7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)

— 1 —

I think I’m finally ready to have kids. It took seven years and five trial runs to get to this point, but I feel like I am now somewhat prepared for this whole parenthood thing.

One of the things that’s changed recently is that some of our children can now help around the house. We’ve instituted a checklist system where the three older kids (ages 6, 5, and 4) get the house clean each night almost entirely by themselves — and it only takes about 35 minutes. (This age-appropriate chore list is similar to ours.) Thanks in large part to The Sleep Lady, I’ve learned to deal with (and even kind of enjoy!) the newborn period without becoming a total basket case. And thanks to changes I’ve made it my diet and exercise habits, I feel better than ever.

Things are still crazy and challenging, but parenthood is definitely easier in a lot of ways than it used to be. For a much more eloquent version of what I’m trying to say here (as well as encouragement for parents who still have all toddlers and babies) read this awesome article by Emily Sederstrand called The Tunnel of Parenthood.

— 2 —

7qt142 thehelp e1315541945705 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)I went to the movies tonight. My mom and I snuck out for a girls’ night out to see The Help, which was excellent. This is noteworthy because, other than taking our Kidsave child to a discount theater for a showing of a classic film in 2009, I haven’t been to the movies since the summer of 2004. It was weird to be in a nice theater for the first time in over seven years. The last time I did that I lived in a high-rise loft downtown, I was an atheist and I didn’t have kids (we went to see Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle). I felt like an anthropologist studying this strange ritual that some people do regularly…especially when the woman behind me answered her cell phone. Twice. Anyway, it’ll probably be another seven years before I go to the movies again, but it was a fun thing to do.

— 3 —

Have I mentioned that we live in a climate inhospitable to human life? We had over 70 days in a row of temperatures over 100° F (38° C) this summer, no meaningful rainfall since 2010, and now this:

7qt142 fires 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)

An evacuee who’s staying with our neighbors emailed that photo to me. It was taken near her house. We have quite a few friends of friends who lost everything in the fires. When I was running errands earlier this week, there was smoke all along the horizon in almost every direction. It’s getting Biblical over here. Please pray for those who have been impacted by the drought and the fires. (And if you live in the area, you can drop off donations at St. Williams in Round Rock.)

— 4 —

We just finished our first week of homeschooling for this school year. My takeaways:

FAVORITE PARTS:

  • How little time it takes. I know this will change as the kids get older, but right now it’s just not very time intensive to keep them at or above grade level.
  • Getting to tailor my kids’ education so that they’re advancing as fast as they can, and learning stuff they’re excited about.
  • How pleasant it makes the evenings. When my son went to school, we had to cram homework (yes, kindergarten homework) into every evening, which meant that we were trying to do activities, family dinners, homework, bath time, and family time in a period of about three hours — the stress of which was compounded by knowing that we had to get up at 6:15 the next morning.

CHALLENGING PARTS:

  • I know this is kind of a controversial statement, but I do find socialization to be an issue. I think this will change as they get older — the homeschooled kids I know over age ten don’t seem to be lacking for friends — but I wish there were something my kids could do a couple of times each week with the same kids where they had some time to get to know them. About seven hours per week would be perfect. Basically, I want Mother’s Day Out for older kids.
  • Keeping them occupied all day. Homeschooling doesn’t take much time, so I have a lot of hours to fill each day — and with a new baby in the house, I’m not up for a whole lot of running around right now.
Overall, things are going well and we’re all enjoying it. We should have a good five weeks before my “I’M LOSING MY MIND AND I CAN’T DO THIS” update.

— 5 —

In all the years that I’ve spent researching and experimenting with my diet (otherwise known as “trying to figure out why I used to feel like a 400-pound, 98-year-old woman with a hangover so much of the time”), one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the difference between “regular” hunger and “cravings” hunger. Because my blood sugar was always so out of whack and I was eating foods that caused addictive reactions, I always thought that being hungry went hand-in-hand with experiencing insane cravings that led you to lose all self control and start shoveling whatever food was nearby into your mouth as fast as you could. Now that I’ve cut out the foods that throw off my system, I can be hungry and make reasonable decisions about what I eat and how much of it I eat. I can stop eating when I begin to feel full, and can even go to parties and restaurants without consuming insane amounts of food. It’s amazing.

