Monday, July 17, 2017

Sacred Mundane

A few months ago (I think...I am terrible about losing track of time!) I signed up to get to read/review a book, Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson before it is released on the 25th of this month.  I am so behind in everything, yet I didn't want to rush through the book just to give it a review...I wanted to savor her words.  So I think I am cutting it close on posting this.  But here it goes...

I love Kari's writing, it portrays a depth of God's grace and faithfulness, a heart that seeks after Him steadily, consistently.  I love to get a new notice in my inbox that she has posted a new post on her blog.  Not only is she a homeschool momma, she is a deeply practical and real person.  I have emailed her a few times and she has taken the time to not only email me back (she does not know me in real life) but to also answer my questions and to offer encouragement.  I have read one other book by her, I purchased Faithfully Frugal for my kindle a few years ago.  HIGHLY recommend that one as well.

This new AWESOME.  Seriously.  I am getting several copies for birthdays that are coming up, I want to get copies just to hand out to people when I meet them, when they have a new baby, or move into a new house, or get a scary diagnosis, or are having an average type of day.  This is a book you want to read with your best friend  The highest compliment that I think I can give Kari is this, above all else that I have said in my review, this book makes me want to follow hard after God, to appreciate and be thankful for what I normally would be indifferent towards, and to not just accept the hard moments, but to savor them, knowing they are doing His work in me.

You can pre-order it here.

You can check out her blog here.

PS...I always wonder this when I read a review, so I do want to mention :
even if I had not been given a free copy, I still would have said the exact same words I shared above.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

slowly making our way back

We have had a great break - we have spent time at the library, walked almost every day for five miles or more, we have had picnic breakfast adventures, fed the ducks, taken lots of pictures of beautiful flowers, planted our own flowers, watched even more baby birds hatch, played in the sprinkler, bought a grill and grilled out, made smores over a fire pit, met with friends, played tennis, gone to the park...even in the midst of hard days, we have had lots and lots and lots of beautiful moments.

                                                           Buddy, our beloved chihuahua

To keep it real though, there have been lots and lots of hard, ugly moments too.  I tried to grill chicken out (ruined 25 chicken breasts...yes, really, 25 of them), our house is a mess, we have stacks of library books we have renewed several times because our reading has been seriously lacking this month, and I haven't lost the weight I wanted to lose.  I forgot to put sunscreen on my kids and one of my children is intermittently wheelchair bound and got sunburned on their legs while we walked the other day.  And I have not stuck to my Bible reading plan.  And I did not stick to my bike riding plan either.  *sigh*

gorgeous crepe myrtle

But, for the books we have read - they have been an adventure in themselves.  We are in the middle of the BFG, not our favorite Roald Dahl, but we are going to finish it.  We stumbled on a delightful read called The Adventures of Miss Petiflour, we are in the middle of The Tree in the Trail, and my oldest is finishing up reading the final Gooney Bird Greene book aloud and will next read the In Grandma's Attic series.  I am reading The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, WOW.  Love this book.  

My husband and I just finished watching The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies (9 in all) extended edition.  I loved it.  I want to read the Lord of the Rings book next.  

But now it is time to make our way back to school and schedules.  I have a new idea this year, I am not sure how it will go...but...

A few years ago I used standard manilla file folders as a review source for my kids.  I would sit next to them and we would make a file folder for whatever they were learning about - example: cells in Science.  We decorated it, labeled it, filled our little note cards and made little flip 'peek a boo' things that would help them remember vocabulary, drew and colored get the idea.  I kept each child's folders together in a little stack so they could grab them when we had a day of doctor visits or when they were feeling bad or had down time - basically, whenever they needed to fill a pocket of time, they could use these folders for that.  That worked for a while, but then it stopped working so we moved on.  

A few weeks ago we were cleaning out our art closet (epic mess!) and they LOVED that we kept their old school work.  I usually just keep a plastic storage tub and have them just pile their work in it as they complete it/after I check it.  Low maintenance and very easy to just put it all in there, but not the most organized idea I have had.  This year I wanted to be more intentional about it.  SO I am going to have them decorate one file folder a week with a paragraph (or more) and any graphics they want to draw/color/cut/paste about one subject (we will rotate between four main ones) they are learning about that week.  I will label the folder with their name, the week number of school we are in, and the dates we did school that week.  Inside of the folder, I will keep all the paperwork from that week.  And I will file them in a file box, so they are easy to pull out and take with us if we need it.  Last year I needed an example of class work for one of my children to show a neuropsychologist and I had to dig through that huge box of work to find what I was looking for.  SO not a fun way to spend an afternoon. *sigh* 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

heard the best quote this morning

Who your children are should dictate how you raise them.

