Monday Message: Seeing Your Blessings Through The Tears

I had planned to just ‘chill out’ this weekend and maybe work on our next Little House on the Prairie Adventure but lately, things rarely go as planned around here.

Friday had been rearranged for a very important event that didn’t happen because of a HUGE misunderstanding. To say I was disappointed would be a HUGE understatement but this event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, so fingers crossed that everything goes as planned.

Friday evening I had been binge-watching some Fixer Upper when a text came through. It was from Southwestern Produce to let us know that they had rescheduled the veggie pickup due to bad weather… well, that threw a little wrench in Saturday’s plans as I had already scheduled a few other things around the pickup but I quickly got to work a rescheduled things so I wouldn’t have to get up quite so early… yay! I still need to figure out a plan for next weekend as I already had plans for Saturday morning… Continue reading “Monday Message: Seeing Your Blessings Through The Tears”

I wanna shout it from the rooftop but I can’t… YET.

So I had this really great, exciting post planned for today but unfortunately, that’s not gonna happen just YET.

img_9097-2 Continue reading “I wanna shout it from the rooftop but I can’t… YET.”

Life Update: Dentist Appointments, Bread Store, and New Glasses

This post actually started out as a different post but it got so long that I broke it down and decided to share this part of it with you today!

Things have been SO CRAZY BUSY here lately… I can’t tell you about everything we’ve been up to but I will let you know about a few things we have been doing down below. We are so excited about EVERYTHING that is going on and we just can’t wait to SPILL THE BEANS with EVERYONE!

For now, though I’ll tell you about some of our latest adventures here in our little cabin.

A trip to the movies

We took them ALL to see the new Lion King and it was so GOOD! My oldest son was a HUGE Lion King fan when he was little… and I believe he may still be very partial to the original but my younger kids only knew about the new Disney version of the series.

Here’s a trailer for it if you haven’t seen it yet:

Continue reading “Life Update: Dentist Appointments, Bread Store, and New Glasses”

10 Ways To Celebrate Women’s Health Fitness Day

Continue reading “10 Ways To Celebrate Women’s Health Fitness Day”

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

Just in case you haven’t read about the Wildcraft game or the Learning Herbs books in any of my previous posts I’m going to share this with you now. My kids have absolutely been loving the Herb Studies we’ve incorporated into our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures. Recently I came across the Herb Fairies book series that they are enjoying as well. When I purchased the book series Amazon had recommended this game, Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game, as others had also purchased it. I did buy the game and my kids love it!

Continue reading “Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game”

Kick The Summer Blues With Some Learning Adventures

Are your kids complaining that they are bored yet? Well, mine pretty much know better than to tell me they are bored because Momma will find lots for them to do like cleaning out the van or the stinky trash can… lol. We have some fun things also like working on our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures.

My kids also love doing unit studies as they love learning. Whether they are asking about the stripes on tigers or how a robot works I can usually find a unit study for over at UnitStudy.com. Right now they have a few specials going on that you might want to check out for your kiddos or grandkids to help keep their brains from turning to mush over the summer vacation. Continue reading “Kick The Summer Blues With Some Learning Adventures”

Plastic Free July Challenge

I read about this Plastic-Free Challenge earlier this week but haven’t had a chance to post about it until now… If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know that I’ve mentioned that we’ve been extraordinarily busy this past couple of months and hopefully we’ll be able to share what we’ve been up to sometime later this month… it’s really exciting!

Back to the post though… part of my New Year’s goal was to start using less plastic and disposable items in our house. I know we probably won’t be a zero-waste household anytime soon but I know that we can have really cut back on single-use plastic items in our home. Continue reading “Plastic Free July Challenge”

Weekend Wrap Up: April 20, 2019

Hey there! It’s been a bit of a crazy week here. Last weekend I had a crazy reaction to some gun cleaner… crazy like I thought I was going to need an ER visit but thankfully a double dose of Zyrtec did the trick. However, after that, I was pretty much useless for a couple of days as I really truly felt like a walking zombie mom. This was truly not something I had expected or planned for so it kind of threw a wrench in my carefully laid out plans.

I had so many things planned that I wanted to get done before Easter and almost none of them have happened. The ones I did manage to get accomplished, like weeding the flower bed and picking up the yard, have been messed up and really don’t look like anything had been done. Instead of getting stressed like I sometimes too I’ve really just tried to go with the flow this week.

After resting Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday morning I did manage to muster up a bit of energy as we had an appointment to go to. We went to visit a place that does a lot of activities for the community. We may be doing some square dancing there next month and we needed to give it a quick look over so we knew what to expect. It was so cool and the kids really enjoyed the huge swing set that they had there.

