When My Life Isn't Homeschool Picture Perfect: RISE UP

Well sister, if you were looking for perfection, you came to the wrong blog!

To quote my most entertaining dad, "Somethin' just ain't quite right about that girl.  Boy howdy, I know that's right." ;)  
He means it in the sweetest way possible, promise.

So, as I am encouraging you all to "RISE UP" to the challenge of homeschooling with a Christ-centered focus, let me be completely transparent about my epic fails in my own efforts.  Here are some reasons my life has not been homeschool picture perfect this week:

  • Truly, I am the learn by-the-seat-of-my-pants skirt, wait till the last minute, oops-I said I would take care of that, homeschool friend at times.  This week, no exception!
  • My life is hectic at times (I know, you are saying, "like who's isn't?").  It takes a huge effort and all the grace that Jesus can bestow upon me to keep my mouth shut & just do what is kind.  Had more than one hiccup with that this week.
  • My husband was ill with the stomach flu this week (yuck * I do not recommend).  Bless his heart, it was bad.  He gave me some lovely flowers to say thanks. . . I probably didn't deserve them.  You know how "we wives" can feel about husbands whining when ill?  Yep, that was me . . . in secret.
  • I had a mild temper flareup when my new hand crank grinder showed up at my door without any instructions.  My handyman (hubby) was sick and I had to ACTUALLY wait 24 hours for it to be fixed.  Not a big deal, right?  Don't worry, I took it out on my prayer walk.  Silly.
  • I slept late on Monday.  Breakfast was WAY off schedule at 9:15 am and I did not get my lesson plans finished.

So, there you have it.  Nothing tragic.  Less than perfect.  Still in one piece.  Living on grace for the remainder of the week . . . and the rest of my life.

I am hanging on to the lovely words of Roxanne Parks, "Whatever the question is, Jesus is the answer."

Prayers for all of my sisters.  Hoping you experience a joyful (even if it may be less than picture perfect) homeschool journey this week.

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, Instagram Facebook

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


10 Steps to Being Less Easy-to-Offend: RISE UP

We have all been there.
We have all done it.
We all have that "mommy-bear" that can rare up, unexpected and unwelcome.  Getting offended can truly be just as painful to any by-standard close by, and just as hurtful as the offense.

The root issue?  I take offense to what you did, said, or implied.  

Is it right? No.  Do I know it's not?  Probably.  Yet, there it is.  I am offended!  Now what?


10 Steps to Being Less Easy-to-Offend:

1.  Get Accountability!  If getting easily offended tends to be an area of struggle for you, get yourself an accountability partner.  A friend.  An elder. A lady at church.  Your spouse.  Chat it out with someone who will not allow you to take it to a sinful, negative place.  Do not confide in an individual that will allow you to gossip, or that will enable you to stay in this negative life pattern.

2.  Stop Taking It Personal.  It is totally feasible that whatever it is that is offending you is not about you, intended for you, nor directed at you.  There, I  said it, don't take offense. ;)

3.  Walk A Mile In The Other Person's Shoes (or, Socks!).  People are people.  Always have been, always will be.  They will sin, make mistakes, have bad days, suffer tragedy and lash out.  Again, it is probably not about you.  Give grace.  Give a hug.  Say a prayer.  Write a letter.  Now, move on.
PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
4.  Forgive Immediately, Then When You Remember, Forgive Again! and Again! and Again!  Jesus did not ask us to forgive.  He commanded it.  Period.

Mark 11:25 - 26

"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Luke 6:37
"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"

Luke 17:4
"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

5.  Stop Taking People Literally.  Face the fact that people, in general, myself included, are sarcastic in today's society.  There lives literally revolve around themselves.  They don't mean to be short, brash, blunt or rude . . . they just are.  This is the perfect opportunity to practice grace.

6.  Choose Joy.   A close friend of mine and I were discussing this, in-depth, just last week.  Choosing joy and choosing NOT to be offended is just as valid a choice as anger, resentment, offense, or un-forgiveness.  The later are quick, fleshly responses we gravitate toward easily. (I'm wincing at my own statement there)  The joy and not-being-easy-to-offend choices are fruit of the Spirit and require a faithful effort on your's and mine conscientiousness. 
PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc

7.  Give Yourself Some Grace.  Look, we are going to mess-up . . . me especially.  Give yourself some growing room to begin "turning the other cheek" and don't be surprised when you fall short.  Be a big girl, suck-it-up (my dad's favorite advice), and keep moving.

