the quick trip

Today was a catch-up day in the house. We bypassed school and headed straight for the cleaning. We swept, vacuumed, and cleared the clutter from the floors. I put three drops each of rosemary, lemon, and pine in a spray bottle filled with water, and we used that to dust and wipe down chairs, table, and floors that hadn’t been thoroughly washed in months.  A blend of Flu Time and Wild Orange filled the air from my diffuser.

The essential oils conference went well. I’m more interested in learning about individual oils, and I’m a little overwhelmed with all the health products companies have these days. Not just oils, but the bath and beauty items, household cleaners and laundry soap, and now they have all kinds of oral supplements. All of that is too much for me.  I get all the stuff about commercialized agriculture and American soil being chemically depleted of its vitamins and minerals, but I just have to be thankful for our food right now. Give me a few products I can use and fall in love with, and gradually we can go from there.

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We had a good visit with my sister in the hospital. Three of us other sisters, along with an adorable infant nephew, traveled up early Sunday morning to visit her for the afternoon. They’re wanting to keep her for a few more days and then hopefully send her home sometime mid-week. We left around 4PM, and I ended up getting back late Sunday night, having left earlier than originally planned in order beat the coming snow. I’m at a definite place where missed sleep is going to cost me, but a good night’s sleep was going to cost me even more, in this case, an entire snowy day warm and home with my kids.

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trust and plans

Yesterday afternoon I visited the mother of one of my high-school friends. Because this friend was now a once divorced, now happily remarried man, I wondered weather or not it was appropriate to seek this woman out. I’d learned she and her husband lived only twenty minutes away, and it seemed a shame to not be in touch with someone who had once been such a strong Christian presence in my life.

One of the first things we did was crack up about how old she was. No. You. Are. Not. There was absolutely no way she was 71! Turns out, however it made perfect sense.  At 51 when I was in high school, I remember her being one of the “older” moms. Because I met my husband at camp while in high school, he knew all about my “other” high school life. The people, names, and stories are familiar to him. He had no problem with me going, and I’m grateful for that because we had a great time.

The essential oils conference is today and then I’m heading up to visit one of my sisters. Me and my other sister are going to ride up together. We got a call that my-brother-in-law had taken her to the E.R. and she was being admitted to the psychiatric hospital. I don’t know too much more than that and still don’t really have a grasp of what is going on with her. I’ve been a little shook up by this, and to me it just reiterates the importance of checking in our your people. Don’t assume everything is okay.

God is good, friends, and He is able.

God-willing, I should be back Monday morning.

Sat-twice baked potatoes, bacon-wrapped asparagus
*bought from the store

Sun-leftovers, frozen pizza

Mon-Roasted Salmon w/tomatoes and fennel

Tues-Roasted potato & kale hash w/eggs

Wed-Crossroads supper

Thurs-Beef liver & caramelized onions

Fri-Crockpot roast w/olives & mint

circling back around

I’ve got some housework that needs to get done today. My focus this week has been on school work and kitchen work, and while it seems like kitchen work would be included in housework, it’s really not.

This weekend I’m attending an all-day essential oils conference in town. I told my son this and he said, “That exists?” and I said, “Yes, it exists”. Don’t laugh. Because I’m not an entrepreneur, I can’t bring myself to become a seller. But I don’t mind buying them and learning more about what they can be used for.  I’ve had my diffuser going daily for weeks and I love how the clean smells make me feel happy. I’m convinced smell is the most underutilized and underappreciated of all five senses.  What really caught my attention while reading about essential oils is how smells have a direct connection to the parts of the brain associated with emotion and memory.

A friend told me she’d read a Facebook meme saying you can have two of the following things but you can’t have all of them: Sanity, happy kids, and a clean house. I get what they’re saying and find it to be mostly true, but what if a clean house is also tied to your sanity?  I’ve also read a mother is only as happy as her saddest child. Amen. Then you’ve got the added pressure of “If mama ain’t happy then nobody’s happy” and we’re back to nobody being happy again. This is probably why they also say happiness isn’t everything, and shouldn’t be the primary goal of our lives. Where then does that leave us? I’m not the one to tell you that, but God is good, and Jesus reigns.

 

 

 

a lost science

Today we logged our 50th day of school for the year. I feel like we’ve settled into a good routine. In addition to our monthly calendar books, all three boys have reading, writing (copywork), and math work daily. My daughter, who is in 7th grade, has reading, writing (cursive), math, language arts, Bible, and science. I’ve never done a science curriculum with my kids, but I wanted her to have exposure to normal science concepts and terms. She also has a Test Prep book from Barnes and Noble that she works on here and there.

Monday was fun. All of us were cheerful and glad to be in school. School attitudes are actually consistently good. We’ve had harder years with more struggles and tears. The homeschool dynamic of “mom as teacher” puts us all in a position where we need to be more mindful of that balance between encouraging, providing a challenge, and yet, not pushing too hard. My children and I meet each other daily where we’re at, and within that arrangement we all stand tall. Every so often someone has an off or bad day, and I occasionally must redirect a child back to his work, but other that, school isn’t a fight.

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There are, as there will be, fights about other things. Kids occasionally get too caught up in each other’s business or get to where they can’t work alone through a conflict. Chores, like yesterday, still need to be done every day. I tire of these times, as all mothers do.

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My school goal for November is to keep the school room joyful and lively. The boys have been collecting wood and making fires. We’re talking about and planning our family’s upcoming Thanksgiving. Boston Pop’s Sleigh Ride has started playing from my phone.

The meal plan for this week is going well and I’m on the third day of my gluten elimination. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a permanent change for me. I have not given up, however, on the 5-gallon bucket of red wheat berries from last year. I plan to use it to experiment with another sourdough starter, to see if it makes a difference.

Day light savings gave us different hours of sunlight. I like the fall back much, much better than the spring forward. I enjoy the extra hour of daylight in the mornings, even though that means the night comes sooner. It’s 3:35 and the sun is already starting to set. The boys are out in a leaf pile.

 

 

a wild anthem

“The ordinary moments of today are miraculous answers to long ago prayers.”
~Ann Voskamp~

Alright, I’m moving on from this semi-phase of questioning I’ve been in. My goal is clear–keep going. With life. With school. With whomever God places in my forward path today.