Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Worth

What is my worth?  How do I measure my worth? Unfortunately in my perfectionist ways, I measure my worth by, well…. perfectionist standards.  These standards are not set by anyone other than myself.  To most, these standards would seem ridiculous and absurd.  I have heard many times from my husband, mother, family and friends that I place way too much pressure and guilt on myself.  I have argued that this isn't the case but I know in my heart it most certainly is.  I see this same quality in my oldest son.  It kills me to watch him beat himself up emotionally because a task he is trying to complete does not seem perfect. I was hanging up clothes in my daughter's closet this afternoon after a very hard morning.  We had one of "those"mornings which trickled into one of "those" afternoons which led to extreme mommy guilt followed by lots of self doubt and on and on.  As I was hanging up the clothes, I began to pray asking why I can't seem to figure this out.  Then this statement popped into my head, "You are measuring your worth on a "good day" or a "bad day".  Hmmmm, I would agree with that statement 100%. This is what a good day looks like in my mind:
  • house is clean (relatively speaking)
  • homeschool and daily lessons go extremely well without any hiccups
  • laundry is finished
  • I feel happy and content with my role as Mom
This is what a bad day looks like in my mind:
  • house is a mess
  • homeschool and daily lessons maybe don't go well - kids meltdown, I meltdown
  • laundry is creeping out of the laundry room
  • I feel I did not do my best with my role as Mom
Look, I know these lists are ridiculous.  I know they are not realistic but this is how my mind works.  It is something I fight every day.  I have always been the type that when given a task if I put in 100% then I should get my expected results.  Unfortunately, this mindset does not go along with motherhood - AT. ALL.

Now here is the light bulb moment of my day.  The women's Life Group that I belong to just finished our study of Esther (Beth Moore).  It was such a great study - long but oh so good!  There were countless moments throughout the study that I felt like I had those light bulb moments.  When I got home after the session, my husband had to leave right away to run back down to the market.  He was only going to be gone for a short time so I decided to go upstairs and right in my prayer journal.  The kids were already asleep so this was free quiet time.  While I was thanking God for many things, especially his patience with me, my thoughts turned into this sentence.  

My worth is not in a good day or a bad day, my worth is in You.

There it is, the simple truth.  It seems so easy…

Now that I feel like God helped me to realize this truth, I hope I drill it into my perfectionistic mentality.  I hope I can remember when the dishes are piling up, the laundry seems a mile high, and when our school day is rough and bumpy, my worth is only in Him.

I am so thankful I took the time to write this in my journal.  I hope I can remember to reference it often. I hope and pray I can find peace in this truth.

This post may seem annoying or worthy of an eye-roll to some.  But for me it feels more like a piece of freedom.  I am also aware that some will wonder why I would ever post something like this.  That part is easy, because I know there are other moms, wives, and women that hold themselves to the same standards.  I know that it makes me feel a little better when others are open and honest.  I am just trying to do the same.  

Deep in my heart I know I am a good mom.  I know that God placed my children in my care for a specific reason.  But in the every day life sometimes I fall victim to measuring my worth by a good day or a bad day.  Hopefully from today forward, I will try remember my worth is only in Him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learning About the Heart at Our Family Meat Market

Last week when we visited our local museum, I was excited to see just how much has changed and the new plans for the future.  The kids had a great time exploring all of the new exhibits.  In one of the areas, the museum provided handouts for each organ of the body.  The idea was to allow the kids to color the organs and then place them on a life-size outline of their body.  We didn't have time to do this at the museum so I asked the volunteer if we could take the handouts home.  They were more than happy to gather everything up and send it with us. We have finished our Science curriculum for the school year.  It is by far the favorite subject in our home, therefore, we NEVER have a school day without it.  Since, we have finished the actual curriculum, I am filling our science time with experiments and unit studies.  These organ handouts and activity were the perfect thing to add.  We can spend quite a bit of time discussing each organ, tracing each child's body on butcher paper, and then placing the organs in the correct locations.  I love it when I come across something like this - even better when it is free! :) We started working on the organs yesterday when it dawned on me how great it would be to see an actual organ.  Now, we don't really have any connections to getting our hands on human organs (that just sounds strange), but we can definitely get animals organs from our family owned meat market.  I called my husband and made one of my strangest requests to date, "Hi Honey, do you happen to have any cow hearts?" Don't you call your husband asking for cow hearts and various organs? No??? Hmmm, I thought that was normal! :)  Just so happens he did have a beef heart and told us to come on over.  The kids were beyond excited, so we quickly finished up our morning assignments and headed out the door. When we got there, my husband was a bit tied up and "Paw-Paw" (grandpa) caught wind of what we were up to.  He jumped right in and gave the kids quite a lesson on beef heart.  The kids were practically elbow deep in heart.  I was shocked that they weren't grossed out and then a bit disturbed that they were enjoying it so much. :)  At the end, my husband was able to show the kids a cow liver.  We were shocked at how large it was.  It weighed 10 lbs!  We received quite the education, that is for sure! Here are the pictures from our outing.  The image quality is not great since I was using my phone and trying to balance on my tiptoes in order to get pictures from above.  Anyway, you will get the idea. :) *Warning - If you have a squeamish tummy these photos may not be for you.  You've been warned! :)
Beef Heart