Then we had our usual Monday dance but I was not able to go to that because my back had been bothering me and I was having some old issues flare up. My feet and hands were just so numb and tingling that it made getting around a bit difficult. I pretty much sat in the recliner most of the day. I was so glad that I had been able to do as meal prep as I did on Saturday morning. For dinner, we had some Red & White Pasta with some diced grilled chicken added into it. The kids loved it even more than the normal version.

Tuesday afternoon I did manage to get dressed and head to a dance where Mr. Awesome was filling in. I was glad that we went because it was so much fun to see all the young dancers. My kiddos also had a lot of fun watching them and it motivated them a bit more to want to take lessons soon. My lack of activity really showed through as I could myself getting winded after a tip. For dinner that night I had made a Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet which was super easy to throw together with the browned hamburger from the freezer.

I don’t even remember what we did on Wednesday. Hmmm… what did we do on Wednesday? I know we had Tortellini Soup and some Quick Garlic Bread that Mr. Jacob had helped me prep for the freezer last week but I don’t think anyone did a whole lot of anything. That combination was so good together! I might have caught up on some email but I couldn’t sit at the computer for very long so getting any work done was almost a lost cause.

I didn’t even get to the washing until Thursday because I couldn’t lift anything and walking out to the wash shed seemed like an impossibility if I had to carry a load of laundry with me. Although the kids were kind of enjoying the lazy zombie mom, I was ready to get something done around here. I mean Easter was fast approaching and we had a small dinner planned but I hadn’t been able to do much of anything.

I finally decided that something seriously had to get done around here so I just had the girls bring me some laundry baskets and I sorted the clothes in the house and carried the baskets out one at a time with was a lot less strenuous. Once I finished up my laundry the kids did a load and we were back on track. Feeling a bit ambitious, I decided to make a Chicken Cordon Casserole which was more labor intensive than I had remembered (or maybe I’m just getting lazy with all the meal prep) but it was so good!

I also made a phone call that I hadn’t expected to make and cleared the air between a family member. There had been an incident last year that had really hurt me and I had chosen to distance myself and my family from the situation. Now things seem to have calmed down a bit and we are taking things slowly to see how they go. Christmas and Easter a couple of times in the year when most of do seem to have softer hearts and people seem to be able to forgive easier. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to forgive, I just didn’t want to forget what had happened. All that did was to keep the hurt going.

So Friday we had a visit from this same family member and everyone got caught up on the past few months. The kids really enjoyed the visit and probably overwhelmed then with Minecraft facts but it was a good visit for the most part.

Midway through the visit, we had some terrible storms come through and we were under a tornado watch. We also lost power for a good while. The scariest part came when the winds were howling around our little cabin and all of a sudden there was a loud bang. The back door flew open and the wind was blowing pond water all over the bedroom. Things were swirling around and flying off the walls… it was crazy! I kept pushing the door shut only to have to fly open again. Then while I was dealing with that the front door burst open and the kids rushed to shut it.

The worst part of the storm passed quickly and we were able to keep the doors closed without assistance. My bedroom still has a ton of peacock feathers scattered here and there but things are almost back to normal in the house. There is a ton of stuff to get cleaned up in the yard. The picnic table had been thrown across the yard but seems to be okay. A neighbor had a big tree come down but we only had a bunch of branches. Whew, I know we had someone watching over us and I am so thankful for that.

After all that excitement, I was ready for an easy meal. We had some Sweet and Sour Meatballs, boxed mac n cheese, and some Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes. Mr. Awesome, however, wasn’t feeling like having meatballs and had brought home a couple of steaks to cook. (Click here for my recipe.)

This morning has been super busy as I’ve been making up for lost time earlier in the week. I have in fact been so productive that I’ve amazed myself. Before 9:00 am I had already picked up my vegetable order from Southwestern Produce Company and my grocery order from Walmart! I was so happy that the frozen veggies are back as our freezer supplies were getting low and as always our Walmart grocery pickup went smoothly. Chad was super helpful and got my order out to me quickly and loaded it up all up like a pro!

I even managed to sneak into the store alone, as Mr. Awesome was keeping an eye on the kiddos, and grab a few things for the Easter basket. Yes, the Easter Basket, only one basket for everyone to share and it’s not going to be chocked full of candies but it does have a lot of fun things like bubbles, slinkies, and even some Hatchimals that they can play with together. I did grab a couple of packages of candy for them to share but I know that other family will be bringing candy so I don’t want to deal with meltdowns after the overdose on sugar-laden treats. Trust me, we’ve been there several times this week and I’m not wanting to go there again anytime soon.

