Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Beautiful Things

Beauty surrounds us. We see it in nature, in our children, in colors, in decorating, in food, in architecture, in's everywhere. God truly has designed a beautiful world. But even then, somehow beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. I'm on a 31 day mission to blog about beautiful things. This topic is broad, because in this attempt to blog for 31 days straight, honestly, I wanted to be sure I didn't run out of information! Not gonna lie....I'm a little nervous.....and a lot excited. Will you join me?

Here's how you can help make this experience fun:

1. Read daily...follow along with the topic every day.

2. Leave a comment. If something interests you or you have a question, feel free to tell, ask, advise.

3. Pass along...if you think someone would enjoy the information, pictures, humor....feel free to pass along the link. We're all in this together.

So grab some tea, coffee, coke. Get cozy on your laptop or other electronic device and come back tomorrow for our first look at some of the most beautiful things I've ever seen!

I'm planning on using this page to link all my 31 Days posts also, so if you looking for something in'll be able to just hit the link listing.

Fun times ahead! Thanks for coming along!


Day 1: Beautiful Feet
Day 2: Beautiful Mistakes
Day 3: Beautiful Simplicity
Day 4: Beautiful Homes
Day 5: Beautiful Women
Day 6: Beautiful Need
Day 7: Beautiful Seasons
Day 8: Beautiful Babies
Day 9: Beautiful Loved One
Day10: Beautiful Antiques
Day 11: Beautiful Details
Day 12: Beautiful Hollywood
Day 13: Beautiful Gospel
Day 14: Beautiful Surprises
Day 15: Beautiful Dust Bunnies and Dirty Laundry
Day 16: Beautiful Quietness
Day 17: Beautiful Promise
Day 18: Beautiful Keys
Day 19: Beautiful Hope
Day 20: Beautiful Beautiful
Day 21: Beautiful Comfort Food
Day 22: Beautiful Gratitude
Day 23: Beautiful Defense
Day 24: Beautiful Photography
Day 25: Beautiful Day
Day 26: Beautiful Body
Day 27: Beautiful Jesus
Day 28: Beautiful Mommas
Day 29: Beautiful Landscapes
Day 30: Beautiful Rain
Day 31: Beautiful Month

PS. If you're a blogger and you think you might be interested in participating in  31 Days, feel free to take a look at The Nester...where you can find tons of information about it there.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coming in October....All 31 Days!!!

I'm joining up with The Nester's blog challenge to blog for 31 days on one topic. So for the entire month of October I'll be blogging everyday....yes...every. single. day. SHHH....I can hear some of you laughing already!

I know...some of you are unsubscribing now....and others of you are wondering what topic I could possibly have enough information to blog about for an entire month. I know....I've been thinking that same thing....and wondering if I should unsubscribe too. So I decided to pick a very broad topic for this challenge. That way...if you don't like it one will probably be completely different next 24 hours later.

So....what will I be blogging about??????

Here ya go:

That's right....beautiful things....porches and books and hairstyles and quilts and recipes and antiques and people and decor and music and faith....and much much 31 days worth!

I hope you'll follow along! Seriously...hit the follow button over there on the right so you don't miss one single episode of this beauty. And if you have your own blog...why not think about joining us! It'll be fun...amusing...entertaining...uplifting...Convinced yet?

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Tonight I overhead Tucker trying to convince Savannah to play nerf army war with him. The set up goes something like this...

Army men are lined up across the kitchen counter
Children are on other side of kitchen bar, armed with nerf guns
Someone yells "SHOOT" and they see who can shoot the most guys down. I know, lovely.

Savannah wasn't really in the "mood" to play but,  in an effort to convince her, Tucker says...

"We don't even have to put any money on it this time." What???? THIS time?????

Have my kids been gambling behind my back????


Excuse me while I go spend some time in prayer for my kid's gambling addiction.

Crafting, Piano and the Presence of God

When I resigned from my teaching position last year one of my goals was to be able to have a little time to do a few creative things that I enjoy. Selfish? Maybe, but not if I can use those gifts to glorify God and maybe even minister to someone else through them. So, I began with a few things that I already had the supplies to work on....I crocheted dishrags using all the cotton yarn I had stocked up on. In addition to that, I did a little needlepoint. I enjoyed both very much.

