This week, we drove 90 miles from our home to visit my sweet friend, Lynnae. We've been friends for about 13 years, and we try to visit each other a few times a year since our daughters are very close friends. We also hadn't seen their new baby foster daughter who just turned one year old yesterday! She's been living with them for 3 weeks now, and they are hoping to adopt her.
Anyway, we were 15 minutes up the freeway on the way back home later that day when I realized I had left our camera plus a pair of socks there in their living room. I called them to make sure they'd still be home, and we turned around to go back to their home.
I accidentally took the wrong exit back to their home and had to backtrack, so it set us behind about 40 minutes on our drive back home.
Brittany (my 11-year-old) said, "Mom, why do we sometimes forget things like that, and now it has taken a lot more driving to get back home?"
I told her, "You know, sometimes things like that happen, and I just have to not get upset. Instead, I need to think to myself,
'There must be some reason why I wasn't supposed to be on the freeway at some point on the road at a particular time.' "
Brittany said, "What do you mean?"
I told her, "Well, maybe there was a car wreck we would possibly have been a part of if we had continued on and hadn't gone back to get our camera."
"Oh," she replied.
Forty minutes up the road, and I'm not kidding you, there was a car at the top of the summit/mountain that had flipped and rolled and landed upside down onto the concrete median divider. The driver was obviously deceased. Traffic was backed up for about 15 minutes before we could get driving again.
I looked at Brittany after we watched the dead woman's body being placed onto a stretcher or gurney. She gave me this look as if to say, "God knew we shouldn't have been on the road earlier."
I told the girls, "For some reason, God's timing was not for our last day to be today. It may be tomorrow, but it wasn't today. We were supposed to go back and get that camera this afternoon so we wouldn't be a part of this horrible accident."
It was pretty quiet in the car the rest of the way home. I spent time in prayer for that woman's family and friends.
God is so faithful. And if tomorrow is my day to go, I'm ready. Not perfect, but ready.
I cannot tell you how many times something like this has happened to me, often enough, that when we are delayed by a train, or forgetting something, or a last-minute phone call, I really don't get upset by it anymore.
And another close friend mentioned another perspective on this whole incident which I think deserves to be mentioned. Going back for the socks might not have been because that would keep us from being a part of that accident. The reason we might have had to go back for the socks and the camera might have been so that the girls would see how dangerous it can be to drive a vehicle. After all, Kelsi will be learning to drive in another 18 months!
We don't know what tomorrow will bring to us. We don't know our "day of reckoning." I don't really want to know when that day will be.
But when I have to run back home because I forgot something, or a train slows us down and makes us late no matter how much we prepared to leave the house early, I'm no longer going to get worried about that. These are things which are out of my control, and instead of worrying about it, I'm going to choose to trust Him who knows every minute of my life.
I don't know about you, but I've never thought that JUST being a "mom" or wife or mother was something to shrug my shoulders at. While I know I didn't tell my mom "thank you" often enough for all that she has done for me over the years, I have always been grateful for her. Her role in my development to be the woman I am today was VITAL!
My mom has been an excellent example to me by working hard, complaining little about it, and helping the home to run smoothly.
She didn't teach me everything I know about keeping a home. Some things, I've just learned on my own over the years. But for what she didn't have time to teach, she gave me the confidence to know that I could do it for myself if I asked someone how, or looked up how to do it. And she has never made fun of me for calling her while I'm in the middle of preparing dinner and asking, "Mom, how do you get the lumps out of the gravy?"
I have a college degree, pursued the job of my childhood dreams (being an elementary school teacher), volunteered in my community and church in numerous ways, and also had several other jobs to help pay my way through college.
But I have to say with certainty that the BEST job I have ever had is the one I have right now, which I also consider to be my #1 ministry:
Being Mom. Wife. Home educating Parent.
