Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Cleaning-Start at the very beginning!

spring cleaning

My wonderful older sister is a natural at organizing and cleaning house. As for me, well, let's just say I have other talents :-) I try hard to make organizing feel natural, but it just doesn't happen. She is coming to my rescue this week and helping me organize my house and clean.

I am trying to make room for the special things of my Mother's that I want to keep. So some things have to leave my house!

Recently I posted that I needed to find a place for my sewing things. She helped me move my sewing area, and turned it from this:

Into this state of organized bliss! I actually moved all my sewing things upstairs in my boys room. Their room is pretty large, and they have bunk beds, so they are sharing part of their room with me :) It's not the perfect solution, but I think it will work alright. When I want to sew, all the children can come upstairs and play with the toys in the room.

I love my Janome sewing machine! My same sister gave it to me as a wedding gift, and what a blessing it has been! My Serger is a craigslist find, and so far, I am happy with it.

She had the great idea to put all my fabric on this shelf, which is really sturdy.

Tomorrow, my sister is coming back and we have plans to tackle the downstairs. I have a pile of stuff to get rid of, and hopefully it will grow substantially tomorrow! We filled up three trash bags full of trash (boys have a way of collecting trash!). The plans are to organize my bedroom and my girl's bedroom for sure. I'll be sure to take some before and after pictures of my girl's room. I'll even share some great gift ideas for little girls, as my daughter just had her third birthday party and was given some really neat gifts! :)

I'm super excited, as we have a special series coming up next week! You'll have to wait on the topic, but I think you will find it interesting. :)

(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post).


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Simply Charlotte Mason Teaching Reading Giveaway!

If you homeschool your child, chances are you have been overwhelmed with the choices of curriculum that are out there. And when it comes to teaching your child to read, you can have your pick of any talking, singing, and dancing curriculum you want :) Sometimes, less is more. I love the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling. She taught reading using a variety of phonics, sight words, beautiful reading selections, and hands-on-activities. If you want more info on her approach to teaching, go here.

Simply Charlotte Mason recently came out with a new reading program designed to employ all the above methods. This is a beautiful, simple reading program that will not overwhelm you when you pull it out of the box! This program would be especially helpful for you if you have a hands on learner.

The Delightful Reading program comes with a teacher's guide, which is invaluable. It contains direct quotes and stories from Charlotte Mason herself on how to teach reading. It shows you step by step how to teach a young child their ABC's on through the time when they eventually start reading.

The reader that comes with the book is filled with twaddle free (I love that Charlotte Mason word!) reading selections from Robert Louis Stevenson, Aesop, Proverbs, and more. It comes with letter and word tiles that are printed on thick card stock. You just cut them apart and place them in the little bags provided for you to keep it organized. There are word tiles, uppercase and lowercase tiles, phonetic blends, and blank tiles for you to write on as needed.

I have used this program with my 7 year old son, who is past the ABC age, but still not reading fluently yet. He enjoyed doing the tiles, and it seemed to really help him learn how to actually spell the words and retain the spellings in his head. All of my children gathered around when we read with the tiles, and my younger children liked playing and recognizing the letters themselves. This is a gentle approach, but it's effective.

Due to our hectic schedule lately, we have gone back to the other reading program that we have, but as soon as things slow down around here I want to pull this back out and use the tiles again. I have found that this method builds confidence in my older son as he learns to read more difficult words.

You can purchase the whole set for $49.95, which for a complete reading program is a steal! If you would like, you can download a sample here.

Win It!
One of you will receive this reading program to bless your home! To enter to win, go to Simply Charlotte Mason and tell me one other item they sell that interests you. This is required to enter.


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).

1. Sign up to receive the Simply Charlotte Mason newsletter in your email-the sign up info is at the bottom of the website.

1. Follow Simply Charlotte Mason on facebook!

2. Follow us on Facebook.

3. Subscribe to our blog via email (top right hand corner of blog)-2 extra entries!

4. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

6. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!

7. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

8. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

9. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!

This giveaway will end Monday, April 11 at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Simply Charlotte Mason who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?