But, I had an idea for a Christmas gift that involved mixed media...chipboard, string, papers, stickers and much more and I really wanted to get started on it. But the time to get it done really wasn't anywhere in the budget....Until last Saturday....

So, I set out my supplies all over the kitchen table, made myself a glass of diet coke, set the phone to Pandora's piano praise and worship and began working (oh..and did I mention it was raining...perfect). I had done the first couple of things on my project and was taking a small break. It was then that I felt God's presence fill my little kitchen. I sat there and this overwhelming feeling of emotion swept over me..I know to some this may sound really cooky....but I know it was the presence of God washing over me. And before, maybe this might have made me feel uncomfortable, or maybe even have shrugged off the feeling out of weirdness or emotionalism or even embarrassment, but this timeI decided to stay in the moment. To just sit and let the piano music and the spirit of the Gentle Savior surround me. I cried some. But other than that I just enjoyed those moments with the Lord. I didn't get some deep revelation. I didn't have a vision or speak in tongues. The only thing I came away with was a peace and awareness that I'd been in His presence. I guess I came away with more than I can really put into words.

What was completely wonderful about this experience was that not even a week later, I was watching our Bible study for Wednesday nights, and the speaker began speaking about the exact same thing. I thought to myself....I must not be crazy!!! If Charles Stanley can feel this way, so can I!!!

What a thought...that He would want me to be near enough to experience His presence in my life. I know I've had similar experiences before, but none that was so overwhelmingly beautiful as this one.

Thanks for loving me Lord and wanting me to be near you.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cleaning Out the Closet

It all started this week when Savannah asked if she could try on a pair of my Cons...thinking her foot was big enough for me to "share" them with her...and by share, I'll remind you that anytime a tweenager wants to borrow something of yours, it usually means you will never see it again. But for the few minutes it took her to try on the shoes, I thought about how cool it was that she even wanted to wear anything that happened to be in my closet...cause that would make me a cool mom, right? Whatever.

Anyhow, I digress. It was only a couple of hours later when I went into my bedroom and saw that the shoe bin, where the converse had been was a wreck --- not because of Savannah, but because of the sloppy mess my closet was in..hangers sticking out of the show bin, belts and purses tossed into the depths of darkness that had become my closet. So, I put it on my mental check list and thought...maybe I'll have time for that after Christmas.

However, in a series of fortunate events, I ended up home alone this afternoon. All by my lonesome and since I had this good fortune yesterday also, I figured today I better use my time more wisely. So, with full body armor on, I began taking ever single thing out of my closet. It was time for an overhaul.

Here's how I decided what to get rid of:

1. If I didn't wear it during the last season ...get rid of it.
2. If I don't love it... get rid of it.
3. If it's stained.. get rid of it (trash).
4. If I have more than one of the same item...choose wisely, but keep only one.
5. If it doesn't fit and it would take losing more than 25 pounds for it to look good on me, get rid of it.
(cause if I lose 25 pounds...I'm buying something new!)
6. If it's missing something...a button, a belt, a match... get rid of it.

Here's what I learned...

1. I have a slight obsession with I have LOTS of them..and I have no plans to get rid of them.

2. I also have a true love for the ALL STAR Converse. Thank you Jaime and Felicia for helping me find my way.

3. A clean closet makes me happy...cause I know what's in there. 

I think there are a hundred spiritual applications to my little venture into the closet. The one that spoke most loudly today was...When you get rid of all the stuff that you don't need it allows you to utilize your best stuff. So many times we think more is better, but more just gets in the way of using the blessings and the gifts God has already given us. I truly want to be a wise servant in using what He's given me...whether it be my talents, my gifts, my time. But if life is cluttered by a bunch of my junk, I'm hindered and distracted and even frustrated by it. I want to use what I have to honor God, therefore, I must constantly be cleaning out my spiritual closet as well. Do I really need that thought? Do I need that attitude...does it have a match to the attributes of God? 

