Friday, February 26, 2016

Last Friday of February Encouragement!

I don't think I have shared this with many yet, but I must, because it is life changing in our household! The railroad my husband works for went to two days off a week! You know what this means? My husband is home for two days a week not on call, no railroad calling saying you need to report to work at 0215 or whatever time they call!! Before it alternated 1 day then 2 days off every other week. And before that, before he started with company he is with now, he never had a day off, always on call 24/7. So these last few years have been great with days off weekly, not having to worry about railroad calling and interrupting plans or being close enough to get to work once called. But now two days a week off is almost like a normal (normal is over-rated anyways) schedule except that he still doesn't have a schedule. He works on-call only, gone for days at a time and his days off will still fluctuate somewhat. I just love that we can plan on having him home two days a week and we can do stuff together, and without having to drive separate!! That sounds funny, but yes that happens often, we drive separate if we go someplace, like church or an appointment, we will drive separate in case he gets called so we don't all have to leave. I guess reading this you might think well that is odd, but it works for us, I have learned so much about the ways of the railroad and when I tell people what my husbands does for a job, they think it is cool! I don't always, because he works a lot, but he provides for our family so I can remain home helping to raise up our children. So that is our big life change, I know it won't seem big to most, but I love it!!


This week we finished up week 25 of school, we have been busy learning about the Great Wall of China, Greek history, Parthenon (so will be visiting Nashville soon to go see the replica again), missionary George Mueller, having fun with math, reading the Wheel on the School, and learning about the human body! But mainly trying to focus on walking in Truth, beauty and goodness in our everyday living! Little man came down with some type of virus, my guess that is all it is, he seems much better today. We all upped our elderberry and vitamin C and diffusing Thieves EO throughout the house in hopes to keep it at bay. Hoping to take a little field trip today, but will see how little man is feeling this morning.

Tonight is pizza and family movie night, we try to do this weekly. I am a big believer in doing family activities together and eating at the table together for meals. I feel this is what unites and keep families close together. Creating TRUTH, goodness and beauty!! This is a theme I am incorporating in our household after reading Sally Clarkson's book The Life Giving Home and Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. I miss the family meals with my family and big meals at my grandparents houses for special occasions, but Minnesota is a bit of drive to see family. However I am looking forward to seeing family this summer and my parents are coming to visit soon!!
This Bible scripture lined up with what we have been teaching and learning, love how God speaks to me. From my Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible.

Encouragement of the week:




Homeschool mama’s if it ain’t broke…Options are both a curse as well as a blessing. http://afterthoughtsblog.net/2016/02/aint-broke-dont-fix.html
What Church is meant to be! Blessed to be a part of church like this! http://www.lifeway.com/womensministry/2016/02/15/what-if-the-church-was-more-like-a-hospital/
Don’t miss what God is up to. He is at work. His work doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. His work means He is for you. He cares enough to not leave you where you are but to write His story through your life. http://www.incourage.me/2016/02/unhinged-by-bobi-ann-allen.html
Just yes, love these 6 rules, making these also a part of our homeschool journey…It is never too late, or too early in your homeschooling journey to set a vision for your family. http://foreverforalwaysnomatterwhat.com/2016/02/homeschooling-with-our-rule-of-six.html 
The real good life is meant to be up in the air — because life’s real battles are being fought up in the air — up in the heavenlies. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2016/02/when-your-whole-life-feels-a-bit-up-in-the-air-youre-living-the-best-life/
March scripture writing! This is something I have been doing daily, it really is a great way to get into the Word! http://www.swtblessings.com/2016/02/march-scripture-writing-plan-2016.html



Snapshots of the week:
Beautiful day early in the week, and may flowers are starting to come up!
Coloring and journaling out on the deck!
Little man and I had a date day, he wanted Sonic and to play with cars!
 
Little man may not feel good, but he doesn't let it keep him down. Love his imagination!

My new favorite tea, thanks to a recommendation from a friend!



Monday, February 22, 2016

Better Together!!

I am a big advocate of mom groups, because the mom groups I have been a part of were such a blessing in my life. Having moved several times (and I am talking 8 times in 10 years), it was a great way to meet other women. I started attending a mom group called MOPS when Abigail was a few months old after we had moved once again in Texas (and Texas is no small state we are talking 4 hours away from the previous town we moved from). A lady reached out to me and invited me to come to one of their meetings and from then on, I have been a part of 4 different mom groups, because of our many moves. The last group was one I coordinated together, because there was no group close by. God knew what He was doing from the first day I attended a mom group!