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This is an amazing article that my husband found in the Wall Street Journal. I'm still amazed it was actually published. What a blessing that a "typical" parent has stopped to consider if the current trend of dressing your daughter in as little as possible is actually a good thing. If you want to read the whole article go here. I copied most of it on this post. The highlights in the article are mine.

"In the pale-turquoise ladies' room, they congregate in front of the mirror, re-applying mascara and lip gloss, brushing their hair, straightening panty hose and gossiping: This one is "skanky," that one is "really cute," and so forth. Dressed in minidresses, perilously high heels, and glittery, dangling earrings, their eyes heavily shadowed in black-pearl and jade, they look like a flock of tropical birds. A few minutes later, they return to the dance floor, where they shake everything they've got under the party lights.

But for the most part, there isn't all that much to shake. This particular group of party-goers consists of 12- and 13-year-old girls. Along with their male counterparts, they are celebrating the bat mitzvah of a classmate in a cushy East Coast suburb.

a few years, their attention will turn to the annual ritual of shopping for a prom dress, and by then their fashion tastes will have advanced still more. Having done this now for two years with my own daughter, I continue to be amazed by the plunging necklines, built-in push-up bras, spangles, feathers, slits and peek-a-boos. And try finding a pair of sufficiently "prommish" shoes designed with less than a 2-inch heel.

All of which brings me to a question: Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we're being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?

It has to do with how conflicted my own generation of women is about our own past, when many of us behaved in ways that we now regret. A woman I know, with two mature daughters, said, "If I could do it again, I wouldn't even have slept with my own husband before marriage. Sex is the most powerful thing there is, and our generation, what did we know?"

We are the first moms in history to have grown up with widely available birth control, the first who didn't have to worry about getting knocked up. We were also the first not only to be free of old-fashioned fears about our reputations but actually pressured by our peers and the wider culture to find our true womanhood in the bedroom. Not all of us are former good-time girls now drowning in regret—I know women of my generation who waited until marriage—but that's certainly the norm among my peers.

So here we are, the feminist and postfeminist and postpill generation. We somehow survived our own teen and college years (except for those who didn't), and now, with the exception of some Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, scads of us don't know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily. We're embarrassed, and we don't want to be, God forbid, hypocrites.

As for the girls themselves, if you ask them why they dress the way they do, they'll say (roughly) the same things I said to my mother: "What's the big deal?" "But it's the style." "Could you be any more out of it?" What teenage girl doesn't want to be attractive, sought-after and popular?

And what mom doesn't want to help that cause? In my own case, when I see my daughter in drop-dead gorgeous mode, I experience something akin to a thrill—especially since I myself am somewhat past the age to turn heads.

In recent years, of course, promiscuity has hit new heights (it always does!), with "sexting" among preteens, "hooking up" among teens and college students, and a constant stream of semi-pornography from just about every media outlet. Varied sexual experiences—the more the better—are the current social norm.

But it's easy for parents to slip into denial. We wouldn't dream of dropping our daughters off at college and saying: "Study hard and floss every night, honey—and for heaven's sake, get laid!" But that's essentially what we're saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they're still living under our own roofs."

Amen! I appreciated this article so much. Many times parents fear to step in once their children reach a certain age. They think the child should be allowed some freedom to do what they want. I well remember my Mom telling me that certain necklines were not appropriate when I was 15 and 16! She didn't do it in a controlling way, she would just calmly talk to me and tell me her reasons why she didn't think something was appropriate. Don't be afraid of your child, seek to build a relationship with them so you can counsel them, and they will want to hear it.

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Spring Sale=Great Sale at Vision Forum!

Hurray! Another super great sale at Vision Forum! I'm going to highlight some of the best deals, but you will want to go take a look. This sale looks like a great one.

My all time favorite homemaking book, is on sale for $10.80! If you only read one book concerning the skills of running a home, this is the book you should read!

I have yet to read this book, but just borrowed it from our church library. I appreciate all the blog posts I have read by Jasmine Baucham. This is 80% today only, which makes it only $3.60!

My husband and sons love listening to these history Cd's. Bill Potter makes history come alive, and keeps even the young children fascinated with the stories. This is 55% off, making it $11.25.

