Monday, February 18, 2019

I was over at Omaha Moms Blog last week and wrote a brand spanking new post. I'd love for you to join me over there and let me know what you think!

You can click here to find the post "Living Divorced." It's a rather large topic, so there's much to be said. Fortunately, I have the option to write about what I'm thinking/feeling/stuggling with/triumphing over in more than one post! Could you imagine the length of the post if I had to write everything in one spot? It'd be . . . well . . . a book.

Huh . . . A book . . .

Now there's an idea. ::wink,wink::


Saturday, February 16, 2019

HF 272 and Why It's Terribly Dangerous to Homeschool Families

I don't usually get into politics here on the ol' blog. But one issue has me a bit fired up. Once again, the government, particularly the Iowa legislature is trying to pass mandates (In the form of HF-272) to get into the business of homeschoolers. You can read an explanatory article by clicking here.

Here are my problems with HF-272.

Home Visits

Basically, the piece of legislation states that four times a year, someone from the state can come in and check on the "well-being" of home schooled children. And they can do so without the consent of the parent, if so ordered.

. . . these home visits “shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted.”
If parents do not provide consent then the school district “the juvenile court or district court upon a showing of probable cause may authorize the person making the home visit to enter the home and interview or observe the child.”

 What? Come into my home and observe just because I homeschool? I don't think so. You may wonder why, if I keep everything above board, would I take issue with this. Because this is a slippery slope we are treading.

Who defines "probable cause?"

No one has said. I bet they won't be getting home school families together to help define this. It'll be a group of bureaucrats who think they know how to better raise someone else's child than the parents of that child. Ridiculous. It's the height of arrogance.

Who defines "well being?"

No word on who sets the standards of the definition of "well-being" either. I get it that there are people who mistreat their children and when they must give an explanation as to why their children aren't in school, they claim to homeschool. This is not the norm, of course.

The ignorant want to convince the rest of the population that invading the homes of homeschool families is the only way to prevent these tragedies from happening. It's not. It merely invades the homes of law abiding citizens that have dared to decide to educate their own children. Sorry, but no one knows and loves my child better than I do. No one can make better decisions than I can on what is appropriate to teach my children.

Look at any school and can you honestly tell me that children are better off? There are wonderful teachers and administrators, but not even they can stem the tide that has turned. Often, their hands are tied in crucial situations. Because school is no longer about educating children. School is about feeding children and "keeping them safe." Unfortunately, the schools are feeding them packaged food (sometimes all three meals) and school tragedies (sexual abuse, shootings, drugs, etc) abound.

Mandated Vaccines

The legislation mandates vaccines. Unacceptable. I choose which, if any, vaccines to give my children, not an entity who turns a blind eye to the catastrophic effects that vaccines are causing on a daily basis. Do you know that by age 18, an up to date vaccinated child will have received 72 doses in all? This number includes vaccines that require several doses and boosters and separates the DTaP, MMR and Tdap which are usually given in one syringe, but it's still three dosages, don't forget.

Those professionals who have little patience with parents who dare to be conscientious of their children's exposure, poo-poo this number as being inflated. It is not. They also claim that links to adverse affects is anecdotal at best and fear-mongering at worst. The first attack someone makes when they don't have good evidence is to make the opposition look crazy. They've done a pretty good job, but many parents are catching onto this tactic and looking into the efficacy of modern vaccines.

Who's Gonna Pay?

There is also no word on how this is supposed to be paid for. And yet, the proposed bill wants to include these home visits in the list of duties that already over worked state employees must perform. Or perhaps they will hire a special set of people to get this job done. You can be sure there won't be any homeschool parents on that committee.

I am well aware that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I usually try to focus on the good. The joy. The only thing I can think of right now is that this world is not my home. It might be terribly, terribly uncomfortable until we get home, but with heaven as our home, He will help us bear it.

Silver lining? We are one day closer to the Rapture. Woot, woot!

Joyfully looking forward to that day,

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Let it Be

I'm a worrier.

Are my kids eating enough vegetables? Getting enough sleep? Did I turn off the kitchen light before I went to bed? Am I ruining my kids' life by going back to work already? Should I limit their screen time even more? Is the Cruise Director getting enough classes in so he'll get into the college he wants? Will the mom-mobile last another winter?


