July Building Blocks

Building blocks


July. The lazy days of summer just seemed to pass us by, and we were running full speed all month.

Building Spiritual Life

I finished the New Testament epistles and did a study on Proverbs 31. You will be hearing more about that later.

Building Relationships

We spent time with Jeff’s family for Independence Day. On the way home, we realized we were going to be home too late to see our town’s fireworks. We pulled off the expressway and saw chairs lined up on a city street. We sat on the grass in front of a McDonald’s and still got to see the fireworks.

Wk 27 - Jess and Jeffery at Fireworks

We continued our library reading programs. The kids’ favorite is a magician and card thrower from the Guinness Book of World Records, Rick Smith Jr. We all won our T-shirts and a few prizes for reading and doing physical activity all summer.

Wk 28 - Rick Smith Jr. at the Library

We learned the value of working together a lot more this month. We did our first flea market and employed the kids more in our business. Wk 27 - Our First Flea MarketWk 28 - Packing


We celebrated Jeff’s dad’s retirement and had our annual picnic with our church family. The last week of July, we went to church camp and spent time with friends there.

Building Health, Mind and Spirit

I did a three-week elimination diet to investigate some food intolerances. I felt really good while doing it, but taking out that many foods isn’t practical long-term with our busy lifestyle.

I found some new podcasts and YouTube channels to follow. I’ll probably update you on those in a Friday Favorite post. I actually read a few books. One I picked up from our book buyout because it looked interesting. Unfortunately, even some older books have some things in them to avoid, so I didn’t finish it. I did read these two, though:

Design Your Day by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

I actually took notes on this book. It seems impossible to find something new in a time management book after all the ones I’ve read, but I found some helpful things. I liked her use of acronyms, particularly the PRESENT acronym for an ideal morning schedule.

Wanting to Believe by Ryan Dobson

My library didn’t have this book, and it has been on my list for awhile, so I went ahead and bought it. Ryan’s father, Dr. James Dobson, has been a mentor to many through his radio shows and books. Just The Strong-Willed Child alone has been invaluable in our household. I also love to hear Ryan speak. I enjoyed reading this inside look of how a parenting expert actually parents. Ryan chronicles how he was not exactly the model child, but how his parents loved him and accepted him while applying tough love at the same time. I love how Dr. Dobson cared more about his son than his own image. A lot of wisdom in this book for parents.

Building Home/Career/Ministry

We’re still working on organizing our home so that business, home and school can co-exist. It’s a slow process!

I made a few steps in my writing business this month. You may hear about those at a later date. I also kept teaching my class and piano students.

When we were home, I kept up my regular ministry opportunities. I’m reevaluating some of these, so we’ll see where the Lord leads.

Unexpected Building Blocks

While we have some new challenges building a business at home, we do love being together (most of the time). We decided to get a little crazy with our packing labels one day before church to demonstrate how we like our new lifestyle.

Stickers read: “This is a set. Do Not Separate.”


  • Tom Blubaugh

    August 24, 2016 at 11:10 am Reply

    Cool newsletter. Thanks for sharing your family.

    • JenniferLSelf

      August 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm Reply

      Thanks for reading, Tom!

  • Joanna LaVan

    August 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm Reply

    I enjoyed your post… Especially the last picture!! 🙂 Love it!!

    • JenniferLSelf

      August 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm Reply

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

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