Fulfilled Fridays 7 and Link-up

 

Destiny / Pixabay

The girls started back to school Monday. It has been a difficult adjustment for me. I still am struggling with missing summer but our 4 month vacation had to come to an end sometime.

To challenge myself, I decided to do PE with the girls this year instead of disappearing as they put on the exercise videos. I know I should exercise but I didn’t realize how out of shape I was.

Monday we decided to attempt yoga.

Oh Yoga, how can you make me feel so weak and uncordinated at the same time?

The DVD was telling me to mutate my body into all kinds of animals from cats and downward facing dogs to a pigeon and a baby calf. And when animals failed me, suddenly I was supposed to become a tree.

Tuesday we went for a walk. I can do that. PE was a breeze.

Wednesday they turned on the XBox to play a little Kinect Adventures. I was dying 30 seconds in. In the game I was supposed to collect little balls while jumping, ducking and dodging obstacles. It didn’t take long until the girls decided I wasn’t a good teammate. Like most playground games, I was the odd one out and left on the sidelines watching the better skilled people play.

Yesterday they decided on Yoga again. It was pretty much a repeat of Monday.

I am determined to continue to exercise with them. It has got to get easier eventually, right?

As painful as doing children’s exercise is, I found the girls and I laughing more during that time than any other time of the day. It is a wonderful time for us to let loose and have a little fun in an otherwise serious day.

What is something that made you smile and laugh this week?

 

Now it is your turn!

There are very few rules. You don’t have to follow me on social media or subscribe although I’d love it if you do. Links to where you can find me on social media are off to your right.

If you’re feeling extra generous, tell others where to find this link-up. I’ll make it easy for you if you use twitter!

[Tweet “I linked up at Fulfilled Fridays. Come join me! #linkup #bloggers”]

You don’t even have to link back but it’d be awesome if you did!

Simply share a post, recent or in the past about anything good. Perhaps it is a recipe, craft, a moment in time, something you overcame, something to inspire, or just a journal. Anything goes.

If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment and share below.

Let’s celebrate why our lives are fulfilled!!!!

 

And if you have a few minutes after posting your link, please spread the joy. Take some time and visit some of the other bloggers.

Grab my button:

 

 

Living In Green Grass
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Giving God my Whatever

Stepping on faith with God

Unsplash / Pixabay

At the beginning of the year I prayed over and picked one word to focus on for the entire year. It is a concept based off the book, My One Word by Mike Ashcraft.

Unlike New Year’s Resolutions, my word can morph and grow with me into new situations throughout the year. This year I have seen one word morph more times than I could have ever imagined in January–and it is only August.

My word this year is WHATEVER.

I’ve blogged about my word several times before but it has been a couple months. As I enter a new season of whatever, once again my word is taking on a new meaning and morphing into a different picture.

[Tweet “There is something freeing about telling #God, “Whatever.””]

As a person, I want to dictate my life. I want to control aspects and design what the outcome will be. Often I cannot see the exact outcome but I dream of what the best option is and I strive for that.

In the past when I’ve tried to maintain that control it has been very stressful. It is not easy to walk into the unknown–let alone walk with grace and peace.

Last Spring I struggled walking in the unknown. It is a beautiful story of a step of faith that you can read here: Part 1, Part 2, and  Part 3.

As The Husband switched careers, I wanted to control things but I couldn’t. I stressed as I tried to imagine life without a paycheck. I stressed as I worried about what was to come. I stressed as I wondered what was in our future. I stressed as each self-made deadline came and went. I agonized about when God was going to answer our prayers.

I was certain He would, but I wanted an answer soon.

And I learned something:

God simply doesn’t work that way. The wonderful thing about our journey last spring is that God was always there, moving pieces into place behind the scenes to take care of us exactly when we needed it.

At the exact moment we took a step of faith, God provided a step. He gave us a landing zone, and waited for us to be ready to move again.

[Tweet “”Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr.”]

This week I’m stepping onto a new stair also marked Whatever. This is the girls’ 6th year attending an online charter school. I still feel strongly that it is the right school of choice for our family.

