Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is probably my FAVORITE meal. I prefer a savory breakfast, usually, over a sweet. I do love donuts, but I love scrambled eggs and ham so much more. The problem is, scrambled eggs and ham can take more time and energy than I am willing to commit at 6:00Am!

I TRY to plan ahead the night before and pick a breakfast off of our menu plan for the following morning. BUT, I do often forget or fail to make a plan that night before, so having pre-made breakfasts on hand is ideal for us.

I am not talking about boxed cereal or store-bought instant oatmeal. My kids love those things (and I love the amount of time it takes to open a box and pour!), but the exorbitant amount of sugar in them makes for a rough morning. Just picture five wild animals chasing their prey. Starting school at 8:00 is just a ridiculous attempt after a breakfast of cereal.

So, I plan ahead often and make big batches of foods to freeze or refrigerate. They are not fancy foods. They are not difficult to make. The only serious requirement is time set aside to make them. Most of the time I can make them during naps, unless it has been a rough morning and I just sit and watch episodes of Parks and Recreation to avoid moving or thinking. :)

If you are like me, wanting good breakfasts on hand but don’t want to have to be up super early to make them, check out the list below for ideas of things to  make ahead of time for your family…

Pancakes – I love the recipe from the Economides family. It makes about 48 pancakes. I usually put half in the refrigerator for the next few days and half in the freezer for the following week.

Waffles – We only have a belgian waffle maker. I do not make waffles as often as I probably should. We just don’t enjoy the thickness of the belgian waffles, and they don’t fit in our toaster very well, so after freezing they do not taste super great. BUT, waffles are a great item to make a ton of and then freeze to just pull out and make however many you need.

Bagels – Homemade bagels are so good! Yes, they take more time than pancakes or waffles, but they are so delicious. A good recipe can be found HERE. We typically just make plain ones and add cream cheese or butter and a cinnamon/sugar mix. They freeze well and toast up nicely.

“Instant Oatmeal” – I love apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal. But the amount of sugar and salt in store-bought oatmeals is just silly. It can be made at home and stored in snack baggies to use as individual servings. AND the prep work is not long at all! THIS is a great recipe. If you are looking to change it up a little, add in some ground flaxseed to the oats for more fiber. they can be stored in the pantry, but if you don’t end up eating them in a week or two, I would recommend tossing them in the freezer, especially if you have the flaxseed in there. Just keeps them fresher longer.

Coffee Cake – Ok, ours is more cake than coffee cake, but making a huge pan of it feeds us for three breakfasts and I control how much sugar we have in it. (Yes, I do have control issues.) It is yummy, and the cinnamon-sugar taste is pretty much the best. You can find it here in a previous post. It will keep in a tightly closed container for about a week; I have frozen a few pieces that were left over and heated them in the microwave to thaw, and they were still good.

Breakfast Burritos – One of my favorites. Easy to make – scrambled a dozen eggs, cook and crumble a pound of breakfast meat (sausage, bacon, ham), shred some cheese and throw it into tortillas (burrito size work best). I roll them and wrap them in first one paper towel each and then in foil. Then I toss them in the freezer wherever I can find room. Sure, it may be a waste of paper towels, but when you go to warm them in the microwave, the paper towel holds in the moisture a bit (just be sure to remove the foil!). Yum!

Muffins – I am pretty sure almost any muffins can be frozen, so make up 24-30 and freeze them for easy breakfasts! I microwave mine to thaw and warm them OR you can pull them out of the freezer the night before and let them thaw on the counter. Easy!

Quick breads – Similar to muffins, quick breads make for quick breakfasts. I freeze mine in slices, so they are easier to pull out individual servings of and thaw. After slicing, I wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap then place it in a gallon size freezer bag.

Cinnamon Rolls – Sure, they are pretty sugary, but cinnamon rolls are so yummy especially when homemade! Two ways to freeze: after the rising but before the baking (bake while still frozen before thawing) OR after completely baking (thaw and warm in microwave). Either way works for us; we just like to eat them warm and gooey! THESE are a good batch to make.

