Ashely Mac’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Today was a cloudy and cold day. To me, a day like today is perfect for baking. The blessing of baking with my granddaughter makes for an even more perfect day! We have been baking together since she was very young.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Southern Lady Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. One of our guest speakers was Ashley Mac, owner of her own cafe and catering business. She demonstrated her famous Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. We were gifted the recipe and a sample of her cookies and of course, they were delicious. I immediately thought of my granddaughter. I knew she would love making these cookies. Today, was the day to try out the recipe and they were a success!

Yes, she always looks this cute while baking!

Mimi and her sidekick! Well, I was really the sous chef!

She is a natural in the baking and cooking world!

We packaged a few for gifts with some cute pumpkin ribbon.
I know! They look delicious!

Ashley Mac’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, divided

2 cups light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

4 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups of cinnamon baking chips

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar and brown sugar at a medium speed until fluffy. About 4-5 minutes. Add vanilla and pumpkin.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in baking chips at a low speed until incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate until chilled.
  4. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and 1 cup of granulated sugar.
  5. Using a medium spring loaded scoop, scoop dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds; immediately roll into cinnamon sugar mixture forming balls.
  6. Place dough balls on parchment lined cookie sheets, cover with plastic wrap and put in freezer until firm.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When ready to bake, place on another parchment lined sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, depending how soft you like your cookies.

Here are a few notes about our experience of baking the Snickerdoodles:

*I wasn’t able to find the cinnamon baking chips at our grocery. I ordered them from Amazon.

*The only kosher salt I could find was course. So, we just used regular sea salt. Maybe I should have checked Amazon? Or maybe, you can use course salt?

*I used the medium scoop. I may try using a smaller one next time to make smaller cookies.

*I may also make only half of the recipe next time. I think we came up with a little over 4 dozen cookies in this recipe. Could be dangerous for me as I will eat everyone of them! Great for gifts or a party if you make that many. Or….freeze them.

*We ended up baking them for about 16-17 minutes. All ovens are different.

*Great fall cookie! Delicious! I like my cookies a bit crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. Perfect!

*If I ever go back to Birmingham, Ashley Mac’s will be at the top of my list!

Enjoy!

Fall Vignettes Around My Home

I love the word, vignette! Sounds sort of elegant, doesn’t it? I actually looked up the meaning to make sure I knew what I was talking about. It basically means a small grouping of objects that creates a pleasing focal point.

Remember yesterday… I confessed my procrastination? Well, I didn’t have any procrastination problems. Maybe confession is really a good thing. I actually had a burst of energy yesterday and accomplished quiet a bit.

Here are a few photos from around our home. I hope it inspires you to put some “vignettes” together around your house today. Someone told me that my decorating made them tired. I hope you don’t get tired browsing around. I guess you can take a nap afterwards. -smile Thats to let you know that I’m not taking it serious. I’m actually smiling almost laughing when I think of that statement.

Welcome to our home! Can I offer you some vanilla iced tea?
You know I have to have glitter on the pumpkins, right?
Our dining area.
The laundry room.
This is a banner that I bought a few years ago, very pretty and hangs on a ribbon. I never know where to put it. I have it hanging on a hook in the laundry room.
I had a passel of velvet and glitter pumpkins. I put them in a bowl by the back door in laundry room.
I change out this curio for each season. Makes me smile when it’s done.
I loved this sign and the pumpkin dish is what I use when I make a pumpkin dip. Maybe I need to share that recipe with you.
My island in the kitchen. I love this rhinestone rooster I found when traveling.
I had to take a pic with my sparkle app. His tail opens and you can store treasures in it. Like a diamond ring or something????
This is a mantel above my stove or should I say range. Anyway…..I put these elves up there. I’m not an elf fan, but…..they had glitter and bling on them….I couldn’t help myself!
See, isn’t he cute in sort of a strange elf way? See his velvet and bling? I may have to go see if they have new ones this year!
My chef wears a different apron each season. She decided to wear her candy corn apron for now. She has a couple of other fall ones waiting. Notice she always wears her pearls and bling while cooking!
This is the family room!
Our entry way! I couldn’t’ remember what I did last year on the console…so, I put velvet pumpkins and filled my domes with sparkles. I forgot to take a picture of the other end.
A few pumpkins on the hearth in the master bedroom.
The fireplace in the master bedroom.
I found these birds at a boutique when traveling somewhere…couldn’t resist. They are carved wood. So cute. This is in our patio room. We glassed in our patio and it is now our t.v. room. It’s where everyone lands when they come over it seems.
This is the game table in patio room.
I found this glass acorn a few weeks ago. This is in our living room.
There it is…the great leopard pumpkin. I think it’s ready for a new arrangement in it….but….I’ll think of that another day.
I love this glittered bird with a crown. You would think I love birds, wouldn’t you. I think I like birds that don’t mess up our outdoor furniture and porch.
I always do a fall tree. I thought about skipping it this year. But, I felt so empty without it…so I decorated one last night on the patio room. This is a new tree and it is a skinny tree. I’ve never had a skinny tree like this, so, I had trouble decorating it….but, it is what it is.
I like this little owl ornament.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back soon!
HAPPY FALL!