— 6 —

7qt142 wish you were here 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)My advance copy of Amy Welborn‘s new book arrived this week. It’s a memoir titled Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope, and is centered around a trip she and her children took to Sicily after the death of her husband, author Michael Dubruiel. It completely derailed the other book I was half way through. I’d planned to finish my current read before starting on Amy’s, but I was so drawn in by her lucid writing that I couldn’t put it down. I’ll write about it in more detail after I finish it, but my initial reaction is…wow. In the meantime, this is one you’ll want to pre-order on Amazon. Whether or not you’re Catholic, whether or not you’ve experienced great loss, you’ll take something away from this raw, honest memoir.

— 7 —

Can you believe it’s been 10 years since 9/11? Every year I’m caught off guard by how sad this anniversary makes me. You’d think that time would make it easier to think about, but that hasn’t been my experience. One thing I find comforting is to pray for those who died in the tragedy — not just for the repose of their souls, but for their final moments on earth. I wasn’t a believer when it happened, but since God is outside of time, I hope that my prayers may still be worthwhile.

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62 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 142)”
  1. My prayers are with all of those down there in central Texas right now…those fires are some of the worst I’ve heard about. We’ve had it bad up here in the Panhandle, but nothing on that scale.
    Nathan Kennedy recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 4

  2. sarah says:

    So much in this post, I’ll speak to only one part of it : after 12 years of homeschooling I still have a problem with “socialisation.” Perhaps this is because our community here is relatively small, and my child has unusual interests. If I had several children, I wouldn’t even give it a thought. Funnily enough, our best period of socialisation was between ages 4-6!
    sarah recently posted..the self and radical unschooling

  3. Kimberly says:

    I will have to read about your diet and exercise habits when I get the chance. Currently am the heaviest I’ve ever been (except while pregnant). Been considering the Rosary Workout Book or Fit for Eternal Life. But I will read your post when it isn’t almost 1:30 am and I have to leave for work in 6 hours.

    Can’t believe we are on the 10th anniversary of September 11. Sometimes I think we need to see those images more often so that we are reminded of it more often, but we probably would risk the danger of becoming numb to it. But I don’t think I could ever become numb to it…
    Kimberly recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday (12)

  4. Roxy says:

    I feel your triple digit temps pain. Phoenix just set a record for number of consecutive days with highs above 110. Other than that, haboobs are the worst we’ve had to deal with in our city. Prayers go out to those affected the the fires!
    Roxy recently posted..7th 7 Quick Takes

  5. Laura says:

    Jen,

    I have to admit that you inspired me to start living a gluten and sugar free diet–for about all of a week and a half, at which point I crashed and burned, compliments of Ben, Jerry, and Imagine Whirled Peace. It’s much, much harder than it looks! Your comment today makes me want to try to jump back on the bandwagon…but I’m wondering if there is a good time and a bad time to do this, or if it is just an intrinsically good move for your system and should be attempted no matter how nutso your life currently is . . . ? Thoughts?

    Laura
    Laura recently posted..7 Quick Takes: The Kind of Adult Edition

  6. We also just finished up our first homeschooling week. Five weeks before the loss of sanity post? How ambitious of you. Lovely read as always. Thanks for sharing.
    Momma in Progress recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (6)

  7. Eva says:

    I am SO glad that you converted F to C in this post. I’ve been reading US facebook friends talk about ‘above 100′ temps for weeks, and have been entirely too lazy to actually google to find out just how hot that is. Now I realise- THAT’S INSANE!! I feel faint just thinking about it. We have maybe 3 days a year at that temperature. Not moving to Texas.
    Eva recently posted..5 things that atheists think about Christians

  8. That picture of the wildfires is stunning (and scary).

    We go to the movies about as often as you. Now that we are “empty nesters”, my wife has suggested we should go every now and then for date night. It’s probably a good idea, but so expensive compared to watching it later at home. (When I say stuff like that, she calls me a “stick in the mud.”)