Those are some foods that come to mind right now. Do you have anything you make ahead of time for an easy, healthy breakfast??

(Don’t get me wrong here…I still buy cereal at Aldi from time to time, when I just don’t feel like prepping foods or we are having a busy/rough week. I just prefer to be able to feed the family homemade items that I know won’t make the kids bonkers an hour later!) ;)

 

Mac and Cheese Casserole

I love mac and cheese. HOMEMADE mac and cheese, that is. My kids love the boxed stuff, but the cheesiness of the homemade kind makes me so happy. (I may have an unhealthy love for cheese.) I set out to find a really yummy mac and cheese recipe, found one, and then I lost it. I did not bookmark the website, don’t remember the name of the post/blog/site, nothing.

Sooo, I had to come up with my own super cheesy dish that we would all love. I am sharing what I came up with. It is pretty close to the original one I found and used, but I did make some additions like the topping and adding in meats from time to time. You can add shredded chicken or crumbled bacon or taco meat or ham. Or leave the meat out and you have an inexpensive meatless meal!

Mac and Cheese Casserole

1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked

2 cups milk

4 TBSP butter

4 TBSP flour

2 (or more!) cups shredded cheese, any flavor (we have used gouda, white cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. typically a cheddar and gouda combo is what I use.)

topping:

1 sleeve round crackers (like Ritz)

3 TBSP butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Melt 6 tbsp butter. Add in flour and whisk(making a roux). Slowly pour in a little milk, stirring with each addition, until fully mixed in.
  2. When milk is thickening, turn off heat. Add in cheese and stir (with a spoon, not a whisk).
  3. Place cooked macaroni in 9×13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce and stir with noodles.
  4. Smash the crackers (I put them in a gallon size Ziploc bag and then roll with rolling-pin). Mix with butter in a bowl. Sprinkle over mac and cheese.
  5. bake until warmed through, about 10-15 mins. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more cheese, if desired.

Variations – add in a little cream cheese when you make the sauce. Makes it super creamy! I have not measure this. I just add a spoonful and taste, then add more and taste. :) Our favorite style of this dish is with crumbled bacon mixed into the casserole, cream cheese added in the sauce and Parmesan sprinkled over the whole dish after I take it out of the oven. Lots of creaminess and the Parmesan adds a really nice saltiness to the already-salty cracker topping. :)

THIS DISH IS NOT REALLY HEALTHY….AT ALL! just wanted to warn you!

I use almost 3 cups of cheese each time. Our sauce is usually thick and creamy. If you prefer less goopy-ness (not a word), don’t add all of the sauce to the pasta. Save the leftover sauce and use it as a dip with tortilla chips. MMM!

Ok, I am getting super hungry.

Menu Plan Monday

Well, well, well. It’s back to posting my menu plan. I have been doing well with scribbling down a quick menu before I shop, but I need to be more detailed. Figured if I post it here, it will force me to write more specifics. :)

Keepin’ it simple the next week or so. Focusing on schoolwork (since we’re on a new schedule and need to stay focused before our week off!) a bit more, which means I do not want to be running around at 4:00 thinking about side dishes to go with our main dish. So, here’s what I’ve got…

Breakfast

Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal

PB and Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Pancakes x 2

Eggs, bacon x 3

Coffee Cake x 3

Bagels, fruit

Egg and bacon hash

Lunch

PB&J x 4

Buttered noodles x 2

Leftovers x 3

Snack-type lunch (the kids have really come to love these) – cheese slices, crackers, yogurt, carrot sticks w/ranch, fruit

