I Love What I Do!

     It was not my intention to be away for so long.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again because it is true in my life, my days are blessedly full!  The Lord has blessed me with work enough to fill my days, and I embrace the work He gives me to do.  Years ago, when I was lured for a time into one of the many party plan marketing businesses, I wore a button on my blouses when I “consulted” at parties.  The button said, “I love what I do, you can, too!”.  It wasn’t wholy true for me at that point in time, and it certainly didn’t last long; but if I had that button to wear today, it would be a true statement each and every day of my life.  I love what I do caring for my precious family, tending to the home and bit of ground the Lord has blessed us with, enjoying my grandbabies, and working with my hands.  I love, love, love it! 

     I mentioned recently that we were in the midst of making some rather big changes in our home’s routine.  Homeschooling, for our family, is more of a way of life than it is an educational choice.  Homeschooling is more than the books we read or the math curriculum we use.  We are in the business of training our children up in the ways of the Lord.  My boys will one day, Lord willing, be husbands and fathers and I want them to be godly men in those roles.  Yes, I want them to be godly men and able to support their families in whatever career they choose as well;  but it is far more important that they are successful in their relationships with their wives, their children and in their churches. 

     However, academics do play a role in all of that, and so I have changed up our homeschooling to better meet my sons’ needs.  There is now much more time spent learning together, the two boys and I.  There is also a great deal more one on one time spent with each of the boys.  My boys are thriving, and I am loving every moment of our time!  The change has been so successful that the boys are completing areas of study more quickly than I anticipated, creating a bit of a frenzy for me as I hustle to put together new areas of study, create new book lists, and research to stay ahead of the game from here on out!  It’s exciting and challenging and fun all at once.  We are learning more, getting more accomplished, laughing together more and enjoying the process entirely.  (If you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to educationally, I try to keep the homeschool module in the side bar updated weekly.)

     These changes have meant, of course, that I am spending more time in the schoolroom (or the front porch or the living room or ……we tend to homeschool all over the place!) than I had been.  Quite a bit more time, in fact.  I have been used to tending to things around my home in between working with the boys on one thing or another.  Now I spend large chunks of time working and learning with my boys, so some changes on the homemaking front were required. 

     I tried, for awhile, to do what I could around the house in the morning and then finish up in the afternoons when we closed the books for the day.  The problem with that plan was that meant I was trying to care for my home at the time of day when my joints had become painful and stiff.  It was frustrating and slow and obviously not a good plan.  I prayed and pondered over a solution that would work for not just me, but for my children, too. 

     What I came up with, and what is working tremendously well for us so far, is that we are hitting most of the day’s chores, as well as whatever weekly chores are needed for any particular day of the week, right after breakfast.  The boys and I share the list for each day from my planner, and I assign them jobs to do from that list.  We are all working together, sometimes side by side in the same room.  The benefits are amazing. 

     This is giving me an opportunity to train the boys in some new-to-them skills around the house.  I am able to tend to the most important work in my home at the time of day that is best for me physically, and it’s more fun when we’re racing around a bit trying to jointly conquer the same list.  We do save a few chores, such as the longer term scheduled tasks (monthly, quarterly, etc.) for after our tea time read aloud, but again, we are working together from the same list. 

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     You might have noticed that I’ve referred quite a few times to “the boys and I” with no mention of my sweet Dani-girl.  Where’d she go???  We put Dani on a plane for Seattle mid-day Tuesday.  We bid her a cheery and teary good-bye and watched her ride up the escalator to the security check point at the airport.  She’s visiting and enjoying the company of a sweet, sweet girl this week and then Dani will serve as a bridesmaid for that sweet gal at her wedding on Saturday.  Dani and Christina have been friends since they were little girls.  I think they were about ten, so fourteen or fifteen years now.  Christina’s family was an air force family, but she and Dani have kept up a wonderful long distance friendship all of these years.  Letters.  Lots of letters.  Phone calls on birthdays, sometimes internationally!  With the advent of free long distance included on most cell phone plans, as well as e-mail and Facebook (don’t get me started on the topic of Facebook!), they have been able to remain in pretty close touch.  What a blessing a long term friendship can be.

