Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cultivating Thankfulness

There was a time in my life where I would spend hours reading and studying my Bible in the quietness of my room. My journal pages were full of heartfelt prayers. Sometimes I would even look up different verses in different translations of the Bible, just to gain a better understanding of scripture.

It was wonderful, and I will always look back on that time in my life with fondness.

But now I'm a mother. I don't have hours upon hours to quietly study scripture. In fact, most of the quiet hours that I do have, I'm asleep!

While I do still try to keep up a journal, I'm definitely not as consistent as I once was.

Nowadays most of my prayer time feels like I'm constantly sending out flares.

"Jesus, please help me speak with a kind voice."

"Lord, give me grace to not snap in anger towards this child."

"God, I can't do this, I'm so tired, please give me the strength and energy I need to get through this day."

I'd venture to guess I'm not the only mom whose prayer life looks like this. It's praying without ceasing at it's finest.

Something I've been thinking about, and convicted of is that my prayer life is almost always centered around requests(mainly requests for help.) While I should be constantly asking God for help, and relying on his grace to get through the day, I've also been feeling led to remember to thank God for the random things that happen throughout the day.

"Jesus, thank you for this precious baby with the adorable belly laugh."

"Lord, thank you for allowing me to be home with these children, and for giving me the opportunity to point them to you. Thank you for blessing me with a hardworking husband."

"Oh, Father, they are so cute writing stories! Thank you for their imaginations, and for allowing them to be such good friends."

The amazing thing is that the more I strive to be more intentional with being thankful, the more joy I start to have. The more joy I have, the more peaceful our home is.

And isn't that the kind of home we all long to give our families?

It's a beautiful thing to show our children not only how dependent we are on Jesus, but also showing them how thankful we are for them and the things around us.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for ABC Say it with Me!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Arrows, Walking Redeemed, Raising Homemakers, Modest Mom

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moore Family Films Review & Giveaway

The television and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. When I'm able to have self control, and only use videos for special occasions then I'm completely fine with letting my kids watch movies every once in awhile. Honestly, I'm in the camp that thinks that television can be a great tool when used in moderation.

Unfortunately there have been many times that I haven't used television in moderation with my kids and eventually one show would turn into another, then another, and before I knew it I had kids who didn't enjoy reading, were having trouble keeping good attitudes, and would have melt downs over little things. Couple that with the fact that some movies(even some geared for young children) can have some scary scenes in them, it's enough to make me want to give up the television for good.

So when Moore family films offered to send me a copy of their new video, ABC Say it with me, I was excited but a little unsure of what to expect. Thankfully, any concerns I had were put to rest as soon as I watched it. ABC say it with me is an excellent video to have on hand. Not only does it help teach my children scripture(I've talked about it before, but memorizing scripture is one of my primary goals for my children right now), but it also helps reinforce the values that my husband and I are teaching our children.

If you're looking for a movie that presents your kids with the gospel, helps them memorize scripture, and reinforces the values that you're trying to teach at home I would highly recommend ABC Say it With Me.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of ABC Say it with Me, Moore Family Films has generously offered to giveaway a copy to one of my readers. Just enter below!

Good "luck!" ;)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Trains, Planes, and Birthdays

This past weekend was Luke's birthday weekend, so my family came in town to help us celebrate. Friday morning we decided to drive into St. Louis and check out the Transportation Museum. 

The kids had a blast walking through trains, seeing old cars, and getting to take a train ride. 

Papa and his little buddy. :)

Saturday was Luke's birthday. However the poor boy was so worn out from Friday's adventure that he slept through his birthday party. ;) Seriously by the time he finally woke up, everyone was gone(my mom and dad had a four hour drive ahead of them.)  It was all right, though, the kids, Erik, and I still had fun celebrating with him. 

Really, though, the main thing with a first birthday party is seeing the new one year old smash into his cake.

Here he is, not quite sure what to think about all of this sugary goodness.

And here is, apparently not impressed. :)

Oh well, something tells me he won't always be so sad when it comes to eating cake.



1. Finish up The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. My heart is so happy that my kids have been enjoying this one so much. Start in on Wisdom and the Miller's.

2. Exercise 3 times this week.

3. Go through our clothes and start giving stuff away either to friends or goodwill. I'm feeling the need to get rid of stuff!


Breakfast- Oatmeal, Granola, Eggs and Toast, and bagels

Lunch- sandwiches, salads, and leftovers

Dinner- Leftovers, pancakes and eggs, tacos, Bacon wrapped maple chicken with sweet potato fries and broccoli/salad, cheeseburger soup, ham with mashed potatoes and carrots

How was everyone else's weekend? Anyone else been to the Transportation museum in St. Louis? 

