Friday, January 27, 2012

trying something new

I have been reading reviews of homeschool products on other blogs for a long time and since I love trying new things with my kids, I thought that it would be something I'd be interested in doing, as well.  Now, I have my first opportunity to do just that.

I've been given a premium membership to for a candid, personal, online review. helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as MatchIt Sentences, HangMan, and Word-O-Rama. Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of free teaching resources on topics such as analogies and compound words. Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.

There might be more free memberships available for bloggers. If you're interested, find out how you can review

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

just you wait

I have now been a parent for twelve years, 4 months, and 7 days (not counting the 9 months prior to her birth) and this is what I have learned so far:

I don't know anything.

That being said, I hope you keep reading anyway ...

Parenting is a waiting game.  When you are expecting that first little bundle of joy, well-meaning people begin to tell you things like, "you had better be sleeping now since you will never sleep again before the middle of the night feedings begin" and "I hope you are ready for your whole life to change" and other such helpful comments.

And just when you have survived the sleep deprivation, people start warning you about the next stages that are coming ... "just you wait until: they start teething, the terrible twos, potty training, etc."

Well, here I am, 12 years and 3 children later and I stand on the edge of the most dreaded "just wait" of them all.  In just under 8 months, I will be the parent of a teen-aged girl.  And while I am not willing to accept that I will be miserable for the next 7 years of her life just because the word teen comes at the end of her age, I think I have had a glimpse of what is to come and here is how I see it.

My daughter has developed multiple personalities.

Sometimes she is still the little girl of my memories ...

and sometimes she is transformed into a young lady right before my eyes. 

Unfornately, every now and then she becomes someone I don't know and that I hope I never meet again.  Please don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing her.  She is simply a child trying to figure out how to become an adult and the process isn't always pretty.  The real problem is in my lack of confidence in my own ability to help her navigate these waters in such a way that the sweet, kind-hearted little girl grows into the beautiful young lady I know she can be.

 Of course all this brings me right back to the beginning ... I don't know anything now and, since my mother can't really tell me how she managed to survive four sets of teen-age years, maybe I never will.

But, even if I don't ever have any idea how to be the parent I am supposed to be and even if this little girl turning into a young lady drives me crazy in the process, I am just going to try to hold on to the moments like these and remember how smart my Mama got about the time I reached my twenties ...

Monday, January 23, 2012

moms ... read this with your daughters

I had no idea what to expect when I received the book Fierce Beauty by Kim Meeder, but I can tell you that by the end of the book, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book and what I have taken away from it.

In a world where young girls are taught that how they look is everything, they need to hear that "true beauty is not about how you look but how you live."  And that is exactly what this book does, using simple, easy to read stories, the author leads the reader to consider how she views her own self worth, through the eyes of the world or through the eyes of the Savior?

Each chapter in Fierce Beauty tells a different story from the life of the author and her friends, some people and some animals.  She uses these stories to point the reader to a deeper understanding of the disconnect between true beauty and worldly beauty.  Even more importantly, she uses these stories to convey the truth of the source of real beauty.

"Do you wish to be beautiful...?  It's not so difficult.  Authentic beauty is not based on what we're wearing or how we look.  It flows out of our hearts and is a form of worship of our King.  This beauty grows when we open our eyes to the hurting souls around us -- our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, our husbands, our children -- and ask, 'What can I do today to show them the love of Jesus?' The simplest act, even a kind word, is the first step toward a radiant beauty that will endear us in the eyes of the One who matters most."

I would recommend this book especially for mothers of young girls to read with their daughters and for older teens or young adults to read on their own.  We cannot ignore the importance of giving our daughters a godly understanding of who they are and what it is that makes them beautiful, and I think this book could be a useful tool in doing just that.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange this honest review.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

daybook 2012 ... already a week behind

January 10, 2012

Outside my window...
It is cloudy, rainy ...  just plain dreary,
and way too warm for January!

I am thinking...
about letting the kids watch a little "living history" today
(the governor's inauguration)
...which we did and I am glad ...
I am proud of our state at this moment.
The ceremony today looked almost like a church service and even though I am not naive about politics, I think that what was said today sets a good tone for the new governor and his administration.

I am thankful...
for LB's new attitude and diligence when it comes to school work!

In the kitchen...
there are dishes that need to be washed and
 a floor that needs to be swept.
I am planning to try a couple of new recipes for supper tonight ...
 one I came up with myself and one I found on Pinterest.

I am wearing...
the usual ... sweats and a t-shirt

I am creating...
not much at the moment,
I am still working on a granny-square baby blanket that I hope to enter in the fair this year.

I am going...
to get thread to sew the ribbons on LB's new pointe shoes and I think that is it!

I am wondering...
if LB is really going to like taking pointe (otherwise known as toe) dancing.

I am reading...
The Essential One-Hundred Bible Reading Plan
... our pastor has challenged the church to complete these readings together and our family is trying to keep up!

I am hoping...
for a little more winter!

I am looking forward to...
taking the kids to our monthly book report day tomorrow.
Of course, to be honest, I am looking forward to the adult conversation!

I am learning...
just how little I really know.
Around the house...
I have a long list of things that I want to get done this year, but on the top of that list is getting the kids' rooms painted and getting new beds for all three.

A favorite quote for today...
I may not know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand
from this song:

One of my favorite things...
singing along with cd's and my family in the car

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Book-It! tomorrow and then maybe some shopping with my Mama, after that, I have no idea!

Want to visit other daybooks?  Take a moment to check out
The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, January 2, 2012

garbage in, garbage out

Alternately titled ...

I feel so old
I think I was born in the wrong century,
I am not a cool mom 

... sigh.

This post could relate to the title of my blog, since my parents had absolutely no interest in being like those parents who tried to be great friends with their children by allowing them to do things that they probably shouldn't have, the only difference being that they (by Mama's own admission) didn't worry about how their decisions would make us feel.  They did what they felt was best for us and that was the end of it.

At the moment I am typing this, Ronnie and LB are returning a popular Wii dance game that Ronnie's mom gave LB for Christmas.  I knew when she got it that this might have to happen, and we warned LB that if we didn't feel that the content was appropriate then we wouldn't keep the game.   So, today I finally took the time to look up some of the music on You Tube, just to see what it was.  Let me just say that I was embarrassed by the lyrics and videos of the songs on this game.  I know that the videos aren't actually shown on the game, but it is my understanding that the lyrics are and I couldn't believe that any parent would actually allow their child to listen to this garbage.

As a disclaimer, let me say that this was the latest version of this game and that I have been told that the earlier versions aren't as bad and as my children pointed out, you could just play the songs that aren't bad and don't listen to the ones that are.  But, I couldn't do this with this song (California Gurls) was by Katy Perry and some rapper and if that were the only bad song on the whole game, I still couldn't risk my children being exposed to those lyrics.  I hope I am not stepping on any toes here, I know that every parent makes the choices that they feel are best for their children and I know that not everyone agrees with how much I shelter my children, and that is okay, but it doesn't change the fact that Ronnie and I are responsible for every thing that goes into the minds and hearts of our children.

Interestingly, not long after I finished my little foray into pop music via youtube, I saw the following link on facebook...let me warn you that this article contains some of the less graphic, but still disturbing, lyrics from the Katy Perry song mentioned above.  The article seemed to be a timely confirmation of the decision Ronnie and I made today.

Profanity and Pop Music

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8