We were able to weigh the heart and it rounded out at 3 lbs.

So many questions.  :)

She may be tiny but she does not get grossed out.

Liver - Ewwww

Super fun morning with lots of learning!  Thank you Daddy and Paw-Paw!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

See, Sound, Blend, Write

I love it when I come across an activity or manipulative that covers many areas at once.  Even better, when I realize I already have that particular activity or manipulative in our classroom.  Years ago, my oldest son (then 2) received the See and Spell Game from Melissa and Doug.  With this game, the child can cover a wide variety of activities and everything is contained in a neat little box. I have used this game with all three of my kids, however, my daughter (now 5) seems to like it the most. Here are just a few ways this activity can be used: 1.  All of the letters are lowercase.  Use to introduce lowercase letters to your child.
2.  Discuss the sounds of each letter.
3.  Put a few letters in order, remove a letter, and then ask your child which letter is missing.
4.  Each picture card has a front and a back (twice the fun).  Discuss the pictures on the front and back.
5.  Discuss the beginning sound of each picture/word.
6.  Discuss the middle sounds or various blends for each picture/word.
7.  Discuss the ending sound of each picture/word.
8.  Find the letters and match to the letters in the picture/word.
9.  Say each letter then sound out the word.
10.  Re-write the word on a different sheet of paper or individual dry erase board

On this particular day, she was matching the letters, sounding out the word, then writing it on her own paper.

I am sure there are other activities you could do with this game.  I have thought of ten and in my book that makes this game a treasure in our classroom.  Also, this particular set of ours is 8 years old and it still looks great!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two Years of Blogging!!!

Good morning!  I was looking at an old post and realized March is the month I started this blog.  This month marks the two year mark for my tiny piece of the web and the wonderful connection I have formed with those of you who read it.  I have said it many times, it means the world to me when someone takes the time out of their busy schedule to read or even skim a post.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Over the past two years, I have written 238 posts and accumulated almost 70,000 page views.  I would say about 90% of the posts have been published on the blog.  There are times when I write or begin an idea and then it just never gets finished or I lose steam.  But for the most part, if I write it I put it out there for all to see.  :)  Now in "blog land" these are still pretty small numbers but in my world they are huge.  Again, it just means so much to me that anyone would take the time to read what I post.  I know that I have a couple of favorite blogs that I like to keep up with.  I usually read them in the morning with a cup of coffee or really late a night with a bowl of ice cream….  And now you know why my jeans are a bit tight and I will be swimming in sweats this summer.  :)  Anyway, I hope that Right Where You Are has become a relaxing part of your day.  Maybe you read it with a cup or coffee or bowl of ice cream. :) I would love to see the blog continue to grow but I often struggle with what direction I should take it.  Should I stick to just "mommy" topics?  Should I lean more towards the homeschool audience?  My husband and I love DIY projects but those are so expensive and few and far between.  I love food but I am horrible at taking pictures of food (that is harder than you think).  For now, I have decided to just continue writing about our family life (which kind of includes a little of all the above).  We shall see where it goes! :) Thank you to all of you for reading.  As I have said more than once in this post, it really means so much to me. If you are new to my little blog, here are the categories I write under.  You can also find these categories at the top of the page.  Also, if you are ever looking for something specific you can search using the search tool on the right. Right Where We Are Categories - Click on the following links to view a list of posts (and links) for each specific category Family
Girl Talk
Deliciousness (Recipes)
Projects and Crafts
The Butcher's Blog (a.k.a. My Hubby)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Secret Leprechaun

Good morning and Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya!  This morning my kids had a special delivery way before the sun came up.  A secret leprechaun left St. Patrick's Day baskets on our door step for each of the kids (secret leprechaun also means Grandma referred to by my kids as "Ma").

