Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Okay......


     It wasn't until recently, that I realized that I have pushed myself so much over the years, that I am having physical and emotional signs of exhaustion.  My body has sent me warning signals for years, but I chose to ignore them and keep pressing on.  Lately it has become more and more apparent that I have let myself go for too long. Putting myself on the back-burner has worn me to a frazzle.  

      I always thought that taking care of my husband and children was more important than taking care of me, and in a way that is true.  The only problem with this thought pattern is I have depleted my body. What good am I if I am running on empty?  It only makes for a very irritable, frustrated, and tired mama.  We can't expect to give and give if we never replenish the tank.  

      Why do we do this to ourselves?  Is it because we want to be Supermoms and Superwives?  Is it because we want to please everyone? Could it be because we feel it is our duty and we just can't risk disappointing everyone?  

     I know it is impossible to do it all, so why did I try so hard to do it?  Physically it is taxing on my body and emotionally it is draining.  By the end of the day I felt like a whipped pup. I had also been feeling like a doormat lately because don't even have the energy to take up for myself.  I just did what was asked of me like a robot.  


    
     So, what did I do to remedy the issue? I took off my cape.  I have decided it's okay for me to take care of me.  If I don't do this, I won't be able to take care of anyone.  I need to set time aside for me to just sit, relax, breathe, and not think about my to-do lists. I need time to pray and meditate on the scriptures without interruptions.  I need time to refill my tanks so I can have enough strength and energy to extend my help to my family and friends.

      My only dilemma is the fact that I have trouble keeping the cape off.  I am a perfectionist.  Over the years, I have been learning to be more lax in my expectations, but the perfectionist in me finds it way to the surface and it is in those moments I grab that cape and try to do it all again.  I know I need to let God work things out for me, but that part of me that wants to control everything also rears its ugly head from time to time.  I am a work in progress. 

      Do you need to hang up your cape?  Do you need to take time for yourself?  I encourage you to get that time and let your body rest before you end up as overwhelmed and exhausted as I was.  I still have days I need to take extra time to recuperate because my body has not caught up yet. It took years to get into this condition and will take me years to recover. I don't want you to go through this too.  

      One more thing....If you are a new mama, please don't hesitate to ask others for help.  This time in your life is amazing, but also very draining.  I wish I would have had more help during my kiddos first weeks of life.  
       


Please come check out our page of freebies! 





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can Your Child Trust You?


     I was confronted as a young mother with the question "Can your children trust you?"  It was in a Bible study on parenting.  Those words were very thought provoking.  They brought up more questions. Could my kids believe what I told them?  Was I being an example of integrity and honesty?  

     Our children are born believing anything we say.  If we tell them to jump into our arms, they do it happily and without hesitation.  When we teach them certain things, they acknowledge it as truth.  It is not until they catch us not being completely honest with them that they lose some trust in us.  They begin to question things here and there. The wonder if we have been lying to them.

      One of the best verses on honesty and integrity is 2 Corinthians 8:21: We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.

     This verse is saying that we need to be honorable which means in accordance with or characterized by principles of uprightness or honesty before everyone, even our children. We need to stand on the truth we find in God's Word.  We need to realize the weight our words have on our children. Our children need to know that we say what we mean and mean what we say.  They should be able to count on us to be truthful with them.  



      I have made many mistakes as a parent.  I guess that is why I blog and share these thoughts with you.  I want to help you not to make the same mistakes.  My blog is not so much a how to do as much as a what not to do.  I would love to save you some of the heartache I have struggled with in my life.  At the age of 42, I feel I have some wisdom to pass along, not much, but some 😉

      If you have already struggled in this area of honesty, know it is not too late.  Go to your children and apologize.  Let them know that you are human and that you fail.  They will love and respect you more if you are open with them.  They crave their parents to be transparent with them.  They need to know their parents battle the same sins they do.  This could be life changing for you and your family to allow your kids to see the "real" you!  




      
   

     

Monday, November 28, 2016

Free Calendar Printables

     I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe we are almost to the month of December.  This year just flew by.  Being a planner, I am already beginning to work on our calendar for 2017.  We are looking forward to a very productive year.  

     I wanted to share a free pdf of our free calendar pages.  The kiddos love these.  They are colorful and easy for them to use during the year.  It also helps teach days and months. 

     I hope you enjoy them 😉
To download the PDF, just click on the link below the image. 