But something is different about school this year. Miss Crafty has moved from an elementary student to a middle school student. Like in many schools, there are lots of differences between elementary and middle school.

It has made a huge impact on our family this week. She works fairly independent but there are several things I cannot do while she is trying to do school work. Her classes take longer now, and therefore my schedule has to adjust.

The Inventor struggled in school last year. She wasn’t a failing student by far, but I could tell she was struggling. I am trying to focus on her and intently provide more help with her classes.

Spending extra time with the girls is something I planed on, but I didn’t realize what all was involved. I don’t have nearly the time to do other things as I thought I would.

I am adjusting and adapting. I’m finding new and creative ways to keep the house picked up, dinner cooked, and squeeze in a little personal time for myself.

Next week The Husband starts his trade school. It is 3 hours on Monday evenings which means he won’t get home for the day until almost 10 PM.

In addition to class, he also has an online class to complete and homework. Neither of us know what all that is going to involve. We are once again stepping out into the unknown on faith.

stair into whatever

computerkugel / Pixabay

This time is different than it was 4 months ago. We are still going through major family transitions. Time together is slipping away. Roles within the family are being redefined. What my days and weeks look like are completely unknown. I cannot plan for this.

It is different because of what we went through 4 months ago. I have a new perspective and a recent reminder that God does provide when you have a need. It is not going to be easy for the next four years.

But I have faith that God will take care of us and provide for us whenever we have a need.

God will not provide it on my time, but in His perfect time.

This time I am giving God 100% of my whatever. I don’t have any expectations of how it should turn out. I have no plans as to what our lives will look like in 6 months or even years from now.

I know God is taking care of all those plans and this time, I’m letting him figure out all the details.

There is something freeing about telling God, “Whatever.” It gives me the freedom to live my daily life, taking care of the daily things without having to worry about what is to come.

As I wake up each day, I am trying to remember:

[Tweet “God has my best interest at heart, and He is taking care of all the details.”]

 

~Crystal

Shared on:

Thriving Thursday

 Thought-Provoking Thursday

Fellowship Friday

Essential Friday

Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop

Beauty Observed

Friendship Friday

Back to School Blues

Back to school

geralt / Pixabay

It is once again back to school time.

The time of year when stay at home moms celebrate. A time of early rushed mornings while you try to get our children out the door in time.

School time brings on the freedom during the day to do your chores when you please. Gone is the need to come up with creative ways to entertain your children all day long. Now a teacher will help you fill their days with learning and fun.

One year I heard my neighbor celebrating from inside her house. All the windows were closed but I still heard a loud, “Woo Hoo!!!” echoing through the neighborhood.

Then there are the rest of us.

I don’t look forward to school beginning. It isn’t because I’m going to miss my children that much while they are away at school.

It is quite the opposite. They. Never. Leave.

I love doing school with the girls, watching them learn and discover. I love having them around and helping them through their problems. I love our school choice, having the structure of a traditional school provided to us while being able to implement it at home.

[Tweet “Every year I grieve #summer as it rapidly fades away and is replaced by #school.”]

Gone are my lazy days, sitting around all morning playing games on the computer and spending some extra time blogging. Gone is the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want. Gone is my mostly clean house because I no longer have time to really pay attention to it.

I feel like a kid again. I miss summer vacation.

The girls started school yesterday and we all longed for last week. While I didn’t show it, I was just as tired as they were. My brain was just as muddied as theirs. I didn’t want to do school either.

But I tried to mask it with false enthusiasm. Sure, I’ll help you with your math. This should be fun! Of course I’d love to give you a spelling test. Look how beautifully you colored that map!

I joined Miss Crafty while she did a kids yoga DVD for PE yesterday. I should do that more often. I definitely could use the workout. Kids yoga is no joke. I’d hate to see the adult version.

The best time of the day came in the last 3 minutes of her workout. It was relaxation time. We laid on the floor for 3 minutes listening to calming music.

3 minutes of peace.

3 minutes of silence.

3 minutes without…

Mom, can you help me?

Mom, I don’t understand.

Mom, I don’t want to do school today.

Mom, I can’t remember how to do this.

Mom, what should I do?

Mom, I’m tired.

