Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding Time With God

Lately I've noticed that I am increasingly more and more busy than I feel like I ever have been. As the children have gotten older, their activities have also increased. I run one teen to work, another to dance, another to a friend's for a play date, and still two others to run errands with me. My day starts with a jolt as I rush that first kdi to work and doesn't seem to slow down until evening. Often as I end my day and start to fall asleep, I realize I missed my daily devotionals! How did I become so busy?!

Today, I want to share a few tips for finding and making time to spend with the Lord. Even as busy as I am, I can find a few moments to pray, praise and be thankful. Here are some ideas for getting started:

  1. Turn on praise and worship music while you clean
  2. Listen to music while running errands
  3. Every time you are running an errand and you come to a stop light, pray
  4. As you grocery shop, seek out just one person you can share the Lord with
  5. Before you get out of bed in the morning, think of 3 things you are thankful for and can give God praise for doing for you
  6. As you prepare for bed at night, ask the Lord to show you a Scripture to read

These are just a few examples and there are far many things you can do. What do you do to make sure you spend time with God every day?


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Every once in a while, I find the kids and I have difficult homeschooling days. Either they just aren't in the frame of mind to do school or I'm not. You may have experienced this in your homeschooling days. And maybe you haven't yet. But there may come a time when you simply have to decide to stop trying to "do" school and do something else!

Here are some ideas that will still engage your kids educationally when traditional school needs to be set on the back burner for the day:

  • Go on a walk in your local open space
  • Ride bikes around a local bike path you haven't taken before
  • Take turns reading books aloud
  • Make up stories and each of you write one sentence at a time
  • Tour the local fire department or police department
  • Make plans to create the best park in the neighborhood (what equipment is there? Draw it!)
  • Buy a dozen carnations and stand at the local grocery store handing out flowers to those who seem to need a little encouragement
  • If you have middle school or high school children, visit a local daycare and see if you can read to the children
  • Create "stations" in your home and allow the kids to choose what they will do for each 20 minute time period (Ideas: Yahtzee table with 2 kids, Wii Fit, painting/fingerpainting, reading area, and a writing area)
  • Have a family Olympics complete with a 3-legged race, water balloon toss and kickball!

The bottom line here is that instead of trying to force school, sometimes you just need to step back--everyone--and do something educational and outside-of-the-box!

What are your ideas for tough homeschooling days?


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: On-the-Go With Kids

When my children were younger, we often ran errands in the morning. As homeschoolers, this was a great time to go to the grocery store, library or park while other school-age children were in school. When we lived in Florida, however, getting to these destinations meant travel time of nearly an hour! Kids, especially younger ones, don't necessarily enjoy riding in a car for that long. So, we began to pack on-the-go back packs for the kids.

In each bag the kids were allowed to pack one toy, but also had to include worksheets of some sort like math or spelling or reading comprehension. This way, they could play and we continued our learning time while I was driving into town. We also packed a basket with bread, peanut butter and honey and jelly in case the children needed a snack while we were out and about!
What tips do YOU have for being on-the-go with your children?


Monday, May 26, 2014

You Are Not By Chance

Declaring Who You Are 

I remember when my children were younger. Many people asked me what I did for a career, living, etc. I would reply, "Oh. I'm just a mom," or "I'm just a stay-at-home mom." JUST. As if being a mother or wife were some sort of small thing. I didn't know how vlauable my role in my family really was back then. And I was just a mom because that's all I allowed myself to become at that point in my life.

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat the fruit thereof. It also says that the tongue can't be tamed any more than a bridle in the mouth of a horse or a rudder steering a ship. But Proverbs 15:4 reminds us that a gentle tongue with its healing power is a tree of life. Ladies, you are more than just a wife. More than just a mom. More than just a home schooler. And more than just anything!
You, dear sister, are the righteousness of God in Christ! You are no longer a slave but an heir and if an heir then the child of God. You are set apart. You are a chosen people. You are far above rubies! Declare what the Word and what God says about you! Search the Word. What did you find?


