Category Archives: Thoughts on living, learning, and loving

Encouragement for moms...PLAY !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Mason on Play…
It might just surprise you what she had to say !

“Let the mother go out
and PLAY !”
 

Charlotte Mason understood a lot about children….she also understood a lot about moms.  I found this to be some advice I need to take to heart!

“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children…we should have happier households.

Let the mother go out to play!

If she would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense,
and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book,
or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures,
or in bed, without the children,
life would go on far more happily for both children and parents.” 
~Charlotte Mason

Let the mother go out to play !

Don’t you just love those words ?
Children have no trouble playing.
Fun is pulsing through their veins and wiggling out of every limb.
Play just comes naturally to them.
If left alone long enough, children invent the most wonderful games and fantastic stories.
Creativity and imagination are limitless, emotions are being worked out,
FUN is happening !
Think about it…kids generally don’t return from playing outside all stressed out!  🙂

When was the last time that YOU went out to play mom ?
Go Play Mom !

I am a good mom.

Are you a GOOD mom ?
–>  Encouragement for Moms <–

(I added that in case you were waiting for confirmation that you aren’t 🙂  )

I am a good mom.

Say it out loud with me!

Did you find that hard to say?
I did.

Did you find it even more difficult to really settle it in your heart
without a steady stream of accusations floating through your mind?

What?!?

You didn’t wear your baby?  You didn’t potty train by 2?
You’ve had to rewash the towels 3 times because you can’t remember to put them in the dryer?  AND your 9th grader isn’t taking Advanced Calculus this year?   😀

Yeah…still…You ARE a good mom.

Why is this such a hard bunch of words to speak and believe about ourselves ?
Truly, I don’t know of a more loving, giving, hard-working group of ladies
than the mamas that I am blessed to know.
We may all have very different parenting styles, and a different set of goals for our families and ourselves, but one thing we all have in common…We love our children very much.

And love covers a multitude of sins !

I AM A GOOD MOM.
Practice saying the words aloud to yourself till you believe them…then share them
with a friend.

I read a lovely blog post today written by Danielle, a mom just like us.
If you’re in need of some encouragement, or know another mama who needs a reassuring word, read this post and pass it along!!!
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF BEING A “GOOD” MOM  from Today’s the Best Day
I am a good mom

 

5 Helps For Parenting a Prodigal


Parenting a Prodigal

You feed them and rock them to sleep;
you teach them how to talk, and walk, and run, and jump, and how to tie their shoes.  You teach them how to ride a bike . You teach them to drive a car.  You teach them to be strong and confident in who they are.  You teach them how to reason and think for themselves.

So, what happens when they do that…BUT  “thinking for themselves” looks a whole lot more like defiance and rebellion?

 

Truthfully, there’s a lot you can’t do.  
You can’t control another human being…this includes your child.  You can’t monitor them 24/7 or make good choices for them.  You can’t control the inevitable consequences that come into your life via your “prodigal”.
And you just can’t “fix” them.


However out of control things seem, there are some things
you can do right now!

I am the mom of a child who is living in the “far country”, far from our family, and far from God.  I have felt ashamed and frustrated and like I have failed at the very thing I had devoted my entire adult life to.  Then one day as I was chatting with a few other moms, one of them tearfully shared her pain in dealing with her own difficult child.  She is an amazing mom, by the way.
HOW did I not know? WHY didn’t we talk to each other sooner?
And guess what?!  She and I weren’t the only ones.
Since that conversation, the love and support that has come out of that one brave exchange has been invaluable. These thoughts are written from my own experiences.  Everyone’s situations are different. Whatever yours may be,  
I hope  that in some small way, the lessons I have struggled to learn will be helpful to you and will bring you hope!

Continue reading 5 Helps for Parenting a Prodigal

How to Keep a Quiet Heart in a Loud World !

 

~ Keeping a Quiet Heart ~

Why is it so hard to keep a quiet heart?
Or is that just something I struggle with?

I watch my youngest pull out of the driveway every single morning.
I pray and fight the swelling urge to worry.
I deny my mind the right to consider the rush of fearful thoughts
that want to come bursting in.
It’s been a year since her accident.

I will keep a quiet heart.

That’s hard work!
Yet harder still is the labor of worry.
Believe me, I know !
I don’t recommend that occupation at all.  🙂

Do any of you worry?
My friend wakes up in the middle of the night filled with incredible anxiety over her ability to homeschool her children.  Another friend is overcome with thoughts of failures in her finances.  Whether it’s fretting over health, or wayward children, or an uncertain future,  or even over all the holiday plans, it’s  exhausting !  Phew!

