Story time at home in 3 easy steps

Tuesday at 9:00 our library puts on a toddler story time that we usually got to. This morning it was really cold out and both my kids were coughing so I decided it was best to keep them home. I started to put together a story time for them and thought it would be something good to share with you. I like to put together themed story times whenever we have to miss the one at the library. The kids like our routine staying in place as much as possible and it gives me something fun and educational to do with them.

  1. pick 3 books and a theme. I put these two things together because choosing the books is how I choose a theme. If I wanted to read a barnyard animal book I would choose 2 other similar books to make a theme. For example, I wanted to read the kids this really neat book titled The Black Book of Colors By: Menena that teaches kids about braille. I decided on the theme “black and white” and picked the board book Hello, Garden Bugs By: Julissa Mora and also an Usborne  book On The Space Station By: Carron Brown. It’s one of their shine a light books and every other page is black and white and you use a flashlight on the back of the pages to see a ‘hidden’ picture. E likes these a lot.
  2. plan a themed game. 3 books can be a lot for littlee ones to sit through so break up the time by playing a game between books. I cut out white squares that I wrote on with black crayon and placed the squares in our cube. Some of the squares had instructions such as “clap 6 times” or “sing the ABC song”. 3 of the squares I drew dalmatians on and the kids were to bark and act like dogs if they rolled one.
  3. plan a themed craft. Thinking about black and white one of the first things that came to mind was dalmatian. I printed off the outline of a dalmatian and showed the kids how to put their finger on a black ink pad and use their finger prints to make spots on the dogs. After I brought out the crayons and they drew a background on the paper. Easy!

 

 

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Feeling a bit like a hamster on a wheel lately

The beginning of 2018 has been kind of tough. After what turned out to be a 6 week foot surgery recovery my children got sick. My Grandma passed away and in my extended family there is some really hard suffering right now.

In 2017 I had come to a point in life where I was consistently able to have 5:00 a.m to 7:00 a.m to myself. I was moving forward with my personal goals during that time and getting stuff done before the kids woke up. The last 3 or 4 weeks or so my 2 year old has woken up between 5:00 a.m and 6:00 a.m almost every day. All my planning and routines have pretty much gone out the window. I’m waiting for “normal” to return again but realizing this may be normal for a while.

Today I really needed some sort of guidance to get me back on track so I turned to pinterest and printed off this checklist.

https://www.lifeonpaperco.com/lifeonpaper/Cleaning_File_It.html

I’m going to be spending the day working through this, while also doing my best to involve the kids and keep them busy. There are a lot of things I need to work on right now. I need to meal plan. I need to get organized again with my grocery shopping. I need to find a new time to read the Bible now that my early morning hours are not available.

I could list 100 other things that I feel I need right now but most of all I need Jesus. I need His grace, I need His help. I need to realize that whatever comes into my life and interrupts my plans are ultimately from His hand being used for my good.

I won’t be able to sit and read or close my eyes and pray today most likely. I can put on worship music though and sing as I work and listen to the scripture on audio. I can pray aloud as I work, doing my work for the LORD.

I encourage you to do the same busy homemaker! May the joy of the LORD be your strength today! (Neh. 8:10)

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33

When I finish this check list I’m going to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in my new mug I painted on a mommy daughter date with E last week.

(The photo won’t load but I’ll show you later. It says, “Snow ‘n love”!)

 

 

Unique indoor screen free kids activities

This past week my little guy came down with a stomach virus. As he recovered his sister got the virus and then he developed a cough. Except for when it got warm enough to take him to play in the yard the poor guy hasn’t been out of the house for 9 days! I’ve worked hard to keep the kids learning and playing. At the first sign of sickness I went to town and stocked up on new paint, play dough, markers and other craft stuff since I knew they’d have to stay home several days. Last night T.J’s cough was improving but he start showing signs of tummy troubles again so we stayed home today. E seems all the way better today and T.J’s cough isn’t getting any worse so he should be on the mend soon. His tummy has also been fine today.

Yesterday morning which was the third week of missing church because of traveling and sickness my church family did something really kind for me and set up a laptop with Skype so I could listen in on the service. That helped break up the day and was really encouraging to see their faces but the rest of the afternoon I gave up trying to keep the kids away from the T.V and let them watch it all day. They were bored of all the craft stuff and didn’t want to read books any more. I was fresh out of ideas for keeping them busy.

After they went to bed last night I brainstormed a list of things for them to do today and then got on Pinterest and starting pinning all kinds of cool ideas.

