Manic Monday->Evernote Sanity


I shared a little last week about how I use my Happy Planner. I love pretty things. Pens, paper, stickers, decorating, etc. It’s time consuming sometimes. Sometimes I need to be able to jot it down while I’m on the go and I also need to be able to share information with my husband immediately. I also need a safe place in the techno world to save vast amounts of information that is shareable with other places in the techno world. 

My husband loves Evernote. He uses his for so many different tasks, parts of life, jobs, notes, etc that it’s like a living log of his life that will forever record everything about him. He sold me on Evernote. 

I have used it for everything from homeschool planning, task lists for my children to check off themselves, grocery lists, our budget, files for pictures of our children’s artwork (that we can then trash!), planning my business classes and parties, and a safe place to store functional ideas from Pinterest. It’s a one stop shop. All saved. 

It also has a handy feature where I can create notebooks that can be stacked and notes within the notebooks. Um, organizing junkie dream. 

If you haven’t looked into Evernote, there is a minimal version for free and I’ve survived on that alone for 3 years. It’s worth a shot! 

My husband utilizes Evernote so well, I decided it was a great place to share love notes! I created a note and shared it with him. He doesn’t have to keep up with cards and such, and I can post cute graphics to go along with my notes! 

We have some serious health issues, so we also keep track of our medical visits, tests, results, bills, etc in Evernote. 

It’s become a one place stop for all of our records.  

Here’s a screen shot of an overview list when I click on notes. I can save pictures, notes, links, etc. It also has an option to “pin” from the web!

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Motherhood as a Ministry

matthew 16

 

I am reading a rich book alongside Scripture. It is geared towards home education, but mostly what I’m drinking deep from this book is the hard truth regarding discipleship of my children. I will be doing a series of blog posts to share with you what I’ve gained from this book and how it has nestled into my heart concerning my role in biblical parenting.

These are my personal thoughts from reading “Educating The WholeHearted Child” by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.”  John 12: 24-26

This verse appoints to us the necessity it is to account for the cost of ministry, given that we have acknowledged our role in ministering to our children. Although they’re discussing home education, I couldn’t help but dwell on the great ministry I have to my children. We have chosen for me to be a stay at home parent since my oldest son (5 year old now March 2016) was 6 months old. After the first month, my husband noticed a gigantic shift in my countenance. He asked if I was doing alright. I told him I was going to pray for definition, but that I didn’t FEEL alright. We were able to talk through my newest disposition and nailed down than my downtrodden appearance was negligence. Of myself. I quickly learned to discern when I needed time to refresh and recharge, but also learned that wasn’t going to be a consistent reality. I learned to find those opportunities even in the presence of my children because my calling was to model Christ to them and He wasn’t about self. In a culture that is screaming at us “you deserve _____” or “be true to yourself”, parenting in a biblical effort means we understand Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart is deceitful above all things”. We can lean into our heart or feelings when discipling and disciplining children. Those two will lie to us and steal the future healthiness and wellness of our children.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will rewards each person according to what he has done.”  Matthew 16:24-27

There is a cost to parenting with Christ in mind and goal. We make decisions and sacrifices with great prayer and focus in order to lead our children to the mind of Christ.

In our decisions, consistency and commitment are among the most important.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation wile the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14: 28-33

It’s a desperate moment when our children’s hearts are bent against Christ because they are caught in a battle of the spirit and flesh. That desperate moment when we waiver whether we are going to swiftly address their heart issue or if we’re going to let is slide because it’s the hard work. The hard work of being committed to biblical discipline and discipleship is what will produce the children we (as parents of young children) see in the teens and their parents relationships that we hunger after for our families in a few years. We watch our mentors and friends with high school and college children who have healthy relationships with positive life choices and love Christ and desire that for our families. It takes the hard work of ministering to our children, making sacrifices, and being committed.

 

Starting Early

It’s not quite January yet, but with the loot we got for Christmas-it’s time to reconsider how I have our home organized.

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We have several different areas for our boys throughout our house. We very much want our home to be welcoming and not completely overrun with toys. We try. To make these areas attractive to the kiddos, but blend into out home.

I will post a home tour this week of our different areas for the kids. For today, here are a few first steps to our organization.

