Reboot, Refresh, Succeed!

Are you afraid of failing? Don’t be. There are some amazing examples of “beauty for ashes” throughout history–Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein!

You are going to enjoy life and homeschooling so much more if “fear of failure” isn’t such a big deal. It’s totally fine if you fail. It’s really not a big deal if you try something and it doesn’t work. It’s fine if you take a risk and the results are messy. It’s okay to do something that is less than perfect. It’s fine to not be that girl who seems to have it all together. Fear of failure is just going to hold you back from living life to the fullest.

Why do we think it’s a big deal to make mistakes? Because we went to school, and we were shamed by our poor grades and our misspelled words and our test scores. We were taught that the worst thing you can do is…. try and fail. I fail at stuff all the time, but I’m over it. I don’t like messing up, but I try and sometimes things do turn out wonderful.

If you want peace in your mothering- live your life from a place of grace and courage, with love! You don’t need to be driven by fear of failure because failure is totally okay. That’s how we learn! So be okay, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s better to erase fear of failure from your motivations. Keep trying, pursuing, dreaming!

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint,

and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

When you are feeling stuck because you are afraid to fail, just tell yourself that it’s actually not that big of a deal. You are resilient. Your kids are resilient. Everyone will be fine, and you will be a better example to your children if you are motivated by things like love, curiosity, faith or creativity… even if you don’t like the result EVERY TIME.

Everyone fails…it’s important to show our kids an example of what it looks like to fail well. When something doesn’t work out, it becomes either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Show them how to step up and forward with courage and grace!

Time for a refreshing reboot? Grab your favorite relaxing drink, one of our Art Logic Therapy journals, and find a cozy corner for a little while. It will do wonders for refocusing your perspective!

The “Why” of Mom-Schooling

Mom-School happens when you remember who you are through your passions, your interests and your needs. You fill a basket with learning tools for yourself, then in your free time you dig into your Mom-School Basket, read a book or watch a tutorial about something you want to learn… instead of watching TV, Netflix, or cruising Facebook.

Mom-School energizes me while the children curiously look into my basket, watch me learn, see me grow… and they discover that I am not just their mom, but a woman with dreams, goals, ideas, needs and desires.

They see me research and join me for an online class, they flip through my Mom-School Journal and see my careful efforts and beautiful handwriting. They see me as someone who is curious, they see me as a detective, an explorer, a creator, a follower, a leader and a friend.

Mom-School is waking up with ideas, and being full of wonder. It’s problem solving and crafting, it’s higher education or a new recipe.

Mom-School is remembering who you are in the midst of the busy season of mothering and holding on to your dreams so your children will be inspired to become who they were created to be, because they are basking in the example of you.

Mom-School is refreshing and calming, and it’s worth your time and mine. Mom-School is empowering to you as a woman and sets the stage for your children to follow your example because you make learning look so delightful.

Join our Mom-Schooling Facebook group here!

Sarah’s Mom Tips: “Important” vs. “Necessary”

This is a very handy tool for mothers.

Just TWO simple definitions:

The problem with being a homeschooling mom is that we feel so driven to accomplish the things that are defined as “Necessary” that we often push the “Important” things off our plates and procrastinate.

We MUST focus some of our time and energy on the things that are important, and therein you will find JOY!

If your life revolves around doing the things that you “HAVE TO GET DONE OR ELSE!” your life will be full of stress and anxiety and this feeling that you are doing SO MUCH but you don’t have time for what matters.

So often the “Necessary” things wear us out and keep stacking up. Tell me what is SO important about the IMPORTANT things and why is it NECESSARY to focus on the IMPORTANT THINGS TOO?

“Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate”–good words to consider when weighing this question. Ultimately, what is the lasting thing that I should invest in with my energy and focus?

One important thing? Self care. Your making self care a priority teaches them to do the same.

The Days Are Long, but the Years Are Short

Grandad and Anna (4)

We all have moments and seasons that we look back on and wonder how we made it through. Enjoy one of my Facebook posts from a decade ago…

I found a journal from 2004 – Moms – you need a laugh… I had a made a list of all the “toddler trouble” Anna got into in one week.

The Setting: Rachel is one month old. Estera is 1 1/2, Anna is 3, and Isaac is 5.