Happy Fall – 2019

My favorite has finally arrived! We even have a bit of a cloudy morning with a chance of rain….maybe….or maybe it came during the night. In West Texas, any sign of clouds and a chance of rain is a blessing.

I always loved cloudy days growing up and even more so now. I have a few friends who don’t like cloudy days as it makes them sleepy and a bit depressed. Me? A cloudy day gives me energy. I want to cook, clean and create. It’s always funny to see how different we all are in our thoughts. I guess the best news in that, is knowing how we accept one another in our differences…..even the cloudy day thoughts.

Well…remember when I last wrote that I was going to do a newsletter instead of a post each day? That is on hold for now. My days go by so fast! So much I want to do and see. I’m also a procrastinator. I can put things off and dance around what really needs to be done. Sometimes I will find myself working on a project and realize I’m doing that to keep myself from doing what really needs to be done at the moment. Do I get an amen from my fellow procrastinators? I don’t like being a procrastinator. I’m still working on changing my ways. Oh, well, I’ll worry about that tomorrow! See….I told you!

Back to my main reason for writing today. I just wanted to say, “may your fall season be the best ever!”

I will post a few pictures tomorrow (see another procrastination) of my decorating that I did around the house last week. I told my Jim that I was a bit bored with my decorations and that I was going to scrap everything and go buy new as I was tired of everything. I was half teasing….I think he was glad I didn’t really mean it. But, then again, I might surprise him.

I’ll talk with you tomorrow! I’m going to take my pictures right now…unless I see something that needs to be done on my way to get my camera!

Have a fantabulous day and enjoy your weather whatever it may be for you today!

Wednesday Medley – Pigs In a Blanket

I have a dear friend who I met at a blogger/writer’s conference a few years ago. I always enjoy reading her blog, CiCi’s Corner. She participates in “Wednesday Medley.” Each Wednesday she and other bloggers receive the same questions and what fun it is to read the answers. I have so much in common with my blogger friend that I’m always thinking…”we have to be sisters!”

I decided to give it a whirl. I made today the day I would begin Wednesday Medly and the questions are about Pigs in a Blanket. I then thought, maybe this is a mistake, this isn’t for me. But, I said, “Beverly, get out of your box and answer these easy questions about…. Pigs in a Blanket!” So, here we go…..hang with me!

1.  Typically served as an hors d’oeuvre, have you ever made or had a Pig-in-a-Blanket?  Do you like Pigs-in-a-Blanket?

I have for sure had Pigs in a Blanket! I think they are a staple at parties….at least in Texas they are!

I have also made them several times. When my kids were young, we would get a can of crescent rolls and put a Lil Smokie in them and bake. Sometimes, I would put an actual hot dog in the crescent roll with a piece of cheese. Pretty good and kid friendly!

2.  Pigs-in-a-blanket are also known as devils on horseback, kilted sausages, and wiener winks. (Seriously.)  Please make up another name for this fun little appetizer!

I’m thinking…….

Well, I can’t think of a thing! I’ve called them Pigs in a Blanket forever, so I feel bad renaming them!


3.  In the UK, pigs-in-blankets are small sausages, or chipolatas wrapped up in bacon.  Which country’s version is most appealing to your taste buds?

Image result for sausages wrapped in bacon

I think they sound fairly good. They don’t look as appetizing to me as the crescent rolls though.

 4.  The first written record of pigs-in-a-blanket occurs in Betty Crocker’s Cooking for Kids in 1957.  In this digital world, do you still have a favorite cookbook you use most of the time?  Is there a recipe you can share with us from that cookbook?

I LOVE cookbooks of all kinds. Matter of fact, I collect them! I know, you think I’m an amazing cook, right? Well, I collect cookbooks, but, I don’t like to cook! I read cookbooks and dream of cooking, but, then when it comes right down to it….I don’t want to! Secretly, I picture myself getting back into the cooking routine and baking some amazing pies, cookies and cakes. We will see what happens. I’ll let you know if the cooking bug hits me soon!

I adore reading through the old Betty Crocker Cookbook. I have memories of my aunt making recipes out of it and she had notes all over the pages. When she passed away not too long ago, the first thing I thought of was her cookbook. How I’d love to read through that again and see her hand writing on her favorite recipes.

I have made the potato salad that is in the Betty Crocker cookbook several times and it is delicious! I would share the recipe, but, I’m out of town and I don’t have it with me! But, trust me, it’s a good one!