So why be a part of a group? Well, these ladies I met, encouraged one another, shared helpful mothering, parenting, and marriage information, prayed and supported one another in good seasons and trying seasons, some of them have become life long friends, and I have grown in faith because of their love and friendships. What I would call Jesus with skin on people, Christ-like! So when Jill Savage shared about an upcoming book launch group to share her new book she wrote with her daughter Anne McClane, titled Better Together~Because You're Not Meant to Mom Alone, I applied right away. I knew this would be a book of encouragement. Oh and it is, a book that will take you into what and why of friendships, different types of friendship, seasonal friendships, conflict in friendships, creating community, giving and receiving in friendships. They share all this through their personal stories and share Bible stories and verses relating.  Jill's shares hard times, she is honest and down to earth type, I so related to her struggle with friendships, and you can feel her love shared throughout the book. 

"God created us to be in relationship with others. Jesus modeled living in community with the value of friendship. The Bible has all kinds of wisdom about friendship. We need to understand how friendship and faith go together and how to find, build, contribute to, and embrace our mothering community!" ~quote from book


The book doesn't release till March 1st, but if you preorder you get a great deal!! Get $60 in fabulous mom resources! Offer ends Feb 29. Find out more at www.bettertogetherbook.org.



Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Legend of the Easter Robin~review and give-away

Thank you FlyBy Promotions for letting me review this delightful children's book about Easter, the story of Jesus, compassion and faith. I have never heard of the Legend of the Easter Robin, I learned it is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tale. The Legend of the Easter Robin by Dandi Daley Mackall shares a sweet story about a relationship between a grandma and her grandmother, how God cares for His creatures great and small, and preparing for Easter. This year I am excited to use this as one of our books to share about the meaning of Easter with my two children and try making the Easter birds.

A couple quotes in the book that I enjoyed as they reminded me of the love God has for us: "We'll have to leave that one to the Creator" We'll have to trust the one who watches the sparrow and robins." "God takes care of His creatures"  


Now for the exciting news, I have one book to give-away. If you would like an opportunity to win, please comment and let me know by Saturday, February 27, 2016.

From the awesome promotions company:  This newly illustrated edition of The Legend of the Easter Robin renews the wonder and charm of the original and timeless tale written by Dandi Daley Mackall. With new vibrant artwork from New York Times bestselling illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, this holiday classic is brought to life for a new generation. The Legend of the Easter Robin tells the story of Tressa, whose grandmother reveals to her the story of a small robin who saw Jesus struggling and soared to help him. This Easter tale reminds Christians everywhere how much Jesus sacrificed for us and how much he loves us.

About the book:
In the center of the nest lay one perfect egg, the color of a spring sky. The father robin sat on a branch nearby, guarding his family. Tressa spotted raccoon tracks below and a blue jay eyeing the nest. “Gran, how are we going to keep the egg safe?” “We’ll have to leave that one to the Creator,” Gran said. Robins have built a nest on the window ledge at Grandmother’s house! Tressa is thrilled―and concerned. What will happen to the sky-blue egg laid by the mother robin? As more eggs appear, Tressa witnesses the daily drama of the robins’ nest and learns how God cares for all creatures. Besides watching the birds, there are Easter eggs to color. And there is a very special story to hear―a tale of long ago about one small bird with a very big heart. How did the robin get its red breast? Tressa is about to find out as Gran tells her the story of the Easter robin. Brought to life with colorful, tender illustrations, The Legend of the Easter Robin will captivate and teach your child about compassion and faith.

Age Range: 4-8 years
Hardcover; 32 pages 
Publish Date: January 26, 2016 

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SOCIAL • CORNER (LINKS TO USE IN YOUR BLOG POST)





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NOTES • FOR • BLOGGERS 

OFFICIAL HASHTAGS: #EasterRobin #FlyBy



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

End of the week encouragement and review!


