Thursday, April 30, 2015

Girl Mom Series: Jenny, The Chronicles of We

Hello! I’m thrilled to be a part of Beth's Girl Mom Series and I’m excited to introduce myself to you! I’m Jenny and I blog over at The Chronicles of We. I’m a SAHM to a strong-willed, sassy, independent almost three-year-old amazing little girl named Callie. I've got your typical mommy blog sharing about our family’s adventures and a wide potpourri of topics! You can also find me overgramming life on Instagram too! I'm also wife to Jake (13 years this summer). We recently moved back to our home state of Michigan after a decade away. We built our (hopefully) forever house on a lake! I love chocolate, wine, beer, diet pop (it’s pop not soda people!), pizza oh and running so I can enjoy all those delicious things!

When I think about being a girl mom I think so many things! It really took me awhile to sort out what I wanted to share with you all about being a girl mom. I think about pink and balancing it with blue. I think about being pretty and being smart. I think about how much Callie challenges me and how to challenge her back. I think about sports, princesses, trucks and tea parties. I think about math and science. I think about body image and the strength of a woman's voice. When it comes down to it I mostly think about teaching my daughter to be strong and confident. Having confidence is more than a state of mind; it become a part of your identity. That's an identity that I'd like my daughter to have with her for life. So what does that confidence look like?

I want my daughter to be confident in who she is. Not only physically but confident in her personality, beliefs and ideas. To be confident enough to be herself.

I want my daughter to be able to know when something is wrong and walk away from it.

I want my daughter to know she is beautiful just how she is.

I want my daughter to know she is smart. I also want her to be strong enough to show it and never want to hide it.

I want my daughter to be brave. Not fearless but brave enough to try the things she really want to try without letting her head hold her back.

I want my daughter to enjoy sunsets, sunrises, warm lazy summer days, the first snow fall, the birds chirping and all things that nature's beauty offers.

I want my daughter to love pink, princesses, dresses and accessories. I also want her to love dirt, tools and trucks. I want her to be confident enough to love both and show it.

I want her to learn to enjoy the stage of life she's in and not be in a rush for "what's next."

I want my daughter to know the joy and struggle of motherhood if she desires it. Yet be confident enough in herself to know if that's not for her.

I want her to find something that she's passionate about and follow that passion. I believe if she does that regardless of career success she will be happy.

I want her to know the strength of a good hug, the power of laughter and the gift of a smile for her whole life. I want her to be confident enough to share these gifts freely.

I don't know exactly how I will teach her all of this. Role modeling is a part of it. Most importantly I think it's through love, opportunity and support. Not only to believe in yourself but growing up in an environment where you are encouraged to believe in yourself. I know as she continues to grow that will look different over time. I love being a girl mom and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thanks again Beth for having me as a part of your series! 

Jenny, thank you so much for sharing Callie with us today. So many of your wants for Callie resonated so strongly in my heart for my girls and I feel confident that they will in the hearts of other mamas too.

Make sure you stop by The Chronicles of We, say hello and follow along.

You can also connect with Jenny through these social media outlets.
Instagram ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin

If you're interested in sharing your story about being a girl mom fill out this survey and I will be in touch.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

OKC Memorial

This weekend was a whirlwind of a trip. Saturday Anna and I busted out of town and headed to Oklahoma City to run the 15th annual OKC Memorial Run. The whole trip was amazing. The half was the most fun I have ever had running. I even felt like I could have kept going. OKC, you did not disappoint. The people, atmosphere and energy were epic.

 I plan to talk more about the race soon but today I wanted to share about the most impactful part of our time in OKC. 

The memorial.

 We first passed through here about 5:30 a.m. it was cold, it was dark and it was beautiful. So many people gathered, praying, sitting. We immediately made plans to go back later so we could take it all in, in the day light.

The survivor tree. 

I have wanted to see this tree for several years and there I was standing right in front of it.

Pictures fail to do it justice. It was the most beautiful tree I have ever seen.

From the tree you can overlook the memorial.

The two walls, one at each end, say 9:01 & 9:03. Everything between them reflects what happened at 9:02 on April 19th 1995.

After looking and talking a bit we decided to go walk around a bit closer. 

I was not prepared for the emotions that would soon follow. 