    My entry this week… Two great videos on what it means to be Catholic, from a young perspective. A touching story on organ donation. A picture of the Mass, in difficult circumstances. A case for communion on the tongue. A politician who actually “gets” Catholic social teaching.
    George @ Convert Journal recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (set #40)

  9. LOVE that quote: “We should have a good five weeks before my “I’M LOSING MY MIND AND I CAN’T DO THIS” update.” Boy do I remember that feeling!

    And I think you need a night out with your mom more often, girl!
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..7 {Kind Of} Quick Takes Friday

  10. Erin says:

    Jennifer
    Interested to read your hs comments.
    Just read your links, do you know you were the first to put the idea into my head that my moods could be food related. I’m now firmly convinced that when I stay of wheat I am far calmer. Not sure if you are looking for grain free ideas but here are some sites, the first is a Catholic blogger,
    http://wellnessmama.com/
    http://www.elanaspantry.com/ (written 2 great books!)
    http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/
    oh and if you are after new breakfast ideas here is one
    http://sevenlittleaustralians.blogspot.com/2011/09/grain-free-cereal.html
    Erin recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol 91)

  11. My oldest is 8, and I’m ready to have kids,too! Now that we’re starting our 2nd year of homeschooling, I’ve decided that I need 3 child-free months to prep, plan, decorate and learn and THEN I can step into my superstar-homeschooling parent role!

    That picture is incredible. My uncle’s house just burned two days ago in Bastrop–or at least he’s assuming it’s gone. Incredible. That picture is incredible.
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy recently posted..Princess or Pioneer Woman: Which One Are You?

  12. Michael says:

    I found your rain. It’s up here in the Northeast. Please send trucks to pick it up. ;-)
    Michael recently posted..Practical Jokes and a Bagel Poem

  13. I’d love to know more about how you handle math in your homeschooling. Do you read dy/dan (http://blog.mrmeyer.com/) at all? He’s great on ways to keep math from being a memorization game
    Leah @ Unequally Yoked recently posted..The Continuation of Philosophy by Other Means

  14. I plan socialization as a separate subject. Really. We attend a homeschool co-op, and have ‘after school’ classes for exactly this reason. The other thing that helps is to iron in a regular playdate with another family with several children over age 4 (the age at which it’s less work for mom to have kids over than it is to keep kids entertained). You can alternate houses, preferably dropping off the kids so each mom gets a break.

    The less TV you let them watch, the more they’ll learn to entertain themselves. You can give them a free-time checklist that includes items like “Create something (other than a mess)” and “Invent something” and “Figure out how something works” and “Do something kind for someone else”. We have a large science box full of supplies for simple experiments, along with an ample number of experiment books. We also have a lot of art supplies that are available for anyone to use. And a million books. Life gets easier when they can read.
    Julia at LotsaLaundry recently posted..Normal thankfulness

  15. Great job on starting home schooling! I’ve found my little kids do way more than they “need” to because I need the structure in the day. Also, I’d rather put the work into thinking of something for them to do than have them come up with something on their own, say, using the vacuum cleaner hose to channel water from the sink to the shower. They still have a fair bit of unstructured play, but not too much rope, if you know what I mean!
    Wendy from Zoom recently posted..US History: WWII Seven Quick Takes

  16. I love “God is outside of time.” Beautiful.

  17. Judy says:

    God bless the people suffering from those fires! We had a terrible drought this summer and now…suddenly, we’ve had three days of rain. After seeing your photo, my heart is aching and praying that the Lord will alleviate the suffering there by sending this water South West!