Anna’s Top 20 for the Week of May 5th 2004:

1. Anna mixes ice-cream, sprinkles, popcorn and cat food.

2. Anna plays with a slug until she kills it.

3. Anna gets baby out of swing all by herself.

4. Anna glues paper to the floor.

5. Popcorn dumped all over floor.

6. Anna & Estera put celery in the potty.

7. Anna dumps Wheat Chex into bath tub.

8. Anna makes art with peanut butter.

9. Anna cuts her hair.

Remnants of an experiment…

10. Anna spreads glue stick all over.

11. Anna dumps the chalk twice and eats it.

12. Anna paints and colors everything but the paper.

13. Anna sprinkles poppy seeds all over the house.

14. Anna goes bug hunting.

15. Anna sneaks off with a plate of spaghetti, and decorates house with it.

16. I look out the upstairs window to see diapers scattered all over the roof – Anna?

17. Anna sneaks away with the popcorn popper and knocks over a large glass container, shattering it all over the laundry room.

18. Anna removes ink stick from a red marker. Anna fills a container with water, adds the red ink stick, makes red water.

19. Anna spills red water all over the house.

20. Anna gets the ice cream, all by herself.

What was I doing while Anna was making all these messes? I was nursing baby, homeschooling Isaac, recovering from birth, and cleaning up glass, wheat Chex, peanut butter, glue stick, chalk…

The saying is so true…”The days are long, but the years are short!” Cherish each moment you can. Today, Anna is a beautiful, talented, inspiring young woman. You will survive, and they will thrive. Stay faithful, mom friends!

See this post for some survival tips! See this one to read an update on Anna today!

Mom-School Art & Logic Therapy

Sarah’s Survival Tips!

Bad Days. We all have them.

Here are some ideas for how I try to turn a bad day into a good day.

1. Turn on “Just Dance” for the kids on YouTube.

2. Don’t try to do school as planned. Find a funny way to repurpose a page in a workbook or Fun-Schooling Journal. Let your kids turn the Nature Study page into a Zombie Study page.

3. Take a break from everything that is stressing anyone out.

4. Get out of the house, with or without kids. Preferably without. Haha!

5. Get out a board game or UNO. If you want the older kids to be busy for a long time offer a nice prize to the winner of the Monopoly game.

6. Turn on Secret Garden – White Stones.

7. Assign each big kid to play with each little kid, and escape.

8. Let the kids bake something.

9. Light candles and ask one of the older girls to make tea for two.

10. Sit in the corner and cry. And then find the chocolate. And then color in a Mom-School Journal.

12. Read a blog post by an inspiring person, like deeprootsathome.com

13. Ask husband to take a bunch of kids to a park. (If you are a single mom, reach out to grandparents or fellow mom friends for a swap play date…and then return the favor!)

14. Get everyone outside for Nature Study.

15. Make an early dinner.

16. Tell the kids that we will have a movie night if they get the house clean, and turn on the happy music while they work.

17. Snuggle on the couch with littles and read Goodnight Moon. Or read “Christian Heroes – Then & Now” in the living room while kids work in their Fun-Schooling journals.

18. Send a group of older kids to the corner market to get ice cream for everyone.

19. Figure out how to turn tonight into a date night.

20. If all else fails, ask husband to put the kids to bed early. Then clean your room really nice, set out a treat, light a candle, turn on peaceful music, ask husband to bring the wine, lattes, or fresh squeezed orange juice. Be sure to sweetly ask husband to get the kids to bed while while you take a long hot shower. In this case HE WILL do what it takes to get the kids to bed early!

What works for YOU? Share in the comments!

Embracing Your Calling

This is me, “living my worst nightmare” (just kidding) speaking in front of 500+ people. Why does God call us to do things that make us so deeply uncomfortable, yet are such a blessing to others?

Let’s talk. What is holding you back from fully embracing your calling?

And FEAR doesn’t count.

If fear was your answer, in any way, shape, or form, give me a better reason why you are not totally living what you believe. You were put on this earth for a specific purpose and anything less is not acceptable. If you were called by God to accomplish something you will need to answer to Him alone for not doing it.

I promise, answering me is easier, and may be a first step toward living out your calling, because I’m going to pray for you to have everything it takes, especially the courage, to move forward!

If nothing else, get a book about someone with a similar calling who overcame all the odds and did it. Also, some dreams are not “realistic” and you gotta know when to let go and accept your limitations. But a calling is different from dream because when you take a step out into obedience to God, and start to take risks of faith HE WILL do everything within HIS power to provide, equip and protect you in this calling.

Maybe you are not a leader. Then get behind someone who is already carrying out a similar calling. What do you have to lose?

Is the problem “no support from your family”? Get down to the root of this issue. If you are married you should develop one vision for your purpose, and do the thing you both agree on! Don’t stay focused on the parts you don’t agree on. Build on common ground.

Are your parents holding you back because of their personal fears and failures? Are they trying to keep you SAFE in THEIR comfort zone for their “peace of mind”? Are they keeping you from fulfilling YOUR calling because it’s not quite what they had in mind, because you are all they have and they don’t want you to take any risks???? Honor them by fulfilling God’s calling. Go in faith.