Here’s what we did today. If you’re quarantined at home with sick kids like so many people I know are right now I hope this post gives you some inspiration of how to fill those long hours!

Write on the floor and mop it up

Really! This is an activity I remember doing with my younger brother and sister when I was a teenager. I used a dry erase marker to write ABC’s on the tiles in the kitchen/dining room area. So the kids wouldn’t fight over who got to wash which tiles I drew shapes for T.J to mop up and the letters were for E. I gave each child a bowl with water, a rag and some all natural non toxic cleaner in it. I stood at the dry erase board in the dining room and said to E, “mop up all the A’s!” After all the A’s were erased we went on to letter B and so on. I was surprised at how well T.J could identify shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensory Buckets (bring the sandbox inside!)

Sensory buckets are so easy! They can be made out of just about anything. I made ours “letter D” sensory buckets. It started with me putting dirt (actually sand because the ground was frozen solid!) and dinosaurs in the buckets which made me think to add more objects that start with the letter D. Both dimes and dominoes ended up in there. I wrote an uppercase and lowercase letter D on the white board to reinforce the lesson. T.J age 2 had the most fun when he realized he could bury the dinosaurs in the sand. E age 4 spent the time hoping she could find more dimes to put in her piggy bank. Prepare to do a lot of vacuuming after this activity!

Bath paints

My kids absolutely loved this activity! If you choose just one thing from this list I’d recommend this one! I loved the delight on their faces as I showed them how they could paint the tub, their tummies, their bath toys and then how they laughed when I put the blue paint on my nose! This is one I’ll make again. It was so easy and very cheap. I had leftover white colored conditioner from the dollar store because we had used it to make fake snow the other day. (2 1/2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup white conditioner- it feels cold!)

https://kojo-designs.com/2013/05/hoomemade-bath-paint-recipe/

Make a blanket fort

Give your children a place of their own, flash lights, a lantern, a chance to use their imagination and a pile of books!

 

Science Experiments!

I found this one on parentingchaos.com. https://parentingchaos.com/crawling-colors-color-mixing-science-experiment/P

Once you set this up (which only takes a few minutes) it takes several hours for the colors to start mixing. I recommend putting it out of reach of little ones but somewhere where the kids can peek at it through out the day and see what it’s doing. I made the mistake of setting it up on the kitchen table and then had to work to keep their hands out of the very pretty water they wanted to touch so badly!

Make a special surprise meal

Okay, so I get made fun of for making food creations for my kids but I think it’s so much fun! And have you seen the crazy meals people make out of hotdogs on pinterest!? lol! I had to try these little octopus guys, they are so cute!

Build something with unusual materials

I gave the kids disposable cups and paper to build towers out of. They weren’t particularly interested in it but maybe an older child would be.

 

That was our day! Share any unique ways you have come up with to keep busy at home when you’re kids are sick.

Things to do with your kids while you are sitting down

Now that I’m on week three of having to stay off my right foot I think I’ve come up with enough ideas to be able to share with you. A friend of mine was over last week and she went on google trying to find a list of things for a mom to do with her kids while her foot was broke but she said she could only find lists of things for a mom to do with her child who’s foot is broke. For one reason or another, illness, injury, complications during or after pregnancy, as a mom you may find yourself alone with children who have seemingly endless energy while you are stuck on the couch. Here’s my little gift to the internet- my list of things I’ve found I can do with my kid with minimum getting up.