I find it most fulfilling to do exactly what I'm doing right now! I think that's because I'm at the center of God's will for my life. I recognize that not every woman will find herself at home with her children exactly like I have done. But I'm right where I'm supposed to be, and so I feel very fulfilled...satisfied...happy.
Because of this, I don't need to go on expensive vacations, dress like a model, and receive all kinds of praise from other people to feel like what I'm doing is "worth it."
Recently, I was able to listen to a powerful audio mp3 recording by Mrs. Lorrie Flem, titled, "Keys to a Queenly Castle." In this hour-long recording, she describes twelve powerful things wives and mothers can do to improve their satisfaction in being at home in the center of God's will. I honestly enjoyed listening to the 12 tips on being a queen of our own homes, although Mrs. Flem could easily design twelve separate audio presentations stemming from this one recording, and it would be such a blessing!
I thought you might enjoy a little notetaking page to help you write down what you might be hearing and learning while you listen to this mp3 audio recording, should you happen to purchase it from Eternal Encouragement magazine's website.
"Keys to a Queenly Castle" sells for $6.97 at the Eternal Encouragement website. I'll just mention briefly that while this isn't a studio-quality sound recording, and may cost a little bit more than what I'd normally pay for an hour-long recording that isn't studio-quality, it is full of tidbits of information that are valuable encouragement for women who are wives and mothers.
What will you find in "Keys to a Queenly Castle" ?
What you put into your castle determines what will come out of it. Join Mrs. Lorrie Flem as she shares with you what your outlook and attitude should be so that you are most effective.
Keys to a Queenly Castle includes:
Disclosure: I received a free download of "Keys to a Queenly Castle" for the purpose of reviewing it in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was provided.
I used to wake up in the morning, alert and ready for the day, with a cheerful attitude. Lately, though, I've been rolling out of bed, still feeling tired.
Maybe it's some late nights I've had, busily working on various projects while it's quiet around the house, or maybe it's because I'm not in my 30s anymore. Hee, hee! :)
I've noticed that while I'm still willing to serve my family in the morning, and I haven't been grumpy while doing that, I'm still not necessarily having the same cheerful attitude I have had for over 40 years now. Since I was born to be a morning person, something has definitely changed. Most of it has to do with being too tired, I think.
And so, I've needed to adjust my attitude. When I don't feel like preparing breakfast for everyone, I need to change my thinking so that this will begin to be a joyous task for me in the morning again. We save quite a bit of grocery money by not eating cold cereal for breakfast anymore, so I know that it's a good thing to prepare a hot, nutritious breakfast for everyone in our home. And, my hubby and girls love to have a hot breakfast in the mornings. It brings my sweetheart a lot of contentment, and he doesn't find himself starving at 10:30 in the morning at work!
My girls are willing and able to make hot breakfasts for everyone, and sometimes they do this to help me out. But I want to be setting a godly example for them by waking up ready to serve my family.
Lorrie Flem's audio recording came my way this month, just when I needed it. Lorrie has entitled this, "Attitude Adjustments." I needed this for June! We had just finished our school year, and it had been a busy few weeks with recitals and other end-of-year activities. I was TIRED!
So, a couple of weeks ago, my youngest daughter, Brittany, and I were home on a Sunday morning because she wasn't feeling well. She's old enough to stay home by herself from church if she isn't well, but she really wanted me to stay home with her. I told her I would stay with her, but we were also going to listen to Lorrie's "Attitude Adjustments" together since we couldn't attend church that morning.
We sat down and began to listen to the hour-long recording. After Lorrie's introductory statements and comments, she began to share 26 ways that people could change their attitude to help them live a more godly life. I could tell that if Brittany didn't have something to help her write down the 26 ways of changing attitudes, she would eventually tune out. After all, she's only 11, and her weakest method of learning is audio. I quickly paused the recording and typed out a list of the letters of the alphabet so that she could write down Lorrie's 26 ideas on how to change a person's attitude. That really helped a lot! Brittany and I both stayed engaged and focused on writing down all 26 methods of changing our attitude.