 5.  What is your favorite cooking show on TV?

I enjoy watching the Pioneer Woman. She amazes me! She seems down to earth and cooks normal things all while smiling the entire time. I’ve bought some of her cookware and dishes hoping that would inspire me to get to cooking…..hasn’t worked yet. She has a fairly new magazine and it is so much fun to read! I also have all of her cookbooks! I’m even thinking I would love to have decals on my kitchen aid mixer like she has on some of hers. Maybe that’s the answer to getting in the kitchen to cook….decals on my red mixer!

https://thepioneerwoman.com

6.  Tell us something random about your week, please!

Well, we came to the Texas Hill Country to our get-a-way home. Our grandchildren live around the corner, so it is alway a treat to see the family. We enjoyed Easter services together and a brunch at the country club. A couple of evenings ago we were watching the two young ones while the rest the family went to dinner. We had the evening filled with a shopping trip to Target for Lego’s and burgers and a movie. I then got a call that my mom had fallen at the movie theater. She had taken her granddaughter to a movie. My niece and her friend had ran on and my mom was walking up the hall alone and she tripped and fell. She fell into the wall and hit her head on a door jam. It happened so fast, she said she remembers thinking to herself, “this is going to be bad!” She was bleeding horribly and couldn’t get up as her knee hurt awfully bad! She yelled for help and some people came to her rescue. They found my niece and she called her dad. (my brother) Long story short….an ambulance, 7 stitches and blood everywhere, I was a nervous wreck! I was 300 miles away and couldn’t do anything but pray! Our sweet little grandsons prayed with my husband and I and were very concerned. Needless to say, I wasn’t much fun for the little boys that night, but my husband took over as I was on the phone most of the night. So thankful for my two brothers that beat the ambulance and were there for her and took care of her. My niece was so sweet to help out in anyway she could. I’m sure she was scared to death! I received pictures of everything. If you know me, I am a very queasy person and I can’t take the site of blood, stitches or anything, but, I was able to handle this….it’s my mom! Bless her little heart! She is a strong lady in so many ways and obviously very strong when it comes to a horrible fall. She didn’t break anything and all was clear with her head as we feared something worse than a horrible cut on her forehead! It’s a miracle…. that’s all I can say. If you saw her face, you would be amazed. But, there is no way I’m going to share those pictures. My pet peeve is when people post pictures of horrible accidents on social media. I’m not doing that! I can’t wait to get home to see her and take care of her.

One more thing about this week. Yesterday, we drove a couple of hours to see my aunt and uncle. I haven’t seen them in quiet some time. My uncle is 91 and he and my aunt are amazing! We took them to lunch and visited for a few hours. I have so many memories of them as a little girl. We lived around them for a couple of years when I was about 6 and 7 years old and I loved being around them. I wish you could meet them….they are precious. I’m sure I’ll be sharing things every now and then about some of my memories about them. I have a feeling my aunt probably made pigs in a blanket when I was at her house. She was always making fun little things like that!

Now this has definitely been an eventful week! I’m also wondering what next Wednesday’s questions will be about!

Until next time….

Spring 2019 Is Here!

Spring has sprung! Well, it’s cold and cloudy here in West Texas, but, I’ll take it. I like cloudy days. I am ready for the warmer weather, though. Not the hot summer weather. I’m not really a summer girl. I’m a 75 degree and calm weather girl. Thinking Hawaii is a good fit for me. But anyway, enough of the weather.

We just returned home from our annual Branson trip to attend the PraiseFest. PraiseFest is a 3 day event that is full of southern gospel music. Some of the groups that sang were, Legacy Five, Greater Vision, Triumphant, The Booth Brothers, Jim and Melissa Brady and several others. It was non-stop singing along with hilarious stories. I love to see the groups interact and have fun. It was a sold out crowd with 3,200 people from all over the country. We finished off the event with a concert by Guy Penrod. His pianist was Michael W. Smiths son. Who knew! The comical part was that his band looked like they could have been teenagers. When he introduced them, they were all married and had several children each. I think that’s what happens when you get older. Everyone looks like they are 10 or 12 years old.

