Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

This post may contain affiliate links.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or on your own personal island for the past few months, you’ve already heard about the rapidly spreading virus hitting our world. With this understanding, I’m not going to get into what it is, not only because it’s all over the media, but because I honestly don’t understand it any better than the next random person.

What’s Changed

Recently state governments have been taking steps to help prevent the spread of this still-debated illness. These steps include asking people who might be infected to self-quarantine, practice social distancing, banning group gatherings of 50 people or more, canceling large events, and most recently closing schools.

That’s where I come in.

Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

If You’re Unexpectedly Homeschooling

Last week your kids were attending classes at their public or private school, and today they’re home for a few weeks or more. You could use this as an extended vacation, or you can help them stay ‘on-track’ by creating a life of learning. 

Homeschool, Not Public School At Home

I’m sure your head is already spinning. 

You not only have to figure out a whole new daily routine, which might include working from home or finding childcare, but now you need a way to make sure your children aren’t being adversely affected by this unexpected change.

It’s going to be okay.

Take a breath, Momma. You’ll get through this. 

First, homeschooling doesn’t have to be, and in fact shouldn’t be, about trying to recreate public school at home. You don’t need to come up with eight-hours a day of table work for your children. 

Below you’ll find several ways to make sure your children continue to learn even while the doors to public education are locked.

Read Good Books

The best thing to do during the public school closure is to make sure there are high quality books available to your children. These can be in the form of physical books, e-books, and audiobooks.

Reading aloud is one of the most important things we can do for our children, but this doesn’t mean you have to read an entire book in one day. 

Take your time, even a little time is better than no time. 

Your children should also read books and listen to audiobooks for themselves.

If you don’t already have an Audible account you can get a free trial by heading over to Amazon.

Educational Shows

With all the different streaming options available, as well as YouTube, there is no end to what your children can learn while they’re home. Decide on a subject they’re interested in (or one they were studying when schools closed) and do a search for shows and movies that focus on those topics.

Currently my children are enjoying the show The World According to Jeff Goldblum (available on DisneyPlus) as well as videos on the various rain forests in the world.

Play Games

At our house we have a closet full of board games and card games. They range from games my three-year-old can play to advanced games like Bible Pictionary. Game Wright has several games that are both fun and educational, and most are available through Amazon.

There are many homeschool families who exclusively learn through games, this is referred to as game-schooling. 

Games You Might Enjoy

There are endless options for you as a family; this is nowhere near an exhaustive list, just a sampling for a starting place.

Plan and Make Family Meals

One thing that doesn’t change is the need for our families to eat. This is the perfect time to work together to plan and make meals. Search online for recipes that would be as simple or challenging as you and your children could handle. 

The point of this experience is to make memories with your children. To slow down, and do something together. 

After all, everyone knows food you prepare yourself tastes better. 

Get Outside (Just Not Close to Other People)

Being conscious of social distancing is the name of the game during these times of closure. This doesn’t mean you have to stay inside your house, though. 

Get into the yard and play together.

Watch birds, and look for bugs.

Smell the flowers as they begin to bloom.

Spend time in nature, and remember how wonderful God’s work is.

Slow Down and Talk to Each Other

We’re a society that is constantly on the go; over-planning our schedules so there is a neverending rush to do,do,do.

Take this time to slow down. Spend mornings enjoying breakfast together and discussing whatever interests your children. Read books as you lounge around the table after lunch. Answer questions they might have about what is going on, and how you as a family can help those less fortunate (while still maintaining social distance). Our children grow up so quickly, and if they’re usually in public school you don’t get as much time together as you’re going to get over the next few weeks.

Make this time count.

Something to Consider

Don’t look at this shutdown as an inconvenience, but as an opportunity to really connect to the children God has blessed you with. Embrace the experience with joy and acceptance. Consider ways to make the long days God-centered, and remember this is just a short time in our lives.

Something to Pray

Heavenly Father, 

During this time of uncertainty and doubt may we embrace the opportunities to connect with our children not in fear but in praise of You.

In Your Holy Name,

Amen 

wellofaith


3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day--wellofaith.com

3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day

3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day

A Bad Moment

We’ve all been there, right?

Swimming along, staying in our own lane, when something happens and our forward momentum stops.

Our good day disappears like smoke on the wind.

Enter the bad day.