She filled the baskets with just about everything that comes in the color green.  :)  Just to name a few: green mugs, small can of sprite, green M&M's, Oreos with mint centers, Mentos, green beads, green confetti, shamrock stickers, etc.

There were also some non green items but still within the St. Patty's Day theme:  fruit slice rainbows with Rolos for gold, a bag of chocolate gold coins, an old fashioned bottle of cream soda, and on goes the list. :)

The kids loved their baskets.  There was even a container of glazed croissants with green sprinkles which my husband and I confiscated.  I mean that is only fair…we didn't get a basket! :)  Speaking of the baskets, I have a great idea for those when St. Patty's Day is over.  I will keep you posted.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Tiny Kitchen Addition from a Dear Friend

Last night on our way out of church, my dear, sweet friend stopped us and handed me a green gift bag.  It was such a fun surprise because it was completely out of the blue.  But that is how this friend of mine works.  She is the type of person who will leave a note of encouragement on my door, a favorite colored pen (just because we love those), pick up the cost of a cup of coffee, or send a sweet text because she knows I am having a rough day.  A couple of years ago, we met up at a park with our children.  She was talking about running to the grocery store but wasn't sure when she would fit it into her schedule.  I told her to leave her kids with me at the park and run to the store.  It was a beautiful day and my kids weren't ready to leave so it was a win-win for everyone.  When she came back to the park she shoved something in my purse and said, "That is for you and not to share with the kids."  I looked in my purse to find a Snickers bar.  How sweet!  You know when you are a mom, hiding in the pantry to eat the Snickers bar which was purchased just for you is about as much fun as you can stand. :)

Back to last night, I was so surprised and touched to receive a gift from my friend.  When I opened the gift bag two small, white, glass salt and pepper shakers appeared.  They are adorable!  She knows I love all things vintage, especially in the kitchen.  These little shakers are just the cutest thing and make me smile each time I look at them.  I love that they are old and not perfect.  I love that you can see the wear and tear of past years.  I love looking at them and wondering what house they came from or how excited the original owner must have been when she found them.  But most of all, I love that they came from my dear friend.

If you know me well, you know these could not be more perfect. :)

Thank you to my dear friend. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Cleaning and a Precious Moment

Last weekend, I found myself in a spring cleaning type of mood.  Now, I am not overly focused on keeping the house perfect at all times.  For the most part, it looks nice but it is also well lived in.  If someone is stopping by you will definitely catch me running around like a crazy person picking things up and vacuuming.  But on most days we have things that need to be put away, dog hair, and a ridiculous amount of tooth paste in the kids' bathroom sink.  If you have a solution to this toothpaste problem please let me know!  That stuff could be used as cement once it dries.. Since the mood struck to clean out I figured I had better jump on it.  I started with the closet in our master bedroom.  It has an amazing amount of space; almost the size of a very small bedroom.  Dreamy…right?  Nope.  We don't have any linen closets in our home and we live in Texas…no basements.  So, that huge master closet pretty much becomes the closet for everything:  decorations, keepsakes, bath towels, linens, shoes, my husband collection of all things male (weaponry), jewelry, sewing kits, oh yes it also contains clothes.  It is a nightmare to keep organized because there are so many different categories in one area.  I took a breath and jumped in armed with trash bags and my vacuum cleaner and went to town.  I did have a wonderful distraction, my cousins and I had a rather lengthy group text going back and forth.  That really helped to keep me moving and distracted from the mess I was making. The most exciting part was moving our dresser into the closet.  Now the closet feels more like a dressing room.  I have big plans for the empty area in our bedroom.  I really would like a reading are with cozy chairs, small table, and lamp.  The space is empty so we will see how long it takes for me to actually finish the area.  Remember, we completely overhauled our bedroom awhile back (see here and here) but we have never finished (or started) my reading area. After the closet was finished and we ate lunch, I moved onto my youngest son's bedroom.  This bedroom was originally our spare bedroom, then classroom, and now his room.  When we transitioned from classroom to his bedroom it just never seemed finished.  His closet was still filled with arts and crafts, our high school letterman jackets, and my wedding dress.  I was able to move all of the arts and crafts out of his closet but I really have no idea where I will put the rest of what I listed.  I cleaned out and rearranged his closet.  While I wa cleaning out I called all of the kids into the room.  His room still held the bookshelf from the old classroom.  I told the kids we needed to go through each and every children's book and decide to keep, toss, or donate.  I hate the feeling of throwing out books but some were in really bad shape.  I thought the kids were going to complain about this process but I was surprised at how much fun we had.  The books brought back so many memories and we had so many that we all agreed were family favorites.  We sat on the floor in his room surrounded by books while laughing and squealing and grabbing our favorites.  It was such a precious moment and it warmed my heart that they remembered so many of the books.  We moved the bookshelf into the classroom and organized the books we chose to keep.  His room looks so much better.  It still needs to be repainted and the carpet needs to be pulled out but overall it is an improvement. Now the hard part is getting myself motivated to clean out my daughter's room.  She does not throw anything out and has a serious attachment to even the smallest things.  Plus she has a major opinion and will definitely let me know if I make an error.  :)  Maybe I will do that on a day my husband is home.  He throws out E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!  They should make a great team…. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A New Stage of Parenting