    As for the socialization issue. Do you know other homeschooling families in your area? We have had wonderful success by opening our home once a month for gatherings with other homeschooling families. During Lent, we do this on Friday mornings for Stations of the Cross and a light snack/fellowship afterward. During the Fall/Winter/Spring, we have co-op…one mom tends to the nursery (usually the mom with the youngest baby..which was ME for 6 years, ha ha!) while other moms teach a class…OR just for a play-date and lunch. If you can’t imagine the toll of cleaning up after such an event at this time with what you’ve already got on your plate…perhaps you could arrange to meet at a nearby park for a couple hours now and then. It does take a bit of resolve, planning, and effort to arrange…but I think you’ll find many blessings and benefits therein if you are able to do some of these things.
    I’m really glad that the all-in-all of your parenting and homeschooling journey is going so well these days! YAY for you!
    I must check out the movie or book “The Help”. You’re the second person in two days to mention it to me.
    Judy recently posted..Sep 1, Homeschool-curriculum via The UltimateHomeschool Expo

  18. the Mom says:

    I started a homeschool show and tell group when my children were little. Four families got together every Friday for the kids to get a chance to stand in front of their peers and show off what they’d been up to. It was a perfect venue for reciting anything they might have memorized, drawn or done that week. It gave them a chance to practice speaking in front of a group, and then of course they got to play afterwards. It was a lifesaver when my children were small.
    the Mom recently posted..But How Could He Let That Happen?

  19. Jennifer says:

    We live in a pretty rural area, but I have noticed that there are a few social/active options for the homeschooling families in our area. The YMCA does morning swimming lessons for homeschool families, and I think one of the martial arts schools has morning lessons, too. Sometimes the families just have standing park/jumpy place/mall playground meetings for the kids to hang out and the moms to socialize.
    Jennifer recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (9/9/11)

  20. Jennifer says:

    Every time I click on link 37 it takes me to a survey/contest/ad. It starts with the blog address and then flips to some weird ad thing. . .
    Jennifer recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (9/9/11)

  21. Rebecca says:

    That pictures of the fire is amazing (not in a good way, but in a jaw-dropping way).

    Your description of homeschooling sounds good to me! (And I would imagine how I would be feeling – waiting for the ‘what was I thinking’ part.)

    Happy weekend!
    Rebecca recently posted..Quick Photos

  22. Thank you for #1 and #7. I needed both of those today. I just love my little one, and I am so sad to see her grow, but it is nice to know she can help me empty the dishwasher someday! As far as #7, I plan to stay away from any kind of media Sunday, and just pray. I love your thoughts about God being outside of time. I just know you’re right about that, and I had never thought of it that way.

    Jenna@Momofmanyhats.blogspot.com
    Jenna@MomofManyHats recently posted..Scrub-a-Dub

  23. Glad to hear things are going so well with that sweet baby! And don’t worry about the homeschooling-you’ll get the hand of it too!

    I posted a quick takes today!
    Christy from fountains of home recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday vol. 6

  24. 'Becca says:

    Regarding 9/11, I read in last Sunday’s paper that not one of the families of the terrorists has claimed their remains. Only one relative even made an inquiry. To my surprise, that made me cry. They thought they were doing God’s will, but they were so wrong that not even their own parents will bury them. May God have mercy on them. It’s very difficult to pray for them, so what I’ve been doing these past 10 years is praying that NOW they understand the truth about God and love.

    And then my second reaction to the article was feeling very surprised that there WERE any noticeable remains of the terrorists, especially those who crashed into the World Trade Center. I hadn’t heard that before.
    ‘Becca recently posted..The Magic Bullet does NOT work for me!

  25. JoAnna says:

    I vacillate between your view of kids helping out and Simcha’s perspective. Still, that age-appropriate chore chart is helpful… thanks!
    JoAnna recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday – September 9, 2011

  26. Kk says:

    Please tell us about your dietary changes. I know u have spoke about this before but I need help here!!

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and love it. Just wanted to say that I was homeschooled K-12 (1992-2004, so my family was on the early end of it). One of the things my mom did was stick my older sister and me into art and dance classes a couple times a week. Early on we also had a homeschool group that met regularly for play dates, filed trips, and science and art activities, but then my family moved and we didn’t have a homeschool group we clicked with, but we still had the extracurriculars. I think they were enormously helpful in bridging the gap between the young years of toddler playgroups and my older years of high school friendships.