8.  Go Prayer Walking!  Get in the habit at the end of the day, or anytime that is best for your schedule, to hit the sidewalk.  Walking, praying and shedding your day's frustrations is therapeutic to your body, mind and spirit.

9.  Give A Reward to Yourself!  When you have gone God's way and have truly chosen to not be offended in a big situation, just give Him glory and do something good for you.

Okay, okay . . . maybe you would pick a different reward for yourself.  That's cool.  This is obviously what I would pick if I had my choice!

You don't have to be extravagant in rewarding yourself either.  In fact, it would be better to keep it sweet and simple.  Examples:  Give yourself extra time reading, napping, or in the bubble bath.

10.  Give it to God!  Lay these anxieties at the cross of Jesus Christ and leave them there . . . P.S.  That includes not picking them back up again tomorrow.

I know this can be a tough issue for many, and truly, what one of us has not been there?  I am praying that the LORD would give you peace and His strength to help you (and I) lay this one down, so we can Rise Up in His greater service.

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


Rise Up and Meet the Road: {Weekend Reflecting}

PHOTO CREDIT via Comfight.com cc 
An Old Irish Blessing
~ Author Unkown

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Reflecting on the week with joy; come good, bad, or indifferent . . . 

This week has been full of prayer and reflection.  I tend to get introspective this time of the year.  Perhaps this is caused by the constant warm-cold-in-out of Texas weather.  When it comes to weather in Texas, you just have to be flexible sister.

How our school week went . . . 
We had a what I lovingly dub a homeschool-lite week.  The children spent most of their academic hours reading or working on their history projects.  Each of the kids will be entering multiple entries in our local Texas Independence Day Festival coming up next week.  Here is a sneak peek:
The Alamo: by the Squeaker, 14 yo
What I'm reading this week . . . 
I have been reading as much as possible during the week.  This is essential for me.  Reading feeds me, and helps me to maintain a more positive outlook.

Charlotte Mason: Original Homeschool Series, Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead & Freeze Cookbook, Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage & A Charlotte Mason Companion

Won my copy on Simple Homeschool - Thank you!
What's on my e-Reader . . . 
One Bite at a Time
This book is a great motivator for me during this season.  The book is broken down into small projects created to help you reach a simpler lifestyle.  Oh, yes please!  Do you know how easily this mommy can make things too complicated and "gum-up" the works?  Think Speedy Gonzales fast!

What the kids are reading this week . . . 
The Squeaker: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Outsiders, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (NOT BAD for a dyslexic kid!)
The Scout: The Spy & The Secret of the Fortune Wookie
The Bug: The Rover Boys on the River, True Tales of Animal Heroes, The Bible (she's trying to do a read-through this year), Fudge-a-mania

Mom projects that I tackled this week . . . 
  • This was my most exciting week for accomplishing some projects!  I officially have a "writing" mentor and she is helping me stay accountable to my writing goals, and checking my progress.  I NEED THIS.  I worked on two of my upcoming eBooks, began an article and posted on this blog (my goal is 4 posts a week).  
  • Cleaned out the garden & flower beds for some spring planting.  Cross my fingers . . . 

What I'm Eating?  
Gluten Free, mostly Dairy Free, Clean-eating, whole foods . . . having major issues maintaining this when I am out of the house.  Lock me up food-police!

Here are the posts I enjoyed this week . . .
Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook . . . if you dare!

* This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our full statement of disclosure here.  Thank you for your support.

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


10 Ways to Bless a Homeschool Mom: Rise Up

Truth be known, historically the winter is the absolute yuckiest time for my health and mental wellness.  I am sure this is the case with many mommies, in general, not just home educators.  Unfortunately for the home educator, this means that the children's learning in the home has a tendency to fall-through-the-cracks, or daily learning seems to suffer.

This is exactly why I was proactive this year and attended the Homeschool Winter Summit in Norman, OK.  (Okay, so also because I love hanging with the ladies I caravan-ed with! Smockity Frocks, Kelly Wiggains, Marathon Mom and more.)  I did come down with the flu while there (not an excellent combination.  I do not recommend), but it wasn't an "epic fail" in the end.  