This is caused by anything from major to minor; being transparent here, it’s generally something so incredibly minor I’m hard-pressed to remember what caused my day to go off the rails.

A telling sign that I’m a mother and have children who insist on bombarding me before I’ve had a chance to shake off the sleep fog; there are days when this moment happens even before I get out of bed.

Other times I might pat myself on the back for the great day we’ve had, and then bedtime becomes my unraveling.

You know the drill. The kids refuse to brush their teeth, or are running back and forth in the kitchen after repeated reminders about the house rules.

These bad moments happen without warning. Each time I promise myself that I won’t let it ruin my day.

That’s often easier said than done.

So what can we do to fight against these itty-bitty day destroyers?

Stop Dwelling on What Was Wrong

3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day--wellofaith.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Those itty-bitty day destroyers only have the power we give them. Focusing on what we did wrong, what we missed, the way we reacted; those things sap our energy.

I’ve always been an overachiever when it comes to tearing apart everything I’ve ever done. I’ll analyze each action and reaction for the flaws I know are there. Then I’ll dwell on what I could have, should have, would have done better.

You know, if I were perfect.

The problem with this course of action? It’s inherently flawed. I can never be perfect. No one can be. We were born into a sinful world, and we’re sinful beings.

This said, we need to change our focus.

We must accept that we’re imperfect humans, that we’ve already been forgiven for our sinfulness by a perfect and loving God.

Then we face the next moments with joy and peace.

Remember to Be Thankful for the Good and the Bad

When the good-day feelings vanish with the onslaught of those itty-bitty day destroyers, it’s difficult to be thankful.

The good mood has vanished, and the last thing on my mind is giving thanks to God for anything at all. Let alone giving thanks for that itty-bitty day destroyer that just wrecked my flow, and proved just how flawed and imperfect I am as a person–let alone a parent.

This is exactly when we need to be thankful.

3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day--wellofaith.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s easy to be thankful when everything is going smoothly. When the kids are being those oh-so-perfect (and totally unrealistic) children of our imaginings. It gets much more difficult when chaos is running the ship.

When everything is going wrong, and the itty-bitty day destroyers have taken over, that is the most important time to be thankful.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Our wonderful God knows exactly what we’re going through, and He isn’t leaving us to struggle during these moments of struggle. He is right there with us.

Be thankful for that.

Those struggles we’re facing–the screaming, crying, negativity–they’re building us up and making us stronger for the days ahead.

Be thankful for that.

Then be thankful when everything has calmed down, and there are smiles and laughter again.

3 Ways to Overcome a Bad Day

Pray:

Prayer is always the answer. No matter what the question might be–pray. It can never hurt, and it will always help.

Turning to God in prayer and praise is like talking to your best friend and you father at the same time. You know the goodness and wisdom He shares has been proven time and again through thousands of years.

You’ve seen it in your own life, and the lives of others around you.

He brings you the comfort you need, while you wallow in the negative emotions you’re feeling.

Then He gently reminds you that He also suffered, and that there will be bad times, but they won’t last.

You’re not alone, and with His love and guidance you’ll get up and move through the rest of your day with the joy that only His love and redemption can provide you.

Rejoice:

After you’ve prayed, rejoice.

Sing a Hallelujah song, raise your hands in the air and rejoice in God’s love.

Your sinfulness has been forgiven.

You’re loved beyond reason.

You’ve got a whole day, or another day, to do better.

Rejoice that you can learn from your mistakes.

Smile:

Seriously.

Just smile.

Even if it’s strained and hard to manage–smile.

Let your children see you smile.

Smile at them.

When you speak to them, make sure you smile.

A smile can go a long way to changing the outcome of a day.

It can do a lot to mend fences and bring back the joy and happiness those itty-bitty day destroyers tried to steal from your family.

Something to Think About

The next time you feel like your entire day has been ruined, consider three think that have blessed you that day.

Something to Pray

Heavenly Father,

You alone know the struggles I’m facing. May the Holy Spirit fill me with joy and gladness, that I may be thankful for each up and down throughout our day.

In Your Glorious Name,

Amen.

Until next time,

wellofaith

Might I recommend this article next?

3 Ways to Keep a Bad Moment From Ruining Your Day--wellofaith.com
Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You'll Want to Read

Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You’ll Want to Read

Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You’ll Want to Read

We All Have Christian Parenting Goals, Right?

Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You'll Want to Read--Wellofaith.com
One of those days when the “goals” weren’t a top priority.

Being responsible for the Christian parenting–not just the physical well-being, but the spiritual life of our young children, can be especially daunting.

We often have amazing ‘goals’ we are striving for as we follow God’s teaching of how to raise our precious little ones into God honoring adults.

Raising and loving on our children is what can only be considered a long season; sometimes it seems incredibly lonely when you’re in the trenches.

Knowing we’re all in this together can definitely help.

The wonders of the internet have brought amazingly insightful posts from Christian mothers who are just like us; with a few more years (and possibly meltdowns) under their proverbial belts.

Sometimes It’s All About Grace

There are days when all those big goals we have for raising our kids get lost in the dust and chaos of crying and disobedience. Our sinful natures are always only one breath away from our choices.

When these moments inevitably happen, we need to remember that Our Father has shown us unending grace. All we have to do is remember that, and accept this precious gift.

Then share that gift with our children.

Repeatedly.

Christian Parenting Resources

Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You'll Want to Read
Photo by Nate Hess on Pexels.com

Once again, I’m using the wonders of the internet to find a community for us all. Answers, connections, and recommendations from other God honoring mothers.

I pray the following list of posts meets you right where you are today.

Christian Blog Posts

Until next time,

wellofaith
Around the Net: 7 Christian Parenting Blogs You'll Want to Read--wellofaith.com

If you’re interested in other collections of Christian posts from around the web click here.

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, where there are no perfect pictures, and reality is messy.

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Chocolate-Orange Shortbread Recipe--wellofaith.com

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Sugary Chocolate-Orange Shortbread Recipe

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Sugary Chocolate-Orange Shortbread Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase something through a link, I receive a profit at no additional cost to you.

Baking Shortbread: Embracing the Kitchen Chaos.

Good Morning, Sisters!

It’s time for another peek into baking with the kids. I’m happy to say, this round was quite a bit easier on my anxiety than the last one.

Improvements, even if they’re little, are still important.

Today, I’m sharing a shortbread recipe that I tweaked one day after discovering all of my chocolate chips had vanished.

I’m still not 100 percent sure they didn’t grow legs and walk away, but I’m moving on (and keeping a better eye on the chips I’ve bought to replace them).

This recipe is a quick, easy, and versatile shortbread recipe that will work perfectly for gifts or gatherings this holiday season.

Bonus, it is simple enough for your children to do (mostly) on their own.

Quick and Easy Sugary Chocolate-Orange Shortbread Recipe

Shortbread Ingredients:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Baking Spray
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup powered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dark bakers chocolate chopped (or mini-chocolate chips)
  • 2 teaspoons orange flavoring (or flavoring of your choice)
Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Chocolate-Orange Shortbread Recipe--wellofaith.com
Look at all that sprinkled sugar sparkle.

Shortbread Recipe:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cover an 8×8 pan with foil, allowing the foil to hang over two of the edges.

Lightly coat with bakers spray (I use Crisco baking spray).

Sprinkle with 1 TBS of the granulated sugar.

In a stand mixer (or large bowl with handheld mixer) cream butter.

Add powdered sugar and beat well.

In a separate bowl stir together flour and salt before gradually adding it to the butter mixture.

Beat until well blended.

Stir in orange extract. Then fold in chocolate pieces.

When combined, press dough into the foil-lined pan.

Sprinkle sugar over the top.

Bake at 325 degree F for 40 minutes or until golden.

Cool for 30 minutes in the pan before lifting the foil edges and removing the shortbread.

Gently remove foil and slice into squares.

At this point, you can sprinkle even more sugar on top of your shortbread squares, or dip them in a bowl of sugar for a sparkly finish.

See, a super simple and quick shortbread recipe.

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. If you experiment with it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Until next time,

wellofaith

For other great recipes check out here and here.

Follow my behind the scenes life at instagram.

Dealing with the Chaos of Motherhood--Wellofaith.com

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace “Mediocrity”. #LifeHack

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace Mediocrity. #lifehack

Pinterest Perfect Life Doesn’t Mean Best Life

Pinterest is one of those sites designed (in theory) to make life easier for people.

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace Mediocrity--wellofaith.com
My baby girl’s third birthday. Homemade cupcakes and buttercream frosting that didn’t set well because it was too hot.