Oh so many, are the lessons.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Complain Much?

One of the many hazards of homeschooling is that my kids aren't always quite as polite to the teacher as they might be if the teacher were someone else. There's a comfortableness that, while endearing, can also be taken advantage of if we aren't careful.

Complaining seems to be the most popular issue at hand right now. Complaining about doing schoolwork, how much schoolwork, how hard the schoolwork is, how boring it is, how tired they are, how long it takes....need I go on????

Anyway...I've explained until I'm blue in the face, we've spanked (yes, we do that), we've prayed, we've raised our voices (ok..maybe that was just me), I've lectured....And I've grown weary.

And since I'm not a complainy type person for the most part, this is under my skin. WHEN DID THEY BECOME THIS WAY??? I think the same way we all do sometimes.

1. We only want to do what we want to do.

2. We think what we want is the most important thing on earth.

3. We think we are right.

4. We don't think of the effort others have made for us to have, do, be....

5. We become covetous. We want what others have even if that mean different but not better.

And so now I'm figuring out a plan of action that might help my kids think before they least some of the time.

1. Gratitude. Speak and write thanks when you are tempted to complain.

2. Do something for someone else when you are tempted to complain.

3. Pray about your attitude. Is this really something that is important enough to complain about?

4. File your complaint. Write it down and place it in the complaint jar. If it's still worthy of conversation at the end of the day, we will read it.

As I was thinking about these things I thought how they really apply to any area of our lives. We waste so many words complaining about things that don't matter, that when we really do have a concern that deserves our words, no one listens. I'm praying that I can teach my own kids the extreme value in a word spoken in due season. Just because I'm an adult doesn't mean I've mastered this concept. In fact, it's just a great reminder to use my words wisely.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall Casserole

In hopes of persuading autumn out of her shell, this casserole was dished up at our house this week. Anytime vegetables are involved and the kids ask for seconds, it's worth posting.


I changed it up a little bit by using a pre-made Italian seasoning packet and adding corn to the veggie mix. The aroma that filled the house while the veggies were cooking was delicious. Once the sausage was added, the smokey-goodness ...well, just make the casserole, you'll get the idea!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

1. A great start to Ladies Bible study Wednesday night. We are doing Charles Stanley's 30 Life Principles and we had a great kick-off night!

2. The routine of, church activities, Taekwondo, Piano...all tidy and in their place on the calendar...makes me feel a little more organized without picking having to clean anything! LOL!

3. God's voice...and that after we listen we too can hear His Words....which strangely enough echo those found in His Word! I am thankful that He gives His wisdom liberally...cause lately it seems we can't get enough of it fast enough.

4. The little things like an old old dryer and an old car. All that remind me how God has provided for us over the years with little to no repairs needed on any of them.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Curriculum Review

I can't say enough about this Bible Study for Kids. If you have an 8-12 year old and are serious about teaching them the Word of God, this is a great great great Bible study series. I have purchased 4 of them to do this year in school and we are LOVING them. We eased into school this year and the one thing the kids wanted to do everyday was their Bible lesson. This first book that we are doing is focused on teaching children how the Bible matches up ---Old and New Testament ---when it comes to creation and the validity of scriptures. It's inductive Bible study, where kids highlight different words that go together in context so that they can see how God's Word all fits together. The kids are in the Word digging out treasures for themselves. I'm just crazy about it! Kay Arthur also explains where certain words come from. Today in Bible Savannah learned the Pentateuch is the correct word for the first 5 books of the Bible and then in math learned about Pentagons (shapes with 5 sides) ....she knew exactly what pentagon meant because of what she had learned from dissecting the words during Bible class. I kinda like that ...a lot. Tucker enjoys the puzzles and word games that accompany each lesson. He also gets to draw and title a pictures that goes with each part of the Genesis story.

If you're looking for something a little more than storytime Bible time with your kids, then this might be just the thing. I sit with them and talk with them about the lessons, but for older kids they could certainly do these lessons independently. You don't have to be a homeschooler to want your kids to learn to study the check this might be just what you're looking for!

