As I was talking to a friend this morning we were sharing about different people whose life circumstances are difficult. We concluded that we are truly blessed and what we think is a “Big Deal” really isn’t. I am choosing to be thankful. When I concentrate on all of the blessings and good things I have, how can I complain?

Write It Down I thought I should take some steps to see this happen as I am really not a journal writer, but I am a list person. I took 5 minutes to jot down major categories (God, family, friends, homeschooling, etc.) and then broke each of those into subcategories.


Review the List I am going to date this and review it once a day (hopefully more often than that!) this week, dwelling on the good things that I have in my life. When I am tempted to grouse about something or am tempted not to be thankful, I will get my list out and read it again.

Share It I really think to share one thing you are thankful with someone encourages. It not only encourages you to continue to think about the good things that are happening, but it also encourages the other person with whom you are sharing. Good news is appreciated since we seem to hear so much of the bad news.


Thankful for you!  ~ Lisa ~

Givin’ When You Ain’t Got Nuthin’

gazing globe lake

Have you ever come to the end of yourself and just thought there is nothing left to give of yourself to your child(ren)? Your husband? Have you ever felt like burying your head in the covers and not coming out? I certainly have! So, how do you go on? What do you do to get yourself out of the emotional mess?

Concentrate on the positive. Think of one good thing and write it down. I find taking the time to do this gets my mind off of the circumstance I am in at the time. One positive thought usually leads to another, and then another.

This is a season. It won’t always be like this.  YOU will have a better day. Your children will have a better day. Know that this will pass and better times are ahead.

  • Recharge. Meet a friend for coffee or exercise. Yep, that is better than seeing a therapist. Pay for the coffee and treat yourself and your friend to a goodie or go for a run or a bike ride. It’s nice to get out and away from the family for a little while. You will likely gain a new perspective and be able to give to your family if you get away to recharge.
  • Refuel. Are you eating well or are you eating junk food? I find that if I am not eating like I should I don’t have energy and things upset me more easily. I  am grouchy and irritable. Make yourself an energy shake or eat a handful of nuts.
  • Relax. Go for a walk, read your bible a good book, listen to a podcast, watch a favorite movie, sit outside, listen to some calming music. Do something that will bring you peace and help you unwind.
  • Renew. Call someone who will support you. Ask for that person to pray for you and/ or listen. I recently had some less-than-good news and instead of staying down, I called someone. It helped to know they were listening.

Pull weeds, tear up old school papers, scrub a tub. There is just something gratifying to me in being able to tear out nasty weeds or rip up a bunch of papers that I have been needing to get rid of. I have been known to really go after soap scum in the bathtub when I am grumpy. I am being constructive and destructive all at the same time! lol

Concentrate on someone besides yourself. I think this is the best thing I can say. When I get my thoughts off myself and concentrate upon my family and my friends, I find what was bothering me was really not as bad as I thought. 🙂

May you have a great week! I know things can be tough and kids can be demanding. Take care of yourself.


Love, Lisa



Taking a Break from Homeschooling

Stopping to enjoy the summer, relaxing and becoming rejuvenated will do worlds of good for you and your homeschool. I know the temptation is to dive right into looking at catalogs and begin to think about the next year. But, what about taking a mental vacation for a while?  How about doing something you enjoy or doing something that will encourage you? If you like to read, this book comes highly recommended and I just ordered it for myself!

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie is a great encouragement to us. This short book has words of wisdom to help in the homeschool journey.


Do you like to cook or bake? What about trying out a new recipe or baking a batch of your favorite cookies? I got an Instant Pot and have been trying out some recipes this summer. Since I am not teaching and have a little more free time right now, I have been looking at recipes to make. I am not so harried in trying to get something on the table between school and trying to spend quality time with my hubby in the evenings. Can you relate? 🙂

If you are not sure where to look for ideas,  All Recipes has a bazillion recipes to try. You can also do a google search if you have particular foods or diets to consider and you will find more food blogs that you can possibly go through in one day. How about treating yourself to an hour a day of reading food blogs? You are bound to find at least one or two that are just the kind of cook you are for you to follow. I like to check out Smitten Kitchen for vegetarian dishes.

Maybe you would like to concentrate on getting in shape. There are free apps to help you with that. Here are the ones I have on my phone currently:

  • My Fitness Pal- This can be used to be a daily food and water journal, record your workouts and the calories burned. It can also set up a plan to help you lose weight and measure your progress.
  • Cylemeter or Map My Ride- these measures how far you bike, the elevation, how many calories you burned (yay!), etc.
  • Daily Workout Apps- This free app has routines for abs, arms, butt, cardio, legs, and full workout.