All of the Homestead Blessing DVDs are 50% making them $8.50 each! We love watching these, and I have referred to them several times before making something.

I have not listened to every talk from this conference, but I really enjoyed the talks directed to the ladies. The practical ideas presented were encouraging, and it was refreshing to hear what other large families go through, and that they all have struggles running their homes and are not perfect either. This is 55% off right now, making it $29.95.

I don't advocate all of the Jonathan Park Cd's, as I don't like how the children talk in the adventure ones. They have come out with three sets that focus on learning about different animals which are excellent. My 7 and 5 year old sons love to listen to these, and amaze me over the facts they are learning. I highly recommend these for homeschooling families! These are on sale for $12.50 each.

I just found out if you use the coupon code FREETEA when checking out, that you get a copy of "Tea with Michelle Duggar" DVD for free! That's a great deal!

There is much, much more on sale, 25 pages worth! So go take some time to browse through the sale, it will bless your family so much!

(Please note that I am an affiliate of Vision Forum, and do earn a small percentage off of each sale. I would not recommend a product that I do not use for my own family. Thanks!).

Labels: , , 25 Pregnancy Tests for $5.38

Amazon has a great deal on pregnancy strips! You can buy 25 test strips for $5.38 which includes shipping. I have personally used these strips, and they have given me accurate results. I have four children to prove it! This breaks down to .21 cents each, making it a fantastic deal! I have to admit I test a lot. :) I'm going to grab this deal!

Please know that I am an affiliate with Amazon and will earn a small percentage off of this sale. Thanks!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A special Birthday Girl!

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him"
1 Samuel 1:27

Carrianna Jewel, a few minutes old. My third child, our first daughter. You were born on your due date, which happened to be Easter Sunday, and you share a birthday with your Mama! How special is that? The Lord gave me a peaceful spirit when I gave birth to you. Your birth was the best yet, and I still marvel and praise God over that experience.

You have been blessed with two older brothers whom your parents love dearly. The Lord knew that your Mama dearly wanted a little polished cornerstone to raise, a precious daughter. He was so merciful when He sent you to us.

Our first birthday together!

Waiting for Papa to come home from work.

What joy you bring to this home! Your girly ways fill my heart with delight.

You welcomed your baby sister with such love and delight!

Your Papa is thrilled to have two daughters, and I know prays for many more!

I love to snuggle you, stroke your hair, and tell you that I love you. But those are just mere words. They can't begin to convey to you the depth of my feelings.

You were a balm to your Mammay's heart during her final days here on earth. She adored you, and couldn't wait to help teach you how to cook, and enjoy being modest and girly. I pray that I will be able to pass that all on to you myself. You have not forgotten your Mammay. Even still today as I fix your hair you talk of how Mammay did that, and how much you miss her.

Resting with Mammay.

Don't let the pretty dresses and bows fool anyone though, you love to play with your brothers! You tag along with them, and try to endure their rough and tumble play (notice the bruised eye?).

You keep us busy! Life with you is never a dull moment! Even while you destroy the nursery with baby powder, you stuck the hair bow in your hair to be cute while you did it!

My little Carrianna, you are growing fast. I pray that you will look back on your childhood days with fondness, and will never doubt your parents love for you, or more importantly your Heavenly Father's love for you.

May you grow up to be a virtuous young lady is my heart's prayer. In these days of "wars and rumors of wars" may you learn to be strong in your faith, valiant and true, never wavering. I pray that we will impart to you everything which is righteous and pure. We love you so much Carrianna!

Happy third Birthday!


Friday, March 18, 2011

Physician gives up practice to stay home with family!

Physician Wholeheartedly Gives Up Medical Practice to Be a Wife and Mother of Eight Children for the Glory of God! from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

This is an amazing testimony! I would encourage you to listen to it, and have your heart stirred up by this woman's meek and quiet spirit, and the adoration she has for her husband. What a blessing she is to other woman! Money does not last, fame does not last, but raising children, and loving your husband is eternal.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

A peek into our house

Would you like to see what I have been up to lately?

It might scare some, and others might feel quite at home here. :) I'm showing you pictures of my house that are real. Not cleaned up for company pictures.

