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Monthly Archives: January 2011

My amateur book review

I have found (with help from my Mother-in-law, thankfully) an amazingly, great book for Mom’s everywhere. Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family by Kim Brenneman. Do not be fooled by the name, this book can also be used with families with only two children, it was just written in mind with large families. Kim gives some amazing advice throughout the entire book, basing the book off of  Proverbs 31:10-31. The first half of the book speaks about, a right attitude as a mother, discipline, time management, how to dress, and balancing everything with a new baby, just to name a few. The second part of the book talks about creating a Home Management Book and all the tasks we can work on each day. She has an example of Monday-Laundry Day, Tuesday-Kitchen, Wednesday-Office Day, Thursday-Town Day, Friday-Cleaning Day, Saturday-Gardening Day, and Sunday-The Lord’s Day.  You also fill in these days with your Morning Routine, Afternoon Chores, and Evening and Mealtime Routines. She gives a great backbone to work with and develop upon. She also speaks in-depth about, grocery shopping, being pregnant and preparing for a baby (while keeping the rest of the household going) and bill payment/budgeting. She also touches a lot on homeschooling and managing it with the rest of the house efficiently.  This is encouraging to me, considering we will be starting our first year of homeschooling in the fall and I am encouraged and just plain excited to start especially with everything in order and working seamlessly. My family is going to be using this system starting TODAY!  We did implement some of the ideas today and it went ok, not great. This is a system that has to be enforced everyday all day as much as possible. I would like to have it going full-time in the Summer and transition into the home school year in September. I have found it to be a little difficult with Dylan still being in school, but we will introduce what we can, now. All of that to say, I LOVED this book! It is great and I suggest it to anyone and everyone. I read almost the entire thing in ONE night. Very good book. Kim, said a lot of things in her book that I really appreciated and liked. I will call these Kim-isms. There a number of them I like so I am sure I will post many over time, but as for today, there is one thing she said that has been with since I read it. “When you make decisions moment by moment throughout the day, they need to be filtered through two questions: ‘Is this activity glorifying God and serving Him?’ and ‘Are my first priorities taken care of?’ Thinking through these questions is a habit that we deliberately need to foster.”  I feel this bit of advice should apply to everyone, not just mothers and wives. It is something I will be sure to display for my children and teach them to also ask these questions. Hopefully this is understandable and will encourage others to possibly buy this book and achieve some great habits in your home.

back in the saddle

Today was the first day of being back into the full-swing of things.  We were all up  and at it first thing this morning (7:30 to be exact, which already puts us behind) the usual getting dressed, eating breakfast, and running out the door. Dylan makes it to school, on time too. The girls and I make it home to do usual chores and play. Once we got Dylan from school it was non-stop running and we barely left the car. We went by Will’s work to pick up the paycheck, a weekly ritual. Obviously, made a trip to the bank to deposit said check. Then we headed to the store to get some groceries. From the store we went straight home to put away the groceries and grab Cecilia’s dance stuff. I then HAD to grab a snack for the kids, according to Dylan. We made a mad dash for dance and immediately went to the bathroom so all the kids could potty and so I could get Cecilia dressed for dance. She was still late to class. I then chased a one year old around and tried to keep a hungry six-year-old as happy as I possibly could for the next thirty minutes. We then all saddled up for home and got right to making dinner and I must say by this time the stress was mounting. Considering, I was thinking of school I had to accomplish by midnight. We finished dinner and got everyone ready for bed and I was able to sit down and take a breath! At the end of the day, I stop and think of how blessed I am despite the craziness and overwhelming stress. My kids can run, play, and eat without assistance of some kind of medical device, they do not have regular medications and laugh on a regular basis. 