How do we keep a quiet heart ?
I can’t tell you what will work for you, but this has been my journey in a nutshell.

Things I’ve learned :

Worry is just another word for FEAR.
Fear is an ugly thing.
It will destroy anything it can get ahold of…
relationships, health, happiness,

peace, LIFE !
We tend to feel most fearful when we cannot
CONTROL
or have lost control, of our circumstances.

Prayer works.
Take a deep breath (or 5).
Sometimes, I think I have held my breath all day.

Recognize when fear is creeping in.
You aren’t in control, but that’s OK.
God is good.
He is in control.
Nothing surprises Him.


Choose faith over fear.


Stop.  Pray.

There isn’t a right way to do it.
Just DO it !

And then do it again.
And breathe.

The mind and the heart are connected.
If your heart is beating wildly with worry,
chances are
 your mind is full of loud clutter too!
I chose a short Scripture to pray when my mind wouldn’t allow me to focus.
Almost like a type of fasting, I would pray this verse every single time
I began to feel overwhelmed.
Words to focus my heart & mind on truth.
These are not some “magic words”  that obligate God to answer us.
They are
Simply truth.


I wrote these words & placed them all over my house
until I could pray each part

from memory…slowly with contemplation.

“The Lord is near.

         Do not be anxious about anything,
         but in every situation,
         by prayer and petition,
         with thanksgiving,
         present your requests to God.
        And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
        will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You have to CHOOSE peace.
 
While you can’t control other people, or circumstances,
you can control yourself.


Choose peace over fear.

It IS a choice.
Sometimes worry becomes a habit.
It takes discipline to break a bad habit.

I know when you’re tired and stressed out,
this will take all the energy you’ve got.

It will be worth it though.

When life is REALLY throwing all it’s hard balls at once;
and it’s so very hard to concentrate on anything else…
the rest of that verse tells us what we can fill our mind
with in place of all the worry.

“Finally, brothers and sisters,
          whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure,

          whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
          —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
          think about such things.

Make a list.
Something true.  Something noble.
Something right.  Something pure.
Something lovely.  Something admirable.
Something excellent.  Something praiseworthy.
Then think about those things.  
You may have to make several lists a day.
FILL your mind with these things ! 

God really does love us.
God really is GOOD.
You really can trust Him.

I am praying for you today  !
May the perfect love of Christ cast out all the fear in your hearts today.
May He watch over your comings and goings (and those of your families).
May He keep you in perfect peace.

Philippians 4:9

 

mercy
 Mercy !

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”

~ Psalm 22:1-2

Is there anything much worse than God’s apparent silence when your heart is breaking,
or terrified, or wounded and betrayed ?

Where is He, the One who promised to never leave your side,  when  life is spinning out of control, and your heart is pounding in your mouth,
and your mind is screaming with what-if’s ?

Have you ever prayed until you had absolutely nothing left…and then, still…only silence?

 Mercy !!!
I give up!

I’ve been here.  This is where David was when he wrote the words of this psalm.
Maybe you’ve been here too?

I’m so thankful David was honest about his struggles!  What a relief it was to read his words one morning, and know that I wasn’t the only one that had ever felt this way and had cried out to God with these same scary, bold questions.
And David, a man after God’s own heart!

Mercy!
And literally.

So I said the word out loud.  Mercy !
Maybe just to break the silence.

Have you ever had a eureka! moment ?
Ohhhhhh.  Now I get it!

Sheesh.  Some of us (me!) are slow learners.
After months of lament and frustration and doubt and tears, it dawned on me.
God had not been silent at all.  His answer, everyday ?

Mercy!

All those dark days, I had misread His beautiful mercy for terrible silence.
Yet He had walked me through each day pouring out an unfathomable amount of mercy.
On me.  On my loved one.  On my home and on my family.

And I had completely missed it.

Have you ever completely missed it with God on something?
OUCH!   Big ouch!
But again, the Word reminds us we aren’t the first.  Phew!
Our family, His people, have been “missing it” for a very long time.    Imagine how fervent and sincere the prayers were for the Messiah to come!  So long… hoping, watching, and waiting.  Yet many totally missed it because He didn’t come in the way they had expected Him to.

I missed the way He came to me too.  Completely.

But in the missing it, I have gleaned a treasure.
“The Lord is near.  Be not anxious about anything.”
God is not far or deaf to your cries.
“Call to me and I will answer you…”
Prayers aren’t always answered in the way you’d expect.

So, at the point of giving up…look up.

Shout mercy!

Open your eyes to see.