    My mom was successful in finding dance classes for us in two different cities that were not the competitive, ballet or tap type of class where it’s all about the costume and recital, but rather classes that helped my sister and me learn good social skills, solidify good body image, appreciate the history of dance, and express ourselves artistically all at the same time. Depending on how your kids’ interests run, rocket club or art class or Cub Scouts or whatever might all do the trick, too.
    Elizabeth recently posted..How everyone is broken, and broken hurts

  28. nicole says:

    Having older kids makes such a huge difference! My oldest was 8.5 when we had our youngest (#6) and it was so eye-opening how different it was from having four kids in four years. So many blessings to the age difference and the perspective of time.
    nicole recently posted..Quick Takes Friday: Real Life Edition

  29. Christine says:

    While you are having fires, the roads around DC are flooding. Praying that all of the weather craziness clears up, and for all of people affected by it.

  30. Prayers for all those being affected by the various natural disasters right now! So sad!

    I always love reading your Quick Takes, because I’m in a lot of the same stages. We’ve just gotten homeschooling off the ground for the year, and are really working with the kids on a housekeeping routine each night too!

    I’ve worried about the socialization too, so my solution was to start hosting activity days at my house and volunteering to watch my friends’ children so they can grocery shop by themselves.

    Starting this month, our small group of homeschooling and preschool moms go to Mass together each first Friday and a wonderful priest is available to hear confessions after so we can take turns managing to collective group of kids while the others get to Confession. Then, we all come back to my house for brunch and do some type of activity that is fun and educational. (This month, we made a wall hanging of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows since that feast day is this month, and they got to color, glue, etc)

    We are also contemplating doing an All Saints/All Souls day party to have a Catholic alternative to trick or treating (the idea of my kids dressing up, walking around after dark and acquiring large amounts of sugar just isn’t appealing to me!).

    We also just have random “coffee days” a couple times a month when 3-4 of us will get together for coffee at one of our houses and let the 12-15 kids go play outside and learn to be social :-)

    As far as keeping them occupied… we made a “Boredom Jar” which has cards with different activities and chores. They actually like the chores when they come out of the jar and get really excited when they get to mop. Also, we decided to pay them (a whopping 10 cents) for any chores they do from the jar that are above and beyond the normal chores so they are usually excited to do these and earn money. This has also been a great way to teach them about tithing, investing, saving, etc.

    As always, thanks for brightening my Friday :-)
    Katie “Wellness Mama’ recently posted..The Minimum Effective Dose for Wellness

  31. Krista says:

    I love that Tunnel of Parenthood article! Amy Welborn’s book looks so… good, but sad. I would love to read it.
    Krista recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 6)

  32. Christina says:

    Not that I have kids or that I know how this is working, but I know a bunch of our local homeschooling families have gotten together into a group to do different “classes” once a week. Basically the parents good at certain subjects teach a class in that subject. From what I understand it’s one day a week and they rotate by which week it is for a period of time (so for a while they do “art” class on the first Friday). They are also getting the grad/undergrad students from the local university parish involved to teach more specialized topics.

    Note, I only know because they asked me about it, I don’t know how well it’s working at this time.

  33. Very much empathizing (because of our own house fire 3 months ago) with all those affected by the fires in your state, and praying for protection especially for families in the path of the fires and the fire fighters.

    There is so much to love about home schooling – I’ve especially loved the flexibility in scheduling as well as in curriculum, and the ability to see each child progressing at their own pace. Having a child on the autism spectrum adds another dimension to my gratitude for the ability to educate at home, where my child can learn in an environment that is both safe and less distracting than a classroom would be.
    Annette Heidmann recently posted..7 Quick Takes – Vol. 5 – Photography Inspirations

  34. Smoochagator says:

    You crack me up! Finally ready to have kids. Actually, I think I have heard people say that they are finally ready to get married… after they’d been married 15 years. No one is ever really ready to start a family.

    Also, I’m totally ordering the Sleep Lady’s book.

    And that smoke/firecloud photo is terrifying and heartbreaking.
    Smoochagator recently posted..Seven Quick Takes

  35. Martina says:

    Thank you SO much for plugging our parish as a drop off point for the fire victims! xoxo
    Martina recently posted..What do you want of me, Lord?

  36. Mary Kay says:

    The people of Maryland would love to send some rain down your way. The ground was still saturated from Irene when the “remnants” of Lee hit tthis week. There was/is widespread flooding becuase the ground is so saturated. It’s too bad these things can’t be balanced out.

