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Where Am I?

Testing, testing…Is anybody still out there in blog-land? I feel like I need to apologize for not being here myself. But supposedly, you’re not supposed to do that, at least according to the blogging gurus. Well, I gave up doing things according to them a long time ago. SO…..sorry I’ve been AWOL! There are reasons, and I want to explain.

Last time I posted, I was getting ready to go to the AmblesideOnline retreat. I thought I would come back and be able to write a post about all I learned. But life got so busy that I just haven’t had the time to do that. But I can say that it was an amazing time. I am still processing and recalling to mind some of the things I heard and learned at the AO Camp Meeting. I am so grateful that I had the privilege to attend!

One of the main reasons I have not had time to get back to blogging again is that at the retreat I started working with some new podcast clients! I am so blessed to be able to serve homeschool veterans Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins with their new podcast The Literary Life. They needed someone to build a website, create show notes, and help with other behind the scenes technical work. My husband is taking over their audio editing after Episode 4, but I plan to start doing it myself as soon as I am able to afford a new laptop. It is such a joy to get to work with these two amazing women, not to mention getting to listen to their content before anyone else! 😉 And getting to bless my family by contributing to our finances is a gift, too.

Another thing that is taking up more time these days is homeschooling and building local homeschool community. My son has taken some local enrichment classes at the nature park in our town this spring. We try to attend park days with other Charlotte Mason families a few times a month. And now the kids are both in swimming lessons a couple of times weekly. Plus, I am trying to start a Charlotte Mason moms’ fellowship and study group in our part of Middle TN. Real life community always takes precedence over online life, so I have to make time for that.

But as with many good things, there is a downside. In this case, the more time I spend working online for other people, the less time and creativity I have left for my own blog. Since both of the podcasts I am currently working on drop early in the week, I can no longer keep up my commitment to Wellness Wednesdays, even on a monthly basis. I hope that in some future season, I can come back to that, but right now I just can’t. I am also going to take a break from posting our monthly memory work plans. I have a good year’s worth (maybe more?) of those in the archive, so I feel like it is time to move on from that for the time being.

My hopes is that I can continue blogging on a sporadic basis, and probably most of those posts will be about our homeschool or Charlotte Mason/classical education or books, because those are the areas in my wheelhouse in this season. I hope that if those things interest you, you will hang in there with me even in these quiet times. So, all that to say, if you’ve been wondering where I am these days, that’s what’s going on! See you here again, maybe soon!

Retreat, Refresh, Regroup

This week I have been in eager anticipation of the AmblesideOnline Camp Meeting retreat that is taking place this weekend. Even though the retreat is taking place a mere 30 minutes from my house, I am eager for this opportunity to get away from the normal routine of daily life. Being the first time I have ever left my kids overnight since becoming a mom, I do feel a little bit giddy and yet anxious at the same time. I know they will be fine with their dad here manning the ship, but it is still a big first for this momma! It has been a long time since I was on a “girls’ trip” and slept in a bunk room, but I think it is going to be such fun! And goodness knows, I need a little more fun in my life right now!

As a homeschooling mom, I feel a pretty heavy responsibility for the well-being of my children. After all, I think, who else is to blame but me if they don’t turn out okay? I know I shouldn’t carry around all that weight, since I am not the Holy Spirit, and my kids do have free will, no matter how perfectly I might parents and teach. But the point is, I know I need a break and a chance to be refreshed and to regroup now that we are a few years into our homeschool journey. It will be so good to spend some quality time with other moms who understand each other and have similar goals and passions.

The part I am most looking forward to (besides not having to cook or clean for two whole days!) is gleaning wisdom from older homeschool moms who have the perspective I do not. These women have the long view, and I need them to remind me that this is a journey, not a quick walk around the block. I might not see the fruit today or tomorrow, but someday I will be able to look back and see that despite my imperfections, I have been exactly the mother my children needed. And God will use even my mistakes and missteps for His purposes.

So, here I am on the eve of retreat, going over my packing list again, trying to decide how many books I really ought to take, pondering whether to make a batch of flourless brownies or peanut butter cookies (or both!), and wondering what knitting project I want to start and take along to work on during talks. And I am looking forward to this gift of time to retreat, refresh and regroup. I will be back here next week to give you a report on how it all goes!

April 2019 Memory Work Plans

Spring is officially here! But I know that many of us still have cold snap or two in our futures before it really feels like warmer weather is here to stay. Nonetheless, in our area the fruit trees are blooming, the birds are singing before sunrise, and the grass weeds are turning green. This year, with Easter Sunday happening in April, and two family birthdays before that, we have a month full of celebrations and busyness ahead. But I couldn’t forget to create new memory work plans for us, and for you! This is not a particularly thematic set of pieces, so if it isn’t spring (or even April) when you find this, I think you can use it any time of year!