The worrying never ends. Sometimes it even invades my sleep and I dream of stressful situations. I don't know how many times I've reminded myself that worry robs you from joy. Many say worrying is not trusting that the Savior has it all under control. I'm not sure that last one is exactly true, though I get the idea behind it.

Many times I've heard the phrase, "Just let it go!" I even belted out Elsa's theme song as my personal anthem for weeks, hoping that it would happen by osmosis, assimilation or maybe even by coincidence. Something.

It didn't work, by the way.

I'm just a few short years away from 50 (GAH!) and I've never been able to figure out how to 'Let go and Let God." Sure, I pray and tell Him I'm giving my worries over to Him. I've prayed that so often, that I've stopped. Honestly.

Recently, I was chatting with an acquaintance who is also a worrier. She related that her husband has begun to gently remind her to "Let it be."


Boy did that strike me. It may be a matter of semantics to some, but for me, it caught my attention in a way that I could finally begin to grasp. Letting a situation "be" reminds me to deliberately take my hands off of a situation. I am not letting the situation slip from my fingers -- I'm making a conscious choice, giving myself permission, if you will, to not take responsibility of what I cannot control. It doesn't exactly absolve me of responsibility of the outcome when I am the one who is responsible, but it reminds me that there are somethings that I don't have control over. And it's those things that I need to, in effect, let go.

I'm not saying that "let it be" is a cure-all. I will need to be reminded often. I'll probably even get annoyed with my IRL people who deem it their responsibility to remind me often.

But it's a start.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Art of Gift Giving

Special occasions come and go. You do your best to leave a lasting impression on your loved ones with the perfect gifts. It can be hard sometimes, especially for the person who has everything. You want every gift to come from the heart and to matter to the person receiving it. This guide will help you master the art of thoughtful gift ideas.

Bags and Totes

Everyone could use an extra bag. In the spring and summer months, totes are especially helpful when it comes to afternoon barbecues, outdoor picnics or days on the beach. Totes are a great practical gift, not to mention a way to accessorize. Find one in a favorite color to match your loved one’s personal style. If someone in your life loves bags and totes, don’t think twice about a gift like that. If they love totes, then odds are they can’t have enough.



Candle Warmers

Candle warmers are perfect for every season. Fill them with a variety of different scents to fill your home with warm fragrances. Candle warmers allow you to experience the coziness of a candle without the flame. Unlike those electric or battery powered LED candles, these still emit a warmth and a soft glow wherever you choose to have one. In beautiful designs at Hallmark online, you can choose what makes the best gift.



Framed Art

Photo by Lex Sirikiat on Unsplash
Framed art can come in a variety of styles. From heartwarming pictures to motivational messages, you are able to find something that represents the person. When you give any gift, it’s important to ask a lot of different questions. The more you ask, the more you can narrow what kind of gift would suit them best.

It’s normal for a special occasion to be marked by a gift. Gift giving doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be a lot of fun when you know what you’re looking for.


Tips for Preparing Accurate Church Financial Reports

Many larger churches have their own accountants that they keep on staff. Even if you work at a small church or are just in charge of the reports of your committee or department, you may prepare financial statements for accounting purposes, even if the ultimate responsibility lies with someone else. Here are some goals to aim for in order to create accurate reports.


Photo by noor Younis on Unsplash
Recording income and expenses as they happen is crucial to making sure your records reflect your true finances. Whether you are preparing individual contribution statements for tax purposes, a statement of financial activities for the year or a statement of financial position at the end of the month, these reports all depend on consistent data entry that happens in a timely manner.




Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash
You can master your church bookkeeping software and be able to answer complicated questions about church taxes. If you don't enter complete data into your program, however, your balance sheet is not going to come out right. In order to make all the numbers match up the way they're supposed to, you have to include every donation, expense, and asset.




Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Church finances can get complicated. If the people reading your report don't understand what they're looking at, it can be especially confusing. Report the information as succinctly as possible so that no one gets bogged down in too many extraneous details. Your report should read simply enough that anyone who pays attention to them can get a clear picture of how the church's finances stand.
It is important that everyone who handles any part of the church finances understands how to report the numbers so that the church's records are correct. By making sure you have all the information you need and reporting it in a timely, concise manner, you can generate accurate reports.