  37. Jeanne G. says:

    I think I’m ready for kids, too… not that I’m even pregnant yet. I have a feeling that I’ll change my mind around the time of labor.
    Jeanne G. recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Volume 19

  38. Kara says:

    Wildfires are so frightening. I’ll be praying for Texas. My cousin was almost evacuated last week but luckily they contained it a bit and they didn’t have to.

    I loved The Help. I took my friend to see it for her birthday and it was amazing. Glad you were able to get out!

    I don’t know how you handle homeschooling. I’m so amazed by people that homeschool. I wanted to so badly, but I just do not have the patience, and my oldest one has the “you’re not my teacher, you’re my mom” complex, so it doesn’t work for us at all. Even homework is a huge pain in the butt.

    Your Captchas hate me.
    Kara recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  39. Ruth says:

    I’d love to hear more about your diet. It sounds intriguing!
    Ruth recently posted..Seven Quick Takes (vol.11)

  40. Ann-Marie says:

    When I was homeschooled, (underground, in the 80′s), we got a lot of socialization through art classes at our local center, going to the library activities, and meeting with other homeschooled families for Science fairs and Christmas plays (that were actually about Christ!).
    Ann-Marie recently posted..Seven Quick Takes (Vol 15)

  41. Oh your first point made me laugh out loud. I’ll have to check out the Sleep Lady’s book for my mom. Zach has decided that sleep is for wimps.

  42. Lisa Maria says:

    Hi Jennifer

    This is my first time linking up… I’m a rather new follower. I will definitely pray for the victims of those fires.. it seems sometimes that there’s always some natural disaster going on!

    A girls’ night out sounds like so much fun! I’m planning one with my daughter for my birthday next week.. she’s supposed to be taking me out (but I’ll be doing the driving lol!)

    Hope you have a great weekend and thank you for hosting.
    Lisa Maria recently posted..Five Quick Takes Friday

  43. Laurie says:

    I homeschool my six year-old son, five year-old daughter, and a seven year-old friend. In accomplishing our “school”, we stick around the house. However, one day a week we trade some kids with a neighbor who homeschools (so all the boys play together at one house and all the girls play together at the other house) for about three hours. Another day we have a routine park day with two other homeschool families plus a couple tag-alongs (allowing the total of eleven kids ages 1-8) to play together while the moms relax in the shade. Also, we’ve tracked down a PE program designed for homeschoolers – once a week, the sport changes monthly, and you only have to sign up for one month at a time. Between these three activities and church connections (and the resulting family-socializing that grows out of those activities), we find ourselves plenty socialized and yet we’re not micro-managed by our calendar. Just some thoughts.

  44. Monica says:

    Ah the socialization issue. Yes, I agree — it IS an issue. Lots of homeschoolers are quite defensive on the topic. When I say it’s a concern of mine, I do not mean that I think my children will be oddballs if I don’t provide socialization opportunities. I just mean they like having good friends, and I want to make it happen for them. They miss their friends from school, and sometimes feel like they are missing out on something since they aren’t there.

    And 5 weeks? Before you melt down? Wow…I think I made it 5 hours this year. Good thing I got a second chance on day 3.

  45. dweej says:

    I’m sure someone else has already mentioned it, but there has got to be a homeschooling group or co-op in your area. Texas is so friendly to homeschoolers. There’s probably a whole slew of kids just the same ages as yours, dying to meet you! We also make sure to sign our kids up for CCD classes on Wednesday nights at our parish, not so much because we can’t teach them all that ourselves, but mostly because I want them to know and love the kids who share their faith. The more time they spend there the better.

    See ya in 5 weeks for the pulling-out-hair fest!
    dweej recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday: World’s Best Recruitment video

  46. Jamie says:

    Hi Jennifer! I love your blog, and I love the 7 quick takes idea… I’m hoping it’ll help me actually take the time to use my blog. I’m a Catholic missionary with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and I raise all my own support, so I like letting my partners in mission know what I’m doing…but I just take way too much time when I’m writing entries, so I just stopped. Problem! So thanks again for the idea! (If you check up on these, let me know if you’d like a more overt link back to you… not a problem!) God bless you, and keep telling your story; stories are SO powerful!
    Jamie recently posted..A few random things…Seven, to be exact.