Honestly, my kids don’t really miss the sugary treats and such because this is what we’ve pretty much always done. Their favorite part of Easter is the Empty Tomb Rolls and the story that I tell them along with it. They do like to help make the Chocolate Covered Eggs to give to family and friends too but most of all they remember the time we spend with family and the conversations we have about Jesus which, to me, are the most important things.

This week I’ve seen, once again, that even though things haven’t gone as planned and/or my plans have not happened because of one thing or another, that God has a plan and His plan is always so much more than what I could have ever imagined. I just want you to remember this too because I know how much we can stress sometimes when we really want things to perfectly and they just don’t. Remember that your kids are watching and looking up to you. They are learning so many valuable lessons from you and everyone that they are around.

That’s all I have for now as I have a few more things left to get put away. Plus we have some chocolate eggs to make and I’m praying that my ham thaws out in time for tomorrow’s dinner as I forgot to get it out of the freezer earlier in the week. That’s how life goes though so I won’t let it get me discouraged because I know it’ll all work out in the end.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Have a blessed weekend!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

 

 

When God Says No, Not Yet…

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some BIG NEWS that we might have to share… well, unfortunately, that big news is no news this time. Yes, I’m a little heartbroken, well maybe more than just a little.

Once again we had set out to look for a house but this time we had found the PERFECT one! It wasn’t too big or too small… in fact, it was the only one we’ve seen that felt like HOME the moment I walked in the front door. I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to ‘jinx it’. I prayed and had some of my family and close friends praying about it. I also knew in my heart that I needed to be prepared for any outcome.

Everyone seemed pretty optimistic as we filled out the paperwork and submitted it for approval. Let me tell you that waiting, with fingers and toes crossed, is very agonizing. Then we got word that the loan was not approved… my heart sank. We tried again with a co-signer, then again with another company, and another with the same answer. I knew that GOD was saying NO, Not yet my child.

However now we know what the problem(s) are and we are taking steps to fix this in the future. These issues have probably caused us to miss out on this PERFECT house but I know that in the future there will be a time when GOD does say YES and it will be more than we ever expected. Continue reading “When God Says No, Not Yet…”

Making Time For Devotions

If you’ve been following along with my blog you probably have seen that we are really trying to make some positive changes around this little cabin. I will be the first to admit that towards the end of last year I was not a very happy Momma. We were in the midst of a very rough parenting phase with my two special needs kiddos who are 16 & 11 (going on 30)… their attitudes and behavior were at a point that I really doubted my parenting skills and abilities. Something had to change, actually, a lot of somethings had to change.

Personal Devotions

One big thing that I had gotten away from was my daily devotions. I wasn’t having my ‘quiet time’ in the mornings before the kids woke up which meant I wasn’t having any one on one meetings with my LORD. Boy have I missed those sessions!

Well, 2019 is the year for me to stop wishing for CHANGE and to start making it happen! I’ve been posting a lot about some of the things we’ve been working on and one of those the past couple of weeks has been to start making time for devotions.

Not everyone may feel the same as I do but I really do need some time to myself. I need time to plan, to organize my thoughts, and talk to my LORD. I also have things I want to do like blog, arts & crafts projects, and I have a ton of reading to catch up on.

First things first though is making time for my daily devotions. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of getting up early before the kids so that I can have my ‘quiet time’. I’ll admit that this hasn’t been easy especially on cold mornings like this today. Then yesterday I got up early but I had issues with the coffee maker and ended up not getting to my ‘quiet time’. I like to get comfy when I study or read so I like to have a drink with me. Sometimes I will snuggle up with a warm blanket and other times I might like to sit outside on the porch just depending on the weather and how I feel.

I also keep a notebook with me to jot down notes and also to keep track of different things I am praying about or people/situations I am praying for. One of the really important things I really try to include in prayer is our homeschool journey because without GOD’s help I can’t do this. This is a good way to keep myself organized and I can look back through my notebook to see just how much GOD has done for me and my family through the year.

Before we moved I had transformed part of my closet into a place where I could find some ‘quiet time’ even in the middle of the day. I kept my BIBLES, devotionals, and prayer journal on my desk there. It was so easy to ‘find’ time because I had everything organized. However here, in this little cabin, I don’t have a dedicated space so it has been more of a challenge for me.

Secondly, I never seem to know where to start when it comes to reading my BIBLE. Sometimes I’ll go through a phase where I just open it up and read wherever and then other times I try to follow along with a book like one of these here:

First Light Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal

Starting Your Day Right

I have started both of these books at different times but have never completed either one of them… sad but true. This year I am determined to finish one of them!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.if a product is purchased through one of our links.