What made this year so much fun was a blogging friend that I met 5 years ago at a blogger/writer conference attended PraiseFest with her husband. We briefly visited at the conference years ago and I have followed her blog all these years. When we met at PraiseFest, it was as if we were lifelong friends. Our husbands hit it off and we enjoyed dining together and even got in some shopping. What a fun trip. I would love for you to visit Lea’s blog. Just click on the link and it will take you straight to her site. http://ciciscorner.com

My mom loves PraiseFest and Branson and we always stay a few more days to enjoy some shows, shopping and site-seeing. This year we went out on the Branson Belle Showboat, Legends in Concert and SIX. Many of the shows were not up and running yet. My favorite store, Secret Garden was closed as they were moving in to a new building. We did manage to get in plenty of shopping though. Our favorite spot to stay, The Keeter Center, was awesome as always. I LOVE that place. When we received our arrival letter along with chocolate covered strawberries, the note said “Welcome to your 19th stay at The Keeter.” I told Jim that we were out of control and we just needed to buy one of their rooms. Wouldn’t that be fun! The students of College of the Ozarks work the lodge and you are treated to first class service. It is immaculate, clean and everyone is so friendly. Not to mention the food in the dining room is top notch. Most of the ingredients to the dishes served are grown and raised at the college. Honestly, I can’t say enough about the college and the Keeter Center. I could be their spokesperson. Good idea, we could live at the Keeter and travel for the college and recruit for them! Perfect!

I’m so glad I decorated for Spring before we left. It was nice to come home to the First Day of Spring and be decorated. I’m still working on my closet. I move all my fall and winter items to another closet and move in spring and summer. My closet will keep me busy this week.

I thought I’d share a few pictures of some spring decor around the house.

I’ll share more pictures in other posts in the next couple of weeks! I do hope you have a wonderful first day of Spring. We have a breakfast patio and I have plans to load it up with flowers. We will see what happens. If it is a success, I will share with you. Just remember… we live in West Texas and it’s a miracle if anything grows or doesn’t blow away.

I am linking this post to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. Welcome to all the readers that are visiting from such an informative and encouraging blog.

Happy Spring!

Get Ready for Church a Day Early

It’s Saturday night!  Are you ready for church?

Are Sunday mornings hectic and everyone is on edge?  Is it hard to get everyone on the same page and in the car at the same time?

Here are a few tips that might help:

*Decide what you will wear on Saturday night for church the next morning.  Set everything out in one place for yourself and other family members.  If you have little ones, this would be a great time to work together without the stress of having to hurry.

*Take care of baths and hair washing the night before instead of the next morning.

*Put all items by the door that each family member will need for church; Bible, diaper bag, lesson plans, etc.

*Make plans for lunch.  You may want to prepare as much of the meal as possible so you can put in crock pot or oven before you leave for church the next morning.

*Make sure your car has gas so you don’t have to worry about it on the way to church.

*If you are going out to lunch, set your plans so everyone won’t have to wonder what they are doing for lunch as soon as church is over.

*Set alarm clocks early enough to enjoy your morning while preparing to head out the door for church.

*Don’t forget about breakfast….you can set your table at night before bed and prepare as much as possible for whatever you are serving for breakfast.

*Get to bed at a decent hour so everyone will be well rested for a great day of worship the next morning.

*It’s Sunday morning….everything is going smoothly…..it’s a peaceful and happy morning….you have time to pray together as a family for the services.

*As you are all in the car together driving to church, it is a pleasant and sweet time.  Everyone is talking sweetly to one another and then you all break out in four part harmony in your favorite song.  Okay, maybe that is not going to happen…..but…it could, you never know.

All that to say, make your Sunday morning as peaceful and pleasant as possible.  What a treat to have everyone working together to get out the door in time for church. Your kids will have good memories of their growing up years of going to church as a family.

It’s work, but so worth it.

JUST in case you think that I had this down perfect when my kiddos were at home…..no worries….I had many mornings that were a total nightmare.  We wore fortunate to get to church at all some mornings….but, for the most part, I worked very hard at making our mornings pleasant most of the time.  For many years, my husband had to be at church a few hours before we did, so I had to make sure things were running smoothly.  For several years we had one car…now that was interesting.  My husband would go to the church early and get everything ready for the services and then come and get us.  I had to have my stuff together because you don’t want to make the pastor late, do you? We would usually pick up someone on the way to church that needed a ride.   I have some pretty crazy stories of just trying to get to church on time.  Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days and have a second chance.  That’s why I’m sharing what I know and what I’ve learned over the years.  Life is short, your children will be grown before you know it and……

you will still be trying to figure out how to get to church on time.

Do you have a Sunday morning routine that is working?

 

 

 

Homeschool Resources and The Winners of the Giveaway!

Thank you for sticking with me as I shared a few posts on the subject of homeschooling.  I love homeschool moms and their families and I always love sharing my thoughts and ideas on this subject.

 

Today, I will share just a few homeschool resources that I think would be an encouragement to you as a mom.  There are so many resources and sites available for the homeschooling family.  I’m sure you will find exactly what you need.  I’m just sharing a tiny bit to get you started.

Also, at the end of this post you will find the names of the two winners of the amazing giveaway!

If you live in Texas, you will want to be connected with The Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC) and receive their free monthly magazine, Review.  www.thsc.org  Be sure to spend time researching their site and see what all they have to offer and the resources they are sharing.  If you don’t live in Texas, your state may have something similar.