Quesadillas

Dinner

Taco Cups, Spanish Rice, Carrots and Cucumbers with Ranch

Broccoli Cheese Soup, Salad

Teriyaki Chicken, Green Beans, Brown Rice

Bacon Tortellini Bake, Carrots, Applesauce

Pizza, fruit, veggies and ranch

Mac and Cheese Casserole, Salad

Corn and Bacon Chowder, Biscuits, Salad

Fettuccine Alfredo, Salad

Creamy Potato Soup, veggies and ranch, rolls

Biscuits and Gravy, Bacon, fruit

Shredded BBQ Pork Sandwiches, chips, veggies and ranch

Snacks

Brownies

Cheese Crackers

Smoothies

Apples and Nutella

Popcorn

Muffins

Anyone else back in the habit of menu planning? Have anything fun and exciting planned on your menu?? Feel free to share!

Fantastic Lunches!

I have always been happy to not have to pack lunches the night before a school day, since we just eat here 99.9% of the time. No making sandwiches and stuffing into baggies. No remembering to load up lunch boxes in the morning. Yes, I was happy to think less every evening and morning.

BUT, lunch time has been such a hassle lately. Everyone is SO done with school by then (and by done, I mean with their attitudes…not always done with actual work!). Usually the boys have started teasing each other. Someone has cried. OK, like five of us have cried by lunch time. And my patience is GONE!

I read a guest post by Sherry Hayes over at Free Homeschool Deals (LOVE that site/blog!) about using lunch boxes in your home school. I laughed at first because this woman has 15 children, so of course she should use lunch boxes to cut down on lunch prep! And then the more I thought about it, the more I really understood how awesome her idea was. Imagine the time I could save if the lunches were made THE NIGHT BEFORE!

I remember my mother making our lunches the night before and our brown bags or lunch boxes sat on the counter all ready to pack with whatever refrigerated item(s) first thing in the morning, so we could quickly get out the door. I ALSO remember when we were old enough to make our own sandwiches and she’d encourage us to get it ready the night before…and then we didn’t, and we were scrambling around in the morning trying to throw our lunch together. I ended up with lots of cheese and mayo sandwiches, I am sure of it! :) Good thing I liked them.

This past Monday, I finally decided to give lunch boxes a try. There was one problem…We don’t own any lunch boxes! The kids always ask for some during all the beginning of the school year sales, and I always shut that down. Ten dollars (if you’re lucky) a lunchbox….no way! I’d rather save my $50 and order some good pizza for dinner! Even without actual lunch boxes, I was able to find some food storage containers big enough to pack a little lunch in. I should have made this on Sunday night, but since Sunday nights are rough around here I waited til Monday morning to put this together.

My boys watched while I made 5 sandwiches (some PB&J, some just J, some PB&honey), put some little crackers in baggies, some nuts and dried fruits, some yogurt or cottage cheese in smaller containers, and even 5 mini candy bars left over from Halloween. I mean, you can’t have a lunchbox without a dessert!

lunch

This is Ethan’s lunch. He snuck a nibble of his bread before I could package the sandwich. :) The small container has his cottage cheese. So fun!

The kids were so excited to eat how “regular” schoolkids do. They grabbed their box and their water bottle from the fridge and sat to eat and chat. I made a comment about no talking badly about their teacher during lunch. And as soon as I walked away, one of the girls said, “Our teacher is so lame.” ;) Even little Ethan had a good time with his lunchbox. He thought he was hot stuff, sitting there opening everything up like the big kids.

That post was super helpful with ideas for what to put in the boxes. On Wednesday, we had our first day this week of leftovers from dinner. It was chicken taco soup. I packed the boxes with everything but the soup and just warmed that on the stove, dishing it out as they sat and opened their boxes. Easy peasy! It really has made lunchtime smoother. No arguing about who is having what, no order taking. Everyone knows it is already packaged, and they are still excited (granted, it has only been five days!) to see what I’ve packed them. I have started packing them at night because it makes more sense, especially for mornings like yesterday when we had our mom group at church at 9:30, and I was responsible to bring a food dish. I was so glad to have lunch already figured out, and the kids were able to just sit right down and eat when we got home at noon!