April Memory Work:

Prayer: a portion of “A Song of Creation” (Canticle 1) from The Book of Common Prayer
Hymn: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Folksong: Star of the County Down
Poetry: Barter by Sara Teasdale
Scripture: I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Catechism: Questions 15 and 16 from the New City Catechism (children’s version)
Motto: Family Way #9 from Our 24 Family Ways

Wellness Wednesday: Back to the Basics

It’s another Wellness Wednesday! Here in March the theme for me is getting “Back to the Basics.” Throughout the past year I have made good strides toward better mental and emotional wellness. And I feel okay physically, but not in tip-top shape. I am getting chiropractic care for the first time in years, which is fantastic. But the other day I stepped on the scale just to check in, and WHOOPS! I had gained a few pounds in a rather short period of time. Now, I know the scale does not tell all, but I also know that my clothes have been fitting less comfortably, and I’ve not been moving nearly as much as I need these last few months. So I decided it was time to get back to the basics in the area of physical health.

What are the basics? Well, for me, it means simply eating less and moving more. Over the last months, I have been snacking needlessly, eating when I’m bored or want to reward myself, etc. So in order to keep myself more accountable and aware of just what my body really needs, I am going back to tracking my food on my FitBit app. I also know that I have been “hibernating” indoors and not exercising nearly enough all winter. Even with doing some at home workouts, I rarely was getting enough steps in a day. Now that the sun is starting to stay longer, I am committing to get at least 7,000 steps a day by taking walks outdoors whenever possible. (I never have been able to work up to 10,000 steps, but maybe someday I can get there!)

My hope is that in a month I can get off the extra few pounds I gained last month. And in the month after that I want to shed 5-8 more pounds beyond that to get to my ideal healthy weight. In order to do that and stay at that weight, I will have to be more thoughtful and intentional about my food and movement choices and make this a habit. I have done it before, but I slipped back into bad habits for several reasons. Now it’s time to get back to basics and make healthy lifestyle choices the norm.

How about you? Do you need a little accountability to do the things you know will help you stay healthy? I would love to continue the conversation in the comments!


Want to link up? I would love to read your thoughts on your own health and wellness journey! Follow the instructions below to join the link-up and share!

How to participate:

  1. Write a post on a topic related to wellness, and add your link to the list below.
  2. Grab the Wellness Wednesday logo graphic below and put it in your linked post, also with a blurb mentioning and linking back to that week’s link-up.
  3. Please stop by at least two other participants’ blogs and leave a comment on their Wellness Wednesday posts. This doesn’t take long, and it is really encouraging and helpful for building community and continuing the conversation!

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Click here to enter

The Reading Report, Vol. 19: What Happened to February?

I know a lot of people are glad that February is the shortest month in the year. And I am probably usually one of them. But this year, somehow, February flew by without giving me time to do all the things I wanted to do! It seems like this school year has been extra busy. Or maybe I just have been lacking in my time management skills? Maybe it is a little of both. Either way, I know there is one thing I did a lot of in February: reading. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe that is a bigger part of my problem in the time management department than I would like to admit? Well, let’s not worry about that right now. Let’s just talk about the books I read, because that is way more fun than thinking about all the other things I possibly could/should have been doing instead! Ha!

What I finished reading…

I actually completed so many books last month that I had to consult my Goodreads list because I could not possibly remember them all! So, in no particular order at all, here are the books I read in February, along with star ratings (because you do not want to spend the time to read what I thought of them all, I know!)

Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome * * * *

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck * * * * *

Paddington Abroad by Michael Bond * * * *

10 Books that Screwed Up the World by Benjamin Wiker * * * *

Better Together by Pam Barnhill * * * *

Once on a Time by A. A. Milne * * * * *

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather * * * * *

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare * * * * *

My top two favorite books so far this year have been The Good Earth and O Pioneers!, which is interesting since they both have themes that tie into the land, prosperity and family. Both books gave me so much to think about, which is what great fiction does so well!

What I’m reading now…

I am trying to dial back my personal reading a wee bit so that I can focus on pre-reading a little more. (I’m still behind where I would like to be with that!) But I am also trying to keep one for fun novel going, along with a non-fiction book and a devotional book. For my devotional book, I am still slowing reading The Spiritual Life by Andrew Murray. It is SO good! I have really found some life-changing insights in this very scripturally sound little book. Reading a couple of pages a day is just perfect for pacing, too.

For my current non-fiction, I’m actually trying to read Gladys Hunt’s Honey for a Child’s Heart, instead of just mining the bibliography in the back for books to put on hold at the library. It’s not new information, but it is inspiring to read, nonetheless! I finished The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on March 1, so my new novel is some old kid-lit. We borrowed a picture book retelling of Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field from the library a while back, and it made me very curious about the original. So I am reading and enjoying that one now.

New on my TBR list…

When I am finished with The Spiritual Life, I am seriously considering reading a brand new book by Rachel Jankovic called You Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal with It. I have heard a lot of excellent feedback about this book from people I trust, as well as read a few sample pages which lead me to believe this is an important book addressing our current Christian culture. I will let you know what I think when I get it and start reading!

Until next time…happy reading, friends!