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is a good idea to be a member of.  www.hslda.org will keep you updated on the laws and what is going on in our country as far as homeschooling.

I had mentioned before that I love the idea of attending homeschool book fairs.  In Texas, we have a couple that always have some great workshops and vendors:

Great Homeschool Convention

Texas Homeschool Convention

Teach Them Diligently

As far as curriculum, I could go on forever.  I would go to Christian Book Distributors and browse what all they have to offer.  I love research curriculum.  I bet you do, too!

Also, Mardel Christian Book Store is always fun to browse in the homeschool section.

Liberty University Online Academy

Aiming Higher Consultants is an organization that will assist you in all of your needs in preparing your student for graduation and getting into college.  This site is full of great information.

PureFlix.com has a homeschool library that you can access.  I love Pure Flix and I would encourage you to check it out.  We subscribe to Pure Flix for the movies and I recently learned of their homeschooling resources.  Looks wonderful!

The Well Planned Gal site if full of great resources and encouragement.  She has calendars, journals and curriculum resources s well as a magazine that you will always look forward to.

That should get you started as each site will have tons of recommendations.  I would sit down when you have time with a cup of hot cocoa and browse, take notes and then make your choices.  I would be anxious to hear what you find and what your favorites are.

I will soon have a permanent link on my sidebar that you can access homeschool resources and helps.

Enjoy your homeschool journey and always know that I have your back!  You can do this and you will do it well.  Blessings on you and your home!

Now for the winner of the Calendar Prayer Journal!  You will love it!  Amy B!

And the winner of the subscription to Family Magazine.  What a source of encouragement that will come to your mailbox for a year!   Courtney W!

I’m so excited for both of you and I know you will love your free gift from The Well Planned Gal.

Happy Schooling!

If you missed the previous posts on this subject, here are the links!

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Don’t Forget To Take Care of You as You Homeschool!

Help!  My Grandchildren are Being Homeschooled!

How To Be a Great Homeschool Dad

 

How To Be A Great Homeschool Dad!

 

 

 

Homeschool Dads may have it the most difficult in the homeschooling world.  As the one who is actually homeschooling your children, you might be saying,”I don’t think so!  I work the hardest around here!”  Hopefully, no one in your family feels put upon in this season of homeschooling.  If you are, you may be putting too much on yourself.  Home education is very serious, but it doesn’t have to be torture and always feeling like you are missing out on life.  Once you decide this is for you and your family, do it with joy and know that it is a privilege and an honor to be a homeschooling family.  Life is so short and so fast, you might as well have fun and make each day the best you can possibly make it.

We also know that there are going to be bad days.  Days when nothing goes right.  We all have them.  The really awesome thing about homeschooling is, you can put your pencils down and change the day up and make it a better day.

Most dads work full time and when they come home, they are ready to relax and not think about work unless they have to.  There are some dads who have a high stress job and they may  even bring their high stress home.  That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

We were in full time ministry while we homeschooled. Many times, my husband  worked all day and then had to make visits in the evening or be at a meeting.  There was a season where he worked in a very high stress situation.  I could share more here about that, but I won’t for now.  But, trust me, when I say that I know what it’s like to be responsible for homeschooling and then do my best not to share my ups and downs as not to put more on my husband during this high stress season.

Dads play such a huge part in the homeschooling of our children.  I wanted to share some tips and ideas on how fathers can be great homeschool dad.

*Love your wife and children and don’t be afraid to show it in words and action.

*Pray with your family.  Let your children hear you pray for each one of them about their education.

*Make sure your children know that you are serious about learning and that you are there for them if they need any help in any area.

*Praise your wife in front of the children.  Let them know  that you are thankful for a wife who has decided  to home educate your children.

*Be interested in the kids lessons and activities.

*Attend as many of the children’s events and field trips as possible.

*Go with your wife to homeschool support meetings or events.

*Be an encourager.

*Let your wife express her feelings after a bad day without her fearing that you will say, “you know, if they were in public school, you wouldn’t have days like this.”  A good example might be like when you have a bad day at work and are sharing your thoughts and feelings and then your wife says, “Oh, just quit that job, it’s not worth it.”  Everyone has bad days.  We are to lift one another up.

*Find something you can do to spend time with each child personally.

*Is there a subject that you are really good at?  You will be perfect at helping your children on that subject.  I have a friend whose husband is a doctor.  He would have special classes for his children and their friends in chemistry.  This has left a lifetime of fun memories for him and his children.

*Be the principal of the school.  Be the leader that your wife needs and your children need.

*Let your children know that you are 100 percent supportive and proud of your homechooling family.