Mom, my head hurts from thinking.

Mom, I’m not used to this anymore.

Mom, can I have a break?

Mom, mom, mom.

No mom. I’m in my 3 minute happy place.

 

Once the school day was done, they were free. Free to be kids. Free to run the neighborhood. Free to jump on the trampoline, or play minecraft, or annoy their sister.

I was free too. Free to run around the house, catching up on the chores that were missed during the many mom moments of the day. Free to do laundry and fold towels. Free to wash a load of dishes. Free to squeeze in 5 minutes of facebook before having to cook dinner.  Free to stress out because dinner was going to be late since I forgot to pull anything out of the freezer.

Yeah, I was free. Free from school and back to the lazy days of summer. Cramming one lazy day’s worth of work into about 2 hours.

One benefit to my husband switching jobs last spring is that he gets home later. He used to get home around the time the girls finished up school and then he wanted to spend time with me. So much for getting my chores done.

At least now I have at least 2 hours to cram in chores before he walks in the door.

I know it was only the first day of school, but I’m already looking forward to June 2015.

Last night, as I went to bed all I could think was, “4 more school days this week.”

I got up this morning ready to begin the day again. Ready to face school with a smile on my face and pretend that last week is a distant memory. A memory that I’m sure to relive sometime this morning as The Inventor begins her weekly writing assignment.

This week’s writing topic is a brutal reminder of what we left behind: What did you do this summer?

 

 

Shared on:

Let’s be Friends Blog Hop

Wake up Wednesday

 

Fulfilled Fridays 6 and Link-up

Welcome to Fulfilled Fridays!

A place where we can celebrate and share what makes life great.

Hans / Pixabay

This was the last week of summer.

Our summer started early since the girls finished their curriculum at the end of April. We’ve been on break since then.

Over the summer we relaxed, a lot.

The girls spent many days playing outside with the neighborhood kids, ran through the sprinklers a few times, and had a water balloon fight. They enjoyed ice cream, popsicles, and ice cream popsicles. They stayed up late giggling until way past my bed time and even attempted an couple all nighters. Those weren’t too successful. I think the latest they lasted was about 1 am.

Miss Crafty went to camp for the first time while The Inventor and I got to spend a week together–just the two of us. They took at trip for over a week with one set of grandparents, spent extra time with another set, and are going to visit a 3rd grandma for the weekend in about a week.

As the girls grow, I am learning to relish summer more and more. It used to be that summer was just another season, now it is an excuse to make lots of memories.

But Sunday evening will come. The sun will set and rise. It will be Monday morning and time for school.

Instead of being lazy and staying in our PJ’s until lunch we’ll be up, dressed, and ready to go by 8 AM.

Instead of watching movies and Netflix all morning we’ll be watching lesson related videos and opening the books.

Instead of relaxing all day long we’ll be working and learning.

I believe summer is special because it only comes once a year.

So until next May, I say goodbye to summer break and will forever cherish the wonderful memories I made with my daughters.

What are some of your favorite memories from this summer?

Now it is your turn!

There are very few rules. You don’t have to follow me on social media or subscribe although I’d love it if you do. Links to where you can find me on social media are off to your right.

If you’re feeling extra generous, tell others where to find this link-up. I’ll make it easy for you if you use twitter!

[Tweet “I linked up at Fulfilled Fridays. Come join me! #linkup #bloggers”]

You don’t even have to link back but it’d be awesome if you did!

Simply share a post, recent or in the past about anything good. Perhaps it is a recipe, craft, a moment in time, something you overcame, something to inspire, or just a journal. Anything goes.

If you don’t have a blog, leave a comment and share below.

Let’s celebrate why our lives are fulfilled!!!!

 

And if you have a few minutes after posting your link, please spread the joy. Take some time and visit some of the other bloggers.

Grab my button:

 

 

Living In Green Grass
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Just a Mom

Jenifer as a mom and her husband

Some women are dream of maintaining a career while raising their children. Some women find it necessary to work to pay bills even though they would rather be at home raising their children. Some women dream of staying at home all day long.

Jenifer is that woman. She is just a mom. She’s not the stereotypical stay at home mom who is lazy during the day although I have yet to meet a stay at home mom who is.