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
"If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
You'll find 26 common sense methods of changing and improving your attitude so that you can be a biblical example of motherhood and a godly woman in your home. I was blessed by listening to this, and I have noticed over the last two weeks that Brittany has purposed to have a better attitude, especially when I need her to do a chore or task that she may not want to do. She has responded with a more willing heart, choosing to be a blessing to me instead of a curse.
And my attitude has improved, as well!
Lorrie's "26 Ways to Attain and Maintain a Good Attitude" are well thought out and very applicable to everyone whether they are parents or not, homeschooling families or not, strong Christians or new to Christianity.
While the concepts presented in this mp3 audio recording are very useful, I noticed that this had been recorded at a homeschooling conference, not at a studio. For the price listed at the Eternal Encouragement website, I thought I would be listening to something that had been recorded in a studio or at least a room without any distractions or background noise, although thankfully, the background noise was not bad. While the audio quality doesn't necessarily match up to the price I would normally pay for a mp3 recording, I just know that you will come away with some helpful ideas to bless yourself and your family in your home.
After noticing how helpful it was for Brittany and I to be able to take notes while listening to this particular audio recording, I decided to design a notetaking page for those of you who choose to purchase and listen to Mrs. Flem's recording, "26 Ways to Attain and Maintain a Good Attitude."
Guess what? Lorrie at www.EternalEncouragement.com is offering a giveaway for our readers! The giveaway will be one mp3 audio file of your choice.
To enter this month's giveaway, follow the link above for the audio files, and choose which mp3 audio recording you'd like to win.
Next, go to The Gabby Moms blog where June's review links are posted. Leave a comment letting us know whose blog you read about this giveaway (mine of course!), the name of the mp3 audio file you'd like to win, and your email contact info. so Lorrie can let you know if you are the winner!
The winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 18th, 2011 via www.random.org, and will be notified by email using your contact info you left in your comment. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim her prize, or an alternate winner will be chosen.
***Please remember that I'm not the one hosting this giveaway. You'll need to visit The Gabby Moms blog so you may leave your comments to enter the giveaway. Thanks!
Oh, and one more thing: I also received a second audio recording to enjoy from Eternal Encouragement magazine, but I'll be telling you about it in my next blog posting, so look for "The 12 Habits of a Queen in Her Castle" and my review of this, soon! You may also view other Gabby Moms' reviews of these two audio files HERE.
Disclaimer: I received one copy each of these two audio files from Eternal Encouragement magazine in exchange for an honest review of the material. No other compensation was provided.
Is "lapbooking" a new term for you?
What about "folderbooks" or "shutterbooks"?
Graphic organizers, fold books, presentation books, flap books, and project books?
Do any of those terms ring a bell? Okay, how about scrapbooking?
I'm sure most of you are aware of scrapbooking, but "lapbooking" isn't quite the same, although it has similarities to scrapbooking.
Lapbooks, shutterbooks, and the like all have one thing in common: to capture learned concepts using mini-books, graphics, and student writing into a folder or book.
My girls have completed some lapbooking projects over the years. Our first one ever was all about the history and traditions of Thanksgiving. With our first project, we learned to print out our mini-books onto cardstock instead of regular printing paper, because they will be sturdier and durable for years to come. We learned that the hard way.
In the other lapbooks which the girls have made, we've learned to use double-sided adhesive squares like scrapbookers use. Some families have been successful using glue sticks, rubber cement, or Elmer's Glue, but we have found that all of those eventually peel off or begin to lift off the page. We really prefer the repositionable or permanent double-sided squares to fasten down the little mini-books and graphics.
Lapbooks are usually made with colored or manilla file folders, if you do a search on the internet. There's a little bit of work to do to prepare the file folders, or a lot of work, depending on how you choose to use them or fold them, but it works fairly well. I have a box of colored file folders which we've used in the past for making lapbooks.