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     We also celebrated Aaron’s 15th birthday with a party on Monday evening, enjoying his special day and time with extended family.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     My children have only one living biological grandparent, their beloved PawPaw, but we are blessed beyond measure that Grandma Meg has been a part of our family for twenty-five years!  We enjoyed time in their lovely home a week or so ago celebrating their silver wedding anniversary.  So many lovely memories have been made and continue to be made at family gatherings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     The change in season brings about an annual change in leisure time activities, too.  I’ve always enjoyed watching my children’s choice of entertainment change with the seasons.  The late summer evenings of hide and seek in the dark, have given way to quieter evenings indoors.   My boys pulled the box of Dover coloring books out of the closet and have spent hours coloring.  Do you know Dover coloring books?  They are extremely detailed, printed on quality paper and are enjoyable for everyone.  More than once I’ve wandered through the house wondering where my boys are only to find them at the school room table, diligently working in the Dovers. 

 

 

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     We have also spent hours and hours reading, too.  Finding one or another of us curled up on the couch with a book, or enjoying the late afternoon air on the front porch with a book, is a common occurrence.  I have finished a few books myself, and have begun two or three new ones. (See My Reading Basket on the side bar).  This time of year, with its cooler afternoons and nights that fall ever earlier, always seems to find me with a bit more time to read.  

     I’ve very much been enjoying this blessedly busy fall.  The weather is just a bit warm still, with daily highs in the low 80’s, but the leaves on the trees are beginning to change color and the mornings and evenings are very cool.  This has been a splendid season of enjoying family and planning and restructuring and just praising the Lord as I see His hand at work through it all.  I love what I do!!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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15 comments to I Love What I Do!

  • I took a quick break from making binding and I am so glad I did!! What an enjoyable post, Cheryl! I had one of those buttons too….Mine was more of a brooch of Rhinestones I think, but it said the same thing…I Love What I Do! Attitude is so important in keeping a home.

    I think it is awesome that you changed things around to suit your body. It would be miserable to have to hurt and ache while going about your chores. I tend to work hard in the early morning and late afternoon. Today I have grandbabies so I will work around that!

    Blessings~Bren

  • You are so encouraging to me, the way you say “hold your plans loosely”.  God’s plan so often differs from ours!  I am seeing this so much in the ways our homeschooling days have gone recently also!  Adjusting to each child’s different personality/learning style.  What a blessing it is to be able to do that with and for them!  One of the many, many joys of homeschooling!

    P.S. your side bars don’t show anything today? 

    P.P.s.  I was asking before about the Tasha Tudor shawl you had started.  That is the one I’m working on too!

  • @tjsNana –  Wow!!  A brooch of rhinestones!  Your party plan must have been more upscale than mine. 😉   Working around grandbabies is a most enjoyable occupation.  Enjoy!

    @jengi33 –   If you’re clicking over to read from Xanga subscriptions, you will only get the post page and not my site (which would have the side bars).  If you are clicking to the site and still not seeing the side bars, I’d say to try refreshing or check back later.  Xanga has been a bit wonky this morning for some reason.   Ah…..my Tasha shawl.  It sits, 98% completed, waiting for the delivery of one last skein of yarn!  I ran out just inches from finishing the lace edging!  Bummer!  I’ll post a picture when it’s finished.  It turned out quite pretty.

  • I enjoyed hearing what you and yours have been up to Cheryl; your love of family and home just shines through your writing. I **really like** the way you shared how you think (and pray!) through re-organizing your schedule. I’ve know too many families that have used the “inability” to juggle teaching and homekeeping as their excuse for giving up on home education; it just breaks my heart. I pray your post not only reaches someone in that struggle but also helps them realize that the need for adjustments and changes – sometimes minor tweaks and sometimes major overhauls – is just a part of being a wife and mother always seeking God’s best for her family.  The feeling that something isn’t working and that a change is needed is neither a sign of inexperience nor inabilities; it’s just life!

    Happy 15 to Aaron!!  Praying Dani has a wonderful week with her friend and enjoys the wedding. We, too, love the Dover Coloring books, and I couldn’t help but notice your Prismacolors.  Are they not the best?? It took me a few years of looking at them in the catalogs before I bit the bullet and paid the price. But – oh – they are worth it!