     I would also like to remind you of our Free December Wallpaper Calendars for desktops/laptops.  You can find their link for them here: Free December Background Calendars

Family Rules

    

     
     Every now and then our kiddos get out of sorts. They forget every single ounce of character training and they rebel against our rules. It's never a pretty site let me tell ya. 

     As parents it is our job to train and correct them.  When they choose to forget what we have taught them about godly character, good manners, and acceptable behaviors, we have to correct them. I am not going to tell you how you should correct your child, I am just going to share what we do in our home.  

     We have a behavior chart hanging in our pantry.  This chart helps remind our children to get back on track when their conduct is unacceptable.  Each morning they begin on start.  They get one warning before they begin losing privileges or if they just refuse to turn things around they may receive an early bedtime. 


     We do not have many household rules.  They are quite easy to understand and follow even from a young age.  Our rules are: 
  • Respect Others
  • Obey Authority
  • Ask Permission
  • Be Kind & Peaceful
  • Be a Helper
     Our children are also taught Bible verses that go along with our rules, so they know it's not just mom and dad who expect them to have godly conduct. Our Father in Heaven wants us to follow the statutes that He has set before us. These rules that we have asked them to adhere to are not made up, they are in God's Word. 



     In addition to our behavior chart, we have a blackboard where we remind our children of a different character quality each week. This is not just for them.  It helps us to remember that we are also expected to follow God's Word, and that our children will follow our example. 

     This week we are working on obedience.  It really is the foundation for all the other rules.  We make it clear in our home, that even as parents, God requires that we obey Him. We need to pursue a life that is pleasing to Him.  

     Another great way to reinforce the godly behavior is to find Biblical studies that go deeper into the Word.  These studies will last a few weeks, but will have a lasting effect.  


       The study above is from an awesome family over at Not Consumed. It is about obedience.  It gives our kids Biblical reasons to obey. By the end of the study, they will want to be obedient.  We have also finished another study of theirs called A Content Heart.  It touched our hearts and taught our children to be thankful for what they have and not to take anything for granted. Diving into God's word is always a great way to develop a godly attitude and behavior. 

       The number one thing to remember as we correct our kiddos, is to do it out of love and not anger.   They need to feel we are disciplining them because we care for them and we want them to grow into godly adults.  Never allow your emotions to get the best of you when your child is showing his sinful side.  Stop, pray and ask God to guide you before you say or do something you may regret later. We get much better results use self-control when correcting our kids. When they see us exercising godly character, they will be more willing to listen to our admonishment.  

       Along with correcting, we must be using words of affirmation when they are caught exhibiting godly character traits. We need to be quick to encourage them. It lets them know what behaviors are acceptable and good.   

     I don't know about you, but I have to work really hard at this concept.  I have to remind myself to encourage my kids on a daily basis.  It is just not built in my personality.  In my head you are just suppose to do what you are told to do and you shouldn't need a cheerleader, but all personalities are different and some kids thrive on words of encouragement.  Some children feel unloved if they are not given words of affirmation everyday.

     Some great examples of words of affirmation are:  Well done.  Great job.  Excellent work!

      We need to really set out to show our children that we see what they are doing and we are proud of them when they make the right decisions.

Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors.
 ~ Deuteronomy 6:18

      I would love to hear how you go about correcting and encouraging your children.  We can all learn from one another. 

       



 



Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's a New Day, Start it Right


         When I wake up, one of the first things I do is grab for my Bible.  I know what is necessary for me to be able to get through my day.  I look forward to spending time with my Lord, so He can give me strength to face my routines for the day.  On mornings things get hectic and I don't get that time with the Lord, I can feel things spiraling out of control rather quickly.  I have to stop and pray.  My lifeline is that time spent with Jesus. 

    Reading scriptures and praying are what gives us the ability to be more like Him.  If we do not spend that quality time with Him each day, we become depleted.  Our souls do not get the food they need to be servants of God.  Instead our feelings take over and that is never a pretty sight.  I know when my emotions lead me instead of the Lord, I am not who Jesus wants me to be, however  I am acting exactly the way the devil wants me to act. If I am allowing my feelings to lead my actions instead of the Holy Spirit,  I lose control easily and my mouth spouts off reactions that are far from godly. 

    Scriptures are good for teaching us, correcting us, and training us in righteousness.  In order to be the godly women and men that God would have us be, we have to spend time reading our Bible everyday!  No matter what is going on in our lives, we must make time for Him.  He is our LIFELINE!!!!   If you needed a medication to live, you wouldn't forget to take it would you?  Then why do we put our spiritual medication on the shelf to collect dust?