What I’ve noticed instead, is that it often just makes us busy moms, struggling to give the best life to our children, feel guilty for not giving the little ones Pinterest worthy birthday parties, meals, craft projects, or homeschool assignments.

Feelings of inadequacy do not help us live our best lives, or teach our children what is actually important in life.

You know, actually living it.

Those home-cooked meals you’ve made may not look like the stylized photographs you’ve found on that favorite pinning site, but they’ve filled those empty bellies. They’ve provided needed nourishment to growing minds and bodies.

Related: Sare’s Favorite Quick and Delicious Ramen Soup Recipe

Sometimes they’ve even tasted pretty good.

That family birthday party with a slightly lopsided, mostly homemade cake, may not have all the razzle-dazzle or high price tag, but it was still filled with love. Also, who says a cake has to be perfect to taste delicious?

I won’t even get into craft projects. Being real here–I hate arts and crafts. They cause me so much anxiety, and could take an entire post just explaining the whys of that.

As for homeschool assignments repeat after me: Less is more.

So step away from the site of “perfect” and give yourself grace.

Dust Bunnies Aren’t a Sign of A Bad Life

We’ve all seen them, those wispy balls of fluff floating across our floors or huddled in the corners of rooms.

Dust bunnies.

Even for someone who vacuums every day (when you have a dog shedding all the time, and a crawler, vacuuming every day IS the answer), dust bunnies can be a reminder of how imperfect our housekeeping is.

It’s taken a long time for me to accept this next part, and I still have to battle with myself over it from time to time.

Your House Doesn’t Have to be Perfect.

In fact, your family can be living the absolute best life; surrounded by dust bunnies, a sink full of dishes, and peeling paint.

I spent years (yes, years!) of my life stressing out about the cleanliness of my home.

Whenever anyone visited I was positive they were judging me based on the mismatched furniture or the sparsely decorated walls.

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace Mediocrity--wellofaith.com
Not actually my kitchen, because I forgot to take a picture of my sink before I washed the dishes. Again.

Not to mention the dog hair that had once again appeared on the rug in the center of the room.

It’s only been since my youngest was born, that I started to let go of that particular stress-inducer.

Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be the baby snuggles.

As it turns out, a happy home doesn’t have to look like Martha Stewart decorated it, or that a personal maid cleans it.

Don’t Focus Too Much On Appearance

Appearance isn’t everything.

In an age where society is so caught up in what the one-percenters are doing, it might seem like the way things appear are actually the way things are.

That’s not the truth.

The truth is that some of the happiest people are living lives that appear to be lacking.

They aren’t driving fancy cars, carrying expensive cell-phones, or sporting the latest fashions.

In some cases the happiest people, the people living the best lives they can, are barely scraping by.

So how could they possibly be happy? How could their lives be considered good?

They’re Actually Living

Without all the trappings the world has decided people need, truly happy people get to enjoy the life they’re living. They focus on their loved ones; making memories, working together, sharing struggles and successes, supporting one another.

They’re not worried about posting perfect pictures on social media, or selling people on the idea that a particular product will bring instant happiness.

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace Mediocrity--wellofaith.com
Notice the lack of decor, and the abundance of leaves on my steps?

No, the people who are living life most likely are chasing around a toddler with a runny nose, praising God for providing food for the table, and tripping over a child’s toy while listening to someone demand that their sibling stop looking at them.

They might even be burning dinner, because they forgot to set the timer.

Those people aren’t likely staging a beautiful scene with white furniture and impressionist artwork.

That impossibly perfect living room.

The thought alone boggles my mind.

Though, they might be studying the new crayon drawing their budding artist drew in the stairwell.

Again.

The Perfect Life Requires Embracing Mediocrity

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying to go all in on a mediocre life. Don’t sit around in filth, or give up your dreams.

What I am saying is it’s okay to not do everything perfectly.

Embrace mediocrity in dinner making (unless you’re a gourmet chef, then that’s another story).

Embrace mediocrity in house keeping. Those dust bunnies won’t rule the world, but the children you’re raising might change the future of our world. A clean house can happen after those precious gifts from God have moved out. Then you might even be able to afford a maid (you know, once you’re no longer feeding the hungry masses known as your children).

