Tuesday, March 29, 2011

God-Given Gifts

It's easy for some to know what their God-given gifts are. My husband has a computer for a brain, so he is fantastic with computers. {grin}

For me, i have struggled. Over the years i have been told my gifts are in working with children. Ehh... not so much lately. I have also been told i should open a restaurant. Umm... i'm too lazy/picky/chicken/pick one. Then, there's the writing. I've been told i should write children's books. Yeah, well, they're only as good as the illustrator, and that's not my thing, so.... I used to write the newsletter for my small church and they loved it, but it has since closed its doors, so that's that.

Well, so i have this blog. I love to write. (You didn't know that, did you?) I have a lot of opinions. (Kept that a secret, didn't i?) And, i'm starved for an intellectual outlet as a stay-at-home mother of three.

If you put all that together, you MIGHT get one of my God-given gifts: writing... about/for/to benefit children. Maybe. I dunno. BUT - i did it. I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" (i know, i feel like a retired lady with too much time on her hands - no offense!!), and i attempted to shine a little light on Sensory Processing Disorder. After submitting it, i didn't think about it again.

Then it was published. I know it was because i got an email. Then another. Then another. Then another. So i found the letter online, and i decided to share it far and wide. It doesn't answer a bunch of questions about SPD, but it gives a glimpse for people who just don't know that people around them are dealing with this.

If you feel like it, hop on over and have a read. Otherwise, i'll try to entertain you better next time you stop in. :)
http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110328/WILLIAMSON07/303280016/Childhood-disorder-greatly-misunderstood

Many blessings for all of you on the journey.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Aha!: That Magical Moment

I have days when i wonder what i'm doing homeschooling.  Okay, i can't lie, i have weeks like this.  They are scattered about hither and yon, they scurry into hiding places when i try to meet them head-on, they jump out and take me by surprise when i'm not paying attention, but mostly, they make me feel like a failure.

Who do i think i am, teaching these kids?

What makes me think i can accomplish such a lofty goal when i have dozens of unfinished projects laying about?

Why would i add to my already-heaping plate such a tremendous task (times 3!)?

Well, today i got the reminder, the answer to all those questions and more.

My eldest had 'a morning' (she's 11 - use your imagination).
My son required constant reminders (he's 8, so he still loves to play).
My youngest was in 'a mood' (she's 4 and a bit emotional, so...).
We had an extra child today, and she was apparently feeding on our moods (yay: sharing!).

After a lengthy (and exhausting) pep talk with the eldest, lovingly but firmly reminding her of her responsibilities to herself, her education, her family, and God, i poured my energy into the younger kids and left her in the Lord's hands.

That means we got lunch made, we worked on phonics and math (teacher-directed math with 3 kids is no small feat, let me tell you!), and we tidied the living room (i even dusted!).  The eldest arrived downstairs for her i-feel-better-now-Mommy embrace, and we moved on.

So when did i get my answer, you ask??
When my daughter went to God with a clear understanding of her problems and came back focused and content.

When my son learned to round to the tens place and said, "but when there's one that's halfway between the two numbers, like '5' - then what?" before i could even tell him the rule. (yay: critical thinking!)

When my youngest counted the bumps on the math blocks in order to answer me when i asked 'which one is the number 4?'

As if all that wasn't enough, my eldest needed help with her math after lunch, so she came to me with her problem and when i explained it, she said, "that's all? I thought it was a lot more complicated than that!"

Oh, how i love That Magical Moment of Aha!
I guess that's why i teach my own kids - i'm good at giving them Aha! moments and i love to witness them.  God sure knows how to counter my concerns.  What a beautiful day it's turning out to be!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Would You Like Cream With That?

Generally, yes. Until recently, that is.

You see, all my adult life, i have suffered from sensitive skin, so not only was shaving cream necessary to a good shave (yes, THAT kind of cream), but specifically the kind for sensitive skin to ease my pain.

