Monday, September 28, 2020

Sabbath School


 Yes, we have completed the first six weeks of school and are taking this week off- a Sabbath week.

Named after the day of rest that the Lord commanded in the Bible, a Sabbath week of school is just that- a week off to rest and regroup after six weeks of school.  Give or take a week! ;)  For example, the next six weeks will bring us to just a week shy of the week of Thanksgiving, which I prefer to take off.  Therefore, our next grouping of school weeks will actually be seven, rather than six weeks, before the next break. shhhh, don't tell!



For several reasons-

We tend to not take many breaks otherwise.  Unlike traditional school, I do not take a day off for things like President's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday etc.  We do address those holidays as a mini history lesson of why they are observed, but I do not feel they all necessarily are due a day off.

We like the idea of work hard and then play hard.  I try to plan a few fun activities over our week's break to celebrate our hard work and give us time to work off steam.

Fewer little breaks allow us bigger breaks when it counts.  Like a week at Thanksgiving, often 3-4 weeks at Christmas, a week of vacation, etc.  At one point our girls were in college and we would schedule our Sabbath breaks around their school breaks so we could just spend time together as a family when they were home with no school books around.  Now that my husband teaches at a University, we will schedule breaks around his school schedule to maximize "vacation" time. 

It gives me a built in teacher planning time.  I like schedules and tend to plan way ahead.  Taking a force time out after six weeks or so allows me to assess what we have been doing, and what has worked or not worked, and then plan ahead accordingly.  Let's face it, sometimes the most well planned plans can go south and changes need to be made.  (Like the year I went to online ABeka Academy for my sanity!)

It allows us to school year round with fewer stress.  Yes, I am THAT mom who schools year round.  Each summer looks a little different depending on our past move schedule or vacation time, but we tend to do some form of school in the summer.  But taking a week off here and there makes it more bearable.

No matter what schedule you decide to follow, don't become a slave to it.  Make it work for you, be flexible, and allow your children to take breaks when needed.  It makes for a more relaxed student, a less stressed teacher, (that's YOU!) and a better school year!

What does your schedule look like?  How have you made it work for you?


Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Quest for Bread

It seems that everyone decided to use the COVID quarantine as a time to master the art of bread making.  I, on the other hand, have been trying to master it for years with little success.  

When Ashton was a young teen she learned to make sourdough bread from her grandmother.  Starter and all!  It is arguably the BEST bread out there.  Seriously.  People would pay her to make it for them.  But eventually we learned she had a severe wheat sensitivity and the days of her supplying us with weekly bread ended.

Oh, I know, I could have taken her place, but I am telling you, that bread is HARD to make and I do not have the skill or the patience that she and her grandmother have.  

So I tried many different, "easier", recipes.  With no luck.  Most were either too complicated or had a crust as hard as a brick.  My boys like soft crust bread they can use for sandwiches.  They would have made bad french men!  Hard crusty bread is just NOT their thing.

There just so happened to be one recipe I had been carrying around for a few months and was determined to try when the virus hit.  Wouldn't you know it- just the same time that yeast became a hot commodity, right up there with toilet paper.

Luckily, Ashton found a way to get her hands on some (yeast, that is) and I got brave enough to try one more recipe.

WINNER!  Like, the perfect loaf of bread.


And not just an anomaly!  Perfect every single time. 

 And my boys LOVE it because it has a soft crust and is perfect for sandwiches.


And toast.

And french toast.

And snack.

You get the idea!

Hey, we all need to have times and things to celebrate!  This is my Covid celebration!

Now, off to find more yeast!



Monday, September 21, 2020

Epic Movie Night

Epic! Not because of the specific movie, mind you, but because our entertainment center came in!!!  In one piece! 

This is what we have lived with for four months. 


OK, for a family that has had one small TV for YEARS, and has not even have cable half our married life, this is BIG for our family!  While we do not watch TV often, this family loves its weekly family movie nights.  It is a time to rest and regroup after a busy week and we hold that time together closely. 


This is what we have now!

Finally!  Did I mention we first ordered the thing in MARCH?!!  Seriously, my patience has been tested. 

Mind you, the issue has not been so much about the entertainment center, though the mess ups in ordering and the continual delays have tried my patience.  The bigger thing for me is I like settled. And organized. And I have not been able to convince my organized crazed self that my living room was done with this wall NOT done!  It literally drove me bonkers daily.  Sad, but true.  