  1. Freeze dance. I play music on my phone and then hit the pause button and dramatically say, “freeze!” they have to freeze in whatever position they were in when the music stopped
  2. “sitting down” hide and seek. My great Grandma used to play this with me and my cousins when we were little. I sit on the couch and count to 20 while the kids hide and then say, “ready or not, I’m going to guess!” I then guess from my spot on the couch, “Are you behind the bathroom door?” “Are you in your closet?” If I guess their hiding spot I “found” them and we start again.
  3. Create a “story time”. Since we weren’t able to go to story time at the library I told them we were having a story time at home. I used the same order of events the librarian uses at the library and sang the same songs she sings.
  4. Read a lot of books.
  5. Face time or Skype with family your kids don’t get to see often
  6. Make sock puppets. I had to collect a few supplies but after I had what I needed I sat on the recliner next to an outlet and glued button eyes and yarn hair on a few old socks. I then sat while we played with them and tried to get them to put on a puppet show. (they didn’t want to but maybe your kids will!)
  7. paint nails. My four year old never gets tired of me painting her nails.
  8. Play Simon says
  9. If you can’t get to other people have other people come to you. Never mind that the house is messy, people don’t care! Invite some one over for a playdate. You and your friend can visit and the kids will entertain themselves
  10. make cards. The last couple mornings we sat and made cards for residents at the nursing home for when we visit with our homeschool group next month. This one takes some clean up so it would depend how active you can be.
  11. take photos. You may have to delete several hundred photos of your phone but my daughter loves it when I let her take photos with my phone. She sat up her stuffed animal on the couch and did a photo shoot with it.
  12. Amazon Prime. I am so glad we got wi-fi right before my surgery. It has given us new stuff to watch which is much more entertaining for the kids than if they were watching the videos we have that they’ve watched a lot of times
  13. Go pretend grocery shopping. I used green construction paper and made the kids fake money and then gave them grocery lists and a plastic shopping bag each and sent them to their kitchen set to play grocery store. It made the toys they already have seem exciting.
  14. dress up and dance to music. I don’t know why but if music is turned on the kids like to get out their dress up clothes and dance around with crazy costumes on.
  15. Let them try on your clothes. E likes it when I let her get in my drawers and try on my clothes. My skirts are bigger than her whole body but she thinks it’s fun.
  16. listen to an audio book for kids. This would be a good one if you were sick because you don’t have to use your voice.
  17. play hot potato. The other day I had E get out a big teddy bear and I taught her the hot potato song as we threw it back and forth to each other.

That’s my list for now! Share in the comments, did you have a time when you had to keep little kids busy while you were down and what did you do?

2018 goals and plans

I usually wake up first day of the new year with goals in hand ready to get started. This year my only goal has been so far to get through one day at a time while my foot heals and wait for normal life to resume again. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have things I want to work on this year though! One more week and then I get the stitches out of my foot and then hopefully I’ll be cleared to walk on it.

A while back the children’s librarian asked me and another homeschool mom who brings her daughter to story time if we would be interested in a kids who code class for homeschoolers. We told her we would be but I hadn’t heard anything about it since. I opened up the newsletter from our homeschool co-op and there is a coding class for homeschoolers at the library now! I quickly signed up E and I’m looking forward to her getting to attend. I don’t know much at all about coding. The librarian said the kids will learn to program a toy mouse and even kids as young as my preschooler can learn to do it. It will be different than anything E has done before and I’m so excited about this free opportunity for her! That’s one thing I’m looking forward to this year.

I have a short list of goals this year. I usually (okay, always) go overboard on goal setting so I’m trying to keep this list short.

2018 Goals for my children

  1. potty train T.J
  2. I want E to recognize the letters of the alphabet and know the sounds the letters make before she finishes preschool (I know I can’t control if she’s ready to learn these things or not but I can work to expose her to this information and find fun ways for her to learn)
  3. Next school year, (this August) I want to join the weekly co-op classes for homeschoolers in our area
  4. Next school year (if she shows interest) I would like to sign up E for piano lessons
  5. now that we have wifi I want to introduce E to some preschool prodigy videos on youtube https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HdRkFFdkhm4
  6. decide on homeschool curriculum for kindergarten in the fall

2018 Goals to improve my health

  1. I want to print out a food, insulin and blood sugar log and start using it to help gain tighter diabetes control. Last year I aimed for a specific A1C. This year I’m going to focus on building this habit
  2. This winter while it is cold outside I want to at least twice a week use the elliptical trainer upstairs to get exercise while it is cold outside

2018 Miscellaneous goals and plans

  1. I want to attend a meeting to learn more about foster care in our area. My goal is just to gain more information on the needs of foster children and their families in our area
  2. At some point this year I would like to put on another “Grandma’s tea party” for my nieces and daughter like I did before

Mostly I want to go into the New Year remembering with excitement that this could be the year the Lord returns! 

Share with me in the comments, did you make any New Year resolutions? How do you plan to meet your goals?

A Morning Self Care Routine

The last meeting we had for our homeschool co-op a woman spoke who had homeschooled for over 30 years. One of the things that she pointed to as to her success as a long term homeschool mom was regular self care.

Early on in my parenting I realized that I had to do everything in my power to wake up before my children so I could meet my needs so that I would be ready to meet theirs.

Some seasons of life come with exceptions such as having a new born but once I was through that stage I had to get back to taking care of my needs first thing in the morning to maintain my health and be happy.

I chuckled to myself when the woman at our co-op shared what her morning routine looked like all those years because it was so similar to what I have been practicing and refining for the last few years in my career as a stay at home mom.