It was a fun experiment this week, and I think we’ll keep it as a regular thing. Guess I don’t have to have 15 kids to need a time-saving idea!

 

Memorization

I listen to a lot of podcasts. A LOT.

Until about two months ago, I was not entirely sure what a podcast was…or what I was supposed to do with it! Do I listen to it? Watch it? Both?

Go ahead and call me old now. It’s okay.

 

Anywho, I found podcasts for a woman whose blog I follow. her name is Pam Barnhill, and she is amazing. I have subscribed to her blog/emails for a while now and used some of her lesson planning tools and printables in the past few years. Lo and behold, she does podcasts! She has a whole series of them interviewing different homeschool moms and asking about their day or about a topic they are very knowledgeable about.

One of the people she interviewed was a man, who was very knowledgeable about memorization and why it is important for school-aged children. I forget all of his credentials, but he taught like a million different classes, including the Suzuki method for music. This guy was so informative! He discussed how a lot of schools are moving away from fact memorization for whatever reason, but ending memorizing of facts is hurting our kids. The brain needs repetition to stay strong and memorizing things (regardless of what the things are) is key.

I remember memorizing states, presidents, math facts, parts of speech, Bible verses, and a ton of other things as a child. I have not really pushed my girls lately to do memorization but knew I needed to get back to it and started again just a week or so ago. That podcast was a great encouragement to keep it up! He mentioned that Common Core math is moving away from math fact memorization because it wants to teach the “why” behind the math problems. Teaching why something works is great, but knowing that 6×6=36 is great, too. I still know all my math facts. I can also sing you two songs – one about the US states and one about presidents (although it stops at Clinton…haha).

Now, do I need those two songs? No. Do I need the math? SURE! I used math in my head all the time – at the store, at the library (when paying fines!), etc. Do I sit and consider the “why” behind the math? NO. I just know that if I buy 10 avocados and they are $.50 each, I just moved my decimal one spot to the right and pay the cashier $5.00 (plus the tax I already calculated in my head as well). Simple…..and no one behind me is aggravated because I sat there and drew out a one page paper with ridiculous regrouping. I just KNOW the answer.

is

I have no experience with Common Core Math. I do not plan to experience either. I am just going to stick with how I learned it and go with that. I do plan to force my girls to learn their math facts (we really struggle with this. I bought a DVD for Christmas, though, that tells a story with the multiplication facts, so hopefully that will help it stick in their little heads.) and give them tons of opportunity to use these memorized facts throughout the day.

I feel like I am off-track a bit.

This post is not to bach Common Core. Again, I really have no experience with it, and I only know about it what others have posted (like the picture above I found by searching “common core math picture” just to use as an example). :)

All I really want to say is that memorization is awesome. It really works your brain. And, if you do it right, kids remember these things into their adulthood. I remember the bazillion AWANA Bible verses I learned years ago. I remember the silly songs from school for the states and presidents. I remember silly poems we learned in school, too (like the Jabberwocky…totally useless but still fun to know and recite).

I want my kids to remember things as well. I want them to remember verses, as well as poems and random stories and math facts.

So, here’s what we are working to memorize in the next few weeks:

Psalm 23 – We are almost done with this. The girls, for sure, have it down. Buddy is still working on the last two verses. We have hand motions for it because that helps us (ok, ME) remember things.

The Swing – by Robert Louis Stevenson. Cute little poem. We are only two lines into the memorization, but we are working hard to have it done by the last week of February. We have learned a few other Robert Louis Stevenson poems, and I really enjoy his work. They are very kid-friendly.

States (and eventually capitals) – We have not started this, as I was hoping to find the YouTube video for the song I learned as a child, but I have not found it. I learned them alphabetically, and that is how I want to teach them to the kids. I did find a rap about the states. :) We’ll see what we go with, but I am hoping to have all 50 learned by the end of March. As far as the capitals…we may push that out for later in the Summer.