*You will have naysayers in your world that will question and even discredit the value of homeschooling.  Know why you homeschool and be proud of it.  The naysayers may need to see and hear some positive things about homeschooling and you are the perfect one to do that.

*Be proud of your home, wife and children.  If you see chaos going on, step in and help out to make it better without judgement.

*If you prayed with your wife first thing in the morning, told her you were proud of her and that you are there if she needs anything; you are an amazing homeschool dad.  That’s the easy part.  You got this!

I recently met a dad  who had several children and his wife was a homeschooling mom. Naturally, I was interested and so I asked  about her when I would see him.  Each time we would briefly talk, I detected that he was totally detached from homeschooling.  He didn’t know much about it and brushed it off as that was her deal.  He seemed almost embarrassed or wasn’t sure she was doing the right thing.  Because of his job, he worked long hours and wasn’t home much at all.  I always wondered about her and how their children were making it.  I recently learned that they are now divorced.  I hate to say that the writing was on the wall, but, I think it was. My heart breaks for the children and for the mom and dad who didn’t get on the same page and make their home and marriage a priority.

Dads (and moms) make your marriage a priority.  If your marriage and your home is not what it should be, homeschooling may be in vain.

I would like to take this moment to thank my husband for allowing me to homeschool our children.  Even when he wasn’t too sure about it.  He trusted me and had faith in me to give it my best.  He supported me and helped me in the areas that I needed help.  He was understanding when I felt like I blew the entire day and accomplished nothing.  Even when he was busy with work, he knew he could trust me and together we made it work.  Oh, it wasn’t perfect and if I could go back it would be a lot different than it was.  But, I am truly grateful for that season of our lives.  I loved every second of it.  I even loved the hard days.

One last thing.  Ask your wife what you can do for her to make your homeschooling home a better place.  And mom, you ask your husband the same question.  Now get on the same page and make memories that will all too soon pass.  You got this!

Please share in the comments below your thoughts or ideas on how dads can be great homeschool dad.

I wanted to share with you a picture of our son-in-law and his sweet family!  I love the way he loves his wife and children.  He is a huge supporter and leader in their homeschooling.  This is the guy to talk to about life as a homeschool dad.  So vey proud of this sweet family.  Their life is an adventure, that is for sure!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below.  Share your ideas of how to encourage a homeschool mom and her children.  Or just say, “I would love to win your amazing giveaway!”

Did you miss any of the previous posts?

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Don’t Forget To Take Care of You as You Homeschool!

Help!  My Grandchildren are Being Homeschooled!

 

Don’t Forget To Take Care of YOU as You Homeschool Your Children…

It is easy as a homeschool mom to get so busy with schooling, home care, providing meals and just the daily task of living and then to put yourself on the back burner.  Many moms even let themselves go while thinking, “What is the use, it doesn’t matter anyway, I’m too busy to care about myself.”

Today, I want to share just a few tips on ways to make sure you are taking care of you.  We’ve all heard many times that you can’t take care of others unless you are first taken care of.  You begin your day by making sure everyone has everything they need.  When you make your list of daily to do’s, I’m sure it is filled with all the things that everyone is needing from you, right?  Unless, of course, you have all this figured out.  I didn’t really have it figured out when my kiddos were young and we were in the world of homeschooling and ministry.  My life seemed to revolve around what everyone needed from me.  It took me a few years to get my thinking straight and realize that I had to have my stuff together or I wasn’t going to make a difference in anyone’s life.  Please don’t think that I would have the thought that I ever have all the answers.  What I am sharing through this homeschooling series, are things that I learned many times the hard way.  They are my experiences and all I can do is share what I know.  I don’t have a degree in child education and psychology.  I’m a mom who loved her children with all her heart and desired to have a home that was a safe haven for her family.  I love my husband dearly and was and still learning daily how to be a better wife.  Nope, I don’t have a degree in marriage relationships, but I do know that after 37 years of marriage, how to make it work.  When I married, I knew NOTHING about marriage.  We will just have to talk about that another time.  That will have to be a series in itself!

Okay, back to my tips on how to take care of YOU as you care for and homeschool your children.

*Stay in God’s Word!  Find a time daily to spend alone in prayer and in Bible reading.  I always heard that getting up at 5 a.m. was the best time for so many moms to spend time with the Lord.  How many times did I try that?  Too many to count.  I finally discovered that was not my time.  Oh, how I wish it were, but it wasn’t.  My time was mid-morning.  I did spend time in prayer in the morning as I always wanted to give thanks for each day and to give my day to Him.  I need His help and guidance in every step I take each day.  What better time than first thing in the morning.

If you have the opportunity to participate in a Bible study with a group of friends or your church group, you are blessed.  Always be growing in your Faith.  Don’t let your personal relationship with Christ falter while trying to build your children’s up.  Your faith walk will speak louder than your words.