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I am addicted to Melissa & Doug toys. I’m an educator at heart and love the learning aspect of these toys. I also love that I can integrate playful elements like these toys into our homeschool. Another bonus, their first is quiet activities for their bedrooms. The only drawback of M&D toys is that they come packaged in wooden boxes without lids. That makes them clumsy to stack & easy to lose parts. These IRIS scrapbook cases go on sale at Michaels frequently.

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This is just one small area of our playroom. We are keeping it simple and adding a few elements of change over a few days so I can train them in keeping it picked up. This cubby stores our big play sets with their accessories in gladware in the bins under eat each set. There is a Paw Patrol look out tower with the dogs & their transportation in the bin underneath. An Imaginext Rescue City with its TONS of accessories in a gladware and 3 vehicles in the bin under it. There is an Octopod and all of its accessories in a bin underneath. We will be adding to the other cubbies soon. For now, this keeps them busy cleaning up and putting away after dinner.

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We have a LOT of sensory materials. This is our newest. Kinetic sand! It’s incredible. We got several different colors and definitely want to keep them separate. The top part has some little molds we were given with the sand. I also pull out the cookies cutters and play dough accessories.

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And lastly and most importantly, our homeschool area!!! The shelves are from ikea and are attached to the wall. The bins are from ikea. The center is from Lakeshore Learning. This is the hub where all of our literacy and math is stored. Alpha pops, matching, games, all craft supplies, and curriculum.

I hope you enjoyed this! Leave a comment if you were inspired. I’ll be posting more of our home as well as areas where some of this is stored. We’re joining our boys’ bedrooms this January, so everything in their rooms is getting a shift!

…walk humbly with your God

i love this. YOUR God. He’s personal. He works in tangible ways. His character doesn’t change, but He brings change around us and in us. and it’s our opportunity for relationship building to walk humbly with Him…through change.

people (especially women) say “i hate change”. of course we do. our insecurity loathes change. we just figured out “this” and we just figured out how package ourselves in “this” to look like we want to look and appear how we want others to see us. but, of course, the Lord is going to change that up because our “pretty package” is not what He intends out of our relationship with Him. He asks for righteousness and relationship. and He brings both by bringing change. that’s how we’re sifted. and when we’re sifted, the rough edges diminish (but only a little in various places of our hearts at one time which means it has to happen on a continual basis because our personalities and flesh are always evolving).

so. while i’m on the subject of change. we’re changing. students go back to school next week. wednesday night is our annual “on campus portico” and then portico tuesdays start up! wednesday nights at first start. tuesday morning women’s bible studies start. thursday night college girls bible study starts. a new facet of our ministry, the joshua project kicks off. thursday morning mops starts. homeschool preschool for drake starts. holt (those of you who know our sweet holt know there needs to be no more explanation. he’s a firecracker). sunday continues with our portico lunch and lifegroups! saturday tailgates start.

i’m usually counting down the days until september so i can decorate for fall! speaking of change. it’s amazing how quickly priorities and interests can change. i’m not so thoughtful on fall decorating as i am getting my family ready to maneuver this semester with as much grace and peace as possible.

so here are few of the many ways i have been pushing hard to have a manageable, yet busy schedule that will allow for all of the unplanned interruptions i’m confident we will experience!

Sarah Johnson and I did this crockpot freezer meal preparation which required a LOT of work. But, has already paid off! 20 meals including shopping and prep and they’re all in the freezer!

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i made this amazing menu board to go along with all the recipes i know and have already prepared. Image

I made a homemade planner to meet all of our needs. i used the following printables and blogs.

a perpetual calendar found here Imageand calendar prints from here

Imageand i got everything ready to start pre-k at home with Drake!

just a FEW of what we’ll be doing

PRESCHOOL FUN

we’ll start off with a calendar that resembles all mickey mouse fun found at live laugh love here

we will talk about ABC’s and start with some small reading curriculum found on confessions of a homeschooler here

and we’ll talk about the weather from teaching mama here

and there are TONS more of what we’ll be doing but those are just a little look.

we can’t plan for everything. but when we know change is coming we can prepare our hearts for change, set our spirit to be flexible, fix our eyes on opportunities, and our minds towards peace and grace.

i’m ready. fall, you’re welcome here. Lord, give me grace. and give me wisdom to lead my sweet little boys towards understanding and mercy.