168 chairs, the smaller ones for the children, each with a name of someones parent, wife, child, grandparent. My eyes filed with tears as we walked around. Every chair had something on it. Coins, race medals, bibs, flowers. Nobody was forgotten.

Oklahoma City follow it's motto.

Run To Remember.

I feel so privileged that we got to be a part of that.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Talk: Mom Talk Tuesday: Sharing Your Faith With Your Children

Welcome to Tuesday Talk!

Your weekly Tuesday link-up where you can post anything and mingle around. 
We would love to have you join us today!

This week I am excited to also be linking up with Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me for Mom Talk Tuesdays

Wife Mommy Me

The topic for this month: Sharing your faith with your children.

In our home we love Jesus. We believe that He is the son of God, He lived a holy and sinless life, and was the atonement for our sins. We believe in salvation by faith. We believe that being a christian doesn't make you immune to sin and that God's Grace and love for his children is abundant. God doesn't call people to a life of perfection. He calls them to trust, believe, proclaim and depend on a perfect Savior.

More than anything in this world I want my children to know a few things.

1. No matter how much we, (or others) say we love you, God loves you more. 
2. Christians mess up. We will never be perfect on this earth. But Gods grace is extravagant.
3. God is good, ALWAYS. He is incapable of being anything but good.
4. The Bible does not promise that being a Christian is easy, actually the opposite is true.
5. Everything pales in comparison to Christ. 

I pray that they would come to know and love Jesus.
There is rarely a day that goes by that I don't think about that. 

Here are some ways we share our faith with our children in our home.

1. We go to church. Going to church does not make you a Christian, but we believe Christians should actively be involved in a body of believers.
2. We pray together.
3. We study the Bible together.
4. We repent to our children when we have wronged them. Few things are more humbling than confessing sin and repenting to a 4 year old. But it is always so good for both of us. 
5. We give them opportunities to grow. In our home those look like Awana, VBS, or our Christian home school co-op.
6. We worship together. I love listening to praise music with my girls.
7. We work on catechisms with them.
8. We talk about disobedience and call it what it is, sin.

The Bible says:
Train a child the way they should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

The Bible tells us to train our children.
 We believe this is a call to action. It is not a suggestion of something we can do when it works out for us. Training is hard and it must be consistent.

The Bible also says:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants no he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  
I Corinthians 3:6-7

God makes the seeds grow, not us.
Right now our job is to plant as many seeds in their hearts as we possibly can. We plant, trust, hope and pray that God will make the seeds grow.

As much as we want to, we are incapable of being everything our girls needs.
But we know a God who is more than enough.

How do you share your faith with your children?

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Ask A Home School Mom: {A Day In The Life, Part 2}

Thanks for joining in for part 2 of my homes school mini series.

 Y'all were so sweet and encouraging with your comments on part 1. I am so excited that there has been so much interest on this topic. I have heard from those who want to home school, know for sure that they don't, or are still undecided. I love it.

Several of you asked about what our daily schedule looks like. Part two is a glimpse into a day of our life. I put together my first "Day In The Life" post so you could see exactly what a pretty average day looks like.

Next week I will finish up answering your questions and give more details on what our daily school schedule/year look like.


April 22, 2014
Russ -35
Beth -31
Marissa -6
Emily -4

1:42 a.m. I woke up for some strange reason feeling very alert. Assuming I had slept in I grabbed my phone, nope. Then I heard it, a storm. Go figure. I thought I was past these days but I guess not. It wasn't anything severe so I spent the next bit convincing my body to go back to sleep eventually succeeding.

4:23 a.m. My alarm goes off, I lay in bed check Facebook and emails then convince myself to get up and ready to go hit the gym.

4:56 a.m. I am ready to go, let's do this!

5:06 a.m. I arrive at the gym ready to put in my last training run before my half marathon on Sunday. It always feels so weird doing your last training run. After I'm done I walk a bit and do some stretching.

6:21 a.m. I leave the gym to head home just as the sun is starting to rise.

6:31 a.m. I'm home. Russ is getting ready for work, the girls are asleep. I make the bed. 

6:36 a.m. The bed is made, and the girls are still asleep so I get dressed for the day. 

6:43 a.m. I go to the kitchen to get Russ' coffee & breakfast ready for him to grab and go. Yes, he is spoiled. I open the curtains, turn on a few lights and stop trying to be quiet.

