Author: Lea Ann Garfias

Summer R&R (That’s Routines and Responsibilities)

My husband brought it home proudly, proclaiming this inflatable pool would make the summer great again. I immediately hated it. The pool was large, it sat lopsided, it was always full of grass, and it was a pain to keep clean. It’s always Mom’s job to keep the pool clean. Like I have nothing better to do, nothing else to keep clean. Give me a large vat of water you don’t intend to change, leave it outside all the time, throw stinky bodies into it, and let me keep it clean. Sounds like the best summer hobby ever. We’ve never had a pool before. This was a big upgrade from the plastic ones you use for toddlers and then dump out every evening. This held a bazillion more gallons, and if the EPA didn’t arrest me for dumping it out every night, the water company would. So the pool sat in the yard. The children gleefully splashed in it for hours upon hours every afternoon. And the pool got greener, and greener, and greener. I …

When It’s Just Too Hard to Pray

It’s time for some deep, down honesty about spiritual valleys. Because maybe you’ve been here, too. Or maybe you’re here right now. No need to raise your hand or walk the aisle. Just hugs and nods coming your way. I think I told you I just came off two bad, bad years. I mean, they weren’t totally bad. There were some amazing blessings: two new members of our family, a book published, new friends, a new church. I need to remember the good times, cling to them like the precious gifts that they are. But there was so much heartbreak. In fact, 2016 was the single worst year I have ever lived through. I had to list what I experienced for my counselor because I had blocked out most of it. I had to ask my husband, research my journal, and look back on the calendar. Every three to four weeks for an entire year I faced a major trial or life event. Like clockwork. It was horrifying to look at the timeline. And I’m talking about …

The Dark Valley My Child Walks

Each morning, my children and I begin our homeschooling day with Bible Time. Just 15 minutes of Scripture, a page of the Bible storybook, quick observations, and prayer. Nothing more, just gentle meditations. Curled up in recliners or rockers, or pressed up against one another on the sofa. Everyone buried under a blanket and The Book, the scented candle drawing their hearts upward. This year has been our twins’ first exposure to God’s Word. They are eating it up, demanding a second Bible storybook after finishing their first. They are disgusted when the Sunday School lesson is a story they already know. “Isn’t there something new?” they complain. So they move forward a page at a time in their Bible storybook, listening to the passage read in the Scriptures by older siblings then reading the children’s version in their picture book. The youngest two eagerly remind their siblings of “what just happened” and the parts they remember from the last book. The little scholars forget no detail of any tale, and no one can keep …

3 Easy Tips to Simplify Your Homeschool

Ever met a facebook homeschool friend who just . . . gets it? That’s Sara Dennis. She is homeschooling made easy. Like in real life. So it’s a big sigh of contentment to welcome her with us today. Is your homeschool driving you batty? Are you trying to juggle too many balls each day? As a long time homeschooler with 6 kids, I use these three tips to simplify my homeschool and save my sanity. 3 Easy Tips to Simplify Your Homeschool 1. Limit Activities Outside of the House While the stereotypical homeschooler stays locked in the house all day, homeschoolers actually tend to pick up too many activities. You have dance classes, soccer, science clubs, co-op, church, park days, field trips, scouting trips, and more! The question becomes not if you stay locked in the house all day, but when are you ever home! But having too many activities is as bad as having none. You lose the time you need for family dinners around the table. The time kids need for hunting ants …