Apparently, i have a skin condition that causes aggravation of the hair follicles, and shaving makes this worse.  So, i have vacillated between intermittent shaving and complete boycott of the practice.  Generally, the boycott takes place in the winter, so no need to be alarmed.

Well, on our recent vacation, i forgot to pack my razor.  It was still winter, so no biggie.  Oh, except for the fact that i was traveling to FLORIDA.  Yeah, um, gonna need that razor after all!  Off to the store i went... where there was a ridiculously pitiful selection (i discovered after i returned that Publix doesn't stock razors in the health and beauty aisle, but keep in mind that i didn't know this during that visit) which included bare-bones, bottom-of-the-line straight razors, cheapies in Woman-On-The-Go packs, and the BOMB: the Gillette Venus Spa Breeze razor for women.  (You know about my disturbed hair follicles, so you can guess which one i chose. Yep, the Cadillac of razors sailed into my basket despite the wince-inducing price tag!)

Upon taking that baby for a test-drive, i learned a marvelous (surprise!) factoid: no shaving cream required! (i know, i know, i should really have read the packaging.)  Alrighty, then, that makes the $10 price tag a bit more justifiable (hey, i told you it was the Caddy)!!  Bonus!

Upon returning home, i figured it would stay in the traveling bag for future trips (never forgetting a razor again!).  However, i kept thinking about how unsafe it would be to leave it in the bag that stays at the bottom of my linen closet... so, i put it on the sink and there it has lived

Until today.

I needed a quick shave to dress for the lovely sunshine-y weather we are currently enjoying (enter: Intermittent Phase), and i spied the 'Breeze - old friend!  And i have to say, it is so much easier and faster to shave with a razor that provides its own cream - no more doing the Shower Shave Dance!  You know the one?? Where you lather up one leg then carefully avoid the steady stream of water coming off the shower head so you can shave every spot before the shaving cream washes away - all while hanging practically upside down with one leg hiked in the air and staying close enough to the spray to rinse the razor in between swipes and keeping your rear and back in the water so you don't freeze? Yep, The Shower Shave Dance! :^)

Well, with the Gillette Venus Spa Breeze, dance no more!! Just SHAVE, doggone it!  Be fast! Be free! Be smooth! Without the cream. (Sorry, Skintastic!)

* i received no compensation for this post. This post is my own opinion (though possibly the exact opinion of others) and i purchased my Venus razor with my husband's hard-earned money. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Some of my blogging friends are doing a series called "Tasty Tuesday" in which we share recipes with our readers.  Since i LOVE to cook, it seemed like something i should take time to do... but which recipe?? Hmmm.

Okay, here's a simple one for those of you who have dairy troubles like we do, and it involves YOUR family favorites!

Chicken Pot Pie
Ingredients:
Canned or cooked chunked chicken
Chicken broth of choice
Cornstarch
Canned and drained or frozen and thawed mixed veggies
Biscuit dough or recipe of choice
(quantities are left out because this is so easy to adjust to your family's size)

So, taking all your favorites (mine are canned chicken from Costco, Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor, canned veggies, and homemade biscuits from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook), you assemble this simple meal in a cast-iron skillet (or deep 12-inch skillet with lid) and dinner is served in under an hour (half an hour if you're really efficient in the kitchen)!

Mix or pour chicken broth into warm skillet.  Whisk in cornstarch (this makes the "cream of" chicken base) and allow to thicken (not like gravy, but almost like a thick stew).  Add chunked chicken, veggies, and salt/pepper to taste (with the Better Than Bouillon, i don't add salt).  Allow mixture to come to a simmer and drop biscuit dough or formed biscuits onto bubbly liquid.  Cover and allow to simmer on low for 20-30 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through.  Serve and enjoy!

I like this meal because it uses pantry staples and no perishables so i can always whip it together for dinner at the last minute (that's actually how i came up with it!).  Plus, when hubby walks in the door, the kitchen smells good and he would never know that i didn't have a plan for dinner until 4:45 that evening! Shh! ;)

Go check out the other Tasty Tuesday entries by clicking HERE.