Wow I can't believe spring will be here soon! I was looking at what we have left to finish our homeschool curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year and it is just 3 months! Whoohoo!! So I need to start looking at what we will be doing next year and planning. I love ordering new curriculum, books, and supplies. I am somewhat of a nerd, when it comes to planning and books! Like the first day of school excitement!! I know we will stay with Sonlight as our main curriculum, however there are decisions for both kids with reading/writing/spelling, math, and any extra curricular areas they are interested in. I am learning the awesomeness of a Morning Time from Sarah Mackenzie (if you are interested take a listen http://edsnapshots.com/ymb12/  and also check out Sarah's web-site http://amongstlovelythings.com/ her book Teaching From Rest is so good and I am thinking about becoming a member of RAR). I want to add in a nature study this year, so I ordered the Handbook of Nature Study, this book is huge, so worth every penny. I got a book on teaching Shakespeare. I had this book on my kindle, but after I started reading it, I realized this book is one you want in real book form. We will continue Latin, I am looking at an art study from Schoolhouse Teachers. I became a member with Schoolhouse Teachers a couple months ago and really like all they offer, plus the added benefit of media library with Rightnow Media. The kids love watching stories about missionary's, and it helps them to connect to the stories we read about them. Homeschool mama's have you been thinking about next year's curriculum, what are  your plans? I enjoy hearing what others are doing, this is how I found out about the Shakespeare book and nature study book.  
In addition to thinking about curriculum, I started to think about gardening and canning. Canning is something I have never done, we got some canning jars and lids at a reduced price recently, and I ordered a recommend book. The house we have has a large pantry, I am excited about filling it, with all different kinds of food in jars!! Oh did I mention the hubby talked me into doing meat chickens! I am definitely becoming a farm girl! I still love some goats, maybe a pony too, but you know baby-steps! So I appreciate any gardening and canning tips!
Books I got, does this tell you anything? 

People, especially mama's I wanted to remind you and me too, we are doing what God called us to! So don't compare yourself, don't worry or feel guilty if you feel like you are not doing enough (you are enough), instead enjoy it, find the beauty in those messes (because well, we know kids make messes and I many times am guilty too). 
I don't share much about my ugly parts on social media, I rather share encouragement and look for the positives, the blessings in life. I would never want someone to think I have it all together, I still struggle. Not a one of us is perfect, and we are not called to be perfect only Jesus is, we called to be faithful. That my friends is freedom that comes from knowing Christ! That is why I share my faith, because if it wasn't for Jesus, I would not be where I am at this moment, I would not be who I am. So grateful for HIS love and mercy!  


This is fitting for me, being a railroaders wife!

Bible verses speaking to my soul:
This is our focus verse this week in school and God is reminding me through it just how important prayer is! There definitely is power in prayer! God is so good to us, He answers, though may not always seem to be in a way we want, but it is the right way, HIS ways are always good!! Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.








Encouraging reads of the week:
What a great reminder (except this is my 42 year old self telling my 54 year old self, ha)…Enjoy your homeschooling journey, Mama. These days are rich and exhausting, delightful and baffling, overwhelming and glorious. Breathe deeply and keep God first. You are going to survive this beautifully, because God equips and prepares His children. Trust Him..  http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/an-open-letter-from-my-42-year-old-self-to-my-28-year-old-self-who-is-about-to-begin-homeschooling

Some days I need this reminder…As a mother of young children, sometimes I wonder… http://www.10millionmiles.com/2016/02/09/this-truth-about-motherhood-may-be-a-game-changer/

Oh my I just love this…“Customer service shalom” has taught me how to resist the temptation of consumerism to reduce those relationships to transactions. http://theartofsimple.net/customer-service-shalom/


In the intense years of mothering, God is molding us, bending us, and stretching us, and even halfway through, we won’t be who we were at the beginning. And that’s a feature God has put in motherhood, not a bug. If we’re the same at the end as we were at the beginning, something’s run amok. God is in the business of transforming us and motherhood is gospel means. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/developing-our-second-bests

I so adore Holley's writing and encouragement she shares on her blog and blessed to be a part of You're Already Amazing, this is a book for all women and March 1st she will have study guide and video session to go with it!!!! We are closest to and most like Jesus when we are fully being who He created us to be. #alreadyamazing http://bit.ly/1KaIVO2

Pics of the week: 

Beginning part of week, sleet!
We love coloring and journal time!
My swat-man!
She loves to journal, like her mama!

Old school I-pad, etchasketch! 
Watching a missionary story.
Sweet Valentine's Day!
At the rodeo with my cowgirl!
My men! Little man ready for mutton-bustin!
Another beautiful sunset, God's beauty to us!