Ultimately this picture sums it up. I look at this face, covered with food and just smile. I couldn’t be happier.

so many years ago

My wonderful husband and I met over ten years ago! How crazy does that sound? Of course our kids already think we are old at only 25 and 26. Yes, you guessed it I’m the 26, which my kids also find humorous. “Mommy’s older than Daddy” followed by fits of laughter. Ultimately we are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary on August 14 and I am just content. In the most positive of ways. Kind of that feeling of looking around and thinking and feeling like, this is just right even downright cozy. As cozy as a soul can be I suppose. Regardless my soul is happy and just pleased.

this picture is from a couple of years ago on vacation

 

as for me

I am also a student. I have been trudging through school for more years then I care to share. Ultimately I am seeing an end in sight and I am so relieved. I start back to classes on Monday and looking forward to it, yet I know I am going to miss this amazing break I have had. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I started college the fall after I graduated from High School and I must say I was not prepared. Not in the least. I graduated on May 17, 2003 and my Great Aunt (whom was like a second mother to me) passed away May 18,2003.  I never fully dealt with all the emotions of losing someone so close to me and so needless to say starting college with a full load wasn’t a great idea. I ended up withdrawing from my classes just a couple of months later.

The following spring my then boyfriend and now husband graduated from High School and that Summer we were married and just shortly after that we had our precious baby boy. Couldn’t be happier and then I started to realize what am I going to do with my life. Not that I wasn’t happy being a mother, just that I always knew I wanted a degree. So I started the long hard fight to get back into school and began attending UTC for Pre-Med. I soon realized that wasn’t possible with a one and a half year old. So I then changed my major to Education then Nursing.  I then left UTC and started attending Chattanooga State for Nursing.  In the midst of these Degree changes and College changes I had another precious baby.  I became pregnant again and that is when I decided to take a year off of school (or so I thought) until after the baby was born.

I had my second baby girl and was dreading going back to school. Mostly because at Chattanooga State they treat everyone like they are children.  I didn’t feel like being disrespected just because I needed time away to have a baby. I started doing some research and came across Liberty University.  Now you may say to yourself “wait a minute Jenn, thats in Virginia.” Yes, it is. Luckily they have an amazing online program. I LOVE it!! I did end up changing my major once again this time to Psychology. I am very happy with it and the degree program has me on track to be finished very soon and perhaps even obtain my Masters. I haven’t been happier with school, ever.

 

“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31:17

i only thought it right.

this blog is almost entirely made up of my children so I only thought it right to introduce them.

First up is the handsome and yet temperamental Dylan. He just recently turned six and I must say he is quite resistant to pretty much everything. He thoroughly enjoys Star Wars, motorcycles, and measuring things with the tape measure. He aspires to be just like his Daddy when he grows up (adorable) and work at the shop. All in all he is a humorous and energetic kid. He can also be very sweet when he wants to be (not very often) although he is the most compassionate person I know.

 

Next up is the precious and oh, so delicate Cecilia. She is by far the sweetest (with a bite) little three year old. From a baby you could look at her with a scowl and she would burst into tears especially if it was Dad. I always feared having a girlie girl and I got one. She is the epitome of girl from her dress up stuff to her dance class and undying love of make-up. Yet, she aspires to be just like me.  She has always been a helper and free-spirit. Often times you find her in her own little world (which I LOVE). She can also turn anything into a song, in other words, it’s quite a musical house.

Last, but not least is my Eleanor. She is the baby of the family and it is very obvious. She is just a little spoiled. Born just a week before Christmas she is one of THE best Christmas presents I have ever received. She is also quite the trooper. She had RSV and Pneumonia at just 4 weeks old and came through perfectly. After days of breathing treatments and watching her like a hawk throughout the night we thankfully avoided the hospital. She also survived a move into our new house at almost two months old. Needless to say she has endured many things at such a young age so she is used to a lot of activity. She can be girlie, but is mostly feisty (just like her Momma).  For only 13 months she is very independent (like her brother). All in all she is coming right along and should be speaking clear words any day now.

adding

We ventured out again today and found the coolest thing for our new school room. It is not only useful, but also adds to the visual appeal.

on curriculum

I decided years ago even before my children were ready for school that “if” I homeschooled I knew what I was using.  I researched it many times and always went back to this curriculum. I felt so drawn to it. Even now I am very excited to be using it. In fact when talking to Dylan about homeschooling and almost coaxing him into it. I showed him a picture of the curriculum and he was instantly excited. This made me very happy and reassured me that God has a plan.

This will be Cecilia’s curriculum.

http://mfwbooks.com/k.htm

This will be Dylan’s curriculum.

http://mfwbooks.com/1st.htm