Even when we move, I try to get our main room done ASAP to allow us to have one place of rest and quiet.  A sanctuary in the middle of the madness.  

My sanctuary is now complete!  And I love it!


Who's up for a movie night?


Monday, September 7, 2020


This past week has been a good one in terms of house updates.  Slowly but surely we are making this house ours, but COVID shipping delays are still a battle we are fighting. 

Front door- still not in!

Entertainment center- not in either.

Thankfully the last cabinet for the kitchenette area we are adding downstairs came in, as did the butcher block countertops.  So funny story.  We opened the plastic protecting the butcher blocks to access the "instructions."  There, in step one, it clearly states one must stain or finish in desired way within 48 hours of opening.  Well, that wold be nice to have known BEFORE we opened them!  While that was on our list of things to do, our contractors do not begin work until the first of October so we thought we had some time.  

Seems we only had 48 hours!

So off to Lowes we went today and began staining! 

I LOVE how these turned out and am so thankful for a hubby who worked so hard on them.  

The flooring going in is a darker stain as well so I think they will look good together, while the white cabinets will help keep the area from being too dark.  Any thoughts on possible door knobs?

The other project that got done was a new dishwasher installation.  What looked like a quick project took a bit longer due to the fact that at first it did not fit under the countertop.  After a moment of panic, mine, not Clarke's (who tells the kids and I, Pleasants don't panic), we got it figured out and installed.  We being mostly Clarke.  (I was too busy panicking. shhh, don't tell!)




Excuse the dishes drying on the counter

We knew we wanted to change out the upstairs appliances at some point, but thought it would be a later project.  When it was decided that our white fridge was going downstairs, we knew we might as well replace everything at once.  At once being a relative term, seeing as how while all the appliances were ordered at the same time, only the dishwasher and sink have come it.  The three other pieces are scheduled for delivery in November.

Yes, November.  Don't even get me started.  It's a good thing the appliances we have work perfectly well or we would be up a creek!

Hopefully the sink will get put in this week, but until then we are taking today to rest a bit.  We hear cooler weather is right around the corner- you can find me on the back deck waiting for it!


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

When Your School Day Goes Wrong



How is school going?  How are you doing?  How are you getting it all done?

Most of the kids around the US are back in school in some form or another by now.  While many have started with distance learning online for the time being, some have been able to go back to a brick and mortar school, and most homeschoolers are off to a solid start.

Regardless of how your child schools, some days are better than others.  Teacher's have bad days, moms have bad days, and kids have bad days!  Who can relate?

So what do you do when your school day goes wrong?

Stop and pray!  First and foremost, go to the Lord!  If He has called you to it, He will get you through it. Ask for patience and guidance and then listen for His reply!

Take a time out.  You and your child!  Not as a punishment, but just a time to spread out for a few minutes and regroup.  Sometimes just a few minutes apart will help you maintain a level head.

Switch subjects.  If a particular subject is frustrating you, it is often best to put it aside and come back to it later.  Sometimes we get lost in the details and frustration and some time away helps to clear our head.

Exercise.  Seriously, go take a walk, challenge your kids to a push up challenge, or just jog in place for a few minutes.  Colby and I will often do a few laps around the table in between subjects to get the blood pumping and clear our heads.

Snuggle instead of struggle.  Again, seriously!  Sometimes we just have a bad day.  Pushing through sometimes works, but often times just snuggling up on the couch with your kids is the best remedy.  Hearts and attitudes are healed when we show love. Pull out a read aloud or the Bible, or just share your thoughts.  School books can wait.

Look for trigger points.  There is usually a reason things are not going well.  Is your child's bed time too late?  Too much sugar the night before?  Are they worried about something?  Could they possibly be sick?  We cannot control every aspect of our child's environment, but we are the adults, and we can often adjust our lives to make things run more smoothly.  Before you were the teacher, you were the parent.  Be the best parent you can be!

Give yourself grace!  And then give it to your child.  Remember why you started down this road.  You are not a perfect person and you are not raising perfect children.  Some days are going to go perfectly while others are going to be a constant battle. Ask me how I know!  Give grace where needed and move forward.

Schooling your kids, whether full time or in a crisis situation (virus, anyone?) is such a blessing, but not always without hiccups.  But you CAN do it!

Not every day is easy, but everyday is worth it!  Make them count!