6:47 a.m. It worked, Emily is already awake.

6:56 a.m. Kiss Russ goodbye, fix Emily some cereal then make myself a cup of tea. The laundry is starting to pile up so I thrown in a load and put away some dishes. 

7:11 a.m. I discover that Marissa is awake, but still in bed. I tell her it's time to get up and make her bed then I go fix our breakfast. 

7:20 a.m. Emily is coloring and Marissa and I sit down to eat. I do a little "blogging business" on the lap top. 

7:50 a.m. I Reheat my tea for the first time, have the girls brush their teeth and clean up the breakfast dishes.
8:03 a.m. School starts. We pray then have Bible class where I talk about justification and sanctification with a 6 year old. The end of this book is getting pretty theologically complicated for a 6 year old, but we do our best.

8:15 a.m. Emily starts some school in a number book while Marissa works on a crossword puzzle for Bible class.

8:25 a.m. I Switch the laundry around. 

8:40 a.m. Bible class is finished, we move to penmanship/writing. I reheat my tea for the second time.

8:50 a.m. I head to the kitchen to mix up some wheat bread dough.

9:00 a.m.
Marissa finishes her writing so I give her a 10 minute break. Emily chooses to help me bake instead of go play and that leaves Marissa pretty annoyed. 

9:10 a.m. I get Marissa working on her math. Emily is playing "maker" in the kitchen and I finally finish my tea. Then I clean the kitchen, again. 

9:45 a.m. Marissa is finishing up her math. I get on the computer to sign Russ up to receive text alerts for tracking my progress at the OKC half. Emily is playing with the magna-doodle.

10:00 a.m. It's Snack time & math speed drills on the computer for M.

10:05 a.m. I realize I haven't filled out My Fitness Pal at all today so I catch it up.

10:10 a.m. I force myself to chug a glass of water.

10:15 a.m. The girls do yoga and I get their clothes laid out and ready.

10:30 a.m. Yoga is over the girls are getting dressed and ready for the day, finally. Marissa goes to have her quiet/solo reading time and I attempt to fix the craziness that is Emily's hair.

10:40 a.m. Marissa finished her Junie B. Jones book and she moves onto her phonics work book. Emily has computer game time.

11:05 a.m. Emily is still playing games, Marissa works on writing dictated sentences. 

11:20 a.m. Sentences are finished. The girls get another 10 minute break and I begin lunch prep in the kitchen.

11:30 a.m. We sit down together to work on our "my body" project. This weeks body part is the intestines... which means LOTS of giggling. 

11:45 a.m. The girls are coloring their sheets and I fold some laundry. 

12:00 p.m.
I am waiting on Russ to text me that he is headed home for lunch so I work on finishing lunch prep. I put the girls to work straightening things up. 

12:15 p.m. Russ walks in the door, he forgot to text me. LUNCH TIME!

12:40 p.m. Lunch clean up begins and the girls play. 

12:53 p.m. Russ heads back to work. I reply to a few email, check Facebook and sit for just a few minutes.

1:05 p.m.
Start piano lessons with Marissa. Then form the dough into two loaves to rise again.

1:30 p.m. Piano is over. We get shoes on and get ready to leave.

1:35 p.m. Leave to run errands.

1:44 p.m. Arrive at the Library. We look for books, play, and have computer time.

2:26 p.m. Leave the library.

2:39 p.m.
Arrive at Aldi. Go inside to pick up milk and egg whites.

2:53 p.m.
Leave Aldi with milk, egg whites, popcorn, cheese, lettuce, yogurt, bananas & cream cheese.

2:56 p.m. We're home.... yes, we are that close. I even got stuck waiting at a light.

3:00 p.m. I put the bread in the oven to bake. Then we grab our snacks and sit down for science/story time. We are currently studying about seasons. We read books about animals during the winter.

3:20 p.m. Finish reading books, have the girls work on an art project to go with our story time. I sit down by them with the laptop to answer email, and read some blogs.

3:40 p.m. The timer beeps, the bread is done. It looks a bit darker than usual then I remember that I failed to follow my own recipe. #Fail

4:00 p.m. The girls finish their pictures and school is done! I send them to their rooms to clean.