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for the book How to Build a Strong Christian Home!

Linked to Titus 2 Tuesdays

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Time Flies

One year ago, this sweet little boy came into our lives. Seriously, this has been the fastest year of my life, I can't believe Luke is already one.

He started out as a really fussy baby, but by the time he was a couple of months old he's been a pretty laid back and happy little guy.

Lily loves to pretend like she's his little mommy, and he's(mostly) happy to oblige.

He loves to watch all of his brothers and sisters, and Jack is especially protective of him.

Case in point. :)

Happy first birthday, Luke! We love you, and pray that you will grow into a man who loves and serves the Lord!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for the book How to Build a Strong Christian Home!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hug, Kiss, and Pray

I am extremely blessed to have women in my life who encourage me as a mother. A lot of them are friends who are in a similar season of life as me, and some of them are "older" women who have older children or kids that are all grown up.

I absolutely cherish these friendships. There's nothing more encouraging to me than sitting down with other moms who love the Lord that can relate to my struggles, but ultimately point me back to Jesus and what the Bible says about raising our children.

I can remember not too long ago talking to one of my friends(she has older children, and has been homeschooling for quite awhile.) I was telling her how I was concerned about trying to homeschool two different grade levels, while trying to keep the three younger children entertained and out of trouble.

She listened carefully to my concerns. She gave me some tips for managing my schedule. Then she told me three things that she would focus on if she could go back to when her kids were little.

1. Get God's Word in their heart. Make that the priority. There will never be another time in our children's lives that they will memorize things as quickly as they do now, so this is an opportunity to hide scripture in their hearts.

2. Teach them to help. It might not be perfect, or be exactly the way you would want things done, but involve them in the house work. By putting in the effort now, they will become a huge help as they get older.

3. Hug them, kiss them, and pray with them about any issues they are having. Childhood is fleeting. Let them know that they are growing up in a home where they are adored, and that they have a Father who will help them when they are sad or scared or when they just can't get along with their sibling.

These three things have been my focus this year. Yes we still do plenty of math and reading, but ultimately I strive to make these things our home's priority.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Be sure to enter the giveaway for the book How to Build a Strong Christian Home!

Linked to Raising ArrowsA wise woman builds her home, Walking Redeemed,Titus 2 Tuesdays

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How to Build a Strong Christian Home(Review & Giveaway!)

I am extremely passionate about learning to be a godly wife and mother.  Whenever I hear of a book  that encourages wives and mothers in their roles, I eagerly anticipate the chance to read it. I have so much to learn and so many areas that I need to grow, and I absolutely love to soak up the wisdom of other women.

When I heard that June Fuentes from Wise Woman Builds Her Home was writing a new ebook, I was excited. June is a homeschooling mom to eight going on nine children, a first generation Christian, and is as passionate as I am about wives and mothers embracing their calling. 

Some of the topics this book covers are:

What kind of legacy will I be leaving my children?
How can I help my husband be a leader in our home?
Am I teaching biblical truths to my children?
Am I setting a good example?
What kinds of entertainment should we allow in our home?
How can I make my home inviting when I'm on a tight budget? 

One of the things that I really appreciated about this book, is that June doesn't try to give you formulas to have the "perfect" Christian home. She's very real. We all have a sin nature, and our families are going to see that more than anyone else. But she also lovingly points us back to scripture, encouraging us to love our husbands and children the way God has called us to in His word.

This book is not only full of wisdom from a godly woman, but it also has many encouraging quotes from Charles Spurgeon and JR Miller interwoven throughout the book, and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. 

In this day and age, it's unusual to be reminded that investing in our families and homes is a high calling. I am sure that I will be referring to this book whenever I need some encouragement or guidance in the years to come. 

You can purchase How to Build a Strong Christian Home for only 4.99 here, or enter to win a copy below! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Kindle Destroyer

A few years ago, my parents and I went in together and bought Erik a kindle for his birthday. This was way back in the dark ages, when no one knew if they would like kindles or not.

Well my husband was so happy to receive such an unexpected, and perhaps a little extravagant gift from us, and he immediately started downloading books. Since both of us love to read, he would occasionally tease me about having to wait for a book to be shipped to our house when all he had to do was push a button to receive a new book.

Probably a year later, around the time we had out fourth baby and moved to a new town, he surprised me with a new kindle of my own. I was SO excited, and happily downloaded some new books to read.