1. We finally went through my Mom's house and got it ready to sell. I came home with my inheritance. Boxes upon boxes of homeschooling books. She planned for many years to leave us books to use for homeschooling. I just wish she could be here to use them with us still. :( They are a great blessing though, and I have many fond memories of using them when I was in school.

Now I'm trying to figure out where to put them all. We put up some really cheap bookcases for now, until my husband has time to build some custom built in bookcases. As he is custom cabinet maker (among other things) I'm willing to be patient! And {swoon} he is letting me paint the bookcases white! I'm so excited!

2. I also inherited my Mother's Grand Piano! This is a tremendous blessing to us, and I've had a hard time doing anything else besides playing it! My Mom taught me how to play piano, before I started taking lessons from someone else. I have so many memories of singing with her, and playing duets, etc. with her. So this is very, very special to have.

(The rug on the piano bench is temporary. I'm planning on sewing a cushion for it from this tutorial that will match my curtains in my living room).

3. We are moving our two little girls out of the shared room with the boys ( the girls are only almost 3 and 15 months) and putting them in the room that holds my sewing stuff. Now I have to figure out where to put this, and *ahem* organize it bit better than this!

4. My little girl has started climbing on furniture, and walking! Nothing is cuter than watching a little one learn to take their first steps! My children have been about 14 months before they take their first step, and she was no exception. Every day she takes more steps than the day before.

5. And finally, this winter I have learned what being a single parent is like. My husband worked on a snow removal crew at a local Ford Plant (and other places) and was gone a lot since we received our fair share of snow! He would be called out for several days in a row at times, and I learned all over again what a blessing he is to me. I'm incredibly thankful that he normally puts the children to bed, something that started when my health was really poor. I didn't realize how much I valued that time until he wasn't here to do it! We all missed him a lot, and while I'm grateful that I think the snow is over, now I'm about to become a spring and summer "widow" as the lawn care season will be starting soon! :-)

What has your family been busy doing?


Spring Dresses for Little Girls!

Easter is fast approaching! I love this time of year, Spring flowers are popping up, gentle breezes, sunshiny days that make you want to go to the park. And I adore spring dresses for little girls!

Zulily has some very pretty dresses on their site right now. They only last a few days, so hop on over if you are interested! They even have some matching outfits for baby girls and bigger girls, so you could match!

Here are some of my favorite ones:

Go here to see more selection.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Loving the Little Years Review and Giveaway!

I was intrigued when I discovered a book that had been written just for me! Rachel Jankovic (daughter of Doug and Nanci Wilson) has five children, ages five and under. She is currently living out the hardest mothering years, and had the courage to write about it! "Loving The Little Years, Motherhood in the Trenches" is a book written to let other Mom's know that she understands.

Rachel knows about the runny noses, the mountains of laundry, the whining children, and the ever present messes. But she has a vision to raise her children, and to truly teach them to know God, and love Him. It is a simple book, but refreshing. She gives many good reminders in this little book that is jam packed with tips of the trade.

I love this paragraph from the second chapter.

"I remember a time when I used to be much godlier. It was sometime in junior high and my room was clean. It must have been beautiful weather outside because the lighting was very nice in my room where I was reading my Bible every day and feeling really good. It was quite clear to me that my sanctification was progressing very well. As the feeling wore off, I remember looking back to that time as a high point. That was really living the Christian life." (From Chapter 2: In The Rock Tumbler)

Wow, could I relate to that! I fondly remember the carefree days of high school where I had all the time I wanted in my room to read, journal, pray, etc. Fast forward to today, and unless I get up early (which I'll admit does not always happen, I'm still working on it!) I have to snatch some time in the morning for a prayer and a quick devotional book, and get busy.

The author shares on the back that "I didn't write this book because mothering is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't." I appreciate her honesty!

Win It!
Canon Press is giving away TWO copies of this book! To enter, leave a comment letting us know why you need this book!


You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do. Please leave a way to contact you if you win. If you currently follow in one of these ways, that still counts as an extra entry, even if you did it a while ago. Just make sure you are still following in that way (i.e via email, facebook, etc.).