Yesterday, I took my youngest (newly five year old) child to the pediatrician for her annual well check up.  She turned five a couple of weeks ago and I just can't seem to get used to this new age.  Five seems so much older than four.  Five seems so far away from baby and toddler.  Five just isn't sitting well with me.  I look at her and she is so tiny and petite.  She is the youngest with two big brothers.  She can't possibly be five...but she is and she will definitely correct you if you accidentally say four. I feel like with our youngest turning five we have entered a different stage of parenting.  We are no longer parents of infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.  As I sat in the pediatricians office, I began to get a bit misty-eyed.  There are so many things that I miss about having a baby but there are so many great things with this new stage, as well. Here are a few of things that have changed over the years. 1.  It has been a couple of years since we had to use a stroller.  My heart actually hurt when we got rid of our Graco Quattro-Tour.  Oh, it was the cadillac of strollers about 11 years ago.  :)  I made my husband get rid of it while I wasn't looking.  It just hurt my heart - I loved that stroller and it carried all three of my babies. 2.  My mom and I recently took the kids to San Antonio for a day trip and I did not pack any extra clothes.  That was a weird feeling.  I always pack clothes - you never know who may spill, get sick, etc.  This is what I considering walking on the wild side. :) 3.  When we load up to go somewhere, the boys open the car doors and everyone is able to buckle their own seat belt.  I thought this day would never come.  This whole idea is also a very strange feeling.  Just the other month, I accidentally leaned over and buckled my ten year old into his seat.  You should have seen the look on his face.  I can't help it, when you have been buckling for 10 years the urge does not go away overnight. 4.  Everyone sleeps through the night - E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E - enough said, Amen! 5.  For the most part, the morning routine is smooth.  Physically, I do not have to get anyone dressed, however, the reminders to get dressed are frequent.  I can even put on my make-up and do my hair while they are getting themselves ready.  Another point I thought would never happen. 6.  If in a pinch, they could serve themselves cereal, make a sandwich, etc.  It still makes me a nervous wreck when someone pulls a full gallon of milk out of the fridge.  I still step in with that one.  I have visions of milk flying across the kitchen and living in places I will never find. 7.  The boys have stopped ordering from the kids menu.  Okay, this is a bit of a complaint.  The total for four adult meals plus one child meal is a much larger amount than what we are used to.  The days of feeding five for under $25 are over. 8.  Everyone is big enough to pitch in and help (with pretty much everything) - this is huge!  I remember when our kids were 5, 2, and under 1 everything was a struggle.  Once during a soccer game,  things were not going well and my then five year old was quickly melting down.  I knew the only thing we could do was just leave and go home.  However, I was by myself with a five year old throwing a huge fit, a two year old not understanding what was going on, and an under one in the stroller.  I strapped all our folding chairs around my body along with the camera bag and threw the cooler under the stroller (that would be our trusty Gracco Quatro Tour).  I picked up the two year old and carried him on my hip, while dragging the five year old and trying to push the stroller with the same hand.  We were no where near the car and I am pretty sure everyone was watching.  I held my head up high (I think all of us were crying) and marched to the car.  These days, everyone carries their own stuff and no one is on my hip!  PROGRESS! 9.  We only have one set of training wheels left to remove and I think it is right around the corner.  :) 10.  Both boys take their own showers.  Our five year old still needs help with her hair but for the most part she does everything else on her own.  This is amazing.  I typically send the boys upstairs for showers while I cleanup the kitchen and living room.  I can remember when bath time and bedtime would drag on for well over an hour. I really miss having a baby but this stage is wonderful in so many ways.  I know it won't last long, the ten year old gets older by the day.  I am really not looking forward to the teenage years and unfortunately those years will be here quickly. I wish I had slowed down when my kids were younger.  Everyone tells you to enjoy each phase and season because it will pass quickly.  Funny how you don't really understand what they mean until so many precious seasons are over. *Mom, you were right.  They will all go to college potty trained - I really didn't believe you!