For my brain, I am trying to memorize more verses. I have really fallen behind with learning new verses, but to keep my brain young and really be able to recall verses for different times throughout the day (tough times, thankful, hurting, etc) and be able to share with someone who needs a specific verse I want to learn more. I have four I am working on, and they are written out on index cards and set in the kitchen…because that is where I end up spending most of my day. :) I like food. There, I said it.

Do your kids memorize facts or verses or anything else? Do YOU? Please share what you all are learning!!

 

 

What To Do When Your Day Falls Apart

I would love to be posting this morning about how beautifully my day went after I poured out my heart about our awful start to yesterday. Unfortunately, I will not be able to do that. Even after realizing my mistakes and taking a break from my children, I still managed to screw up THE.ENTIRE.DAY. I prayed and gave God the battle for the day, and then I took it right back into my own hands.

Seriously. I need a redo on yesterday.

My stubbornness prevailed yesterday morning, and I lost my temper a billion more times throughout the day. Our school day was not enjoyable in the least. I was angry and embarrassed. I do not even know how many times I apologized to the kids for being so mean….and then turned around and was mean again. :(

As I finished up the day, I started strategizing mentally for when we have another day like this (I suspect yesterday will not be the last of those kind of days). Here are a few ideas I have tried in the past and a few I plan to try in the future for how to deal with days that just do NOT go well:

  1. Give yourself a time out. I have joked about putting myself in the corner or sending myself to my room. BUT, removing myself from an angry situation (ahem, that I created) is the best option for me. I have a self-control issue, and when I stick around to try to let go of the anger, it does not work. I am sure most of you have much better control than me, but until I master my anger…removing myself from the situation is the best option for me.
  2. Pray. Obviously, the best way to diffuse a situation is to let God take over. See above about my self-control issue. I am not great at stopping myself to pray right there on the spot, but prayer is an amazing mood changer. It is extremely difficult to genuinely pray for a situation and remain angry about it.
  3. Stop the activity from continuing. Whether we are reading together, cleaning up, cooking, or watching a program, in order to keep from having a grouchy situation become worse we stop the activity completely. Continuing to be together and do whatever it is we were doing does not help our attitudes; we have to completely stop the activity and either separate for a bit or send Mom for a time out. :) This may be exaggerated by homeschool; we are literally together 24/7, so continuing to be around each other is a no-no.
  4. Start a different activity. Ending one activity that caused problems means we may be able to try something else. It is like a form of redirection….for Mom! The experts say to redirect a child that is doing something he shouldn’t. Well, sometimes Mom needs to be redirected to a new activity to get past the bad attitudes formed in the last activity. If we cannot sit through group reading time without me yelling at someone over and over, then I stop and move on to something else. We can always read later…or tomorrow.
  5. Use direct but respectful language to talk it out. I have not tried this yet (again, see above about my self-control issues). I listened to a podcast yesterday from a mom that said they allow their kids to say whatever they want in the home….as long as it is said respectfully. At first I was thinking that would be an awful idea, but as she explained that she wants her kids to feel respected and able to share their feelings, I started thinking maybe that would be a good idea. I want my kids to be able to come to me with any problem, but I don’t let them when my anger is involved. I speak pretty roughly to the kids, in my anger, yet I don’t allow them to really express their anger or frustration. If I could express my dissatisfaction with their behavior respectfully, then they would see how to do it and would be able to share with me why they are worked up…and perhaps it wouldn’t escalate to a yelling match. (You would be correct in assuming yesterday was just out of control. Honestly, it was utterly awful.)
  6. Start acting like someone is always watching. Yes, God is always watching, but does that always curb my bad behavior?? Obviously not. I was reading something a few days ago about treating our children the way we do when other people are around. Ouch! That really hit me. I do not scream at the kids if we have company. I do not use hurtful words. I am miraculously able to control my temper when other people are around. What if I started acting like we always had company?! Imagine how much better I would act and sound. (Is it just me or does that sound really bad?…that I have to pretend someone is here in order to behave?) The point of the idea was to form a habit of treating your children how you should be; if you constantly act as though someone is watching, you will form a habit of treating them that way. It should become a natural thing. After being a mom for almost ten years, it brings tears to my eyes to know I still cannot treat my kids with respect at all times. I really struggle with that.