I recognized that I must be actively moving toward encouragement and edification during this season of the year.  I still ended up ill and in bed for two weeks straight, but having received new marching orders and a refreshed spirit, I was better able to maintain joy and focus.  My kids remained consistent in studies and excellence, and I was a much pleasanter person to be around.  Win, win, win situation.

Still, one has to stay completely proactive and walking in faith to maintain this kind of consistency until that first day of Spring!

With many situations in life's journey, it is important to lift-up others, rather than ourselves, in order to receive blessings from the LORD.  We were just discussing this at length during our Christian Living Course on Wednesday night at church.  When we help others it seems that the LORD is made more free to bless us in our own situation.  In short, are you struggling in this area or have a need?  Find someone in the same situation or that is struggling with the same need . . . then, bless that person.  So, if you are struggling to make it to your Spring semester with you and your children intact, bless another home educator.

10 Ways to Bless a Homeschool Mom
  1. Make a Freezer meal for that Oh man, I forgot that my family needs to eat EVERY night emergency that we have all encountered.
  2. Take your friend's kids to the park, museum or skate-day while she does lesson plans, or, even better, takes a bubble bath.
  3. Volunteer to do a Saturday Workshop to help your friend's kids with enrichment, or to get "caught up" in whatever subject is your specialty. 
  4. Run to the store and grab a homeschool "refill" supply pack.  Example: pencils, notebook paper, pens, playing cards, dominoes, markers, crayons, and the most important POST IT NOTES.
  5. Bless your friend with a Cleaning Day!   Arrange a day that you can help your friend tackle those deep-cleaning, not-so-fun, housework issues that have gone to the wayside.  MOVIE NIGHT at your house with for the kids and dads while you and your friend work.
  6. Help with the joyous (sarcastic-tone) work of grading!  Volunteer to take a big-fat, yes it's been sitting in one place since Christmas, pile of school work that needs graded.  Oh, admit it, we've all done it.
  7. Take time to write a note of encouragement.  Stopping the business of life to put our edification to pen is a blessing to those who receive  and those who give.  Just let your friend know that you love her, we all have trials as mom and home educator, and just give her some reassurance.  Visually seeing this is a blessing to any mom.
  8. Bless her with books.  Go to your local thrift store or used book store and stock up on books that fit her style of education, inspirational books or living books for the kids.  Believe me, a home educator can never have enough books. ;)

9.  Go shopping!  No, you cannot leave the kids behind!  Volunteer to do her grocery shopping for the week.  Just one more thing she can cross off her to-do list.
10.  Pray for your homeschool sister, and pray with her!  Truly, this is the greatest blessing for your friend.  Do not underestimate the power of Jesus  interceding on your friend's behalf.  God is still on the throne, and prayer still changes things!

Bottom-line?  Take the time to be a blessing, you will never regret time taken to help someone else . . . Scout's honor.

As a home educator, what would be a big blessing to you?

Joyfully serving with you,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


How To Overcome The Daily Mommy Blahs: RISE UP

I am, without any stretch of the imagination, one of the world's worst mommy-procrastinators!  I have absolutely no pride or shame in letting the laundry go . . . literally.  Remember this picture . . .


There are beds to be made. Blah.
Dinner to be cooked. Blah.
Lesson Plans to be finished. Blah. Blah.
Dishes to be unloaded. Blah.
Chore charts to be completed. Blah.
Weeds to be pulled. Blah. Blah.
Monday! Blah.
PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
What then is to be done, by mommy, when you live in a society that says you should "feel happy" and be instantly gratified by every single thing you do, everyday?!?

Let us reflect on the old adage, "What would Jesus do?".  Cliche? Yes, but indulge me.

Read John 13.

"We see there the Incarnate God [Jesus Christ] doing the most desperate piece of drudgery, washing fishermen's feet [yuck!], and He says - 'If then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet.'  It requires the inspiration of God to go through drudgery with the light of God upon it." --- Oswald Chambers

Answer to overcoming the daily mommy blahs?  Arise, and shine.  Give God the glory!