1. Follow Canon Press on facebook!

2. Follow Canon Press on Twitter.

3. Subscribe to our blog via email.

4. Follow us on our blog using Google Friend connect!

5. Follow us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.

6. Share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, and leave a comment with the link.-earn 2 entries!

7. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

8. Blog about this giveaway and leave the link.-2 extra entries (leave two comments saying you did this).

9. Place my blog button on your blog, leave a comment with the link and earn TWO extra entries for doing so!

This giveaway will end Monday, March 28 at midnight, and a winner will be posted the following morning. We will notify the winner and they will have 36 hours to respond! Open to US Only.

This was not a paid post and my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own. Thank you to Canon Press who supplied the product for the review and giveaway.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Mother's Love

"There is no human love like a mother's love. There is no human tenderness like a mother's tenderness...In all ages everywhere; the true children of a true mother 'rise up and call her blessed'; for they realize, sooner or later, that God gives no richer blessing to man than is found in a mother's love."

Henry Clay Trumbull
Hints On Child Training

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Living Each Day to the Fullest

TIME {Explored!}

Life is fleeting.

Seconds turn into hours, hours spill into weeks. Months slip into years.

You never know when the unforeseen {at least by us} will happen, and that tragedy has struck that you always hoped would never come.

Are you building memories with your children? Or is life rushing by so fast that those precious days are slipping away because you are to busy with _____ {you fill in the blank}.

Gather your children under your wings today. Breathe a Mother's blessing on them, hold them close, whisper words of encouragement to them. You never know if those words will be your last.

The day before my Mom died, I let something petty get between us. Thankfully it was resolved (on my part, she had done nothing wrong) and the last conversation I had with her before bed we were at perfect peace with each other. That night she had a stomach aneurysm, and she never regained consciousness to speak to me again. A squeeze on my hand was my parting goodbye. A final deep sigh, the last breath, and she closed her eyes.

Moments. Seconds. It happened just like that.

Dear friends of mine received a knock on the door one day during a calm afternoon. One sentence was to change their life forever. He's gone. A Husband and Father was instantly killed that day during a tragic car accident.

I don't mean to cast fear in your hearts. But I don't want regrets to come upon us. If one of my children died tomorrow, would I feel at peace with how I was mothering them? Or would I remember the frustration I felt towards them, the times I turned them away because I was to busy online {ouch} the ever present "in a minute" spoken to them as I struggled to get something done.

I am reminded yet again to live each day as if it was my last. Live it for the Lord, live it for my husband and children, my church family. When I meet my Maker one day, I want Him to say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You tended to your family well." I don't want his condemnation that I loved my business or my hobbies better than I did taking care of my family. I'll admit it, sewing a beautiful dress, or blogging can be more fun than doing dishes, but is it eternally more important? Doing dishes is tending to my home, which I have been called to do, so it is vitally important.

If you struggle with focusing on the needful and important things, can I encourage you today to stop what you are busy with, and refocus on your family? Take your children to the park, write your husband a note of encouragement. Fix something nice {or for that matter, fix something!} for dinner tonight. Show your family you care about them. You won't regret it.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Best of the Blog World!

While I have not been online much this week as our internet has been down, here are some great articles I have found recently.

First time obedience, really? @ I Take Joy (An excellent article written by Sally Clarkson. From what I have gathered in her books, I don't believe in all their thoughts on discipline, but this was an amazing article that encouraged me to reach into my soul and find more mercy for my children and their child like ways)

Stories of Hope: How Converting to Cash Saved Our Budget ( What an inspiring story! If you are struggling with your finances, this would be a great post to read)

Do Not Sit Up Late: Three practical Do Not's (How many of us try to stay up late and cram in all we can while the children are in bed? Read this to be motivated to get to bed!)


Friday, March 4, 2011

Free Shipping at Lilla Rose!

Our Internet has been down, and we are in the middle of switching Internet providers, so that is why I have not been blogging. I did want to share that Lilla Rose is offering Free Shipping on orders of $20 and more! This special runs through March 6th. Now is a great time to try a Flexi clip, or get a new look for Spring! Go look at the vast selection at