  47. Rebecca says:

    I will not homeschool my children. If I did, they would finish school knowing how to dunk oreos in milk, and not much else. Hats off to all of you homeschoolers!!

  48. Computer crashing and no internet access this week have made it crazy at best.

    Glad you’re finally ready to have kids. Guess six is the charm!
    Trisha Niermeyer Potter recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday (Volume 15)

  49. Jennifer,
    I am absolutely honored to be a part of your Quick Takes! And yes, I think I might actually be getting the having kids thing down as well. ;)
    Off to read your post on gluttony…
    Amy @ Raising Arrows recently posted..I Don’t Wanna…

  50. Hannah says:

    I’m with you on the homeschooling/socialization issue. Mainly, it’s just one more thing for me to coordinate for my kids. But I think we’ve finally found a good solution – at least for now! We’ve made a commitment with 3 other nearby homeschooling families to get together once a week. No agenda, no curriculum. Just letting the kids play. The only prep involved is everyone packing a lunch! :) We’ve only been doing this for about a month, but so far it’s been great. There are 13 kids, ranging in age from 1 yr old to 8 yrs old. We all just meet at a park or forest preserve and let the kids run and play while we moms have a chance to connect. We’ve already had several other moms express an interest in joining our “group”, which makes me think that there’s a real need for this sort of intentional community among homeschoolers.

  51. Vicki says:

    In regards to item #4, I highly recommend finding a local chapter of MOMS Club near you. (www.momsclub.org) I’ve been a member of my local chapter for over 4 years now & as President of my chapter, I love to hear there are other moms out there we can be a source of activity & encouragement to! Most chapters have a full calendar of events to choose from, as well as MOMS Night Out events & family events. With being a homeschooling family, you definitely have the flexibility to attend a morning activity & still be able to complete the daily schedule planned.

  52. Jessica says:

    Jennifer, I love your blog and want to say thanks for hosting the 7 Quick Takes. I’m just starting out and it’s a real writing boost!
    Jessica recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday…er…Saturday

  53. JS says:

    Here in Florida, we send our kids once a week to the Christian Homeschool Athletic Association program–it’s basically PE for homeschoolers. We’ve been doing this for 10 years, and my older kids all transitioned into coaching. You might check this site and see if any of the locations are near you, or even contact them to see if you can get a location set up hear you: http://www.chaasaintstx.com/index_files/Page393.htm

  54. Linda says:

    re: #4
    Homeschooling was one of the best things I ever did. Unfortunately, it was only with the youngest and she was youngest by nearly 14 years, so essentially an only child. I partially solved the “socialization” issue by including group classes in her program (music, drama, dance, art) [[NOT all at once!!]] and offered group classes at different times in what I did best – writing. I ran a “Writers’ Club” off and on through the years. It gave me a chance to work with groups of enthusiastic children and brought them into the house for Ruth. You could totally do this, Jennifer – an hour or hour & a half a week. Other parents were SO grateful because most feel teaching writing is difficult. (e-mail me if you want details)

    re: #5 – absolutely, God is out of time. I firmly believe that prayers today eases the deaths of those victims 10 years ago.

  55. Amy Parris says:

    Thanks for doing this. I tried to link above but couldn’t. I listed mine at http://raisingangels.blogspot.com/2011/09/friday-fast-before-i-try-to-get-to-bed.html. Happy weekend!

  56. Iva Mccray says:

    So thanks again for the idea! I will definitely pray for the victims of those fires..
    Iva Mccray recently posted..Acne Tips

  57. Christine Shaw says:

    Thanks for sharing. I’m really glad that the all-in-all of your parenting and homeschooling journey is going so well these days! I’ve found my little kids do way more than they “need” to because I need the structure in the day. It was a perfect venue for reciting anything they might have memorized, drawn or done that week.
    Christine Shaw recently posted..Many Mops