Month: September 2013

Mmmm: What is a yummy AND healthy dinner salad?

Mmmm: What is a yummy AND healthy dinner salad?

My sister, Cathy, made this salad for us last summer (no photo yet!). It is very simple (if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby), and I love the flavor combinations. You could add different ingredients according to your taste preference. It’s very fresh and satisfying, and…

RTW: How do I manage children’s money?

RTW: How do I manage children’s money?

I went walking with two good friends this morning, and the three of us have big families (if you count 7 children or more a big family). So we love to share ideas! Today we got onto the topic of how to manage children’s finances.…

RAC: What is our greatest privilege?

RAC: What is our greatest privilege?

Bradford familyMy friend posted a link to an article today about a mother (Melissa Bradford) who has raised her children internationally, and lost one to drowning as well. I love what she said at the conclusion of this interview:

“My aim is to enjoy my children right now, to get to know them as great beings, to love and grow and learn with them ­– to mediate God’s love for them in their lives ­– so that they will recognize God’s presence here and now.  That prepares them to stand at any moment in God’s presence. Because that eternal moment can come at any mortal moment. And so I find myself embracing them more, embracing life more, and relishing mortality as a fragile chance to experience joy together. There is so little time, and far too little joy.”

I agree. Lest anyone misunderstand the name and purpose of my blog, it’s not about creating amazing children by creating overachievers. It’s about encouraging us as partners with God in nurturing His children–children who are already, by their divine birthright, amazing. EVERY child born is amazing. Nurturing them, just as Melissa Bradford wrote, is the greatest privilege of our lives.

Happy Nurturing,

Liz 🙂

 

RWM: How can I help my children understand and apply what they read?

RWM: How can I help my children understand and apply what they read?

My sister, Becca, does amazing things with her children every summer in their family summer school. She spends a week at a time on a topic, such as hot air balloons, and they read, watch, and listen about the topic, then create poetry, plays, art,…

RTW: When are they ever going to learn?

RTW: When are they ever going to learn?

Yesterday Sarah texted this photo to me with this caption: “My shining clean sink just like you taught me.” That made me so happy–not just that she cleaned it so it was “shining,” but that she would share her satisfaction with me of a job…

RWM: Children’s educational options

RWM: Children’s educational options

graduation_website

Sometimes as mothers, we look for other educational options different from our current situation. While full-time homeschool is one choice, sometimes part-time school is a more realistic possibility, meaning that our child goes to school for some classes and does other work at home. Or perhaps they do some classes during the summer to expedite their education. I am always happy to find more choices available to fill a child’s educational needs, because children are unique, and some “one size fits all” schooling options don’t always actually fit.

Here’s an option I didn’t know about that I thought I would post, not only because I wanted to share it with other moms, but also so I could remember it for the future even if I don’t use it right now! It’s Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). It looks like it’s not just for a child who is “gifted” but really is just online education for any child. There are math courses, for example, for children K-7. I thought, as I previews a kindergarten math lesson, that my children could have completed the preview lesson in preschool. So I’m sure you would look at what level would match your child’s current level of progress and understanding.

Another online education source is BYU Independent Study. There are middle school, high school, and college courses available. We’re going to be looking into this soon for one child.

I’ve come to find that educating a child via the public school system has its challenges, just as it would if I were homeschooling them. And in talking to some friends who sent their children to private school, it sounds like no one choice is ever exactly tailored to a problem-free experience. So I’m grateful for options.

Here’s another option locally that we’ve been using and appreciating: Northridge Learning Center. If you are a high school student in our school district (you can’t start on packets until you have finished 8th grade), you can purchase a packet (which equals .25 credits or essentially a quarter of a year) and complete it at home. Some packets are extremely easy to read, do, and finish via a test. This gives us a great option for moving through some of the classes that otherwise are somewhat a waste of time. Or we can get classes done that we are interested in taking but don’t need or want to spread out over an entire semester. A child can graduate early from school or use the time pursuing talent development or pre-college preparation at a training school. My neighbor’s daughter, for example, was able to get some medical training during her senior year at a discounted cost because she had finished enough of her credits otherwise. This allowed her to earn money while going to college using these medical training skills.

We’re very fortunate to have options as mothers to help our children “get all the education [they] can.”

Happy Educating,

Liz

SOS: What gives me energy to push

SOS: What gives me energy to push

Just after I finished my post about the labor of going back to school, I found and watched these three short videos. I realized that these videos beautifully describe what keeps me going. They describe how I access the energy that Christ gives me, allowing me…

Are we there yet? The labor of going back-to-school

Are we there yet? The labor of going back-to-school

Transitions always bring blessings and challenges. Getting a family back-to-school is a major transition, and I know from my own feelings and from speaking with a number of moms this week (our third week back to school) that these transitions can feel pretty overwhelming. I…

Mmmm…: 7 years ago…

Mmmm…: 7 years ago…

Seven years ago I was doing the same thing I am right now: sitting in my room, reveling in a chance to write without distraction while Lane rallies the children in making my birthday breakfast.

Heaven!

But a lot has changed in 7 years.

We aren’t changing any diapers or wipes!

We’re just about finished with car seats!

Everyone can read, write, sing, laugh together, and play a song on the piano!

We have a child in college and another getting ready to submit mission papers!

Everyone can shower themselves!

We almost have 3 more drivers, and our youngest just learned how to ride her bike without training wheels just this morning on my birthday ride!

Anna on bike
(Check out the cowboy boots!)

In the years since 2006, I can say that learning to be a mother is a lot like learning to ride a bike: it can be scary, but once you get the hang of it, you start to gain some confidence and realize, “I can do this!” And you recognize that you don’t have to be in the Olympics or wear a sleek biking outfit to have fun riding, and that it’s so nice to be out in the sunshine and feel the breeze on your face and have someone to ride with.

You want to share your experience with others!

Seven years ago on my birthday, one of my daughters burst upon my writing oasis, distraught from an argument she was having with a sister. I could see that this daughter was blaming the entire problem on her sister when, in fact, she had had a significant hand in creating the problem.

An idea came to mind.

I had her tell me what happened–what she did and what her sister did, as factually as she could manage–and I wrote it all down on a piece of paper. Then I crossed out everything her sister did and had her look at what she had done. It was then that she was able to see that she had helped create the problem. It was an epiphany, for both of us! She said sorry and went to say sorry to her sister. I was delighted! I wanted to share this victory with other moms!

That was the birth of this blog.

My husband bought this URL, and then 6 years later, I started blogging on it.

What happened in between September 2006 and September 2012 is another story.

How grateful I am for the gift that Lane gave me back then of believing in me enough to put some money on the line. He believed in me then, and he believes in me now, and that means a lot.

There are a lot of “mommy blogs” that have been born in recent years (about 3.9 million, according to one source). So I’m just a drop in the bucket. That’s OK. I still love writing about motherhood, and I still have a desire to share and hopefully encourage another mother along the way, just like all those nice bikers who passed Anna and cheered her on as she wobbled along.

When it comes to motherhood, I’m still learning how “to ride.”

And I’m still takes my breath away!

Happy Mothering,

Liz 🙂

P.S. The one thing I haven’t figured out is how to get moms to comment. Any ideas?

RWM: Miracles on Maple Hill

RWM: Miracles on Maple Hill

Just today I was thinking that one of the lessons I learned from getting quite sick nearly 7 years ago was that for mothers, there is only one person who is in charge of taking care of mother, when it boils down to it, and…