 days in the past 3 months has shown me even more personally how important that discipline is!

With that said, I am not planning on re-embarking on this mission again in the near future.  It was wonderful but it was a LOT of work and time.  Not that spending that much time in the Word is a bad thing (of course not- it was well worth it!), but now I hope to be able to devote more of that time to reflection, meditation, study and prayer, along with reading.  I may try this challenge again in the future (probably when I don't have a baby), but right now the sheer number of verses I have underlined from this time around would be enough to keep me busy studying for the next 10 years!

So what is my plan next?  Well, a while ago I received The Voice translation of the New Testament from Thomas Nelson for review, so I plan to work my way back through the New Testament doing a comparison study of this new translation to the NIV.  I plan to kind of take it as it comes, but aim for 5-7 pages a day.  We'll see how it goes!

If you think you might be interested in getting in on the action of the next online Bible in 90 Days challenge you can visit Mom's Toolbox for all the details!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So.... live blogging...

...didn't really work for me.  I found it to be a distraction and a hassle when I just really wanted to soak up everything from the conference. So, as you may have noticed, I stopped!  I loved the idea of it to begin with, but when it came right down to it I just felt like I didn't have enough time to put up quality, well thought out posts.

With that said, there is still a ton of stuff I want to share with you all about this conference.  I walked away feeling refreshed and re-inspired!  As Lorri Flem said (who actually read my blog last night, by the way!!!  AAAAAH!!  And she commented!!  I feel tremendously honored and humbled!), I am equipped to make the changes that are needed in my home, now I just need to do it! 

So, until I have the chance to sit down and really give you guys the meat of how the Lord impacted me this weekend, and it really was incredible, I want to encourage all of you to go over and check out Lorrie's Teach Magazine.  I am confident that you all will glean as much from her teachings (magazine, books and MP3s/CDs) as I have this weekend!  And hey, the magazine is even on same right now, so why not get a subscription while you're there?!  I did yesterday and am so excited to have such a wonderful resource at my finger tips!

Oh, and by the way, Lorrie is not paying me to say these things!  I was just so clearly spoken to through her workshops this weekend that I really want all of you to have that same opportunity!

More to come hopefully in the next day or so!

Friday, March 26, 2010

LIVE BLOGGING- Remember Why to Revitalize Today w/ Lorrie Flem

For details about this LIVE BLOGGING event (The Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference), see this post!

Remember Why to Revitalize Today
w/ Lorrie Flem 

Wow- what another great session!  Lorrie Flem is such a wonderful picture of Jesus!  Her words are gentle, loving and poignant!  This workshop was mostly about the unexpected rewards of homeschooling- particularly the deep relationships you are able to grow with your children and the way you are able to disciple them on a daily basis.

She strongly emphasized bringing your children alongside you to teach them and not letting a curriculum dominate your homeschool.  The academics are important, but not the main focus of teaching your kids at home.  Lorrie pointed out again and again how Jesus taught.  He said, "follow me."  He wanted his disciples to learn by the way he lived, to learn alongside him, day in and day out.  What a perfect example of how we are to teach our children!

Lorrie emphasized that as a homeschooling mother, my children, my home and my husband are my job.  Much more than that, they are worth my time it takes to bring them alongside me.  Even if it may seem like it is frustrating and time consuming, that longer amount of time is the time it is supposed to take because this is the way the Lord has for me to teach my kids!  What a fresh perspective!  When you reset your mind to think through those lenses it makes the day's tasks seem much more manageable and joyful!

I am really looking forward to the other workshops Lorrie has to offer throughout the conference!

Want to follow more LIVE BLOGGING about the Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference?  Be sure to visit Dawn @ 5 Kids and Dog and Katey @ Crazy Homeschool Mama!

LIVE BLOGGING- Welcome to the Zoo w/Lorrie Flem

For details about this LIVE BLOGGING event (The Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference), see this post!

Welcome to the Zoo
multi-level homeschooling made easy
w/ Lorrie Flem 

What a fantastic kick off to the conference- complete with a few comical mix-ups to keep things interesting!  To begin with, there were some problems getting Lorrie’s powerpoint to work, which they eventually did get resolved!  Then she actually began her diligence seminar (which sounds great!), but none the less, the wrong one!  Too funny- what great character she has!  She simply laughed at herself, picked up the right set of notes and began again!  Then, someone turned all the lights off!  Once again, she was incredibly good humored!

All that aside, what a great seminar!  Lorrie covered, from the broad to the specific, ways that you can easily eliminate stress from your homeschooling day while teaching many children at different levels.

The two major things that Lorrie focused on were Obedience and Responsibility, noting that if you have done a thorough job of teaching obedience before the age of 7, then from that age on you can better teach responsibility and a love to obey.  These are the most important ways to teach your children and in turn help yourself!

I had heard something similar before, but Lorrie hit on the four principles that George Washington’s mother taught him to help him obey:
  • Completely
  • Respectfully
  • Immediately
  • Joyfully
Aren’t those telling?  I know that isn’t how obedience looks in my house a lot of the time!  What great tools to keep in mind (I feel a craft project coming on... these words need to be displayed prominently in my home!)!