Related: How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood

Embrace mediocrity in material possessions. Things don’t really bring us happiness. Memories, laughter, and the hugs from our loved ones do. This might look like you not working 90-hour weeks, because you feel like you need to ‘show’ that you’re successful. Or it might look like putting away your screen and connecting with those around you.

Related: Unstuffed Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul–Ruth Soukup

No one, since Jesus, has been perfect.

We’re all just trying to make the best of it until we go to our forever home.

So really make the best of it. Really live life. Stop worrying about how your life looks to others, and start embracing the way your life really is.

The messiness, the dust bunnies, the imperfectness.

That’s what living the best life really means.

Until next time,

wellofaith

This article includes affiliate links. If you purchase an item using a link, I will receive a percentage at no additional cost to you.

Making the Best Life for Your Family: Embrace Mediocrity--wellofaith.com

Kids in the Kitchen: Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Kids in the Kitchen: Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

Julia Child

Baking With My Children

In favor of being ‘real’, I’ll start this post by admitting I don’t enjoy sharing my kitchen with anyone. Especially not with children. I know, I can already hear the horrified gasps of other homeschool mothers who are much more domestic than I am.

I envy those mothers who experience great joy baking and cooking with their littles. For me though, it becomes just one more thing to be anxious about.

Since I want to make sure my children have all the skills they need to survive without their mom, it is important they learn how to do more than boil water or burn toast.

This means I need to get over my anxiety, not to mention my perfectionism, and let my kids into the kitchen.

Getting out of Their Way

When I bake, I consider myself to be organized and efficient.

Things are put away immediately after they’ve been used, and I clean as I go, because nothing is worse than a large clean up at the end of baking.

My children haven’t embraced this method yet, so all I can do is try to guide them so that it will become a habit for them as well.

This often looks a lot like I’m running a marathon without training. There is a lot of deep breathing and praying.

Recently I’ve been trying to get my eldest into the kitchen at least once a week. That might not seem like a lot, but I’m considering it baby steps in the right direction.

My eldest son (the six year old) has been helping me with meal prep too.

In time, my goal is to have them each cooking at least one meal a week. Obviously, I’m not there yet.

Like I said, baby steps.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Baking

Not too long ago, my daughter helped me bake these perfect snickerdoodles for the weekly treat. They were simple and didn’t cause me an anxiety attack.

She’s not a big fan of touching uncooked food with her bare hands, so I had to laugh at her when she rolled the dough balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Sadly, I didn’t think to take pictures of the actual prep.

Hopefully I’ll have the presence of mind next time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Snickerdoodle Cookie Topping

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In the bowl of your stand mixer: cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 4 minutes). Scrape sides as needed.

Add eggs and vanilla and continue to cream for an additional minute.

Stir in flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Don’t over mix.

In a separate bowl combine cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

**Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes**

The only photo I remembered to take during this experience.

Remove dough from refrigerator and roll into balls until round. I use a cookie scoop to make the balls even.

Cover in cinnamon and sugar. Make sure they’re really coated. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Place on silpat lined cookie sheet.

Lightly press down in the center to flatten.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Allow these beauties to cool for 5-minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Enjoy warm with your favorite tea or hot chocolate.

Until next time,

wellofaith

This post contained affiliate links. If a purchase is made using the link I’ll receive a small commission.

Kids in the Kitchen: Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe--wellofaith.com

Mom Guilt: A Collection of Posts From Around the Web

Mom Guilt: A Collection of Posts From Around the Web

Changing It Up

Since the point of this blog is to connect with, and help others– and I know I’m not capable of doing all the things for all the people, I’m trying something new (for me).

You’ve likely seen a “listicle” somewhere else on the internet, but if not, it’s simply an article compiling a list of various things in one place.

For instance, posts on mom guilt.

The following links are obviously not all the possible posts, but these called to me. My hope is they bring you comfort, ideas, and the knowledge that you’re never alone.

Mom Guilt: A Collection of Posts From Around the Web--wellofaith.com

10 Mom Guilt Articles You Need to Read

We’re All in this Together

Whether you’re a new mom, old mom, bio-mom, foster-mom, adoptive-mom… we’re in this together, because we’re all moms. We shouldn’t be perpetuating the cycle of guilt, by shaming other mothers. Join me in community with these mothers by reading their posts and showing them love and understanding.