Here's the order information....should you decide to take a closer look.

01434: Discover 4 Yourself, Children"s Bible Study Series: God"s Amazing    Creation (Genesis Chapters 1 and 2)

Discover 4 Yourself, Children's Bible Study Series: God's Amazing    Creation (Genesis Chapters 1 and 2)

By Kay Arthur & Janna Arndt / Harvest House Publishers

This book takes kids through the first part of Genesis, focusing on the theme of creation in chapters one and two.  Young scholars will put on their archaeologist hats to help the book's main characters--inductive detectives Max and Molly--dig up the truth about how the world began.  Kids will discover who the world's creator is, how the heavens and earth were formed, what exactly happened in the beginning, and how the earth, the sea, people, and animals came into existence.  Great fun and wonderful Bible truths for kids with an insatiable appetite for the "whys" of life!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The More Better Brownie

I have a confession. Until one week ago I had never made homemade brownies. I just figured Betty Crocker was good enough and that was that. I tasted other brownies at church socials and  birthday parties and had never had a brownie that tasted that much better than Betty's so I just figured I'd stick with what I know.

Until last week, when I was craving something chocolaty and didn't want to go to the store. So, I thought I would just look up a recipe and see what ingredients I had on hand to make something that would satisfy my desire for some sweet goodness.

And now I will never buy Betty's brownie box again....sorry Betty.

Here's a link to the more better brownie than Betty... (Go that last know you want to...

I knew they were good the first time I made them, but last night after dinner when Savannah asked me to make them again...and Bruce and Tucker chimed in that they were the best brownies ever....That did it for me!

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

The Homeschool Schedule

A few people have asked about our schedule for the homeschool year. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure...Not gonna say it's permanent, because in our your's, life happens, people need us, we need others, we get bored, we need a day away from each other....and the list could go on and on. But this is best case scenario. Here ya go:

Rise and Shine, Dress, Eat
Savannah and Tucker
Sweep Porches- M,W,F Vacuum-T,TH
Take Trash Out- M,W,F Dust T, TH
Bible - Kay Arthur for Kids
Savannah and Tucker
Math - Horizons and
Handwriting- Horizons
Language Arts- LifePac
Phonics and Reading - Horizons
Independent Reading
Math - Horizons and
Savannah and Tucker
Piano Practice
Stack the States/ Geography 
Science- BJU
Journal, Flashcards & Independent Reading
Savannah and Tucker
Maps of the US and World YWAM
ipad games
Wii Fit or TKD
Savannah and Tucker
Quiet Hour (Read, Educational videos, puzzles, games...leave mom alone)
Savannah and Tucker

Monday, September 2, 2013

Officially Home

School starts tomorrow at the school I've taught at for the last few years. And I'm officially a full-time homemaker. It really hasn't seemed real until now. Back to school sales, the hustle and bustle of getting a classroom and bulletin boards ready have alluded me altogether. As teacher friends are pinning teaching ideas and cute quotes, I've been in the back of the class cheering them on...quietly. I pray all the patience, wisdom and grace they will need for this year ahead.

And today as I sat down to write out a few goals...I's official...Homemaker...that's me. A dream come true. And while it's filled with some uncertainty and a little nervousness on how this is really supposed to look, I'm certainly thrilled that God has allowed me this blessing.'s my goals for this week.

1. Make homemade bread (instead of sandwich bread).

2. Cook dinner every night (except Wednesday because the church cooks for us...Hallelujah)

3. Stick to the homeschool schedule

4. Write Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1-7, Psalm 16:11,1 Corinthians 10:31, by hand, daily, in preparation for Sunday School Sunday.

5. Spend time studying for Bible Study teaching Wednesday Night

6. Work on needlework for 30 minutes

7. Menu plan for next week

8. Read one chapter of Pollyanna aloud with kids.

9. Encourage Bruce
How are you spending your week? If you're a full-time homemaker, do you find it easy to waste time? Or, are you a go-getter? Do you keep a pretty tight schedule or fly by the seat of your pants? What works for you....Give a girl some advice if you have any tips you think I could use! Thanks!