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book review: Mom's Night Out and Other Things I Miss by Kerri Pomarolli

Mom's often struggle with parenting. Not because of the tasks required of us (cleaning house, endless loads of laundry, making meals and snacks every day, and remembering everyone's schedules!), but because being a mom takes a lot out of us and we need to get together for emotional support and encouragement. I have been reading a great devotional book that does just that!

In her newest book, Kerri Pomarolli brings comedy and real-life situations into one in a way that all mom's can relate. Infused with a vivid transparency into her own parenting and mommy challenges are those moments when, like each of us, she stops. She remembers that God knows what we're going through and while we don't understand our less-than-perfect lives, He's still God and still in control.
One of my favorite devotions was titled, "Top Ten Things Parents Will Never Do Again." Here's the list:

  1. Take a shower over eleven minutes long...alone!
  2. Eat at a Five-Star restaurant on a weeknight.
  3. Go to Costco or Sam's Club and spend under $300.
  4. Leave the house in under twenty-three minutes.
  5. Sleep through the night.
  6. Watch the news reports about the world and not worry.
  7. Wear skinny jeans.
  8. Take an unplanned road trip, just for the "fun of it" and not bring snacks.
  9. Use the bathroom alone.
  10. Wonder why your mother was always tired!
Can you relate to these things? I know I can. I also know that this is only a season and doesn't last forever. But back to the book!
Each devotion begins with a Scripture followed by a story of Kerri's real parenting. It concludes with a "Take a Moment to Think About..." section and of course Kerri leads us in a wonderfully humbling, encouraging and uplifting prayer to pray. You will read this book feeling empowered and most importantly, normal and not alone in your struggles as a mom!

You can find Kerri's book at Wal-Mart, Target and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Enjoy being refreshed and encouraged! And it's okay to laugh when reading this book!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I'm a list maker! I love to make lists and check off the things I've finished for the day. It's a great way to stay organized, too.
You can use clipboards, notebooks, post-it notes, and even a photo frame that you use with a dry erase marker!
Here's a free printable for your "To-Do" list and instructions on making your own framed reusable list.

Get a picture frame WITH THE GLASS and insert this To-Do list under the glass. Now buy some fun dry erase markers in red, blue or even neon and write directly on the frame! Each night you can simply use a paper towel and erase the day's check list!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Breathe Life Into Your Dreams

Keep Moving Forward

Over the past year I've talked a lot about vision boards, visions/dreams, and why it is important to have them. Today, I want to talk about keeping your dream alive. Often we are moved by external things and don't see ourselves getting closer to realizing the vision we had. External things like lack of funds to go on a missions trip, cut a CD, write and publish a book, open a specific type of store, or whatever your vision is lacking can make us begin to allow doubt to creep in and discourage us. Not seeing a time frame when our dream will come to pass can stop us in our pursuit of that dream. Not being sure if the dream is something God is calling you to do right now can halt any further progress you might be making. Stop yourself right there! Take a step back and let's evaluate what's going on. Even if the dream isn't meant to be accomplished right now, you can keep the dream alive and moving forward. 

  • If you haven't already, make a vision board! Add pictures, words, maps and anything else that represents your vison or dream. (Habakkuk 2:2-write the vision plain and clear so that you may see it in your comings and goings (paraphrased)).
  • If your dream is associated with a profession, declare that over yourself! "I AM a writer!"
  • Make an effort to do something (no matter how small or insignificant it seems!) to do something within the field, industry, profession, etc. of your dream.
  • If you are on social media, make it a point to follow, friend, LIKE, etc. those who are successful in the same field as your dream or vision.
As long as you can still see your dream and can do some of these things, you will accomplish it because it is important to you, it is a part of you!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are Your Dreams and Visions Real to You?