In the comments below feel free to add a link to a mom-guilt post you’ve enjoyed.

Until next time,

wellofaith

For a great book to help you through your personal mom-guilt moments I recommend Introverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt and Quiet Joy. You can get your copy here.

If you’re looking for mom great reads you can find a list in this post too.

Mom Guilt: A Collection of Posts from Around the Web--wellofaith.com

When You’re Having Trouble Sleeping Try These Tips

When You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

Try These Tips

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the link, I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

When Catching Zs Has Become Illusive

When You're Having Trouble Sleeping Try These Tips--wellofaith.com

There have been several times throughout life when sleeping has been a challenge. These moments are often caused by stress, heartache, or babies.

Sometimes though, the reason for sleeplessness is because I can’t seem to turn my brain off. It doesn’t matter how tired the rest of my body is, my mind decides it is more important to run through all the things needing my attention–or that I feel need my attention, however erroneous that belief is.

With four kids in various stages of needing mothering, it is important that I shutdown as quickly as possible so I’m actual of some use come morning. That’s easier said than done, I know.

Below I share several of the tips and tricks I use regularly to ensure I get the rest I need to not only function, but to interact with people (my children included).

Sare’s Seven Tips For Sleeping Well

When You're Having Trouble Sleeping Try These Tips--wellofaith.com
  • Nighty Night Valerian Tea from Traditional Medicinals. This tea is by far my favorite night time drink. It tastes perfect with local raw honey for a hint of sweetness. Even on the toughest nights this tea works wonders. They recommend drinking it 30-minutes before you plan to go to sleep. I often pair this tea with my next tip.
  • Read a novel. This isn’t the time to pick up a heavy tome that you want to concentrate on. Pick a frivolous read. Something fun that will take your mind off pretty much anything except what is happening to the characters. I’m reading a series of Christian thrillers (Titus Ray Thrillers) recently that are enjoyable. Of course if you’re doing this using an e-reader with you may want to do this earlier in the evening, because of the next tip.
  • Avoid backlit screens for at least one hour prior to going to bed. You can read more about why we should avoid electronics before bed, here.
  • Take a warm shower. I’ve heard different takes on this. Some people say to avoid warm showers before bed, but I find that it helps to relax a lot of the tension I carry in my shoulders and neck. When my body is relaxed, my mind is relaxed too.
  • Brain dump. This is exactly what it sounds like. Grab a pen and some paper (not an electronic!) and dump everything that is swirling around in that brain of yours. I often write out my ‘to-do’ list before I go to sleep. It helps me to not suddenly ‘remember’ in the middle of the night, something I need to do the next day.
  • Recite scripture and pray. I often find myself doing this along with my final tip for falling to sleep. God’s word is great any time of the day, but it is most helpful when my brain is hyper-worried. Being able to give those worries to God, and using His word to do it pretty much guarantees a great night’s sleep.
  • My final tip is my favorite. Snuggle a sleeping baby. Yep. Cuddle up with that little bundle of squish you’re nurturing and loving all day. Since my youngest still sleeps with me, this is a daily part of my day, and like I said, my favorite. There is something so relaxing about listening to their little hearts beat, their gentle breathing, and their happy sounds that help relax even the most stressed out momma.

These tips are just a few possibilities you can try. They may or may not work for you, and I recommend you consult your family doctor if you regularly have issues with getting restful sleep.

We’re all busy mommas here, so I’d love any tips and tricks you’ve used to help you get that much needed sleep. Share them in the comments below. You should also check out my post here, for tips on calming the chaos we all experience as mothers. There’s a free printable included too. 🙂

Until next time,

wellofaith
Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwiches--wellofaith.com

The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe

The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe

Poetry Tea Time: A Family Favorite

The term “Poetry Tea Time” isn’t something I came up with myself, but discovered through the Brave Writer creator, Julie Bogart.

While my family’s tea-time rarely looks as artistically displayed as other families’, and we don’t spend much time on actual poetry.

The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe--wellofaith.com

Generally we read just one or two poems before we jump into other books we’re enjoying; and the tea is often replaced with hot chocolate, chocolate milk or smoothies, the feeling is the same.

It’s a time when we put away the stresses of the week, come together as a family and enjoy good literature and a special treat.

Once in awhile we will invite another family to join us, and the tea setting will look much more sophisticated. That’s half the fun of having others join us. It becomes more of a party atmosphere rather than a cozy time with each other.