After the event in 2019 in the photo at the top of this post, I heard many many stories about how hope was given, lives were changed, families were empowered to make brave choices… I stepped out of my comfort zone, and God blessed. And by faith, I’ve done it again since.

What’s holding you back?

Best Tip for Busy, Unromantic Moms

I have 15 kids and own a Publishing Company. I’m busy!

But not too busy for investing in marriage! Here is a bit of advice that will light up your love life. I try to keep our bedroom as a peaceful and romantic retreat.

By making the bed every morning and not letting our nest become a laundry pile or stowaway zone… we can have a place of relaxation and comfort at the beginning and ending of each day. Store laundry and kid-junk somewhere else. Sweep and vacuum often.

Only keep what inspires peace and delight in your special place.

Moms, make your room as uncluttered and beautiful as can be; you will be much more in the mood to enjoy your space with your husband if it’s pretty.

Even if the whole house is a kid-mess, make your room amazing. This room should be a first priority, but most woman make it the last. It’s easier to just shut the door.

Husbands will be more peaceful and content with the condition of the whole home, if he can count on the bedroom being a place of rest and romance.

Don’t let your bedroom become the place where all the junk is tossed when we clean the rest of the house. Make it beautiful today. You will find so much peace in this. When you go to a beautiful room at the end of the day, you might even feel like your work is done because your room speaks beauty and rest to your heart and mind.

Your might actually feel more romantic at the end if the day if your room is a place or peace. At the end of the day turn on peaceful music, light a candle, and enjoy the evening.

Sarah’s Mom Tips: Learn This Poem!

Getting started with Fun-Schooling? Here’s one important tip:

For every element of FUN that you ADD you must take away something that is boring, or irrelevant or frustrating to you or your child. Just adding Fun-Schooling can feel like eating dessert too quickly after getting over-stuffed with a triple plate of Chinese food. You are going to love Fun-Schooling, it can bring so much peace, joy and delight to your days. 🙂

Don’t forget Mom-School, being an example is your most powerful tool as a homeschool mom.

Memorize this poem…

“For each new element of FUN

Something DULL must be undone!”

Sara’s Mom Tips: Top 12 Beauty Tips for Busy Moms!

Busy mom, are you so busy taking care of your family that you have forgotten to take care of yourself? Did you wake up feeling beautiful, energetic and peaceful this morning? No? Did you know that tomorrow can be different? Here are some of my favorite beauty tips to help you thrive again. 

1. There are two things you can start doing this moment that will help you look and feel more beautiful.

  • Smile 
  • Improve your posture.

2. There are two things that you can do that will make all the other beauty efforts fade:

  • Put a frown on your beautiful face.
  • Slouch.  

3. I use organic coconut oil for everything.  Cover yourself in it from head to toe after a hot shower at night then sleep. This oil will renew your skin and does not make you greasy or clog pores, it also heals skin problems.

4. Change a few eating habits.  Eat more whole grains, fresh fruits, and natural meats and veggies instead of processed and packaged foods. Read labels. If you can not understand the list of ingredients, don’t buy the food–it might be packed with chemicals.  It is best to put good food into your body, as your body is constructed from the food you eat.  If you want to be beautiful, eat beautiful, colorful and natural foods.

5. Do not poison your body. Avoid high fructose corn syrup and white sugar. These things cause countless problems and make you look and feel zapped!  Say “No” to sugary drinks and soda. Avoid fake sweeteners. Scientists keep finding out that fake sugars cause cancer, and who wants cancer?

6.  If you love ice-cream, cheese cake, lattes and chocolate as much as I do, don’t deprive yourself 100%. That is not fun.  Limit treats to 2 or 3 times per week, but never 3 days in a row. Save treats for special occasions. When you indulge in sugary snacks three days in a row it is easy to start a sugar addiction, and day 4 will be one of irresistible sugar cravings. So just limit your treats, and enjoy them occasionally.

6. I drink fresh, unprocessed whole milk from grass-fed cows and use lots of Kerry-Gold Butter.  These amazing dairy products are pure and rich in nutrients.  These are the nutrients that will rejuvenate your body and help you recover from the weight gain and stretching of childbirth. If you have the nutrition your body longs for, the cravings will stop, and you will not need to over eat. People often feel hungry, and have cravings because they lack the vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and enzymes that are found in raw milk.  When I am enjoying fresh milk and real butter I feel my best, and my energy is very consistent. I started drinking fresh milk right after the birth of my 3rd child, and my recovery and weight loss was rapid. Recovery was much harder with my first two children, because I had a normal American diet. 