    I had been one of those Christians who thought daily devotions weren't very important, but God has changed my heart.  He wants a daily relationship with me, not just someone who comes to gripe and complain and ask for things when my life is not going well.   He wants me to spend time walking and talking with Him.  He deserves my focus and attention!  He deserves the first of my fruits, and that includes my day.



    I understand sometimes life gets in our way and we are not always able to do devotions first thing, but don't let that keep you from finding time somewhere in your day to spend time with our Lord and Savior.  Allow Him to work in you and through you on a daily basis.  Pray and seek His will in your life and give Him your plans and desires.

   Our children need to see us in God's Word, so they too will want to get to know Him more and more.  They watch and follow our example.  I will share one story to prove this to you.  My husband uses a few Bibles for his personal Bible study.  He likes to compare different translations.  One day I saw our youngest son and daughter carrying a couple of Bibles in each hand, and I asked them what they were doing.  They said, "We are studying the Bibles like Daddy does."   My heart filled with joy and fear all at the same time.  THEY ARE WATCHING!  They are following our examples in good ways and bad. 

   What do you want your children to learn......you are their teacher!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Come Take a Peek at Our Thanksgiving




       These last two days have been filled with love, joy and lots of good food. We really enjoyed family time.

    On Thursday, we just had our little family of five here to celebrate this holiday of gratitude. We started our day out with a wonderful breakfast as we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  It was a great time of conversation and just relaxing with each other.  No deadlines, interruptions or places to be.  It was heavenly!  

     After the parade we decided to make our Thanksgiving Banner.  We love arts and crafts so this is one of our favorite traditions. It's so neat seeing the different banners we create each year. 


     Our kiddos love to play games, so while we waited for our turkey to finish roasting, we played a game of Yahtzee.  It was Hope's first time playing it and  she loved it.  Joshy said he liked it because he could use his math skills. It was so much fun our cheeks ached from all the laughter. 😉


     Before we filled our tummies, we decided to sit around the table and write what we are thankful for.  My heart jumped for joy when I heard what these kiddos wrote.  My favorite was what Ryan wrote.  He said "And best of all, I am thankful for Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior."  Oh when a child professes his love for Jesus, I just tear up.  They are so real and honest.

      We all went to bed that evening with full tummies and happy hearts. 

        On Friday evening we had Thanksgiving Day Part II. Our son and soon to be daughter in love, along with our second daughter were able to all come over to celebrate with us. It was great having them here.  We missed our oldest daughter and her husband, but the newlyweds live in Kansas right now. We are looking forward to them coming home for Christmas. It's not easy celebrating holidays without them, but God has a good plan for their lives.  

      After enjoying a feast for the second day, we were able to get a few photos of our precious kiddos that I will cherish for a lifetime.  Aren't they gorgeous?  


       I am so very thankful for my family. I won't ever take one day with them for granted again.  They grow up so quickly. My older ones were adults in what seems to be just a blink of an eye. I wish I had taken more time to enjoy them as they grew up. It has sure taught me to be grateful for every minute of every day. 

     I hope you have enjoyed looking into our home.  I pray you had a blessed holiday!  
    




Friday, November 25, 2016

Our Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes {Plus a Treat}


     After eating all that food yesterday, I am not sure you will want to even look at this post today, 😋 but I wanted to share our favorite Christmas cookie recipes with you.  

     We have always made it a tradition to bake cookies together every year.  We have fun shopping for all our ingredients the day after Thanksgiving, then the cooking begins soon after.  From now until Christmas we will be making some yummy Christmas cookies and candies to share with those we love.  

      So here we go..... Just click the links below each image to be taken to the recipes where you can save and print. 












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If you would like a look into some of our other Christmas traditions,
 join me over at Sicily's Heart & Home.  



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks Through The Tears


     I was sitting on my bed and the tears began to flow.  Holidays are always hard when loved ones are not with us.  Our hearts ache wishing they could be here to celebrate the special days.  We see other families preparing to see their parents or children, but not everyone will be eating dinner with all their loved ones this year.  

     I know it's hard for me to look across the table and not see my parents. They passed away quite a while ago, but I still miss them especially on holidays.  I miss my mama's smile and my dad's amazing turkey.  I miss watching them prepare things days before Thanksgiving.  It was always a joyous time in our home.  No matter what was going on, they made holidays memorable.  