[Tweet “Jenifer lives for her children. Her joy is found in watching their happiness and joy.”]

Jenifer is very actively involved in the education of her 4 children.

When her second daughter was ready for kindergarten, she enrolled her into an online charter school. Her older daughter did a traditional home school program that year.

The following year she decided to send them to a brick and mortar public school. That year was very difficult on Jenifer. She missed watching them learn and grow. She longed to see them learn new things but was unable to catch their excitement.

Her daughters were having a rough time at the local public school too. The first year her daughters went to public school they were in 1st and 3rd grade. Other students began bullying her 3rd grade daughter.

Jenifer longed to be more involved but she decided to leave them in a brick and mortar public school.

As time continued, the bullying worsened. Her daughter would come home from school with bruises. Soon, she was labeled a bully even though she was not. Not wanting to go to school and for other reasons, by the time she was done with 5th grade she was missing more school than she was attending.

Her younger daughter was showing signs of a learning disability. Jenifer tried to get the school to test her daughter and get the needed accommodations. Month after month, year after year, the school refused.

[Tweet “By the end of the year, Jenifer had enough. This school option was not working for her children.”]

Looking at her options, she decided to re-enroll her children into the online charter school they had tried many years before. She was ready to bring her daughters home and once again be more involved in their education.

When they began the next school year, she had a 6th grader, 4th grader, and a toddler. A few years later, she had her son.

Jenifer’s family was at home, growing, and she was loving it.

Not wanting to miss a moment, they use every excuse they can find to celebrate and enjoy life.

Living in the Pacific Northwest means lots of rain and no snow during the winter. Sunny days are rare and something to cherish. Instead of snow days from school, they take sun days. They take a day off and head to the beach or into the back yard to enjoy the weather.

Learning doesn’t stop just because it is a Sun Day. Jenifer simply takes the lessons and applies them to real world circumstances.

On one Sun Day a few years ago, her daughters were struggling with perimeter, area, and volume. They decided to build a sand box.

The kids spent all working on the box. They decided where it would be located, how big, what materials, how much was needed, and the cost. They also constructed the box. The only thing they didn’t do was push the wheelbarrows full of sand to fill it.

The following day her children were able to easily pass all math assessments they had previously been struggling with.

School is not the only thing that drives Jenifer.

When needed, Jenifer teaches CPR and first aid. Even then, Jenifer turns it into an opportunity to spend time with her children. She looks forward those times, and spending some one on one time with her oldest daughter who is the classroom assistant.

Everyone knows that the job as a parent can be stressful at times. When I’m stressed, I tend to retreat and need a little personal space. Jenifer is the opposite. She spends time with her kids.

“Nothing is better than piled on the couch and reading a good book. Even a not so good book. Sometimes we watch a move.”

Jenifer’s days are filled with her children, from school, reading together, and teaching an occasional class but she isn’t with them constantly.

They have horses that are boarded at a stable house about 45 minutes away. To lower the boarding fees, they muck stalls 3 days a week. On top of mucking their own stalls, they clean 4 extra ones.

This is a job Jenifer’s children have taken on as their own, and it usually takes the whole day. During the school year they take turns but once a week they all go.

During her alone times Jenifer still tends to her family. She uses the opportunity to make a loaf a bread, not worrying about children running through the house and causing it to fall.

No matter what Jenifer does, she keeps her children at the front of her mind.

Jenifer is just a mom.

[Tweet “Like most moms, Jenifer does whatever she can to give her children the best possible future.”]

For Jenifer, that is staying at home, helping them with their education, and being there for them all the time.

 

 

 

 

Every Thursday I share your stories on Living In Green Grass. Sometimes they are stories of faith, overcoming, or perseverance. Sometimes they are stories of contentment and joy. Regardless, they are your stories. If you would like to share your story or nominate someone else, please click here or on the “Share a Story” tab above. Thank you! Without your stories Living in Green Grass would not be the same.

 

Shared on:

Thriving Thursday

Thought Provoking Thursday

Essential Fridays

Faith and fellowship

Beauty Observed

Friendship Friday

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