*Keep your relationship with your husband as it should be.  If you are having issues in any area, then take care of it.  I’m such a great counselor, aren’t I.   Just fix it!  You don’t have time to have a marriage that is not where it should be.  There are many books on marriage and how to love and accept your husband.  Read them!  Your marriage will speak volumes to your children.  What good is it to keep your children at home and educate them and then have a marriage and home life that is miserable.  Your a wife first.  Your husband comes before your children.  Make sure you have a healthy, strong and godly marriage.  Build your husband up to your children.

*Love your children individually.  Take the time to spend with each one.  Build a strong relationship with each child.  Let them know they can talk to you about anything at anytime.  Be a mom before you are a teacher.  Moms are teachers in every way, but don’t think you have to be constantly teaching a lesson.  Have some downtime and fun with your kiddos!

*Practice hospitality.  Invite people into your home.  Let your children learn from you how to love other people and entertain in your home.

*Attend a good solid church with people that are interested in growing in their faith.  As a homeschooling family, you may have found out that there are actually some churches that frown on the homeschooling world.  But, there are many that love homeschoolers and treat them the same as a child that attends a public or Christian school.  Find a church that you can call home and you and your family will grow strong in your faith and service to others.

*Be organized and run your home smoothly.  If your house is a wreck and you have no order and nothing is planned for dinner, you are going to be a wreck.  In taking care of yourself, you must have order and a plan.  You will be much happier, I promise.

*Get dressed up each day.  Yes, dressed up!  That might mean different things for different people.  Me?  I have to have a shower, hair done, face done and dressed before I face the world.  I feel better about myself.  If I have an off day and I don’t do anything but brush my teeth and put on sweats, I’m going to feel like death.  Seriously.  Oh, and as soon as I do that, it will be the busiest day of the year.  My doorbell will ring with someone just in the neighborhood or an emergency will happen and I have to run out and take care of things….all while looking and feeling like death….ask me how I know this.  Just do it;  get dressed up for the day, you will be glad you did.   So will your kids. Your husband, too.  Okay, your neighbors will appreciate it as well.

While we are talking about getting dressed up each day.  You will do yourself a huge favor if you are in tune with your clothing style.  When you know your style and what looks good on you and even the best colors for you, it will change your world.  Your closet will be fun to go in and get dressed because everything in your closet is what you love, can wear and looks good on you.  You don’t have time to stare into your closet wondering if something will fit or look good on you.  Keep your close it perfect working order!

*Speaking of your husband.  When it’s getting close to time for hubby to get home, take a few minutes to spruce the house up, make sure your hair is combed.  Get the kids excited that Dad is about home.  Many times when dad walks through the door and the kids run and give him big hugs, it’s usually because a mommy got them excited that daddy was coming home.  It’s time to put the books away and have family time.

*Take care of your health.  Stay on top of health issues.  Our goal should be to be as fit and healthy as possible in order to take care of our family.  It takes lot’s of energy to keep up with kiddos and a husband, so you might as well get yourself in gear and be as healthy as possible.  One of my biggest regrets while raising my kiddos was by not losing the weight I needed to.  After our second baby was born I didn’t lose the weight like I should have and I had gained almost 60 pounds with him.  When he was 14, I decided that I couldn’t use the excuse of baby weight anymore.  I got to my goal weight and oh, my goodness it changed my world.  Oh, how I wish I could have done something like that when my kids were little.  So, now I can encourage you to get fit and healthy while your babies are little, you will be glad you did.

So much more I can say, but I’m going to end on this one:

*Know yourself.  Know who you are and why you are the way your are.  Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Do you have lot’s of baggage from your past?  It’s time to fix it.  We will always have baggage, but we can either let it destroy us or we can be stronger because of it.  Set your standards for what you will allow in your life and what you won’t.  Trust me, everything in the world will be thrown your way, so you better have an action plan before it is thrown at you.  We could go into so much right here, but we will stop for now.  I think you get the idea, right?

All that to say….take care of the things that are important to you.  Be organized and orderly.  Know your purpose in life.  Keep your marriage and family life God centered.  When you take care of all those things and then take care of yourself by loving yourself enough to be the best you can be…nothing more…nothing less…….life will be fabulous.  Okay, maybe not that fabulous, but, if I were you I would at least strive for fabulous!

You are a wife and mom before you are a teacher!  You just have the honor of educating your child and being a part of an amazing plan of helping to design their future.  What an awesome job you have.  It will be so worth it to take excellent care of yourself.  Do I dare mention that you will have another season after your children are grown, so yes, take care of yourself NOW.  Life is good and God’s got a plan for you in every season!

Don’t forget about the fantastic giveaway at the end of this series.  Each time you leave a comment, your name will go in a drawing for the following:

 

A Prayer Calendar/Journal and a year subscription to Family Magazine.  You will love these items! I’ve read this magazine for several years and the journal is new this year.  I’m loving it!