7. When you wake up tired and cranky you are not going to shine.  If you are not getting enough rest, do this before bed: Drink about 10 ounces of water mixed with 2 Tablespoons of Liquid Chlorophyll and take 4 Wild Salmon Oil Capsules right before bed.  This combination will renew your body overnight. It also helps with weight loss after the baby, and is the best fertility booster I know of.  The nutrients restore the whole body and also helps to heal the reproductive system from harm caused by birth control or poor nutrition. 

8. If you eat nutritious foods, don’t worry about wearing out your body through pregnancy and breastfeeding. God’s design is perfect and babies are a blessing.  When you are nurturing new life, your body produces beneficial hormones to help your baby thrive and at the same time your body is rejuvenated and revived in the process. Most of the women I know who have large families are fit, youthful and vibrant. 

9. Don’t do the things that are proven to ruin your body: smoking, drinking more than one cup of coffee or wine per day, eating too much sugar, taking unnecessary medications, and using hormone altering birth control.  All these things damage your body. Find something better to do. Don’t settle for less than the best. You are worth it!

10. Drink a lot of water.  You know this, so do it.

11. Spend time in the sunlight and in the moonlight. Watch the stars, spend time in nature, plant a garden, camp, go outside without shoes on. Do all these things with someone you love, and the benefits are double! 

12. Live a life worth living! Ask yourself these important questions, and give yourself honest answers:

  • Am I where I belong in life? That means: Am I following my calling? Am I becoming who I was meant to be? Am I close to God? Am I being wise and loving in my relationships? 
  • What are my goals? If married – what are our common goals? 
  • What am I doing right now to reach those goals?
  • Have most of my life decisions been fear-based or hope-based?
  • Is my life headed in the right direction? If not, should I get off at the next stop and catch a different train that will take me to the right destination?
  • If I start over, change direction, start something new, or begin now to work toward my calling, dream or goals:
  • What is the WORST that could happen? Is the WORST worth risking?
  • What is the BEST that could happen? Is the BEST worth risking?
  • If I know I need to turn my life around or make an important change, what will I lose by not taking action?
  • What could my life look like in five years if I make the changes and work toward my goals, dream or calling.
  • What could my life look like in five years if everyday was basically a repeat of everything that happened last week?
  • What is holding you back from fulfilling your calling, living your dream or pursuing your goal? Is the thing holding you back more precious that your dreams, goals and calling.
  • Use the Mom-Schooling journals to record your thoughtful answers, and enjoy the relaxing benefits of Art & Logic therapy!

Let Them Be Bored

(excerpted from advice offered via a Facebook post in 2016)

let your child be bored

Mom Tip: Boredom is not a bad thing.  When a child is bored don’t look for a way to entertain them. They need a little time everyday when they don’t feel like doing all the normal things they usually do. They need time to think, ponder, reflect, tinker, wander, and think some more.   Modern parents don’t realize that boredom is essential to childhood development and parents are quick to feed the child’s first desire: To be ENTERTAINED. 

What is your child’s DEFAULT MODE when they have a moment of boredom?  Some kids turn to a device, a game, TV, a book, a coloring book, go climb trees, start drawing, or of course they start whining, picking fights and complaining.

I will take a little time now to think of every person in my family and see if I can answer that question: What is the first thing they want to do when they have a moment of boredom or free-time?

Me:  I default to cleaning… or nit-picking everyone else for leaving messes.

My Husband: He defaults to… me… He wants to have time with me, if I am busy he thinks of some errand to run.

Isaac (16): Music.  He wants to go do something related to music.

Anna (15): Hmmmmm… 1st she wants to talk or play with her sisters. If they are busy she goes to her room and dumps out her creative stuff, or bakes or asks for the password for the computer, or bickers with her sister. She always finds something to do, and there is a lot of variety in her choices.  She is the child who is NEVER bored.

Esther (14): Guitar practice and reading.

Rachel (13): Piano and Journaling.

Naomi (11): She wants to play Minecraft, but usually she takes the dog for a walk. If the weather is bad she rearranges all her stuff in her room.

Susie (9): She asks to use the computer, but usually ends up getting out an animal encyclopedia and makes tiny animals out of paper, then she cuts them out and gives them as gifts.  She made a zillion little paper birds recently, I showed her how to create a book with them.

Laura (7): Wants to watch Dogs 101, over and over and over. If I say no, she finds someone to play with or fight with.

Joseph(6): Just started playing Minecraft a month ago.  So first he asks to do that. When I say no he plays with Legos or draws Minecraft pictures.

Ember(3): Dumps her clothing drawer and puts on something that is her “favorite color” of the day. Once she changes her clothes she joins in on whatever Laura or Joe are doing. (click here to continue reading)