4:15 p.m. I wrap up my blog reading time, start the girls bath and get dinner going.

4:22 p.m. Russ comes home from work and is doing some stuff out in the garage.

4:50 p.m. The girls are bathed. Marissa is ready for Awana and I am finishing up dinner.

5:15 p.m. Dinner time.

5:46 p.m. I take Marissa to Awana and drop her off.

6:00 p.m. I get back home and finish up cleaning the dishes. Russ and Emily look at our new library books. I check my email and catch up My Fitness Pal.

6:30 p.m. I straighten things up around the house and once again find myself folding some more laundry. 

7:00 p.m. I pop some popcorn and watch T.V. with Emily. Finally time to relax. 

7:55 p.m. Russ leaves to pick up Marissa, I put Emily to bed.

8:10 p.m. Marissa and Russ get home. We talk about Awana and she gets ready for bed.

8:25 p.m. Marissa is in bed, I go out to the garage and hang out with Russ. 

8:40 p.m. Shower time for me, yay!

9:00 p.m. I watch some Property Brothers, send emails and play around on Instagram.

9:30 p.m. Snacks and an episode of Friends in bed with Russ.

10:05 p.m. Brush my teeth, lay out my gym clothes, set my alarm.

10:10 p.m. Lights out. 

And I fall asleep thinking about only getting 6 hours and 7 minutes of sleep before I do it over again. 

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Highlights 4.24.15

Hello Friday!

This week flew by and we are now one week closer to being done with school. Less than two weeks friends! The best part is we were able to bump up our finishing date so that means we only have 7 school days left! I can see the light at the end of this first grade tunnel and we are RUNNING! 

This weekend is packed full and bound to be an eventful one. To say I am excited may be a bit of an understatement, but I'll share more on that in a minute.

Let's do our Friday thing.

{ONE} On The Blog

This week I shared...
"Make-over" plans for a couple rooms in our house.

Part one in my "Ask A Home School Mom" mini series.

My New glasses from Firmoo.

{TWO} OKC Memorial Half

It's here, it's here! Tomorrow, late morning, Anna and I leave for OKC! We started talking and dreaming about doing this race last August. It feels so crazy that race weekend is here. This will be half marathon #3 for both of us as well as our 3rd time running a half together.

This will by far be the largest race we have ever ran. Oh the memories we will make. We chose to go into this race with zero expectations and no goals made. Sure running it under 2:10 and beating our PR by a minute or so would be great. But I honestly don't care. I just want to soak up this experience and have fun.

*Side note: prayers for Russ and the girls are appreciated. 
Mama hasn't left the nest for a couple years now and the only time I did I was only 5 minutes away. 

{THREE} Stanford Achievement Test

I'd like to take a mommy bragging moment if that is okay?

As a home school family I don't have a way to really know how Marissa is doing, especially in the comparative aspect. She does her work, I know her struggles but that is pretty much it. For the past two years we have had her take the Stanford Achievement test for a measly $15 through our co-op. Russ and I feel like it is well worth it to know how she is doing.

I don't know why I worry about this kid.

She scored above average or at the upper end of average in every category. When you look at the overall test she scored just about the same as the average kid getting ready to start 3rd grade. I won't get into all the numbers or details but to say we are proud, doesn't really say it all.
I was so scared to home school her. Clearly I can not take the credit and  I can't give it all to her either. God deserves the glory for this. He led us to do something and the fruit that is coming from it is good!

{FOUR} Let's Go Somewhere

Summer is almost here and it seems like people are already traveling or making plans to travel. We aren't really the vacationing type but this year I am really getting the urge to go somewhere. Even if it is still in Missouri and just for a couple nights. 

St. Louis, Kansas City... Aruba

.... oh wait. That one might be out of our budget a bit ;). 

{FIVE} Girl Mom Series

I had another great post in the 'Girl Mom Series' this week!

MacKensey from Macaroni & Mascara shared her mother/daughter bucket list

Ever since then I have been thinking about making my own. I was inspired! I can't wait to make one and share it with you guys in the next few months. Make sure to check her post out and get some inspiration your self. 

If you're interested in sharing your story about being a girl mom fill out this survey and I will be in touch.

Friday Linkup Parties

To see where I am linking up check out my link-up tab.

Have a great weekend!
We will see you back here on Monday.

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