Click on these links to read previous posts on the subject of Homeschooling:

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?

Homeschooling..First Things First

Where Do You Homeschool?

Linking up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Homeschooling….First Things, First!

Thinking about homeschooling?  Maybe, you are just curious and wonder what in the world would one need to think about before they get started on this homeschooling lifestyle.

I made a list of a few things that I think are important to have set in place before you dive in to the world of homeschooling.

* I honestly feel that the Lord put a desire in my heart to educate my children.  I wouldn’t have done it had I not felt that nudge.   I have always felt that you should feel the call to homeschool.  How would you feel that call?   *It is always on your mind and you can’t shake it, you can’t imagine sending your child to a public or private school, you have total peace about it and you have the blessing of your husband to go for it.

*You love being around your children.  That sounds crazy doesn’t it?  There are actually people that will tell you they couldn’t stand to be with their kids all day.  That always puzzled me.  Trust me,  I understand that we all need a break every now and then and need to have some  “me time.” But, to actually not enjoy your children at all times is hard for me to understand.  So enjoying your children and love having them around is very important.

*You love your home.  You really need to enjoy making a home by seeing that it is organized, orderly, safe, comfortable and a place that your family loves being in. You run your home like a well oiled machine.  If staying home and being at home most of the time drives you crazy, homeschooling may not be the thing for you.  There are moms/wives who just can’t stay home; they get bored or they don’t feel like they have any worth by being at home.  I would say that loving to stay home and taking care of your home would be one of the things at the top of the list.

*Your marriage is intact.  By intact, I mean you and your husband are on the same page and you don’t have severe marital issues.  I’ve always thought, what is the point in homeschooling your children if your marriage is out of sorts.  Loving and honoring your husband/wife comes before your children.  A secure mom and dad is the best education you can give your children; way before reading, writing and arithmetic!  I once heard a marriage counselor say, “If you and your husband are having marriage problems, it is imperative to get it worked out and have a marriage as God designed and if it means putting your children in public school to do that, then that is what you must do.”  I have seen what I thought was a strong homeschooling family and then be shocked when the news was that the parents were divorcing.  How sad that must be for those children.  Make sure that you and your husband keep your marriage strong and take care of any problems before they get pushed to the back burner.

*You have done your research.  Do you admire someone that home schools?  Then call them and glean as much wisdom from them that you can.  Study learning styles and curriculum choices.  I would encourage you to go to a Homeschool Conference and you will be amazed at what all is available, not to mention the workshops on so many much needed topics.  (*I will be sharing resources and conference information this week.)

*Know your child.  I mean really know them…study them.  Know their personality trait and their learning style.  What is it that they are the most interested in?  To me, that is the best part of homeschooling, designing their education plan around who they are.   Know their strong points and their weaknesses.  As a mom/teacher you want your child to excel in every area.

*Put in writing why you are homeschooling.  I’m a big believer in mission statements.  You need to have a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing and what you are willing to do to succeed.  As I have written just the little bit I have about what you need to have set before you begin to homeschool, I have realized once again, that homeschooling is not for the faint of heart, you must be sure of yourself and committed to educating your children.  You will have things pop up here and there that will make you question what you are doing and you will have others question you as well.  When you have that mission statement or purpose statement written out and maybe even posted where you can read it regularly, it will be a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing.  Many times you will be your own cheerleader, you don’t have time to second guess yourself and question yourself.  You can’t depend on others to always be affirming you in what you are doing. If you wait for that, you might be waiting a long time.

So much more I could share, but I will stop there.  I think that is a good starter for if you are thinking about homeschooling.  Maybe your have been homeschooling for a while and this is a good reminder to take care of some things that need taking care of before you continue on.  You are doing so much more than just teaching your child how to read.  You are shaping them to be a light in this world and to make a difference in whatever path they choose.  You have a big job and it isn’t to be taken lightly.  You are molding, shaping and showing your child how to follow the path that has been set and ordered for them.  Great and mighty things will be done because of your tenacity and your willingness to spend your child’s educating years focused on building them to be all they can be.

It could be that you don’t homeschool but you know someone that does.  This is your chance to understand just a little bit in just how serious it is and how important it is to lift that mom and dad up in prayer and with encouraging words.  Don’t forget the kiddos.  They need affirmation as well.  Ask them about their homeschooling and speak words of kindness and challenge them to study hard and learn all they can.

 

Don’t forget about the amazing giveaway at the end of this series.  For each comment that you leave, your name will go in a drawing to win a subscription to one of my favorite homeschooling magazines and a prayer calendar/journal.

 


If you missed the previous posts in this series, click on each title.

Do You Know a Homeschooling Family?