Family Favorite Tea Time Treats

Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwiches--wellofaith.com

When it comes to the special treats at our tea-times, we change it up regularly. Sometimes we eat muffins, or donuts. Occasionally I’ll bake cookies or a cupcakes; once in awhile though, we go all out.

Today’s treat was a full spread. We loaded our plates with freshly sliced strawberries, deviled-eggs, and the easiest cucumber tea sandwiches.

We still didn’t dress up the table; none of our cups matched, and we still drank hot chocolate instead of tea–but those sandwiches were pure sophistication!

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices bread of choice–we used our basic honey wheat sandwich bread
  • 8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • approximately 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • one thinly sliced cucumber peeled

Directions:

The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe--wellofaith.com

In a medium bowl place cream cheese and allow to soften.

Add parsley flakes and mix.

Peel and thinly slice one cucumber, set aside.

Lay out eight (8) slices of bread. Spread cream cheese mixture on each slice.

Layer cucumbers on four (4) of the slices, then cover with the remaining four (4) slices of bread.

The Perfect Poetry Tea Time Cucumber Sandwich Recipe--wellofaith.com

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Using a sharp knife cut into triangles (because nothing says sophisticated tea party like miniature triangles!)

Enjoy with your favorite beverage, or just shovel them in your mouth when no one is looking. They’re that simple and that tasty.

I almost feel guilty sharing this as a recipe because it is such a super simple treat. It’s perfect for children or when you’re looking for something different for lunches.

Another great recipe for tea time is hard-boiled eggs or deviled eggs. You can check out the instant pot “recipe” for perfect hard-boiled eggs here.

Let me know what you think!

Until next time,

wellofaith
InstaPot Hard-Boiled Egg "Recipe"--wellofaith.com

The Best Hard-Boiled Eggs Ever [InstaPot “Recipe”]

The Best Hard-Boiled Eggs Ever

[Instapot “Recipe”]

I’m Late to the InstaPot Game

Recently a dear friend of mine gifted me with a new-to-me InstaPot (also known as an Instant Pot) or the off brand version of it anyway.

For several years now I’ve been hearing about how great these counter-top appliances are, and considered how it would work for my family.

When push came to shove though, I never had the extra cash to put down for one, so I continued making meals the old-fashioned way.

On the stove.

In the oven.

Or when I remembered: in the crockpot.

Things have finally stepped up a notch in this little cottage in the ‘Burg.

So Far My Favorite Thing to Make is

Hard-boiled eggs.

I love hard-boiled eggs. They’re great snacks filled with protein and healthy fats. They’re also a key ingredient in deviled eggs.

Though, now that I think about it, there should be a better name for those treats.

Anyway…

I’ve tried every trick I’ve found for making hard-boiled eggs, and most of them aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. [Yes, that’s corny, and punny. I get my laughs where I can].

When I discovered how to make them using the Instapot, I was hesitant. What if they turned out the way all the other hard-boiled eggs turned out?

You know the way I’m talking about.

Gray edged yolks.

Hard to peel.

Imagine my joy when I easily peeled my first dozen and they were gorgeous!

The InstaPot Way

Ingredients

  • Water (for my pot 6 quart pot I use 1 cup of water)
  • Eggs (your choice of how many. I usually do a full dozen, but you could do as few as two (2), but why?!)
  • Ice Bath or cold running water and a fridge

Recipe

InstaPot Hard-Boiled Egg "Recipe"--wellofaith.com
Look at those pretty yellow yolks!

Put water into InstaPot.

Then place rack inside pot to prevent eggs from bumping and cracking.

Place eggs on rack, making sure they’re not stacked on top of each other.

Seal InstaPot, turning the pressure valve to the closed position, and set for 6 mins. (Depending on your pot you may want to play around with this a bit. I’ve seen times between 5-7 minutes. Six minutes makes perfect eggs for me).

After six minutes, manually release the pressure (open that valve).

Immediately place the eggs in an ice bath, or as I do, remove the inner pot and place it directly under cold running water.

Refrigerate immediately and enjoy!

Until next time,

wellofaith

Need another good idea for those hard-boiled eggs? Try the Quick Ramen Recipe.

The Best Hard-Boiled Eggs Ever [InstaPot Recipe]--Wellofaith.com