But one day, as I was curling up to read during nap time, I switched the screen on, only to discover that the screen had somehow broken. I was very disappointed, but thankfully discovered that I could get it replaced with my warranty we had on it.

A few days later, my new kindle arrived. I was determined to be extra careful with it, but within a few days the screen had broken again. When we called amazon this time, they said that some of the kindles had malfunctioning screens and that we could replace them up to a year of when we had purchased them.

So I received my third kindle in about 2 months.

Then a year later(a year and one month later, to be exact) the same thing happened. I had no idea how this kept happening, but somehow the screens kept breaking.

This time the warranty had run out, so I figured there was no way I was going to be getting another one anytime soon.

But then Erik received a Kindle fire as a Christmas gift, and after a little bit of coaxing he gave me his old one(the one that my parents and I had given him a few years ago.)

"You better not break this one too!" Erik had joked the night he gave it to me.

I just laughed. After all, I hadn't actually broken any of the old kindle's. I'd just had bad luck with getting ones with dysfunctional screens, right?

Last week, I climbed wearily into bed. It had been a long day of homeschooling and discipline issues, and all I wanted to do was curl up with my book and go to sleep. When I got into bed, I reached over to turn off Erik's lamp(he was at a Bible study that night and not home yet) and as I did I heard a loud "CRUNCH."

As I looked down, much to my horror, I discovered that the top half of my kindle screen had just shattered.

Moral of the story? If you have a kindle, keep it far, far away from me.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for doTERRA essential oils!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ice, Sleet, and Snow...Oh my!

Ice, sleet, and snow. Those are three words that describe this past weekend. Saturday night, we got hit with an ice storm, causing church to be cancelled Sunday, and schools(our homeschool group included) to be cancelled on Monday.

I think it's safe to say that I'm starting to get a little stir crazy. ;)

But as I posted out on facebook a few days ago, April is in a month, so surely we will be able to go outside and enjoy some sunshine soon.

With that in mind, I figured we may as well embrace what is (hopefully) one of the last ice storms of the year. We checked out a huge stack of books from the library and even checked out some movies while we were there. Sunday morning we spent a couple of hours baking(granola, homemade bread, and pumpkin bread), and playing legos. Since classical conversations was cancelled on Monday, I decided to give the kids a snow day and surprise them with a movie and popcorn day(we were able to download Frozen on our xbox.)

All in all, it's not been too bad being cooped up inside.

But, you know, if warmer weather did decide to make an appearance, I wouldn't complain. :)


1. Exercise 5 days.

2. Continue reading In Grandma's Attic along with several other books(a lot of them are taken from this list- I'm seriously so thankful for an amazing library!) 

3. Continue memorizing Philippians 2.

4. Focus on giving "soft answers" and using my words for encouraging and building up, and not complaining(God has really been working on my heart in this area recently.)

Menu Plan

Breakfast- Granola, bread with honey & cinnamon, oatmeal, pumpkin bread, & banana pancakes.

Lunch- Salads, leftovers, and peanutbutter & jelly

Dinner- Spaghetti, tacos with guacamole and rice, tomato basil soup, grilled chicken with sweet potato hash browns and green beans, pancakes & eggs, pizza, and turkey burgers.

How was everyone else's weekend? Anyone else snowed in?

Be sure to enter the giveaway for doTERRA essential oils!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you subscribed to this blog via email, or "liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

(Amazon links are affiliates, thank you!)

On Not being a Decorator(plus a free printable of Proverbs 31:30)

If you're from Raising Homemakers, welcome! Be sure to enter our giveaway for doTERRA essential oils. I'm so glad you stopped by!

I am not a decorator. Maybe it's the fact that I live in a small house. Or perhaps it's because I have brood a of little ones, but either way decorating is not my area of expertise.

Generally speaking, I like to keep things(relatively) clean and simple. I rotate toys and declutter like it's going out of style.

I have discovered, however, that I do enjoy making printables(mainly of scripture) and hanging them on my children's bedroom walls.

Besides, even though I might not enjoy decorating, my kids always get so excited when I make them something new to put in their rooms. It makes them feel treasured.

On the nights that my husband is working late, and can't do Bible time with the kids, I read to my girls about the Proverbs 31 woman. There's something so special about tucking my precious daughters in for the night and sharing this scripture with them. It's such a wonderful reminder that we're on this journey together.

Read the rest over at Raising Homemakers!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you followed my blog via email or"liked" my page on facebook. Thank you so much for stopping by!

Linked to Raising Arrows, A wise woman builds her Home

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