Jan/Feb 2016 Books We’ve Been Reading

Winter is my favorite season for reading. There's just nothing like snuggling up with a hot mug of coffee and a page-turner. This winter has been colder than usual here in Tennessee, and while my kids watch their fair share of "Wild Kratts," they're also spending quite a bit of time with some good reads. Weekly library trips, daily read-aloud times, "the quiet reading hour", and assigned books are just a few ways we make reading in our home a priority. And the rule is that Mama reads too. No … [Read more...]

One Personal Goal for 2016: Transparency

So, it's been a while since I last posted. Some things have happened . . . We've moved! To a farm! While I'm usually sharing my list of personal goals for the year on January 1, we spent New Year's Day getting settled into our new home instead, and I have felt the Lord urging me to simplify. Hence no blog posts. I've been preoccupied with other things. However, I would be remiss if I didn't share what God has laid on my heart instead of "Exercise 3 days a week" and "Read 50 … [Read more...]

Mess-Free Art Supplies for Kids {Review & Giveaway!!}

I am not the mom who loves making crafts. In fact, I have tubs full of paints, glitter glue, pipe cleaners, and stickers that my girls would love to rummage through, use, and destroy the house with, but they are hidden in out-of-reach spaces in our utility room. Every now and then I will conjure up the courage to dig a box out, but only after we have set down newspapers and old towels and the girls have donned their smocks. My #1 problem with arts & crafts is the mess.  But now I … [Read more...]

Win Chris Tomlin’s “Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship” {Review & Giveaway}

We have a little rule in our family. No Christmas trees, no Christmas music, no Christmas anything until after Thanksgiving. It's so easy for me to miss out on the beauty of today if I'm always looking to tomorrow. However, when I had the opportunity recently to review Chris Tomlin's latest Christmas CD, I kind of broke my own rule. But you know what? It was worth it. {Scroll down to enter the giveaway!} Chris Tomlin is best known for his praise & worship music, and his latest CD … [Read more...]

Black Friday Deals & Steals

Who doesn't love a good deal? I do! But I do not like to bother with all those people and lines and limited inventory, so I do almost all of my Christmas shopping online. So I want to share with you a few Black Friday sales that do not require you to leave the house! These companies all provide products that I stand behind and personally use. I would not waste my time promoting products that aren't of the best quality and family-oriented. Grapevine Studies has their Birth of Jesus … [Read more...]

A Thanksgiving Message . . . We Have Work to Do

This morning in my quiet time the Lord brought to my mind how truly blessed I am. Fitting, I know, since today is Thanksgiving. But not only do I experience all the necessities of life, but I have family, friends, safety, monetary abundance, good health, and most importantly, salvation. How many people in this world can boast of all that? This life is not easy for so many who face oppression, sickness, and injustice, but for those of us who only see glimpses of those struggles, the Lord … [Read more...]

Winter Term 2015 Books & Curriculum {Charlotte Mason}

I posted our 2015-2016 curriculum back in August, and since then, we have {of course} made some changes. I simply cannot continue using books, materials, or curricula that don't work for us although I have gotten much better. Thanks to the advice of some very wise homeschool moms, I now force myself to stick it out for at least 6 weeks -- the length of our terms. Now that we are about to enter into our third term of the school year, I have decided we need to make a few changes in order to … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Week 2015 Meal Plan & More

As soon as Halloween ends, the busyness of the holidays commences around here. Do you feel the same way? There are gatherings with family and friends in anticipation of Thanksgiving, then the Big Day, and the day after, we start to prepare for Christmas and prepare all our baking needs, gift lists, holiday pictures, decorations, and more, and on and on. My goal this year is to step off the action-packed ride that we're supposed to be enjoying and focus on what's truly important. Hint: It isn't … [Read more...]

When God Causes Us to Stumble: A Confession of Pride

Pride is a stumbling block. One second you're invincible, on top of the world, convinced that no person or thing can stop you and the next you're lying in the dust and dirt as low to the ground as you can possibly get. We all know the scripture in Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before before a fall." But to be the object of God's stumbling is truly humbling. I recently found myself on the ground while out on a trail run. I'd been talking to God, … [Read more...]

Grapevine Studies: Review of “The Birth of Jesus – Beginner” Study

Bible study is a regular part of our day. Beginning our school days in God's Word and prayer is foundational. So I'm always on the lookout for new curricula or Bible study materials to use with our girls that challenges them in new ways, applies different learning styles, and works for multiple ages. Recently, Grapevine Studies provided me with the opportunity to take my little ones on a journey to Bethlehem to learn about Jesus' birth in their Birth of Jesus- Beginner study. In exchange for … [Read more...]