This is what mornings look like for me every day outside of being sick or a family vacation or something.

5:00 a.m wake up, make coffee, sit and slowly drink it while I read my Bible and pray. This takes around 40 minutes. I also check my blood sugar and take insulin first thing in the morning but I know that’s very specific to me. Other people take medication or vitamins though so working them into your morning routine may help you remember.

I then do a 15 minute stretching routine using a youtube video. Nothing intense, I’ve just learned that it is absolutely impossible to stretch and relax with a 2 and 4 year old crawling all over me. If I want to stretch I have to do it while they are asleep. Stretching also helps gets my blood circulating in the morning.

I make my bed. It may seem strange to include that in self care but I have a couple reasons for doing this before the kids wake up. One, if they are up they want to help which means they jump all over the bed and pull the blankets off faster than I can get them on! Also, if I don’t do it before they get up I may not get to it all day and a made bed makes me feel like something has been accomplished. It’s a mental boost!

I get dressed and do my hair and makeup. I timed myself this morning and I have my hair and makeup routine down in less than 5 minutes.

Before leaving the bathroom I tidy it up. This enables me to be able to shut the master bedroom door and keep the kids out. They are welcome in there when they take a bath or when we are having family cuddles but generally I keep them out so they don’t get their dirty selves all over my bed and get into stuff. I like walking into my bedroom after a long day and have it be a toy free zone.

I’ll usually have a few (as in 5-10) minutes to check email and FB and write any texts I need to send out later in the day. My goal is then to not be on the internet or having my phone in hand until they are asleep for the night. I’m not perfect about it but my general guideline for myself is no surfing the internet while on the job!

I need to work on teaching my kids to stay in bed until 7:00. That was a point that the woman who spoke at the homeschool meeting brought up. Pretty often they start yelling, “Mama!” around 6:30 and it makes our morning more stressful because they have not gotten enough sleep and are still tired. Also, I would really like to know I was going to get a solid two hours to myself every day. I have heard of clocks that light up at a set time to let a child know it’s okay to get up. That may work for my four year old but I really have no idea how to teach a 2 year old to stay in bed. He goes to bed around 8:00-8:30 and I run him good throughout the day. My four year old rarely naps. I just have two very energetic kids!  If you have successfully taught a toddler to stay in bed until 7:00 share in the comments!

Doing this list of things in the morning makes me feel ready to meet my children with a smile and say, “I’m so glad to see you!” If I don’t have my needs met I’m usually thinking about me instead of them.

I view motherhood as my job so I view 7:00 a.m as “clocking in” and my aim is to be ready to clock in just like I would be ready to clock into any other job.

Easy and free fall decorations plus a neat video about the reformation

I love walking around Hobby Lobby looking at and touching all the fall decor and imagining where I would put it in my house. I realize though that that stuff is expensive and after the fall season it goes back up in the attic. I knew I could come up with something beautiful without spending any money if I tried, and I did! It’s not much but here’s what I came up with..

We don’t burn wood in our stove any more so I used it as an area to decorate. The gate around it makes it an area I can make pretty without my 2 year old pulling down the decorations. The kids were playing outside while I worked on it and E’s reaction of “Wow!” when she saw it told me that it was good enough. I did something I call “shopping around the house.” I look for every day objects that I have in various rooms and group them together to make something pretty. The glass jars were in the cabinets, the washboard was in the kitchen, the antique rug beater (?) was on top the fridge. And what could say “fall” better than combination of purple beauty berries and red oak leaves picked from the yard? I lit an apple scented candle which pulled it all together. The table runner was something that mom used to have that I asked for when I got married. With little children it’s not very practical for the table but it looks nice here.

 

I did this easy craft with the kids. It wasn’t exactly free, I spent a few dollars on the wreath base and something around $1.50 for a pack of 100 clothes pins. We already had the paint. You can’t see it in the photo but on every clothes pin there is written something different we are thankful for. It was neat to do this with E because last year when she was 3 she didn’t grasp the idea fully of talking about things we are thankful for. She understood it this year and it was exciting to recognize that growth in her.

I collected stones from around our property to make a fire pit. When I think of fall I think of sitting around a toasty campfire.

I cleaned up around the mailbox, set out a pumpkin and called it good enough. I want to try and spruce up the porch a bit before thanksgiving but currently it is covered with tools and boxes and stuff we are using to work on the new swing set.

Have your kids seen this video of the life of Martin Luther told with play mobile toys? It’s really neat and gives a solid gospel presentaion.