I also like to keep some of these FREE booklets in my bags so that I have something to read when waiting at appointments or such:

Our Daily Bread

In Touch

There are also a wide variety of email devotionals and apps that you can use from your phone which make it so much easier to do this on the go. I have also found this site HERE which has many plans to use and I am going to try to read through the BIBLE this year… even though some of it may be more listening than reading. This is a goal I have had since I was young and I’ve never completely read through the entire bible yet. The site has several other FREE plans to help you with your spiritual life and you can even join as a group with friends to encourage each other.Y

Many people think that devotions need to be an in depth study but that’s not true. Your devotions should be what feels right for you. The LORD will lead you to more in depth studies when HE knows you are ready… and HE will make it all POSSIBLE.

I do have a couple of Proverbs 31 studies that I’ve bookmarked to work on this year as well as some others that I’ll share as we go through the year. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much information. If there is something specific that you FEEL led to study then you can always do a GOOGLE search on the subject (ex: becoming a proverbs 31 woman bible study) and find many options to choose from.

If you aren’t sure how to set up your prayer journal you can find lots of useful ideas and printables HERE or some more great ideas HERE.

Family Devotions

I feel that not only do I need to do my personal devotions but I probably need to start including more time for family devotions as well. Now we do have some BIBLE studies and such worked into our homeschool routine but sometimes we may need to add to it.

We may try to start having a scripture reading at a designated meal time or maybe just have a certain time of day to read scripture… I’m not really sure about my plans for this additional devotion time yet but I am working on it. Sometimes we have BIBLE discussions in the van when we are going places so really it could happen anytime and anywhere.

I have found a few different ideas for family devotions HERE and HERE. If you don’t like either of those you can check out this GOOGLE search. My kids and I really enjoyed using this book here too:

Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God

Couple Devotions

This is another area that I think is important but we don’t really do this yet. We have discussions on occasion but never anything set or intentional. Now for this to work it has to be something that we both can agree on and something we can work into our schedules.

Many other people may find it difficult as well but remember that you don’t have to physically be in the same place at the same time. You can decide to them via phone, FACETIME, or SKYPE or maybe just have a designated time each day to spend on your devotions.

I’ve found a few ideas for couple devotions HERE and HERE.

Not married or don’t have a partner? You can always spend a little time praying for that special person. I know I prayed for Mr. Awesome before I even met him and I am so glad I did. I loved these books HERE and HERE for this.

In the end, I don’t think you will regret any time you spend on your devotions. You should definitely start out slowly and work your way into this new routine. It takes a little while to get a new habit started and if you happen to be like me this will be a habit that will grow on you and get easier as time goes by. This one habit can make such a BIG difference in your whole LIFE… I know it does in mine.

If it seems that you are having trouble getting it started then pray for GOD to lead you in the way you should go. Maybe you are trying to do too much? Or maybe what you are trying to do just isn’t what is best for you or your family.

Have a blessed weekend!

Little House on The Pond Progress (With Pictures)

**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use in our home.

I’ve been promising pics of the newly rearranged house. I know it seems like I’m always rearranging something around here but it has been awhile since I’ve posted house pics so here they are.

Many of the pics show the before we moved in and the after… which is now. It has been quite challenging getting to this point partly because having a large family means you have a lot of stuff.

Another part is that we need this small space to function in a variety of ways. We homeschool and do a lot of arts and crafts. I like to cook, sew, and blog too. Not to mention the kids need a place to play and we need to eat, relax, and maybe sleep a little bit. Previously trying to find a spot for some ‘quiet time’ has proven to be a bit difficult as well.

I think we’ve finally found an arrangement that allows for everything we need. With our new furniture pieces we can make more room when needed and move things around quite easily to accommodate whatever we might be doing. This new arrangement has also allowed the house to feel much more open and it seems like we have so much more space while still being nice and cozy.

This is the bedroom area and the view from the bedroom:

Not much has changed in the bedroom since I moved the king sized bed in here earlier this year and moved the two bunkbeds to the Main Room. I can say that having my ‘room’ has been really nice and occasionally I come in here to get a little computer work done while the kids play in the Main Room.

When we first moved in we divided this room into two rooms with a partition and added a small storage loft above the second room which is W’s room right now.  Continue reading “Little House on The Pond Progress (With Pictures)”

Free Printable Shopping Guide – Makes Christmas Shopping So Much Easier!

I know, I know …. some of us just don’t want to think about Christmas shopping yet, even though I have already bought a couple of gifts. However, I am getting a lot of requests about what my kiddos want or what sizes they are wearing so I think its time to make up my list so I can send it to those people who have asked for information.

Seeing how I normally go through the kids’ clothes around this time of year it makes it the perfect time to take note of what sizes they like. I can also use this time to ask them about the styles and colors they prefer and maybe even ‘sneak’ in a quick question about what they might like for Christmas. Continue reading “Free Printable Shopping Guide – Makes Christmas Shopping So Much Easier!”