How you raise them shouldn't dictate who they are.

Jim Daly (Focus on the Family)

Friday, June 16, 2017


we HATED Julie of the Wolves.  I know a LOT of people love this book.  But we did NOT.  We stopped about half way through.  Sometimes the beauty of reading is to know when to put down one book and try again with another one.

there is this tree

in my town, I drive by it most mornings when I have an early wake-up.  This tree is almost perfect in shape and size and leaf distribution except for this one limb.  The tree is lush and green, full of leaves and a perfect size to climb.  This limb that sticks out is a chubby limb, thriving, but it's awkward.  It sticks out further than the rest of the tree, noticeably so.  Last summer the city trimmed trees along this road and I have often times wondered why they chose to keep that limb untouched, why didn't they prune it back to fall in line with the rest of the tree?  That is what I would have done.

Early this morning I drove down that same street and had one of my children in the car with me.  She had awoken from a nightmare and so I tucked us both in the car and drove off in search of a special treat.  Hot chocolate for me, pirate cake pop for her.  I know - not the best thing to start off the day with (we did eat a healthier breakfast, I promise)...but as we drove by I remarked on this tree.  As soon as I was done lamenting that branch, I realized, isn't that exactly how life is?  Some things come together beautifully, while others are awkward and stick out and are noticeable.  But you know what?  Those awkward things are not to be lamented, they are to be celebrated.  It means there is life and that God is not done with us yet.  It means that we are growing, some areas faster than others, but God can be trusted to prune back the branches that need to be pruned and to give space to the ones that are growing (albeit awkwardly) in the right direction.  We just have to make sure that we are seeking the healthy soil of His Word to dig down deep into, the running water that He promises is where our taproot needs to head towards and we need to abide in Him because He is the source of our very life.

Psalm 1
John 15
Isaiah 44:3
John 7:37&38
Isaiah 55:1

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Well hello there.  It is almost June.  How did that happen?  This past week my kids and I worked really hard outside at home, getting our "jungle" under control.  We shaved, clipped, sliced, mowed, pulled, raked, and bagged.  *sigh*  We got a lot done.  I have pulled two ticks off of me, one off of my youngest, and one off of our dog.  :( I hate ticks.

We finished up a book about Gladys Alward, sobbing through the last chapter.  I wonder if our neighbors thought someone in our family had died?  All of our windows were open, so I am pretty sure they heard us crying and carrying on.  But that was one of the most beautiful stories we have read.  Ever.  My kids have talked about that book almost constantly since we turned the last page.  We are officially on our light summer schedule which is a good thing because, by the last full week of school, we were SO done.  I am SO SO SO thankful for the year round schooling opportunity that we have with homeschooling, especially when a long awaited break arrives.

I got to have coffee with a sweet friend last night, well I opted for hot chocolate, but it was such a fun way to end a busy, kinda stressful week.

We have a stack of books we'd like to get through in the next few weeks...don't you just love a good story?!?  It is such a neat way to connect to your kiddos as they grow up.

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

TumTum and Nutmeg series (this is a beloved re-read)

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Anne of Green Gables (CANNOT wait for this one!  I cannot wait to share this story - actually the whole series - with my kids.  I am probably waaaaaay more excited than they are, but that's ok, I have enough enthusiasm for all four of us)

On audible, my kids are listening to Little House on the Prairie and I am listening to At Home in Mitford book one.  It has been years since I have "visited" Mitford, I love that book.

Well, I hope you guys have a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.  May we have hearts that obey the Word as we dig deep into it.

Friday, May 12, 2017

stripping away

Have you ever gone through seasons of what can only be described as a 'stripping away'?  They are uncomfortable, painful at times, and hard.  I feel like I entered into that season late last fall and it is still going on.

I feel vulnerable, exposed.  It is not a comfortable feeling.  Days have been hard, they have stacked up to make weeks that have been hard, which in turn have stacked up to make months that are hard.


In a somewhat lighter light: this past weekend culminated in a visit to the vet for our puppy after all three of our dogs passed a tummy virus around.  He just couldn't kick it, so he got a shot and two antibiotics and we were told to not feed him for 24 hrs.  This dog LOVES to eat.  He was NOT happy...or as Clementine says N-O-T happy.  :)  On the way home from the vet,  my youngest was really sad because we could not stop and pet the cows that had pushed their way up to the roadside fence.  So she prayed that God would wow us this week.  We have seen bald eagles (3), an armadillo waddled up our driveway, a bunny in our backyard, and a cardinal has built a nest outside one of our windows and it has eggs in it!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, and a rather large racoon just this that is who has necessitated the rock on the lid of our trash can :).

that is the dad :)

Puppy Duppy is feeling ever so much better :)