Maybe you’ll notice the grace you’ve had to get up and face each day, or a new friendship, or a beautiful flower that has sprung up in your yard, or even the kindness of a stranger…His answer and Presence in an unexpected way.
Don’t miss it!!

The Lord has comforted me so tenderly with this revelation.  I hope in some way, somehow, these words will be of comfort and hope to someone else who needs them too.   Apologies for this lengthy post.  🙂
May the Lord bless and keep you~

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
SO THAT
we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

And just in case anybody has read this far, I also wanted to share this song, “Mercy”, by Amanda Cook.   🙂   So good!

Fields of Daisies Days

It’s Friday Favorites!
More fun ideas for more fields of daisies days!

If you are just stopping by for the first time, you may be wondering what in the world I mean by  “fields of daisies” days.      🙂

Welcome to my cozy corner of Bloglandia!
Click on over  [HERE]  to read what these wonderful days are all about,  then come back and sit and stay awhile!

I’m so glad you’ve found Fields of Daisies !

I hope you will enjoy the free  UNITS  I’m posting,  my favorite homeschooling finds, and most of all, I hope you will find some encouragement to keep on
living, loving, and learning with your family!

So, without further ado…on to the fun!!

Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts on being able to SEE the good and the Mercy in each day…
and I kept thinking, in the least,  we all have days that
test our patience.

It’s so frustrating when our plans change, or sickness happens, or there are endless trips to and from,  and “school” gets put on hold.

How do you homeschool on days like these?

Some days are just difficult, but making them into the best, most memorable kinds of days is totally possible.  It’s more than possible!
(REALLY this IS a fun post!  I promise!  Keep reading !)

 

So HOW do we do it ?!?
Look for the daisy moments!

Here are some ideas.

 


* When mama is sick~

 Can it be a good day when Mom is sick in bed?
Depends on how you see it!

– Read this mama’s sweet reminder at ilovemy5kids
THIS is a perfect field of daisies kind of day!


– Curl up together and listen to your favorite books.  There are TONS of free audiobooks for all ages.
Listen to some stories that might be brand new to you!
There are some fantastic ones out there that have so much to teach…about science, or math, or history!

Click here to see some of our favorites over the years Story Time !
And my very favorite series of books, The Chronicles of Narnia are all available free online!!

* The feeling blue kind of day~
Try ditching the regular routine and do something happy !!
What could be cheerier than  PEEPS ?!?
Peeps STEM activities from Schooling a Monkey
– Peep Science from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Peep Science   from  The Frugal Navy Wife
Peep S’mores… Oh my!  from DomesticSuperhero.com

* Unexpected all day in the car~
Home“schooling.
Laughable some days isn’t it ?!?


– Just talk to each other.

Some of the very deepest conversations I’ve had with my children have happened spontaneously while in the car.  Maybe it is the lack of distractions, or maybe because we have each other as a
captive audience.  🙂
Either way, don’t “miss it” and stress about all that isn’t getting done at home… lots of important life can be found in the confines of the car.


– Roll the windows down and SING!
   Sing LOUD too!
  Ahhhhh.  Doesn’t that feel so good?!?!

–  I love this idea to create your family’s own soundtrack
from Alpha Mom


– Play some silly car games that ALL of you might enjoy!


– A fun “speriment” for the younger kiddos from this mom at
The (Reformed) Idealist Mom

* When everyone is wiggly and has
spring fever~

Get outside!
Even in the rain or slush !   The kids don’t mind, and stomping in puddles can make you feel like you’re 5.
And that’s a good thing.    🙂


– Here are some great ideas from Our Journey Westward

*And at last….the days when you are simply feeling “interrupted” by LIFE!

-I absolutely love this encouragement from Heidi St. John  !
-And THIS SONG from Kristene DiMarco

Hope you find a hidden daisy today !

 

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Gather Together, Give Thanks, Eat Pie !

Fall Pie

 

 

 

~Fall School~
Friday, Pie Day ! 

Anybody at your house have FALL FEVER ?
That’s a thing you know.
Symptoms include the urge to consume inordinate amounts of pumpkin flavored foods and beverages, to jump in piles of crunchy leaves, and for me, the urge to bake.

It  IS Friday, so why not make it a pie day ?
{ Homeschooling benefit # 3,383,938! }

And of course pie IS very educational… it covers science, and art, and history if you’re creative, and definitely math!   And math is very important you know…If we have a whole pie, and I eat 3 pieces… well, you get the idea. 😀
So, grab some aprons and gather everyone in the kitchen.
Get that pie school done !
Chop some apples, measure some flour, stir some pumpkin, sprinkle some cinnamon, and bake some pies!!
PS…If you’re not feeling pie, there’s some other quick and easy ideas at the bottom of this page too.  “Friday, Pie Day and Some Other Stuff Too” just didn’t sound like a great title for this post.    