I learned about it October 31st when listening to this podcast by Amy from raisingarrows.net. She tells about how their family started a new way of observing halloween and reformation day that I thought was really interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it the way she did.

https://www.raisingarrows.net/2017/10/halloween-reformation-day-podcast-030/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

trying to trust God instead of panicking after seeing the podiatrist

I’m home after seeing a podiatrist this afternoon. I have a bunion on the outside of my foot that has become so deformed and inflamed I can’t put a shoe on. It’s been there for a while but I used to be able to wear thick socks and loose fitting shoes. Now, even the weight of the blanket at night touching my foot or laying with the side of my foot touching the side of the mattress is excruciatingly painful. I’ve been wearing flip flops in 35 degree weather and the last few weeks when my feet were icy cold I wore old lady looking slippers outside and to town. I tried ordering protective gel pads made for bunions but they didn’t help any.

The doctor took some x-rays and said I needed surgery if I was ever going to wear a shoe again. When looking at the x-ray the bone on the side of my foot looked mangled and he said even though I have no memory of it I must have broken my foo,t probably as a child. The area is really inflamed.

He told me I needed a pretty extensive surgery involving breaking the bone, reshaping my foot and putting in a screw. he said I would need to stay off my feet for 6 weeks and use a walker and crutches to get around the house. I had to hold back tears as I said, “That’s not possible! I have a 2 year old and a four year old and my family is out of state!” He asked me if I had any ladies from church who could help. Realistically even though I have helpful people in my life my children need all day care and there is no one who could come and help for more than a few hours. There is certainly no one who could drop every thing to care for my kids and home for 6 weeks! Recovery from a c-section wasn’t even that intense!

He told me since I can’t stay off my feet that long what he can do is shave down the bone which would provide temporary relief. I’d have to stay off my foot for a couple weeks but it would be a matter of just the flesh healing not a bone. He said it would only be a temporary fix that my foot would probably become deformed again in a few years but by then my children will be older and less dependent.

I’m still really overwhelmed. I told God I trust Him in this but it’s scary to let go of control. Maybe someone else would like the idea of having an excuse to let everything go for a couple weeks but not me! The idea of having my house a wreck and not being able to drive and not being able to take my kids to play outside for a couple weeks scares me! How will I get groceries? How will I bathe children on one foot? God knows I am a control freak and I see a big hurdle of sanctification coming my way!

Pray for me. Pray I will be able to figure out the details of child care. My husband is in a work situation where the time he will be able to take off will be extremely limited. I don’t have a date set yet, they are going to call me. I want to get it done before the end of the year because our insurance has a deductible but apparently every one else is wanting the same thing and they are pretty booked.

Also pray for me that I can get my blood sugar under control. I recently started back on the insulin pump after a year of using shots and it’s been a big adjustment. It will take a while to figure out how much insulin I need when. I started on it a couple weeks ago and have not been able to sleep through the night one time since. Last night my blood sugar was so unstable I was up almost every hour. The doctor said day of surgery they might cancel it if my blood sugar is high. Also steady blood sugar will be imperative for healing. I will have to take antibiotics and pain killers and both will affect my blood sugar and health.

After I get a surgery date I have to find a primary care physician who can do blood work. The thought of one more doctor appointment is just kind of overwhelming. If I wasn’t in such awful pain and if my feet weren’t freezing cold I’d just say forget it! I wish I could!

I know that’s a lot of ramblingly but I need prayer. Most of all I need to trust God and be okay to let go of control for a little bit. I need to understand that if the kids have to watch movies for a couple weeks they will survive. I feel awful anytime they watch T.V so thinking about them just laying around watching T.V for a couple weeks freaks me out and already preemptively brings on the mommy guilt. “If they have to watch T.V and eat peanut butter sandwiches for a couple weeks they will survive,” I’m trying to tell myself.

Tell me, have you had a surgery while your kids were little? How did you make it through? What worked and what didn’t? Even if you haven’t had surgery has there been a time in your life when you had to let go of control and that was difficult? What did you learn?

 

Oh and here’s a little trivia for you- a bunion on the outside of your foot is called a tailors bunion. I read that tailor’s used to sit cross legged as they worked and sitting in this position so long would deform their foot. After reading that I read the kids a Beatrix Potter story about a tailor. In her painting he is sitting cross legged on top of a table sewing. I guess that was a thing!

My outlook for this monday morning:

My outlook for this monday morning:

People matter more than things. My children matter more than my to-do list. Dishes that need washed are just things. These little people are eternal souls and the loves of my life. Which matters more?