     As a mom of 6, I knew the day would come when not all my children would be sitting with us for Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day.  I knew they would grow up and I would have to share them with other wonderful family.  I thought I was prepared for that, but when those days come, you feel a bit of a tug in your heart.  It's bittersweet. Your happy for them, yet a bit sad that they grew up so quickly.  Even though we will have Thanksgiving dinners with our kiddos, its just a bit strange not having them all here at once. 

     Our lives change from year to year.  Sometimes it is good changes, but others can pull at our heartstrings or cause us sadness that we never could have prepared for.  So how do we give thanks during those times tears are falling?  I sat down to pray and ask God to show me.  He gave me some wonderful verses to comfort my aching heart.  I want to share them with you today.  

  • Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  

  • You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. ~ Psalm 56:8

  • For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17

  • He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3

  • He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. ~ Psalm 91:4

     Our Lord hears our cries and sees our tears. We are not alone. He knows how we feel.  He will not leave us in our sorrow.  He wants us to remember that our sadness will only last for a night.  One day when we go to be with Him, we will never feel pain or sorrow again. 


     We can choose to thank Him for His gift of eternal life even when we are suffering here on earth because it will remind us that this life is only temporary.  This is not our home.  Our sorrows here will fade away.  We must put our hope in Him.  

      I am reminded of the song "Blessings" by Laura Story.  The words always bring me comfort.  I will leave you with this song to listen to and I want you to know that I will be praying for you today.  

To play the song on You Tube, click on the link below the image.




     
     

      

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

You Don't Need To Purchase This Gift


     Today, just 2 days before the busiest shopping day of the year,  I want to give you a gentle reminder that children do not need things, but they do need us.  They need us to spend quality time with them on a daily basis.  Many times we think we need to spend money to make our kids happy, but really all they really want and need is us. 

     This Christmas, instead of spending too much money on presents, spend time with your family. Go on family outings and rejoice together as you celebrate the birth of a very special baby. Turn your focus to Him and off of things this world provides. This world only offers temporary happiness but our Lord and Savior Jesus offers us eternal joy.  We want to be sure our children understand this. We don't want to them to get so wrapped up in the gifts that they forget about the Greatest Gift of All and that is our salvation that was made possible through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I love the song "It's About the Cross" by Go Fish. It reminds us of the reason Christ came to us. It helps us to remember the real meaning of Christmas. 




     I believe that giving of our time during this season is a great way to share Christ's love.  Jesus was giving and loving and we need to exhibit those qualities. We need to remember that our presence in someone's life can mean more to them than any "gift" we can give them.  Giving of our time is more precious than any amount of money we could spend or give to someone.  Our children need to see us giving of ourselves; sharing our lives with those in need of love.   A gentle hug, or an encouraging word can be a life changing experience for those who are hurting or feeling alone.  Are you willing to give your most precious gift?

     Please don't get me wrong, I love buying presents for those I love, but we just have to keep it all in perspective.  We must realize that our presence will be remembered forever, but a present will eventually fade away.  The memories we make with our loved ones will be with us for a lifetime. The special feeling you give to that man sitting alone at a restaurant  by saying Merry Christmas to him and buying his meal, could leave an impact that is eternal.

     So before you go crazy buying things on Friday, sit down and really pray about what would be the best gifts for those you love and those you may come in contact with this season. Your love, kindness, and time are the best the gifts you could ever give away. They bring joy that won't soon be forgotten.  


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Don't forget to pick up your free mini-workbook on Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Free Mini-Workbook on Thanksgiving

I would love to share this little mini-workbook with you for Thanksgiving.


To download this mini-workbook, just click on 
the link below the image.



So, I Can't Bake An Apple Pie {Free Bookmark Printable}



     A few years ago I thought that I had to be able to do everything in order to be a good homeschool mom and wife. I would get upset with myself because I couldn't sew, bake, or can fruits and vegetables.  I would see other women doing it and I felt like a failure. Pinterest pins would send me into a depression.  It made me feel so inadequate. I was not a "SUPERMOM" like all the other moms I was following on social media.  
     What was wrong with me?  Why couldn't I bake a perfect apple pie with homemade ice cream on the side?  Why couldn't I make a perfect little dress for my little girl?  I'll tell you why..... its
because I am not called to do those things.  They are not on my list of gifts that the Lord gave to me.  He made me who I am and He equipped me for the things He has called me to do.  