So, numbers five and six are my “in the future” ideas. I have not tried them, but I plan to use them. The others I have used and they work great…when I remember to use them. Hopefully you found something interesting or worth trying, if you struggle with anger or ruined days. Please tell me I am not the only one!

On a totally different note, Lily just brought me the Aldi egg carton to show me there was a verse printed on the inside. How cool! Maybe the verses have been there all along; I have no idea. I just have never noticed it. What a neat thing to see…a grocery store product with a verse on it. :) And a great reminder for me, as well:

aldi

Have a great day! The Lord made it!!

Big Plans, Big Mess

Good morning!

We have been on such a sickness roller coaster this month! It is almost as if we catch a cold every time we leave the house now, unfortunately. This winter’s weather has been so goofy, with temps up and down (it was just 50 degrees on Saturday!…in January!!), and I know that has confused our immune systems. Two of us had strep two weeks ago. There has been this constant post-nasal drip for several of us. Morning phlegm. Constant coughs. Ugh, it has all just been mostly annoying. Nothing serious, medically; just an annoyance that makes us grouchy a lot of days. It seems every time I make big plans for school work, one of us is so grumpy that is ruins the plans and the day. I know it is preventable…I’ve just been so tired lately that I have been lazy with correcting and getting us back on track.

Yesterday, I again awoke with a sore throat. No redness, no swollen and painful glands (thankfully!!), but it was just so irritating. My nose is stuffy, so I assume my throat is irritated by snot. We went to church, and I drank a lot of warm drinks throughout the day. This morning it is feeling better, but I am sipping broth that just finished cooking a few minutes ago (LOVE the overnight crockpot bone broth….simple and delicious) to keep my throat happy.

As far as school, I have been very casual with our work. We spent several days dedicated to our cooking unit study; the girls and I really enjoyed it, and we learned a lot! After we finished that, we did not do much in the way of science. We have been doing math and group reading consistently, as well as copywork, verse memorization and spelling tests. History and science have been rather quiet, but I am not too worried. Our spurts of those two subjects tend to be pretty intense, so it works as far as information retention. And the kids learn just as much in a week of intense work as they would spreading it out over the month in small times of daily work.

I did make some changes for 2016 that I am hesitant to share, in case I totally fail and then change my mind. ;) But, I suppose sharing will hold me accountable! After several months of reading and researching and praying, I have decided to try schooling through the Summer. That’s right, year-round schooling. I know some cities’ public schools have moved to this type of schooling, but that is not why we are ‘trying’ it. My reason to switch was because we are home A LOT. We do not travel often, and when we do it is on Dad’s days off…which are days we are not intensely doing any school work anyhow. So, we will try it. The plan is to have school about 6 weeks, then take a full week off; this will help me with preparing and gathering materials for the following six weeks. The six weeks works great for library books, since the rental period is 3 weeks, and I can renew for an additional 3 weeks! We will take off almost all of June, then we will take a three-week break in December. Since I am starting this a little late in the year, we will be working for just four weeks, starting today, then take our first week off, the first week of March. We aren’t having a “Spring Break”, but our next week off after March will be April 18. I don’t have an Easter time off planned or any of the typical school holidays (Presidents’ Day, for example). We do not usually go anywhere special on those days, so we may as well just have school and be off when it works for us! Our new schedule still covers the number of days we need as required by the state (and a few more, even, for a nice cushion….since we seem to be ill a lot this year. Ha!).