And while you’re at it, why not invite some friends and family over to share in all the fally pie goodness ?!
Maybe bake some individual sized pies or some of the other easy  fall treats below and go on a sharing mission…it’s a great excuse to m
eet one of your neighbors, surprise the mail person, or just treat someone to a little kindness ! 

SO, GIVE THANKS and EAT SOME PIE !

* Favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This is a delicious pumpkin pie recipe.  Sweet and cinnamony… that’s a word, right?
I always add a dot of butter right in the middle before baking.  Not sure why, but my grandma always did that so I do too.   🙂   I also like to use any extra pie crust to make cut outs for the top of the pie (see photo above).  I took an egg yolk and a few drops of food coloring & painted it on the leaf cutouts before baking for pretty fall colors.   See?!  Color mixing!  I told you it was an educational activity ?!?!
Add some of these other fun pumpkin ideas & voila !
(The pie pictured at the top  is this pie recipe) 

* Favorite Apple Pie Recipe
This is a great, no-fail recipe.  No soupy insides!   Slices perfectly!  
 The only changes I make to this recipe is to reduce the amount of sugar a bit, and use a mix of both Granny Smith & Gala (or some other type
  of red apple).  This is a very plain pie recipe, but don’t be worried…it’s so good !
I made this one on Monday.  Need more to call it a full day of school?
Try a mini Johnny Appleseed Unit !  
Apple Pie

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’ve made it all the way to Friday this week, and you’re totally not feeling the whole mess of the pie day thing ??

Here are a few quick and easy 
fall favorites to make together & share~

* Baked Apple “Chips”
Sprinkle with some cinnamon & nutmeg if you’d like.

* Hand-Dipped Fall Pretzel Sticks
From Mess For Less… such a cute, quick, and easy snack to make.  Perfect for sharing!!

* Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Great way to extend the pumpkin learning fun!  Carve a pumpkin, guess how many seeds, bake it into a pie, try some of the fun activities HERE , roast the seeds, and call it a good day !

* Pumpkin Pancakes
These “pancakes” are good enough to be dessert.  I have been making these special pancakes for my kids at the beginning of fall  since they were babies.  It is definitely not my usual pancake recipe, but they are a yummy treat and a fun tradition in our family.  You could make individual pancakes out of them, or giant family style pancakes like I do.   I usually cook them in cast iron skillet, but have made them in a pumpkin shaped cake pan as well.   One more reason to love the fall !  Pumpkin everything!   Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pancakes


SO WHAT’S COOKING AT YOUR HOUSE
this Friday?

I’d  LOVE  to know!
Leave a comment & share your Friday FALL Favorite !!

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Father's Day Ideas
Making a Memorable
Father’s Day 

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fall leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Fall Leaves Activities~

*If you’d like to listen to some lovely, quiet music while you scroll through these ideas, Autumn by George Winston is one of my all time favorites!

*Fall Leaves Favorites for the Littles
Montessori-Inspired Autumn Leaf Unit  from Living Montessori Now
8 Leaf Activities from Teaching Mama
Fall Song, How Many Leaves ?  Counting & Colors Song
– Leaves by David Ezra Stein audio picture book on YouTube
   (very nice reading with original music composition)
– Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf  by Lois Ehlert – audio picture book
– Lots of Leaf Activities and Printables from Enchanted Learning
Leaf Lacing for Toddlers  from I Can Teach My Child
– 
My favorite fall finds for the Littles on my Pinterest board “Littles- Fall Fun”


*Fall Leaves Favorites for Everyone
Falling Leaves Unit Study from DIY Homeschooler
– Autumn Leaves Poetry
– Some great fall leaves ideas from  The Homeschool Scientist
– Fall Leaves Ideas for all ages!
– TONS of Fall Leaf Crafty Ideas from 123 Homeschool For Me
Collection of Fall Leaf Coloring Pages–  nice, detailed drawings  
Leaf Identification Cards  (free printables!)  from Wildflower Ramblings

*Why Do Leaves Change Colors Anyway??
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a short video by kids, for kids
Why Leaves Change Colors–  short video explanation from DNews
Why Do Leaves Change Colors–  a simple science experiment from How Wee Learn
Chromatography- Why Leaves Change Colors–  –YouTube  

*And one more favorite 🙂
– Some more fun music for a autumn coloring (HERE), crafting, leafy afternoon
Linus & Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi  by George Winston 

Texas Fall