Moving From Saying to Doing

Dreaming of my future career and life was my favorite pasttime as a teenager. I used to love to think about my life as a writer or actress...or adventurer or college student living in Central California. Going to the beach, living in a bungalow on the coast and attending all the big awards events with the most popular television and movie stars at the time. But I never really did anything to pursue those dreams. I talked about them. I talked a lot. I was saying what I wanted to do, but I never did things that moved me to that direction. 
Honestly, even my own personal writing push came when I finally stepped out and took the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in Novemeber 2010. It was then that I began to set my dream in motion. But none of it would have been possible if I hadn't stepped out and tried to do it. I didn't reach my 50,000 word goal at that time. I felt as though I had quit in the middle of a race. You may be feeling like that, too, with your dreams and visions. Can I encourage you with this, though? If your dream seems impossible, it's probably from God! Dreams that are attainable by our own hand are okay to have. But what a testimony to be able to say, "I couldn't do this on my own. The only way I did was through God's power and strength!"
Recently our pastor's wife spoke to our women's group and shared seven indicators that you have a dream from God. I want to share them with you because this will help you take hold and own your dream!

  1. Does it capture your imagination? Does it excite you? Can you see it in your heart?
  2. If it seems impossible, not possible.
  3. If your dreams seems as though it's never going to come to pass, but deep down your won't let it go.
  4. If those around you are not enthusiastic about your dream/vision as your are.
  5. If you feel resistance and frustration, but the dream is still there.
  6. If it consumes your thinking and gets bigger and bigger on the inside.
  7. If it seems to define who you are and shape your life.

God-dreams are meant to enhance and impact the kingdom of God! I encourage you to take inventory of your dream, your vision, that thing that won't let you go and keeps calling you back to it. For me, it was writing. As long as I can remember, I've been a writer in one way or another. And you are never too old to start pursuing your dream! C.S. Lewis once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream." How true that is! Don't get discouraged. Your dream is just on the other side of your breakthrough!

What is it for you? It's probably a dream from God for a purpose to impact the Kingdom!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

At one point or another, you made the decision that educating your children at home was the best thing for your children and your family. You may be starting out on your homeschooling journey and I can tell you that many folks will question you about your choice of schooling. I want you to be prepared to defend that choice in love, though. Because like it or not, people who just don't understand will question you in a manner that might make you feel inadequate, like you've made the wrong choice, and leave you questioning your reasons for homeschooling.

So today, my encouragement to you is to formulate your reasons behind the choice. In business, this looks like a mission and vision statement. Here are some examples and ideas to consider as you think about your "why we homeschool" answer:


Homeschool Vision:
Quality education at home; A new generation of lifelong learners.
Homeschool Mission:
We will continually seek out the newest and best options in technology, curricula, and teaching methods to engage and ignite a passion for learning in our students.

To consider:

  • What do we want to accomplish by homeschooling?
  • Are there Scriptures to back up homeschooling? What are they?
  • How do we view our home school? Is it permanent? Will we only school until middle school? High school? Through graduation?
  • Am I confident in my ability to teach my own children academic subjects?
  • Do I know where to find resources and support?
  • How do I feel about socialization of school-aged children? Socialization with peers or with elders?
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you feel about these things because they will probably be topics of discussion with family, friends and even strangers! The better prepared you are to answer, the stronger and more confident you will be on your homeschooling journey!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Making Edible Art

If you have toddlers or preschoolers, you know that they love to put almost everything they see into their mouths. It can be unnerving to watch your child eating blue Play-Doh knowing that in the end, you are going to see that again (no pun!). And while many of the tools our children use to create beautiful-only-to-momma art project, we are concerned with what is really in that fingerpaint or molding clay.
Well, today, we're going to look at two things you can make right at home that you know are safe and are actually even safe to eat!

First, fingerpaint. This was a big, "Oh, duh!" moment for me when I saw this recipe. Simply make a box of vanilla pudding according to the directions on the box and divide into separate bowls based on the number of colors you want your child to have access to. I like the regular food coloring colors of red, blue, green and yellow. Mix in a few drops at a time until you reach the desired color, then refrigerate until set. When ready, just allow the kids to use the pudding as they would fingerpaint on wax paper. If you want to keep the creation either take a photo of it or allow it to dry and spray it with a clear spray sealer.