Let them help- they love it. Even if it means more time and more mess. If I can’t get everything done while including my children than I am doing too much and my goals are unrealistic.

Say yes. I have no control over our schedule which has been changing hourly. Instead of making plans for the future just live in the moment for a while. Say yes to tag and yes to reading books and yes to all the things that feel like distractions from what needs done.

Smile. Make eye contact with these little people and tell them that they are my world.

Say yes to spending time on my health. It matters. Even if the kitchen floor stays un mopped, I need to take steps today to preserve my health for the future.

Get outside. Breathe fresh air. Move my body. Take the time to prepare nourishing food and take time to savor it.

Talk to God, read His Word.

Be there for those who need me. Ask, “how can I help?” When someone needs help make what is important to them important to me because I love them.

Put away the phone and other distractions. Be present. Be available to sit and listen. Breathe and be thankful.

Have a happy Monday and thanks for reading my thoughts! As a list making organized person who likes to be in control, I’m learning to let go and be in the moment and live a life that matters! It’s a hard balance, being available for my children but also juggling other responsibilities that have to get done. I only have today with these little people though and I want to make sure I don’t miss what’s most important!

 

 

Life right now and 2017 goals

This past weekend was T.J’s 2nd birthday. My baby is two!! How is that!? I don’t want to touch those curls with a pair of scissors yet. I know those curls may never grow back and I also know that when he gets his first hair cut he’ll look like a big boy. Those beautiful golden curls are my way of having my baby just a little bit longer!

Let me tell you about life right now- 4 and 2 years has me ON MY TOES! In a lot of ways it’s the funnest stage of motherhood I’ve been in. I like to do stuff and experience new things with my kids and the older they get the easier this is to do. In other ways though this is the most intense season of parenting I’ve ever been in!

It’s finally cooled down around here and I am loving the cold weather! My husband is working on building the kids a swing set on his days off and its been exciting to see it take shape. He designed it himself and it’s going to be the swing set of all swing sets! I can’t wait to show it to you completed. You’ll probably find me spending my days playing on it once it’s done lol!

Yesterday I accomplished something that I never have done before. I finished reading the Old Testament! I started back in January using a read through the Bible chronologically reading plan. Typically over the years as I have read the Bible I have skipped a lot of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the minor prophets. It was hard for me to read something that I didn’t really understand.

Three things helped me tremendously this year and I would suggest you try them out. First, reading it chronologically gave me an understanding of where it fit in with the story of the Bible and when it was happening historically. Each time an event would be recorded I would read it each time it was recorded in the Bible before going on to the next event. It helped me keep straight what was happening when. It also gave me a better understanding of why the prophet was saying what he was because I understood the time he was living in and what was going on.

Two, before reading a book I watched a video by The Bible Project on Youtube. These give really good overviews of each book. It helped when reading through detail heavy passages to not loose focus of the main objective of the book.

Three, I read before my kids woke up and I read before I did anything else. With a few exception such as family vacations where I read during the day I have been reading early in the morning when I am free of responsibility or distractions. I also make sure I don’t do anything before I read that way if my kids wake up early I haven’t spent that time getting dressed or whatever before reading. I can get dressed while they are awake and with me, it’s more difficult o read when they are talking to me and needing me.

Also, I should add a number 4. I prayed and asked God to keep me faithful and I believe He did help me. We can do nothing without God including establishing habits of spending time in His Word.

I hope that encourages you to get into your Bible or to keep being faithful! I hope to finish the New Testament by the end of the year.

Oh and one more thing! I had written previously about my upcoming A1C (a measure of average blood sugar) and shared my goal of getting it down to 5.5 before the end of 2017. My first A1c of this year was 5.6 (pretty close!) then 5.8 and this past week it was 5.9. My next A1c will be done in January 2018. I didn’t meet the goal I had set for myself- but that 5.6 was pretty close and I really need to tell myself good job! An insulin dependent diabetic maintaing an a1c in the 5’s for a year without very many lows and without an insulin pump (using old school syringes) is quite a feat! I can be hard on myself and I can be a perfectionist but if it was anyone else I would say, “I’m proud of you!” So, I’m happy with myself and I believe I worked as hard as I could to be healthy this year and really did my best. At my diabetes appointment this past week my doctor (with a south african accent) said, “I’m really quite pleased with these numbers.” He’s not very expressive so it was his way of saying, “This is awesome!”

Share with me in the comments- what helps you to be faithful to reading scripture on a daily basis? Have you read the Bible through? If not, do you have a plan to get started? What other goals are you working on right now?