    You are an encourager, my friend; it’s always good to catch up with you!

  • What a lovely, nice and comfy post you’ve put together. 🙂 I so enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you have a handle of your scheduling and schooling! 🙂

    Have  blessed weekend.

  • I do love a good schedule — but it seems mine are in a constant state of flux.  I think God delights in”swirling” us a bit, so we don’t become too dependent on ourselves.  I know He doesn’t like us to become stagnant or stubborn in our plans.  At least that’s how He works with me.

    So, good for you, sensing a change was needed.  I had tears come to my eyes when you talked about having the boys work in the house, alongside you, and teaching them some new life skills during that time.  It is so important for boys to learn these skills, I think.  If for no other reason than to realize how hard their future wives will be working to keep their homes running smoothly.  Learning all that you do, as wife and mom, will foster their appreciation in a new way, I think.  And, of course, should the Lord allow them to remain single to do His work in their lives, they will know how to do many things for themselves.  People will look at them and think, “Wow, what a wise mama they must’ve had!”

    And they’ll be very correct!

    Thanks for the update!  So interesting and thought-provoking, as always!
    Alesha

  • @jcdeputy – Oh, yes, Prismacolor pencils are the BEST!!!  We have had a set for several years, and I’ve replaced a few of the more “popular” colors from time to time.  Just recently I was blessed to be able to order a brand new set of 48 from Amazon for a great price!  What a treat for my boys!

    @SpazzyMommy – It is only by God’s grace that our schedule and homeschooling are working and thriving!  I petition Him frequently for wisdom in discerning how best to run my home and our homeschool.  Keeps me humble! 

    @ObtainingMercy – Our schedule is changed frequently, too.  Changes in seasons or household dynamics (like Dani being away) or my husband’s work schedule all bring about necessary changes to the way the household functions.  I agree with you wholeheartedly, my friend, in that we must never learn to rely on our own wisdom but always lean fully and wholly on Him!  And, oh, what a wondrous, loving, great place that is to be!

  • Hi Cherly,

    I love being a homemaker too. I made your Cheeseburger Soup this week and Dave loved it.Happy Birthday to Aaron.We have been making changes in how we manage our home too. Good to have you back.

    Hugs,

    Elizabeth

  • @elizabethq – I’m glad Dave enjoyed the soup.  You are making some good choices for your family, too!

  • Oh, how frustrating about the yarn!!  I haven’t gotten to the edging yet on mine, but it still is looking pretty!  I will try the sidebars again.  Xanga must have been acting up earlier!  Have a blessed evening!

  • @jengi33 – I was nervous about starting the knitted on edging, having never done anything like that before; but once I got started, it was easy and quite enjoyable!  I’m so happy to hear that your “Tasha” shawl is turning out nicely, too.

  • It’s great that you make the changes you need when you need to, I have a hard time doing that.

  • @Midge8 –  Yes, it is hard; but the results are well worth it.

  • Your days sound blissfully like mine!  I am homeschooling my youngest in his last year – he’s a Senior.  I’m also helping my oldest with Biology as he prepares to go to college again in January.  I really enjoy and am savoring this precious time with my boys.  Before I know it, our homeschooling will be at an end.  I so agree with you – it’s so much more important that they are walking with the Lord and that is their main focus! 

    I love your idea of the Dover coloring books.  We’ve made some changes in our household recently in eliminating video and computer games.  Also, we’ve cut down on the TV time.  Even though my boys are older than yours, I think they would enjoy the detail of the Dover books.  Colored pencils would definitely make them feel like they aren’t really coloring since they won’t use crayons!  Thank you for the idea!

    Oh, I understand about joints and all that.  I have arthritis and it’s certainly changed my life.  I like the idea of getting things done in the AM when I’m more limber.

    Thank you for a lovely post!  You certainly blessed my day!

    God bless you ~ Julie

  • @Julie – My husband enjoys the Dover coloring books, so I’m sure your older boys will, too!!  May I suggest that you invest in a nice set of Prismacolor pencils?  There really is a huge difference in quality, and your older boys will enjoy the ability to shade and blend that the Prismacolors pencils offer.