Next, molding clay. Now a lot of commercial brands claim to be non-toxic, but really it still has some sort of chemicals in it that really aren't all that safe. They won't necessarily do great harm, but you can actually make your own for a lot less.
Oatmeal Playdough
  • 1 part flour
  • 1 part water
  • 2 parts oatmeal
  • Bowl
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well and knead until smooth.
  2. This playdough is not intended to be eaten, but it will not hurt a child who decides to taste it.
  3. Store covered in refrigerator.
  4. Your child can make this playdough without help; however, it doesn't last as long as cooked playdough.
Read more on FamilyEducation:


Monday, May 12, 2014

Training for Spiritual Warfare

It's Time to Stop Listening to the Lies of the Enemy

When I was a young mom my husband was in the Army National Guard. He was referred to as a "weekend warrior." Once a month he would go to training with his unit and they would practice the skills each of them had learned during their time in Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in case the unit was ordered to deploy in the event of a military action or war. That time was tough for me as I tried to get to church on those Sundays. I had four children ages 6 months, 3 years, 5 years and 7 years old. Depending on the night I had with the baby, I would be almost too tired to get up let alone make it to church by a specific time! Most of the time I was able to get there with the help of my oldest son making sure the kids at least had cereal for breakfast before we left. 
Once I got ot church, I knew I would have some much needed help with the little ones and really actually looked forward to that! But I had to make the conscious decision that we were going to go to church on those days because I not only needed help, I needed the refreshing that comes with being in the presence of God's people. I needed the fellowship. I needed to have my week energized to sustain me and put me in an attitude of worship for the week and to remind me that I had (and still have!) a role in the body of Christ.

Mom, you may feel that today you only have enough time and energy for your kids. But like the soldiers training for war, we are training and preparing for warfare, too. We are lied to by Satan telling us that it won't matter if we don't go to church. He tells us that we need to take care of ourselves and can put the fellowshipping of God's people on the back burner. He says, "No one will miss you if you don't go." And he gives us a number of reasons and excuses for not going to church. 
Dear sister, let me tell you, if you will put God first, HE will take care of you! He will refresh you, reenergize you, extend yours hours, give you the rest you need, and He will help you to be the best momma for your children. After all, He gave them to you for a reason! You are the perfect mom for your children. Isn't that amazing to think about?!
So this week, don't listen to the lies of the enemy. See what the Word says about redeeming your time, giving you rest when you're weary, and fellowshipping with the body. You will win the spiritual war against the enemy each and every time you apply the Scripture and go to church!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I know this is very late, but I hope it is something that will stick with you for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: Meal Planning Short-Cuts

You've probably seen the once a month cooking plans. I never could wrap my head around cooking meals for a month and freezing them...especially for my large family. We just didn't have that kind of space in our freezer. But one trick I did learn from cooking meals for my family was that when I was cooking up the ground beef for one meal, I could cook up enough for another meal and freeze it. That way I was only cooking half of the time! It worked out great! I could store meat for two meals in my freezer, so that was my way of revising the once a month cooking idea.

What meal planning and making short-cuts have you learned over the years?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Setting priorities...

Knowing It's Okay to Put Things on the Back Burner

This month, as with all end of the year activities, is getting very busy for our family. Every time this happens though, I feel as though I'm going to let a friend down when I can't meet for coffee or a group down because I have chosen to attend my kids' choir concert and even my church family as I put my writing and college deadlines ahead of church events.
I often feel so guilty that I double book my own activities, wear myself out trying to please everyone, and don't accomplish the things I had hoped to for the day or even the week! But God said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). While I don't want to disappoint others, I know that the Lord is redeeming my time, and yours! We don't have to feel bad when we are seeking the Lord and focusing in on His plan for our lives. We know that He will work all these things for our good, and that means when we put Him first He will align all our other activities, meetings, and commitments to work for good, too!

That said, you may notice there are a few days when there are no posts from Super Mom the Illusion. My blog is very important to me. But not more important than my Heavenly Father or my family. There are things in your life that you may have been placing above the Lord or your family. What are those things? Step back and see if there are things you need to put on the back burner...and know that it's okay to set those priorities!


Friday, May 2, 2014

NEW: Friday 'Fess Up!

Every Friday I am starting a "'Fess Up." This is one place that we do not judge others but support in all that we are going through. This is the day we will confess to our sisters in the Lord how our week has truly been!

What I want to know is how your week went! 

  • Did you have some unexpected successes? 
  • Maybe you fell short on a school day. 
  • Do you need help or encouragement in a certain area? 
  • Have an idea to share that changed your homeschooling? 
  • Was your week less than perfect? 
  • Hormones got you feeling up one minute and down the next? 
  • Would your husband say you nagged him this week? 
  • Did your devotional time and time with the Lord in general increase this week? 
  • What victories did the Father give you? 
  • Do you have something to share to encourage your sisters?

This is where I want us to share all of those things!! No limits, but I will moderate rude comments. That sort of thing just isn't allowed here.

This week I want to encourage you to keep pressing on! No matter what it is you are going through, the Lord sees it and He has your solution on the His perfect time! I needed to hear this myself this week as I sat wondering how I could better help my husband provide for our family. I want to help, really I do! But I get so exhausted just thinking about running the house and then turning around and going to work on top of that. But the Lord showed me He has better things in store for me! One reason it seems so tiring even before I think about going into corporate America is because I am already working! I write a daily blog, contribute to two other blogs, write my books, take online college classes (I start my last one on Monday!), homeschool, I am the Women's Ministry leader at our church, I'm on the social media team at church, and I am a wife and mother. Anyone who doesn't think that is work, needs to, as the old saying goes, "walk a mile in my shoes"!!

Your home life may not look like work to the outside world, but lady, you ARE working and doing a great job! Keep at it and keep pressing on!!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Interview with Author, Comedian, Wife and Mother: Kerri Pomarolli

This week I interviewed Kerri Pomarolli, author of Mom's Night Out and Other Things I Miss. Her book is now available in digital and paperback versions, but here is a look behind the writing of her first devotional book.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was single and sick and tired of reading books about single Christians who got married at 11! I was 26 27 28 and single feeling like a half person. So one day I was driving down the road and it's like I heard the words from God.."If you're waiting on me..what are you doing in a Christian Chatroom?" So my first book " If Im Waiting on God Then What Am I Doing in the Christian Chatroom..Confessions of a Do It Yourself Single" was born. It took me years to complete and and yes I used my ex boyfriends real names!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I just became buddies with Tricia Goyer and I love her style. My favorite secular author is Jennifer Weiner because she's so honest and hilarious. I love Francine Rivers but who doesn't? I'm friends with Karen Kingsbury and I always thank her for clearing my sinuses after I read one of her books.

What are your current projects?
I’m working with doing videos for their members and it's been a lot of fun. Im working on two tv projects right now. One is called MOMLAND and it's a comedy Sat Night Live project for moms. You can see clips on youtube...MOMLAND. I have another show we're working on for married couples with my writing partner Angela Hoover from America's Got Talent 2013 season. Im excited to be partnering with Family Life Today this summer to perform at their conferences with my comedian hubby Ron McGehee.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?
I had to write the whole book in 30 kidding.It was insane writing 50 chapters but um..they paid me! LOL Writing a devotional is hard. Im happy to write crazy stories but how do I make it biblical? LOL

Was there anything that was particularly challenging in writing this devotional?  
I tend to write long winded stories so cutting them was painful.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes! I'd keep the chapter I wrote called" To Dance or Not To Dance " about the time I was asked to take Pole Dancing class with the moms club! They edited that one  out!

Who designed the cover?

The publisher (B & H Publishing).

You can find Kerri's devotional at:
Barnes & Noble
Christian Book Distributors
B&H Publishing