Jennifer Flanders

FF #113: đŸĻĢ Rise & Shine Campers! It's (Almost) Groundhog Day!

publishedabout 2 months ago
3 min read

Welcome to the 113th issue of Flanders Family Freebies, a weekly themed link list of resources designed by me, Jennifer Flanders, in hopes of helping you build a strong, happy, healthy home. Thank you for giving me a place in your inbox! Was this newsletter forwarded to you by a friend? Want your own? Subscribe here.

Tyler, Texas
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Hello Reader,

I don't know whether any East Texas groundhogs will see their shadow tomorrow, but the forecast for today includes snow.

So we're snuggling in and trying to stay warm. It's a perfect day for cuddling on the couch, sipping hot cocoa, and working on lessons with the kids while sipping (even more) hot cocoa. Then reading a good book together or maybe watching a movie under a big pile of blankets once their homework is finished.

And, sometime between today and tomorrow, I'll print out a few of the following resources for a little Groundhog Day fun. I hope your February gets off to a memorable start, as well!

Free resources for you this week:

What I'm reading this week:

A friend gave me a copy of his newest book, The Road Less Traveled, at church on Sunday, and I read it the same afternoon. Like his previous two books, this one contained recollections from his nearly 40 years of service with Mercy Ships, a medical mission organization based in East Texas.

The book contains a wide variety of tales from all over the globe, including the story of a health care clinic he helped build in Sierra Leone. Interestingly, they mixed some crushed mortar from Germany's infamous Berlin Wall into the cement of the clinic's freshly poured foundation, praying that the handful of debris which had once helped create division, pain, and broken dreams would now be used by God to bring unity, healing, and hope.

Isn't that a wonderful illustration of the delight God takes in repurposing what men intend for evil and using it for good?

What we're watching this week:

Doug took me to see A Man Called Otto on Saturday afternoon. I did something very uncharacteristic and went without first reading the Plugged-In Online reveiw. So I didn't realize the movie included a disturbing theme that wasn't even hinted at in the trailer. We still enjoyed it -- and cried through much of it -- but I was grateful we didn't take any children.

Suffice it to say that the title character wasn't just a crotchety old man; he was trapped in the depths of despair. Fortunately for him, a friendly neighbor kept showing up at the most [in]opportune times to deliver meals, borrow tools, ask for favors, and slowly draw Otto out of his shell. It made me wonder how often kind words and sincere concern impact others in powerful ways we may never understand on this side of eternity.

What we're eating this week:

It's definitely soup and stew weather around here. It's been ages since I've made my garlicky lentil soup, so that's what's on our lunch menu today.

Progress on last week's goals:

I was able to mark everything off my short list last week: I ✅ rested my hip (it's almost completely back to normal), ✅ registered for Summit, ✅ submitted my new valentine print pack to Ultimate Bundles (which they'll be sending out FREE to email subscribers next Tuesday -- you can get on their list here), and ✅ wrote a letter of encouragement to the tired mom with the neglected husband.​

Personal goals for this week:

  • memorize James 3
  • do all the mending that's been stacking up since Christmas
  • make lesson plans for February (where did January go?)
  • wear backpack while doing chores to train for upcoming hike

Another poll for you:

My last question (about inviting new friends over) revealed I have a lot of spontaneous readers, although several of you urged caution and admitted the timing of invitations would also depend on other factors (prior commitments, cleanliness of home, whether there were other ways to get better acquainted first, etc).

This week's question: Do you love cold and frosty "sweater weather" or are you hoping for an early spring?