     The Lord has a purpose for us.  He doesn't give everyone the same gifts and talents because that would not provide us with the tools to meet the goals He has for us. I quickly learned that if you try to do it all, you won't be able to do anything with excellence. You get burned out.  You question your abilities.  Instead of walking out the purpose God has for you right now, you go down a trail of disappointments.  Why? I believe its because God only furnishes us with what we need for the particular season we are in. He may change our skills throughout life so they will be conducive to the mission He calls us to carry out, but for now we need to rest in knowing we are doing just what we are suppose to be doing and that God will never fail to give us what we need to get it done.

     One of my favorite quotes on this subject is found in the book The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst: “Like a tree, a woman can’t carry the weight of two seasons simultaneously. In the violent struggle of trying, she’ll miss every bit of joy each season promises to bring.”  Can I get an Amen here?  Are you tired of trying to carry out things that you are not designed for? 



     It is time to break free from the "Supermom" mentality.I had to come to the realization that what I was believing in my head just wasn't true.  There is no one who can do everything perfectly.  I had to realize that the posts and pins I was reading were women with different callings than mine.  They were making dresses while I was writing an article.  They were baking pies while I was teaching my children.  They enjoyed canning while I enjoyed organizing my cabinets in the kitchen.  

      Could you imagine a world where there was no diversity in skills and  expertise?  Well that just wouldn't work well would it? God knew we would all need particular abilities for the sake of the call on our lives.  My favorite verse on purpose is Proverbs 19:21. "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."  God has a good plan for each of us.  We just need to follow Him and allow Him to guide us along the way. 

      Are you ready to eliminate the frustrations of trying to live up to the expectations in your mind? Are you ready to live a life that is free to accomplish the goals you are equipped for?  Give yourself grace and just be who God called you to be!!!!  






      Here are some great bookmarks for you to print out.  I hope they are a blessing to you. 


To print these out just hover over the image, right click
 and choose "save image as..." 


Monday, November 21, 2016

TOS Review: WannaBe - When I Grow Up I Want to be a Video Game Designer


     This week we had the opportunity to do a review for The Schoolhouse Review Crew. Our review is of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's e-book titled WannaBe-When I Grow Up I Want to be a Video Game Designer.  As you can see Joshua, our 11 year old, was impressed. 

   He has been wanting to learn more about becoming a video game designer and this e-book was the perfect way to incorporate learning about them into our school day. Not only did it have some great information written by four real web designers, it has pages that included Bible verses, language arts, handwriting, math, and puzzles.  The writing prompts were my favorite, but he loved the crossword puzzle and word search.  The copywork helped us memorize some great verses on integrity, adversity, and pursuing what God has for us. The quiz reminded him of all the great information from the reading pages, and the math pages displayed some of the skills needed as a web designer.    



    When our children are interested in a certain course of life, it is our job as parents to give them the tools they need to make a decision. They need to comprehend what kind of investment will be imperative to becoming what they want to be.  Along with prayer, research is a good means of choosing what will be best for us.  I think this book is a device that Josh will use in deciding if this is a road he wants to travel on.  

   

    I love the fact that Josh got to meet four web designers as he read through what they do on a typical day.  It gave him a look into what life will be like if he does choose to pursue this as a career.

    As he was reading he found many useful tidbits of information such as:
  • What is required of a video web designer
  • What type of education is helpful 
  • How much money a typical video web designer makes
  • How to develop software
  • Some great history about computers and video games


     I would highly recommend the Wanna Be series from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Store.  If your child is interested in a certain occupation that they have in this series, it would be an asset to get the e-book and let your child learn about the life of the people in these careers.

     Some great other occupations in the WannaBe series is:

  • Artist
  • Chef
  • Doctor
  • Farmer
  • Firefighter
  • Police Officer
  • Military
  • Missionary
  • Pilot
  • Veterinarian
     I am actually going to purchase the one on Veterinarians next week for our daughter Hope.  She loves animals and has expressed her interest in learning how to care for them. 

     If you are worried about printing the entire e-book,  I will let you know that we did  not have to print out every page.  To save a few pieces of paper and ink, we chose to read the informational pages through our computer/e-book reader, then we printed out the pages that required hand written answers like the crossword puzzle and word search.

     I hope you have enjoyed reading about this incredible tool for learning and will go and check out the series for yourself.