Jesus Christ, can make the most common and ordinary action, beautiful and holy.  Are you "feeling" life's drudgery today?  Stop girl, and realize that your life is not about "feelings" but about giving glory to the One that made you.
  • Arise, get up and do that "thing" with the joy of the LORD in your heart, and His glory in your mind! (Yes, I will join you in well-doing, by doing my laundry . . . joyfully.  Adios Mrs. Procrastination - you're fired.)
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." (KJV)

ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc

  • Take stock daily and give thanks.
  • Make that ordinary thing beautiful.  As a bonus, your children will observe you doing this and will follow suit.
Praying for you, my dear friends and readers, that you will be moved toward the ordinary today and make it extra-ordinary, to the glory of God!

What is the blah thing you need to rise up and do today?

Joyfully Serving With You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


True Heroes: George Washington Mini-Unit

ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
This President's Day, I am bringing a new monthly series to the blog, True Heroes.  I will be featuring a person from history each month, because I'm a total nerd and history buff (yes, I'm okay with that).  I will be choosing individuals that meet specific criteria:
  • Historically significant individuals
  • Held openly Christian values & actions that matched those values (does this mean there were perfect, no, of course not)
  • Humbly served to better their society and world
To start us off, I have appropriately chosen February's hero, George Washington.
Washington portrait on horseback

Mini - Unit:
  • George Washington's Story (This link will lead you to another page on this blog, with a wonderful excerpt from D.H. Montgomery's book a Beginner's History of America)
George Washington's Rules of Civility Copywork Notebook  

1789 97 George Washington
PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc
Enjoy the joyful journey of learning at home.

Who is your favorite president?

Joyfully Learning Alongside You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!

WHERE WE ARE AT: This post is my contribution to Homeschooling on the Cheap at 3 Boys and a Dog.

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


Take the Weekend OFF Teach! {Weekend Reflecting}

Go forth, home educator, and play!  Please, forget you are the teacher.

Read something funny and joyful.

Build a Lego creation with your son.

Listen to your teenager's favorite music.
PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc

Sit and play with your littlest's toys.

Drink a cup of tea, with each child.

Do something your kid loves, and you could care less about.

Do nothing that is related to school . . . even history! (. . . must make a note for myself on that one!)

Ditch your lesson plans.

Forget your grading. (Oh, calm down "little Mrs. OCD"!  It's just for today.)

Ignore the emails and texts, maybe even phone calls.

Just be mom, and remember the pure JOY found in being what God created you to be!


“Life was about spending time together , about having the time to walk together holding hands, talking quietly as the sun goes down. It wasn't glamorous, but it was, in many ways, the best that life has to offer. Wasn't that how the old saying went? Who, on their deathbed, ever said they wished they had worked harder? Or spent less time enjoying a quiet afternoon? Or spent less time with their family?”

~ Nicholas Sparks, True Believer

Here are a few encouraging & FUN reads for your weekend OFF:

  • How about enjoying a new art project with one of your kids?  Especially if you're not the creative type.
  • Do you ever feel like THIS when family or friends come over mid-homeschool day?

Joyfully Learning Alongside You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:


What's in the Book Basket? From the Shelves of a Bibliophiliac

The evidence has continually pointed in the same direction since I was of age to read. . . I am a bibliophiliac!  Unrepentant-totally addicted-absolutely passionate-reader!  Today, I would like to share my love and passion for good living books by giving you a peek into what is in the "book basket".

Original PHOTO CREDIT via Compfight.com cc

The Book Basket: This lovely little basket holds the books that are currently being read-a-loud as a family.  
Mom's Living Room End-table:  These books are what I am currently consuming through out the day when I allow myself to ACTUALLY put my feet up.
  • Sacred Marriage: Love the tag line for this book ---> What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy.

  • Bible: King James Version
Next to my Bedside: These are my end-of-day reflecting or enjoyment books.  (Yes, I realize that using History reading for "enjoyment" is not "normal", but consider the source! . . . just saying.)

On my E-Reader:  This is what I read when the kids are reading independently during school time hours.
  • Notebooking Success:  Reading this through for the SECOND time this year hoping to glean more ways to motivate the kids in their notebooking methods.
What are you and your "bibliophiliacs" consuming these days?

Joyfully Learning Alongside You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter & Facebook!

HERE are other blog posts you might enjoy:
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a small portion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does receive compensation for reviews and articles, not for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration.