Progress, Pain, and Smash Books

It’s Wednesday.

There was a handful of debacles by 9 am. The most important of which, I awoke to finding out we were completely out of toilet paper. Stellar domestic skills.

I was armed and prepared, yoga pants and hat. Lip gloss and earrings brought me to life and a quick game of tag, peek a boo, blocks, and a calm spirit persuaded my lovelies to join my happy mood and…

a trip to Target at recess remedied the lack of bathroom necessities. However, it found me drooling over Pumpkin Ice Cream. I am sure that a scoop with a Bourdeuax cookie dipped into it, woulda been magical.

I opted for my salad instead. Yummy?

Lately, I have been inundated with:

“How many pages do we have in history today?”

“When is my next spelling test?”

“Are we going anywhere today?”

“When is daddy going to be home?”

“What color shoes are you going to wear?”

O.k. I added the last one, but geez.

It is said, we likely won’t change behaviors until pain prompts us too. I decided to test it. Every time a child asks me a question, I break into about a 3-4 minute response, giving them every un necessary detail that I can think of. It’s a rabbit trail of all rabbit trails type of party. They thought it was funny – the first time. Now they start to question and quite literally throw a hand over the mouth for fear, “she’s gonna start again.” Blessed blessed silence is mine.

I have started focusing on character development this year. My 2nd grader is studying a character trait a week in her existing Bible curriculum. The older two kids are doing a program through Doorposts that my sweet friend Amy introduced me to. Well, really I saw it on her blog and swiped it. It just sounds so much kinder to say it the other way.

My daughter and I began this week. Polished Cornerstones. A giant book with the cruise ship mentality of, we have provided you more options than you can possibly accomplish- ever. It is a book focused on discipling your daughter and I fell in love with it instantly. It has different qualities and traits of a Godly woman and then endless activities (broken into target ages for your girls) that you can choose from to help teach these qualities. The book suggests making a journal of all of your progress and projects over the year. It also suggests going on dates to discuss your progress. We will be doing both.

The Journal~

Have you seen Smash Books? I am kinda in love with them and drool over them most times I am in Target, or Joanns, or anywhere that they exist. They just make me happy. A book full of endless options for creativity with no rules. A little cage I can go fly around in and make things pretty. They are truly fabulous. I mean just look at the cute little instructions. Seriously.

I had always thought that I should get one. Then one day, fate delivered. Carissa created a recipe book out of a smash book, that little evil genius. Go check hers out!Β It had been on my floating to do list to somehow get my recipes from our new style of eating into a place that was a spot of its own.

I was at a stoplight when the email notification dinged and I saw the post. I was literally in front of Michaels and in about 15 minutes my birthday money envelope was empty and there was a smash book on my front seat.

*That Pumpkin Hot Chocolate recipe is from 100 Days of Real Food.

I have begun transferring my recipes over, just my healthiest ones. It’s perfect and pretty ~ and fun.

When I read that Taylor should make a journal of her progress this year, it seemed only fitting that another Smash Book should be purchased for just such an occasion.

She has begun filling it up, after our first lesson on being a Godly woman. I can’t wait to see all the fabulousness she creates with what she is learning. What. A. Keepsake.

The dates~

We have tried to be big in our house about reinforcing the fact that we all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s o.k. We can discuss them in the environment of our home. Nobody will judge or make fun of our struggles. I am so excited about Polished Cornerstones, because it provides a framework for conversations with my daughter about this very issue. I want to develop a relationship where struggles and strengths are regular topics. I want to intentionally create this environment where she feels safe to talk through her shortcomings with me, rather than hiding or trying to figure them out on her own. It’s important. This type of relationship will not magically appear when she reaches young adulthood. I believe that it needs to be established as early as possible, with all of my kids.

We will be going on monthly dates. Walks or even trip to the grocery store. Just devoted times for her and I and we can discuss how she is doing in life. Where she is rockin’ it like no other and where she should pray about making some changes.


there is a boy’s version of this resource. Just in case you have some fabulous young men in your life.


it is NOT just for homeschoolers.

It is completely fabulous.

Make sure and check it out… and run to buy a Smash Book. All the cool kids are.

I have noticed that so often in my parenting I take the opportunity to deliver an epic lecture, of which I am queen. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I pulled the whole I used to walk uphill to school in the snow both ways card yesterday with my teen. I had a slight out of body experience when I heard myself actually say (in the context of trying to inform him that he should be more grateful) you could be homeless….so yeah, I went there you could be broke immediately followed. Then I did it, I broke out into song, thank you Justin Bieber. I sang as long as you love me…he tried hard not to crack up and remain cool. Lecture over.

These life changing and mostly useless lectures are given at the time of sin by my kids. They are in trouble and they are cold busted and I sit them down and talk…and talk. The Lord has really been teaching me lately that teachable moments come in the everyday and the ordinary, NOT the crisis. I want the teaching to be done in the calm before the storm. SO THAT, when the storm hits and the boat is rockin’ every which way, there is already a foundation that has been laid. It really works SO much better this way, for myself included.

If I am two seconds away from drowning, this is not the time to figure out how to swim, right?

Speaking of drowning, the laundry is still screaming.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.




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10 Responses to Progress, Pain, and Smash Books
  1. Rikki
    September 12, 2012 | 3:53 pm

    Just this week, I told my hubby I knew I was lecturing too much but I just felt it HAD to be said. Ha! Ugh, only God can redeem my parenting “issues”. And lectures are on the good side of mistakes I’ve made.

    Gonna look into smash books–not that you’re surprised.

  2. Cara Yeh
    September 12, 2012 | 6:32 pm

    Totally sold. (on the curriculum AND the smash book). Never heard of a smash book before. I can always count on you for enlightening me. Thanks for being you – you’re awesome!

  3. Lisa
    September 12, 2012 | 9:49 pm

    I love smash books too but decide to make my own πŸ™‚ always enjoy your blogs!!!

  4. Jill
    September 13, 2012 | 5:51 am

    I am totally using the loooooooong, drawn out explanations for the endless questions….wish me luck!!!

  5. Jill
    September 13, 2012 | 5:53 am

    And, another note…my dad is famous for his lectures when we were growing up! While it drove me crazy when I was younger, it is a source of great humor in our family now!! As adults once dad gets going we all groan and it’s sort of our own little inside joke in our family! I’m sure your kids will look back on your lectures fondly….someday!!!

  6. Tami
    September 13, 2012 | 6:40 am

    Awesome blog! You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing! Love ya.

  7. Heidi (Dearlylovedmist)
    September 13, 2012 | 5:48 pm

    You sound like a fun mom. A good one, too. πŸ™‚

  8. Amy G
    September 14, 2012 | 5:54 am

    I just love you my friend! Can I please come be your student?
    I can’t wait to use that book again- we didn’t do the journal idea because the girls were a bit young. But now I’m even more excited to use it so we can make cute journals like yours! Have a great weekend!!!

  9. Kelly @ View Along the Way
    September 16, 2012 | 6:13 pm

    My oldest is only two, but I’ve considered home schooling and I’m now 100 percent certain that YOU should homeschool my kids instead. πŸ™‚

  10. ONE CHANGE: Meal Plan | Just A Night Owl
    October 27, 2012 | 11:29 pm

    […] place. I haven’t tried all of these yet, so I don’t want to commit to put them in my recipe book. I will be able to easily access all of these and then delete the board when I am through, only […]

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