Recently, I learned that Pear Educational Products has developed some fabulous lapbooking tools to enable families to be more successful with their lapbooking/folderbooks. I've worked with Heidi, owner of Pear Educational Products, for several years now, as members of the TOS Crew. After I saw the new products she had designed, I knew that she was one smart cookie!
We've had a few frustrations with our lapbooking projects. Pear Educational Products meets my frustrations head on!
In our small town, I haven't been able to find white file folders. Sometimes, manilla or colored file folders are not what we are looking for to use with our lapbooks. Maybe I'm just being nitpicky, but over the years, it would have been really nice to have some white file folders or materials to use for our lapbooks.
Some of the lapbooks have required me to almost do "surgery" on them to get them to fold out with additional pages, flaps, or folds. Occasionally, it's taken a while to fold/cut/duct tape sets of file folders so that there will be enough flaps or pages for a larger lapbook.
The storage of file folders converted into lapbooks isn't an easy task, at least for me. Thicker lapbooks - using multiple file folders - can be tough to hold shut so that the pages won't be damaged. We've tried brads and ribbons, buttons, and a variety of options. But after pulling them in and out of a bookshelf where they are stored, they start to look ragged.
Pear Educational Products sent me samples of 7 of their products they have currently made available. Here they are:
Spiral-bound Project Books
These spiral-bound project books have very sturdy spirals that will last for a long time. The pages are very white! Hooray! The front and back cover pages are made of the same high quality, thick, VERY WHITE paper/card stock as the pages inside of the project book. The two largest sizes also have a pocket page in the back, to store extra mini-books or keepsakes, or to store parts and pieces to use in future pages in the project book. I think it's so neat that my children can design their own front and covers since they are made of very white, heavy duty paper!
There are three sizes: 9" x 11-1/2", 12" x 12", and 6" x 8".
Fold-Up Project Bases
When I saw Pear Educational Products' fold-up project bases, I was SO excited! In the past, file folder lapbooking would require me to use as many as 3 or 4 colored file folders cut up and taped together using duct tape or clear packaging tape or lots of glue to get this same look, especially in the photo on the left.
These project bases are made of very high quality white cardstock that is durable and smooth. This isn't cheap paper! So if you're wanting to do a 3-page lapbook that will also include a front and back cover, the tri-fold project base on the right may work well for your family.
If you want to add an additional 1-2 pages onto your lapbook, the extended base on the left will be a great addition to your lapbooking supplies.
These fold-up project bases are wonderful! If you have spent time cutting, taping, or gluing file folders together, you will really appreciate these project bases!
Project Base Adhesive Strips
The final lapbooking product that Pear Educational Products is selling right now is ingenious! Really! I wasn't smart enough to think of this idea, but I wish I had been! These adhesive strips enable families to place project base lapbooks into 3-ring binders! All you need to do is peel off the paper which covers the adhesive, and then press the adhesive strip to the edge of the project base or file folder! Wow.
Instead of having numerous file folder lapbooks floating around the house or getting lost in the nooks and crannies of a bookshelf, the lapbooks can now have a permanent home in a nice 3-ring binder which will help preserve the lapbooks for future use and viewing. These are so easy to use!
Lapbooking is so popular among homeschoolers and public/private schoolers these days. For struggling or resistant writers, the mini-books used in lapbooks allow for small amounts of writing to be done each day or several times a day so that the student isn't overwhelmed with writing. For children who love to write, this is a creative way to do so.
These high quality, beautiful lapbooking products now available from Pear Educational Products will help your children create lapbooks which will be something to treasure! They are priced reasonably and will work for lapbooks or scrapbooks or unit study displays. They'd even be great for a science fair project! And I could easily see families preparing for a family vacation by doing some research ahead of time on the area in which they will be going, and then when they arrive back home, place photos and journaling into the new lapbook so that it is a family memories treasure.
If you have questions about lapbooking or scrapbooking using Pear Educational Products, please feel free to ask - or check things out on their website. Their customer service is excellent! I highly recommend their useful products.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!