Another big change for me is in records and physical scheduling. I abandoned my paper lesson plans a few months ago; they aggravated me, and I actually felt so pressured to cram a bunch of stuff in, even if no one was retaining anything. I have an issue with NEEDING to check off all my boxes by the end of the day, regardless of the quality of learning that occurred. So, I did some more reading and looked for ways to still get great learning in and ease myself out of the checklist issue. I came across a blog from a mom that uses the year-round schooling; while reading her thoughts and tips for schooling all year, I saw her mention something about Evernote. I had used it before for personal things – cleaning, appointments, etc. BUT, she went on to explain that she uses it for ALL of her homeschool planning, record keeping, scheduling, EVERYTHING.

If you know me, you know I am NOT tech savvy. In fact, I may be one of the least tech savvy people my age. I probably only use about 2% of my iPhone’s capabilities because I have no idea what things mean and do not feel the need to figure it out. :) And I am okay with all that!

I clicked on the link to her post about homeschooling with Evernote and FELL IN LOVE. Seriously. I surprised myself, to be honest. It looked like so much to learn, but it was SO organized and neatly laid out and…..she even had CHECKLISTS! She incorporated her loop scheduling, as well, which was awesome because I had started doing that with science and history and a few other little things. Being able to move all of my daily ideas and plans into a simple app was amazing.

So, over the last four days (dad was off Thursday and Friday, so we did minimal school work, and I did not have the girls do anything over the weekend) I planned and organized and added everything into my Evernote app, which conveniently syncs my computer version with my phone version on its own (!!), and I was all set to start our day using my cool new method.

And then this morning happened. I am still stuffy. One special daughter of mine apparently woke up too early. My precious three-year old starting pushing all the wrong buttons with her, and BAM! Morning ruined. She was screaming, I was screaming. She was crying, I sent her to bed. I disciplined the three-year old. And I was SO not in the mood to start our Bible reading together right then…even though it was actually 8:00 and that was the time I planned for us to start.

TOTAL FAIL.

I had even continued with my habit of getting up before the kids to read my Bible and pray and get my mind and heart right for the day. And I just let that all go with the first kid explosion.

So, it’s 9:20 now, and we still haven’t started. I haven’t showered. The kids haven’t done any independent work yet; in fact, the girls are huddled around the iPad playing Minecraft. The boys are watching Finding Nemo. And I am okay with it. We needed some time away from each other. I needed to just get on here and type this all out. And I needed to remember a verse I read early this morning, that I even posted on Facebook…

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14

All I have to do is shut my mouth, right? All I have to do is let God. Let Him fight, let Him lead, let Him have our day. And I didn’t do that. I read my Bible, I prayed for a good day, and I completed my mental checklist of early morning activities. BUT, I never surrendered today’s fight to the Lord. Instead, I took on the battle myself and OPENED MY MOUTH. It was not pretty. Screaming at 8 AM is definitely NOT a good idea, in case you were wondering.

I didn’t let the Lord fight for me. And I don’t think I would’ve realized it had we not all stepped away from each other. I think if I would have pushed the school work and forced us all together to read our Bible, while still angry about what had just happened, it would have continued to ruin the day.

So, we took a 90 minute break. ;) And now I am ready to start again. We’ll do our morning time, and then we’re going to the library…..because that is our happy place. The library seriously makes all of us happy. (Plus, I need a bunch of books for this week.)

Big plans CAN mean big mess. Especially if you follow my sad example. BUT big plans can ALSO mean big victories…..as I read in Exodus 14 immediately after that verse. God parted the waters, the Israelites crossed and the battle was over. All they had to do was let God fight for them. All I have to do today is let God fight. Give Him my plans, let Him lead us, leaving our bad attitudes and stubbornness behind. He’ll drown those out and help us win.

Ok, so my example there is stretching the text a bit, but you get the idea. LET THE LORD FIGHT FOR YOU.

Happy Monday!