I think one of the biggest things Lorrie said that stuck with me is that often times things we are having to work on in our children are things the Lord is actually working on in us!  How true is that?!!  She said that, possibly, if you are dealing with obedience issues in one of your children, you are actually having trouble obeying the Lord as well.  The same goes for dawdling and a whole host of other issues!

I love Lorrie’s spirit, attitude and fresh perspective and am very much looking forward to the upcoming sessions she is teaching!  Until then...
Want to follow more LIVE BLOGGING about the Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference?  Be sure to visit Dawn @ 5 Kids and Dog and Katey @ Crazy Homeschool Mama!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So Excited! Homeschooling conference starts tomorrow!

So, I have known for a while now that I would be attending the Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference.  That in and of itself was enough to thrill me beyond all understanding!  I mean, nearly two full days to myself, spent just listening to adults, with no interruptions, and even having the ability to pee without company... anytime I please?!  Shear Bliss!

But it get's better!  Today, a fellow blogging, homeschooling and Bible in 90 Days online friend, Dawn from 5 Kids and A Dog, contacted me about live blogging the conference with her and Katey from Crazy Homeschool Mama.  How cool is that?!

Basically, Dawn has it all worked out so that we can get access to the wifi network of the church hosting the conference, so we will be posting about each workshop we go to and linking between our blogs!  There are some awesome sounding workshops and speakers scheduled that I am just so pumped to hear, and EVEN BETTER (is that even possible?) I get to meet, in the flesh, these two wonderful ladies!

The conference starts tomorrow (Friday) at 2:00 PST, so you can be expecting my first post around 3:45 PST!  Be sure to stop by and check out all the awesome stuff we are learning throughout the rest of the day and all day on Saturday!  It should be a great time of fellowship and learning!!

Things to come...

I feel like I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes preparation the last couple of weeks for things that are coming on my little blog- so hang tight, just a little longer!  One of the things, among many that I am gearing up for will be none other than:

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

During which I plan to have book reviews and finally take the plunge and introduce you all to the blog I have been talking about kicking off since... well, since October (how sad!).  So yeah- get ready for the goodness!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here is R-Man enjoying a little cereal with green milk!  He got a total kick out of it and it was so easy to make!  I just stuck a permanent marker into the milk for a few minutes and let it bleed to turn the milk a sufficient shade, and viola'!  Green milk!

Alright, just seeing if you're paying attention!  Of COURSE I didn't stick a permanent marker in my son's milk this morning!  I used washable!  ;-)

Anyway!  We seem to be on the mend.  The boys are doing much better and my husband went and had a hole drilled in his ear drum this morning so they could unplug his eustation tube (ooooo- I'm getting all fancy on ya now!) and suck the fluid out!  Doesn't that just sound horrible?!  He said the worst part was the anesthetic and the weird thing is that now he can hold his nose and blow, and air comes out his ear!  Freaky!  All should be better in a couple of days which we are very thankful for!

So, with the overall improvement of our life I am beginning to feel re-inspired and re-motivated!  I am planning lots of wonderful posts that I am sure you just can't barely stand to wait for, but you're gonna have to!  They are coming though! 

In the mean time- 
Happy St. Patty's Day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sick is the word!

Okay, seriously!  This is ridiculous!  In the past two weeks we have had:
  • our first visit to minor emergency for an injury (Lion Cub banging his face resulting in copious amounts of blood from impacted teeth and a busted frenulum- ya know that piece of skin between your upper lip and front teeth!?  Erg- a squirm just thinking about it!), 
  • our first visit to the doctor for an illness with the kids (R-Man had croop), 
  • our first visit to the ER (from 2:00am- 5:00am last Friday- Lion Cub had been screaming for hours and ended up having a double ear infection), 
  • our second visit to the doctor for an illness (horrible fevers for both boys and R-Man got the double ear infection as well!), 
  • my husband's first ear infection (and plugged ear) of his life, 
  • our third visit to the doctor for an illness (Lion Cub's ear infection was not improving and his cough was becoming worse), 
  • and one of our children receiving a shot for the first time (antibiotics for Lion Cub since the first round have apparently not been working and he sprays them all over us when we try to give them to him!).  
(pant, pant, pant)

Oh, and I am sick as well, but that is nothing new!

Needless to say, I have had my hands a little full!  Every now and again, between screams, whines, snot and cold baths, I have shot a longing glance at my computer, wishing I could escape the madness and fully enter my virtual life, but clearly that is not a viable option. 

I'm a mom.  

At one point Lion Cub upchucked his last meal (just breastmilk) all over him and myself and I managed to get him stripped down but hadn't changed myself- it was honestly the last thing on my mind (see related post here).  When R-Man spotted the drying spot he asked what it was, and after I told him, this is what he said, "Well, maybe you should just get something like a rag to clean that off."

Thank you son, I'll get right on that.

But honestly, with the current state of our family, really, what's the point?

So yeah, that is why I haven't been around.  But I'm coming back!  In our sickness I have managed to get some really great reading done and watched a Charlotte Mason seminar on DVD that was absolutely fantastic and I will definitely be sharing about that with you all!  It just might take a couple of days! 

But I love you all- and miss you!  Desperately!