What about your personal relationships with friends and hubby? Just getting to talk to another adult is a vacation in itself when you have been with your children every day. I know you love them beyond measure, but I always appreciate my children more when I have a break from them.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get together. Does your city have free summer concerts? What about grabbing a frozen yogurt or a cup of coffee? How about reading a book and then discussing the parts you enjoyed? You can always rent a movie and pop some popcorn. If you are looking for movie reviews for you or your family, Plugged In is produced by Focus on the Family and I appreciate their help in making informed decisions with movies and other media.

Have a great, relaxing week! ~Lisa ~

Terrific Teacher Award



Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.25.14 AMAnd the award for Teacher of the Year goes to… Y-O-U! Yes, you deserve a terrific teacher award. You may not feel like that, but I can assure you that you are a great homeschool teacher. My criteria for selecting you are as follows:

Dedication You have spent countless hours perusing, pondering, and purchasing the curriculum and programs that you think are best for your child(ren). What is at the heart of each item you have chosen is the love you have for your son/daughter. “Is this a good fit? Will this best help my child learn?” are questions that are asked repeatedly as you go through this process or curricula selection. You are the champion of your daughter and her education. She could have no one better than you for her teacher.

Preparation Lesson plans are made or have been purchased, studied, and executed each week. You have been the overseer of your family’s academic studies, which includes keeping track of all of the extracurricular activities (church, play dates, doctor appointments, co-ops, sports, plays, performances, etc.).

Hard working You make sure the family arrives at the breakfast table, eats, takes care of hygiene needs, gets dressed, do their beds, and starts school. I could stop right there, but I know you also go grocery shopping, make meals, do the laundry, clean the house, referee disputes, negotiate peaceful solutions, are a nurse practitioner, dietician, and cheerleader. (Go Team!!)

Excellence I know you don’t settle for second best. You expect and encourage your son to do his best, facing difficulties and supporting him when things are tough. Whether that is handwriting, writing a story, tackling those tough math problems, or navigating the ups and downs of relationships, you have done it all with love and care. You have been chosen to be his mother and there is no one better suited for the job and responsibility!

I want to thank you for serving your family, for teaching subjects you love (or hate lol) and being a terrific teacher. You deserve this award! Can you hear me clapping , cheering, and shouting “Hurray!”? I am!

Love, Lisa

Japan Insights

Last week I wrote about our time in Japan and some things I learned. I wanted to continue with that thought and some additional insights I gained.

Different is good. There were so many new sights and tastes that I was overwhelmed for the first two days. With pictures, miming, and a little bit of English sprinkled throughout the country, you learn to communicate. There were many food items I could not even fashion a guess, but I did try some pretty yummy dishes (while navigating chopsticks!) including Japanese beef, vegetarian Raman, and soba noodles.

The Japanese drive and walk on the opposite side of what we do, so this took some getting used to at first. After a while, you become a pro and walk on the left-hand side of the escalator to allow others to pass. Take away: Appreciate the differences of others; I am glad God didn’t create us all the same.  Life would be boring.


Be patient. While walking the busy and crowded streets of Tokyo I only heard one car honk its horn. Pedestrians cross the streets without fear of being run over and people wait at corners for the lights to turn green.  People wait in long lines for food, but I never sensed anyone to be grumpy or complaining. Take away: In this “instant society”, may I take the time to let others go before me, may I wait in line patiently and dwell on all the good things of life. Who cares if I have to wait for a minute or longer than I thought I should?

Be respectful. My daughter-in-law has told me that the Japanese culture treats their teachers with great respect and elders are given preferential treatment. I like that on both accounts since I am a teacher, and well, I am getting older. lol Take away:”Do unto as others as you would have them do unto you.”  May I always treat others better than I want to be treated.

Remember my past.  While in Toko, I saw several older women walking to the market who were bent at 90-degree angles. They had worked in the rice fields all their lives and were now living in the city, being taken care of by their children and grandchildren. Japanese families make sure the elderly are cared for during their golden years. Take away: May I take care to tell my grandchildren stories of their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. I want to leave a legacy for them to remember and uphold.


Diet and exercise. I ate a lot of rice while in Japan, but the biggest thing I did was walk 100 miles in 12 days! It’s a good thing I enjoy walking. Most of the time you come home from vacation and wish you had eaten less because now you have gained a few pounds, right? This was quite the opposite! I lost weight and now have to maintain that weight, or lose even more. lol It is a rare sight to see in Japan is an overweight person.  Small quantities are eaten and you don’t see super-size portions. People walk everywhere too! I didn’t see any Fit Bits because they don’t need them. Take away: I will continue to eat small portions and exercise more. However, I probably won’t be able to maintain that walking pace. 😦  Picture below: Kyoto where we walked over 10 miles that day!


I have made a word find for you to download for your children. Happy searching!

Japan Word Find

Have a great week!

~ Lisa ~