On bad starts, good endings, and the muddle of the middle

Another week in the books. Whew! This weekend is our church’s women’s retreat, so I even get to skip town on Friday and leave the children with Dad to oversee math and all the rest. :thumbsup:

~ 1 ~

Sometimes we all have our difficult starts. One day it’s one child, the next day it’s a different one. Then it’s my turn to lose it. I lose it so badly we can’t carry on with Morning Time and I have to ask forgiveness individually to each child as well as to them as a group. And when the children each for the next two days include in their Morning Time prayer “and thank you that we didn’t have any arguments so far this morning” you know it was bad.

You know what, though? Our kids will never live with or work with perfect people. If Mom isn’t perfect, it’s simply another piece of practicing for a life of dealing with real life and real people. As long as we repent and restore fellowship, even our own mess ups can help our kids grow into functioning people with realistic expectations of life and others.

Weekly Wrap-Up

~ 2 ~

round button chicken

pretty * happy * funny * real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Isn’t this cute? I love coming across little vignettes like this. Domestic scenes still surprise me when I come across them. Two boys first has me accustomed to formations, wars, and straight lines of guys or cars or whatever, but not cozy little living rooms.

I love it.

The Fisher Price Loving Family dollhouse (it was a hand-me-down – Thanks, Andrea! – but additional & replacement pieces have made perfect gifts) is toy #1 for occupying little miss two-year-old for extended periods of time. And, shhh, she even sometimes convinces brothers to play it with her sometimes when a sister isn’t available or willing.

~ 3 ~

It’s pumpkin patch time of year!

~ 4 ~

Skipping town Friday means skipping out on the end-of-the-week EHAP. Where I reshelve books and reclaim horizontal space. It’s good to raise readers, but it means a lot of books all over the house, collapsing in piles, and none ever put on the shelf neatly.

Worth it.

Also check out my other post this week: Contentment in the Kitchen at Simple Pantry Cooking~

~ 5 ~

Brandy has her best-ever, most amazing, truly incredible education talk recorded and available. I heard her deliver it at the Northwest Charlotte Mason Educator Conference and was blown away. It’s classical education philosophy illustrated in grand art, and it was Charlotte Mason’s favorite painting. Effortlessly, almost without even trying, Brandy brings together both classical and Charlotte Mason philosophies and even resolves some of the tensions (depth v. breadth, anyone?) we sometimes stumble over.

It’s pay-what-you-want, so you have no excuse not to listen. After you listen, you’ll wish you paid her $20.

Seriously, don’t miss it.

~ 6 ~

Last week Jeanette emailed with an Audible question and a great suggestion:

I’ve read all of your posts on audible that I can find. With November coming up in trying to decide if I should wait to sign up in November or sign up now and then take advantage of listener appreciation month next month as a member. I’m struggling to know what the whispersync deal is too. I want to get the most value for what I purchase but I’d love for you to do a periscope on it so I can ask questions live. Would you be willing to do that?

Of course I would! And I did, complete with a fussy two-year-old interruption:

After I did the scope, I decided that rather than send people through a series of old blog posts to get the best Audible tips, I’d just set up an email series that would deliver one manageable tip at a time. November – Listener Rewards Month – is around the corner, so now is a great time to give Audible a whirl and see if you love it as much as I do.

You can sign up for the email tips (1 per day for 7 days) here:

~ 7 ~

Hey! Do you love to chat about all things planning? You know I do. :)

And I get to next week, and I hope you’ll come join us!


On Monday I’m doing a live, free workshop with Melanie Wilson all about digital planning. She’s a digital planner and a busy homeschool mom, as am I on both counts, and so we’ll talk about apps we use, how we make the technology work for us, and the habits we’re building to be productive rather than distracted. There will be a chat box, too, so you can ask us questions and also have your own conversation with everyone else watching.


Then Wednesday I’ll host another live, free workshop with Kari Denker of Stone Soup for Five all about bullet journalling. I know lots of you are intrigued with that system and have questions about how it works for others, and I thought Kari would be the perfect one to talk about it. Not only does she bullet journal, not only is she also a homeschool mom, but she also knows making it works takes personalization, flexibility, and iteration. I’m really looking forward to having her share about how her methods have evolved as she’s practiced them.

These workshops are always loads of fun! I hope you can make it to at least one!

You can register on my ‘scope page here.

8 Responses

  1. Kl

    Boy did this post come at a good time (actually very “bad” time). So glad others lose it too but I agree that’s life and when you put your all into something your “all” is what will come out as well. ?

    • Mystie Winckler

      Oh, that’s hilarious! What a great way to put it!

  2. Virginia Lee Rogers

    Love the picture of the living room with books everywhere. Glad we’re not the only ones. =)

    Hope your weekend women’s retreat was refreshing. We leave today for a marriage retreat (Fri and Sat). Kids are slumber partying with the cousins and my sister and brother in law. Must be the time of year for such church events.

    I really like your weekly wrap up/7 Quick Takes/PHFR posts. =)

  3. Kim

    ❤️Just signed up for all your goodies❤️ Can’t wait!

  4. Amber

    Oh yes, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve just really lost it during the school day… and during morning time too. *sigh* But it is such a good opportunity to model humility and how to ask for forgiveness, isn’t it. As hard as that is… or at least it is for me.

    I am looking forward to the cozy little domestic scenes like that again – my oldest is a girl, and then there’s three boys, and now I have a 23 month old girl. She’s not quite old enough for it yet, but I’m looking forward to getting down the dollhouse again!

  5. a. borealis

    I am totally cracking up at your comparison of cozy domestic scenes from your girls vs. battle formations from your fellas.

    I have four boys and that is ALL there is at our house. Sometimes they play adventure games (Swallows and Amazons or Robinson Caruso-esque), but otherwise it is almost entirely battle play, alone or in groups. I just can’t relate.

    There must be a pleasant sweetness to have domesticity interspersed in your household. It sounds downright refreshing.

    • Mystie Winckler

      It is refreshing, except when there are screams due to battles overwhelming the cozy scenes. :)